Newer 80 owner. Feeling disapointed

Joined
Sep 28, 2005
Messages
158
Location
Twin Falls Idaho
OK I bought a used 1991 80 that needs a little work. It has one blown flange and axle spines but runs ok. Things I expected that have been disapointment. First off this motor is a DOG. Seriously I think a 4 cylinder could outrun this thing. Doesn't smoke, ping, knock just is as gutless as I've ever seen. I figured a staight 6 would have some torque but nothing. I've driven plenty of 6's before, Ford 300, Jeep 4.0 but this is the worst and it gets the worst milage. Ride, I figured coils would be similar to the 1988 rover I had but not nearly as smooth. Maybye they are tired or the shocks are toast but not much better than a leaf sprung rig. Parts are way way out of line. 400 plus for one birf. I could buy an entire loaded axle housing for that. on most other rigs. That being said the motor runs good after 150000 and I think the power issue is the tranny shift points. A five speed would do a much better job in this application. Goes lots of places in 2wd and is easy to drive. Should make a good winter vehicle and lots of aftermarket support and one hell of a website and brotherhood here. I will admit a SBC swap has crossed my mind every time I pull into traffic and floor this thing praying for 35 mph to appear. I'm gonna screw with the kickdown cable and see if I can't get the shift points figured out. Anyway I'm not lost yet but I thought I'd share my lows with the hi's I've already shared.
 

shocker

 
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
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Location
Kansas City, MO
91s and 92s have the 3fe engine, notorious dogs in 80 series cruisers. The 1fze engine in 93+ trounces it.

Did you test drive it before you bought it?

Replace the birf, and you'll have an axle that's stronger than any other vehicle you ever owned, unless you've owned a one ton truck. Rover springs are really soft, and your springs are 15 years old.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
347
Location
Pearland, TX
You have 2wd in that 80? Naw...
give her some love...wires, rotor/cap, DENSO/NGK spark plugs, valve clearances, etc. Make sure everything is up to speed. Mine is relatively slow-but I pull into traffic fine and getting to 75/80 is no trouble. You don't think it has torque?????

But do check the cable-makes a bit of dif in the 2nd/3rd pick-up range.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2005
Messages
158
Location
Twin Falls Idaho
2wd because of the stripped birf up front. My 73 scout has a Dana 60 front and a Dana 70 rear. Yes I'm sure the springs are shot and for 1500 bucks I'm not complaining too bad. Just some issues I've noticed that I wanted to see were common place. Best part is I can take all my gear, my 4 boys and my wife and go camping. The power issue is a bit annoying. I don't think I could ever tow a trailer. No wine a brie here either. I did go adjust the shift down cable so I'll let you know how that goes. I may have done too much but I won't know till I road test it. I also discovered the wires for my non existant o2 sensor. That may be causing some issues with performance. Runs great like I said just no power and 12 mpg. My issue comes from my carburated scout with 4.88's, 37's no overdrive and I can pull 13 mpg and more power out of a junkyard 350. I wish I had another 3fe owner near that could drive this and tell me if it is more gutless than usual. I heard the overhead cam toyotas are superbank to fix and have major head gasket issues. I might be wrong but thats what I was told. I noticed it shifted way early into overdrive 2nd and 3rd. Hope my adjustments make a difference.
 

shocker

 
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
1,185
Location
Kansas City, MO
I'm guessing your scout probably is putting out around 220 hp, your 3fe around 160.

Both vehicles weigh about the same, i guess. The jeeps you've drivine with the I6 probaby weigh about 2/3 what the cruiser does.

The axles in the 80 are probably close to a D60.

I'd guess head gasket issues are about 3-4% of the 1fze crowd, and most those dont happen till around 150K. Not bad. There arent really any other common fixes that need to be done.

I'm afraid you were mis-told.

Besides, wouldn't you rather spend a weekend replacing a headgasket (in the somewhat unlikely event yours would go bad) on a powerful engine than drive a Dog all the time?

