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Still Searching for the "Perfect" 80

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Grizzilion, Sep 12, 2017.

Which would you recommend for a newbie looking to get his hands greasy?

  1. 92 with records 167k miles $5000

    6 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. 94 with no records 170k miles $7000

    21 vote(s)
    77.8%
  1. Grizzilion

    Grizzilion

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    Tried posting in an older thread that I started to get some opinions on a few 80's that i was considering buying but everyone must have vacated so here is the new thread.

    I have found a couple more cruisers that are closer to me. I have not been able to see them firsthand yet but have got some info from the owners.

    The first being a 3FE which is my preference as I believe it'll overall be easier to learn to wrench on.(some may disagree) So here is the description from the for sale ad:

    1992 Land Cruiser 168,000 original miles, runs great!! Cylinder Head, Radiator, and hoses replaced 2015(approx 10,000 mi.) Complete Knuckle Service done on Front Axle 2015(10,000 mi). New Windshield. K & N air filter. Has Sunroof, A/C works, interior in great condition. 31 x 10.50 x 15 tires.

    The owner said he bought it with the bad head gasket. Is the knuckle work just good preventative care? The hood and roof paint is oxidizing which is no biggie to me. For $5000 would you touch a cruiser that has had this much work done? I'm not sure if it makes me feel good or bad that it has this type of maintenance record. Pros: Doesnt seem like I'd have to be doing any major repairs right away. Cons: Seems to be already having problems so how long till the next one? I like the mileage, seems relatively low for FJ80's these days. My gut instict is if it was around $4000 I'd jump on it.

    The other cruiser is a 94 with 170,000 more miles and no records of maintenance but the owner says no major work has had to be done. But I know the FJZ is a little more vulnerable to head gasket issues so that scares me. Other than that it looks pretty clean. Paint is in good shape. Minimal rust. Leather in front seats has been re done. Has light bar and grill guard that they are probably upcharging for and it'd be the first thing to go if I bought it. The 94 is $7000. Another price that i feel is just a $1000 or so to high for me not to jump on it right away.

    As I said I haven't been able to check out or test drive them yet which is going to be a big factor in the decision obviously. Any insight is appreciated and I'll post pics once the decision is made!
     
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  2. brockdeck

    brockdeck

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    I was recently in the same situation as you looking at getting either a 92 or a 96. The 96 I looked at had no lockers, and 224k on the odometer, but full service records from the stealership and was babied its whole life.

    With that being said, the 3FE is bulletproof and although slower it is indeed easier to wrench on. My research pointed me towards the 1FZ for power and availability of parts. Many things on the 3FE are being discontinued, mainly if you want to stick with OEM.

    If the 94 has no major work done to it and no service history, get ready to look into a few different repairs. Front crank seal, distributor o-ring, transmission/oil pans all for oil leaks. Thermostat, pesky heater hose, filters, cooling system to baseline the truck. My understanding is the the 1993-1995 trucks also have the older head gasket design but I could definitely be wrong. I would include this as part of the cost of the truck especially since you have no service history. The knuckle rebuild is what my 96 is getting right now, and if you have a shop do it will cost anywhere from $800-2000 depending on where you go. It is about to cost me $1100, I am not experienced enough to do it myself right now. It also really depends on how much you are leaking, I have heard of guys going 100k on a leaking front axle with no problems just changing their fluid. Mine personally was completely blown out and slopping grease/gear oil everywhere. Its an important fix for me.

    Out of these two trucks and based on the information I see I would get the 1992 and have lots of fun.

    With that being said, it could be worth it for you to wait out and find the right FZJ80.

    I am no expert but I hope this helps. I recently purchased my first 80 a couple months ago and found all of these things just perusing through MUD. This is a great place to be.
     
  3. Grizzilion

    Grizzilion

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    Thanks for your insight! I think I am leaning towards the 92 for those same reasons. The 3FE seems to be bulletproof and I don't really need it for speed so it suits my style better. The service records are there and it seems pretty mechanically sound.

    The FZJ has a better look tho with the white paint! That's the only thing holding me back, the FZJ has the look I would want when building up a Cruiser. But are looks more important than records?? That's the tough question...
     
  4. ZackR

    ZackR SILVER Star

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    Durango, CO (6500') + 3FE = hope you aren't in a hurry (not trying to bash it but it will be slow). Test drive both and report back. If its strictly off road then the 3FE will be ok.
     
  5. brockdeck

    brockdeck

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    Maybe try to find more about the FZJ and what has been changed to the owners knowledge. How much rust does it have? Any rust on the 92?
     
  6. brockdeck

    brockdeck

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    This is a very good point, I live in California so I obviously never thought about this.
     
  7. rc51kid

    rc51kid

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    In my worthless opinon the 1fz is just as bullet proof. It is a tuff motor, period. At 224,000 my cylinders still hade hone markes in them.

