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Thread: Rig advice, give me your input!

  1. #1
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    Default Rig advice, give me your input!



    So my '87 4Runner has been sitting in the garage too much lately. It seems like I just don't have the time to take it out and use it for what I intended it for. When I do have time, I don't feel like driving it because it is soooo slow heading up into the hills and geared more toward off road rather than on road handling. Once on the trail, it is more than capable and will go anywhere I need it too.

    Lately I've been thinking of switching out to more of an expedition rig rather than a rock crawler. We have 2 kids and a dog and the 1st gen 4runner is just impractical when it comes to taking the whole family out camping, especially since we'd like to get a pop-up camper at some point and the anemic 22re won't handle that. My budget for a new rig would be whatever I could get out of my 1st gen runner.

    I love Toyota's and I already did the Jeep thing ('99 XJ) so I'm thinking of either:
    - 3rd gen 4Runner with a factory rear e-locker, 3.4l v6, 183 HP.
    - '93-'97 FZJ80/LX470, 4.5l I6, 214 HP, and hopefully find one with the front, rear, and center diff lock option.

    Ultimate goal would be a small (~2") lift and the biggest tire I could fit. Something I can take hunting, camping with the family, and pull a light-ish weight pop-up camper.

    I'm leaning toward the FZJ80 for the following reasons: solid front axle, Locked front axle (If I can find one with the option), more interior space, 3rd row seat (which I really don't need at this point), more power (but it's also a heavier rig).

    Anybody have any thoughts/pros/cons either way?

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    I get where you are coming from. I just spent a week driving my "mostly stock" 4runner as a daily driver, and was totally over it after a couple days. It actually does allright keeping up with traffic, but its not the most comfortable vehicle ever.

    I have a buddy who just bought a 3rd Gen 4runner and got a great deal on it. I know Dirt Claude on here has one too, and it does great. They are really coming down to reasonable prices lately and seem to be a big upgrade on most things. They seem to do pretty well offroad, especially with the elocker option. I've seen some pretty cool solid axle conversions with these too.

    Its hard to beat the FZJ80 too, especially if you want to do the expedition stuff and/or carry extra people and gear. They are also coming down in price, but definitely seem to maintain their higher prices in comparison to the 4runners. You do get the solid axles and front and rear lockers, and with a minimal lift (3") you can fit 37's under it.

    I know they are more expensive, but I would have hard time not at least trying to find a deal on a 4th gen 4runner. I carpooled with a work friend in his the other day, and was having serious rig envy. 4.7 V8, a plush and modern interior, quiet, and seemed to ride well. I've been on trail runs with these (Chris on here has one) and they seem to do a great job. They are still pretty expensive, but I imagine they'll hold their value. I was seriously considering selling my Subaru and the 1st gen 4runner and get one of those. I don't think I can give up the Subbie yet, but it was tempting for sure.

    I guess between the 3rd Gen 4runner and FZJ80, it comes down to its primary use. The 4runner will need more modding, but the parts are probably cheaper (lots of takeoff stuff from other rigs work as an upgrade to the 4runner). That said, the 80 is quite capable but more expensive initially, but might need less modding to do what you want it to. There have been several 80's on Rising Sun up for sale lately, and some were quite good deals. There is one on there now with an LS3 swap, but its out of your price range I think. There is another one for $4k on there that is stock but nice looking too. My buddy paid $2100 for his 3rd gen 4runner, and we went and looked at several others for around that price range. Some are beat down, but others seem to be a good deal.

    Seems like you'd probably be happy with either rig though.

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    I am a 4Runner guy for sure. The mpg is the winning factor for me. The downfall is even a 3rd gen 4Runner isn't much bigger than yours. They certainly do better on road though with more power and better handling. Any thought of an engine swap on yours? My 22re yesterday was a slug going up I-70. I have the same problem with my truck, but have a 3rz waiting in the garage for it.
    ___________
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    87 Toyota 4Runner expedition rig | 86 Toyota Custom Cab Pickup | 76 Scout II; mild build | 69 Nissan Patrol; original w/ 64k miles

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    Interior space is also why I am leaning toward the 80 series.

    I have a Chevy 4.3 Vortec sitting in a friends garage that I was planning on putting in my 1st gen but I'm still looking at about $1500 in conversion parts to get it done. With that it should be able to handle a small pop-up but still lacks interior space and is a pain to get kids in and out of the back in car seats.

    Right now I'm thinking it would be easier to start over with something with more space and power.

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    As Josh mentioned, I have a 4th Gen and love it. Not as capable off-road but that's fine with me. I spend more time these days on long trips and hauling my trailer too. The V8 is great, sock-solid unlike the 6's which have head gasket issues. The power is great, I just set the cruise at 65 and haul the trailer over the high passes with ease. I'm also loving the "luxury" features but it is IFS which takes some getting used to after my FJ62.

    I really thing the 3rd generation would be the way to go if I'm reading you right. If you want more space then the Land Cruiser may suit you better but they're pretty big in comparison or at least feel like that to me.

    I just picked up a FZJ80 for my son who's moving back to CO and it's a damned nice truck too.

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    Yeah, the 4 door thing with kids would be nice. With only 1 kid, it is easier to get by with the 1st gen. I wish my truck was a 4 door instead of the 2 door Custom Cab. Climbing in/out gets old. Considered a quad cab Tacoma or Tundra? The Cruiser will obviously perform better offroad out of the box, and have more interior space than anything else, but I would imagine the worst MPG of all the Yotas.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    Patrolman previously posted:
    "The Cruiser will obviously perform better offroad out of the box, and have more interior space than anything else, but I would imagine the worst MPG of all the Yotas."

    12mpg would be good mpgs for an 80 series, I get 15.9 in mine as it sits which isn'T real bad considering the addonns weight etc. Hauling my trailer cuts that in half though.

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    I wonder if that means you get 6mpg towing with an 80?
    ___________
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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    That would be pretty bad. Fortunately it won't be my DD and as long as my Subi stays alive and likely won't see towing more than once a month. We don't have a camper yet, just trying to get geared up.

    I'm pretty sure a 4 door Taco or 4th gen 4Runner are out of my price range. I'm limited to whatever I can get out of my 1st gen. Hoping to find something around the 5k mark tops.

    I was looking at 4 door Tacos a few month ago when I was thinking about a truck and they were still in the 10k-12k range.

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    Default Re: Rig advice, give me your input!



    Yeah, the 4 doors aren't cheap for sure. If you aren't driving the vehicle daily, then a little extra in fuel every so often isn't a big deal. That is my approach to owning the Scout and the Patrol. They are fun, but would bleed my wallet dry as a DD.

    I also took a peek at what the 80's are selling for, and they are getting cheap. Finding one with all the right goodies though is still difficult. At least there is room for a mild build after the purchase.
    ___________
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    87 Toyota 4Runner expedition rig | 86 Toyota Custom Cab Pickup | 76 Scout II; mild build | 69 Nissan Patrol; original w/ 64k miles

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