Talk me into or out of a FJ80 - Bought it! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 4, 2005
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Richmond, VA
 
 
 
I have been a 40 guy forever. I am not looking to get out of those but might have the option to buy an 80 series form a customer. Specs:

1997 Collectors Edition
triple locked--not working
OME suspension lift
green w/tan leather - decent shape for age
275k on the ticker
stock wheels w/285's
TJM front bumper with some rust on bumper
Body fairly clean
frame clean
no signs of off-roading

Fluid leaks on engine, oil, antifreeze
knuckles need rebuilt
seems to run ok but puffs smoke on start up and has a heavy emission smell

Just passed VA state inspection after I did some work to it

I am not going to include price but very fair for the market...


this may or not be the 80 to buy, and no I do not know what I would do with it but daily drive or in rotation with my other 40's. I am not planning to off-road it. May take it camping etc I am not into the word Overlanding.


From everything I know this is one of "the" years to have and may be the year to have. Evil spirits tell me to drop in my spare GM 6.0 ls engine and 4l80 combo into it and have a fun driver!

I am open to any and all thoughts, fire away!

Thanks,
Rob
 
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Joined
May 26, 2005
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IMO it's a pointless vehicle to have if you're not going to use it offroad. Almost anything else you could buy is a better street vehicle, either for comfort, fuel efficiency, amenities, etc.

Also, if you do buy it and use it offroad, you may fall out of love with 40's. Do you really want to take that risk?
 
Joined
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Also, if you do buy it and use it offroad, you may fall out of love with 40's. Do you really want to take that risk?
I have wheeled a 80. They have too much body and glass for my taste off-road. I have an Ultra4 car for serious off roading, a small tire (33's) FJ40 for lighter wheeling and trail riding and a street queen 40. and a few others. Most of these vehicles are too rare to destroy off road, but I do respect those that beat on them with no regrets.

I have always liked the looks of them, (80's) but know they are underpowered pigs. That is why a higher mileage one would be a good one to do an engine swap with if I chose to do so.
 
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Sounds like a great project to me. The 80 is a great platform just needs a little more power. Your 6.0/4L80 would be a nice setup.
 
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
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Lil smoke in startup? Your motor is good for another 200k or so.. if it’s not beat to hell I bet the lockers will work with some tinkering... they suck on fuel but no tank has good fuel economy...I bought my first one almost 20 years ago and it still has the original starter, water pump, and alternator on it.. can’t say that about many vehicles
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
Messages
110
 
 
You deal says "Talk me into, or out of, an 80"

That's not really how it works. It's impossible to explain to somebody how they go, you just have to own one to see for yourself. Once you do you'll never want anything else. So solid, so comfortable, so reliable. So many, many positives you can't describe until you own one. Not fancy, not fast, not modern with USB ports and backup cameras and other stupid things. 100% utility reliable solid machine. I've had mine for a long time. Even when the alternator took a dump it still got me home. Solid, solid, solid.

Look what people are driving in the Gobi or AU or Africa. There is a reason they drive landcruiser.

Just buy it. If you don't like it (god help you) you can easily sell it.
 
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Kansas City
 
It seems to me that you already have your mind made up and are looking for supporters. If you have the time, money, and skill to do all these things and it’s your hobby, make it happen. Good for you. If this is something “you’d like to do” but in reality the vehicle is going to sit untouched, leave it be. Only you know the answer to this.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
572
Location
Clovis, CA
 
 
I have been a 40 guy forever. I am not looking to get out of those but might have the option to buy an 80 series form a customer. Specs:

1997 Collectors Edition
triple locked--not working
OME suspension lift
green w/tan leather - decent shape for age
275k on the ticker
stock wheels w/285's
TJM front bumper with some rust on bumper
Body fairly clean
frame clean
no signs of off-roading

Fluid leaks on engine, oil, antifreeze
knuckles need rebuilt
seems to run ok but puffs smoke on start up and has a heavy emission smell

Just passed VA state inspection after I did some work to it

I am not going to include price but very fair for the market...


this may or not be the 80 to buy, and no I do not know what I would do with it but daily drive or in rotation with my other 40's. I am not planning to off-road it. May take it camping etc I am not into the word Overlanding.


From everything I know this is one of "the" years to have and may be the year to have. Evil spirits tell me to drop in my spare GM 6.0 ls engine and 4l80 combo into it and have a fun driver!

