Builds ROTW: Arya Ebrahimi's 1994 FZJ80 aka "The Elephant"

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Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Threads
213
Messages
3,406
Location
Rockville, MD
Well I guess it’s my turn to step up to bat for ROTW.

My beloved 80 is a 4/94 Toyota FZJ80 Land Cruiser, affectionately dubbed “The Elephant” by a few of my misguided friends, but it seems to have stuck.

First a bit of history on the rig:
The 80 was purchased as an ‘extra vehicle’ for my dad as his current ride, a ’99 Yukon, was approaching 150k miles, and he had always wanted an 80. He had been looking for an 80 for over a year, and he finally found one that met our criteria. When he first talked about buying one, I mentioned that he had to buy one with lockers because I had a feeling in my gut that I would end up with the truck sooner or later. He wanted a clean, relatively low milage truck that would be problem free for years to come at his anticipated yearly mileage rate of 6k/year.

My dad finally found one that met all the criteria, and what would become my 80 was purchased by my parents in June of 2003 w/ 136k miles for $9500 from a Navy Pilot. The rig was his wife’s ride and was in immaculate condition. There was not a single scratch, dent, or ding on the entire body. The interior suffered from sun damaged cracked leather, but was otherwise in excellent condition.

The reason we got it so cheap was because it was VERY sluggish and hesitated off idle. Shortly after taking possession of the rig, I was recruited to diagnose and remedy the problem. My first call to CruiserDan ensued. :D At this point I was still very much a Jeep guy and didn’t really know anything about cruisers, but was very active on Jeep related forums. Someone turned me onto ‘mud, and I diagnosed the problems as clogged vacuum lines and bad O2 sensors. After replacing these, the cruiser drove like new, and that was the last I would touch it until October of 2004. In the meantime my mom would get a new car, my brother would destroy the transmission in her old camry(his ‘new’ ride), and my brother would take over daily driving of the 80 to and from high school.

Now for a bit of history on me. In 2001 I was the fortunate recipient of a new 2001 Cherokee as a HS Graduation/ Eagle Scout/ going away to college present. This was the rig that ultimately got me hooked on 4 'wheeling as well as forums like ih8mud
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This was the beginning of the end as my parents like to think. I transformed this vehicle from stock to wild over the course of 3.5 years, causing great distractions from my studies and ultimately causing me to leave school for a period of time.
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In August of 2004 I decided that being a college drop out wasn’t for me. I also decided that in order to get my act together and my butt back in school, I needed to cut the Jeep loose. I advertised for 2 months and finally found a buyer. The plan was for me to sell the Jeep and use the funds to purchase the 80 from my father. Well, the day before the new owner of the Jeep was to take delivery, my brother was in a wreck with the 80.
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This seemingly bad turn of events turned out to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Geico deemed the truck ‘totaled’ due to a bit of persuasion on my part, and as it turned out I would take possession of my 80 at no cost to me, my dad would get the $9000 I was going to pay him for the truck, and a call to www.cruiserparts.net and $75 later I had the rig safely back on the road :D
 
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So now I finally had my 80! I set to work on a front axle rebuild and baselining the fluids throughout. Next I purchased a set of 285/75 16 Bridgestone Dueller AT Revo’s as the existing Dueller HT’s just sucked to put it frankly.

Over the next year I would have two more fender benders, neither of which were my fault, both paying out sums of money. At this point the cruiser was making me money :D

My first ‘mod’ was an ARB rack I found on PBB for $500.
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In preparation for an upcoming trip, I quickly added rock lights to the entire rig, 8 in total. 4 underneath and 4 on the rack. The 80 was dubbed “Ary’s UFO” for the remainder of that trip.
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I wired all of those lights through a relay to this switch next to the rear heater switch (yes, I went back and removed the rest of the trim and double-sided tape).
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The truck remained relatively unchanged until January of 2006 when I found an ARB Bullbar in the local newspaper for $550. After a bit of negotiations I had him down to $475, and I picked it up the next day. A friend of mine had given me a set of Hella 4000’s after he busted the lens in one of them. I sourced a lens from a guy on ebay for $15 and a new wiring harness for $75 and I was good to go. About the same time ‘WildYoats’ was selling some black vinyl coated cable for limb risers. So I grabbed some of that too and put it all together.
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After two winters on WV’s back roads(they use rock chip to add traction in the winter), the rockers were beginning to look a bit rough. In fact there were parts that were down to bare metal. I decided that I wanted to do the durabak treatment. However, I always admired the two-tone green/grey 80’s, so I decided to try something different and used grey durabak.
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My most recent mod was the addition of an auxiliary fuse/relay panel. I was tired of the birds nest of wiring surrounding my battery, and I needed to add more, so I decided it was time to address the situation once and for all.

