New member intro & questions

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and hoping to purchase an 80 series soon. I grew up working on cars and am comfortable doing most work myself, and want a vehicle that will be reasonably reliable (would like to take it on some road trips), will get me out to some great camping spots, and have some character. I think the 80 series checks those boxes.

I have a few questions regarding a truck I'm considering and would appreciate any advice you all can share:

The truck: 1994 HZJ81 import with 110,000 miles, factory winch, and factory triple lockers. I've seen the truck in person and the body is very clean. The underside looks like it was sprayed at some point but not recently. I don't see any areas that clearly look like a cover up or anything that looks suspect. Fresh tires all around and everything looks very stock.

1. Should I be worried about an older underseal job? Is this common on JDM imports? There's a sticker under the hood that states "Snow Version" so would it be part of that factory package?
2. It looked like there was a small amount of weeping at the rear main seal. No spots on the ground where it was parked when I walked up. How concerning is this?
3. When I drove it the steering was quite vague. I know some of that is to be expected with live axles but what is the point that I should be worried? If something needs to be repaired, is that very expensive? I'm know a 27 year old truck will need some repairs but am just trying to avoid a money pit.
4. Does $23k sound like a reasonable price for a truck like this given the current state of the market?
5. I looked over most other points that the great OTRAMM video suggests and didn't see any red flags. Still worth an independent inspection?

Thanks in advance for your input, this forum has already been a huge help!
 

enox

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Welcome to the forum! Hope you get to pick up your new to you vehicle soon.

Here's a little guide to help you out..

Steering being "vague" that could be tie rod ends old and tired, worn out gearbox (it's able to be rebuilt)
 
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Welcome to the forum! Hope you get to pick up your new to you vehicle soon.

Here's a little guide to help you out..

Steering being "vague" that could be tie rod ends old and tired, worn out gearbox (it's able to be rebuilt)
Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it!
 
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1. Really depends on what under-seal job means. If its that 3m rubberized crap, then I would be concerned but not totally put off. If it's more a oil/lanolin film that has attracted dust, no cause for concern. I am unaware of what Snow version means in JDM vehicles.
2. If it's not leaving spots on the ground then it's not worth tearing into is my logic for most oil leaks. Basically any engine that is 25+ yr old will leak oil from somewhere.
3. The steering is not going to fall apart but there is probably some wear in the gearbox. Some slack can be taken, sometimes a box re-seal and new sector shaft is necessary.

"If something needs to be repaired, is that very expensive? I'm know a 27 year old truck will need some repairs but am just trying to avoid a money pit." Stop now and consider why you want this vehicle. That is a landcruiser. Parts are expensive. That is a diesel landcruiser, parts are more expensive. That is an imported, diesel, RHD landcruiser. Parts will take plenty of time and money to get. The 1HZ is a bulletproof engine, and very few electronics on that model, but plenty of other things will suck on your wallet. Nothing on these vehicles is worth half-assing, and it is almost guaranteed to become a money pit, but most of us here consider it a worthy investment.

5. If there is a Cruiser mechanic near you that knows diesels, then yes. If not, no.
 
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With a 1HZ engine you're already ahead, not nearly as much to worry about in terms of things that could be wrong as there is with the 1FZ engine. Expect the lockers to need some work though, even if they work right now they'll probably need a pre-emptive rebuild to keep them functioning well. Fortunately that doesn't have to be expensive in terms of parts, and you'll find guides for it here. Not sure about prices near you, I'm in Australia, but honestly if the rig is in good condition, and the price is right for you, it sounds like a good buy. If I could have my pick of any 80 series, it would probably be a HZJ81. Most people here would probably pick a turbo, but I prefer the naturally aspirated. I drive a HZJ80 myself, but without the factory lockers and some of the other goodies from the Japanese domestic models.

Any pics? Might help with assessing condition, or looking for sneaky hidden issues.
 
