Should I buy an 80, costs of ownership? (2 Viewers)

cruiserdan

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There have been a few recent threads where questions have come up looking for cheap stuff or easy answers. In response to that I would like to offer some observations.

The 80 Series Land Cruiser was, at the time, Toyota's Flagship vehicle in the United States. When new the 80 sold from the mid 30 thousand dollars (for 91-92 year model examples) to the low to mid 40's (for 93-94) to a bit past 50 thousand dollars for the last production 97 models.

During the production run the 80 rarely sold for less than the factory sticker and often for more. They were always in short supply and coveted by dealers. I bought mine new and it took me almost a full year to get it.

Obviously the "new" has worn off for virtually all of the original owners so they parted with them and we now see second, third, and even fourth, owners showing up on the board.

Those of you who fall into the latter category did not buy a 10,000 dollar or 9,000 dollar or even a substantially cheaper vehicle. You bought a used vehicle that, in many cases, sold for close to 50 grand new.

The care and feeding of a top-end luxury vehicle DOES NOT depreciate like the vehicle does. Parts and labor costs only go up.

The only way to really be able to afford one is to enter into the relationship with eyes wide open and the commitment to learn to work on it and care for it yourself. Or, have the resources to pay somebody WHO KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS the vehicle to look after it on your behalf.

It should further be mentioned that to morph an 80 into what ammounts to the most capable production 4WD vehicle ever offered by any manufacturer will cost at least 6000 bucks, if you supply the sweat. This only takes into consideration the mods, not the PM's to get the vehicle up to speed.




That being said, my relationship with my 80 has been one of the most satisfying parts of my life.


D-
 
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Almost 10 yrs and still original owner here....purchased top of the line, full packaged, locked $53K taxes, fee etc...but ssttt...wife didn't know spend another $50K the mod's mostly TTE stuff - Toyota Team Europe and JDM custom.

Sometimes I laughed myself reading from the forum people buying 80s for $6K :flipoff2: :D :lol: My 80s rims cost $6K..custom light weight 3 pcs.
 
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Thanks for the words of wisdom... To hopefully get people like me who wait until nice cars get 10+ years old to when they get "affordable" to purchase but the parts are still priced like a current made 50k$ vehicle. Kind of hard to swallow for people on a tight budget or just hoping the initial investment will suffice for awhile even though it never happens for me....
I just got my first 80, a 91 for $2500 and is really in nice shape for the price. Even at 250k mi I feel like it was a deal even though it has a pretty bad "klunking" when letting off the fuel and reapplying. I knew it needed a brake booster when I got it(even though it had only been replaced a yr ago) but only drove it for 2 days and found the radiator has sprung a leak...bummer. I really want to install a non Toyota diesel in it (MB, Isuzu, Cummins or 6.5) but it sounds like a project that is going to be beyond my financial means and or mechanical abilities. Any new ideas on this would be appreciated.
Either way I hope to like this cruiser enough to keep it forever. :cheers:
 
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I'll second that

Thank you for the important heads up on the topic. You put it succinctly, and accurately. This question is asked very often.

Even though I don't own an FJ80 right now ('85 4Runner), I can attest that building and maintenance are both time and $$ intensive. However, the working product is well worth it. I spent about $5k building up my vehicle (suspension and e-lockers, for the most part), over the course of 2 years. And now, out of necessity, it serves as my daily driver. All hail Toyota engineering!

I can't wait to get my 80 after I graduate in December. I figure about 1 year to save up for and buy a good example.

-Dan
 
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Good words Dan…If you really want to know how good LC is you should ask people in Asia, Africa, and some third world countries where I came from. A used Land Cruiser will cost you ~ half a million in Burma. They pay cash too, no financing available. :flipoff2: Only ultra rich people can buy cruiser. We are very lucky here in US where used car depreciate fast and furious. :)
 
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This is an interesting thread. I am the original owner of my 91 FJ80. Drove it off the dealer's lot in July 1991 after waiting for the right one to come in from Japan. At that time the majority of them were being shipped to the gulf war for UN personnel. I think we ordered it in March. Well worth the wait IMO. We got a good one. It has been the single most reliable vehicle overall that we have ever owned. It has come to the rescue time and time again, and all it wanted for the first 100K miles was fuel, tires, and brakes. I changed oil and filter every 2-4K miles, tranny fluid drain/refill every third oil change, coolant, brake fluid every spring, full tune up every 2 years. Parts that wear out are replaced by OEM parts...always. It's now 16 years old and still going strong (knocking on wood). If the body can hold out from the rust that's starting to eat at the doors and the frame thats getting a bit scaley, it'll last another 16.
 

