Is the FZJ80 worth it in today’s market?

SixLug

Explorer
I just picked up a 97 Collectors Edition myself. But I did a lot of research and budgeted for the head gasket, tires and paint as major expenses. As soon as I got it i started observing it and making a list of little stuff. It's a decent list, but I'm already whittling away at it as a lot of it is small and easy (radio antenna, window regulator and motor teardown, fluid changes, etc). You have to want it for sure. I've always wanted an 80 and am not remotely turned off by the maintenance I am going to be doing for a little while. It's such a cool rig. Nothing to look at right now, but I know what it is and what it will and can be and thats enough for me.

Also when I was looking I could have gotten pretty clean late model 80s for 15-16k that were locked, better leather, better paint, etc. But they were the same miles as the one I bought with no record of head gaskets or other major maintenance, and I would have had to spend that money anyway. So I bought one half the price that was a bit cosmetically defunct but no rust and solid otherwise. I'll have less in it after the maintenance and have a better truck. Minus lockers 😑 haha.
 

Ozark_Prowler

Active member
I just picked up a 97 Collectors Edition myself. But I did a lot of research and budgeted for the head gasket, tires and paint as major expenses. As soon as I got it i started observing it and making a list of little stuff. It's a decent list, but I'm already whittling away at it as a lot of it is small and easy (radio antenna, window regulator and motor teardown, fluid changes, etc). You have to want it for sure. I've always wanted an 80 and am not remotely turned off by the maintenance I am going to be doing for a little while. It's such a cool rig. Nothing to look at right now, but I know what it is and what it will and can be and thats enough for me.

Also when I was looking I could have gotten pretty clean late model 80s for 15-16k that were locked, better leather, better paint, etc. But they were the same miles as the one I bought with no record of head gaskets or other major maintenance, and I would have had to spend that money anyway. So I bought one half the price that was a bit cosmetically defunct but no rust and solid otherwise. I'll have less in it after the maintenance and have a better truck. Minus lockers 😑 haha.
Why would you have to tear down the motor? Did you buy one with a blown head gasket?
 

Ozark_Prowler

Active member
A beautiful classic. Can get collector plates they are so old. Hard PASS for a reliable driver. Good luck getting parts quickly when you break down in the middle of ... (basically insert any city here)
Why would you say they're unreliable, or at least any more so than any other 25 year old vehicle? The only major drama I know of is the head gasket, and that's usually the result of a neglected cooling system.
 

Ozark_Prowler

Active member
Agreed. I wanted one. I bought one. Roughly in 2012? Truck was a 1991. That particular truck was always giving me grief.

Got rid of it 6 months later.... funny enough it was an 2003 Xterra S/C that replaced it. The Xterra died a couple months later when the head gasket blew out....😐
How was the FJ80 giving you grief? And yea the S/C Xterras are best avoided from what I've researched.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Its 25 years old..... no matter what you buy it is ancient, parts will be scarce, even finding a tech who understands it might be difficult. You bought an "SUV" with 226K miles on it for the market correct price of $8000.00. Most of your comments seem to question "why did I buy this?"

I love old vehicles, I expect to spend a grand every year keeping them reliable, likely much more in the first 2 years but .... I love old vehicles. A 25 year old Toyota that runs well..... before really exploring I'd budget up to $4000.00 in the first 2 years. For $12,000 I know I would have the vehicle I want and it would be reliable. Anyone thinking an $8000 25 year old truck will be as reliable as an off the showroom floor $70,000 new truck....... ????

Either bail out right now or pony up the $$$ to make it reliable...... and forget about adding a winch or rack or lift or bigger tires until you get the basic mechanicals fixed.

Leasing new might be a better option.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
This is one of the cheapest 1997 Land Cruisers auctioned in the last month.

 

ChadHahn

Adventurer
I too have a 97 that I've had for about 5 years. I bought it from a dealer who replaced a lot of parts on it with the cheapest parts from Auto Zone. As they broke, I've replaced them with Denso parts. For the most part, it is very reliable and I just get in it and drive it. When I bought mine it did have almost 100K less than yours and still only has about 180K.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless it starts needing work all the time. Just keep your eye on things and replace them as needed. Do the things you can like changing the motor, rear, front, and center diff oils and have what you can't do when it's time.
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
I've got a 1994 FZJ80 that I picked up for AU$3100.

