My legacy FZJ80

Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
This is my first post; just joined. Two weeks ago had my younger brother's 1997 FZJ80 shipped to me from Montana. He passed away too soon and this was his hunting/fly fishing rig. Now it's my legacy vehicle to remember him by and to fix up so my grandkids can drive it in his memory. Has 244,500 miles on it and he had it serviced regularly. I've committed to putting it in proper mechanical shape and then quasi-restoring it inside and out. I know I'll probably spend way more than it's worth but it's not for sale so I don't really care. But, of course, I don't want to be stupid either.

So far I've spent about $2,000 having my local tire/brake (non-LC expert) guy replace shocks, rotors, brakes, etc. Repacked wheel bearings but did not replace them. And another $1,700 having the rear differential bearings redone by a local transmission guy (non-LC expert) to try to quiet a howl that starts at 50mph and is only present when there's power to the drive train (i.e. goes away when you let off the gas pedal). That didn't cure it so now I'm being told it must be in the transfer case.

Also, when I got it back from the brake/shock guy I noticed I now have the clunking sound in my front left wheel when it's turned. I read the thread on the Birfield knocking and, while I'm a rookie at all this, I suppose that I have to replace the Birfields now. Correct?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
 

Road Apple

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
511
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
 
Sorry for you lose. Welcome to MUD and a wonderful community.

The clunking might be a bolt from the brake caliper that’s come off.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
9,356
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
 
This is my first post; just joined. Two weeks ago had my younger brother's 1997 FZJ80 shipped to me from Montana. He passed away too soon and this was his hunting/fly fishing rig. Now it's my legacy vehicle to remember him by and to fix up so my grandkids can drive it in his memory. Has 244,500 miles on it and he had it serviced regularly. I've committed to putting it in proper mechanical shape and then quasi-restoring it inside and out. I know I'll probably spend way more than it's worth but it's not for sale so I don't really care. But, of course, I don't want to be stupid either.

So far I've spent about $2,000 having my local tire/brake (non-LC expert) guy replace shocks, rotors, brakes, etc. Repacked wheel bearings but did not replace them. And another $1,700 having the rear differential bearings redone by a local transmission guy (non-LC expert) to try to quiet a howl that starts at 50mph and is only present when there's power to the drive train (i.e. goes away when you let off the gas pedal). That didn't cure it so now I'm being told it must be in the transfer case.

Also, when I got it back from the brake/shock guy I noticed I now have the clunking sound in my front left wheel when it's turned. I read the thread on the Birfield knocking and, while I'm a rookie at all this, I suppose that I have to replace the Birfields now. Correct?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
Welcome!

Sorry for your loss. Hopefully we can help out a bit.

If you pay others to work on this, yes, you will spend a small fortune.

These trucks are easy to work on, even for those without much tools and skills.

With today's technology, shoot a video of the noise or problem, place it on YouTube, and place a link here with a question. Most of us will help. Yes, we also may gouge on you about searching or proper use of a tool, but let us know your skillset and interest in doing your own wrenching.

Don't get upset when someone here does bag on you because it will happen. Part of that is "encouragement" to get you take another step.

There is nothing you need to do to that truck that has not been covered here. You will have to search a bit for it and ask some questions. Yes, we all run into mechanics that don;t work on these that screw up stuff and make bad calls.

There are a couple threads here dealing with "baselining" which is changing fluids and such so you know were it "starts" on a clean slate.

If the brake/shock guy now noticed a "clunk" in the LF wheel, odds are he did not torque the wheel bearings correctly and the brake caliper is dragging and the wheel bearings are loose. Depending on how deep he went, the front knuckles could use grease (Valvoline Palladium) in the square plug on the front of the knuckle housing. A full fill will be two tubes per side. Odds are there is still some in there, so plan for one tube per side. You can do this with a grease gun easily. Buy a Harbor Freight grease gun for $12 and use it only with that type of grease.

Please place photos of the ruck, front and rear axles, and general undercarriage and many of us can tell you exactly what you'll need and what to avoid.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
1,755
Location
Bend, OR
 
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your brother, but know this... he will be glad to know you are keeping the legacy alive. Southern CA has a lot of cruiser folks, resources, etc so you shouldn't have trouble finding the right people to help you dial things in.

One last thing, let's see some photos!
 

FJBen

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
4,706
Location
West
 
 
 
Sorry for the loss :( Great job on keeping the legacy!

I have heard good things about Yota masters in Corona, but that would be a bit of a drive, although a lot of good reports on here about them.

