Buying an 80 - deal breakers

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Guys, those of you who know me are well aware of my lusting after an 80. Usually I know when there is something that I want and it can only be cured by getting one. I know this will have been asked before on 'the other side' but I don't see it here.

If looking for an 80, what would be the absolute 'walk away' deal breakers. I understand that if I am buying a car potentially up to 20 years old there will be issues of some sort. But most things can be fixed - like BEBs for example. But there might be some things that you should really look for an excuse to leave quickly. I can assess tatty for myself, but as to listening for clunks and thunks that are the tell-tale death throes I am not clued in.

OK, I want UK spec to get lockers (which may or may not work. I have that T shirt) so presumably it has to be a 12valve?
Spec GX, VX? Is there really a major decision to be made on trim?
Auto or manual. Well that's an old argument - but I would prefer an auto this time.

OK, I'd appreciate you filling in the next bits. Not bothered about temp guages that don't work. Just the head lines please.

Oh and what ever you do please don't talk about this in front of Lil Blue. :lol:

Chris
 

Crispin

Administrator
Staff member
Guru
I am in great_britain
Feb 24, 2010
5,970
575
113
springs, gauteng
I would say, most important thing would be previous owner names. Ian, Jon etc. Walk away.

Now to be serious: I was waiting for this thread!! :D :D :D I don't think it'll need to be a stick, I suspect it'll hang around the top for a while :)

Sorry - cannot offer you anything of any value (but what's new...)

Good hunting...
 

Rob

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
3,019
16
38
Bristol
Garage
Chris you can get a UK 24 valve but it will be a manual, seeing as you are looking for a auto then your restricted to 95 and eariler. Also worth noting that new bigger brakes were introduced in 92 which are well worth it IMO as the big brakes are on the limit of being too small and tend to overheat, especially when negotiating multiple roundabouts in quick succession on a dual carriageway :shock: :roll:

Anyway back on topic, the really early ones have smaller brakes, smaller 15 inch wheels and no ABS. Mileage should not be an issue IMO. One thing i was told is to check for rust cased by launching boats in the sea, you get very little rust on these so if you find excess rust walk away. Im sure others will tell you more.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Rob, that's an excellent start! Doesn't HAVE to be a manual. Mr Rubies is a stick and look where he goes! I just can't be bothered to change gear in something that size. But does the manual bring better economy if you short shift?

Chris

Crispin - remember that they know where you live mate!
 
Don't like the adverts? Remove them by becoming a supporting member.   Click here

Julian Voelcker

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2010
313
4
38
Herefordshire, UK
Chris,

Idealy aim for something registered between Aug '92 and Jan '95 if going for an auto - this will give you the 1HD-T with the 12 valves.

If you are after a manual, aim for a '95-'98 24 valve with the 1HD-FT, otherwise if the budget can't stretch that far aim for a post Aug '92.

As a rule avoid imports because they generally don't have diff locks, although occasionally you will find an import with them.

The biggest problem is that most sellers won't know what diff locks are or if the truck has them so you will need to ask them if there is a rotary switch to the left of the steering wheel.

IF you can get VINs I would be happy to let you know the production dates.

As to what to watch out for.....

The key things with autos is to smell the auto gearbox oil - if it smells burnt the chances are there may be problems - a decent drive should reveal issues, the burnt smell will just alert you. More often than not you can just flush the box and you will be fine - to many people ignore servicing the auto box.

Do crack open the front diff filler (24mm socket on long breaker bar) and check the oil condition - if it is grey and sludgey, you will need to do an axle rebuild and will also need to listen out for wining from the front diff - if the grease from the CVs gets sucked into the diff, it is pretty good at killing them.

The key thing is to drive a few before you are in a position to buy so you can get a feel for them.
 

Rob

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
3,019
16
38
Bristol
Garage
Julian Voelcker said:
Do crack open the front diff filler (24mm socket on long breaker bar) and check the oil condition - if it is grey and sludgey,
Or green and sludgey as found in my front diff :shock: same cause though
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Julian, thanks a million. This is going to be a useful thread. I think Crispin may extract the goodness out of it and make it a sticky.

Chris
 

Jon Wildsmith

Super Moderator
Supporter
Guru
I am in england
Feb 24, 2010
6,723
143
63
Stourbridge, West Midlands, England
Garage
Deal breakers - Check the bottom of the bell housing for ATF - the input shaft seals sometimes go and it's a box out job to fix, can be done on your drive but it's a big box and isn't a good sign for the rest of the box I suspect it's mostly related to overheating too many times. Check condition of the swivels on the front axle, they can sometimes get bad enough to really need a new axle. Check for bad cases of rust especialy at the back like Rob said, there's no need to buy a rust bucket.

worth discount vouchers ;) - leaking pinion seals on diffs but especially the transfer box. Front diffs sometimes eat the OEM gaskets and leak round the bottom which is diff out to fix but you can do that while you service the front axle :D

Anything involving removing the diffs is easier on a locked 80 than your 90. I would stick with UK / locked model to get the full floater rear axle as much as for the lockers TBH. You already know the score with expensive actuators. A front or rear axle rebuild will be cake.

There is a nice red 80 I know very well but I don't know if it's for sale again yet or in budget ;)
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Well that was a short list. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way - I really mean if that is the really crucial 'look fors' then it just goes to show how good they are. The 80 fund has taken a lift today with the arrival of my annual bonus! Hoorah. Just need to find one now. Missus not looking tooooo happy, but not enough to force that divorce that I keep asking for.

I have been looking at Lil Blue and working out if it would be better to break it or sell it. There are some nice bits on there that would be desirable, but you still have to sell them! Less work to sell it whole. If someone wanted a battered but very capable shortie. Well one step at a time. But if Lincomb happens it might be the last event for the baby cruiser.

Chris
 

Jon Wildsmith

Super Moderator
Supporter
Guru
I am in england
Feb 24, 2010
6,723
143
63
Stourbridge, West Midlands, England
Garage
Breaking my 80 only really worked because I'd pre-sold all the most valuable bits so I wasn't stuck with half a truck on the drive for months. I know Lil Blue has a few dents and lots of stickers but I think it's probably still a lot more presentable for sale complete than my 80 was :lol:
 

Crispin

Administrator
Staff member
Guru
I am in great_britain
Feb 24, 2010
5,970
575
113
springs, gauteng
Battered and Blue said:
I have been looking at Lil Blue and working out if it would be better to break it or sell it.

So cold....
Like standing over the hospital bed with a loved in and discussing with the doctor what you can and cannot use.


Out of interest, how much might she be?
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
She? It's an 'it' dear boy. Next you'll be anthropomorphizing animals and dressing them up in little outfits and giving them names.

I don't know if I am honest. I did a sheet last night and broke it down into major desirable components like ASFIR plates, ARB locking front diff etc and got to £3k without stretching credulity. I didn't add transmission and T box on there and certainly didn't add any original parts of the vehicle like doors or anything daft. Clearly if I broke it I would take lots of parts off such as winches and compressors for myself. But if I sold it whole, I would want to be able to make enough to buy those bits for the new vehicle. That would probably make it more than someone wanted to pay for it.

So in very rough terms it would probably be something like break it, keep bits and get £3k or sell it whole for £5k That's not an offer by the way, it's a comparison. I would sell it pretty much whole I think. I'd have to think about roof lights etc etc but you get the idea. No point having even more bits in my garage for 'one day' when I might need it. Obviously breaking it would give me things like a spare set of wheels and tyres which would be good. 5 decent wheels and BFG muds are worth quite a bit and are easy to sell later.

Chris
 

Andy Harvey

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2010
342
2
38
Cheltenham, UK
Chris.

Not a real list but something I always go by when buying a vehicle. This is based around experience in the trade as well as common sense.

1. If it looks too clean for a 15 - 20 year old car, then it is likely a tart up job, quite possibly hiding a whole load of nasties - have a really good look for oil leaks around the bottom of the engine and the turbo - also weaps around the head. Look for fuel leaks around the injector pump and PAS leaks around the pipes, header tank and pump of the PAS steering - on passenger side fron of teh engine (pump is bolted into the front plate of the engine just above the Fuel Injection pump). look for leaks on the axles and front swivels, leaks around the transfer case and leaks on the auto box. Look for signs of off roading damage - bent bash plates, scrape damage to transfer case. Take it for a really decent drive and check for knocks, bangs and the like. The engine should be smooth and quiet (even the Diesel is a quiet and smooth old thing - not like them peugeot taxis). It should pull well from about 1200 RPM, no hesitation. Check for smoke - blue bad, grey, bad, dark grey or black - maybe bad, or maybe fixable - unburnt fuel).
2. If it looks to dirty - could be honest but do all the checks above although you may need to prod around a bit more. Any serious obvious rust on the body or chassis, walk away. Even 20 year old 80s should be pretty rust free.
3. If it looks about right, then it probably is - still do the checks but at least you are starting from a reasonable level of confidence.

The old adage, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and floats like a duck - chances are it's a duck, is a very good one for here. 80s are very strong but if abused they can be caught out. If it looks like it has not been maintained, then it probably hasn't been. Another quick check - just because the oil in the transmission is clean and the engine oil is clean, doesn't mean it is good, could just have been changed to sell it - it is no indication of good maintenance. Often driving a vehicle is the best way to check.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Cheers Andy, I'm good with all of that. Bought my fair share of cars over the years. Clued up on paint over-spray on door closures etc. It was really the real top tips on an 80 specifically that I was looking for. What are the things on an 80 that could really bring it down and cause me a significant problem to fix. Now ask this about about 'other' 4x4s on the market and the list would be so long that you'd wonder why anyone would buy one. I think that I have got what I needed now. Made a list and just need a vehicle to go and look at now!

Chris
 

Andy Harvey

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2010
342
2
38
Cheltenham, UK
Battered and Blue said:
Cheers Andy, I'm good with all of that. Bought my fair share of cars over the years. Clued up on paint over-spray on door closures etc. It was really the real top tips on an 80 specifically that I was looking for. What are the things on an 80 that could really bring it down and cause me a significant problem to fix. Now ask this about about 'other' 4x4s on the market and the list would be so long that you'd wonder why anyone would buy one. I think that I have got what I needed now. Made a list and just need a vehicle to go and look at now!

Chris
Chris.

Motor sounding beyond repair or Gearbox sounding or working beyond repair or bent chassis. Can't think of any other deal breakers - everything else can be fixed reasonably cheaply.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Ah but of course if I broke Lil Blue I could take the rear diff out and put it in the front of the 80! See I'm thinking ahead. And as it's a Wildsmith unit, it would be a good one. :D

C
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,064
3,849
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
Yes, but other than that Jon, it would be a perfect fit. Now am I right? Huh?

Aw shucks.

So how come I got the thicker pinion? I thought that was an 80 component.

Chris
 
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks