Purchase of a 1992 80 series? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 17, 2020
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toldeo, wa
I have the opportunity to purchase a 1992 80 series cruiser with 210k for $5500. A little dirty, a few minor scratches & dents. Runs solid. Wanted to ask the forum if they felt I should jump on this, or should I have concerns?
thanks.
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clx16

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If you like it and it isn't rusty i am sure it is fine. if you want to provide pictures, or details about your expectations we can give opinions based on our feelings and current moods. :)
 

Road Apple

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Sounds like a good price and the miles aren’t very high. How’s the rust?

3FE parts are starting to become scarce. ‘93 and up has a good following for aftermarket stuff or OEM.

Some general questions.

I’d want to know if it uses oil & how much.

I’d ask if the headgasket is original or a replacement? If replaced, was the head surfaced & were the stem seals changed?

I’d also want to know the last front axle service done? Look for caked on crap on the front knuckles since they are rarely serviced.

Look for something with documented maintenance If possible, but not a deal breaker. I want to see receipts galore & do a very good inspection from running every last control to doing full lock circles to see if the birfields are ‘clicking’ AKA need replacing or swapping side-for-side.
 

Road Apple

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That's too much money for a 3Fe. 5500 is right around fzj80 series money which is money better spent.
I must be living too far west...prices are way over $5500 for the FZJ80 around these parts.

@White Stripe ...where do you recommend looking for good prices? Bring a trailer seems over priced. Craigslist isn't bad.

I agree with White Stripe that an FZJ80 would be a better overall purchase, but will be significantly more expensive.

Some say the ‘93/‘94 are the best year, OBD1, best engine, best tranny... etc....

‘95- ‘97 have airbags, full float rear diff, OBD-II, and you can still get engine wire harnesses and o2 sensors.

95+ has a mass air flow sensor, not a MAF meter, so you don’t have to worry about the MAF meter failing.
 
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D0g

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Los Angeles
I must be living too far west...prices are way over $5500 for the FZJ80 around these parts. I need to get out more.
@White Stripe ...where do you recommend looking for good prices? Bring a trailer seems over priced. Craigslist isn't bad.
I agree with White Stripe that an FZJ80 would be a better purchase.
That's a good price im out west as well and have seen them for around 8 grand .My parents owned a 96 fzj80 and a 91 fj80 we still have the 91. The later fzj80s were notorious for blowing head gaskets, I don't think I've seen one that hasn't had it's head off and messed with. The 91 isn't as fast but in my opinion a far stronger engine in terms of durability.
 
Joined
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Flagstaff, AZ
I think this is a reasonable price, at least out west. The 91-92s have been creeping up in value. As others have said, the 3FE is slow, dead reliable, and relatively impervious to neglect. Ours has been in the family since new. It's now relegated to camping duty. They shine on dirt. Their hefty 1930 lb payload is great for loaded touring. They are slow on the highway, slower on steep highway grades, and happiest cruising in the mid 60 MPHs, which was the speed limit for which they were designed back then. It's reasonable to expect deferred and ongoing preventative maintenance. Somewhere on this forum is an excellent 3FE tune-up checklist--this is must-do for the 3FE. Sunroofs leak. Cracked dashboards and front seat bottom cushion sidings are common. Also expect to replace rubber things, especially suspension bushings and belts, but also door seals, window runs, etc. Note that this truck's passenger's side front bumper wing on this has been bolted on again by someone. The flares and mud flaps (and in that case, rear bumper) look to me as if they're from a 93-97, but I'm not quite sure about that. The rear hatch and hood seem slightly darker; if body panels were replaced, I'd want to know why.
 
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I must be living too far west...prices are way over $5500 for the FZJ80 around these parts.

@White Stripe ...where do you recommend looking for good prices? Bring a trailer seems over priced. Craigslist isn't bad.

I agree with White Stripe that an FZJ80 would be a better overall purchase, but will be significantly more expensive.

Some say the ‘93/‘94 are the best year, OBD1, best engine, best tranny... etc....

‘95- ‘97 have airbags, full float rear diff, OBD-II, and you can still get engine wire harnesses and o2 sensors.

95+ has a mass air flow sensor, not a MAF meter, so you don’t have to worry about the MAF meter failing.
Perhaps I'm off on my pricing. I could sware I've seen 93/94 fzj80s on craigslist and Facebook for around 6k. If I'm off on my pricing I would still look to increase the budget whatever it takes to move to a fzj. Both a fj and fzj are going to need a lot of work. May as well get the more powerful engine in my opinion. The fzj comes with rear discs, abs, and bigger brakes up front too.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Messages
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Location
toldeo, wa
I think this is a reasonable price, at least out west. The 91-92s have been creeping up in value. As others have said, the 3FE is slow, dead reliable, and relatively impervious to neglect. Ours has been in the family since new. It's now relegated to camping duty. They shine on dirt. Their hefty 1930 lb payload is great for loaded touring. They are slow on the highway, slower on steep highway grades, and happiest cruising in the mid 60 MPHs, which was the speed limit for which they were designed back then. It's reasonable to expect deferred and ongoing preventative maintenance. Somewhere on this forum is an excellent 3FE tune-up checklist--this is must-do for the 3FE. Sunroofs leak. Cracked dashboards and front seat bottom cushion sidings are common. Also expect to replace rubber things, especially suspension bushings and belts, but also door seals, window runs, etc. Note that this truck's passenger's side front bumper wing on this has been bolted on again by someone. The flares and mud flaps (and in that case, rear bumper) look to me as if they're from a 93-97, but I'm not quite sure about that. The rear hatch and hood seem slightly darker; if body panels were replaced, I'd want to know why.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
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SF Bay Area
80 Series in general have been getting very expensive lately. Even though this is a 3F-E, I think it's not a bad deal under $5k if it's been maintained. In my experience with my FZJ80, the most annoying and expensive things to do are wheel bearings (1992 only has serviceable front wheel bearings), knuckles (again, if it's been maintained and not leaking diff oil, you can just add grease, much easier than rebuilding), and the cooling system. When I bought my 1996 it had just turned 24 and all the hoses were starting to leak. So if they haven't been replaced before, plan of replacing all of them along with the radiator (depending on condition).

3F-E is also a lot less powerful than the 1FZ-FE so if you're going on the highway a bunch that might get annoying. I know a lot of people say that the 1FZ-FE is underpowered but in my opinion it's enough power. If you're just using this for off-road, then I doubt you would notice much of a difference between the two engines in that use case.
 

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