Builds The Oddball 80 - Middle East GX Renovation

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Feb 10, 2002
Canton, Mississippi
Way back in September 2019, I was told about a “weird looking” Land Cruiser at a shop in Brookhaven Mississippi.

I use Toyota of Brookhaven for all my new Toyota sales and service because it’s worth driving 80 miles to deal with a dealer that cares.

While I was down there getting my TRD Pro 4Runner serviced, I bounced over to the said location of this “weird looking Land Cruiser”

Turns out it was not there but the owner of the shop was a follower of my Mississippi food and travel Instagram See and Eat Mississippi and was kind enough to take me to his brothers house to see it

I snapped a photo of it, but since his brother was not home, we could not get a good look at it

I never spoke to the owner, but his brother and I became fast friends. He restored a couple of axes and hatchets for me and we swapped some great food and photo places.

In the mean time, I fished a little and planted the seed that I would be interested in the truck if his brother ever was interested in selling.

A few weeks later he asked me what I thought it was worth.

Basically I told him that if it was a US 1991 FJ80 it would be the cheapest Land Cruiser available in the US with the Turd 3FE/Auto combo. Even with low miles, I told him it would be a $3000 truck BUT the fact that it was such a rare bird it was likely worth double that.

Weeks went by and I actually ran into the owner of the truck itself and told him I needed this truck so I set up a day to drive it back in March

This is when it got weird ......





A little sidebar on the owner. He owns a large accounting firm, a few small businesses and an auto auction.

He’s a buyer, not a seller. He does not need the money and from the looks of his farm truck collection, he would sit on this forever.

So he tossed out a “I really don’t want to sell it “ price and along came the Covids.

I decided to not counter his offer since mine was so much lower and even meeting in the middle did not look good.

But damn. I kept thinking about this thing.





I’ve owned 3 FZJ80s and pretty much live to pick on 80 owners calling them Turds and such because I feel all the soul was drained out of the Land Cruisers after the 60 series and the 100 series is better in every aspect other than rock crawling. BUT, the Oddball80 was still stuck in my head.

All during the Covids I stayed busy working on @jmlockwood ‘s FJ45 SWB Project and just put this thing out of my mind.

I had kept a few photos of it on my phone just to remind me it was there but basically I moved on.





Now that is a really nice cruiser. Stupid simple and will go for a very long time. Super basic, no flares, no sunroof, no dealer added rack, 5 speed, carbureted, cloth interior!
Love it!!
What does the “AMV NTV” mean on the yellow placard?
And then I went and blew out my neck trying to be 20 years younger.

As I was laying in the recovery room exactly 2 weeks ago I decided to give this thing another shot.

I typed up a long message apologizing for disappearing after his counter offer 3 months ago and decided to see if he would meet me in the middle.

He text back the next day and said one of his vendors had jumped on that “I really don’t want to sell it” price and it was a goner.

I kicked myself a bit and hated the thought of something like this going to some redneck deer camp and text him back that I was sad I missed it.

Another fast forward.....his brother text me yesterday to say that the vendor dude was trying to finance it and the bank valued it like I initially did and he was waffling.


It was a few thousand over my offer but s***.

Why not. Let’s roll.
Now that is a really nice cruiser. Stupid simple and will go for a very long time. Super basic, no flares, no sunroof, no dealer added rack, 5 speed, carbureted, cloth interior!
Love it!!

Thank you. And, like you, I knew this truck should be a Carbed 3F but if you see the photos, it’s clearly a 3FE.......

The plot thickens.

So.....I should have taken a trailer to go get the truck but my son just turned 16 and hell, we don’t spend enough time together so he and I jumped in his 2001 Land Cruiser and took off for Brookhaven.


His truck tossed a charge light at the exit after a the 80 mile run so I made some calls to my 100 guru @USMC22 and he figures the alternator is going bad

We needed food so we grabbed a burger and I touched base with the seller’s brother and told him we were 30 minutes out.

I passed him a cashiers check and was pulling away when he reminded me that the “trailer” was at the farm. Oh snap. I forgot about that.


This thing was imported with this little matching trailer. I dug it out of the weeds. Kicked the tires and took off.

100 miles to home. I got this.


The speedo is a bit on the slow side with these awful tires and the KM to MPH conversion.


At about mile 70 it started hiccuping ..... I pegged it as a bad fuel filter or gas as this truck has not been driven hardly any in the last 20 years.
What does the “AMV NTV” mean on the yellow placard?

I think it is Armor verses non armor vehicles. I was in that conflict and all of our civilian vehicles had that sticker which we ignored.
I decided to add some 93 octane to the tank and hope it would clear up the hiccup.

About that time, I look up and my son was driving off.

I finished filling both tanks (slowly) because they kept clicking the handle.

I went to start the truck.

Dead. No fuel. Also, no tools.

I crawl under the truck and realize some genius had installed a frame mounted Walbro electric fuel pump right in front of the filter and the Positive wire Has come off but all my tools were headed north with my dips*** 16 year old.

I called him and got him headed back
This fine piece of equipment got me back on the road but man.

How could an in line frame pump work of there was a dead in tank pump?

When I was 23 miles out we got into some traffic and bam. Dead again on the most crowded section of I-55 and once again, traffic carried my son a mile down before he could get to the shoulder.

I think the in-line is just getting too hot because I ended up crawling under there with a handful of ice and cooling it off and we were rolling again in 20 minutes.

I sent the knucklehead away when we got on my road and dammit if it did not die again 2
Miles out.

I ride the strap of shame home behind my Farm Service Agent.


So, after 5 hours we got home.

A mouse decided to camp out in the glove box on a treasure trove of OEM papers that will help me figure out how the hell the Oddball80 made it to Brookhaven Mississippi from the Middle East


Brown stain is mouse piss. Horrid.
Looks like it was purchased by my guy way back in 2007


These are the people I need to find. This is the importer and the owner before my guy


Seems that went down in 1996



It has a service manual that shows the initial services in whatever Middle East county the US government used it in. Likely Saudi.

I cracked open a beer and the manual to see how the heck the 4wd works with 2wd 4High and 4 Low and no hubs (that I can see)

Along the way today I’ve been burning @Onur up with questions and he was really puzzled about this 3FE

“The rack on the dune runner 80 is an Aiba. Factory accessory supplier. installed at port before leaving Japan. The steps on the D pillars are factory installed.”
And then I found this sticker.

Holy hell, it looks like the importer converted this thing from a 3F to a 3FE .....

That explains the fuel pump setup......

I’d love to hear more about this if anyone knows. @SteveJackson ??

I sent these pics to @cruiserdan and he’d never seen something like this too.

You might have a museum piece, Nolen.

It’s a nice little museum here under these trees ......

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