The Steal of the year (A 96 FZJ80 Tale)

  • Thread starter MrMacdugal
  • Start date
  • Watchers 8
MrMacdugal

MrMacdugal

Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
312
Location
Mass/NH Border
Yesterday As I was letting my dog take a crap, I opened FB Marketplace and saw an ad for a 97 FZJ needing a Transmission.(title shows its a 96) Just a couple pics of the truck, no interior, but it was clean enough and no visible rusted panels.The seller was only two towns away so I messaged him. I couldn't tell how old the post was and assumed at the price of $1,500 it was long gone. He answered and I told him I'd be there within the hour. Before my boy was done dumping, my mind was made and I'm pulling my cash out to go get this thing.
I arrived and sure enough, the truck is up on a lift way in the back of the shop. These guys spoke the worst English ever. We were in the heart of the Asian district of, Lowell, Ma.
The interior was clean(NO LOCKERS), it started and ran, but sure enough the tranny is pretty much non functioning. Looks like it recently took a little front end damage which is a good excuse to get an aftermarket bumper. Has brand new brakes and tires. A nearly full stainless exhuast and the engine looks clean with a new battery and unmolested. I didn't poke around a whole lot. I just needed to make the deal and peel back to work. I paid the man, collected the title and sent the tow truck to bring it to my friend's shop in that same town. I'll shake it down later this week and see whats going on. The reason they sold it is because the shop it was at told the PO they couldn't find a transmission for it! But he seemed very satisfied with his $1,500 and I didn't even try to negotiate. The guy's phone was ringing the whole time I was there. He kjept on answering and telling the callers it was "just sold"... It felt so good!
I thought I took more pictures, but in my excitement, think I looked with my phone flashlight more than i should have and forgot to take many pics. Here's what I got.
I'll be documenting it's condition, issues, maintenance, upgrades, repairs.

First things first, assess the Transmission. Does it need to be replaced, or is a flush and maintenance in order? I'm hoping to find out soon, but since a shop already had it, I'm thinking a replacement may be in order.
Anyone have a replacement in the New England area? I'll have to call cruiserparts.net as I know they part out but do not show what I need on their site.
FZJ80 4
FZJ80 5
FZJ80
FZJ80 2
FZJ80 6
 
gummycarbs

gummycarbs

Joined
Apr 14, 2016
Messages
1,340
Location
Oregon
Check the transmission fluid level. If it's good, check the front drive flanges. The leading cause of "bad transmissions" on these rigs is actually stripped front drive flanges or broken Birfields (CV joint).

It's not unheard of for a transmission to die, it's just uncommon. One guy even had his transmission completely rebuilt, only to find out it was the inexpensive drive flanges all along.
 
jpoole

jpoole

Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
911
Location
Chattanooga, TN
If the CDL (center diff lock) still engages you can try to shift it into low range then test the trans. If the trans works in low after the CDL locks but doesn't in high when the CDL is open then that points towards the trans being ok and something like stripped drive flanges or similar in the drive train.
 
mjosoba

mjosoba

Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
902
@gummycarbs beat me. 😂. Hope it’s just the drive flange! Awesome deal, regardless.
 
FMC80

FMC80

GOLD Star
SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
1,639
Location
Beyond
Sweet! Excited to see what unfolds! You going to flip it or keep it?
 
thatcabledude

thatcabledude

GOLD Star
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
5,003
Location
Walton Co, FL
Picked up a Sage 40th with a “bad transmission” this passed summer for $1,200. Seller said he stopped at a light and it just wouldn’t go after it turned green.

Got it to the house and found the undercarriage covered in oil. The metal tubes that pass though the core support to the cooler had a pinhole in it. Sprayed all the trans fluid out. Bypassed with hose and topped off and all is good.

2F4D4C53 8796 4F83 9FD7 87F5AA8E9DF8
 
MrMacdugal

MrMacdugal

Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
312
Location
Mass/NH Border
The idea that the transmission might be just fine and that the Birfs/cv's could just be broken or no fluid in trans gives me hope. I really had zero invested into diagnosing it at the time of purchase. So as soon as I get to check it out, I'm looking at this stuff. The knuckles are both leaking and neglected, so its not out of the question. I'll bet the axle has never been serviced, or maybe once. since it has 250K roughly.

Probably just throw a dealer plate on it and drive it(I sell limousines, strange, I know) but now I have a LX450, FZJ80, a 95 4 runner(broken) and my 07 Sequoia. The wife is getting a little fed up with vehicle purchases, but I couldnt pass this one up. The key is never ask if you can buy it. You can always ask for forgiveness.
 
Last edited:
Ozark80

Ozark80

Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
383
Location
Northwest Arkansas
Wow this makes me so happy that the deals are still out there! That's my favorite color on an 80 also!

You might consider getting the underside sandblasted and then spray a rust converter under there, but that's not bad at all for a northeastern truck.

Even if the transmission really is dead, it shouldn't be too hard to find a used A343f. I think scrapyards usually can't give them away since they almost never break!
 
mjosoba

mjosoba

Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
902
Wow this makes me so happy that the deals are still out there! That's my favorite color on an 80 also!

You might consider getting the underside sandblasted and then spray a rust converter under there, but that's not bad at all for a northeastern truck.

Even if the transmission really is dead, it shouldn't be too hard to find a used A343f. I think scrapyards usually can't give them away since they almost never break!
Yeah, someone on here that scraps 80’s says he doesn’t even keep the A442’s, just pulls the solenoids, I think that was it, and tosses the rest. I need to get one of those! 😂
 
MrMacdugal

MrMacdugal

Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
312
Location
Mass/NH Border
Wow this makes me so happy that the deals are still out there! That's my favorite color on an 80 also!

You might consider getting the underside sandblasted and then spray a rust converter under there, but that's not bad at all for a northeastern truck.

Even if the transmission really is dead, it shouldn't be too hard to find a used A343f. I think scrapyards usually can't give them away since they almost never break!
Same. We always read stories about other people getting awesome deals. I really thought it was too good to be true or that I would have been too late to the party. But there it was, $1,500
I was literally expecting him to change the price on me any second based on the way his phone was ringing.

My wife is still annoyed I snatched up a couple extra dollars out of the house account to make it to the asking price. She told me to "piss off" over text earlier! LOL
 
K

Kernal

Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
7,951
Take the wife out for a steak dinner ASAP to a fancy restaurant and buy her a small gift, flowers, jewelry, etc, value doesn't matter. She'll forget about the money spent on the 80 (because you just spent some money on her).
 
Last edited:
JOFS

JOFS

GOLD Star
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
375
Location
Maine
Awesome deal. I saw that listed and figured it was too good to be true. Glad you scooped it up and hope it is a great truck for you.

I have been dreaming about getting one that color
John
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom