Need to Make a Decision...

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I don' know where to begin searching for an answer in past threads, so I'll just present my dilemma here.

I own two TLCs 80 series. A 96 GRAY in very good, original shape, with no lockers, and a 95 WHITE with a bit of rust and issues, and factory lockers. I am not interested in keeping both, my goal is to assemble a nice 80 pretty much in original shape for long-term ownership. With the exception of a slight lift and lockers which are a must since I do off road every chance I can and more importantly, I am planning my third Pan American (USA-Argentina) trip to take place in a couple of years.

So...do I sell the nice one (gray) and build the rough one with the factory lockers even though it has some rust issues (non structural)? That was my original plan, but after last Saturday off roading and confirming what an excellent vehicle the gray one is (and it has the nice interior, mechanically great, etc.) I am tending to keep the gray, and sell the white one. I would just add aftermarket lockers. What's wrong with aftermarket lockers? Are the original so superior?

I feel I will never make up my mind. Any opinions to help me go either way? TIA, Chris

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Swap the axles and harnesses from the 95 to the 96.

Best of both worlds.

Sell the 95 on BaT for $45K so someone can build an Eauverlaunder.......
 
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Swap the axles and harnesses from the 95 to the 96.

Best of both worlds.

Sell the 95 on BaT for $45K so someone can build an Eauverlaunder.......
Thanks. So you are saying that the factory lockers are so far superior that they justify the huge job of swapping axles, as opposed to just installing aftermarket lockers to the 96?
 
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Thanks. So you are saying that the factory lockers are so far superior that they justify the huge job of swapping axles, as opposed to just installing aftermarket lockers to the 96?
Not saying that at all.

Just that you have the parts.

Personally, I will be doing Harrop/Eaton E-lockers when that day comes.

Swapping axles is not that big of a job .
 
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I'd sell the 95, keep the 96, and fit a Harrop ELocker in the rear. The factory lockers aren't as good as the Harrop, and they're usually riddled with issues nowadays, and hampered by NLA parts. Pretty sure you can't even get a new rear axle for the locked models anymore. If I was looking for a new 80 today, I'd consider no factory lockers to be a plus personally.
 
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I'd sell the 95, keep the 96, and fit a Harrop ELocker in the rear. The factory lockers aren't as good as the Harrop, and they're usually riddled with issues nowadays, and hampered by NLA parts. Pretty sure you can't even get a new rear axle for the locked models anymore. If I was looking for a new 80 today, I'd consider no factory lockers to be a plus personally.
That's good to know, thanks.
 
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I'd sell the 95, keep the 96, and fit a Harrop ELocker in the rear. The factory lockers aren't as good as the Harrop, and they're usually riddled with issues nowadays, and hampered by NLA parts. Pretty sure you can't even get a new rear axle for the locked models anymore. If I was looking for a new 80 today, I'd consider no factory lockers to be a plus personally.
This is what I would do as well. I have the factory lockers and am not super impressed. The front has failed to function for me on more than one wheeling trip even after being rebuilt and re-clocked several times. Works in the yard, but not on the trail.

With todays prices for a factory locked 80 you should get enough to have new lockers installed in your nicer rig and probably add a roof top tent while you're at it.
 
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Thanks. So you are saying that the factory lockers are so far superior that they justify the huge job of swapping axles, as opposed to just installing aftermarket lockers to the 96?



Swapping axles isn't that hard.

Stock lockers are not superior. I would much prefer harrops's.

I would sell the white one and use the money on the grey one.
 
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This is what I would do as well. I have the factory lockers and am not super impressed. The front has failed to function for me on more than one wheeling trip even after being rebuilt and re-clocked several times. Works in the yard, but not on the trail.

With todays prices for a factory locked 80 you should get enough to have new lockers installed in your nicer rig and probably add a roof top tent while you're at it.

Or buy a normal tent and spend the rest of money on good tires.
 
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The mention of rust could point to the deciding factor for me, were I in your situation. Where is this rust? Is it in body panels, rockers or just a bit of surface rust on rear undercarriage hardware? If it's in the body or very extensive in any area I'd likely pass it along to someone more motivated to deal with it than I would be. If it's just some undercarriage surface rust I'd look to clean, convert/treat and then fluid film asap to stop it before it becomes a bigger problem.

The single stage white paint will be easier to maintain and live with, compared to the two stage gray, and if it's acceptable now an occasional polish/wax should be all it takes to keep it looking good for a long time. The gray paint looks like it already has failing clear coat which will only get worse. Is that something that bothers you? If it bothers you the cost of addressing the paint is likely multiple times larger than any other item being discussed including adding lockers, paying for rust treatment, baselining, etc. If the gray paint is acceptable to you now I'd look to keep it covered with something that protects it from further degradation (uv protector/wax of some sort) so that it doesn't get any worse.

I generally prefer newer ODB2 1FZFE 80s and I think that '94 - '95 was when the transition happened with most (all?) of the '95s being ODB2. Does your '95 have an A343 transmission and ODB2? If it does not this would be a big motivator for keeping the '96 and selling the '95 in my opinion as I'm sure the '96 is ODB2/etc.

I agree that factory lockers aren't as good as properly setup aftermarket options that you can get today. For occasional and pretty casual use I love knowing that my factory lockers are there and they have always worked well when I've needed them. They are a bit slow to engage/disengage typically but I'm more of a "don't tear up the wet grass" than a "climb that rock wall" user so the difference is irrelevant.

Good luck deciding
 

davidp14

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If it was me Id keep the white one and restore/build to your sepc. Provided the mentioned rust isn't too bad.

If the Gray one is really that nice, you should try and let someone keep it nice. I'm just guessing but I bet a Pan American trip (sounds awesome BTW) won't make the cruiser any nicer.
 

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