All that said, there's a reason 91s and 92s are quite a bit cheaper than 93+.
 

e9999

You want to do what...?
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Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
16,709
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US
sorry to hear you're disappointed. It can be overwhelming when you are learning about a new particular vehicle, and you may be having some technical issues to solve, but you can look at this another way. You got a superlative offroad vehicle with low mileage by 91s standard for a pittance. Yes, it'll take some work and a bit of $$, but you'll end with something that will draw circles around your other rigs. Hang in there, we'll try to help, and you'll be very happy soon, like all of us.
Oh, and yes, it is a dog on the street, but it's made for Africa, not the freeways... :)
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
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1,140
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North Platte, Middle of nowhere
DJForrestA said:
2wd because of the stripped birf up front. My 73 scout has a Dana 60 front and a Dana 70 rear. Yes I'm sure the springs are shot and for 1500 bucks I'm not complaining too bad. Just some issues I've noticed that I wanted to see were common place. Best part is I can take all my gear, my 4 boys and my wife and go camping. The power issue is a bit annoying. I don't think I could ever tow a trailer. No wine a brie here either. I did go adjust the shift down cable so I'll let you know how that goes. I may have done too much but I won't know till I road test it. I also discovered the wires for my non existant o2 sensor. That may be causing some issues with performance. Runs great like I said just no power and 12 mpg. My issue comes from my carburated scout with 4.88's, 37's no overdrive and I can pull 13 mpg and more power out of a junkyard 350. I wish I had another 3fe owner near that could drive this and tell me if it is more gutless than usual. I heard the overhead cam toyotas are superbank to fix and have major head gasket issues. I might be wrong but thats what I was told. I noticed it shifted way early into overdrive 2nd and 3rd. Hope my adjustments make a difference.
Funny....mine towed my 40 through hills and wind just fine. It was even on a trailer. It aint no racecar, but she moves when I tell her to. :D

Ill find out how my birfs look tomorrow. New front rotors and pads. These are some bling ass rotors too :rolleyes:

If you really find you dont like it I really wouldnt mind having another one. Matter of fact Id be happy as hell. :D
 

MoJ

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Joined
Oct 24, 2003
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3,681
I liked the 91 I used to have. It wasn't a race car but then again my 94 isn't either.
 

richj11

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
359
Location
Seabeck, WA
I just love these posts when the 1991 & 1992 FJ80 guys come in defending their rigs! LMAO

I did the research and knew that 91 that I was looking at was a dog. But it fit my needs perfectly. A reliable rig in decent shape, needs some work, but I can work on, especially with all the help here.

Accelerating to freeway speeds? Screw it! Just let that little Jackhole in the thumping Honda with the trash can muffler go around you.

Rich
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
4,577
Location
Albemarle NC
That engine is a torque machine, so don't complain about the torque. Horsies? It is very lacking, but a free'r flowing exhasust, and a good tune-up/baseline will do wonders. Synt, diff. oil helped me...feels less sluggish, but that could be the birf. job too. Get used to the dog-ness, it may piss you off at first if you've driven other SUVs with more power/lighter, but I just can't get over the "Tank" feel it gives me. I almost want to play chicken with a tractor trailer in it.

If power is the only complaint, then there are a few suggestions in the "Since the 3FE is so slow, why no aftermarket support?" thread, most common is to advance the timing, but make sure you have the rest of the engine in top shape before you start doing that.

This truck was made for trails, and once you take it out on some long dusty roads and over some slow-speed more technical stuff in LOW, you'll realize why this machine is so awesome, just feels like a tank.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
46
Location
Charlotte, NC
On the 3FE, IMO the best performance mod I did was to replace the exhaust (from the Cats back). I had an 88 FJ62, which is essentially the same driveline you have minus the all-wheel component. Cost me about $450, which included two new free flow cats, a new Flowmaster muffler, and 2.25" pipe from the cats all the way back. Had this done at a fairly reputable shop here in Charlotte, so I assume this price is realistic for you as well.

Not that the truck became a rocket, but clearly made a large improvement in performance. My unscientific guess is 15 - 20hp and 20 - 25 ftlbs, plus I averaged about 1mpg better afterwards. The LC had a lot more power, and made those freeway entrances much, much, better. Of all the mods I did to my truck, this was by FAR the best.

Good luck!
 
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