Box Rocket 1995 FZJ80 Build

Box Rocket

Well-known member
Current photo (April 2020)
IMG_3431 by Adam Tolman, on Flickr

Specs at the time of purchase:
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1995 FZJ80 Moonglow Pearl
187K miles
Factory Lockers
Rancho 2.5" coils
285's
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Current Specs:
Stage 5 Slinky Long Travel Suspension
75mm Heavy rate Slinky coils
4xOverland spec Stage5 Slinky 2.5 CDC shocks
Swaybar drop brackets/spacers
Blackhawk HD rear swaybar
LCP Front sway bar disconnect
LCP Rear swaybar links
4xOverland (Blackhawk) adjustable upper and lower rear control arms
Adjustable front Panhard, custom rear panhard lift bracket
Slee Caster Plates
Extended brake lines
Timbren Bumpstops
Nitro 4.88:1 gears
37x13.50 Toyo Open Country MT
17x8.5 Icon Alloy Rebound - Bronze
Spidertrax 1.5" wheel spacers
Trail Gear Sliders
Homebuilt Front Bumper
Trail Tailor recovery points
Homebuilt Rear Bumper/Tireswingout/Fuel Can basket
ComeUp Seal Gen2 9.5rs winch
Factor55 Prolink
Prinsu Design Roofrack
TMS Snorkel
42" LED lightbar
3x Hella Optilux HIDs
21" Bumper LED
Pfran Interior LEDs
Group31 AGM Battery
LED headlights
Painted Grill/door handles/flares
20lb CO2 Tank
Tepui Awning
Snomaster Dual Zone Fridge
GooseGear rear Drawer system
LED bulb replacement of dash lights
Uniden Pro 520XL CB Radio
Kenwood HAM
Pioneer Head Unit with DVD player - 4x wireless headphones
RockfordFosgate 6.5 speakers in all 4 doors
VW Jetta Heated/Leather front seats with storage seat covers
EscapeGear Dash storage cover
Ultraguage
iPad -BadElf GPS for Nav.
Trasharoo
Maxtrax
Hilift


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It's a bit of a project, but it's mostly just cosmetic. Clearcoat on the hood, roof and flares is peeling. Carpets aren't great. Front seats leather is torn. Minor dings consistent with age. Valve cover leaks a little and the distributor O-ring leaks a little. Front axle is due for complete service. None of that is too serious and I'll address that stuff pretty quickly once I've got the truck.
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Immediate plans are to swap over bumpers, armor, suspension and tires from my '93. That includes, OME J springs, L shocks, adjustable panhards, caster plates, sway bar drops, ARB front bumper, Wildyoats rear bumper, TG sliders, and 315's. Then address the peeling paint. I also have a line on some "new" front seats that came out of a low mileage '97 anniversary edition truck that are in good shape with no tears in the leather. Those will likely get swapped in the same day of purchase. I'm in the process of getting a roofrack designed and built by Zscott that I think it going to be fantastic and that will carry my RTT. Should be in great shape at that point. I'm really looking forward to being back in an 80.
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Here's my old 80 to give you an idea what stuff will come off of it.
 
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Box Rocket

Well-known member
thanks everyone.
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The old 80 is hard to explain. It's actually still in pretty good shape for its age. But it's got over 300K miles on it. I've owned it since 2000 and bought it with 100K miles. It's been virtually trouble free most of its life with me until about 2 years ago. It stopped running one day and all signs point to something electrical. It blew the fuseable link, which I replaced but it would still just turn over and not start. So it's been parked on the side of my house for a couple years now. The truth is I've just been lazy about digging into the issue. I suspect a couple of possible reasons for the problems. Either a dead ECU or some wiring shorts in the harness. If you're familiar with 80s you know there is part of the harness that runs back across the back of the motor near the transmission and it's not uncommon for those wires to get cooked by the heat over time and the insulation on the wires dries out and disintegrates and can cause shorts. I have a spare ECU, that I could install. I'd need to chase down a harness to make the wiring repairs. But as I considered my options, even if I fixed those things it was a truck that still had over 300K on it and the truck was starting to show it's age. I need to get back into an 80 so that my whole family can come with me on trips and be comfortable. We've done a few trips in my Tacoma but it's just too small for all of us. So I need an 80 that can take on the primary duty of long family trips so I need it to be reliable. Fixing the electrical on my '93 would be part of it, but to really get it to the level of reliability I'd be comfortable with I think it would need a motor rebuild. And since it's sat for a while there are likely other things that might need repairs.
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So as I started weighing my options and the cost involved it was clear that the cheaper option would be to find a lower mileage 80 in decent shape and swap everything over from my old one. So that's what we are doing. Now the debate is whether to sell the old cruiser as is, or maybe part it out. Either way I can recoup some of the purchase cost of the new 80. Parting out the old one would probably net more money than selling it as is so I'm leaning toward that, but not looking forward to the work involved in tearing it down, so I still might just sell it as is. It would make for a very cheap project truck for someone and could probably be back on the trail with minimal effort if someone didn't want to dig into a motor rebuild just yet.
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So that's the story and the reason behind all of what's going on. I'm very anxious to get the new truck and start getting it put together. The goal is to have it all ready to go by March with all the planned "mods" completed.
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Oh, and the Tacoma isn't going anywhere. I'll still use it a lot and it will probably remain my daily driver and it will get taken on trips where I don't have the whole family. In about 18 months it will go to my oldest son as he starts driving. I'm actually really looking forward to having my two boys able to drive their own truck on trips with me.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
I'm glad somebody asked as I too wondered what was going on with your white 80. Out of curiosity, did you consider going to a 100? Having a dead 80 seems like you could have built a 105 without too much trouble? I look forward to following your new build. Have fun with it!
 

Box Rocket

Well-known member
I'm glad somebody asked as I too wondered what was going on with your white 80. Out of curiosity, did you consider going to a 100? Having a dead 80 seems like you could have built a 105 without too much trouble? I look forward to following your new build. Have fun with it!
Yes we did consider a 100 series. The main reason we decided to stay with an 80 series was because of budget. A decent 80 series is pretty affordable and I already have all the mods to put onto one. So it's a cheap way to be into a complete built and capable truck. With a 100 series it would have been a more expensive purchase to begin with for something with similar miles. Then there would be the additional cost of all the mods. Or I could have looked for a 100 series that was already built but again that would have made for a more expensive purchase. I won't argue which model cruiser is better but personally I don't feel that the 100 series is that superior to an 80 series. And in most cases I prefer the 80 but again that's just a preference and that can be different for everyone.
 

tip

Adventurer
Nice purchase, looking forward to watching this build. I'm tempted to ask what you might want for your old 80...

In about 18 months it will go to my oldest son as he starts driving. I'm actually really looking forward to having my two boys able to drive their own truck on trips with me.
Lucky kid!
 

Box Rocket

Well-known member
I'm looking forward to this as well with my boys when they get older. I'm sure your boys are stoked.
Thanks! You've got a little longer wait than I do but that won't make it any less fun. I've been meaning to ask you about the pocket flares. I've considered some. Any regrets on them?
 

johnboytrd

New member
Are you repainting the whole rig or just touching up the trouble spots? Either way, looks like a nice rig. Maybe you'll have it for rock therapy 15' :)


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