new guy, new area, new (very used) car

Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Maryland
howdy!

i'm new to Mud and kinda new to the DMV area, as i moved from California for a job at the start of last year. i'm also new to Land Cruisers, solid-axle drivetrains, giant SUVs, and off-roading in general - though i'm definitely not new to working on cars. i ended up here because i was looking for a second car to drive while i do a major service on my other ride (2007 S4 that needs an engine pull timing job), so i figured i would get something that's better for snow and camping in rough areas.

i was originally looking around 4Runners and Xterras, as friends have had them and they're solid rides. then i went into the Land Cruiser rabbit hole and emerged with the FJZ80 that Lance from IPOR was selling for someone else. this is massive and definitely not my usual style, but i think it'll be great for what i need.

IMG_20190917_133620.jpg


i'll start a proper technical thread in the 80 forum, but here's a quick rundown:
  • 1995 @ 325K miles
  • zero service history
  • OME 2.5-3" lift
  • otherwise came stock, besides a few basic bolt-ons (radio, ladder, RAM mount, very rusty hitch)
  • included both 3rd row seats
  • light frame rust, mostly on welds
  • body in good shape, except for rust holes in the RH quarter panel rear, LH rocker-quarter panel joint, and upper hatch
  • large muffler cracks
  • carpet is filthy in spots (did they bleed a pig in the back?) but should clean up well
  • front seats are nearly shredded, other seats are fine
it came with some pretty small and sorry tires, but as of last week it's now sporting a set of Grabber A/Tx in 285/75 R16. it also overheated on the way back from Fredericksburg (it came with awful belts that i shouldn't have driven with) and blew out the anonymous replacement radiator, so i put in a new rad (Liland all-aluminum) and associated parts.

IMG_20190903_010308.jpg


of course, i dropped it off for inspection yesterday because i bought it in VA and live in MD. i'm pretty confident that it won't pass because of the cracked muffler and the broken instrument cluster PRNDL "D" light. i suuuuper hope i don't have to tear into the dash for a $1 bulb, but at least it would be an opportunity to replace them all with LEDs.

i'm planning on driving down to the swap meet this Saturday, both to meet the community and keep an eye out for parts. see you there!

- emilio
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Maryland
thanks, folks!

so, no surprise, it failed the inspection. what is a surprise is that it didn't fail for any of the reasons i thought it would - literally none. instead:
  • craptacular parking brake: definitely. i could probably just adjust the mechanisms and the lever, as i reeeeally don't want to do a brake job right now.
  • play in the FR wheel: it's likely the notorious loose hub nut. it sounds like an easy job, i just gotta get the hub wrench and maybe a pull gauge. i reeeeeally don't want to rebuild the hubs or knuckles right now - but definitely in the future!
  • pulls right: yeah, i guess a bit...? it might go away when tightening the bearing, otherwise i'll take it for an alignment.
  • driver's seat doesn't reliably adjust: the best failure of all. it either needs a cleaning or replacement gears.
the mechanic also remarked at how little rust there is on the frame relative to its age, and wondered if the frame had been refinished at some point. besides welds, there's really only significant surface rust near the wheels and exhaust (especially considering the body has three rusted-through areas).

- emilio
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Maryland
i'll be at the swap! assuming the truck stays together on a hot day, that is.

yeah, the seat adjustment failure surprised me, too. though, then i think about all the people i see with poorly-adjusted seats that either can barely see over the steering wheel or will take an airbag to the throat... but that's probably just ignorance or laziness.

oh, well, i was already planning on pulling out the seats for a cleaning, and it doesn't seem too hard to get to those gears.

- emilio
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Maryland
I'll just go ahead and stick a link to our 80 Series videos :) 80 Series playlist
ooo, the full list - thanks! i've definitely run across a couple of your videos and they've been super helpful - especially the pre-purchase inspection. i'll be reviewing the knuckle video for the hub nut tightening procedure.

Good luck with that being your only issue...

Prepare your wallet for a reaming!
hahah, don't put that hex on me! all i need is a screwdriver and a healthy sense of optimism!

(RANT MODE) i hate that a full rear brake job on this thing is basically two brake jobs. i've been developing a deep dislike for doing brake work lately: it's filthy, everything is rusted, nothing goes to procedure, they never bleed right the first time, and your life depends on it. i'm looking eagerly at an engine pull and semi-rebuild on a German car, but wondering if i want to have shops do brake work for me just because i'm so over it!

- emilio
 

Stumpalama

Forum Junkie
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Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
8,589
Location
NOVA
i'll be at the swap! assuming the truck stays together on a hot day, that is.

yeah, the seat adjustment failure surprised me, too. though, then i think about all the people i see with poorly-adjusted seats that either can barely see over the steering wheel or will take an airbag to the throat... but that's probably just ignorance or laziness.

oh, well, i was already planning on pulling out the seats for a cleaning, and it doesn't seem too hard to get to those gears.

- emilio
I might have a seat that you can scavenge the parts from...
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Maryland
I might have a seat that you can scavenge the parts from...
i'd appreciate that. i just poked around, and the left (outer) gear seems to be shot; the cap is loose and the drive rod just spins without turning the worm. the right side has traction, so i was able to adjust it by alternating between moving the right a bit and manually turning the left worm.

Maryland!!
I had a company Escape that the rear seat was half removed. 60/40 split the 60 side was removed the 40 side had a plastic platform over it. They failed it and the new driver had to put the seat back in.
yeah, there might something about safety equipment being equivalent to stock? a coworker wondered whether a fixed racing seat would fail for insufficient adjustment, but it might just fail because it's not stock enough.

on the other hand, there are the "hot rod" registrations that cover heavily modded cars. that would allow someone to import a track car, i think with similar mileage restrictions to historic plates.

- emilio
 
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