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Old 30-08-2018
G.man  G.man is offline
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Default JK, 80 Series LC... whaT?

Hear me out...

Made a few phone calls, spoke to a few people... and in the end, it really comes down to, pick what you want, everyone has their opinion on what is good and is not reliable based on every individuals experience with the particular 4x4 they owned.

I ring up jeep people, they got friends that would never touch a 80 series landcruiser again because it is 20 years old, not reliable etc.

On the other hand, I got land cruiser owners who are clocking nearly 1 million km on their 80 series landcruiser, never had problems, still going strong while everyone else 'new' 4x4s are nothing but money pits and unreliable (especially the jeep which seems to top the charts in terms of frequent fixing required and things stop working).

So whats the point to this thread?


I'm trying to figure out what will be the deal breaker for me, what to keep an eye on before I go waste peoples time trying to 'come see their vehicle' to get a real world experience.

Looks wise - I love the wranglers. They just look like they are designed for off-roading. Landcruisers on the other hand, look more like they belong on the street, they got this chunky body on them etc that doesn't give it the rugged off-road look. To me it looks more like a car lifted on big wheels than it does a 4x4.


1st preference: JK Wrangler 4 door.

So why am I considering an 80 Series land cruiser then?

Well few things:

1: I am after a Diesel 4x4 - It just sounds right to me.

80 series Landcruisers have the 1HD-FTE multi valve turbo diesel which is known to be one of the most solid diesels made. Those go forever.

2.8CRD Wrangler? - No clue about its longevity, power, torque or anything compare to that 4.2L? TD of the 80 Series.

So which is more reliable/capable, powerful, etc?

2: Space -

I might love the look of the wrangler, but the wrangler may not suit me, provide what I need, in which case I need to be open to other options.

Simple question would be, if I get the 4 door Wrangler JK, what can I expect not to fit in it that had I got the 80 series instead, would of fit? (looking at practicality here) - I don't want to be down the road saying "Ah crap, I should of got the 80 series, I wouldn't have this problem now" (if theres that much of a space difference that this really can be that dramatic that things just will fit in it that won't in the JK) - We want to go camping, that means 4x4 mattress (at least Double... I would rather a queen), fridge because we may be away for 2-3 weeks (probably a 70L or somewhere there for vegetables), tent, a pot to cook in, a pan to fry something on, etc...

3: Vision - I been inside an 80 series, and it is like sitting in a car, the windscreen is big, you see everything out front, sky, ground, trees etc. What is the JK like compare to that?

4: Upgradeable -

With the 80 Series landcruiser, there are v8 Diesel conversions available if you need more 'power' for the hard off road stuff. The Wrangler has the 5.7 and 6.4 Hemi - But this is not diesel... its a hell of a lot more power than a diesel, pretty sure about that... but... I don't know... do I want a petrol or better off with diesel? Either way, what options does a wrangler have in terms of Diesel mods... anything as dramatic as the 80 series? What about everything else, diff locks, more wheel travel, etc?

So as you see... looks wise, I love the JKU and it is my preferred option, but depending on point 1-3... the LC may be a better fit regardless of what I like more due to aesthetics. Are points 1-3 that dramatically different that it can sway the decision, or are they all minor differences, you can fit everything in a JKU that you can in a LC and vice versa, both are just as reliable as each other and etc... ?

So anyone got any experience with both, been out with people, etc that have both, let me know observations what to 'really' expect.

Last edited by G.man; 30-08-2018 at 09:48 AM.
Old 30-08-2018
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You won't know until you go and test drive a couple.

You're basically hitting the nail on the head in all the pros and cons of each vehicle, you just need to figure out what your heart wants.

Some people just buy vehicles because their heart is set on it despite good advice from people around them. At the end of the day you will be driving it and you have to be happy with it.

You will also think in certain times "wish I had the other" due to their extreme differences. I can guarantee you that when loading your JK you will be wishing you had the LC80, I can also guarantee you that when wheeling a technical track or cruising down the beach you will be wishing you had the JK as they are so much more fund and more capable with less mods.

