Been lurking around here a while and thought I better introduce myself since the weather is getting nicer and mountain runs are calling.
I've owned a couple of toyotas now. I had a 99 Tacoma extended cab 4x4 when my wife and I were first married and loved it. But along came kids and it just wasn't practical anymore so I sold it and bought a 97 Ford F250 4 door Powerstroke. It was a dream to drive down the highway, but always missed climbing up things, down things, and around things.
Sometime last summer I got the itch again for an off-road capable 4x4 that I could load the whole family in and hit the mountains. After some research I quickly gravitated to Land Cruisers.
Being cheap and able to fly just about anywhere for very little expense, I began searching around the country for the best deal. In October I came across a 96 White FZJ80 locally on Craigslist that looked interesting. But decided against calling because the PO described the rig as "needing engine work" and he said he planned to put a diesel engine in it. I figured the engine must be toast.
A few weeks went by and it was still listed, so I reluctantly when to see it. The body was in great shape, interior was in above average shape with the typical driver seat wear and tear. It would crank but wouldn't start. The PO said he had a mechanic friend come and look at it and they just couldn't get it to run. To me it seemed most likely a fuel delivery problem and not a trashed engine... but what did I know. I went home and did some research on i8mud. I became fairly certain it was either the fuel pump or the EFI relay.
I decided to roll the dice and offered him 1/2 of what he was asking since I was taking the risk of buying a vehicle in non-running condition. I figured, worst case scenario, with the OME lift and ARB bumper I could still part it out and make a little coin. The neighbors had been hassling him to get it off the street so he took the offer.
I figured the EFI relay was a cheap fix to try first. I tried to find one at the local dealership. No luck. Before calling a tow truck, and after the PO left of course
, I decided to pull the EFI relay, scraped the terminals for a better connection, popped it back in and.... volla, the truck fired right up.
. Drove it home that day and have never had a bit of trouble with it since.
I feel a little guilty but...
. I figure I got a pretty good deal. I basically paid what the upgrades would have cost me anyway and got the rest of the Land Cruiser for free. But wait, theres more... he had most the maintenance paperwork since it was purchased new.
So far i've washed and polished it, changed the oil, cleaned the K&N filter, ripped out the ugly wood grain dash trim, installed a Scion T1819 head unit and that's about it. That's the good.
The bad is- it's not locked, it does have an old leak. It doesn't leak much oil on the driveway, but the bottom of the engine is covered. I'm sure all the other fluids should be changed, maybe time for a new belts, plugs, wires, disti, head-gasket, etc. etc. etc. 199,xxxx miles on the odie.
I hope to make it out to a club meeting soon and get to know you guys better. Until then I'll go rub my new favorite vehicle in the garage with a diaper.