I am open to any and all thoughts, fire away!
By
Thanks,
Rob
Your 40 collection is pretty awesome. If it belongs to a customer, you probably won’t find a more honest 80.

I say buy it. They’re almost indestructible. Wrench on it, and if you don’t feel it, sell it. You won’t lose anything and you’re keeping another FZJ80 out of the salvage yard.
 

Tachycardic

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If you daily drive the 80, you will find the gas mileage disappointing now and downright prohibitive if and when gas prices shoot back up to $4/gallon. And yes, they are underpowered, although I never really felt it was lacking when overlanding offroad. I agree with the Spike that it's a pointless vehicle for you if you don't offroad it. I think it would be a nice project truck, but I would be happier to daily drive a 100 series or even a Sequoia (although both are much worse looking, gas mileage is just as bad, but you do get V8 power).

Consider an imported 70 series? something like this? Land Cruisers Direct - 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ77 ZX #3367
Sure, power is laughably low, but they are just so cool...
 
Joined
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Rixeyville, VA
 
 
 
Someone needs to be the vulture here. @matzell if you don't buy it, will you pass their info along to me?
(didn't read all comments and someone may have beat me to the punch)

This is my way of saying yes. You should absolutely pick it up. The supply is only going down on these. Worst comes to worst, you clean up some of the loose ends and sell it. You'd be able to unload quickly.

As for DD duty. I still believe an 80 is a great DD for a relatively short, easy commute. 15-20 miles of non-congested cruising is something most of us would enjoy if you keep the build mild. I drove a stock '97 for a few weeks last year (70 miles roundtrip) and was totally impressed with how the power felt adequate and braking was ability was great. We forget how much we can compromise the drivability when we add 4 inches of lift, 35+ tires and tons of armor.
 
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Tachycardic

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Messages
432
Location
Nevada
Someone needs to be the vulture here. @matzell if you don't buy it, will you pass their info along to me?
(didn't read all comments and someone may have beat me to the punch)

This is my way of saying yes. You should absolutely pick it up. The supply is only going down on these. Worst comes to worst, you clean up some of the loose ends and sell it. You'd be able to unload quickly.

As for DD duty. I still believe an 80 is a great DD for a relatively short, easy commute. 15-20 miles of non-congested cruising is something most of us would enjoy if you keep the build mild. I drove a stock '97 for a few weeks last year (70 miles roundtrip) and was totally impressed with how the power felt adequate and braking was ability was great. We forget how much we can compromise the drivability when we add 4 inches of lift, 35+ tires and tons of armor.
The 80 is clearly a great truck for you, but may not be for the OP. He said he's not taking it offroad, therefore it is reasonable to assume that he won't spend the coin to "add 4 inches of lift, 35+ tires and tons of armor" unless he's building a zombie apocalypse vehicle. It's like telling a beer drinker to buy a particular wine because they stopped producing it. All that person is going to do is let it sit and eventually sell it.
 
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Richmond, VA
 
 
 
It is funny everyone mentions fuel economy. This is where it gets funny. First I DD a GMC Yukon Denali with a 6.0 in it. Second, I own a gas station along with my repair shop.... and I live less than 5 miles from the shop. I sold my 4 cyl Honda Accord because I only filled up 3 times in 6 months.

I work on all types of vehicles at work but do have my Cruisers customers as well. I do like the power of the 100's and even more with the 200's but they do not look as much like a Land Cruiser as the older ones. I like 60's too.

I know this is the 80's forum so it may be biased but I do like them. I had a customer just pick one up from Land Cruiser Heaven with a new paint, tires, lift ect and it looked really good and had the new leather interior.

I wheeled Woody's 80 out at Sand Hollow and it was fun but a lot of sheet metal and glass.
 
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New Jersey
 
 
Well Rob, you know what I'm going to say, LOL.
Once you get past the baseline maintenance, it's smiles per miles.
 
Joined
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The 80 is clearly a great truck for you, but may not be for the OP. He said he's not taking it offroad, therefore it is reasonable to assume that he won't spend the coin to "add 4 inches of lift, 35+ tires and tons of armor" unless he's building a zombie apocalypse vehicle. It's like telling a beer drinker to buy a particular wine because they stopped producing it. All that person is going to do is let it sit and eventually sell it.
Quite the contrary. The 80 (mine at least) is a horrible truck for me and that's why I don't DD it excessively :cry: .

