Is this worth it? (1 Viewer)

airon23

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Hey guys, I started lurking here because I've been thinking of getting into an 80 series. My previous experience has been with FJ40s, but I've always like the 80 series. So I don't know much about these but how hard can it be right? :cautious:

This one is a 1991 FJ80. It's somewhat near me and cheapest I can get to dip my toes into the 80 series. I know it's not the later more desirable FZJ80s but they're still pretty good I think.

Price is $1000 because of all the work it needs.
From owner, I know it needs:
  • it does need engine work (possibly full rebuild)...
  • oil dipstick suggests bad head gasket...
  • was told front differential needs work as it has back lash,
  • gauge fuse keeps blowing was told it caused by a bad oil pressure switch (have new one, just haven't put it in)...
  • it needs quite a bit of work to make it driveable but the body is solid, only rust I've seen is on the bumper...
  • needs new catalytic converter, water pump and windshield...
  • cosmetic work like reupholster seats and paint...
  • bracket one of the back seats needs replaced
  • brakeline near passenger rear wheel has a leak...
Is this too much and going to cost me too much in repairs to make it feasible? I know these things are getting up there in cost and not going down anytime soon, but should I still be ok after putting in the work to get it baselined? Or am I letting my heart think I can still get into this vehicle?
Thanks in advance.
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Joined
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San Antonio, Texas
Hey guys, I started lurking here because I've been thinking of getting into an 80 series. My previous experience has been with FJ40s, but I've always like the 80 series. So I don't know much about these but how hard can it be right? :cautious:

This one is a 1991 FJ80. It's somewhat near me and cheapest I can get to dip my toes into the 80 series. I know it's not the later more desirable FZJ80s but they're still pretty good I think.

Price is $1000 because of all the work it needs.
From owner, I know it needs:
  • it does need engine work (possibly full rebuild)...
  • oil dipstick suggests bad head gasket...
  • was told front differential needs work as it has back lash,
  • gauge fuse keeps blowing was told it caused by a bad oil pressure switch (have new one, just haven't put it in)...
  • it needs quite a bit of work to make it driveable but the body is solid, only rust I've seen is on the bumper...
  • needs new catalytic converter, water pump and windshield...
  • cosmetic work like reupholster seats and paint...
  • bracket one of the back seats needs replaced
  • brakeline near passenger rear wheel has a leak...
Is this too much and going to cost me too much in repairs to make it feasible? I know these things are getting up there in cost and not going down anytime soon, but should I still be ok after putting in the work to get it baselined? Or am I letting my heart think I can still get into this vehicle?
Thanks in advance.
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You’ll get good feedback.

It’s been well used. It is what it is and you seem to understand that. A rust free body outta be worth that all day long. If you’re capable of doing most of the work yourself, you should be able to get out of it what you put into it starting at that price. For $10K you could have a pretty nice rig and a good value. Also, need to consider how you plan to use it and what kind of vision you have for it. Good luck and welcome to the 80 forum from an 80 newbie. The wealth of knowledge and experience is off the charts here....
 
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Minor point, but that “bad bracket” on the third row seat might just be the extension lever (which folds out the bracket that latches to the floor) unclipped. Fold the seat up to the side and see if it is hanging loose. My first lc had that issue when I bought it from a dealer - was a 10 sec fix

like the previous poster said, well used. All the items add the costs up quick, but $1000 sure is cheap
 
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airon23

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Of course it's your money but if you think you can get anything back out of an 80 that needs this much work you're kidding yourself.
I'm not necessarily trying to turn this around and make a $ on it. I just meant will I have too much into this than it's worth where I could just buy something else for more money and be better off saving my money.

My goal is to have a running driving 80 that I can enjoy eventually and take out on the trail from time to time.

Thanks for the info. It's always welcome.
 

leonard_nemoy

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That right there is the perfect v8 or diesel project rig. Clean rust free body for $1000.00

Buy it, frame off body and rebuild all the drivetrain. Replace all rubber, hoses, lines, and wiring harnesses. Repaint and coat the frame and drivetrain. Put the body back on the frame and replace all locks, trim, body rubber, and motors, etc. Swap v8 and new suspension.
 

Mtntopper

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I'm not necessarily trying to turn this around and make a $ on it. I just meant will I have too much into this than it's worth where I could just buy something else for more money and be better off saving my money.

My goal is to have a running driving 80 that I can enjoy eventually and take out on the trail from time to time.

Thanks for the info. It's always welcome.
I recently got back into an 80 series, a 97' LX450. Based on the complexity and current costs of things, it seems like maintenance and upkeep on the 80 averages about double the cost of the truck's value. It can really absorb as much cash as you want to throw at it. Haven't noticed that problem with my FJ40.
 
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You will easily throw $8K-$10K at that truck to make it a DD. BTDT. Drive it every day.

Yes, you can make it what you want it to be.

The 91-92 will not hold their value as well as the later models and some of the parts are getting hard to find.

This is a good candidate for a swap since it doesn't have all the electrical restrictions the later models have.

Depends on your level of wrenching and willingness to make it what you want.
 

airon23

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I do appreciate the feedback.
I agree it's been ridden hard and put away wet.

TBH I don't really have a budget or plan quite yet. This was nearly sold already and they backed out (ominous sign). Initial plan would be to just clean it all up and let it sit for a minute until I figured it out.
I had thought of engine swap but I'm not sure what goes easily or best in these things in the sense that I can get it all connected to the cluster and everything else within reason. Then again if I just swap it then am I messing with the magic that makes these things Landcruisers?
Sorry that's my purist at heart coming out.
 
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If you can, spend a bit more time figuring out what you want to end up with then communicate that here and we can give you a pretty accurate range of what you'll spend getting there from that starting point.

Unless you can live with it like it is long term the largest repair/cost that I see (in time and/or $) is the paint work. After that in terms of spend will be the cumulative maintenance items and relatively smallrepairs that will be needed it you want it to be back to 100% in terms of operation and reliability. As mentioned these quickly add up to thousands of bucks even for DIY and relatively tight 80s. Finally, the engine costs could be major but it also sounds like you may be able to wait and hunt for a replacement engine that you possibly just reseal/tune and install to save $. I don't know what they go for but assume that it isn't more than a few k for a replacement engine if you have time to shop. You should cruise the classifieds here to see if you can find any examples and possibly call your local parts yards to see if you can find one if it's a big factor in your buying decision.

I love that paint scheme on the early 80s. I also am a purist for the most part and wouldn't be interested in driving a non-stock engine swap myself, though it would be a fun project if I had time/space for it.
 

Mtntopper

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I recently got back into an 80 series, a 97' LX450. Based on the complexity and current costs of things, it seems like maintenance and upkeep on the 80 averages about double the cost of the truck's value. It can really absorb as much cash as you want to throw at it. Haven't noticed that problem with my FJ40.
As an update. I watched a video on YouTube last night of Jeremy Ward (Icon) building an 80 for Joe Rogan (podcast/comedian), they did a nut and bolt resto, LS swap and some suspension. They said they put $350k in it. I have no reason to doubt those numbers.
 

Comet

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I have a 40 series ’73 frame, ‘78 axles, and a ‘78 donor 2F (in negotiations) sitting in my garage right now with $1000 invested. They will sit until a body appears from the cruiser Gods. If I haven’t been clear, $1000 is chump change if the frame is straight and it’s rust free. Carpet looks to use a good pressure washing and a junk yard V8 would keep you under budget for fun If the 3FE isn’t up to speed.
 
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If you haven't owned a 3F-E powered truck, you may find that it's still a real dog when you're done with it. To me, that truck looks 'used up' rather than 'used'. I would part it, or avoid it. How many miles are on it? If you want a trail truck, as mentioned, maybe this is it, but I don't see trying to bring this one back to its original glory.
 

airon23

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I have a 40 series ’73 frame, ‘78 axles, and a ‘78 donor 2F (in negotiations) sitting in my garage right now with $1000 invested. They will sit until a body appears from the cruiser Gods. If I haven’t been clear, $1000 is chump change if the frame is straight and it’s rust free. Carpet looks to use a good pressure washing and a junk yard V8 would keep you under budget for fun If the 3FE isn’t up to speed.
There is a full fiberglass body in pieces for $1800 right now in the classified section if that's your thing. You'll never have to worry about rust.
 

airon23

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The plan right now is for me to go get this tomorrow. I appreciate the responses and opinions here and value them for the experience they come with.

I'm looking forward to starting to tinker with it and getting to know it. It's been years with an FJ40 for me, so this is like welcoming a new kid into the family. Although I know it'll never be as good as the other kids (FZJ80+). I've known the other one for so long, but I'm sure I'll grow to love this one too.

Not quite sure yet on plans to either rebuild, or swap the engine, but I'll let the 80 speak to me and tell me what it needs. It isn't an immediate project, but I gotta admit I'm excited to get into it and making her look as good as she'll let me.

I know I'll have a great wealth of knowledge for all my questions from this group. I look forward to getting to one day make it good to drive and getting it on the trails.
 

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