I went to the junkyard and grabbed the main fuse/relay box out of a late model Cherokee. This was perfect because it has all the relays/fuses I need and it fits perfectly between the battery and the headlight. It took me about 6 hours to completely strip the Jeep wiring out, reconfigure it to my needs, rewire it, and install it in the 80. Here are some before and after pics:
Before
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After
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Cover off
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The beauty of this, is I was able to consolidate all of my aftermarket accessories into one location, and I still have the flexibility to add quite a few more before I run out of room. I currently have the following accessories run through this fuse box:
Headlights via Slee’s harness
Hella Rally 4000’s
Rock lights
Roof lights
Interior fuse panel(not yet installed, but prewired)
 
That’s about it at the moment. I have a few projects that are in progress, but none of them are completed. They include:

Rear drawers (almost finished, need slides on one drawer and trim work)
New custom made center console by yours truly
CB mounted under shifter console
Rear bumper/tire carrier by yours truly
Slider steps using sliders from Trail-Gear, modified by yours truly

I am scheming on a lift, but that will probably wait until graduation, a bit over a year from now.

I do have a couple of other offroad toys that are in progress that have kept me from going wild with the 80.
My ’86 Toyota Pickup w/ SAS(buildup thread is in my sig). This rig is ALMOST ready to wheel:
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And my newest project which is a longer term project, Formula Toy #501:
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I think that’s it folks. If you have any questions or want anymore details feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading my novel :D

Ary
 
Very nice rig. It's a refreshing to read about your budget/low cost 80 and it's built-up as the 80 series is usually identified as a vehicle needing expensive parts to modify.

It goes to show that an 80 can be a capable wheeler without spending a lot of $$$ at it.

I'll lay off the hot cousin jokes :flipoff2:
 
Nice truck. Its cool hearing about the history. I've never really liked the green and gray together but it looks good on your 80.
 
Nice rig and great write up, honestly a very interesting read. I have always been a fan of Toyota's two tone treatment, the green/grey looks cool. :cheers: :beer:


Edit: The formula toy looks like a low rider with the cage sitting over the frame and not on it yet. :flipoff2: I am just jealous since I don't have a project as cool as that in the works. :D
 
Nice rig (rigs)... I remember seeing your posts over on NAXJA. I still can't believe the course of events that brought me here.

:beer: to a fellow NAXJA, turned Cruiser addict!
 
Arya,
How is your Cherokee fuse box mounted? Can you show some details pics of the mounting? Does it use Maxi-fuses?

Thanks for contributing to ROTW!

-B-
 
Arya,
How is your Cherokee fuse box mounted? Can you show some details pics of the mounting? Does it use Maxi-fuses?

Thanks for contributing to ROTW!

-B-

Hmm, right now it's held in by gravity and lack of a better place to go ;p My plan is to ultimately get an Optima and rotate it 90* in the battery box, allowing me to mount the fuse box to the passenger side of the battery box using the Cherokee's factory mounting brackets.

It's at the bottom of the list of my list of projects that are 90% finished and just need a few finishing touches.

I don't recall the name of the type of fuses it uses, but they are very commonly available pretty much anywhere. Even 7-eleven has them.

Ary
 
Nice write up.:D

Nice rig.:cool:

As always thanks for contributing.:cheers:

Arya Ebrahimi said:
"Management" Bwahahahaha, don't you mean "suckers stuck trying to steer this train wreck waiting to happen?"

:rolleyes: Oh you are so in trouble....................:flipoff2:
 
Nice write up, Ary. Thanks for contributing. Cool rig and accessories

:cheers:
 
Your dog did a good job of stacking those rigs.

Nice truck, I like the fuse box addition and the Duraback. :cheers:
 
Wow, I started that thread seemingly a lifetime ago. It's amazing what you can dig up on the internet. How the hell did you find that? You been stalking me?
Ha ha, no, not stalking (or am I?) :flipoff2:

I pop in over on the NAXJA board every now and then and did a search for "FZJ80" to see what they had to say, and found your posts.
 
that is a really nice rig. i have all those projects on my lap too. like your other toys too. good story also.
 

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