The Australorp gets new love

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Jun 22, 2016
On the road
The Australorp


My wife and I quit our well paying jobs after getting sick and tired of the same old BS, debt/work/debt/work. We decided that we want to go and explore and actually live a little. Our initial plan was to take our 2006 Jeep LJ and travel. Two months later....ah no..uncomfortable, cramped, and painful. Then we thought about a teardrop....towing something sounds like a headache. The teardrops we want would never hold up to 100miles of washboard dirt road. So....due to many suggestions by owners we settled on a FZJ80. It has room, the big opening windows for the small dogs and it has comfort.

The FZJ:
Not wanting to spend all of our savings we found a local guy selling the 1996 200k LC80 which he called "The Piece of s***" He drove it for two years and only changed the oil and did what needed to be done to pass Maine's safety inspection. He did not love it. Being so, he was happy to get $2500 for it. It does not have lockers, and the Center lock was used so little it was seized in H. I have since freed it up. The budget for this project is $2000-$2500.

Work so Far:
I am still baselining the vehicle. I have:
-Removed the sidesteps,
-MAJOR degreasing
-Painted the wheels
-fixed the minimal body rust
-removed the rear seats
-fixed the inoperative front window
-changed all the fluids
-fixed the inop center diff transfer switch
-installed the CDL button.
-updated the ignition(wires, plugs, cap, rotor
-fixed the broken front sway bar mount
-relocated the washer fluid
-replaced many of the vacuum, breather and evap lines
-replaced the PCV
-replaced the waterpump, fan clutch (went blue), thermostat, and hoses
-Full flush to green(more available on the road)
-recharged the AC
-Installed a Toyota fog light switch and LED light bar on bumper
-New Airfilter
-New airfilter hose
-greased some very dry driveshafts
-relocated front breather to engine bay
-removed roof rack
-made front mud flaps
-installed landrover cupholder
-flip cupholder in back of console

Work already done by PO (no records, just observations):
-All brakes redone, lines, MC, pads, rotors
-alarm removed
-drivers side spring
-rear heater hard lines replaced with hose
-tensioner pully
-new manifold back exhaust and O2 sensors
-entire front linkages, tie rod ends etc etc

Work to do:
- Leaky power steering box
- Second battery
- passenger seat gears
- radio only playing on one side
- DC Aux panel in back
- Front axle rebuild.
- Install LC100 D panel vents in the hood as louvers to keep the temp down.

Overland Mods current:
-ARB 50qt fridge
-ARB 2000 Awning
-Prinsu Rack
-Tepui RTT, Kukaunamin&*^%^^^$ ?

Overland if money allows mods:
-ARB front bumper
-255/85/16 Tires on steelies
-Floor flexible 13gal water bag
-Aux shorepower input flush mount
-Built in battery charger
-Solar Panel.
-Sleeping platform, with draw system.
-Several 12v outlets

A couple question

Q: WTF is an Australorp?
A: In short it's a funny looking fat black chicken that popular in Australia. It's also the name of my 1996 FZJ80.


Q: Why name such a legendary vehicle after a chicken?
A: We had the 80 parked next to my LJ. Wife said the 80s back end looked like a broody chicken.

Q: But why Australorp and not Leghorn?
A: Both are black, both are popular in AU, and both are rugged as hell.

Q: Have you found any issue with the Head Gasket?
A: I was very nervous about this the more I read up. Fortunately all plugs including #6 were identical. I have no oil in the coolant, nor white in the oil. I also have no sweetness in the exhaust condensate, nor white smoke. My coolant had some rust in it which blocked the overflow had caused an over-pressure of the system which blew out the cap a few time. before I figured out what was going on. This pressure did not blow the gasket which I assume to be a good thing. While 200K with no head-gasket issues is a a fluke. I'm doing what I can to help the system along....including a LOT of cooling system helpers!

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