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I'm torn guys....keep the XJ or build an FZJ80

Safari Ary

NAXJA Forum User
Hey guys, I'm really torn...
My dad just bought a '94 FZJ80 with 132k miles on it for $9,500. It's fully equipped and well maintained(the thing is MINT except for some cracks in the leather). It's got DUAL electric factory lockers, 4 wheel discs, full-floater rear, etc etc. It's WELL equipped. The previous owner was a soccer mom(literally) and never took it off-road so it's in great shape. My dad bought this with the intent of using it as a hunting/fishing/recreational truck and for my mom to use when she needs to go to Home Depot etc. His Yukon just wasn't cuttin it offroad. Anyway it's gonna be an extra vehicle for the family.

Now here's the kicker, the guy we bought it from thought it was for me, and I said no, it was for my dad. Later my dad turns to me and says, "do you want it?" Well, of course I do dad, but that doesn't mean it's gonna happen was what I was thinkin. He then said, I tell ya what, sell the Jeep, buy this from me for what I paid for it, and you keep the difference from the Jeep. Now I don't know what to do guys. The cruiser is a NICE truck, it's got a solid frame/driveline, it will fit 33s stock and 35s on a 2" OME lift, and it's got amenities to boot. So do I trade in the beloved XJ for a 'yota?? Help! Thanks


P.S. I'm really looking for some honest advice here, not just biased "keep the XJ" rants. Also, I really haven't made up my mind one way or the other, I'm just kinda giddy at the prospect of the new rig. Thanks again
Keep the XJ! (biased). Hard to come to an XJ site and ask for a non-biased answer to a question like that. Read your sig, "Jeep, feel free to wonder".
Really just figure what you intend your rig to do, and then figure which will fit your purpose or needs the best.
You're asking that question in a Jeep forum :) .

My answer, along with all others, is by definition biased.

That being said, common chatter says that before 93, the FZJ80 was a POS, underpowered and had real poor braking, high failures of everything from drivetrain to engine. From 93 to 98 they got steadily better. Your 94 is in the low range of the good years.

Compare specs 1 to 1 w/ the XJ: (http://www.tlc4x4.com/2000/SpecPages/fzj80_specs.htm)
The XJ is lighter but has slightly lower power.
As you noted, the stock drivetrain mirrors most light- to medium-duty mods that we do to the XJ's.
Aftermarket mods seem to be similar.

Its a highly personal choice, and for me it would come down to 2 things: familiarity with the vehicle and brand loyalty. I know the Jeep well and I like the brand. Make your own choice.
ok.... I think we're going to have to send Beez over with his spanking machine to you! With the amount of blood, bruised knuckles, arguments, sweat, effort you're actually considering to abandon it?

Call me biased but the LandCruisers look to me bulky and cumbersome.... give me an agile XJ any day :) Even though I'm not as hardcore wheeler as some are, I think that if I had a yota like that, it'd be pretty banged up because of what's around here : rocks, big rocks, and even more rocks....

Ok, after that... go to the bathroom (or kitchen), turn on the cold water.... stick your head under the stream for couple minutes and look at your choices again. I think the answer will be self evident :)

in 20 years that FJ will be puttering around while we're over here duct taping our Unibody's back together while cursing and dispensing accolades upon DCX in the same breath...

wanna Talk about resale value?
just last week you were fighting with your dad, now he says "do you want it". sounds like you made up. just dont work on it in HIS garage.
Toz, thanks for the "unbiased" opinion...

89, yeah, my father's and my relationship is very fickle, we go from best buds to arch enemies daily. We'll see how long this lasts. Peace

whitch one do you like the best. your XJ "With the amount of blood, bruised knuckles, arguments, sweat, effort." or the LC with all the goodies there. i like my XJ but would jump at a chance at a LC. so it really comes down to what you think.
but i'm a :dunce: and a :looser: so nobody cares about my .02
In my totally un-biased opinion, I would go with the Toyota. I would suspect (flame suit on) that offroad-ability would be pretty near close. Or at least close enough that driver skill would make the major difference. Aftermarket parts are not as prevalant but they are still there. The thing that I would consider is that realistically 99% of the miles that go on my XJ are on pavement. Those are very nice vehicles and it has been a while since I have driven one but IIRC it was much nicer than my XJ on the road (not to mention the nice comforts). It has been mentioned before but I will say it again, the resale value is incedible. 10 years from now when you go sell it you will get a lot more than what you will from your XJ. Go check your local clasifieds and you will be shocked to see that in a lot of cases a Cherokee is cheaper than a 7 yr older cruiser (and in some case a 4-runner)
My unbiased opinion is that the first time that FJ gets well-gonged on the trail and requires downtime, while you fetch parts in his other new "hunting/fishing/recreational truck and for my mom to use when she needs to go to Home Depot etc truck" (or his Yukon, should he end up keeping it,) he is going to saw you into little pieces and take you crabbing in the bay.

Seriously though...you have a well-built XJ...but it sounds as if your dad doesn't approve of the direction you have taken with it.(more off road perf. than street comfort) I recall you said he had a nice one some years ago (87?88 Limited w D44) so he may be biased towards comfortable utility?

Since he did buy the Toy, and intends to use it (in part) off-road as transportation to/from rec. activities, I'd advise to hands off it... The 80 is plush and well equipped, no doubt. Probably perfect for the mission DAD intended for it, but for you it'd be a whole new buildup ex$$$$perience. Right there in Dad's garage.


I dunno enough specific tech on them to say why, but I have always had a soft-spot for the full-size FJs. One consideration in their disfavor is that they get brutal MPG for a DD. (Plush Pork Penalty at the Pump) Another is that all that plush wiry mung on those things is gonna give plenty of owners fit$ and put Toy Techs' kids through college. OTOH all the pieces are there to make a capable off-roader.

Hard Choice Ary...
I don't know about you, But I don't like things hanging over my head. That toy is awfully heavy to be dangeling overhead.
The Land Crusher gets my vote, hands down. I use the rear axle out of a Lexus LX 450 in my buggy, and they are very stout, very well thought out rigs.

DCX needs to send some engineers over to Japan for a lesson on how to build a durable off road vehicle. Ever see a Taliban guy driving around a Cherokee in the wilds of Afghanistan? I think not. They all drive LC's or HiLux's for a reason, they are very well built and solid machines that were designed to go off-road from the get go!

XJ's are cheap, disposable vehicles that have a designed lifespan that doesn't include off highway use. The disposable part is good for me, becasue replacement bodies are cheap, and I seem to need stuff replaced all the time......

a somewhat good point... but.... let me ask you this:
how many of those you see climbing rocks like they do in johnson valley, rubicon, john bull and all the other ones? They all seem to just drive on dirt roads...... yeah... deeply rutted dirtroads, but dirtroads nevertheless :)

Nothing but a purpose built rig survives those trails year after year any way.

Ask yourself: do I need to replace the entire drivetrain on an FJ 80 just to go wheeling? I think not. factory 4.10's, factory lockers, and the ability to run 35" tires on 2.5" of lift is pretty cool in my book. The only stock component in my current drivetrain is my 4.0, and even that's not going to be stock for too much longer.

Yes, they are too big for places like JV, but they do fine on the 'Con.
Is the question really the "what"? More likely the why.