Should I be Skeerd off by a high-mileage '97? (1 Viewer)

Spike Strip

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I'm virtually new to the 80s scene, having only owned 40s and a few 60's over the years, but over the weekend, I went to buy some tube doors from a fellow MUD member and was very impressed with his stable of built 80s. So much so, I caught the 80s bug.... like I need another Cruiser (don't we all? :oops: )

I'm a bit of a purist and wouldn't want to do a V8 swap into a high-mileage truck. There's one local, a '97, with about 260K miles... How's parts availability for these motors and transmissions? Other than the high-mileage, truck seems clean. No rust. Triple locked. California car, I'm told. I wouldn't be against having the engine rebuilt and/or trans and t'case if necessary... When necessary.

Thanks for helping a newb. Yes, this prolly has been asked many times, but I couldn't really find a recent thread on it other than the 'Discontinued Parts' thread by Onur.

And I have been reading the FAQ and stickies and starting to work my way back through this voluminous forum.
 
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I bought our '97 with 114k on the odo and it now has 265k. Still on original everything drivetrain wise and runs very well. If they changed the oil and did the trans once or twice you should be OK. Drive it and see how it runs. It took me 6 months to find the one I wanted and that was back in 2005 as I was paranoid about rust belt issues. I would always look at frame and body first, mechanicals second.

Edit: Mine was registered for it's first 5 years in Scottsdale and last 2 in Portland so had not seen any salt or at least not any in it's normal daily driving. Shipped it sight unseen except for photos from Portland to Alabama while I was in the UK. Definitely no regrets to this day on the purchase.
 
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FWIW - I bought my 93' 80 Series with 248k miles (now at 262k after almost 2 years), original everything, but had OME lift, ARB bumper, and Slee front lower control arms. Like the Gents above said, drive it, check upkeep like belts, radiator, cooling hoses and especially the PHP!, etc. Check body and chassis for rust and also if you see any rear main seal leaks and also if it has lockers, check that those engage. I hope this helps. I love mine. If it fit in my Eastern King, my wife would be mad every night. 😂
 
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I bought mine at 300k miles and it currently has 335k miles (about 5-6k a year). Wouldn't hesitate to hop in and drive it to anywhere in the hemisphere. It does need a lot of upkeep as just about everything made of rubber is falling apart, so I've been working my way through bushings, door seals, window runs, oil seals, etc. I haven't needed a part I couldn't find yet.
 
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I'm virtually new to the 80s scene, having only owned 40s and a few 60's over the years, but over the weekend, I went to buy some tube doors from a fellow MUD member and was very impressed with his stable of built 80s. So much so, I caught the 80s bug.... like I need another Cruiser (don't we all? :oops: )

I'm a bit of a purist and wouldn't want to do a V8 swap into a high-mileage truck. There's one local, a '97, with about 260K miles... How's parts availability for these motors and transmissions? Other than the high-mileage, truck seems clean. No rust. Triple locked. California car, I'm told. I wouldn't be against having the engine rebuilt and/or trans and t'case if necessary... When necessary.

Thanks for helping a newb. Yes, this prolly has been asked many times, but I couldn't really find a recent thread on it other than the 'Discontinued Parts' thread by Onur.

And I have been reading the FAQ and stickies and starting to work my way back through this voluminous forum.
If the rig is originally from California (check Carfax) it will have high mileage. The state is big and everything is so spread out. There really isn’t mass or public transit here outside of San Francisco. The cool part is the miles will be primarily long flat highway miles.

If an older California vehicle has low mileage, its suspect to me.
 
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When I clicked on the Thread about high mileage, and saw 260K ....I thought to myself "Wait, I thought he said high miles?" Haha....I bought mine with 330K, so 260K seems low mileage by comparison. I think many can attest that miles for the most part are (almost) irrelevant. Maintenance is the #1 concern. These 80's go a long time being neglected, and longer being well kept. If it has been driven but maintained relatively well, it will serve you many more years. I am constantly surprised just how well-built mine feels even after all these years. Mine is all original too. No HG, etc. Just PM. Hope this helps.
 
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When I clicked on the Thread about high mileage, and saw 260K ....I thought to myself "Wait, I thought he said high miles?" Haha....I bought mine with 330K, so 260K seems low mileage by comparison. I think many can attest that miles for the most part are (almost) irrelevant. Maintenance is the #1 concern. These 80's go a long time being neglected, and longer being well kept. If it has been driven but maintained relatively well, it will serve you many more years. I am constantly surprised just how well-built mine feels even after all these years. Mine is all original too. No HG, etc. Just PM. Hope this helps.
No doubt. I was daily driving a 2003 4Runner with 450,000 miles. Maintenance on that truck was optional and I only got rid of it because I wasn’t driving the 80 and it was only RWD.

