Builds Rotw Mjaddiction (1 Viewer)

Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
399
Location
TN
Rotw Mjaddiction

Hey Y'all! I can't believe it, but nearly a year has passed since I bought the '92 FJ 80. I really never intended to buy an 80 Series. I came here to sell an FJ-40 for my B-in-law's best friend who was killed in a construction accident. I searched, and landed on this site fatefully.

After many arguments about Toyota Cruisers V.S. my beloved Jeeps, I had enough. I tried to exit the site, remove my name from the list (as I had signed up for the abuse), but couldn't get out of MUD. There was one character on here, that noted how ironic it was that a Jeep owner was stuck in "MUD". That ended up being true, and I haven't left here since then. Do I still Love my Jeep MJ (which is a Jeep Comanche=MJ)? Yes, I built it with a good friend of mine for rock crawling trail riding. BUT....

I decided after some research, and talking to several on this site, that an FJ-80 might really be the right rig for me. I also owned a Jeep Cherokee, which was nice for the family with the four doors, and the solid front axle. The rear was very cramped though, and as my second daughter showed up, I needed more room. This isn't my first Toyota, I really started life as a Toyota Lover, I've owned 4 Toyota 4x4 p-ups, and one 2 wheel drive. I even ripped the bumper off of my friends cherokee one night when he called to get him unstuck at 1 AM. He hooked the strap to his aluminum front bumper, and off it came. Anyway, I sold my Cherokee, and bought a Huge 13" lifted F-150 Super Crew P-up, that my wife affectionately called "The Ridiculous SCrew". I regretted that really from the first day bought it. Too tall to get in and out of on a daily basis. I also had to lower it some, as it started eating CV axles in the front IFS. I hate IFS!

I sold the Ford, and the next day a FJ-80 showed up on a local board. I was prepared for a trip to pick one up, but here was one in my town. I went to look, and for $5500 I bought a well cared for '92 FJ-80. Most services were done at Toyota. The 80 had; new all steel radiator, new alternator, new hoses, new tune-up, rebuilt A/C, new 31" tires,tinted windows, clean interior, nice paint with typical fade on the roof and the hood though, completely new exhaust system, and a few other emissions vacuum lines and controls.A nice start for $5500.


Here she is after bringing it home, and adding some 32" BFG AT KO's, the 31's were just too small;

Crusherpics037.jpg



I noticed right away that the power was a little weak, but not that bad. I read about the 3FE, and decided that I would later swap out the engine for a diesel, or V-8 gas motor eventually. I wanted to see how long the 3FE could last though, since it only had 172,000 on the clock when I bought it. The 80 has almost 200,000 on the clock now. Well, that's fairly new in the Toyota world. The main thing the truck seemed to need was the proper gearring. I decided to rebuild the axles, and after searches and a few calls, including C-Dan, and a factory manual purchase, I had the parts. A friend of mine is a Toyota Guru, so I shipped it out to him for the work. He replaced the belts, power steering pump, rebuilt the axles and added some 4:88 gears. Rebuilt drive-shafts, adj. kick-down cable and accel. cable. When I got the 80 back, a totally different vehicle to drive. Really woke up the little 3FE.

What to do with the 80, what is it to be used for?

I wanted a dd expedition/camping rig, rig, that would not see hard trails that could damage it's pristine sheet metal. I wanted to be able to drive it anywhere and not have to worry about breaking down. I didn't want to lift it so much that it affected it's excellent road handling and ride. I wanted the interior to have a converter, nice stereo, and TV's for the my two little girls. I didn't want a tire larger than 33's for the 3FE (I'll put 35"s on it when I get to an engine swap).

