View Full Version : Feeling out a new car

12-14-2008, 07:31 PM
So here's where I'm going to write out my priorities list and also get input from you guys.

Here's my "dilemma": I have a 1991 (18 years old) 2wd Toyota Truck, extended cab, with 206K miles (picture link in sig line), netting around 23-25 mpg as a DD. I have done the head gasket and timing chain, though not at the same time and without doing other engine refresh things (like rings etc.), so as it drives now it's burning oil, which it NEVER did before and which I'm assuming is blowby past the rings due to the head being milled and increasing the compression slightly. That bothers me and though it's manageable I'm not sure how much of this time is borrowed until major engine work is going to be needed. I learned that although there are some things I can work on ok with vehicles, I am not a professional mechanic and now that I can afford it I am going to take vehicles to professionals for work like head gaskets etc. from now on.

In addition, the truck has over 200,000 and is 18 years old, and 2wd. There are only cosmetic flaws in it, I have tried to take good care of it, it has faded paint on the roof and the hood, and slight rust where the tailgate has a crease in it (under the topper liftgate, and only surface at this point, and slight bubbling at the top of the driver door, which I've addressed but could use some professional assistance as well. It needs new tires pretty soon too.

The 2wd bothers me because it's a great commuter truck but these last two snow storms have had me wishing for 4x4. I have a '77 FJ40 which mostly works fine (and I thought would be a great compliment to my DD truck), but now and again it has issues which keep it from being driven. Like now, I'm waiting for a new gas tank to come in from Toyota which kept me from driving it and having 4x4 in the last two snow storms. Luckily this latest one wasn't as bad as they were predicting, and I was able to manage, even with bad tires. In addition, I like to access trailheads and be able to travel off of paved roads in the summer and in the winter, so high clearance, 4x4, and low range are preferable, if not absolutely necessary for me to be happy with a new car purchase. Road trips to the Utah desert, or to California or beyond, are possible, and I don't want to be limited to paved roads when I do that or suffer (at certain times) the cruelty of horrible mpg attainments, or even being able to hold a conversation while traveling down the highway.

The other thing that bothers me is that my girlfriend and I often are going somewhere and there's a total of three or four people in the vehicle, and I end up having to ride with someone else, and I've always preferred to be independent.

But I like the utility of the pickup bed, often enough I have to carry wood, camping gear, or car parts around (axles, springs, dirty stuff) and like being able to just throw it in the back and go, and not worry about getting the nice interior of something dirty.

But here's the kicker: I would like to get something that gets AT LEAST as good fuel economy as my 18 year old pickup. I don't feel like it's too much to ask that in the last 20 years engine technology would have developed to the point that decent fuel economy is obtainable.

So my dad and I went looking at cars on Friday. We stopped at VW because one of their TDIs with 4-matic would cover a fair number of the above requirements. They build nice cars, but a TDI with 4-matic won't be available for some time, plus they don't have the clearance/low range I seek.

So we went to Toyota. Looked at an FJ Cruiser (never have before even though I've had plenty of opportunity :o ), there were just too many things I didn't like (windshield height, c pillar size, limited production run, general looks), so counted that out. We looked at some 4-door Tacomas, they are nice but pricey for what you get as far as creature comforts compared to VW, but they have decent leg space and they are familiar. I just don't like the newest body style all that much. The new 4runner is out of the question for me, if I was going with something completely new the Tacoma would win out hands down.

So we went next door to Burt to the Subaru dealership. Jumped in an STI wagon and an Outback and a Forester. I was appalled at their (lack of) fuel economy. Barely making better than my truck, pretty disappointing really. And though I could see myself in a WRX wagon or an Outback, I took some time to reflect on it some more.

So what I came up with is the following: a 2001-2004 Tacoma, Double Cab, (wish I could a long bed, but not available from what I can tell), V6, SR5, w/TRD locker etc. (since it's an option and available)

I figured a 4Runner from that generation was a close second, but with the bed that added that last little bit of, gotta have it.

So thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Here are mine.
-Jetta/Passat diesels - cool, but out due to no 4x4. Maybe a 4-matic when the time comes and the (future) wife needs a commuter car, but I'll need my 4x4 for now and the future.
-FJ Cruiser - out due to styling/interior comfort/feel dislikes. I like doing things a little bit different if I can, and to me they're the hot new 4x4 that a lot of people have to have, and that's not for me. When I see a huge group of them I don't stare at the picture like I do with a group of 40s or 80s, they turn me off.
-4Runner - almost, but no bed and if I'm going to lack the leg room I might as well have the bed.
-80 series - would like, but poor fuel economy, they're getting old (10-15 years old already), maybe if the right diesel came along.
-WRX wagon - very cool, but $$ for insurance, plus more power oriented than I really need, but man oh man it would be fun to have (especially after seeing the gymkhana guy).
-Outback - ok fuel economy, but not much better than the Tacoma, but the Tacoma comes with ground clearance and low range and a bed.
-Forester - bigger than Outback, but starting to nudge the line of minivan. I'd like to stay away from that.
-Diesel BJ70/BJ74/BJ60 etc. - a cable locked, PTO winch, 5 spd BJ74 (turbodiesel) is basically my dream truck, but they're getting old (especially if you want to have one in the states), parts are hard to get since they're overseas market, and they don't come in LHD, which makes it impractical for a DD. Plus all that driving depreciates the (big) investment required to get into it. Not a good choice for where I'm at in life, no matter how much I would like to dream. The BJ70 is really a little on the small side, and a BJ60/70 are getting pretty old (actually older than my red truck), so I'd have to deal with rust and engine issues.

So if I could find a 2001-2004 Tacoma, Double Cab, V6, SR5, w/TRD locker etc. I think that would pretty much do it until they come with a diesel version in the states and make a styling change that suits me better. I wish they would make it a little smaller, I just don't like how big it's gotten, people loved them before because they were small and nimble. If I could find a longbed version that would be great, because there is a topper/camper package called a "Flip-Pack" that would be ideal for me and it fits on the regular 6ft bed, but I don't think 2001-2004 came with a long bed version. If anyone knows different help.

12-14-2008, 08:18 PM
Looks like the longbed might not be available with a 5/6spd manual...not sure I could handle that.

EDIT: and doggone it even the new longbeds you can't get with a TRD Offroad package, which takes out the rear locker.

So which is more important? 5/6 spd/rear locker or long (reg.) truck bed? The 4runner is nudging closer...but maybe the shortbed is still ok.

12-14-2008, 08:41 PM
For a 4 door in the 1st gen Tacomas, your only options are short bed and automatic. With the 2nd gen, you get the option of the 6spd manual and the 6' bed (and a 140+" wheelbase....).

The biggest downside of the 5' bed is that you lose the option of sleeping in the back fully enclosed. You can pull it off in a 5' with the gate open. Otherwise I rarely miss the extra foot for camping and storage.

12-14-2008, 08:42 PM
Hey Matt,

I had an '02 Double Cab with the TRD package - great truck and probably does everything you want - but, you will take a BIG mpg penalty. I could get 22 - maybe 25 on the highway (with a topper on the back) but around town 17-19 was about the norm. I saw mileage much worse than that, don't remember every seeing better than 25, and anything over 22 was rare for me. The 4cyl. might have done better, but I don't believe you could get a dbl. cab with 4x4 and a 4cyl.

In that era, to my knowledge, the double cab was not available with 4X4 and a 5 speed - but the automatic is tried and true, I wouldn't let that be the determining factor (IMO). Also, not available with a long bed. I ordered mine new (only new car I've ever owned) and if a long bed and a 5 speed would have been available, I would have had them.

Back seat was perfectly acceptable for 2 adults and a night on the town, would get old on road trips as the seats were quite vertical.

I loved mine, sold it due to a variety of pressures (and selling it was the right thing to do for me at the time) but I would love to have it back now.

Based on your use/need assumptions, filtered of course with my personal history - I would suggest thinking about an Outback and putting a hitch on the 40 - getting a utility trailer. or cut the bed off the truck you have now and make your own trailer :)

My Outback has been a great car for 7 years and 80k+ miles. Gas mileage is rough around town (low 20's in the winter) but acceptable on the highway. We just returned from a trip to Tucson and back, and with 2 adults, 2 kids, a full size dog and a case on the roof, with cruise control set at 80, we averaged 25mpg, with a high of 26.9. I know from experience that if I can slow my highway speed down to 65 I can push that up to the 27-28 range. At $1.65 I'd rather be there sooner.

Mileage suffers in these cars, I think, due to the fulltime AWD aspect. You're always turning those wheels, and we've certainly seen some 17-18mpg tanks (probably get one this week with the cold temps) but all in all this has been one of the most enjoyable car owning experiences I've ever had. In fact, had I known when I bought it how much I would enjoy it, I would have held out for a 5speed, but there were none to be had then. 2 sitting on the lot at Flatirons last week - have to admit I was tempted.

Of course you can't go wrong with the 4runner, but again I think your gas mileage is going to take a hit.

Good luck with the decision, I love shopping for cars.

ps: Get a mini cooper - $25k built the way you want and 30+ mpg!

12-14-2008, 08:43 PM
The reason I would like the regular bed is because Flip-Packs are designed to fit on the standard length bed, don't think they make it for the shorter bed. I think Wildernest is the same way.

Matt - did the TRD package have the locker?

12-14-2008, 08:46 PM
Indeed. I haven't seen a camper shell that will fit the 5' bed. But you could just get a topper and an RTT - close enough to a flippac....

Have you seen this one? Already comes with a flppac :cool: Wrong gen though, plus its an auto.


12-14-2008, 08:50 PM
Our old Subaru Outback (99) could get up to 28mpg on road trips, more like 22-23 around town. Like Maddmatt says - mileage suffers compared to other 4cyl cars because of the AWD. Otherwise, its a great around town car, minus a bed and a true 4wd....

12-14-2008, 08:51 PM
FWIW, the oil burning is possible (likely?) just valve guides if they are original. My memory is bad, did you have the head refreshed or not? If the guides are not old, then maybe it's rings. Could also just be a stuck PCV valve, that's what I would look at first...

Arthog's roomie drives a 2WD 3rd gen and with snow tires he seems to get into his house. That to me is a testament to good tires, since with my M/Ts I need to be in 4WD most of the drive up to his place and clicked the rear locker just for comfort in a couple of spots along the dirt road to Terry's house. I'm not talking 4WD just on the last section of unplowed, I mean CO119, US6, I was in 4WD a lot today.

So, what's I'm saying, if you decide to unload the '91, let me know. Please, please, please. I'd like a 2WD to commute to work with and a 1991 would be perfect because I have all the books. With a stock truck on Blizzaks, I'd be surprised if you'll find a better value, new or old. Your '91 is paid for and that is valuable.

WilderNests come in 6' and 7.5' foot lengths. The regular box 'Nest will fit any 6' Toyota bed from 1979 up to 2003 and the long bed version fits any pickup from 1979 to 1992, when Toyota stopped offering the long bed version. The WilderNest will not fit the current Tacoma AFAIK. Flip Pac makes 6' camper and a 4.5' one. If you get a '01-'03 Double Cab, it will have a 4.5' bed and Flip Pac is the only option. The 6' bed Double Cab is a 2nd gen Tacoma thing, so 2004+ only. They were all 4.5' on the last generation.

So to sum the camper situation.
WilderNest: 6' beds or 7.5' beds.
Flip Pac: 6' bed or 4.5' beds (no long bed option AFAIK).
Current Tacoma: Flip Pac only!
1979-2003: WilderNest or Flip Pac options.

12-14-2008, 09:27 PM
So I could do the following: 2001-2004 Tacoma Double Cab, Auto, short bed w/ rear locker which will fit a 4.5 ft Flip Pac? The only thing I'm thinking about now is how vertical the rear seats are...that could be thwartacious to my plans...

maybe I should just buy a quad cab Duramax so I can trailer my 40 if I want but it has a REAL rear seat with lots of goodies! :D

12-14-2008, 10:18 PM
I fill up my tdi maybe 1.5 times a month. 45 mpg. It's small for a family of 4 but a great, great commuter car. A set of blizzaks and it would be great in the snow with the torque.

I'd buy an 80 or 100 for as cheap and capable as they are and you have high clearance 4x. so you get a little less than 22-25. You can get mid to high teens if you drive it right. Your really not going to get anything with stellar mileage in a 4x.

12-14-2008, 10:50 PM
Matt- I've always admired the setup you have. Your relatively unmodified 40 has been an acceptable dd for when the truck is down, and the rest of the time the truck gets around town with good mpg. Then when you do hit the trails, the 40 becomes your favorite toy. In your circumstances, I can see why keeping the truck going is a hard call. It doesn't have passenger space, but as a commuter/part time utility truck it is the perfect candidate. You mentioned you would like an 80, and as far as creature comforts and passenger space, you can't do much better. You have also talked about wanting to do a spring over/35" tire/locked setup for the 40. So here's something to consider while you have money to kick around-

Get the work done on the truck to keep it reliable and on the road. Even with a $1500 engine replacement, you're still money ahead over buying a completely new truck that wouldn't be able to get the same mpg numbers. Pick up an 80, they're getting less and less expensive and it can be the "back-up" car your 40 is now. Plus, it has people space and is capable off-road. Take the remaining money you've saved by not buying a new car and build that 40 into your dream 40.

Just something to consider...

12-14-2008, 11:17 PM
Of those you listed, I would opt for the Forester. I think most people underestimate the amount of cargo space a good wagon has. I don't know what your budget is, but the idea of a Forester with an STi drivetrain swap just makes me quiver. Even a stock FXT with some light suspension work is a fun car to drive. In fact, if I can ever sell my Saab, that may likely be my next ride. The MPGs may not be the best out there, but it's has Subie's AWD, and I look at those as a "pay to play" scenario.

12-14-2008, 11:19 PM
Thank you Rick, and good point, that's another thing I was thinking about: the 40 and the red truck are both paid for. It would probably be closer to $2500 to have the engine in the red truck rebuilt, plus $400-$500 for repainting the hood and roof and getting the small rust patches dealt with by a body shop. The tranny was rebuilt not long ago, and with a new set of stock sized tires, careful driving and a fresh engine that's not over the top performance-wise, I could push more like 30 mpg, I've done it before.

I could buy an 80 for the longer road trips that might require extra passenger space, more creature comforts, plus the off-road capability. As long as it doesn't require modifications :p:

And actually, the list on the 40 has gone down since I also enjoy it as it is: rear bumper, sliders, cage, power steering (almost have all the parts acquired), dual batteries and OBA. In the future, a small spring-under lift and 33s and I think it will be set for what I practically have needs for. An 80 I would like to try and keep reasonable as well: ARB front bumper with winch, small lift and 33s, and maybe a rear bumper. All of that could be done for between $10K and $15K, including purchase price of the 80 I would think, and it would be over time instead of all at once.

And the TDI commuter car, well that could happen if/when the girlfriend becomes more than a girlfriend.

So then I would have 4 vehicles. Excessive for just starting off? Maybe, but they're all (mostly) running and driveable, and as long as I can afford them comfortably, with insurance and everything, maybe not a bad option. If I keep what I have and just add to it, then the next vehicle will need space+off road capability+comfort, and I could sacrifice the mpg. And the 80 would suit that bill just fine.

12-15-2008, 07:32 AM
the mileage thing is an illusion on mid-size or small trucks. I went through the same dilemma when I was replacing my chevy (and that came with a locker, lwb and extra cab). FWIW, I got 17 to 18 combined and 22 all day on the highway with my 07 silverado extra cab, and I get 15 in my t100. Again, close to 20 on pure highway with the topper up.

I would keep the old toy, or replace it with a newer vintage if you need the functionality of the bed. If you don't have to haul people, i.e. take people to lunch for your job, you'll always do better keeping what you have.

that said, my passat w8 waggon with 4wd, pitch/yaw/traction control, 300hp and hakkepalitta's goes just about anywhere in the snow and hauls stuff too!

12-15-2008, 07:54 AM
Matt, I didn't see you list a 100 series. Of course given your criteria it comes up short. Mine averages about 16 pretty steadily around town and it is not unheard of to get 17 and 18 from time to time. The power and comfort are great. With the high gas prices and people looking to get out of their SUVs I think the 100 series are a very good value. Sorry, I'm no help with the truck information but if you'd like to research the 100 option further let me know.

12-15-2008, 10:09 AM
Matt - did the TRD package have the locker?


12-15-2008, 10:28 AM
More comments to your other comments.

- Try the rear seats out in the 1st gen double cab - I found them perfectly comfortable for around town driving, and realtively easy access - I never sat back there for long periods, but they were vertical enough to make me wonder if they would suffice - but probably not worth counting out the 04 or older dbl cabs until you try.

- RE: having 4 cars at a young age - given the right circumstances I would have about 40 cars, so take this with a grain of salt - but when I was younger my wife and I had 3 cars - much less extreme than what you're considering - but I still found it more hassle than it was worth. We only had 2 garage spaces, so my truck (92 4x4 with the awesome 22re) was supposed to be the home depot/dump/deep snow work truck. It was completely paid for and had already given me 120k of nearly problem free service. What I found was at that vehicle age I spent more time moving that truck around, maintaining it, starting it to keep the battery charged and the seals from drying out, etc..... than I did using it. I ended up selling it and my Rodeo (don't laugh, that was a great suv - 5 speed, V6 and an LSD dana 44 in the rear and a HUGE rear seat) to buy the Taco double cab. If I truly needed a truck I would have found a way, but it wasn't as fun to have the vehicles as I thought it would be. Ran into the same problem when I had both Cruisers - obviously they were much older and required a great deal more maintenance, but I rarely had the "which cruiser should I drive today?" dilemma - I spent much more time making sure one of them was running well enough to get me through a week while I fixed the other one. Fun for some, but I'm more of a "bolt something cool on" mechanic than a "I love chasing vacuum leaks" mechanic. Of course I was also supporting a family of 4 on a single income - so I didn't really have the available cash to be sending SOR and Cruiser Dan a couple hundred bucks a week.

YMMV, and I know I'm getting wordy (shopping for cars is kind of a hobby with me - weird, I know) but if I were you I think I would be looking for that 1st gen Double cab, keeping the 40 and selling the truck to Dave. Everybody gets a new car, you get to keep the 40, (you would want it back 30 minutes after selling it, trust me) and I think most of your needs, other than gas mileage, will be met.

Or do the smart financial thing and keep what you have. New cars never justify themselves financially.

12-15-2008, 11:27 AM
Matt, I didn't see you list a 100 series.

I was thinking the same thing. You can get a stellar deal on a 1998-2000 UZJ100 these days. The V8 power is sweet, and they are roomier and more comfortable than an 80 series. Plus, real 4WD with a rear locker too.

You might also take a look at the 3rd gen 4Runners, like Yoder's. His is a 2000, and I think that was the last year you could get a rear locker. They have good power and it's a nice size. The 4th gen got bigger, more luxurious, and with V8 power, but the 3rd gen hit the sweet spot for me. Gas mileage is probably decent too.

12-15-2008, 01:09 PM
I was thinking the same thing. You can get a stellar deal on a 1998-2000 UZJ100 these days. The V8 power is sweet, and they are roomier and more comfortable than an 80 series. Plus, real 4WD with a rear locker too.

You might also take a look at the 3rd gen 4Runners, like Yoder's. His is a 2000, and I think that was the last year you could get a rear locker. They have good power and it's a nice size. The 4th gen got bigger, more luxurious, and with V8 power, but the 3rd gen hit the sweet spot for me. Gas mileage is probably decent too.

Gas mileage wise, the 100 is probably as good as the 3rd gen runner. I love mine, but mpg is not great - rarely over 20, more often 16-17 - lots of in town driving, which doesn't help. But "right sized" body, leather seats, power roof, rear locker, good stereo, etc... lots of goodies in the 3rd gen. that weren't offered on your truck and weren't even thought of when they built your 40.

12-15-2008, 02:00 PM
Yea - true 4wd and 25mpg only exists in the rarest of circumstances, likely a diesel or diesel conversion.

Other options from the current century with some space and clearance?

- Subaru
- Honda Element
- Jeep Liberty (CRD?)
- Tacoma 4cyl (no double cab option though)
- something from VW with AWD and TDI?

I'm sure there are others....

Edit: I think at last report Roseann Hanson was getting 25mpg in her FJ60 with the International 2.8L diesel. You could keep saving up for one of those....;)

Jenny Cruiser
12-15-2008, 02:15 PM
I'm surprised you didn't like the FJC. I originally had no interest in them for the same reasons as you, but after driving one for a bit I changed my mind. I most liked the fact that out of the box it can go just about anywhere and the manual has good power/fuel economy. I still think it's one of the worst looking vehicles Toyota has ever produced - especially from the rear.

My mom has a 01 DC Taco. I like it, but it's small and plain Jane compared to the LX or an 80, but still leaps ahead of what you're driving now. I think you'd be happiest with the DC Taco.

I'd love to have a TDI Passat Wagon, but everyone I know who owns a VW has had all kinds of electrical gremlins.

12-17-2008, 09:14 PM
Matt, Katie and I had to get another vehicle as well. Ended up getting an 03 F-350 crew cab dually diesel. So much for small.

FJ 432
12-18-2008, 09:04 AM

Another possible option might be finding a vehicle that fit your needs that can tow a utility trailer. When I purchased my FJ Cruiser I traded in a Nissan Titan. I love having a truck but the reality was that I used it only on occasion. I now have a small trailer and although it's not as easy, it takes care of most of my needs on hauling material from home depot, etc. A cheap alternative and costs about 17.00/year to plate.


12-18-2008, 07:03 PM

You need one of these --> http://www.f650pickups.com/indexb.html

One pulled up next to me the other day at a light...OMG is that sucker HUGE :eek:

Should have no problem dragging the LX, the popup camper, and the 40 to Moab though :lmao:

12-18-2008, 07:19 PM
I want that color too :p:

12-18-2008, 07:59 PM
While I have no "compensation needs" to own one, I have a soft spot for the 650 for some reason. I love the one I saw at the Denver Auto Show this year.


12-18-2008, 08:20 PM
Matt...I can totally sympathize with your car decison.

I had a '76 FJ 40, sprung over, 35s, locked, etc and a subaru outback. The dogs wouldn't fit in the 40 with all of the camping/climbing gear, so I was stuck driving the outback, when I really wanted a more capable off-roader. So, I sold the subaru and got a 4th gen 4-runner (V8 limited) which was really wayyyy too nice to just toss the dogs or a spare axle in the back and expect the leather to not get roughed up. So I had your same dilemma. I "traded down" (definitely not) and bought an 80 series, sold my 40 and still had money left to get a commuter car (mazda 3) and a utility trailer. My only regret is selling my 40, so please don't do that!!! But the 80 I think is the ultimate EVERYTHING vehicle. If you want slightly better gas mileage than the 80, I think some of the newer 100s (post '03, I think) get slightly better gas mileage than the '98-'02? Can even go over 20mpg?

Best of luck with your decision. As someone else above stated....there's definitely something to be said for NO CAR PAYMENTS!!!

BTW...you can borrow my utility trailer any time you want. For the times where you "NEED" a truck, the utility trailer solves the issue.

12-19-2008, 11:16 AM
You need one of these -->

Hell yeah!


12-19-2008, 11:44 AM
Hell yeah!
Yeah, I guess that's OK, unless you have a big family then...


Or you want to doing some crawling...

12-19-2008, 01:53 PM
The one that pulled up next to me was a tad more....subdued? :)

I must say, it definitely made me look a couple times. It didn't clear the stop lights by much so I imagine parking garages are out of the question :hill:...

Looked like this with maybe a little less chrome:


If I had $80k burning a hole in my pocket I might be tempted to pick this one up (http://www.f650pickups.com/scottwalt.html) :thumb:


12-19-2008, 03:41 PM
If I had $80k burning a hole in my pocket I might be tempted to pick this one up (http://www.f650pickups.com/scottwalt.html)

If I had $80k burning a hole in my pocket, I would take out a loan for another $30k and buy this (http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/911/911-gt3/). :D

12-19-2008, 03:44 PM
If I had $80k burning a hole in my pocket, I would take out a loan for another $30k and buy this (http://www.porsche.com/usa/models/911/911-gt3/). :D
If I had holes in my pockets and $80K, I'd probably start with buying new jeans so that the other $79,950 doesn't fall out. :-)

12-19-2008, 03:52 PM
You need to go to Kohl's. My jeans are only $20. :D

12-19-2008, 03:55 PM
Hey quit talking about pants you pansies and start talking about big trucks again. this is a 4x4 forum, geez. :rant:

12-19-2008, 03:57 PM
you guys are ruining my thread :bawl:

12-19-2008, 03:58 PM
here this will get it back on track.. :D

12-19-2008, 04:54 PM
What about this? :D


12-19-2008, 05:03 PM
Sorry about the last one. How about this one?


12-19-2008, 05:29 PM

12-19-2008, 07:10 PM
you guys are ruining my thread :bawl:

I thought it was already decided that you were getting an 80 :confused:


12-20-2008, 01:28 PM
I thought it was already decided that you were getting an 80 :confused:


Hey now we're talking.. and an Icelandic one, right?


12-22-2008, 12:18 AM
Good lord, I love those trucks.

12-22-2008, 08:25 AM
The one that pulled up next to me was a tad more....subdued? :)

I must say, it definitely made me look a couple times. It didn't clear the stop lights by much so I imagine parking garages are out of the question :hill:...

Looked like this with maybe a little less chrome:


The big black F-650 lives just south of me. Mostly it sits in his driveway :hill:

Uncle Ben
12-22-2008, 09:03 AM
Matt needs to be much more high tech than just a fancy truck pilot......


01-06-2009, 10:37 AM
How about rethinking a 70 series?



01-06-2009, 03:33 PM
Besides needing room for 4 kids and also a wheeler, I'll tell you why I bought an 80 over anything new.

At 105K miles with headgasket PM, front and rear axle service (all by Slee), OME lift, Slee sliders and t-case skid, new driver's seat leather, and Garvin roof rack, I could put the entire thing in a pretty small 4 year loan and have a built, fr/rr locked, up-to-date maintained, AWD truck that had a good shot of another 100-150K miles of useful life, and that I wouldn't have to touch for several years other than basic maintenance. This was $13,800 three years ago.

This same type of rig would now have about 125-130K miles, and with upgraded bumpers could be had for $9K easily in very good condition locked and possibly geared.

80's are now cheap to insure, you won't be paying a bunch of property tax, and you'll add a family wheeler to the stable.

The downside? Fuel economy is not good, it is an offset to the enormous value and useful life of a well cared for and built 80. I don't have a commute so I only put about 7,500 miles a year on my 80, and that does make a difference. We also have a minivan for urban excursions, so the 80 is used where it makes total sense to have one (mountain trips, Utah trips, wheeling trips, winter conditions, and personal errand running so I can feel like I still have a set of cajones that are mine :hill:)

Still, given what a built and cared for 80 goes for now, and how much life these things have left, I'm not sure you can buy more vehicle for the money. Just depends whether you need "more vehicle" or not.

01-08-2009, 09:48 PM
After thinking about it for a bit, and after reading Robbie's article last TT issue of "care and feeding of 80s", and with it being a familiar vehicle to me, and with it being a Land Cruiser, and after reading the article this TT issue of Exploring the Arizona Strip, and also Perry's Outlaws Run book (which mentions Daniel Markofsky's 80, which I have done an "Outlaw" style run with too), and remembering the TT article from a while ago about a cross-country Utah adventure (with 80s), I'm pretty sure an 80 is the vehicle I really do want.

Now that may cause problems, because I would naturally want to keep my 40 just 'cause, and my red truck as a DD, since after replacing the plug wires this week it runs much better and I'm a little more confident that the head gasket will last a while longer, though it still burns oil (it's comforting to think it will last considering the R&R I've put into that truck over the last year - just bought new tires today). I just don't know if owning two Land Cruisers is too much at my age/stage of life, or if I did get an 80 if the 40 would get neglected; I don't really drive it as it is anyway right now, except for when it snows. If I bought an 80 it would more likely be a snow DD and a long-range expedition-type vehicle, but could also be a short-range expedition vehicle, just for comfort's sake.

Naturally my 80 would need a front winch bumper, sliders, rear bumper, skid plate at the minimum. I don't like the look/height of stock 80s, so I thought originally a small lift and 33s would be optimal to not go crazy with it. But then I thought - a little larger lift and little larger tires aren't really that much more, so why not go all the way? And then I was thinking about what to do with all that added weight from body protection - supercharge or try to get my hands on a turbo'd truck that I know? ;)

Well I guess I have time to think about the right truck, paying for it, etc., since I don't have a pressing need for it immediately. I'm kinda scared of the impact it would have on my 40 though, since I'm not really done with that yet either...needs power steering, OBA, dual batteries, rear bumper, skid plate, roll cage, sliders, a lift and 33s and my storage system plus some odds and ends...

01-08-2009, 10:32 PM
The nice thing about buying an 80 is you can wheel it immediately, although it's best to buy sliders right away. There are less systems that need improvement (PS comes stock on all models), so you can spend your money on the fun stuff.

A 2.5" lift with 33" tires is a sweet spot, IMO. No need to regear, not too huge that it makes getting in and out of it a PITA, and you can wheel a whole lotta stuff. Now that I have the 4" lift with 35" tires, my wife absolutely hates getting in and out of it, and if she's in a skirt I get the evil eye.

I'd bide your time and look for someone selling a built truck where you like the choices he has made. You can get all that armor and maybe even a supercharger, and not pay full price.

Unless you are dead set on ARBs, make sure to buy one with the magic dial. The OEM lockers can be retrofitted, but it's a bunch of needless work when you can simply buy a different 80 with lockers for the same price.

01-08-2009, 10:47 PM
Oh, getting OEM lockers is not an option, it's a necessity :D

Good thoughts on the 33s, I forgot about regearing for sizes larger than that.

01-09-2009, 12:04 AM
Buy treeroots 80. He's selling it so he can build a 100 series ;)

01-09-2009, 12:29 AM
Go 35's, the 80 runs them as easily as 33's on a 3" lift, and both pretty much suck with stock gearing on the passes. You'll end up wanting to regear with either, and 33's call for 4.56's, which isn't really worth it, and 35's you can go straight to 4.88's or if you are kidding yourself about staying with 35's 5.29's are the ticket :thumb::hill:

I think a 3" lift with 35's is the sweet spot on an 80, these things are flat out built for 35's. Trim and go light on bumpers, add sliders, gear it, and forget about needing forced induction (don't add any weight that isn't necessary). Slee step sliders are great offroad pivot points and extra side protection, and also great for :Princess:, eliminating any ingress egress issues.

Headgasket PM, recent front axle service, lockers, and mods you already want are your value items.

Plus my practically new Toyo MT's could possibly be had for $50 savings a tire since I am kidding myself about not going 37's :D

01-09-2009, 02:49 AM
Wait till gas hits $4/gal again and you should see some more good deals :)

I'm with Matt that the 2.5" lift and 285s / 33's works good but I'll be the first to admit that it looks a little "goofy"...the 315s / 35s REALLY make the 80 look better as they fill out the wheel wells better and are wider so the rear end view doesn't look so silly (IMO). Next meeting just look at mine from the rear vs Matt's or Romer's or Kevin's etc. But the entry price to go to 315s was more than I cared to shell out at the time and since my is a DD I had to make a compromise.

I'd say look for one already built but not abused and save some $$ that route if you can. Tires alone will set you back a big chunk of change and throw in sliders, bumpers, a lift, winch, skid plate, and all the other little mods and you can quickly be eyeing $5K-$6K right there. And, be sure to factor in $1K-$2K on PM stuff depending on what you buy...80s are great vehicles but they are not cheap...

Will the 40 get neglected? Probably, at least for awhile while you are building up the 80. And once you drive and wheel the 80 on a long trip to say Moab, for some reason bouncing along in the 40 doesn't look so fun anymore...Of course you can't take the top off an 80 (cheaply anyway :hill:).

01-09-2009, 07:54 AM
Wait till gas hits $4/gal again and you should see some more good deals :)
I'd say look for one already built but not abused and save some $$ that route if you can.
And once you drive and wheel the 80 on a long trip to say Moab, for some reason bouncing along in the 40 doesn't look so fun anymore...Of course you can't take the top off an 80 (cheaply anyway :hill:).

like this one from Slee's website (http://sleeoffroad.com/for_sale/brian_wilson/brian.htm) - sold already though :(

Or this one (http://sleeoffroad.com/for_sale/darryl/darryl.htm) - already sold

I'm already tired (unless I'm in the right mood) of driving the 40 long distances, just because of the lack of comfort. I know I'm young and should be able to handle it, and while it's fine for me I really never feel good about taking someone else in my 40 because I know they're not enjoying it as much because of the noise.

If taking the top off the 40 is the only benefit, well that may be a problem :eek: and that's what I'm scared of...

01-09-2009, 09:04 AM
There's no question if you get another Cruiser that both will suffer. I have btdt when I had both a 62 and a 80. Did it again when we had a Taco, did it again when we had a 4Runner, doing it now with the Scout. There are only so many hours in a weekend, and there's only so much discretionary mod money. One truck sits there lonely while you work on the other.

However, there's no question that 80's are awesome rigs, and I think Matt's suggestion above is spot on- wait until you see one that's already been modded then snatch it up and get all those upgrades for close to free. If they're not the bumpers, sliders, etc. that you ultimately want you can sell them to upgrade to others, still better than starting with nothing.

But there is a very active flow of hand-me-down parts and accessories, and absolutely nothing that can go wrong on the truck that one of your friends won't know how to fix.. so IMO an 80 will only become a money pit if you want it to. But heck if you just want a quick 80 fix then let's go run Hells Revenge and switch trucks again ;)

01-09-2009, 11:37 AM
I agree about the neglect. It doesn't matter what you buy, be it LC, Tacoma or 4Runner - something will get neglected once you get two trucks. And one way or another, your head and heart will end up favoring one over the other. For me, the 40 is fun and I enjoy the occasional "cruise" in it, but most of my trips are with 2-4 family members and are often "overland style", which means I can't neglect the continuing needs of my 4 door. Dual batteries, fridge+mount, rack, drawers, water, improved rear springs, front locker, gearing.....uggh. The 40 needs lots of things, but mostly what it needs is time and money, which is tough to find with a full time job and a family of 4.

Maybe I should sell the 40 and get a Corolla....

Whatever you decide - do it soon while your still young and single.

Uncle Ben
01-09-2009, 01:53 PM
Whatever you decide - do it soon while your still young and single.

WERD! Once married or even just tied down to another person full time you Cruiser time and budget become like a mistress and get really hard to keep funded. Your interests suddenly have to go through a review board! Unfortunately, once that happens the phase "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission" becomes quite clear to it's meaning! :rolleyes: :bowdown::Princess: :brick::banghead::bawl:

01-09-2009, 02:13 PM
It wasn't being single that killed it for me it was the addition of kids...

01-09-2009, 02:35 PM
Unfortunately, once that happens the phase "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission" becomes quite clear to it's meaning!

Cough cough. I have been guilty of that. :rolleyes:

It wasn't being single that killed it for me it was the addition of kids...

Very true. Also kills all your free time for actually installing the parts that you do manage to buy.

04-08-2009, 10:12 AM
After thinking about it for a while (yeah I sit on the pot a while but I want to make sure it's right before I commit) I think I've thought of how I want to proceed:

I thought I should start working my way in the direction I ultimately want to go, and the first step would be to get a Chevy/GMC extended cab 4x4 longbed, either Ĺ ton or ĺ ton.

This would help me keep a pickup style vehicle, but would give me 4x4 (very important to me), more power for towing etc. (pretty important to me), probably a little more interior comfort, would be fairly reasonably easy to drive (since I donít really need the full 4 doors right now), less miles than my current truck has, and IF anything went bad on it I would be more inclined to fix it and keep it running because:
a) I have a truck thatís more useful Ė even if I fixed the red truck itís still an anemic 2wd pickup;
b) be more cheap (probably) for parts;
c) parts are more readily available; and
d) things are probably at least as easy, if not easier to get to (the alternator for example).

Ultimately Iím thinking of getting a Civic commuter car and having a 4-door longbed 4x4 3/4 ton diesel pickup (Ford or GMC, plus a trailer to pull the Land Cruiser around on road trips), so maybe in a year or two I can have enough saved up to buy a Civic DD so I can get 45+ mpg. Then sometime later down the road again I can think about buying the big truck (but first I want to see what happens to GM before buying a new vehicle from them).

This is, like I said, a stepping stone to get me closer to what I actually want/what works for my needs. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new car, but I think it will be a good step because it'll get me into a 4x4 with power/towing capacity; a Tacoma has 4x4 but doesn't really have the power/towing capacity I'm looking for (at least not in the model years in my price range).

I know I'm losing the Toyota, but they just don't make anything that really fills these needs (The Tundra is ok but not quite there), plus I have GM in my blood from growing up so I know it, am familiar and comfortable with it, and it's not a stretch for me to go back to it.

Anyway...:blah: :bored:

04-08-2009, 10:25 AM
I had a 2007 chevy z71 xtra cab std bed.

PERFECT town truck. 21/22 hwy mpg big 350hp motor too...

still have good lease residuals. My father in law is a broker, let me know if you want the hook up

Jenny Cruiser
04-08-2009, 12:21 PM
You shouldn't have a problem finding a truck like that. There's a lot of very nice trucks around here since the collapse of drilling in the DJ. Good luck!

05-29-2009, 12:23 AM
Well after all this I've gone with a 2000 Tundra for now. Very happy with the decision, I'm looking forward to it being able to fulfill my needs for the immediate and longish-term future. I think I reached the balance I was looking for.