The Restoration And Build Thread For My 1992 FJ80

Well I have had some rattling in my exhaust since this past summer. It kept getting worse, and I thought it was a rock stuck in the heat shield that wrapped around the catalytic converter but that turned out not to be the case. I had left the cruiser with my dad for several days a couple weeks back, and he felt that it seemed more sluggish than it should be and he decided to cut the cat off.

Turns out pieces of the cat had turned sideways and lodged themselves in the exit pipe. That's when I got home to check it out. We then gutted the cat and welded it back into place but it made an annoying noise while on the road. The exhaust also got louder by not having the cat restrict some of the noise. At that point, I took it into a shop to quiet it down. I had a small and round drilled core muffler that had actually started cracking on the inside and the metal was wavy. He gave me two options, both he said would quiet it down some. I went with the cheaper option off the start which turned out to be a glass pack that was twice the length of the old muffler (which was maybe a foot long). It did not quiet it down. It also gave it a horrible farting cheap import fart can sound that I couldn't live with so I took it back. He once again gave me two options, and I took the quietest option. The cruiser has since lost its nice growl, but it is also having a quieter ride that I'm sure will be nice on those big days on the highway. Not that the old exhaust was bad, but those windy days where it's chugging along at 3400 rpms in 3rd gear got old.

Anyways, the cruiser feels like it has since gained at least 30 horsepower. It feels so much more responsive and if I am doing 70 mph I can actually push on the pedal and get a change in the RPMs.

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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
I agree about black wheels. I was 99% sold on dune beige (416) for my 100, but the wife is thinking she'd prefer white now. Either way the gray wheels will work.
 
Awesome build! Great write ups and custom work on your 80. I recently bought a ‘97 80 and this is great motivation. I also love to mountain bike and try to get out of Alaska once a year to ride in Moab, Whistler, Tahoe, etc.

Really cool you’ve got over 400k on the rig.
 
Awesome build! Great write ups and custom work on your 80. I recently bought a ‘97 80 and this is great motivation. I also love to mountain bike and try to get out of Alaska once a year to ride in Moab, Whistler, Tahoe, etc.

Really cool you've got over 400k on the rig.
I appreciate it! It's always fun to see people's reactions when I tell them or they see that it has over 400k on it. How is the biking up in Alaska? Whistler and Sedona are too of the places I am wanting to visit badly right now. After a crash last spring, I erased any and all plans to get up to Whistler over the summer.
 
I haven't done much lately with the cruiser except drive it. The quiet exhaust has been awesome on the several day trips I have taken it on, and the power that has been restored with the cat delete feels like the power I gained when I regeared it. 75 is pretty easy once again and fuel mileage is slightly above 10! It hit 404k the other day, but I have been too busy with building 80 series swing out kits to work on it. While I am still on winter break, I have to cut out the rear cross member and create a beefier one to continue hauling bikes. The receiver set up and over 200 pounds, in the form of my bike rack and bikes, bouncing up and down for thousands of miles have wrecked the thin factory cross member. I plan to cut it out and replace it with 2x4x1/4" steel. I am tempted to build bumper wings while I am at it, but I am afraid I won't have enough time.

I have put together a nice list of everything I would still like to address on it so I will start chipping away at this list as time goes on.

Cruiser work list:

Hand throttle to idle up air compressor when using air

Finish hi lift swing out mount

Change AC compressor and dryer

Oil change

New Rear wiper

Front bumper build

Stainless bolts for doors, hood, hatch, etc because they look nice

Cut diamond plate rubber for drawers

Ford starting solenoid

Charcoal canister change

Air horn solenoid cleaned/replaced

Brighter headlight bulbs

Steering wheel shaft bushing thing that clicks

AC backlighting bulbs

Front drive flanges

Front Axle shafts (longside has slight groove)

New driver's front dash speaker

Find pop sound in front suspension

Trunnion bearings?

Rear full float axle and 4.88s

Rear e brake upgrade for full floater

New master cylinder for rear disks?

Slinky suspension

Rubber body mounts

New door seals front and rear

New rear crossmember

Spidertrax Wheel spacers?

Harrop e lockers front and rear

Gray wet okoles

Full paint buff and wax

single row light bar with 10w LEDs for better garage clearance

Re bed liner of all bed-linered parts

Beige paint respray in passenger rear door jamb opening where someone shut the seatbelt in the door

Delete valence lights and respray in beige and cover in paint film
 
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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
I appreciate it! It's always fun to see people's reactions when I tell them or they see that it has over 400k on it. How is the biking up in Alaska? Whistler and Sedona are too of the places I am wanting to visit badly right now. After a crash last spring, I erased any and all plans to get up to Whistler over the summer.
Make sure to PM me if you head to Whistler. I lived (and biked) there for over 20 years, including some time spent carrying a chainsaw in a back pack while on my Gas-Gas trials bike to cut trails. I'm not a bike park guy, but if you want to pedal or shuttle for your fun I can show you some great rides!
 
Make sure to PM me if you head to Whistler. I lived (and biked) there for over 20 years, including some time spent carrying a chainsaw in a back pack while on my Gas-Gas trials bike to cut trails. I'm not a bike park guy, but if you want to pedal or shuttle for your fun I can show you some great rides!

For sure! I'd be like a kid in a candy store there and wouldn't want to miss out on the good local trails if I were too distracted by the park. What would you say is the best time of the year to ride up there? I'd imagine the park is brake rutted beyond belief later in the season.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
They look after the trails in the park pretty well, so I doubt there'd be much difference through the season. My favorite time of year up there is early September basically right after Labor Day. It's not as busy and the temps are in the 70s-80s instead of the 90s. There's good fishing etc then too.
 
I have a few questions about your cooling system though, if you would be kind enough to indulge my curiosity:

1. Is your trans cooler really a factory one? I have the front end of mine apart and it did not have anything of the sort. It ran, drove, and shifted before the tear down.
2. I'm assuming you have a clutch fan too, but, does the electric pusher fan seem to make a difference? Did you consider a clutch fan delete and all electric fans?
3. What kind of radiator is that?
4. Do you have any data or opinions on the hood vent effectiveness?

I'm in the planning phase of building a bulletproof cooling system for mine, but unfortunately there isn't a lot of info out there for the 91-92 and not many people seem to put much thought into it.

So far my plan is an OEM Toyota manual transmission FJ80 radiator (16400-17020), OEM Toyota thermostat, aisin water pump, gates hoses.

Parts I haven't decided on are the clutch fan situation (rebuild the one it has?), transmission cooler, additional fans and thermoswitches, and hood venting.
 
Thanks for the compliments you guys.

Jellyfishfiesta,

As far as I know it is factory. I believe my cruiser originally had a towing package and maybe it was an upgraded part, but I cannot confirm if they would put different coolers in for a towing package but it does make sense.

The electric pusher fan definitely helps in combination with the good vents. When driving up high mountain passes with thin air and the sun beating down, I can watch my temperature gauge rise. When I turn on the fan, it combats the rise and sometimes even lowers the temps depending on outside conditions.

I don't have any actual data on the hood vents, but if you're around the cruiser going up a mountain pass or on a hot day and put your hand over them, they are venting pretty hot air. Like a heater is blasting out of them. I don't see how that could not be helping unless there is some aerodynamic "pull through the engine bay flow" that Toyota originally designed into the vehicle that is being disrupted. I know newer 4runners and Tacomas have fake hood scoops and bumper vents for this reason, but I'm not sure if that was as big of a deal back when the 80 series was designed. It's also no longer retaining the same air flow in the front due to bumpers and lights so I believe it can't be doing any harm.

The radiator is an aluminum one sold by Champion on eBay but in came in as a Silla. Quality on the first one was questionable as it was leaking around the neck, but they covered it under warranty and this one has been fine.

I have never wanted an all electric set up. The only benefit to that I see is being able to turn it off for deep water crossings, but I know the factory one will continue to work and it really roars when it need to.

Hope this answers your questions and feel free to let me know if you have any more. Good luck on your 92. Once everything is sorted out it will truly run forever.
 
Thanks for answering all of my questions! Very informative. My only concern on the hood vents is rain or snow getting in there. Maybe I could use a floor register that opens and closes (joking/half joking). Also as far as I can tell your radiator is no longer available, not many 3F-E options out there now; People on MUD are talking about the OEM manual transmission radiator.

Cheers,

Mike
 
Scored big today! I bought locked full floaters, the e brake, beefier front sway bar, and some other goodies. An LX450 was a fresh arrival at a local yard and it happened to be triple locked. Unfortunately someone copped the rear actuator and wiring connector for it, but overall I'm super excited. They are going to need an absolute rebuild and re gear. The Lx450 had 223k miles on it, and it may have had a couple of the original tires on it they were that bad...

I also bought all 5 wheels because they are in overall decent shape. I'm contemplating putting them on my cruiser and ditching the FJ wheels so I don't have to run wheel spacers, but that would also require new tires. If I don't use them, I'll probably get them powder coated "Toyota dark gray" and let my dad put them on his beige Fj40.

Then I also figured I'd buy the headlights and grille as they are all in great shape. I like the grille design a lot better on the LX and I'm contemplating switching all of that out for a more factory look compared to my depos.

I also snagged both driveshafts so I can rebuild them and put them on mine as mine have over 400k miles and have some slop.

Overall I'm super excited and bummed I have to go back to school next week, but at least I'll end up with some time to figure out everything I'll need.

In addition to fully rebuilding both axles, I'm looking to add diff armor and drain plug protection. I'm also going to sand blast them and repaint/powdercoat them and all of my control arms. I'm kind of tempted to go with wheel gray axles with all black arms and maybe zinc coated bolts or everything in stainless. I know it'd be a kind of dumb use of money, but it would be really nice.

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Thanks for answering all of my questions! Very informative. My only concern on the hood vents is rain or snow getting in there. Maybe I could use a floor register that opens and closes (joking/half joking). Also as far as I can tell your radiator is no longer available, not many 3F-E options out there now; People on MUD are talking about the OEM manual transmission radiator.

Cheers,

Mike
It looks like there's quite a few hdj80 aftermarket radiators on eBay that look about the same. May want to look into that option. With over 100k miles now with the hood vents, I haven't seen any effects from rain water or snow. I wouldn't stress about it too much. Water crossings and mud holes can throw up much more.
 
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