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Thread: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80

  1. #1
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    Default Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    As much as I loved my '87 4Runner, it just wasn't cutting it for a family of 4. Not enough interior space and not really enjoyable to drive around town, but it was a beast offroad. Decided it was time to move on to something more family friendly so I sold the 4Runner last month and started looking for an 80 series Landcruiser. I briefly considered a Land Rover Discovery II but reliability seemed to be an issue so I stuck with the Landcruiser, which is what I really wanted.

    I started looking for a '95-'97 with factory lockers and preferably under 200k on the clock. Mileage wasn't a huge concern as the 1FZ-FE motors are fairly reliable. Finally came across one I really liked on Friday and was able to talk the price down to what I was comfortable paying.

    The new rig: bone stock 1997 Landcruiser, 205k miles & factory lockers, leather, and 3rd row seats.













    It has a few minor mechanical problems but runs super smooth and drives very nice. It looks like it has the typical oil pump cover leak which I've already ordered OEM parts to repair. The airbag light is on, a scan indicated that it's the clockspring so I'll be ordering one of those as well. I used to do airbag work so changing it out won't be a problem.

    I spend yesterday giving it a once over and tune-up, front brakes, a good interior cleaning, and replacing a few burnt out bulbs.

    Immediate plans are used 285/75-16 tires from Joe (Zukrider) and drive it. This winter I plan on removing the running boards, building sliders, front winch bumper, and possibly a rear bumper. As soon as money allows I'll pick up an Old Man Emu 2" lift.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    My first "mod" was to repair a floppy passenger side mirror. A quick google search found this to be a common problem. I pulled the mirror and used JB Plastic Repair to rebuild the mount.

    Broken tab:



    JB Weld applied:


    Cleaned up and slotted:


    Worked like a charm.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Looks like a decent clean rig with some minor things you can repair/improve upon. Congrats on the find!

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Looks good, now to get out the gremlins out of it.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Congrats Dave, looks really nice and will look even better when you do the mods.
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Both my mirrors do the wobble. I am starting to get used to it. One of these days I will get around to doing something about it... Maybe... LOL

    Oh, and from experience with a 2 in lift on mine and 33 in tires. That tow hitch will drag all over everything in the mountains. I want a rear bumper almost as much as I want a set of ATKO2s.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Sweet....there are some days where I consider selling my Crawler and "Stockish" rigs and getting an FJ80 or similar too. They really don't take much to get them fully wheeling capable. I know Dave Nay fit 37's under his with only a 3" lift supposedly.

    Let us know if you want to go try and get that thing stuck in the snow knock those running boards off on Chinaman's or something.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Haku previously posted:
    "I know Dave Nay fit 37's under his with only a 3" lift supposedly"

    I remember his rig on Chinamans, that thing was mean. I need to get out at some point and try it out.

    tmleadr03 previously posted:
    "That tow hitch will drag all over everything in the mountains"

    I've been thinking that one over, the receiver just looks like a land anchor back there. I wonder if I can flip it and flush it into a rear bumper. I need to pull the bumper and see what is behind it.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    RidgeRunner previously posted:
    "I've been thinking that one over, the receiver just looks like a land anchor back there. I wonder if I can flip it and flush it into a rear bumper. I need to pull the bumper and see what is behind it."

    Just do this....I think that will fix that problem nicely :P



    In all seriousness though....it appears that there is a large bumper beam behind the plastic bumper that you can modify with a hitch. I'd want to add some metal in to strengthen it, but that shouldn't be too hard I don't think. Here is a pic...



    It looks like the rear frame butts right up to that bumper beam too, so maybe just cutting it off and adding a nice burly piece of rectangular tubing on with the capacity to mount a hitch into.


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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Here you go, this is what's on my son's truck.
         
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    This one from DC Fabrication looks really nice, though its a bit expensive. Looks strong and protects everything it needs to, but is still super low profile...





    http://www.dcfabrication.com/fj80_armor.html

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    RidgeRunner previously posted:
    "I remember his rig on Chinamans, that thing was mean. I need to get out at some point and try it out.



    I've been thinking that one over, the receiver just looks like a land anchor back there. I wonder if I can flip it and flush it into a rear bumper. I need to pull the bumper and see what is behind it."

    If you look right about the hitch you can see four holes (you can on mine). Those line up with a pintle hitch mounting plate. Maybe something else but I have a pintle hitch for my trailers.


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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Yep, that 4 bolt pattern was popular on vehicles that were sold in 3rd world countries. Cruisers, Rovers, Montero, Trooper, Patrol, etc. I have a couple different variants of that hitch. One of them is a pintle with a ball similar to this, which is super handy:

    http://www.amazon.com/Reese-Towpower...s=pintle+hitch

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Thanks for the pics and ideas guys. There is definitely a lot of sweet armor out there for the 80 series but they are sure proud of it. My build order will be sliders, front bumper, then rear bumper.

    I picked up 4 - 285/75-16 Goodyear Duratracs from Joe last night. They sure look good on the truck and fill the wheel wells nicely but now it would look better with a lift on it.

    Jeff - I like the idea of that combo pintle/2" ball hitch. I'll have to google the towing capacity of that mount. I thought I read someplace that they were rated to tow with a pintle bolted there in other markets but not in the states.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    RidgeRunner previously posted:
    "Jeff - I like the idea of that combo pintle/2" ball hitch. I'll have to google the towing capacity of that mount. I thought I read someplace that they were rated to tow with a pintle bolted there in other markets but not in the states."

    Not sure if you are talking about the bumper beam or the pintle hitch but as long as you get the right one the hitch part has plenty of capacity. I towed a 10,000 lb. generator with one that was bolted to a hitch receiver last winter. The mounting point on the bumper is likely the weak point of that setup, but for towing a camper or similar I'm sure it will be fine.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Got some work done this weekend. I removed the running boards on Friday and picked up some steel to build sliders. You can also see the tires I picked up from Joe.

    All 3/16" wall tube with a 1/2" skid plate for the cats. Just need to clean them up for paint then weld them on.







    Now I can go wheel it without worrying about the rockers.

    Next up is a front bumper, I really like the one this guy built: http://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/new-...liders.547937/ so I'll probably shoot for something close. It will probably take a while with Christmas coming up and it's not really a necessity right now.

    I fixed the check engine light which was for the EGR VSV. This thread was very helpful: http://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/egr-...0-fj80.607811/
    Then I pulled the drivers airbag to take a look at the clock spring. Both of the airbag codes were problems with the drivers side. Found both wires to the airbag broken and 2 of the 3 wires for the cruise control broken. Looks like I'll be ordering a new clock spring soon. The cruise will have to wait, it a $160 part and not critical.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Glad that you are making progress and that the issues thus far have been relatively simple.

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Looking good, keep plugging way Dave.
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Ridgerunners's '97 FZJ80



    Its looking good.

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