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View Full Version : Thinking about an 80 for the wife, Questions



Grim Reaper
08-24-2006, 08:47 PM
The 90's 80's are down around a price I can live with. We have a situation in that we have 4 vehicles. (see sig). So I am considering an 80 to replace 1 or 2 of them. One day it may become my wheeling rig.

We have an immaculate 1988 Suburban with 86,000 original miles. If you didn't know the body breaks you would think it was 2 years old. Itís just the cleanest you will ever see. I put it in Car shows and people think I did a full restoration on it.

The problem is itís a thirsty girl. It has a 454 with a TH400 (no over drive). So hwy the best it does is 11mpg. Around town with the A/C....8-9. It is just not DD material. Its sitting 2-3 weeks between drives so while it is listed as a pleasure vehicle and has low insurance premium...Its still a premium to be paid

We also have a beater Honda my wife has been using as a DD....Great MPG. I use to drive it when I worked 22 miles up the road before I got the 4runner. The car paid for its insurance in fuel saving over me driving the Sub when the gas prices started to climb. I now work 3 miles from home and the wife is a stay at home mom so MPG is not a huge concern but the more MPG the better.

The Honda is a REAL tight fit on me. Itís also showing its age. A/C quit, Paint is a mess. Itís just not worth putting any real money in. Thought about keeping it around for the oldest to drive in a couple years but thatís jut not practical now.

Now the other big problem is we have a 22ft Airstream camper. Thatís why we have the burb is to move that camper. I originally had wanted to tow my 4Runner when I went wheeling as well but my wheeling style is moving away from rock crawling. Since I am not looking to stand the truck on the back bumper anymore I'm not as worried about driving to some of the trails with my club. If itís going to be a rough trail I will catch a seat with somebody else, pull cable and live vicariously through the carnage on their rig.

What I need is for that 80 to handle being a DD AND be able to handle about 4500lb of load (trailer, gear and family) a couple times a year in places like CO.

I'm a realist and not expecting huge MPG but I am finding no first hand MPG quotes on these two vehicles. CAFE standards are a joke. I want to know first hand experience.

I found a couple 80's I have interest in.
#1 is a 91 with 120K and original owner. Reasonably optioned and it all is suppose to work.

How does the 3FE do with the weights I want to haul?

What sort of MPG can I expect from a 91:
city (most of what it will see)
hwy
Hwy hauling 4500lb

I have read the 3FE is like my 22RE 4Runner. Very reliable motor that will go for a long time but slow as can be. Any comments?


#2 is a LOADED TO THE GILLS 95. It has it all including lockers. It appears very clean.

The Big negative is it has 300k on the clock :Wow1:

I hear more power out of this motor so may be a better motor for towing. I also hear it gets better MPG.
What should I expect from a 95:
City
hwy
Hyw hauling.

I am trying to weigh what makes the most sense. I don't care for ABS and Airbags of the 95 but the lockers and rear Disc are big pluses. Yeah I can throw lockers in the 91 but I can just as easily and for about the same price throw a low mile engine in the 95.

What sort of miles are people putting on this motor? 300K sounds huge but if it was well taken care of I wonder if its still a viable choice.

Any comments on these vehicles are welcome

dirtysouth
08-24-2006, 09:11 PM
You could always buy mine.

:yikes:

Life_in_4Lo
08-24-2006, 09:21 PM
IMO, the 80 isn't good for towing big things. If the roads are all pretty flat and you can live with chugging up grades, than ok. The 1FZ is better for towing simply b/c it has more power.

Honestly tho, might look at the 99-00 Land Cruiser as it has a V8 and more able to realistically tow comfortably. MPG's.... well probably 12-18mpgs.

To be flat out honest, if I towed a 22' trailer alot, I would get a diesel pu.

rgsiii
08-24-2006, 09:22 PM
I think that for something like towing, a 93-97 year model would be better. MPG of an unaltered one on highway 15-16ish. Modified much lower.

Some people tow with them, unmodified (without a blower) it would not be real high on my list of vehicles to tow 4,500 lbs. Some people do it though.

300K is high. I think the anticipated engine life is somewhere around that number, if I remember correctly. Unless you get it for a steal and know about things like previous head gasket repairs and how it was maintained, it might get to be pretty expensive.

durango_60
08-24-2006, 10:25 PM
Any chance you feel like a road trip to CO??? I'm contemplating the future of my clean, supercharged 80 as my job is requiring a lot more road time than I anticipated and I have a nicely built 60 series for my off road duties. My daily driving and family situation are much better suited to a "gasp" minivan.