I know @65swb45 is in burbank, CA and generally only deals with 87 and older, but he may have some good knowlege of who he trusts in that area. Not sure if he would take on standard knuck/shocks/maintenace items on an 80 series.

Have also heard the name K&H Imports in Canoga does good work on Land Cruisers.
21420 Ingomar Street
Canoga Park, CA 91304

Just a few to look up/research. Good luck!
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
Welcome!

Sorry for your loss. Hopefully we can help out a bit.

If you pay others to work on this, yes, you will spend a small fortune.

These trucks are easy to work on, even for those without much tools and skills.

With today's technology, shoot a video of the noise or problem, place it on YouTube, and place a link here with a question. Most of us will help. Yes, we also may gouge on you about searching or proper use of a tool, but let us know your skillset and interest in doing your own wrenching.

Don't get upset when someone here does bag on you because it will happen. Part of that is "encouragement" to get you take another step.

There is nothing you need to do to that truck that has not been covered here. You will have to search a bit for it and ask some questions. Yes, we all run into mechanics that don;t work on these that screw up stuff and make bad calls.

There are a couple threads here dealing with "baselining" which is changing fluids and such so you know were it "starts" on a clean slate.

If the brake/shock guy now noticed a "clunk" in the LF wheel, odds are he did not torque the wheel bearings correctly and the brake caliper is dragging and the wheel bearings are loose. Depending on how deep he went, the front knuckles could use grease (Valvoline Palladium) in the square plug on the front of the knuckle housing. A full fill will be two tubes per side. Odds are there is still some in there, so plan for one tube per side. You can do this with a grease gun easily. Buy a Harbor Freight grease gun for $12 and use it only with that type of grease.

Please place photos of the ruck, front and rear axles, and general undercarriage and many of us can tell you exactly what you'll need and what to avoid.
Thanks for the replies. I'll definately have the front left brake bolts looked at and see if greasing the front knuckles solves the problem (why just Vavoline Palladium grease?).
Right now the beast is having some engine work done by my local toyota mechanic ...valve cover gasket; new distributor (existing one is leaking internally and around the external o-ring); new fan shroud, tune up; etc. I was a mechanic back in my USMC days but now that I'm older, I'm not in condition to wrestle it as much as my spiurit would like to.
Pics on the way.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
9,356
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
 
Thanks for the replies. I'll definately have the front left brake bolts looked at and see if greasing the front knuckles solves the problem (why just Vavoline Palladium grease?).
Right now the beast is having some engine work done by my local toyota mechanic ...valve cover gasket; new distributor (existing one is leaking internally and around the external o-ring); new fan shroud, tune up; etc. I was a mechanic back in my USMC days but now that I'm older, I'm not in condition to wrestle it as much as my spiurit would like to.
Pics on the way.
Requires a high % molybdenum grease. Valvoline Palladium seems to fit the bill and is reasonably available.

This is NOT for the wheel bearings, just for the knuckles / birfields.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
Sorry for the loss :( Great job on keeping the legacy!

I have heard good things about Yota masters in Corona, but that would be a bit of a drive, although a lot of good reports on here about them.

I know @65swb45 is in burbank, CA and generally only deals with 87 and older, but he may have some good knowlege of who he trusts in that area. Not sure if he would take on standard knuck/shocks/maintenace items on an 80 series.

Have also heard the name K&H Imports in Canoga does good work on Land Cruisers.
21420 Ingomar Street
Canoga Park, CA 91304

Just a few to look up/research. Good luck!
I've spoken to K&H and actually have an appointment with them in about a week. Probably rely on them to diagnose and square away the wheel clunking problem.
Requires a high % molybdenum grease. Valvoline Palladium seems to fit the bill and is reasonably available.

This is NOT for the wheel bearings, just for the knuckles / birfields.
Got it. Thx
 

Comet

Knower of little, master of less.
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
1,756
Location
Southwest Virginia
 
 
@Legacy80 i am sorry you lost your brother.

as stated earlier, we will bust your balls but it’s just cause we love the 80 series. Anyone crazy/passionate enough to own and maintain one of these rigs is good people (thinking of your brother that I did not know). You have the opportunity to honor his life by running his rig, that’s cool.

did the clicking start before or after the servicing by the non-Toyota mechanic?

the distributor o ring is replaceable. Common issue with a cheap fix.

the thing I really like about these rigs is that most components can be rebuilt rather than replaced. We are not dealing with fords and chevys.

good luck with your journey and don’t forget that we are a visual crowd. Pics or it doesn’t exist.

and welcome to the madness:flipoff2: (new member salute).
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
149
Location
Oregon
Welcome brother (semper fi) like said before really easy trucks to work on. Hope you get it on the road and put some miles on it before you spend all your money. I am in the process of going through a new one to me and find it very gratifying fixing stuff myself. Remember the community here is to support you. They have helped me tremendously while working on mine. “Kill”
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
5,503
Location
PNW - WA
 
 
 
Sorry you got the 80 the way you did/losing your brother - but welcome.

Official Mud welcome is one of these: :flipoff2: - but it’s maybe not your thing.

Seriously, as a resource you might check your area “clubhouse” - master directory here:


After the 1st ~1/2dozen, there’s about 12 California ones - I’d decide which one is most local to you & pick a few members who have alot of time here & PM them, see if any can help point you at shops that speak Cruiser-ese, fluently.

I’m about illiterate to California shop locations, but George / Vally Hybrids - is a name/shop I hear glowing things of & he knows FI Toyota’s (alot of the good cruiser shops are mainly carb’d/2F/FJ40 type places) - maybe a California member can recall his user name & give it here. ::: Even if he’s not local he bound to know a shop near you to some degree :::

But failing that, I’d PM some people local to you or staty a thread looking for a shop in your closest clubhouse zone.


Hope that helps
 

77mustard40

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
1,485
Location
Austin, TX
 
I’m about illiterate to California shop locations, but George / Vally Hybrids - is a name/shop I hear glowing things of & he knows FI Toyota’s (alot of the good cruiser shops are mainly carb’d/2F/FJ40 type places) - maybe a California member can recall his user name & give it here. ::: Even if he’s not local he bound to know a shop near you to some degree ::
orangefj45 is Georg, I want to say he is in Stockton but I’m 2,000 miles away. Sorry to hear about your brother but excited for you as you take on his rig. I had my Dads 97 shipped to me last fall, I took it in for similar reasons.

Echo what everyone says, if you are willing to get dirty these things can be worked on at home. I’d say I’m at best a fair mechanic but owning a 40 taught me to just research the issue, read the FSM, buy high quality parts and dive in. It’s learn as you go and this forum is filled with great folks that have contributed quality content that will help you. And if you’re unsure, start a thread and ask for help. Enjoy the journey and good luck.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
@Legacy80 i am sorry you lost your brother.

as stated earlier, we will bust your balls but it’s just cause we love the 80 series. Anyone crazy/passionate enough to own and maintain one of these rigs is good people (thinking of your brother that I did not know). You have the opportunity to honor his life by running his rig, that’s cool.

did the clicking start before or after the servicing by the non-Toyota mechanic?

the distributor o ring is replaceable. Common issue with a cheap fix.

the thing I really like about these rigs is that most components can be rebuilt rather than replaced. We are not dealing with fords and chevys.

good luck with your journey and don’t forget that we are a visual crowd. Pics or it doesn’t exist.

and welcome to the madness:flipoff2: (new member salute).
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
I drove the vehicle for about a week before it went into the shop...didn't notice the clicking when turning.

Distributor problem is not the o-ring (although it is leaking)...it's that the dist is leaking oil internally and showing up under the dist cap.

I have pics but they are jpeg.msg not jpeg and I have no idea how to convert them. Working on it.

I've had my balls busted many a time and they've only gotten bigger and harder. Bring it.

I'll get past this little shot and whip this beast into shape with a little help from my MUDDY friends.
 

Comet

Knower of little, master of less.
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
1,756
Location
Southwest Virginia
 
 
We are here, lurking in the shadows waiting on those ill fated mislabeled pictures. Happy to have you aboard.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
Welcome brother (semper fi) like said before really easy trucks to work on. Hope you get it on the road and put some miles on it before you spend all your money. I am in the process of going through a new one to me and find it very gratifying fixing stuff myself. Remember the community here is to support you. They have helped me tremendously while working on mine. “Kill”
Semper Fi, brother.
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
5,503
Location
PNW - WA
 
 
 
Wow......something in the water lately, pics of 80’s w/o the port installed useless crap abounding last few days.

@Legacy80 - Like what you’re working with. Bro had good taste.
Did he buy new/been a family owned rig for life?
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Ventura County, CA
Wow......something in the water lately, pics of 80’s w/o the port installed useless crap abounding last few days.

@Legacy80 - Like what you’re working with. Bro had good taste.
Did he buy new/been a family owned rig for life?
Not sure what "...without the port installed useless crap abounding these days" means. Did I screw up the pics attachment?

No, he bought it in 2005. I have all the service/repair records on it since then though.
 
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