So, the MODs began;

-I added some yellow Pilot fogs for some better night driving. I eventually put them into some bumper holes I cut out. They stuck out too far on the Damage Multiplier for my liking. The DM will be gone soon too. I replaced the aging stock stereo with a single DIN Alpine with the IPOD controls. I added 4 JVC 6" speakers in the doors. Sounds very good, but will add to it eventually. I bought a dual DVD set-up from a local department store. It cam with two head-rest 7" TV's and a two DVD player. I have a 3y/o and a 9 y/o, that do not watch the same DVD's. I put a 400 Watt inverter in the second DIN spot in the dash. I use it for charging up batteries on the Camera, and I also will use it for my wifes lap top. I need to get a direct hook up to the battery for that usage though. I will eventually put a CB radio in the second DIN, and move the inverter to the ash tray's spot. I need new seat covers and carpet, and over the winter plan a complete re-do. I will increase insulation for sound deadening, and heat sheilding. I want to replace the two front seats with some racing seats, and re-cover the middle and third rows.

-I removed the stock roof rack, and added a Yakima rack with 3 bike carriers, and a carrier for the canoe. Previous owner already drilled through the roof, and placed wires for back-up roof lights. I'm pretty sure this had a large roof rack that was gutter mounted on it at one time.

-I replaced the stock wheels next, with some 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic II's. They are my favorite wheel. I know a lot on here like the old school rims, mine went to a good home. I put the 32's on these rims first.

My youngest daughter LOVES the 80;

Crusherpics051.jpg


-Then, with all the services out of the way, new rims and fairly new tires, I decided it was time to test it out towing my boat that weighs in at about 6000 to 6500 LBS. I was pleasantly surprised that the 'ol girl could handle it, and pull it back up a steep hill thats about 2 football fields in length, and gave the F-150 fits with stock gears and 35's. I had to put the Super Crew in 4-low to get it up the hill. Granted the 80 has 4:88's, but it pulled the hill without going into 4x4 Low.

Here is the boat I put in the water every spring, and take out in the fall for service, and dry storage;

CIMG1102.jpg


So, now I knew that the Cruiser was capable of handling all that I needed it for. Now for some more fun mods;

-When I had the axles rebuilt, I found out the the drive flanges and the BIRF's were shot. I tried to order some aftermarket BIRFs, but all were back ordered with no stock date in sight. My truck was sitting at my buddies house, and I needed my dd back. The MJ is a little tight with two car seats. :D So a call to C-Dan and a budget busting $1000 dollars later, I had some spankin' new Yota OEM late model BIRFs ('95 plus year model, with the deeper splines). Well that killed my budget for the lift. So I did without, and pilled some dd miles on the rig. I really was enjoying it.

Then on the way home from work one day, the bottom of what appeared to be the original shock on the driver's side front broke off. I drove for a day like that and soon the pass side shock blew out completely. Closest place was a Firestone store, I needed shocks, and they put four new Monroe's on her. Now the ride did improve a bit, but really felt "boat" like still. A lot of lean in the corners. The rear shocks that I replaced, were some Rancho 5000's that were a bit stiff. I was afraid that towing the boat was going to be a problem in the fall with the softer Monroe's. I'll see how they do this fall.

A few weeks later I was driving on the interstate, when some one pulled up next to me. They told me that I needed to pull over immediately, "FLAT!!".
I was almost out of air, and backed up an interstate ramp to fill it up. Next exit was about 12 miles away. I noticed that the tire's side wall was damaged from the near flat run at interstate speeds. I drove to the nearest tire store, and they confirmed that the belts were shot, and I had another tire that was also leaking and needed a plug. I'm building a house, so I'm sure I picked up nails from there. I had an important meeting in a couple of hours, and the only tires they had in stock were some 33x12:50x15 BFG AT KO's. I read on here that they would fit. Bought the road hazard, and had them put on. Really like them, but noticed it slowed me a little on the steepest of hills. i can live with that. The 33's look great!