If want to take the easy road then get the LC80. Its every Aussie's dream to drive a LC80 or GQ/GU, every mechanic anywhere in Aust knows them, and everyone has a common formula for turning them into a reliable tourer.

Jeeps are a little different, in Aust anyway. Its mostly public perception IMO. Jeeps, more so the Wranglers, in the US are the go to 4wd. But anyhow, in Aust if you want to tour in a JK you will have to be a bit more prepared in that you will probably know more about your vehicle than any mechanic will.

Just some of my random thoughts:
- JK IS a rugged 4wd. It is very simple, at least for a modern vehicle. It is by far the easiest vehicle I have worked on that I have owned (comparing with other 4wds and cars).
- Stories of LC's with 1m kms on the ODO, who knows the details of those vehicles? Are they country kms? Were they driven offroad? Did a old man buy it and drive it around the farm all his life? What engine was in it? I bet it was the 1HZ which is a big underpowered motor designed by Toyota to be a workhorse and therefore reliable and before the current emission regs.
- The JK is strange in that its driveline and chassis is more comparable with a LC80, but the engine and ECU is more like a LC200 or latest LC79. Simple driveline but modern and efficient engine with elecs controlling everything. If you compared the engines and longevity between a 1HDFT and 1VDFTV I bet you will be getting the same results around potential reliability issues.
- LC80 has plenty of room inside. Especially behind the rear seats.
- You have to pack very smart with a JK as interior space is limited. This is the price you pay for having a vehicle built to offroad as opposed to carry things.
- JK 4drs are built with a wide wheel track and long wheelbase (similar to a LC), but the wheels hang way outside the body line as the body is built to be narrow and have very short overhangs, this is great because its usually tyres only that come into contact with obstacles offroad and not the body. But the trade off is that the interior is narrow and not much room behind the rear seats.
- LC80 has a ugly interior IMO, dated and smell funny with age, cracked dashboards, shares so many components with Camry's of the same era. IMO feels like a big Camry to drive, I personally don't like that.
- JK has a unique interior shared with no other vehicle. Has a rugged, and built for offroading, feel to it. Again just my opinion.
- LC80 has good roof storage options, simply bolt a gutter mounted full length roof rack up there.
- JK due to its soft top and hard top (fiberglass) roofs getting a full length roof rack with decent load capacity can be expensive. Heaps of options though, and most of them look really cool.
- LC80 on a 2" lift can run a 33" tyre properly, ideally you would want a part-time conversion as well. Only some models came with factory lcokers, otherwise open and LSD diff. Any higher than 2" lift and you need new radius arms etc.
- JK on a 2" lift can run a 33" tyre properly, with no real gearing tradeoffs, add flat flares and you can run a 35" tyre properly (with disconnected sway bar etc) but now have gearing issues (will be sluggish and fuel economy will go out the window if petrol). From 3" lift and up the JK will need some new front control arms to correct the geometry and if auto then a new front driveshaft as the stock one will rub the auto trans on full droop of the front left wheel. A non-Rubicon model JK will have brake lock diffs (BLD) which are amazing and way better than even the tightest LSDs.
- LC80 has decent set of diffs that can handle its GVM with no probs. Weak point is the front diffs ring and pinion, but only worry is in heavy offroading with big tyres.
- JK has a decent rear diff but the front Dana 30 is a weak point. The housing itself is too weak with the axles tubes bending in medium to hard offroading even on stock vehicles. This needs to be strengthened and there are plenty of options to do so with sleeve kits, upgraded gussets, and truss' etc. Or replace the whole front housing with a off the shelf bolt in aftermarket item from any of the many companies that make them. Or wait until yours bends and claim on insurance and get a new aftermarket housing installed (as they are cheaper than sourcing a stock Jeep item).