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1. Really depends on what under-seal job means. If its that 3m rubberized crap, then I would be concerned but not totally put off. If it's more a oil/lanolin film that has attracted dust, no cause for concern. I am unaware of what Snow version means in JDM vehicles.
2. If it's not leaving spots on the ground then it's not worth tearing into is my logic for most oil leaks. Basically any engine that is 25+ yr old will leak oil from somewhere.
3. The steering is not going to fall apart but there is probably some wear in the gearbox. Some slack can be taken, sometimes a box re-seal and new sector shaft is necessary.

"If something needs to be repaired, is that very expensive? I'm know a 27 year old truck will need some repairs but am just trying to avoid a money pit." Stop now and consider why you want this vehicle. That is a landcruiser. Parts are expensive. That is a diesel landcruiser, parts are more expensive. That is an imported, diesel, RHD landcruiser. Parts will take plenty of time and money to get. The 1HZ is a bulletproof engine, and very few electronics on that model, but plenty of other things will suck on your wallet. Nothing on these vehicles is worth half-assing, and it is almost guaranteed to become a money pit, but most of us here consider it a worthy investment.

5. If there is a Cruiser mechanic near you that knows diesels, then yes. If not, no.
All totally fair points, thanks for the insight!
 
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With a 1HZ engine you're already ahead, not nearly as much to worry about in terms of things that could be wrong as there is with the 1FZ engine. Expect the lockers to need some work though, even if they work right now they'll probably need a pre-emptive rebuild to keep them functioning well. Fortunately that doesn't have to be expensive in terms of parts, and you'll find guides for it here. Not sure about prices near you, I'm in Australia, but honestly if the rig is in good condition, and the price is right for you, it sounds like a good buy. If I could have my pick of any 80 series, it would probably be a HZJ81. Most people here would probably pick a turbo, but I prefer the naturally aspirated. I drive a HZJ80 myself, but without the factory lockers and some of the other goodies from the Japanese domestic models.

Any pics? Might help with assessing condition, or looking for sneaky hidden issues.
Thanks for the input. I agree - I appreciate the simplicity of the 1HZ which is what really drew me to this vehicle. I've attached a few pics so if anything jumps out at you please don't hesitate to give a shout.

1.jpg


2.jpg


3.jpg


4.jpg


5.jpg
 
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FMC80

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I’ve never seen that passenger foot rest (?) before. Hard to really tell from the pics, it’s obviously been cleaned and shined. The frame looks good and it doesn’t look like it’s been painted to hide anything. Some of the clamps inside the engine bay look original and rusted. That may indicate much of your rubber will need to be replaced as PM.
 
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I’ve never seen that passenger foot rest (?) before. Hard to really tell from the pics, it’s obviously been cleaned and shined. The frame looks good and it doesn’t look like it’s been painted to hide anything. Some of the clamps inside the engine bay look original and rusted. That may indicate much of your rubber will need to be replaced as PM.
Thanks for taking a look! I definitely plan to replace all rubber, fluids, and filters as well as the timing belt first thing
 
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My recollection from looking at the JDM imports market was that 80s were $16 - $20k *starting*. You'll see them listed for great prices on Japanese export sites, but shipping, a registered importer, and parts needed to register them in the US add more to the price than you might expect. Given pandemic pricing, $23k seems like a really good price for that condition. In another year it might seem several thousand overpriced, but who knows.

As for parts, I buy almost all of mine from Amayama, Partsouq, and Megazip. Partsouq is ridiculously fast with shipping. I've gotten parts shipped from the UAE to my door in under a week. That's faster than any of the domestic online sources I've used (McGeorge, Camelback, Conicelli). My local dealer can get common parts next-day usually, but they charge more than double Toyota's MSRP, so I rarely resort to them unless it's something like a missing nut or bolt.
 