Well my lift seemed even further away now, but BFletch decided to sell some nearly new OME J springs and CC bushings. I got an excellent deal, fit my budget, and soon they were at the door. A few days later, a buddy of mine dropped in to help me put these on. I thought they were heavies and would lift the rig about 2 to 3 inches over my sagged stock springs. I didn't realize that the J's were a three inch spring. To my surprise they netted about 4.5"es of lift in the front, and 5.5"es in the rear. WOW. It looked great, but how would she ride now? Would my wife want to kill me?! They were incredible. Excellent ride, no jarring lift type feeling I've experienced with many of my other lifted trucks. Just WOW! really nice. I do need to get the cc's in, and will get that done soon. The stock heighth shocks are OK, although I'm going to raise the rear lower shock mounts. I might replace the front shocks with longer ones. I like flex off-road, so I'll be paying close attention to changes that will give the Cruiser that.

My wife never noticed the lift height... that amazes me right there, and the ride is so good, that lately she has been telling me "this is the nicest car you've owned since we met some 13 years ago". "You have always messed the other trucks up with suspension lifts. I'm glad you kept this one stock." Well, putting the running boards back on for now was worth it.

The next weekend after the lift, we had a trip to Atlanta. The drive was a four hour one. We got home from work, and I was getting ready to pack our '04 Sienna mini van. As I headed out to the garage, my wife told me that I might need to take some Lysol spray with me. A couple of days before, my oldest had a huge TT accident (don't ask) in the rear pass seat of the Sienna. My wife tried to clean it, but the tee was down in the seat, on the carpet, and in the seat mounting brackets. Two days parked in the 80 plus degree weather with he windows shut.... Oh my, really bad smell. Cleaned it up when we got home. Thank goodness for stain resistant seats.

UH UHHHH, I told her we were taking the Cruiser to Atlanta. She began to say no, but then thought, OK. I was surprised she agreed. I pack the Cruiser. TV's for the girls, lap-top for the wife, GPS and my IPOD. Nice trip down to Atlanta. My wife continually commenting on how well the Cruiser rode... he he, even with a lift I thought.

When we got to Atlanta, our friends were going to take us around in their new Honda Mini Van. Well the Mini Vans weren't holdin' nothing against the power of the Cruiser. Seems the Honda only seats seven. We were a party of eight. The Cruiser won out, and for the weekend, we all packed in and Cruised Atlanta, GPS running, comfortably. Everybody kept commenting on the ride quality of the Cruiser... Heheeee, yea, a lifted Cruiser that would be. I thought.


Here are pictures from my new house site with the new lift. All the wheelin' I'm able to fit in right now;

CIMG2364.jpg


CIMG2365.jpg


CIMG2352.jpg


Well tonight on the way home from looking at the foundation of our house. A two hour round trip drive. My wife payed the ultimate Cruiser complement. She again commented how much she LOVED this "car", I said truck honey. "Truck", she says. Then she says' "I want one". What? She told me to sell her Sienna, she wants an 80 series Cruiser! We talked about the 100 series, and a couple of other sport utes, including the Sequoia. No, she said. I want another one like this. Well after talking a bit more. We decided to get a 95 or newer 80 series. So, here I've gone from Jeep loyalist, to a soon to be, 2 80 series Cruiser family.

Well this next weekend we'll be taking our first camping trip in the 80. I can't wait, and will be adding more pics as the adventures continue.

Mods in the future;

I will be replacing the 3FE whenever she goes, with a diesel, or a nice LT1 V-8. Tranny will be a 4L80E or built 700R for the V-8. T-case will have to be an advanced adapters, and I'll switch to part-time 4x4 with lock-out hubs. I know, I've read a lot of info on here about doing this. The axles will stay, and they will get some ARB's air lockers eventually.

This is a long term ride for me. Maybe this is it? It truely is the perfect all around vehicle. I love it!

The Jeep MJ may leave too, I think. I need to add a few things to the '92. No need for the MJ anymore... The poor thing just sits in the garage now.