- LC80 has heaps of aftermarket support, but nothing like the JK. You can build your JK into literally anything you want. The best part is, if there is something that is unreliable, someone will have made a made an upgraded part to replace it.
- stock JK balljoints are weak and wear out really quickly and are the most common cause for steering shimmys (which can eventually lead to death wobbles). These can be upgraded to heavy duty items and no issues from there.
- The 1HDFT engine is good, but it is not to be confused with the great 1HDFTE in the LC100. In the LC80 it is slow and underpowered and does not have good fuel economy (by today's standards anyway). Needs at least a turbo upgrade and intercooler to produce decent power and torque. But fundamentally the engine internals are good and strong, and simplistic as there is minimal elecs and low pressure mechanical fuel pump.
- The VM Motori 2.8 in the JKs is a modern diesel engine with common rail diesel injection, a variable geometry turbo, and a clever computer that controls everything. It is high tech and very efficient compared to the 1HDFT (and even the 1HDFTE). It produces considerably more power, and a truck load more torque. Economy wise it is decent, but it will depend on how much you load the JK and what tyre size and gearing you have etc (like any 4wd really). You may not be aware but Jeep has used this engine in their vehicles since 2005, they are used in a bunch of different vehicles in Europe, and most recently GM decided to use it in their Holden Colorado (labelled as the most powerful ute in Australia until the New Amorok v6 just came out) and Chevy's Colorado in the US.
- Both the 1HDFT and VM2.8 need their timing belt changed at 100,000km intervals. If they get offraoded a lot then it is better to change the belt at 80,000kms.
- If you wnat a auto JK, then the auto trans will need a aftermarket cooler to keep its temps in check. It is also a good idea to upgrade the stock clutch fan to a heavy duty item ($60USD from the states) and you then shouldn't have any overheating issues.
- To upgrade the VM 2.8 for more power, you can get the usual 3" exhaust from the turbo back, dyno tuned (and DPF and EGR deleted at the same time), all things that I have done. If you still want more power then you can get a direct bolt on upgrade turbo from Garrett (approx $2k) and have it tuned to suit. A budget turbo upgrade is to get a BMW X5 3.0 CRD turbo that is slightly bigger than the stock JK one that is a direct bolt on upgrade. If you are still want more power then you can upgrade the injectors to the next Bosch model up which are a direct bolt in as well.
- You need to be aware that the any modern diesel engine is very high tech and they do not tolerate lazy servicing. They thrive on clean oil, clean intakes, and clean fuel. So deleting the EGR, fitting snorkel, fitting a oil catch can, ideally fitting an aftermarket diesel fuel filter, and regular oil changes will make them run longer more like a old school diesel. I have done all of these mods and change my oil and filter every 5,000kms despite Jeep recommending oil changes every 10,000-12,500kms with long life oil.
- They both have the same towing capacity.
- With any modern vehicle when travelling away from civilisation, always carry a scan tool that can read the engine codes and reset them. The codes can point you in the right direction of what might be wrong, or give you the opportunity to clear the codes and get the vehicle out of limp mode temporarily. The tool will also let you monitor the engines vitals in realtime. I have a old Samsung phone that I use to display a bunch of info all the time, it is connected via blutooth to a OBD2 reader which costs $10 max on eBay. The Android app is called Torque and is free but the full version costs $5. I also have a legit scan tool that can scan other computers in the Jeep as well if needed, but I generally only ever need this if I am looking to purchase a car (or help friends when buying) and want to scan everything and see what's up.