So far it's needed one set of tyres ($600 for some takeoffs from a 70 series) a new radiator ($600), battery ($200), O2 sensor and spark plugs ($175) and an Aircon recharge ($120). Oh and a set of new keys

It's now done 36,000km with services every 5,000 with us in 2 years. We've done 1600km in one hit in it a few times as well as many 500km trips.

Buy the best one you can, expect some foibles (our central locking doesn't work properly) and enjoy it.

Would I get in ours and drive for 15hrs straight? Yep, no worries at all.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
It is already a classic or at least a future classic.
Completely different from a comparable 4X4 which doesnt get that attention.
The (lhd?) fzj80 should get worth more or at least depreciate very little. You might be better off buying a better more expensive one for better resale later. But, none of this will stand a chance to an economic recession, prices of all cars will drop again.
And it isn't really relevant when you want to drive it forever.
 

tplane2

Member
For those thinking about purchasing a neglected 80. Here's what to estimate for decent baseline and refresh. Numbers are estimated parts cost only/parts+labor.
Front axle rebuild: $200/$1000
Oil Pump Gasket/Dizzy ORing/Front main seal/Valve Cover Gasket: $100/$1200
PHH+ Temp Control Valve + All hoses: $400/$1000
Radiator replacement: $300/$500
Brake Booster (seiken): $375/ $600
Front seat recover: $1200
Steering wheel recover: $100/$300
Paint: A lot
 

nickw

Adventurer
OEM parts on the 80's are starting to get fairly scarce, it's easy to say just "Fix" it....but the proper OEM parts just don't exist in some cases, you need to rely on aftermarket or reconditioned stuff. The OEM stuff lasts 250-300k, but what do things look like after that?

I had this same come to Jesus thought process with my 78' FJ40, awesome rig, "reliable" for a 35 year old vehicle (at the time)....but what was my next step? Rebuild motor, cool, but it still old school tech and OEM stuff was hard to come by....swap in a modern V8 LS, may as well just go buy a 3/4T Chevy pickup and not hack up a pristine rig. I don't trust rigs with swapped in / non-engineered drivetrain systems.

I'm the biggest fan of Cruisers, still turn my head every time I see one, even new ones.....but as cool as the older ones are, I think the image of them is slowly starting to surpass their practicality for expo use. Nothing wrong with driving a rig you like and looks cool, but just suggesting the need to be aware of the practical side of owning a 25 year old rig....if you are a savvy mechanic that enjoys working on rigs with a shop and you know Cruisers it's much more viable than an average bloke......
 

billiebob

Well-known member
OEM parts on the 80's are starting to get fairly scarce, it's easy to say just "Fix" it....but the proper OEM parts just don't exist in some cases, you need to rely on aftermarket or reconditioned stuff. The OEM stuff lasts 250-300k, but what do things look like after that?

I had this same come to Jesus thought process with my 78' FJ40, awesome rig, "reliable" for a 35 year old vehicle (at the time)....but what was my next step? Rebuild motor, cool, but it still old school tech and OEM stuff was hard to come by....swap in a modern V8 LS, may as well just go buy a 3/4T Chevy pickup and not hack up a pristine rig. I don't trust rigs with swapped in / non-engineered drivetrain systems.

I'm the biggest fan of Cruisers, still turn my head every time I see one, even new ones.....but as cool as the older ones are, I think the image of them is slowly starting to surpass their practicality for expo use. Nothing wrong with driving a rig you like and looks cool, but just suggesting the need to be aware of the practical side of owning a 25 year old rig....if you are a savvy mechanic that enjoys working on rigs with a shop and you know Cruisers it's much more viable than an average bloke......
yep, old trucks need a dedicated owner. I love old Jeeps and know where to find good parts but if I owned an old Land Cruiser I'd have no idea where to start. At the moment my best TJR parts source is the extra one in the driveway with 400K kms on it. If you want an old vehicle you need to be collecting good parts. You definitely need to own a garage or at least a carport.

On the old vehicle reliable as an expo vehicle I take exception. Give me a 1969 F250 with a straight 6, 4 speed any day over any brand new diesel automatic pickup and I'd bet the 1969 will have fewer issues, definitely cheaper issues.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Heres one to watch.... a '95 with 266K miles up for auction this week..


and another closing tomorrow

 
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