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Thread: My FZJ80 Overland Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cloudcroft NM
    Posts
    690

    Arrow My FZJ80 Overland Build


    1997 FZJ80 40th Anniversary #0411


    I started my search for an 80 around a year ago after juggling between my Tacoma and then FJ60. Different trips warranted a different rig longer trips on the highway went to the Tacoma and shorter day trips to the 60. I always had dreams of building up the 60 to go anywhere off highway or on, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on the build. I got to thinking that a more modern and capable rig was in order. Enter the FZJ80, with a heavy duty frame, coil suspension and straight axles front and rear. This platform allows comfort on the road and gobs of off road capability. I narrowed it down looking for a 1996 and 1997 model for the OBDII and newest available years, lockers would be nice but not required, but most of all good service history.

    The plan would be to build a dedicated overland/adventure rig that would be ready to go with out a lot of prep work or loading. I'm not talking fully loaded and ready for an expedition to Chile but, load the cooler and pack a bag and go. Drawers would be built to hold cooking and camp needs and for the most part be kept loaded in the truck, I would leave the tent on top since it would only see highway time if we are using the tent so MPGs are out the window anyways. The truck would be capable enough to go any were I would want to go in a fully loaded overland truck with a RTT and higher center of gravity. Tire size in the 285/75/16 range in a AT or MT, lockers would be great but not required for the build's goals. If the truck didn't have them then they would be a ways down on the list.


    The FZJ80 the day I handed over the money

    The truck you see above fit all of my search requirements and even better was found locally. 175K on the truck with a folder full of records, factory Diff locks front and rear and in a color I was a fan of. SOLD!
    It was also fitted with an ARB Bullbar, Old Man Emu Low Lift kit (861 and 862 springs .5" -.75" over stock) and Yakima cross bars. I was able to mount my RTT and hit the trail "right out of the box" so to speak.

    After a base line check and mounting the RTT we made a quick weekend trip up to Monticello Box, a classic Southern New Mexico rout in a tight canyon with lots of water.


    The road fallows a running creek all the way through the Box.


    The road is always changing with every flash flood.

    The following post will cover:
    Suspension and Tires

    Roof Top Tent and Rack

    Cargo Storage

    Other Items

    Updates
    Gordon

    1997 FZJ80 40th and locked
    My FZJ80 Overland Build
    1989 BJ74 Mud Build
    2009 Tacoma W/ 15 FWC Swift

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cloudcroft NM
    Posts
    690

    Default Suspension and Tires

    Tires
    The truck had P275/70/16 Goodyear Forteras when I got it, the tread was OK but I was leery of hitting the trail with a "P" rated tire. New tires would be the first on the "To Do" list. I have always been a BFG guy but after some searching around town a good deal was found on Toyo Open Country MTs in LT285/75/16 E. I did some research at home and read good things on them so I figured I'd give them a try. Went back to the tire shop had them mount four of the Toyos and ordered up a fifth for the spare.


    First test of the Toyos: Dona Ana Mnts local trails.

    I have been very pleased with the Toyos. They have been very reliable and predictable on both the trail and the highway. Not as noisy as other MTs I have ridden around with. I really like the side walls, good protection wile still forming to the terrain at pressure.

    Suspension

    This is actually the most recent mod I have done on the truck. The Low Lift OME springs were nice to have with the RTT and Bullbar but it was soon apparent after our first trip to Utah that the rear springs were maxed out with the tent, rack and gear. So an order was placed to Sierra Expeditions for OME 850 and 863 springs.



    The nice part of this has been that the Nitrocharger shocks are the same for both the old and new spring and were reused. The 850 is the same spring rate as the 861 just with a 2.5" lift. The 863 are the heavys rated for 400lbs constant load not the heaviest one OME offers but better suited for my set up then the 862. It was a simple pull out the old and put in the new. I also got a set of caster correction bushings that I'm working on now.


    Driveway shot after new spring install.
    Gordon

    1997 FZJ80 40th and locked
    My FZJ80 Overland Build
    1989 BJ74 Mud Build
    2009 Tacoma W/ 15 FWC Swift

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Tucson, Az.
    Posts
    188
    Nice rig! That is still my favorite color 80.
    97 FZJ80 Factory locked with some stuff
    2015 Subaru Outback (wifes rig)
    1978 FJ40
    1991 Toyota pick up xtra cab 4x4 SOLD
    1997 4runner built SOLD
    2012 Tundra work rig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Western Slope CO
    Posts
    309
    Do you notice any new vibrations in the front end with the new 850s? I have some sagged 851s and would like to go to the 850s. I have a Bump it off road tube bumper but will have an Engo 12k winch with syn line soon. Hopefully I will not be too light for them.

    Kick *** rig btw!!!! Getting sliders soon?
    1997 Toyota FZJ80, OME 2.5" Lift, SC Lights 20" LED Light Bar, 285/75/16 Cooper ST Maxx's, Custom Interior Tire Mount, BIOR Tube Bumper/Sliders, Engo 12k Winch, Homemade Roof Rack, Slee Headlight Harness, Factory Locked

    1989 Mazda B2600i 4x4 project/DD

    My Radventures Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NorFL
    Posts
    565
    Very nice 80... I am enjoying the build and looking forward to your progress. Keep the pics coming. Out of curiosity, What tire pressure are you running your Toyos at for on road use?
    1997 White CE FZJ 80
    My LC Build and Family Adventure Thread Mauka2Makai - Our Quest Begins...An 80 Series Adventure
    2006 4Runner SE V6 4WD

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    ATX
    Posts
    204
    I love Monticello Box Canyon, done it in my FJC and on my 1200GS Adventure!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cloudcroft NM
    Posts
    690
    The Dude,
    Nothing yet in the form of shakes or vibrations. But I haven't driven it much, just a few dirt roads, still need to get the bushings in. Sliders are on the list just haven't made it that far yet.
    Thanks!
    Gordon

    1997 FZJ80 40th and locked
    My FZJ80 Overland Build
    1989 BJ74 Mud Build
    2009 Tacoma W/ 15 FWC Swift

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cloudcroft NM
    Posts
    690
    Quote Originally Posted by Mauka2Makai View Post
    Very nice 80... I am enjoying the build and looking forward to your progress. Keep the pics coming. Out of curiosity, What tire pressure are you running your Toyos at for on road use?
    Thanks for the compliment, yours has been one of my favs on here. Iv been running 45-35 on the road for the Toyos, seem to work well so far.
    Gordon

    1997 FZJ80 40th and locked
    My FZJ80 Overland Build
    1989 BJ74 Mud Build
    2009 Tacoma W/ 15 FWC Swift

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cloudcroft NM
    Posts
    690
    Quote Originally Posted by ABQIRONPIG View Post
    I love Monticello Box Canyon, done it in my FJC and on my 1200GS Adventure!!
    Yep one of my all time favorite drives. Lets see some info on that 55 some time!
    Gordon

    1997 FZJ80 40th and locked
    My FZJ80 Overland Build
    1989 BJ74 Mud Build
    2009 Tacoma W/ 15 FWC Swift

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    849
    Nice 80! The canyon with the stream looks like a ton of fun too. Subscribed.
    - Dave
    Website and blog at BRnav.com.
    FZJ80 and TJ Sahara. N6XE. SAR.

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