Me personally, I bought my JK CRD manual with the intention of using it to do longer distance and remote travel. I am not hardcore by any means, my longest trip so far is a 12,000km trip from WA into SA and NT and back again. Did plenty of dirt roads and checking out places in remote areas etc. Had my JK for a couple of years and put nearly 60,000 ks on it. So far I love it. I have tried to spend as little money on the build and keep it as simple as posible and keep it well maintained. Kept it as low as possible (2" lift) and run the biggest tyre possible. Attached are some pics. The first couple is when it was on 33s, now on 35's.
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Last edited by Turismo07; 30-08-2018 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 30-08-2018
G.man  G.man is offline
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Well thanks for the feedback.

I have never done 'offroading' as such. I am more or less wanting to go from Sydney to Cairns, Go to cape York, Kimberleys, hot springs in NT, flinders ranges down in SA, High country in victoria, Warren Bungles in NSW and so on.

Basically looking at traveling the country like you have done, to see all the different things out there which are pleasing to observe with off-roading ability.

Does the JKU have enough space for that sort of thing? I think that is really the main concern. If I will be able to fit a proper size fridge to carry enough food for a couple days between 'shopping for more' a full 4x4 mattress and all the other stuff you need to camp out and travel for an extended period of time... then it is good enough.

It is one of those things I guess, I need space, but do I need "that" much space that a LC80 offers, or not...

O I didn't mention, space behind rear seats doesnt matter... I will have the back seats down anyway to have the entire rear as space... so from that perspective of 'does it have enough space' is what I am wondering.

Terms of upgrades, seems the JK you can get anything and everything. I would be interested in the 37" tires myself. They just look right on them. I think BFG KO2 have a 37" size?

If you start adding turbos and all that other stuff to get more output out of the 2.8 CRD for cruising purposes in the JKU, does that not make it less reliable, more prone to breaking? And what sort of figures are we talking about here?

I went for a drive in someones 1HDFTE LC80 Multivalve - It was beautiful. Enough power for a 'truck', had the right sound and seemed everything was just easy. Sure it doesn't take off like a petrol, but it felt right for a 4x4. If the 2.8CRD is more than in terms of power, might be more than sufficient anyway then.

Last edited by G.man; 30-08-2018 at 01:05 PM.
Old 30-08-2018
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Nanook  Nanook is offline
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I could be wrong here but with the amount of posts you have made asking about buying a JK or JL or whatever, it sounds like you are trying to get other people to convince you to buy one.

Honestly, if you need to be convinced then maybe it's not the vehicle for you. I've done some very long trips in mine and have never had a complaint but I have a camper trailer to fit everything in.

People forget that the Wrangler is a medium sized 4WD. There isn't a great deal of space in them to carry gear internally. They also have a small fuel range. So if you are looking at long distance touring without having to tow a camper or fitting a decent roof rack, then maybe the Toyota would suit you better.

The trouble is though, old Landcruisers are still worth big money and are very over priced. This is because mags like 4WD Action rave about old Toyotas so everybody thinks that's what they need.
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Old 30-08-2018
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The space question comes down to how you like to camp. If you haven't been camping then you won't know, until you've been a few times, bought some items, tried a few different things etc. Everyone does it differently. In saying that, if the JK 4dr was too small then people wouldn't be using it for touring and overlanding (as they call it in the US). For me I have a 40litre fridge in the back, its oerfect for my wife and my needs. I know people have put 50 litre fridges in the back which is about the max. If you're putting the seats down then you will have even more room. LC80 seats don't fold flat on the floor though so keep that in mind, JK ones do (well almost flat).

I agree that 37" tyres look right on a JK. You can actually fit them on a 2" lift with flat flares and the right offset rims with very little bump stopping. However if you're travelling the country then you actually don't need 37's, 32/33's would be more than adequate. A JK on a 33" tyre is way more capable than other rigs on 35's. But going up to 37's, the JK will definately need new diff gears to sort out the ratios, and def an upgraded front axle, so pretty much looking at around $5-6k of upgrades right there. Then fuel economy won't be that great with 37's. Stuff to think about.

LC80's never came out of the factory with the 1HDFT"E". They only got the 1HDFT, so if your friend has one the engine would have been swapped in, or what is more common is that people mod the 1HDFT to be more like the FTE by adding the FTE's turbo and adding a intercooler, and more often than not getting more performance form the engine than a stock 1HDFTE.

The reliability of any engine is questionable if you mod them to produce more power. The LC80 has been around for ages and there are probably some proven paths that you can take to get the much needed more power from them. The JK is still a relatively new vehicle and heavily modifying the CRD for more power and torque is not really a done thing (yet). I personally only know a 1 guy in Aust that has built his JK CRD with the BMW turbo, bigger injectors etc, he has toured Australia twice in his rig, which has 37" tyres on it as well, and the 2nd lap of Aust he towed his 3.5 ton boat as well. He also has Dana 60 axles and is engineered with a higher GVM and tow rating to 3.5 ton. He swears by his JK and is actually his wifes daily driver. But that's only one person, there is a risk to modding anything. However I personally have 3" exhaust and dyno tune done, for a square brick that drives 35" tyres and weighs about 3t when going on trips, I am more than happy with the power and fuel economy.

You def sound like you need to look around a little more. Maybe hook up with the Sydney Jeep club or something (no idea if that exists, but surely something like it does), ask if you can have a look someones JK that has been setup for what you want to do etc. There is a short youtube series of a member on this forum and his mate driving their JK 4drs (petrol though) up to Cape York and back and doing all the hard tracks and taking risks, one of the guys broke his front driveshaft CV joint very early on and managed to do the rest of the hard tracks in 2wd still.

You gotta go with your heart, we can't help you decide, our hearts clearly led us to a Jeep!
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Old 30-08-2018
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Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
I could be wrong here but with the amount of posts you have made asking about buying a JK or JL or whatever, it sounds like you are trying to get other people to convince you to buy one.
Or is trying to get logical justification for a subconsious that has already decided...

I don't know what the LC is like to drive. But the JK is far more 'truck-like' than all the cars I had previously. And I like that. I have the natural inclination to drive to the feel of the vehicle I'm in/on. All my previous cars, (1.6L, all of them.), at some time earned me points for exceeding the speed limit, but not the JK. I'm far more relaxed in it, and can have all the same fun as the others, just at <2/3rds the speed!

And then there is the roof & doors. I have the soft top year round, and down, more than up, once it is warmer. Spring to Autumn, it's tube doors as well. And the kids love it. In summer it regularly gets compliments, even those times I've been chatting to police for whatever reason. (RBT, why do I dress like that, yeah, I drive with the top off, and I'm allergic to sunlight, go figure!)

Security, though. Soft top, or no top? No security. You can get it completely open in <30s without causing any damage, so I just don't leave anything valuable in it. Just a habit I got into & easy enough after a while. Or there are lockboxes that go under the seats or replace the center glovebox if you want better security for anything.

And one last thing. With the JK there are LOTS of forums that can give assistance & ideas. Most of them are open & very helpful. (Although JKForum once deleted a post of mine & threatened to ban me because I mentioned some parts I had installed, that weren't from one of their sponsoring vendors. I don't bother to go there any more. No loss to me.)
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Old 30-08-2018
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A figure you really need to keep in mind is
JK Unlimited CRD tar 1975kg GVM 2585kg = 610kgs load including accessories

80 series (1990) diesel tar 1975kg GVM 2960kg = 985kgs load including accessories



Thanks MM for the link.
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Old 30-08-2018
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For what it’s worth, I’ve had 60 series and 2x100 series cruisers, CJ Jeep, along with GQ patrol, TD5 Defender, gun126r Hilux (current model). The 100 series were rubbish, 60 series great (spent 4 years with it in Weipa driving all over cape and gulf, only let me down twice). GQ better than 100 series (true). Hilux - an over-priced tradies ute with major problems. Defender has been best of them all, but just too cramped driving position for me, and very agricultural, but plenty of space and unstoppable off road. Bought the JKU as after owning all these (and a few others way back) it ticked all my boxes - most comfortable (apart from the 100 series) and nicest to drive, excellent on road with off road capability beyond question, simple to work on, most modifiable (if you want, and parts/accessories are not expensive), heaps of space especially if only 2 people and you fold down or remove rear seats, it’s convertible soft top if you want, love the petrol engine and the auto (first petrol I’ve had for many many years and one of the main reasons I looked at the wrangler). I could also go on about the superior build quality in comparison to Toyota, and the reliability and lack of drivetrain/suspension longevity in the 100 series cruisers, but as you’re asking about an 80 series and I haven’t owned one, and I haven’t owned the wrangler for too long, I probably shouldn’t even be commenting, sorry.

Last edited by clip; 30-08-2018 at 09:42 PM.
Old 30-08-2018
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great video
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