1996 LX 450 - What to look out for when purchasing (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
92
Location
New Braunfels, TX
Hello, I'm fairly new to the forum and I do not even have a Land Cruiser yet, but I am looking at a 1996 LX 450 that doesn't have lockers. Im looking to purchase this and giving it to my daughter to drive to and from school. I know there are probably better vehicles for this, but she likes it. What do I look for when inspecting it before purchase? What usually breaks?

If I do buy it, it will get a coil spring lift and 33's and not much else other than maintenance items.
 

clx16

SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
1,221
Location
Alpharetta GA
Mechanically I am not sure i can help you with "what breaks". I guess seals and gaskets are old by now and she will need to stay on that or you need to have those replaced. Mostly right now, leather, power windows(mostly window runners slow them down), maybe AC is all needing some help and all rubber items.

Everyone has a lot of concern for the head gaskets, so if that has already been done, that is a plus, but some say the later models 96/97 got a better head gasket so maybe that isn't such a concern.

I haven't had anything break yet. i think you have more of a chance of things wearing out than breaking.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
87
Location
NW PA
Look for rust underneath. Don't see to much, buy it.
+1 on this. Living in PA I crawl all around underneath looking for rust and checking for leaks from the drivetrain, suspension and axles. Also have a look at the condition of various bushings. Then I move on to inspect all doors/door jambs for rust or signs of past body work. Then under the hood to check all fluid levels, look for leaks and inspect hoses and vacuum lines. Then start engine and listen for abnormal noises. Take a look at the roof for fading, rust and inspect roof rack and mounting areas. Then on to the inside. Check overall condition and test all buttons/functions. Finally a test drive. Make sure to test lockers (if applicable) and 4 Lo.

That's about it for me. It's a pretty broad overview, but it's a good starting point. Took me a couple hours to inspect and test drive each vehicle I looked at before settling on a '97 LX450 that I pick up tomorrow. Rust was my biggest concern. After inspecting the underside of the LX450 and finding ZERO rust, I was almost certainly buying it. The fact it was in tip top mechanical condition, as well, was the icing on the cake.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
588
Location
Colorado
Justification comes in all forms, my friend. 🤔
Welcome and buckle up. :flipoff2: (MUD welcome)
Check OTRAMM's Buyers Guide video on yt (there are others of course) and go from there. Key info will be conveyed much faster.
Then return here and search for greater detail on items and procedures of interest to you.
Post Q's if you can't find the answer.
Get a factory service manual (FSM).
Forum consensus is to get the nicest one you can (or want) to afford, in any flavor. I've budgeted about $250/mo in baseline & build-out over 36 mos. I'm two years into it and it seems to be averaging out about right. And my largely unmolested tho questionably maintained (yet proving maintained) truck was overall in good condition at purchase. I got pretty lucky given my lack of knowledge on what to look for, so you're in the right place on the right track here on MUD.:steer:

:cheers:
 

Road Apple

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
871
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
There are a few links in the newbie guide to help understand what to look for. Lots a good info in general.

 

GA Trevor

SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
410
Location
Atlanta
Check the radiator, if it is brown rather than black, it is on the end of its life. Same with the water T valve on the back of the engine. Look at the wire harness by the egr for any burn. Knuckles for seal or leaking. Think those are some good ones that will cause you some upfront maintenance costs after purchase, but are not immediately obvious to a less experienced buyer.

Other than that, just the general leaks and rust.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom