Toyota FJ80vs. D90 - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 20th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Ray Quon
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Toyota FJ80vs. D90

Hello,
I'm new to the forum, so I'll introduce myself first. My name is Ray and I've been looking at a D90 for quite sometime. I was always more of a Toyota guy for trucks/ SUVs, but the D90 has always caught my attention. Mainly due to the appearance, rarity, and off road capability. I'm not a stranger to off roading, but I'm still more on the beginner side as I've only gone a few times when I had my truck (straight axle '85 toyota pickup). The potential D90 will be used as a partial daily driver, and outdoor activities truck (mtn biking, fishing, light off roading, occasional camping, dog carrier, etc...).

My brother had picked up an FJ80 (early 90's Land Cruiser) about a year ago, another truck I like. It seems like Toyota did a great job with engineering in the reliability and durability with the thing. According to EPA measured MPG for the D90 and FJ80's respective model years, the FJ80 gets worse MPG. the interior bits of the FJ80 are very plasticky, seats aren't very comfortable either. The main reasons i'm considering the FJ80 are the price point. reputation for reliability, it'll work for all my needs (especially when a child comes along), and again it's cheaper.

So my questions are:
Has anybody gone from a Land Cruiser to a D90? If so, what's your opinion when comparing the two?
How's the reliability of the D90? I've heard a lot of different things about that, especially the electrical.
How's the upkeep/ maintenance?
Is the D90 practical enough for a starting family? Wife's car will be the main baby-mobile...

Thanks for everybody's responses

Ray
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  #2  
Old January 20th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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Scott
1997 D90 ST #1444
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I am kind of biased, but get the 90...

I looked at getting an FJ40 but always wanted a 90. Like all used cars, do your research find the one you want and get it inspected. Find it with the modifications you want and make sure you get the records.

My wife drives the SW daily and loves it.
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  #3  
Old January 20th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Kevin Collins
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I went from a D90 to a Land Cruiser (UZJ-100) so not exactly what you are looking at and back to a 90...and I also have an FJ40 (truth be told though it is in pieces in a barn with no finish date in sight).

My Cruiser was more expensive for regularly scheduled maintenance than the D90 is. And when something does go wrong on the Yota it is very pricey. The FJ80s are not exactly spartan either. There's not much to a 90 and with some pretty basic knowledge you can do a lot of it yourself...and a good independent Rover mechanic is an asset regardless of what model you have.

A better comparison to an FJ80 would probably be a Range Rover Classic which I also have two of. I'd much rather them than the Yota as well.

Take a look at the posts on the 80 section of IH8MUD.COM and you'll see they fight their fair share of issues on them as well. No 15-20 year old truck will be perfect.
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  #4  
Old January 20th, 2008, 10:33 PM
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If it were me and I was looking between a D90 and a Land Cruiser, I would probably be considering either an FJ40 or an FJ60.
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  #5  
Old January 20th, 2008, 10:41 PM
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J. Landers
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I have both. I have a LX450 (fj80) and it came with factory locker front and rear, solid front and rear axle, and with a 2.5 in lift I can easily fit 35" tires. They will out flex a Range Rover with the same lift and you can't even fit 35" tires on a Range Rover without some serious mods to the suspension. It doesn't leak....anywhere. The straight 6 that comes in it is big (4.5l) and has good torque, and lasts forever. But to compare it to a d90 is a little hard. In my opinion two different vehicles. I will go with what Kevin said about comparing it to a Range Rover Classic. For the money, I would buy a fj80 for a family. More room, less up front cost, and a very capable 4X4. But I never walk outside and look at my fj80 and go man that is one hot ride. I do that to every time I see a d90 or d110. And the mpg on both sucks, unless you find a diesel. D90 gets about 11mpg, FJ80 gets about 12mpg. But my current d90 is a diesel so it is a little better than that....Good luck with what ever you go with.

Oh yeah IH8MUD is a great resource for FJ80's.
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  #6  
Old January 21st, 2008, 12:01 AM
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Ray Quon
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Guys,
Thanks for the replies. Truth be told, I think I had already decided on the D90 prior to posting but wanted to get a sense check anyway.
Are there gremlins with the auto or manual trans? Which do you guys prefer? and How's the reliability of the trannies when the mileage gets over 100k? bad synchros? slipping gears for A/T?
Where are the leak prone areas on the engine, trans, x-fer case?

Thanks
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  #7  
Old January 21st, 2008, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Where are the leak prone areas on the engine, trans, x-fer case?
Thanks
All of the above, and plenty of water too from the top. Nothing beats sitting in a wet seat after a rain. They actually have a manual for water egress avoidance. But don't let all that stop you.....
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  #8  
Old January 21st, 2008, 06:09 AM
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Seems like most of the time when guys start having kids they start selling thier defenders.
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  #9  
Old January 21st, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4
Seems like most of the time when guys start having kids they start selling thier defenders.
I started buying more!
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  #10  
Old January 21st, 2008, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4
Seems like most of the time when guys start having kids they start selling thier defenders.
That's why I decided to keep the Range Rover that's built. That way there is no excuse since it is perfectly fine for wheeling trips with kids.

Most of those deals are probably no different than when I sold my first D90 (just a different excuse). I got laid off..had a 1/2 a million dollar house that had already been on the market 3 years without selling and a car worth over $30K that I had title in hand for. I just needed cash...fast.
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  #11  
Old January 21st, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
I started buying more!
me too!!!!
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  #12  
Old January 21st, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Me 3!

P.S. If you want a lively debate, post this on exeditionportal.com. That is a mixed overland crowd dominated by Toyota and Rover fans. This forum is biased (me included). I'm also not over Pearl Harbor, so it's a no brainer for me.
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  #13  
Old January 21st, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S14MPower

Where are the leak prone areas on the engine, trans, x-fer case?

Thanks
the real question is who cares. the leaks are not terminal like they are for example on fords.
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  #14  
Old January 21st, 2008, 11:35 AM
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I sold my FJ80 for my current D90 after blowing up the engine and replacing it. It was a very fun 4x4 but the 90 is more fun IMHO. I find the power to be similar therefore it wasn't an issue to me just like the MPG's. The one place the FJ really will outshine the 90 is in the kids department. My kids are of the 4 legged version (3 of them) and the 90 is fine but if I had "real" kids the FJ would be a better fit. Then, once you get into the wheelin you will find that there are more options for aftermarket goods with the FJ. Especially, when it comes to engine performance. There are a few FJ's running around town with 350's in the them. And as with the 990 diesel is an option but it is real expensive in the 90, not sure about the FJ conversion.
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  #15  
Old January 21st, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
I'm also not over Pearl Harbor, so it's a no brainer for me.
When I bought my Cruiser and showed it to my dad the first words out of his mouth were, "Brought to you by the people who brought you Pearl Harbor!" He's 71 and his dad fought in the Pacific.
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  #16  
Old January 21st, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
Me 3!

I'm also not over Pearl Harbor, so it's a no brainer for me.
better pitch your cell phone and most of your electronics then.
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  #17  
Old January 21st, 2008, 10:29 PM
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2 nuclear bombs kind of evened the score.
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  #18  
Old January 21st, 2008, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
2 nuclear bombs kind of evened the score.
Barely.
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  #19  
Old January 22nd, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Alex Lapidus
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Me 4. We found out that we were expecting a baby 2 days before I flew to Alaska to bring my D90 home.
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  #20  
Old January 22nd, 2008, 09:32 AM
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I have managed to keep my 90 for 13 years now. It has been on the chopping block twice, but I managed to keep her. Once not long after marriage the wife thought it was stupid to have a $30k "toy" in the garage. I had the 90 before the wife so the 90 won that one. Second time was when we had our son. Again, the practicality issue arose. So I sold my BMW and made the 90 my daily driver (again). So, yes it "can" be a daily driver, and it "can" work with kids. Just not very good at either. But hey, have you ever seen how a Ferrari sucks in the mud?
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