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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm rig shopping... The truck will be driven quite a bit by wife but will also be my toy when I'm not driving the 2 seat toy


I'm Looking for something with good space, reliable, not so common, decent off-road, good height and makes me feel like I'm actually in a truck rather than a crossover.

Always liked the 80 series Land Cruiser (1991-1997) including the LX450. They are a bit hard to find but the look great, run forever and are unstoppable off-road. HOWEVER... I just drove my neighbors 03 Excursion diesel (Not sure which one) and wondering if I should be considering them. Surely not as capable off-road but its got me thinking...

Lets see:

1. Its somewhat rare (albeit not as rare as 80)

2. Live axles front and rear so easy to lift

3. Turbo Diesel sounds cool. And I was quite impressed by its power. I was totally expecting a dog that can't get out of its own way since its so heavy

4. The actually see 23-26mpg on highway and 15 in city

5. They look good with nice beefy wheel/tire combo

6. Tons of space. This could also be a con in terms of length

The Landcruiser forums say diesel maintenance can break the bank... Is this true? I always thought diesels are MORE reliable...

Also, how capable are these off-road? Do they have locking Diff?

Finally, I'm new to turbodiesels but when I hear turbo I think exhaust, intake and even bigger turbo = big power. Do any of you do these?
 

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4. That mileage is hard to get with a lifted truck, driven in a normal manner. Better that you expect around 15 overall as more normal.

6. They are less than 20' long, roughly the size of a regular cab full bed pickup. But, they are wide and tall, and not much fun in a parking garage.

Diesel maintenance is expensive. It holds about 16 qts of oil, requires expensive fuel filters, and you actually need to replace them unlike a gas engine. Winter can require fuel anti-gel be added. They are more reliable, but require more expensive regular maintenance. For a diesel to work, the internal engine tolerances have to be much tighter than a gas engine. This better precision, and beefier build does lead to greater longevity, and fewer breakdowns. But, gas engines are getter better built all the time, and don't break down very often anymore either.

More, maybe most, women don't really like the smell of diesel fuel or exhaust. They don't like standing in the oily puddle at the truck stop where drops of diesel fuel from the hose over the years have caused a mess.

The excursion is not really an off-road truck. Yes, it can get the job done, but the landcruiser will excel at it. The excursion will do a better job of eating up the highway, pulling a heavy trailer, hauling 6+ people and their luggage. It's an okay built truck, while the land cruiser is an exceptional built off road SUV. They really are not substitutes for each other. Consider your needs and uses, and one will fit better than the other. For me it was the excursion, but it might not be for you. Or your wife.
 

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You probably realize you are comparing apples to oranges.

I have a friend with a very nice 80. Very capable off road. But with a stock engine talk about a dog! Also can't imagine towing with it. That said if you need to tow there is no question. The X is the way to go.

Answer to your questions:

2)Easy to lift. Yes.

3)Was the 03 a 6.0 or 7.3? The 6.0 is quicker. That said the DP tune 80 econo chip makes my truck feel like a nprmal gas vehicle. If I actually floor it my wife says its just not right it can excelerate that quick given the size:)

4)23-26 Highway is dreaming unless you drive 50mph on the highway. More realistic in stock form would be 21hwy and 15 city. I lot depends on how you drive and hwy speed. Staying at 65mph makes a big difference. Of course the 80 is not any better. If you lift expect to loose 2 to 3 mpg. See my sig below. I get 13 city and about 17hwy. So keep that in mind if you want to lift or just change tire size.

5)You will loose mpg if you go to bigget tires. I lost 2mpg going to 33s.

6)Lots of space but length hurts in off roading.

Your question about off roading depends. I treat my truck as a multi purpose vehicle and am less concerned about looks/scratches. The center differential is locked. This is why its only part time 4x4. Front axle is open and rear is limited slip.

