Worth fixing/rebuilding or sell for parts? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
169
Location
WI
96 FZJ with 242k miles. Some rust but solid frame and I've been replacing body panels and preparing to do the bodywork.

Head gasket is done. Didn't overheat and I didn't drive it once it started burning coolant so I don't think any damage was done.

Have done lots of misc repairs and maintenence since I've owned it. Complete brake system (master cyl, hard lines, proportioning valve, etc) cost me the most. Has still been wayy cheaper than a loan payment would have been. Until now.

I'm a student and don't have a garage where I'm at. I could do the job in the driveway of the house I rent, but if an exhaust manifold bolt broke or if I ran into other issues, I only have hand tools and would be sol.

I would also want to do injectors etc etc while there so the labor (my own or somebody elses) and parts could become significant.

Alternatively I could sell it for parts and buy a cheap commuter (that would also need maintenance). A 4runner of the same era/miles is around 2k in my area (Wisconsin). The issue is that at the age of these vehicles, it would be the same story over time with whatever I have, and I already have a lot out of the way with this one.

What do you all think?
 

cvenom96

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Sep 14, 2015
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302
Location
Frederick, MD
I'd say keep it if you have the funds to spend on the head gasket. I bought mine with 224k on it (96 like yours) and it's still going at 315k. I'm leaning toward an LS swap at this point engine-wise but that's beside the point. However, I've had to do probably similar repairs as to what you've done. Full brake system, knuckle rebuilds, complete A/C replacement, carpet replacement, and rust repair.

Do you have another mode of transportation until you can fix it or if you need to take it down for typical maintenance? How bad is the rest of the rust? I'm more prone to stick with the devil I know vs one that is completely unknown if you know what I mean.

You might be able to lean on local members if you need tools or help.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
169
Location
WI
I don't have other transportation but I'm a short walk from campus and grocery store etc. I don't drive much here but it would make life better if I did.

The rust is ugly but I've cut/welded/beautified worse. It is an issue though and if it were rust free there would be no question about fixing it. Theres a spot on the roof above the windshield etc so not an easy job. Unclear on of its worth it.

The issue is that it's not just a head gasket but everything is old.. Injectors should probably be done just in case. Needs a full exhaust from the head back. Filler tube leaks when filling. Birfs should be rebuilt but no issue there yet. Etc etc

Money wise, the two choices might be about the same after maintenance and repairs on another old vehicle. Time, effort, working on it during a Wisconsin winter, parts costs could be over what I estimate in total etc.

Not clear in this situation on what to do. Different vehicle or living situation, time of year etc would all make the choice more clear but this is what I have.
 

Cruiser804

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Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
1,775
Getting the injectors cleared will the the least of your expenses. Exhaust will not be inexpensive. OTARMM makes a SS filler tube. That said I think you cut bait and move on. When you get out of school you can find another one or a 100 and bring it back to life. Of course I've be driving my 96 since 99, have over 200k on it and can't see ever getting rid of it.:rolleyes:
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
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413
Location
Arkansas
Where are the rust issues? Photos may help. Sounds as though the body rot is worse than just around the window on the rear hatch or the rear inner fenderwell lips.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
169
Location
WI
Rust is worst behind the rear wheel wells. Hatch and front fenders were replaced and rust free. But behind the rear wheels toward the bumper is eaten up. Nothing that can't be patched but still a pain. I understand why its a big deal to people in other states.

Up here, if something gets driven year round, it rusts. Period. Plenty of 2000ish vehicles (like 4runners) with broken/rotted frames. Lots of 2010ish vehicles with rusty wheel wells etc

I could post pics tomorrow but let's just say it's ugly without some patches, filler, and a roll-on bedliner job. It's not my main concern really
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
255
Location
Madison, WI
I have owned 3 wisconsin 80s (on my 3rd) and a Colorado 100. The rust does wear on you. It is constantly making all work take 2-3 times longer. My 100 that i really regret selling was a dream to wrench on. I live in the Madison area and have spent a lot of time and a LOT of money trying to keep rust away. It makes it so much easier to have an older 80 as a 3rd vehicle. It was too stressful to try and get the major repairs done in a weekend.

My vote is to sell the LC to someone who will have the ability to keep it out of the salt.

BTW, if you live on madison and see a 80s LC. Chances are it was one of mine. It makes me grin to think how much money I spent on trying to keep the LC 80 as a DD. I figured that my cost of repairs average about $300 month to keep it in good order. For that plus poor gas millage I would have been better off buying a DD and keeping the LC in the garage like I do now. Keep in mind I bought LC that where rough and did not pay more then $5k so another $5k in baselining is par for the course.

Too bad I just bought another 80. If you were selling i would have given you a fair price and it would have had a good home.

Regardless if you do sell let me know. I might still be interested. Or know of someone who is.

You have a tough choice!!

My vote - if you are young, save your money and invest. That way when you are older your money pits are called hobbies.

On another note if you are in Madison area I could offer you a warm garage and tools for a weekend once my other LC is drivable and I can get it out of the way. That might be 3-4 weeks.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
169
Location
WI
I have owned 3 wisconsin 80s (on my 3rd) and a Colorado 100. The rust does wear on you. It is constantly making all work take 2-3 times longer. My 100 that i really regret selling was a dream to wrench on. I live in the Madison area and have spent a lot of time and a LOT of money trying to keep rust away. It makes it so much easier to have an older 80 as a 3rd vehicle. It was too stressful to try and get the major repairs done in a weekend.

My vote is to sell the LC to someone who will have the ability to keep it out of the salt.

BTW, if you live on madison and see a 80s LC. Chances are it was one of mine. It makes me grin to think how much money I spent on trying to keep the LC 80 as a DD. I figured that my cost of repairs average about $300 month to keep it in good order. For that plus poor gas millage I would have been better off buying a DD and keeping the LC in the garage like I do now. Keep in mind I bought LC that where rough and did not pay more then $5k so another $5k in baselining is par for the course.

Too bad I just bought another 80. If you were selling i would have given you a fair price and it would have had a good home.

Regardless if you do sell let me know. I might still be interested. Or know of someone who is.

You have a tough choice!!

My vote - if you are young, save your money and invest. That way when you are older your money pits are called hobbies.

On another note if you are in Madison area I could offer you a warm garage and tools for a weekend once my other LC is drivable and I can get it out of the way. That might be 3-4 weeks.
Very cool of you to offer help but I'm a couple hours north of you. You make some good points. I know that really digging into it will cost 2-3x what I first expect.

Because of the rust and now the head gasket, I don't expect to get half what I have into it so far.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,732
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
With the rust and bad HG, you'll be looking at $500-$1000.
How's that grab you, Bob?
Buy a $500 s***box that becomes a throw away.
Keep the LC and work on it as you can.
Drain the coolant and flush the cylinders and pour oil into the cylinders through the spark plug holes(just a couple tablespoons then rotate the engine to coat cylinders and wait until warm weather. But get the coolant out of the cylinders or you'll junk the block as well.

Use the time between now and warm weather to gather parts and prepare. The back of the LC make great storage.

Start soaking all fasteners with PB Blaster do everything comes loose better. You've got 3 months.

GO!
 

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