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Discussion Starter #1
I though about putting this in the Expedition Vehicles forum but since I'm looking at a TLC I figured I'd get better response here.

I've recently started a videography business to cover extreme offroad sports in the SE and need more economical mobility than my jimmy/burb tow vehicle offers. I'm a GM guy so I naturally want to build a Canyon on 40's with a LSx|4L80e|Doubled on one tons but I just don't have the time to do it or money to pay someone do it for me (I hear you guys saying "what's economical about a truck like that?" nevermind. :lol: ).

My buddy's near stock 93 TLC is one of the most capable "near stock" offroad machines I've seen so it looks a great option to get one. I need to haul a bunch of gear, 2-4 people and have to have reliability to get there and back. So he's saying that the 1997 FJz80 is the best one to get. Is there any better? He's had problems with his birf's but the way he thrashes it, it's no wonder. I just need dependability and offroad capability so what do I look for?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Dang maybe I shouldn't have said I'm a chevy guy :flipoff2:

I just want something with lockers front, rear and in the tranny and would like to know if there's anything I should look for or avoid.
 

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I think there is no better base for an expedition type rig than a 93-7 80 series. Factory locking diffs are the key option to look for. Be aware however that they are far from an economical vehicle to operate. Theres some very knowledgable people on 80s on this board, but if you really want to read about the 80 series, I'd check ih8mud.com, go to the forums and find the 80 forum. Those guys live, breathe and eat the 80 series.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not looking for hybrid economy. It just has be better than hauling an 8000lb trailer everywhere I go.
 

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you're gonna get 10-14 mpg but it'll do the job very reliably and won't leave you stranded.


have you thought about a 100 series?! the price on them has come down about $5k in the last year with the new model coming out and gas prices being what they are..........


definetly check www.ih8mud.com for more wagon info although there are plenty of 80 and 100 series owners on here also.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
other than being newer, what's the benefit to going with a 100 series? are they still straight axle trucks?
 

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newer design, V8 power and slightly better fuel economy, higher towing ability, nicer interrior, .............................. and it does have independant front suspension so they ride really well. if you want to do a major lift, then you might be better off with the 80 or doing a solid axle swap on the 100.

you can find a lot of info on christo's site:

http://www.sleeoffroad.com/

more 100 series stuff from slee:

http://www.sleeoffroad.com/products/bumpers/front_bumpers_100series.htm
 

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I think when they went with the IFS the front locker was no longer an option (but the rear was still avaliable)
 

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95-97 FZJ80, plan for two major repairs/prev. maintainance: Birfield re-pack and headgasket. Birfs will need attention by the time you get it, and the headgasket was an inferior design from Toyota that has been updated. After about 100k, FZJs become prone to HG failure...replace before you get stranded.

$1000 worth of lift will easily allow 35-37" tires (Slee's 4" kit + fender flare removal should easily allow 37" tires), ARB front bumper + Slee or MetalTech (or custom) sliders will protect everything vulnerable, 4.88s or 5.29s to keep it slow in the rocks, supercharger? (who doesn't like more power)....best damn 4WD avaliable for all around use and bad-assed-ness.
 

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stock locked w/ ff rear . I have a fellow cruiser head w/ one and it is the most impresive vehical I have ever seen in stock trim. Some one on nfcruiserheads.org has a 93 or 94 80 for sale log on and send campinglab a pm he would sell it for 3500 I believe.Dont quote me.
 
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