Goose - Our Poptop FZJ80


Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Another latent "build" thread...

We picked up this 1995 FZJ80 in 2012 and started exploring and modifying. I didn't keep a great record of the progress so I'll just go back and see what I can remember. Going forward I plan to do a bit better of a job since we're in the process of cutting the truck up and modifying it heavily for a big trip.
"Goose" because he is ungainly and clumsy in part, but mostly because he reminded me of the Galloping Goose modified bus/trains of Colorado.
Other build threads:
Tonto- The FJ40:
3rd Gen 4runner:

These never break right?

I bought the truck from a guy who did a lot of little mods and preventative maint. He even had a great website that detailed all of his mods. For an older truck this was great so I could follow along on what had and had not been done. What had been modified (Like installing a bigger alternator) so I could figure out how to service the truck.

The main issues were the immensity of wires.... everywhere. Strobe lights, door seals, tailight housings, body panels, plastic bits all cut through to put a wire for something. Something that I didn't need. In total I think I pulled out pounds of weight in wires.
Next up was checking all the fluids. As I went through the truck most looked great... so I was surprised to see that the entire cooling system appeared to be filled with straight water. Well, it was mostly rust at this point. I drained the system and flushed it again and again. My driveway still hasn't gotten rid of the stains and that was almost 6 years ago. I put in some good fluid and then one day the truck seemed to be down on power...
Oh no... the coolant was disappearing...

Head Gasket! Wait a sec, after pulling the head it looks like there is some "fix it" type gunk. It looks as though it had been leaking for a long time and this "fix it" crap has slowed it. Still, the block was etched...
This is beyond my skill level. So... we had to rebuild the engine... Now it's a bit bigger 4.6L. (No, not much more powerful, but it is compared to how it was running!)

So, brand new engine... about 25,000 miles ago. With that I'll just do a little catch up on the trucks progress in photos.

First things first, put on some tires I like and head to the Maze District alone for a while. (I didn't know about the water as coolant or the impending engine rebuild thankfully)

So little pin striping on the truck back then... ahhh. To be a young truck again...
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Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Off to the North Rim next. I was making little mods like building a sleeping platform that kept the fridge underneath the bed platform. We still use this setup, well, we did until about 2 weeks ago, but we'll get there.

It was a mud soaked trip.

Also, this truck has lockers. I chose a truck without Toyota OEM lockers on purpose. After owning a Tacoma in the 90's that had them I learned quickly that I'm not patient enough for them. My 4runner had ARB's and I've never looked back. So, this truck has ARB lockers front and rear. At this point the gearing was still stock.
The next mod was a 4x4labs rear bumper. Compared to making my previous bumper from scratch, welding up the kit was easy. Gotta love kits!!

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Tim and Kelsey get lost..
End of 2013 and into 2014 we go! Next up, I did the super tech mod of painting my rims black. Siiiiiiiick. Then I decided to take this "chick" that I'd met at Overland Expo to a week in Baja for our 2nd date. (Hey, she's my wife now, so it's not as creepy)

The Dr. Seuss trees. I put on a Trasharoo as well, but it decided to rip and fall off about a half hour after this photo was taken.

Giant Cardon cactus really are this big.

Finally a shot of our simple interior. I love it. Africa Outback drawers in the rear, Flexitank water tank in the side panel on the passenger side rear, 5 inch memory foam mattress on top, homemade wood front portion that stores the fridge/chairs/stove/kitchen.

I did put on this little LED light bar. I sorta hate LED light bars..., but this little sucker does nice work. The 80 isn't fast enough to outrun the beam at night anyhow so I don't need more.

Yes, that cave was my parking garage.

We spent the afternoon catching crabs and had them for dinner. It didn't suck and no one got sick.

I got a replacement Trasharoo for free and then after this backpacking trip down the Bill Hall trail in the Grand Canyon backcountry I got a mouse. This mouse decided to shred all of the Arizona atlas and toilet paper he could find and build a nice home in the glove compartment.
I evicted him.

I made another gascan trashcan, but is that really a truck mod?



Tim and Kelsey get lost..
I think we're in 2015 now. A company I used to work for circa 2003 building shocks and doing sales (If you owned a pair of Donahoe Racing coilovers I may have built them) started making some fancy shocks for the 80 series. Said company still gave me employee pricing so... why not! It was still expensive, but we added the Icon Vehicle Dynamics (Donahoe's new name) 2.5" adjustable compression dampers to the truck.
They are nice, really nice, but not worth the money if you ask me. A set of decent 2.0" shocks are just fine.