This site has been a HUGE help getting the Cruiser set-up. Thanks to all those that have helped. AND, to those that keep this board up and running.

What have Y'all done to me? :D

Thanks Mud Family!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
648
Location
Crawl-o-rado
These dang things just grow on you, don't they?! I used to be a loyal GM fan, and now I can't get over having a vehicle that is just getting broken-in when it hits 100k. Nice rig, and I hope you can spread the addiction to some more Jeepers!
 
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
3,776
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Nashville
MJ,
Looks great and nice write-up. We need to get some fall wheeling done here in middle TN! The weather is perfect. Love the wheels and wider tires. What brand gears did you use?

Cheers:beer:
Joel
 

ERG80

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
3,846
Location
TN
Great writeup MJ.

If you have room for one more Cruiser when you go give me a shout. I know a few good places around Cookeville/Sparta to wheel if youre ever in the area.

ERG80


MJ,
Looks great and nice write-up. We need to get some fall wheeling done here in middle TN! The weather is perfect. Love the wheels and wider tires. What brand gears did you use?

Cheers:beer:
Joel
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
1,899
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Nashville, TN
wow what a write-up, you have done a lot more with yours in a year than i have. good luck with looking for your wifes new cruiser. how did the camping trip go? we have had ours out a few time with the camper and love it
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2007
Messages
239
Location
Colorado
Nice write up MJ...I too am a convert. I was in the middle of restoring a '79 full size Jeep Cherokee S when I somehow discovered the 80 Series Land Cruiser...I don't even recall how it happened! Next thing I know, there's one sittin' in my driveway!

Got any pics of your interior setup?

Cheers
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
399
Location
TN
Thanks for the complimentos.
ERG 80, always room for Cruisers on a ride. I would like to get together in Nov. sometime.

I'll get some photos of the inside too.

I haven't taken it camping yet. I'm going this next weekend. I'll get some pictures too.

Yea, I actually thought about digging out a pit in the garage. That would have been very cool. But, our rigs are tall enough to climb under... :D Plus the wife wouldn't like that extra expense.

TN80, they are YUKON gears. I've always used those, and never let me down yet. Lets get a ride going soon. I've got to get this house going. Looks like early nov. maybe late october would be good.
 

Bluetribal

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Joined
Mar 14, 2006
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5,954
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Sandy Eggo
After many arguments about Toyota Cruisers V.S. my beloved Jeeps, I had enough. I tried to exit the site, remove my name from the list (as I had signed up for the abuse), but couldn't get out of MUD. There was one character on here, that noted how ironic it was that a Jeep owner was stuck in "MUD". That ended up being true, and I haven't left here since then.

This kinda bums me out to read because I am wondering how many others have been ran off. :confused: I honestly think we need to be nicer to those who are just joining us and I am to blame myself, I have said some stupid stuff on here where I should have thought it out but I am trying to blast through posts on my breaks. So I hope this might open some eyes. :eek:

Great rig and I hear you on this is a long term rig. I wish I had the $$ to buy a second 80 to just keep on blocks for when mine dies. :crybaby:
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
480
Location
30°54'01.53N / 84°04'56.04W
Great write up MJ...give the Chattanooga fellas a holler when you get your ride together...
We did a ride with the Damn Locals in Tracy City (Top of MontEagle) a few weeks ago...they invited us back anytime.

Where you building your house at?
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
19
this is totally happen to me as we speak!

getting our first FJ80 today, and i already want to ditch my XJ for a Toyota also
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
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3,607
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
This kinda bums me out to read because I am wondering how many others have been ran off. :confused: I honestly think we need to be nicer to those who are just joining us and I am to blame myself, I have said some stupid stuff on here where I should have thought it out but I am trying to blast through posts on my breaks. So I hope this might open some eyes. :eek:
:

Oh, we tried our best to run ol MJ off, but he just kept coming back......:D



Great looking rig, and congrats on the new house..

:cheers:

Dan
 

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