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Looks great. If the steering box is not leaking I would say tie rod ends? IHZ is a brilliant motor for your intentions and you can often get 400,000kms out of them and more. Keep it stock and have a look at the suspension and full service. When you bash your front bumper replace it with something more sturdy.
 
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My recollection from looking at the JDM imports market was that 80s were $16 - $20k *starting*. You'll see them listed for great prices on Japanese export sites, but shipping, a registered importer, and parts needed to register them in the US add more to the price than you might expect. Given pandemic pricing, $23k seems like a really good price for that condition. In another year it might seem several thousand overpriced, but who knows.

As for parts, I buy almost all of mine from Amayama, Partsouq, and Megazip. Partsouq is ridiculously fast with shipping. I've gotten parts shipped from the UAE to my door in under a week. That's faster than any of the domestic online sources I've used (McGeorge, Camelback, Conicelli). My local dealer can get common parts next-day usually, but they charge more than double Toyota's MSRP, so I rarely resort to them unless it's something like a missing nut or bolt.
Super helpful to know about parts availability, thank you!
 

LandLocked93

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I’d like to overland with it. Heavy rock crawling doesn’t interest me personally, but I’d like to mount a rooftop tent and do some long camping trips out west.
Ok. My top 5...
1) Look at d-rate or higher, somewhat aggressive All Terrain tires.
2) Take a look into the fuel tank or have the fuel system gone thru. Prob good to change the filter at least.
3) Have the cooling system gone thru or take a look at the fluid in the radiator and the reservoir bottle. Any black or rust color requires attention.
4) Consider new rear coils, stiffer, and maybe shocks too. For the weight of the tent and gear. This can be addressed with a lift, but you didn't mention and it's not necessary for what you "intend" ;) to do.
5) Consider a respectable rack and gutter rail mounts for the tent. Crossbars-only *can* work, but ya know, while you're up there...
 
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Ok. My top 5...
1) Look at d-rate or higher, somewhat aggressive All Terrain tires.
2) Take a look into the fuel tank or have the fuel system gone thru. Prob good to change the filter at least.
3) Have the cooling system gone thru or take a look at the fluid in the radiator and the reservoir bottle. Any black or rust color requires attention.
4) Consider new rear coils, stiffer, and maybe shocks too. For the weight of the tent and gear. This can be addressed with a lift, but you didn't mention and it's not necessary for what you "intend" ;) to do.
5) Consider a respectable rack and gutter rail mounts for the tent. Crossbars-only *can* work, but ya know, while you're up there...
I like that plan! My thoughts are really in line with those recs.

1. Baseline everything and make sure fuel and cooling systems are well sorted.
2. Tires as mentioned
3. I’ve got my eye on an OME 2” lift. Not needed for crawling but an upgrade to better handle corrugations and extra weight are in order, plus it looks great
4. Storage and tent
 
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Hi guys. seems this topic is all about 1hz love. I’ve had Hdj80 in the past but sold it, now I’m planning to purchase a mint 67k miles 1994 Hzj80 GCC spec with a 5 speed (H150F) manual transmission. The problem is sometimes it’s hard to engage coming from 3rd down to 2nd and 1st, but when I do 1st to 3rd it’s engaging smoothly. What could be the problem? The owner said old cruisers are like that you just need to double clutch.
 
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Probably worn syncro rings in the transmission. It is common on trucks of this age, depending on the driving style of the previous owners. If time and money aren't an issue, you can strip it down and replace with brand new OEM rings, the parts are all available. That said, there have been quite a few reports here from people that running Caltex VMX-M in the transmission with Nulon G-70 additive mixed in makes a world of difference. Might be worth trying that first. Some searches will turn up some detail on the topic. I haven't tried this combo yet, but I'll be switching to it the next time I drain the transmission.
 

LandLocked93

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Try posting in the diesel forum. Might get more response.
But fwiw, syncro issues @67Kmi seems unusual. If rev matching smooths the shifts tho, presumably that's the prob.
Good luck 👍
 

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