If longevity is any concern, consider people are installing turbos on 25 year old trucks with 200,000 miles on the ticker.
 

Spike Strip

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It's a Black LX, btw, if that makes any diff. Not my favorite color in cars, especially in So Cal ... but can't be too picky.
 
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I bought mine 3 years ago down in SoCal. Super nice 2 owner truck that had 210k miles. It's been great so far but I recently removed the cylinder head to address valve stem seals and do preventative head gasket replacement and uncovered a head gasket that was damaged on cylinder one and probably wouldn't have gone too much longer. I would plan on doing the cylinder head at higher miles unless you have receipts showing otherwise. It's a piece of mind deal for me and I am fortunate I caught this now!

IMG_20201018_104051420.jpg
 

Spike Strip

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I bought mine 3 years ago down in SoCal. Super nice 2 owner truck that had 210k miles. It's been great so far but I recently removed the cylinder head to address valve stem seals and do preventative head gasket replacement and uncovered a head gasket that was damaged on cylinder one and probably wouldn't have gone too much longer. I would plan on doing the cylinder head at higher miles unless you have receipts showing otherwise. It's a piece of mind deal for me and I am fortunate I caught this now!

View attachment 2471062
Yes, I've been following your interesting thread and it's one of the things I will ask the owner about. Thanks.
 
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My '95 I bought at 242k miles. Ran it to 300k, rust ended its life.

My '93 had 262k when bought. It had been neglected for a few years, but now it running great with 273k. Hope to get 350k before rust gets this one.
 
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All depends on your comfort level and were you buy it from. Got mine for a fair deal at around 230k miles with lots of work needed. But I have the tools on hand to get it up to par.

The fzj80 being around 20 years old its not just miles that you need to worry about anymore. Nearly all the the rubber bushings and mounts on my 80 were dry rotting and on their way out. Most of the seals in the engine I pulled out were hard. Also at 20 years the exhaust pipes are nearing their expected end off life. In my case a cat had a hole rusted in it. Radiators are usually on their way out too.

Might just be me but it seems like the 80 is at that age where families are starting to offload them due to repair bills after passing them around and never giving them care.
 

mrq

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Portland, OR / SW WA
I'm virtually new to the 80s scene, having only owned 40s and a few 60's over the years, but over the weekend, I went to buy some tube doors from a fellow MUD member and was very impressed with his stable of built 80s. So much so, I caught the 80s bug.... like I need another Cruiser (don't we all? :oops: )

I'm a bit of a purist and wouldn't want to do a V8 swap into a high-mileage truck. There's one local, a '97, with about 260K miles... How's parts availability for these motors and transmissions? Other than the high-mileage, truck seems clean. No rust. Triple locked. California car, I'm told. I wouldn't be against having the engine rebuilt and/or trans and t'case if necessary... When necessary.

Thanks for helping a newb. Yes, this prolly has been asked many times, but I couldn't really find a recent thread on it other than the 'Discontinued Parts' thread by Onur.

And I have been reading the FAQ and stickies and starting to work my way back through this voluminous forum.
I don’t have much more to add in regards to what others have said...

But if it’s been well-maintained, is in good cosmetic shape, and has zero rust I’d say for-sure consider it! High mileage on these rigs doesn’t always equate to lots of repairs. Like I said, if the seller has maintained the rig well and if he has lots of service history records then it very well could be a great rig that will last you a long time. Especially if the headgasket has been replaced or rebuilt. If you buy it you should inspect it (if you know what you’re doing) or have it inspected by a Yota mechanic. Base-lining the rig once you buy it is key to having a reliable rig. If it’s needed – replace filters, all fluids, ignition (rotor, cap, wires, plugs), vacuum hoses, cooling (thorough flush, new hoses, thermostat, cap), etc.

I personally haven’t needed many parts for my engine. But from what I’ve seen/heard guys don’t have that hard of a time finding parts for the 1FZFE. There’s a few good vendors here and online that sell parts for the 1FZFE.

These rigs can run for 400k+ miles on the original engine/transmission if maintained properly and if not abused.

I bought my ‘94 several years ago w/ 210k (now 230k) and it only needed a few minor engine repairs (low idle, tune up, & oil leak).

Once you own an 80 you’ll fall in love with it. There’s nothing like them. 60’s and 40’s are awesome too. But the 80 has more creature comforts, rides smoother (but still not super smooth), has more torque/HP, more capable off road – especially with lockers, safer (‘95-‘97 w/ airbags), etc.

Like @98 SNAKE EATER said – if you’re considering it try to use the high miles in your favor. Generally from what I see in the Portland/Seattle area 1FZFE Cruisers with 3x lockers go for anywhere from $7k-$11k. It all depends on condition and if the seller is aware of how desirable 80’s (especially 3x locked 80’s) are.

Hope this helps – let us know if you get it!

– Mitch
 

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