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Thoughts on the 80 series Land Cruisers?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Atomic City Tundra, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Sep 30, 2019 at 7:50 AM
    #1
    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    If you haven't seen my other thread - I have been looking for an older truck to turn into a camping/wheeling/exploring rig. Originally, I had my heart set on getting a late 70s Ford regular cab pickup. I really wanted an 8' bed, but would have settled for a 6.5' bed. But, I went and drove a couple of the older rigs, and I am not as flexible as I used to be - they just don't have the legroom that I remember.

    The big thing for me is that I want to be able to sleep in it - and that is where it gets a little tricky, as I am 6'8" tall. I don't want a RTT, or anything that I really have to set up. I climb/mountain bike fairly frequently, and it is super nice to be able to just pull up to the trailhead the night before and crash in your vehicle (especially when there is no camping available).

    I was talking about this with a friend and was sort of complaining about how the long bed truck was going to have a 133" wheelbase - makes for a not very agile machine. He piped in and said: "why dont you just skip the truck idea and get a Land Cruiser ......I bet you could build a platform to sleep inside that would be long enough". And it has a wheelbase of somewhere around 112".

    So I started doing some research on the 80 series Cruisers. Found a build where someone made a sleep platform that was in the ball park length wise. Then I called a friend who owns a 1996 Cruiser to see if I could check it out. He said he is actually thinking of selling his. I went and looked at it and took some measurements, and sure enough, I could make a sleeping platform that I could fit on and sleep inside the rig.

    I am not sure I am sold on the idea, as I sort of wanted a truck with more payload capability than the Tundra. It is sort of appealing, though - plus the Land Cruiser of that era has 1700 lbs of payload capacity (which is quite a bit more than my Tundra). Maybe I will end up with a Cruiser and then have to go get a new heavy duty....... :D

    Anyway, I expect everyone will love them since this is a Toyota forum, but how do you all like the FZJ80? I like the solid axle aspect for sure. Not too pumped about the six banger, though - but I am not afraid of tackling an engine swap down the road. I have been searching on the ih8mud forum quite a bit, but figured I would see what everybody here thought, or if any of you had experiences with them.

    Thanks,

    Devin
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
    Tundrablue and shawn.roe24 like this.
  2. Sep 30, 2019 at 7:59 AM
    #2
    Boerseun

    Boerseun Super White

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    A Land Cruiser is awesome. One of the most reliable vehicles ever built - not my biased opinion, but a fact based on actual data. They run all over the world in off-road conditions.
    A friend of mine took one from Europe through Africa all the way down to Namibia - I think it took them about 6 months and never had any issues, other than flat tires. 4 people and a dog.

    And, ten years from now you will probably sell it for more than you paid for it now.

    https://www.africa-overland.net/Bio-71-Mission-4x4-Africa
     
  3. Sep 30, 2019 at 8:40 AM
    #3
    snivilous

    snivilous New Member

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    I had a FZJ80, a 96, I turned it into a race vehicle after my sister (who dailyed it) wrecked it. She bought another one after wrecking that one. I love 80s! I think they're insanely comfy and roomy, but not overly huge. Lots of visibility too. The 4.5L is a fucking pig, it's huge, weighs a lot, and in typical toyota fashion is slower than all hell. They can easily fit big tires, lots of guys running 40" tires and are street legal and comfy still. The rear axle is a beast, at least the full float FZJ version is. The front axle by most standards is pretty good. The knuckles tend to leak and are a nasty mess to work on, but it's not a catastrophic failure if they leak for awhile. 80s are full time 4WD so if you want 2wd it's not happening. Lots of aftermarket and camping/overlanding support for them too. I'd love to have another 80 as a little camping rig. They're extremely reliable and will go nearly anywhere, especially if you find one of the more rare factory triple locked versions.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2019 at 8:25 PM
    #4
    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    Well, I pulled the trigger on this today - a 1996 Land Cruiser. My friend took the offer that I made. I have a whole bunch of plans for it, but first I am going to go through it and repair/replace what needs done and make sure I have a good baseline. Looks like I am a Toyota guy or something. :)

    IHnS_ph32uDyiDvXFfv4oyHurxBlAfNBNJnsDjXV_a114f005f822fc9c45ba4842ed21875b881f93ff.jpg
     
    Rex Kramer, JC303, sf319 and 20 others like this.
  5. Oct 11, 2019 at 8:30 PM
    #5
    BreyTundy

    BreyTundy New Member

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    Congrats on the new rig! A good buddy of mine had a FZJ80 when we were in high school and wheeled the heck out of that thing. Super capable rig with a lift and 35's. You're gonna love it!
     
  6. Oct 11, 2019 at 8:39 PM
    #6
    Mgmtundra

    Mgmtundra New Member

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    Ih8mud is the only forum that can help you spend more money than this site. Classified section is full of goodness.
     
  7. Oct 11, 2019 at 8:58 PM
    #7
    Pudge

    Pudge Sap Wizard

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    Congrats man. That's a good looking 80, already has the bumper and roof racks, to me this is what all 80s series should look like, and seems like most do actually. I really doubt you'll be disappointed at all. Tires looks good too, I would go for white painted wheels and some tall pizza cutters. Its already well on its way to be camp ready. These trucks are extremely capable right off the showroom floor. Congrats on the new project, this is gonna be a way better build than a long bed HD beater. Can't wait to see the progress.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2019 at 9:12 PM
    #8
    Toyotoholic

    Toyotoholic -4Life-

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    My 95' was triple locked.
    One time,
    I pulled my Brother's GMC 3500 HD Dually crewcab long bed out of a mud hole with it. Before we tried, he said the LC would never pull him out. I said, I'm triple locked and almost 7000#, the Cruiser can do it. ... and it did with ease. I loved that feature.


    OP... You can't go wrong with a LC!
    Congrats!
     
  9. Oct 11, 2019 at 9:48 PM
    #9
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ jberry813fanclub.com Staff Member

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    Damn fine choice.

    Can’t help but notice....


    Fastest color. :D
     
  10. Oct 11, 2019 at 9:57 PM
    #10
    Toyotoholic

    Toyotoholic -4Life-

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    I took the rear seats out completely and spent many a night in absolute comfort in the back of the Cruiser. I made a simple multiple ground pad bed and it was perfect for mtn biking. Never had to worry about a dry campsite. With the rear seats out you should have all the room you need. I left the jumper seats in to at least still carry 4 people, but they don't take up bed space when stowed. I left the rear seats out for almost 10 years without needing them.
     
  11. Oct 11, 2019 at 10:56 PM
    #11
    SoCalPaul

    SoCalPaul New Member

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    Front Bilstein 6112 shocks & Bilstein springs. Rear Bilstein 5160 remote Reservoir shocks, Wheeler’s Off-road add-a-leafs. LED lighting. Pioneer Avic 7200NEX Nav Head unit. Borla cat back exhaust.
    I have a 1993 FJZ 80 that’s triple locked. It’s an awesome off roader. The 6 is a little leisurely in accelerating but it’s a stump puller of a motor. Slee Off Road has put the 4.7L in some. I read another thread that someone used the Chevy 5 cylinder and he said it was an easy swap. The 80s are a bit narrow in the engine bay for a V8.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2019 at 11:09 PM
    #12
    junior

    junior Forum Lurker

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    Can't wait to see what you have planned for it! I'd love to pick up an older land cruiser like you as a real project truck.
     
  13. Oct 11, 2019 at 11:47 PM
    #13
    Borgs

    Borgs New Member

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    Congratulations. So jealous.
     
  14. Oct 12, 2019 at 3:53 AM
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    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    That sounds close to what I am going to do. I may just leave one seat back there. I travel either by myself or with two others usually when I am exploring the back country. So just three seats needed.
     
    Toyotoholic likes this.
  15. Oct 12, 2019 at 4:06 AM
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    Prostar 190

    Prostar 190 White is sooooo Slow!!! MGM RULES!

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  16. Oct 12, 2019 at 4:07 AM
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    Prostar 190

    Prostar 190 White is sooooo Slow!!! MGM RULES!

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    Congratulations Devin nice choice.
     
  17. Oct 12, 2019 at 4:13 AM
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    azTony

    azTony New Member

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    I had a 1993 LandCruiser that I wheeled the shit out of for well over 12 years and I loved it! I actually really miss it. I had a winch on it and I never had to pull myself out. I took out all seats except for the 2 front seats, built a custom rack on both sides in the rear over the wheel wells and on the drivers side I had a Puma air compressor and a 37" spare tire on that rack and the passenger side I had two 5 gallon military cans (one water one gas) mounted on that rack. Built custom attach points all over in the back. I would drive it each year from Phoenix, Arizona to Moab, Utah via mostly back roads towards the state borders for 14 days.

    I had it triple locked all my switches so any combination of locking could occur, i had the 1/3 reduction gear I put in the transfer case, air lockers front with 4:88's running on 37's. LOVED IT!

    Why I sold it... I hate and I mean HATE it when I drove it and as going up hill on the highway you had to drive it right (accelerate approaching the hill with the overdrive disabled and the skinny to the floor) or fail miserably if blocked in and loose RPM's. Only got 10 MPG no matter if I drove it like I stole it or if I babied her so I drove it like it was stolen all the time. The other thing was they run HOT, just the nature of the design. Then people load them up with weight (not a biggie if you gear down) and put big ass lights on the front bumper right in front of the radiator grill. If you look at the design in the front end there is not a lot of room for air to travel through the front so I never had my grill blocked but never liked the temps living in Arizona.

    That station wagon (look at your title) would go A N Y W H E R E gracefully
     
  18. Oct 12, 2019 at 11:01 AM
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    Kerch71

    Kerch71 DUNE RNR DVM

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    Awesome rig! Great choice!
     
  19. Oct 12, 2019 at 3:01 PM
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    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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  20. Oct 14, 2019 at 7:52 AM
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    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    Well, the engine choice may come sooner rather than later. My compression test results indicate a likely valve problem with cylinder #3. I had sort of kicked around the idea of a V8 swap possibly down the line, but now that I am really thinking about it - I am not sure. Maybe I just rebuild this engine and keep it Toyota-based for longevity purposes. V8 power is sure nice, though. There is a turbo kit available for the 1FZ, but for the cost of it, you are well on your way to a V8 conversion.

    I'll have to think about this one. I guess this shows my age a bit - that I am even thinking about longevity and reliability.
     
  21. Oct 14, 2019 at 8:13 AM
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    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol New Member

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    Didn't someone say you can throw a 2UZ-FE in it? Then you could keep in Toyota while gaining V8 power.
     
  22. Oct 14, 2019 at 8:17 AM
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    Atomic City Tundra

    Atomic City Tundra [OP] Cam Tower Leak Addict

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    It has been done - but definitely not the easiest of the V8 swaps.
     
  23. Oct 14, 2019 at 8:18 AM
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    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    I had a '94 Loved that truck. Sold it to save my dog's life, she died anyway. :(

    Congrats!
     
  24. Oct 14, 2019 at 8:47 AM
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    azTony

    azTony New Member

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    There were a few of the LandCruiser club folks that ran a Super Charger but I never really saw those things move fast because I passed them going up hill all the time. When I asked them why they said they were trying to get the temp down.
     

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