I wanted a truck that was multi purpose. Comfortable family traveler, haul my travel trailer, tow my 10,000 flatbed utility trailer, go off roading. It does all these well. I have been to Utah around Moab twice with my truck and it would not see pavement for a week. I have done some pretty amazing things with such a large truck out there. But, here on the east coast it is useless excpet for the beach in North Carolina. Its just too big. Also not the best for mud due to the weight. My weights in around 8800 pounds. If you really want to do serious off roading I am now recommending using the money necessary to do the things I did and buy a play jeep to haul with the X and leave the X for hauling the play jeep.

My wife drove the X for years in stock form. She now has a car due to fuel costs. Its a great family vehicle and I would go for if she will drive it. There isn't much difference in mpgs between the X and an 80 or 450. But, diesel is usually more expensive.

Maintenance on a diesel is more only due to the amount of fluids, etc. required. But it does not require more maintenance intervals. If something goes wrong they are usually more expensive to fix. But, they last forever and hardly ever break! Mine has been wonderful. Don't be afraid of the diesel.

The only mods I would do is guages, AIS ford intake if its a 7.3, and a DP Tuner chip with the 60 tow and 80 econo. You really don't need more than that. Be careful of doing exhaust as the X is prone to exhaust drone. Doing it over again, I would not have done the exhaust.

Don't know where you live but if in MD you are welcome to come buy and check out/drive mine.

You can get a nice 7.3L X for $15K-$17K thesew days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback.

Now for the ultimate question... 6.0 or 7.3?

Of course I've seen that the 6.0 had some problems and is more expensive to work on. But apparently there a significant Seat of Pants improvement in power with the 6.0 right?

Then I hear the 7.3 "responds well to mods". What exactly does this mean in terms of $ and complexity of mods to get to similar power as 6.0 and beyond?
 

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guages - $300
AIS intake - $200
DP Tuner - $300 I think check the sponsor link.
BTS valve body (not absolutely necessary) $300

Thats enough and it is easy to do all these mods.

I like my 7.3.
 

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Get the X with a 7.3....there is no question it will be a great truck, some of the 03s have the 7.3, I was on the bubble and could have went with the 6.0 but am glad I stuck with the 7.3. I have 200,000 miles of trouble free driving. Also if you want to feel like you are in a truck....well the X is a truck, a full size, solid frame real true truck. If you want your wife to be as safe as possible you want the X, 8000 lbs of unibody crushing force is priceless, she can see over traffic too which is a safety point, when I get in an auto I go crazy not knowing whats going on 10 cars up. Plus you get to become one of the family here and if there is any question about any part of this truck we can answer it. As far as where....you just have to look everywhere, one could pop up at any time. Before you buy you need to drive it and look it over, then come here and ask about any weird things you see before you buy it. Every person who sees or rides in my X wants one, most have no idea they are not built anymore.
 

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I have both. One is a FJ62 Land Cruiser, just before the 80 series. It is a great reliable truck and very good off road. We got the Ex to haul our pontoon boat, not even the 100 series V8 Cruiser will haul that.
The Ex is much more comfortable and is fast. Ours has the 80e tune and blows away the 2005 6.0 F250 I am borrowing from a friend. We use the 4 wheel drive for boat ramps and highway snow. Any serious fun off road would be in the Cruiser. I needed the interior space of the Ex as I have 3 kids in car seats and can now take along 3 adults besides our family of 5. If you are hauling or have more than 2 kids get the Ex. Otherwise get the FZJ80 and put a TRD supercharger on it.
 

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I also have an fj62 and an 04 6.0 excursion. I love the excursion though when it comes offroad my fj62 beats it hands down. I have over 314k on my fj62 and it keeps going. I took my X offroad the first time and WOW. Ford really needs to make the electrical more water proof. I barely got it home. I went mud bogging and ran it through a couple of streams. The very next day i took my fj62 the same way and no problems what so ever.
 

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Another vote for the Ex 7.3, for all the above reasons. The simple truth is that folks that have a 4x4 rarely go off road- more like off pavement. As I wanted a family hauler that was capable in the snow and bad weather, towing boats and toys, and do is all comfortably, the Ex wins hands down.
 
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