    It is a iron block with Al head. If you iver heat it badly you risk the head gasket. So dont over heat it. Honestly do you want to let your 3FE over heat? No.

    All of these trucks are 20+ years old. One of the first things they need is a COMPLETE replacement of the coolant system with new OEM parts. Juat do it and be done with it.

    Based on nothing factual except my opinion i would bet 80% of the HG issues are related to someone overheating the truck 2nd to a unmaintained coolant system.

    Coolant systems have a service life. This is nothing new.

    All i am saying is i would not choose a truck based on 1fz or 3fe. There are much more important issues such as a getting a good unmolested one that no one has been in.

    No way would i want on that someone relaced the head on unless the receipt said something like slee,valley hybrid, ACC or had Robbies name on it.

    I got mine with 185,000 on it. No records. It need a bunch of pm and i did it. No problems just a bunch of time and money. All i found was normal wear and tear that was fixed by pm. The only things that were "messed up" were placed that the PO had made repairs.

    I almost would prefer a truck that need a s*** ton of pm over one that had a bunch of work done to it by "billy bobs auto shop".

    Who cares if it has had a bunch of new parts put in if they used crap autozone parts and torqued everything cross threaded with a impact gun.

    Thater have old worn out oem parts that i have to replace with new oem parts installed correctly.

    Just me 2 cents. Find one that looks clean, shifts nice, runs good with out smoking or knocking ,has good paint on it and is un molested. Then have a GOOD cruiser shop look it over maybe do a compreaion test.

    Dont worry about the small stuff. They all need a crap ton of PM. Every rubber part seal and hose is 20 yeara old and needs to be replaced.

    Ps. Sorry about all the typos. My phone keypad is killing me.
     
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  8. BigAxeJack

    BigAxeJack

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    I'm leery of the 3FE description. The fact that the "cylinder head, radiator, and hoses" were replaced sounds like it was overheated badly. What else was damaged? Transmission? Who did the work? Quality shop or shade-tree mechanic? It's my understanding that those engines are very tough to kill. Just my $.02.
     
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  9. Golgo13

    Golgo13 SILVER Star

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    I have a 92 with the FE and i dont like the scarcity of parts. Would be a good candidate for an engine swap to an LS(i cant believe i just said that). The head gasket should not have needed replacement in 167k miles, so that is a worry too. At that price, there better be no rust on the whole thing. Not even a rock chip. Other than the engine differences, the vehicles are for all purposes identical.
    Doesn't help your decision much, just my 2 pennies
     
  10. Grizzilion

    Grizzilion

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    Alright I like where this is going! The 1fz definitely looks in better condition and is closer to me so I won't have to invest a lot of time into going to check it out and drive it. I'm gonna dig deeper into everything the owner knows about the truck and lingering issues buy mainly focus on what rc51kid said. Make sure it drives well, no shifting problems or smoking. There is a steep mountain pass right outside the town it is located in so I'll get a pretty good idea of performance right away. I'm going to see it Thursday so I'll take pics of anything that looks like a problem to me and post em to see what you guys think.
     
  11. rc51kid

    rc51kid

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    Sorry about the long ramble last night. I had a lot to say but i dont claim to be any kind of expert. Just some guy on mud with an opinion.

    Really all i am saying is get a nice clean un molested truck and have a GOOD shop do a pre purchas inspection. What part of the country are you in and who is close to you?

    Also the more trucks you drive the more you learn what feels right and wrong. So that is always valuble.

    Also i have to admit that i belive in a high level of PM using oem parts. I admit this is not cheap. So my advice follows the train of thought that over the next few years you are ready to go way down the rabbit hole. That is just the price of ownership in my mind. As you replace 20 year old parts with new oem parts you should be GTG with that part for another 20 years, basicly.
     
  12. ThomasMore66

    ThomasMore66

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    I've got a 94 and a 97 that I drive in Durango. Heading up towards the ski area (or any other pass) don't get in a hurry on dry pavement. However, when it's snowing and the road looks bad to everyone else, it's a boss.

    The "perfect" one might be this: Used Toyota Land Cruiser For Sale - CarGurus
     
  13. Rifleman

    Rifleman

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    No mater what truck you get, if you live at those elevations both trucks are going to be slow, and if your planning on pulling a trailer, it's going to be REALLY SLOW going up any grades.
     
  14. ThomasMore66

    ThomasMore66

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    My house in Dallas is at 600'. House in Durango is 6900. Performance decreases as I head north. Pondering turbo or LS power. Invest in a nice stereo. It's how I deal with the drive up.
     
  15. ThomasMore66

    ThomasMore66

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  16. Grizzilion

    Grizzilion

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  17. brockdeck

    brockdeck

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  18. ThomasMore66

    ThomasMore66

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  19. cybrstar

    cybrstar

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    3fe might as well get at fj62 with a 5 peed.
     
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  20. ThomasMore66

    ThomasMore66

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    3fe...meh. Hp does matter.