Hltoppr
08-24-2006, 11:01 PM
The 3FEs are great, but very slow. I found that it was the perfect vehicle for my travels to Mexico, where 55mph was a relative max speed. They're kinda frustrating on the US superslab though....

I'd look at the FZEs in the 1993-1997 or the UZJ100s with the V8s. Surprisingly, the larger motors get better mileage....they don't have to work as hard to propel the bulky vehicle.

-H-

Grim Reaper
08-24-2006, 11:39 PM
Well you guys are breaking my heart here with the Towing. I'm trying to get down a vehicle.

This is a vintage camper so what would be towed would be about 3500. The rest of the weight would be people weigh in the truck plus small generator, bikes and two medium dogs. 4500 would be the absolute MAX extra weight.

Diesel domestic truck doesn't really solve my problems. Yeah great MPG but its a big clumsy vehicles again. I already have one of those. My wife is also a turn key go driver....glow plugs and warm up in the winter cool down before shutting it off might be more then my wife has patience for. The FJ80 is smaller then our Sub but still good amount of room was one of the big attractions

tarbe
08-25-2006, 12:30 AM
I can't honestly recommend either of these options, given what you've written.

No stock 80 is going to be very satisfying towing 4,500 lbs in the hills. And I wouldn't supercharge an engine with 300,000 miles without first re-building it. Then you're talking big $$$ and you still have 300k on everything else. Forget about the towing you described with a 3FE!

robski
08-25-2006, 02:56 AM
x2 for the 100 series if you're pulling 4500lbs. If you really want an 80 series then get the 93 thru 97, and look around for a better miles. 300k miles is way high just my 02cents

upcruiser
08-25-2006, 05:54 AM
I've done a fair amount of towing with my '92 3fe powered rig. At sea level it isn't THAT bad. The engine works but they seem to be long lived. If you are towing in hills alot it isn't all that great. I've towed up to 6,000lbs for up to 6 hours before and things were fine, even in a raging blizzard. The 80 series a fair amount of weight to it for its size which helps with stability. If you aren't looking to break any land speed records or towing at altitude an FZJ would be fine, and if you are a patient guy like me, the 3FE works too. I think sometimes we get a bit carried away with what we feel is needed in the States. Hell, my dad's 40hp VW Thing used to tow a camper loaded with gear for 3 people, 2 dogs, and supplies for 2 weeks into the north woods. Compared to that the FJ80's are virtual power houses.:)

Bergger
08-25-2006, 03:16 PM
Any chance you feel like a road trip to CO??? I'm contemplating the future of my clean, supercharged 80 as my job is requiring a lot more road time than I anticipated and I have a nicely built 60 series for my off road duties. My daily driving and family situation are much better suited to a "gasp" minivan.

Not to change the subject or anything but a question for you about your 60 series. I live in Aurora and am contemplating an fj60 or 62 for a third vehicle. Something to mildly build up, and take up to the mountains. I was leaning towards a 62 because of the fuel injection but I like the manual on the 60. How does the carburated engine of the 60 perform in the mountains? What type of gas mileage do you get? Just curious about your opinion on the 60 and 62.

And back to the original thread. As far as the 80 series goes. I was in the same boat a few months ago. I was seriously looking at getting my wife an fj80 but finally decided against it due to the weight, engine power and fuel economy. Especially since we'd be towing in the Rockies all the time. We're going to keep her 02 4Runner a few more years until we can afford a slightly used 100 series cruiser. I think she'd like that truck a lot more anyway and that's really the most important thing! :D

durango_60
08-25-2006, 04:10 PM
Not to change the subject or anything but a question for you about your 60 series. I live in Aurora and am contemplating an fj60 or 62 for a third vehicle. Something to mildly build up, and take up to the mountains. I was leaning towards a 62 because of the fuel injection but I like the manual on the 60. How does the carburated engine of the 60 perform in the mountains? What type of gas mileage do you get? Just curious about your opinion on the 60 and 62.
:D

The 60 gets the job done at altitude but fuel injection would certainly be better. I've never had a problem below 11,500 but above that on a steep incline it seems to flood out sometimes. I get about 15 mpg on a day to day basis, it is regeared to 4.10 and runs 33x10.50's. I love the 60 for its simplicity, durability, manual tranny and most of all the way I feel when I'm driving it.

calamaridog
08-25-2006, 09:44 PM
Seriously, if you are going to tow you want the UZJ100 with the V8. Check out the ih8mud.com forum and search the 100 series forum for towing threads. There have been plenty of towing threads and experience over there.