I also removed the Metaltech bumpstop spacers and replaced the hockeypuck like OEM bump stops with some nice and big soft ones. By the time you compress these to the size of the stock bump stop they are hard, but it makes the first couple inches of travel while you hit them nice and progressive. I was tired of the hard bottoming out.

Within this time we rebuilt the axles ourselves. First solid axle I'd rebuilt at the time so it was a bear. It still sucks to do, but now it's much less intimidating and time consuming.
The fat old Goose kept performing well on whatever we threw at him.

Too fat for snow floating though.

Our "awning" setup was the same I'd used on the 4runner. A good tarp (I learned there are very good ones and there are... harbor freight ones) some REI poles and a little weight via jerry cans to tension it. Works well enough in the rain.

Truck mod: Deleted girlfriend and added a wife on this trip.

Oh yah, somewhere in here we worshiped at the house of Zuk to get some 4.56 Nitro Gears. In Zuk I trust for any gear setups.
He saved a poorly setup gearset on my 4runner and now on the 80 he finds that someone installed the end cups of the ARB locker backwards. The extra gearing and fix was appreciated!.

I also installed a 2wd conversion from Marks4wd in AUS.
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Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Goose just doing his thing. Of course he had diff and a tcase breather.

So, no big changes until we decided we're going to do a longer trip. What if we are stuck in rain for a week? Hmmm.
We need to make some changes.

First up was something I avoid like the plague... a roof rack. I reached out to our friends at Frontrunner. I like how their's is relatively low profile. Along with it comes the only awning, besides a Hannibal, that I've ever liked. The relatively new Alucab awning.

Potatophonecamera photos ahead:

Great coverage area.

So, now we had a shaded and out of the rain area since our interior was tight to say the least.

We really loved the Alucab awning. Yep, it's for sale now. Long story, we'll get there.


Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Aux Fuel Tank

Next up, FUEL. 80's love to drink. Lush.
I had a buddy in Australia send me a dual filler neck. Bastard drove 5 minutes away to get something we regard as a unicorn. $90 and another $50 for shipping and I had it. I decided to make my own tank though. I went to my buddies house that is a complete fab shop and got to it. About 18 Gallons I think it was. Just a simple transfer pump to the main tank. Keep it Simple Stupid.

Apologies for the sub-par videos. We're learning... slowly.



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Tim and Kelsey get lost..
This bring us just about current. This is the 80 at the moment.
Stripped the nasty old carpet out of the interior. We're going to spray in sound sound/ceramic deadening and rebuild it from scratch. Did the rear heater delete while we're at it. Going to create a propane tank holder for the rear bumper too.

We removed a couple pounds of dirt/silt. In the side panels behind the plastic they had half filled with silt. Yikes! Time to plug some holes!!!

I was just happy to see there was no rust or other issues. Metal is nice and clean.

Okay, now that were in the present day I'll try and keep this more up to date to remind myself of what I have and haven't done too. Sorta nice to have a record. Phew!
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Great thread! Agreed that Zuk is the man for gears. I had one of the first 80 series Harrop locker installs in the US and had Ken set it up...guy knows his stuff!


Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Where did you get the new bump stops and how much for the alucab awning?
Daystar. Drill and tap a hole into the frame and sold to a buddy at the moment. I'll send a PM if he flakes.

Nice rig! Keep it up.
Thanks fjrohrs!

Great thread! Agreed that Zuk is the man for gears. I had one of the first 80 series Harrop locker installs in the US and had Ken set it up...guy knows his stuff!
Cheers! I never thought the wife and I could listen to someone talk about gears and their proper setup for an hour, much less enjoy it, but it happened. :bigok:

Very nice 80! Love the color and you aux tank, keep it up!:sombrero:
Thanks! :victory:

Very cool build!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks Ryan!:sombrero:


Tim and Kelsey get lost..
Good stuff. Moonglow Pearl '95 is the best! But I'm biased I suppose.
Nah, not biased. I think it's well documented that Moonglow Pearl trucks have an inch more wheel travel and 20 more HP than any other 80 series. :friday: