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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Dear All,

So I love the FJ Cruiser, but quite frankly can't see myself spending that much on it right now. So the alternative is a used FJ80 (early 90s Land Cruiser). I am debating between two that I have checked out.

First Option - $4,500, 1993 Land Cruiser, no lockers, two owners, clean car fax, and looks good. 165K miles. Radiator was replaced recently and heat does NOT work (I am concerned that this means the heater core or radiator has issues). Test drove the car - it seems fine and doesn't make funny noises. Tires in great shape.

Second option - $3,500. 1993 Land Cruiser, again no lockers, three owners, one prior accident many years back, looks good. 235K miles. Not sure what major repairs have been done other than what the seller says (no paperwork). Test drove the car - seems fine, but concerned that there is some hidden latent issues. Tires are good, not great.

So my question - what should I look for? I'm not really a car expert and don't know much about FJ80s. Also, at what mileage point does a 1993 Land Cruiser need lots of work to keep it running?

My budget is actually closer to 7K on one of these, but they are HARD to come across in the Phoenix market. I don't want to buy one and then spend 3K on repairs, ending up with a vehicle that cost more than KBB value.

Help.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 07:13 AM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Hello and welcome! I don't know much about the 80, but my gut tells me option #1 is the best.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 08:53 AM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

I would do two things..

First, expand your search outside your general area to find many more options.

Second, check out IH8MUD.com and go to the FJ80 section, you will get information from people that own and wheel them. Good luck with your search.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 09:10 AM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

FJ80: 91-92 have the 3FE
FZJ80: 93-97 have 1FZ-FE engine.

Get a 93-97 for the better engine and availability of lockers. Mine is a 97 with lockers i got for 7500. I have put maybe 1000 into it including a new exhaust, new 02 sensors, and other basic maintenance items. These trucks are gonna need maintenance, the youngest ones are 14 years old. Not 3000 worth, unless you need a headgasket or something major. If you can do the work yourself on all of the basic stuff, you'll save a lot.

The forum you should be looking into is IH8MUD.com as NCFJ pointed out. One of the best Land Cruiser resources on the webz.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 09:42 AM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Landcruisers are not hard to come by in Arizona compared to other states, in fact the opposite is true. They're out there. If you find a Landcruiser that's lived it's whole life here, you'll have a rust free frame and little to no body rust damage. Expand your search to include FJ60's and even FJ55's if you like wagons. Consider a project vehicle that you're willing to modify. There are lots of resources to do this. With moderate modifications, these things rapidly become extremely capable.

By "moderate modifications" I mean things like transfer case doubler, suspension, axle shafts, 37" tires with wheel well clearance, bumpers, winch and armor. These are modifications that involve either no cutting and welding or else very little, and they are supported by kits and offroad shops.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:26 PM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Saw this older brother the other day...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 01:23 PM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Good luck with your search... give IH8TMUD a look. You'll find lots of info on 80s to help you.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 01:45 PM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Also check out Copper State Cruisers on IH8MUD which is the local AZ Cruiser club. Then come out and meet us at one of the monthly Sonic meets (just had one last night). There you can see lots of other great 80 builds and meet some of the most knowledgeable 80 owners on the planet! Be patient when looking for a Land Cruiser in general, there is always a really nice one that comes up for sale every couple of months around here. Good luck!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 04:35 AM
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Re: PHX Newbie - need help picking a FJ80

Quote:
timkesq previously said: View Post
at what mileage point does a 1993 Land Cruiser need lots of work to keep it running?
It really depends on how well it has been maintained. I had an FJ80 that was perfectly reliable (and with no major repairs ever) at 250,000 miles, and gave it to my son. I don't know how many miles he's put on it by now but it still runs great.

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