While I understand your viewpoints, I respectfully disagree with the viewpoint that this is a bad purchase and here's why:

1. My point about the lift/tires was simply to articulate the relativity of how a stock(ish) 80 behaves vs a built 80. Several folks had already stated it was a poor decision b/c he's not going to "wheel it" and the 80 is not a good DD. Let's not forget how many rich soccer moms were bombing around in these in the early 2000's and were doing it happily. To me at least, a stockish 80 is a joy to drive on the road. I think Matzell will eventually agree with my sentiments due to the reasons below.

2. Matzell has been on mud for over 15 years - he loves cruisers. Any cruiser lover understands how well the 80 is balanced for wheeling vs. road worthiness. Regardless of his CURRENT intended usage, he understands it might be a good opportunity to get the last year of the 80 series. If he has the means to purchase and store it, why the heck not?

3. To expand on the CURRENT emphasis above: things change. Over time we've seen many folks migrate from 40's, to 80's to 200's as their needs, desires and intended usage changes. I don't know Matzell's experience wheeling the 80, but i assume he knows how well they can perform despite the big body and all the glass. It's possible that a few years from now, he'll love to lightly wheel this 80.

4. Matzell has several 40's listed in his signature - if you can tolerate the road manners of the 40, the 80 is a like a new Cadillac in comparison. NOTE: if he intends to DD the 80, it might be good to know what he dd's now. EDIT: see the denali reference now but it;s a few miles each way. All the more reason to me, that the 80 will serve it's purposes well for him. Add in a 6.0L because he can do the swap, and he's got an awesome truck.
 
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If you’re not planning on going nuts off-road with more street miles, definitely get a later model for the coils over the leaf springs. Mixing in OBDII and comfort with the last of the classic boxy design makes it one of the best in terms of “cool”, but is still ultra capable.

I just picked up my ‘97 triple-locked Collectors Edition and it’s great. Mild OME BP-51 lift on 35s and is super comfortable on the road. I can confidently say that it is more comfortable than my 2020 Gladiator Rubicon was and probably more capable.

Classic vibes, decent comfort, reliable, and you’ll make your money back (if not more) if you decide it’s not for you... what’s not to love? I say go for it. I doubt you have much to invest to get everything sorted - especially doing your own work.
 

Crush 4

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If you’re not planning on going nuts off-road with more street miles, definitely get a later model for the coils over the leaf springs. Mixing in OBDII and comfort with the last of the classic boxy design makes it one of the best in terms of “cool”, but is still ultra capable.

I just picked up my ‘97 triple-locked Collectors Edition and it’s great. Mild OME BP-51 lift on 35s and is super comfortable on the road. I can confidently say that it is more comfortable than my 2020 Gladiator Rubicon was and probably more capable.

Classic vibes, decent comfort, reliable, and you’ll make your money back (if not more) if you decide it’s not for you... what’s not to love? I say go for it. I doubt you have much to invest to get everything sorted - especially doing your own work.
Buy it. I just picked up an 80 and may only take it off road 10% of the time. I will use the truck to go get a coffee go to the grocery store and other type of trips.
I own(ed) various classic cars and trucks. Many of these were “show” vehicles and not used as intended, specific to when they came off the assembly line. Nonetheless ,they were enjoyed and that really is the point. If it makes you happy, enjoy it the way you want and never look back!
 
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There are not many trucks you can buy and almost guarantee your money back. Sounds like you could cost-effectively repair or improve it, and probably have a little fun with it. Sounds like a win to me.
 

Danforth

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I have an FJ55, an FJ62 and owned an 80 series rig. I sold the 80 but the reason was that the PO was a lady realtor who had failed to take care of it. There was just too much in it that had been neglected.
The only remark I have about that truck's capability is that it couldn't even make it up our (steep) driveway in snow that the 62 or 55 sail through with no problem at all. I could not get traction. I don't know if it was because of the tires (fashion these days may have driven Toyota to too-wide tires) or the vehicle weight, or what. It was disappointing compared to the others, even when the others were running worn tires. The point is, you may have to do some fiddling and research to discover the secret of making the rig stick to the ground in certain conditions. I wanted the truck to work out, but it was too much trouble and expense.
I'd buy another and try again if I trusted the owner and prior maintenance.
 

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