JDM HDJ81 Owners in USA...any regrets about your purchase?

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Yeah, who cares about crashes? Particularly in old vehicles with no airbags or crumple zones. No biggie.
Built like an absolute tank tho,

I'm 6500ish days of driving, 3200ish of the in a RHD, no issues yet. but reading that article makes me want to contact my insurance company
 
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Yeah, who cares about crashes? Particularly in old vehicles with no airbags or crumple zones. No biggie.
Passive-aggressively posting an article extract about generic RHD crash statistics isn't really contributing to discussion, though, is it?

Those concerns might have been things you could have brought up, and then posted the link to the article helpfully. Instead, you chose to be mr cool guy, drive through a thread, drop a veiled statement via link, and run off.

Hence, 🙄
 

Idaho Savage

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Captain BUZZ KILLLLLLLLLL!
 

Idaho Savage

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Man, this thread is really tempting me to steer my 80 search towards a diesel. The combo of more torque, greater range and a manual transmission in the 80 platform is very, very tempting.
 
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Man, this thread is really tempting me to steer my 80 search towards a diesel. The combo of more torque, greater range and a manual transmission in the 80 platform is very, very tempting.
i dont want to make it harder on you, but 37s, full time 4WD and 7500lbs on the scale.................got 22.6 MPG on a 1800 mile, 14 day roadtrip.
 
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A 1HD-FT with the 5-speed manual is right now my dream vehicle, just waiting for the prices to get a little more manageable on the 95-97's.
 
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I've had mine for about a year and a half now - it's been fantastic. Still a good amount of OEM support and a surprising amount of aftermarket support as well.

Most parts seem easy enough to come by if you know where to look and have patience; I wouldn't suggest these as daily drivers, though. Being that the diesel engines were sold internationally and in greater quantities than the gasoline engines, it's not something I'm too worried about.

Safety concerns are valid, as my 95 has no airbags and wasn't exactly designed to crumple. But, same or greater risks apply with motorcycles, ATVs, boats, ultra light craft, helicopters, etc. Just be more mindful and situationally aware when driving.
 
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Some statistics:

So why might right-hand drive cars be wrong for Canadian roads? In 2007, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) looked at accident data and found right-hand drive cars were up to 40 per cent more likely to get into a crash. A 2009 study by Quebec's insurer found right-hand drive cars to be 30 per cent more likely to get in a crash.​
"The research showed that right-hand-drive vehicles represent an increased crash risk in a left-hand drive environment like B.C.," said Lindsay Olson, Insurance Bureau of British Columbia (ICBC) spokeswoman, in an e-mail. "In the study, we also found the average time for a crash to occur after first purchasing a right-hand-drive vehicle was 223 days which is 68 per cent sooner than for left-hand-drive vehicles, which was 705 days."​

Part of that is going to be the fact that a ton of the imported RHD's here are sports cars - Skylines, Supras, etc. and they are bought by 16 year old kids. 10 years ago I had the chance to purchase an R32 GTR (running and driving well) for 7 grand if that gives you an idea of the buyers.


That said, I wouldn't even own an 80 if I couldn't have purchased the diesel variant. I'd prefer it to be LHD but I daily drove my HDJ81 for 11 years without as much as a close call.
 
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As a new owner of a HDJ81 I can say I love it. The RHD is easy to adapt to after a few days. My rig gets great gas mileage for the tank that it is. Parts are not convenient to get but if you know where to look and have time and patience they are available.
Plan on putting more money into it than you think. Would I buy one again? Yeah I would, it makes me happy and gives me something to look forward to.
 

alia176

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i dont want to make it harder on you, but 37s, full time 4WD and 7500lbs on the scale.................got 22.6 MPG on a 1800 mile, 14 day roadtrip.

Those are some seriously awesome numbers. What hwy speed do you tend to keep?
 

alia176

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A 1HD-FT with the 5-speed manual is right now my dream vehicle, just waiting for the prices to get a little more manageable on the 95-97's.

what prices are you seeing for the 95-97 and what are the import costs these days?
 
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I had a 1994 FZJ80 for over 10 years, loved it but decided I wanted a 1HDT powered one. Finding one with a manual transmission was pretty difficult but well worth it. Its a 1993 HDJ81, i've had it almost 2 years now with zero issues. Changed out the fluids and keep it full of gas. Its far more fun to drive than the FZJ80 was, that thing was a pig and it never missed a gas station. In contrast the turbo diesel does around 20mpg and has loads of power.
 

jellis

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Damn, my rig with 37s and a brand new auto/TC only gets ~16MPG on its own and ~12MPG while towing my 4000lb M101A military camp trailer!!! So you're getting nearly 50% better mileage which seems....impossible?!? Is your speedometer/odometer accurate?!?
 

alia176

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I had a 1994 FZJ80 for over 10 years, loved it but decided I wanted a 1HDT powered one. Finding one with a manual transmission was pretty difficult but well worth it. Its a 1993 HDJ81, i've had it almost 2 years now with zero issues. Changed out the fluids and keep it full of gas. Its far more fun to drive than the FZJ80 was, that thing was a pig and it never missed a gas station. In contrast the turbo diesel does around 20mpg and has loads of power.

20 mpg is impressive. What do you set the cruise control at on the hwy?
 

SaturnAscends

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Man, this thread is really tempting me to steer my 80 search towards a diesel. The combo of more torque, greater range and a manual transmission in the 80 platform is very, very tempting.
Look for LHD imports from Spain. They're usually fairly clean and rust-free, and often have manual gearboxes. Canary Island Cruisers is a reputable company I think. RHD would be awkward at best in North America IMO, unless you live way out in the middle of nowhere I guess.

Just from what I've researched on this site and elsewhere, BEBs are an elephant in the room with the turbodiesel engines, though much less so with the FT. Some people dismiss it as a mere maintenance item, but changing out bearings isn't usually thought of as routine upkeep. It seems like there's a growing contingent of 1FZ-FE enthusiasts even in Australia, where the turbodiesel models command an exorbitant premium.

From what I've seen the 1HZ is the most bulletproof of all the LC engines, but they're more suited to off-pavement use and long-distance touring in areas with poor infrastructure.
 
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RHD would be awkward at best in North America IMO, unless you live way out in the middle of nowhere I guess.
Actually quite the opposite. I owned mine in the midde of the city and driving was pretty much the same as LHD. It gets awkward when you get on the rural 2 lane roads. You have to lean pretty far in to the passenger side to spot oncoming traffic when passing.
 
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Yeah I drove mine through NYC city streets on the Upper West Side with no issues, the only time I felt nervous about driving was passing semi truck traffic on the ALCAN, where I had to have my front passenger spot for me if the way was clear.
 

alia176

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Look for LHD imports from Spain. They're usually fairly clean and rust-free, and often have manual gearboxes. Canary Island Cruisers is a reputable company I think. RHD would be awkward at best in North America IMO, unless you live way out in the middle of nowhere I guess.
This is an interesting perspective when it comes to RHD rigs. Our brains can figure things out quickly and I get it. However, I don't know if I can relax on the passenger seat on a long drive while one of my passengers relieves me by driving for a shift. My 80 is driven by others and RHD would require some serious retraining, I'd suspect.

There's a bloke local to me who owns a '92 (i think) import from Spain. I have no idea why this guy even owns this beauty because he doesn't know how to work on it or on any of his other cool cars on the driveway. I'd love to drive it one day and get a sense of the power it has.
 

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