New FZJ80 Owner Looking for Trails - Helena, AL

Joined
Feb 8, 2016
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122
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Helena, AL
A little background, my dad bought my brother this 80 about 10 years ago and I've always wanted it. BAD. So my bro finally got a new car and I told him to not sell the Cruiser but to sell it to me instead. It has 241k miles and the engine was refurbished around 220k. It runs and drives great. I actually drive it more than my 07 Jeep Commander. My plans are to upgrade tires, upgrade engine performance, and upgrade suspension in the first 1-2 years. I had to put 08 4runner rims on it attached to General Grabber stock tires. Long story short: He replaced the tires once in 10 years and it physically would not have made the drive back from Columbus, GA back to Bham. So i purchased the set of wheels just to get it up here. I paid $250 for the set which was a steal.

I live off S. Shades Crest in Helena and want to find some mild to medium difficulty trails to ride. I have friends who ride in Leeds and Cullman but I do not have the physical tools nor confidence to tackle such aggressive trails. The 80 has never been offroad and is dying to get out there. Please let me know of some cool spots I can go without getting kicked off property or ticketed for trespassing.
FZJ80.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
122
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Helena, AL
Also, If y'all have any pointers or advice as to what I should do to it let me know. I'm open for suggestions.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
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Birmingham, AL
Welcome and congrats on getting the truck back! Check the meetings thread at the top of the forum, we will be "meeting" this weds night location tbd. Most votes have gone to Cahaba Brewing (it was started by a club member) so it will probably be there around 7 or 8. Meetings are more of a meet and greet, very informal, and that would be a great place to get a lot of your questions answered.

We will also have a Saturday morning meeting soon also so if you can't make it wednesday you could come then.

As far as the trails, lots of differing opinions on the legality of anything in the local area.

Upgrade tire and suspension sounds like a good starting point, I wouldn't worry about the engine performance though. Not much you can do there beyond getting baseline maint. completed.
 

Land Speeder

InstaH8R
 
 
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Valley of the Heroes
Welcome!

My shop is open to anyone wanting to wrench. Just bring it over and we should be able to bolt it on or take it off!

Sounds like you're right around the corner from "the slab" which that WMA is about as legal as it gets locally. You could EASILY do Stony (Cullman) in stock form. Try it. I go there often, and have even gone for the day to do some testing of mods and then came home. An hour drive is nothing to get there.
 
Joined
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Helena, AL
Thanks guys! I'm extremely excited about getting the truck. Like I said, I waited 10 years for my brother to sell it and it was worth the wait.

As far as engine performance goes: I would only do the basic tune up (plugs, wires, fluids) Check for leaks. Make sure that my intake is airtight. Possibly go as far as CAI but nothing crazy. If i had UNLIMITED funds, I'd slap the factory SC
 

Land Speeder

InstaH8R
 
 
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You don't want to do an SC on a rig with that many miles... it'd go BOOM.
When you baseline it, call @beno on here and get the mud discount on OEM parts. wires/plugs, rotor cap, filters, etc, as they are the reason it's a 20+ year old rig and still being used as a DD... OEM parts.
 
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Helena, AL
I've been directed to Stony by a friend. However, I ran into a snag yesterday.

So 3 years my brother had the front drive shaft taken off. He did not know the reason but assumed the 4WD wasn't locking the front. So I bolted the front shaft back on to see what the actual issue was. The shaft does spin and doesn't make noise on the road. However, does not engage the front tires. (I have a friend-Land Cruiser-mechanic who has walked me through anything and everything to test out. I do not have the CDL buttons or switchs. Any other advice as to what it could be?
 

Land Speeder

InstaH8R
 
 
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Weird what you're describing. Also, who's your friend? If he is indeed a Cruiser mechanic, I prolly know him.
If you want, bring it by my MotorHouse-shop and we'll crawl all over it. I tend to have a knack for 80's and have nearly seen it all with these units. I literally just took one completely apart.
 

Land Speeder

InstaH8R
 
 
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Jul 23, 2004
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Also, you have the harness in your dash for a CDL... You also have a hazard button that can temporarily be used as the CDL button... We can try a handfull of things to diagnose your issue. I also have spare shafts, and even spare transfer cases... LOL.

Send me a text 205-447-3038
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
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Birmingham, AL
I'm a complete noob, so I can't help with any of your questions…but I did have one of my own: what headlights are those? And how do you like them? I like projectors…and assume those could be retrofitted with HIDs if one was so inclined (if they're not already).
 

Land Speeder

InstaH8R
 
 
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So, the reason why I'm lost is because without the CDL button... And the front shaft dropped, it means the Viscous Coupler in the xfer is holding the rear to "drive" the vehicle down the road. It shouldn't last this long for years, because the VC should've burned up, unless it is truly frozen and that was the initial issue all along.
That being said, the VC can be taken out of the xfer case and the front shaft put back in, and you rock out. No issues.
Another thing is might be is a stripped front flange at the wheel, causing the front to not pull, but that doesn't make sense, since the VC would manually kick in and you would never know.....
Plenty of options. I wanna look at it with my own eyes... Free of course, I'm not a mechanic by trade, just love these trucks.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
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Helena, AL
Sweet!! Yeah those options are everything I've been reading about. Also, Jay is my buddy. He just opened a shop in Argo.

Man! I'd love for you to look at it.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
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Helena, AL
I'm a complete noob, so I can't help with any of your questions…but I did have one of my own: what headlights are those? And how do you like them? I like projectors…and assume those could be retrofitted with HIDs if one was so inclined (if they're not already).
I love them! My brother hit a deer about 4 years ago and did not replace the bumper but did replace the headlights with Eagle Eyes.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
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4,096
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Birmingham, AL
That's a weird issue for sure. If the Viscous Coupler was working it should take it a few seconds before it started to move without the front shaft and it would have burned up a long time ago.

fwiw - I took my viscous coupler out when I rebuilt the tail end of the transfer case a couple of years ago and haven't noticed any issues.
 
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