Onur

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This is an interesting thread. I am the original owner of my 91 FJ80. Drove it off the dealer's lot in July 1991 after waiting for the right one to come in from Japan. At that time the majority of them were being shipped to the gulf war for UN personnel. I think we ordered it in March. Well worth the wait IMO. We got a good one. It has been the single most reliable vehicle overall that we have ever owned. It has come to the rescue time and time again, and all it wanted for the first 100K miles was fuel, tires, and brakes. I changed oil and filter every 2-4K miles, tranny fluid drain/refill every third oil change, coolant, brake fluid every spring, full tune up every 2 years. Parts that wear out are replaced by OEM parts...always. It's now 16 years old and still going strong (knocking on wood). If the body can hold out from the rust that's starting to eat at the doors and the frame thats getting a bit scaley, it'll last another 16.
And, I might add that Jon does not baby his 80 series...in fact he beats the living crap out of it!

:cheers:
 

e9999

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this is a great point, Dan. Well worth making.

Now, to help some folks figure out the costs, how about we post the cost of a few major mods and repairs:

I'll take a stab (will correct if wrong or remove if out of line) at some (rough) costs from memory:

Vehicle specific Mods:
- Basic 2" lift: $800
- Serious 4"-6" lift with all accoutrements: $3000
- Front winch-capable bull bar: $800
- Rear HD bumper with tire carrier: $1500-2000
- ARB lockers front and rear if you don't have the OEM: $3000
- Rock sliders: $900
- Safari type Roof rack: $600-1200

and extras:
- Set of 5 reasonable offroad tires: $1200
- Winch: $500-$1200
- Roof top tent: $500-$3000
- CB or Ham radio: $150 - $400


Repairs (DIY / Dealer):
- Front axle overhaul: $300 / 1000
- Headgasket replacement: $500 / 1500
 

cruiserdan

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Assumes use of OEM parts, aquired for somewhat under suggested list price:

Brake pads, ~$50 per axle
Front rotors, ~$80 each
Rear rotors, ~ $105 each
Oil filters, ~$5 to ~$10 depending on version chosen
 

smittycrusher

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GREAT thread. I am actually getting ready to downsize to only one 80. Not because of anything more than my wife being pregnant and is/will have trouble getting herself and the baby in and out of the LX (of course i did just lift it b/c I am a jerk I guess). I am going to take the LX as my DD and sell the white 93' (my current DD). My 93' came factory withiout running boards so switching out with her would still not help much. We have decided to get a sedan (we will keep it in Mr. T's family) for her. I am looking forward to getting much better gas mileage out of her car! Having 2 80's results in a vey expensive gas bill every month. I look at it as a trade off to drive the greatest vehicle ever produced. Others may not be ready for that. I also would be very nervous about having 2 if I were not learning to wrench some. A lot of the maint. costs are offset by doing it myself. If I had to have someone else do it, I don't think I would want to try to keep up (e.g. 2 sets of O2 sensors, 2 PHHs, 2 plugs/wires, 2 rotor/dist. cap, a bunch of Mobil 1, 2 radiator flushes, 2 t-cse/diff. oil changes, etc. this year). After paying for labor my whole life I am very happy to save that coin now.

Great rigs need great parts, great parts need great design/manufacturing, great design--on and on until you get to $. Luckily we have a great way to offset some of that (learn to wrench and feed Dan's dogs at a discount).

Smit
 
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619TOY

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As soon as I saw the title and before I read the post I thought of the price of the obsession as opposed to the price of the upkeep. I did alot of research before making the decision to purchase an 80 (LX450) and haven't had a day of regret since.

I've surpassed Dan's $6,000 figure in the last month and still haven't had it off the pavement. Waiting ever so impatiently for next weekend. By the time I found mine, I already knew exactly what I wanted to do with it (mods wise), I had a picture(s) in my head. Most of which were of clarkrw3's rig.

Even though we communicate with so many others who share our love of this vehicle, they are still pretty rare to see around. I'm amazed at how many people compliment me on my rig even though alot of them don't even know what it is.

While it would be nice if every 80 owner appreciated what they had as much as we do, that will never be the case. I know that I for one expect to have a life long relationship with mine.

By the way, nice write up Dan!:beer:
 
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this is a great point, Dan. Well worth making.

Now, to help some folks figure out the costs, how about we post the cost of a few major mods and repairs:

I'll take a stab (will correct if wrong or remove if out of line) at some (rough) costs from memory:

Vehicle specific Mods:
- Basic 2" lift: $800
- Serious 4"-6" lift with all accoutrements: $3000
- Front winch-capable bull bar: $800
- Rear HD bumper with tire carrier: $1500-2000
- ARB lockers front and rear if you don't have the OEM: $3000
- Rock sliders: $900
- Safari type Roof rack: $600-1200

and extras:
- Set of 5 reasonable offroad tires: $1200
- Winch: $500-$1200
- Roof top tent: $500-$3000
- CB or Ham radio: $150 - $400


Repairs (DIY / Dealer):
- Front axle overhaul: $300 / 1000
- Headgasket replacement: $500 / 1500
forgetting one thing:
...Satisfaction of being able to go Anywhere.... PRICELESS
 
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I probably wouldn't have pulled the trigger on my LX450 if I had fully understood the cost/extent of maintenance on the 80's. I'm glad I was ignorant at that time because this is, in MANY aspects, the best vehicle I've owned...and the only one that has not left me with buyer's remorse.
 

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