I didn’t own a j80 till I owned a house and has a sizable play money fund. Mine was purchased from the original owner at 98,000 miles. It was custom ordered no running boards, top trim. Basic Maintenance was done correctly but even the Toyota dealer maintaining it didn’t lube the knuckles and the other J80 stuff.
at 100k I replaced the garbage radiator due to cooling issues never was run hot no Head Gasket issues for my 9yrs and 60,000 of ownership. Front axle seals / knuckles done twice only paid once Toyota dealer Screwed it up also a well known J80 issue (dealers even back in 2005 didn’t know crap about J80 services)
Pesky water hose I did. That was fun. Not.
ABS system and harness rebuild yeah that was $$$ and not fun finding parts in 2007.
Valve cover gasket that was a huge pain in the ********. The first $5 gallon gas to hit CA just so happened during a trip towing my 2000lb racing boat 500 miles. J80 only did 180miles a tank with not a drop left which was massively painful on that trip.
Due to its abysmal range and my wife needing a sports bra to ride in it, our subaru actually saw way more trips and off road action
. As a 3rd vehicle play thing the J80 can be fun but definitely not a low cost easy keeper. I sold it in 2011 for what I paid in 2003. But it was in far better condition at that point basically cherry J80.
My current 3rd car play car has been way way cheaper and one hell of a road trip rig and way more fun. Grandpa’s SLK 350 had 18,000 miles on it at 16yrs old when I got it. Today it has 28,000 on it. All it gets is oil change once a yr and premium gas. Tires tend to age out before they wear out thats $980 the J80 285 KO2’s were$900.
The 350 does 500+ miles a tank at 80-100mph
Definitely not a dirt rig but hell even my J80 saw less dirt than my Subaru due its miserable range and long on pavement trips that it sucked at.
My current truck does dirt roads to trail heads great in stock form plus it rides like a Grand Marquis especially at 80+ mph lol. 500+ mile range on a tank.
Dirt trails? Yeah when I do that again its probably going to be on a Ebike. Way more fun and way less money than a full on 4x4.
Get the schooling done, land one of those awesome jobs that pay $$$$$! Lots if them out there now! Get a condo purchased then dump the cheap college beater for a nice modern rig. Pick up a fun toy car to putz with when you have time to putz.
I’m headed out to the boat with my son in the 350 burn a little rubber off the tires. Have a great Sunday!