70 series - which one?

Discussion in '70-Series Tech' started by Technikev, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Technikev

    Technikev

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    I am a soon to be cruiser owner and am coming over from the dark side... Soon j**p and (hopefully) other four letter words will be mostly banished from my vocabulary.

    Anyway, I am trying to gather information and opinions to guide me on my purchase of a BJ7something. The 80 series are nice, but a little large for what I need right now. I am thinking of contacting Wayne or one of the other importers and plunking down some cash to try and round me up a BJ74 that would meet my desires.

    My current issue revolves more around a problem that goes kind of like this:

    Should I go and buy a Cdn BJ70 beater to play with in the mean time? Is it one of those things that I will fall in love with and not care about the mileage or lack of room and not want the 74? Do I worry about getting one with no rust issues or find one that seems to be mechanically sound and not worry about body cancer? I believe that the 70s ride harsher than the 74s, but the ones I have driven don't seem too bad and since I have not driven a 74, I have no frame of reference. The RHD doesn't concern me too much, but my girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for even considering it, but well, she's not the boss quite yet.;) What are the relative merits and down sides between a 70 and 74? Hell, lets throw the BJ71 into the mix for good measure.

    Yeah, a lot of questions, but I try to learn from others knowledge and mistakes.

    I don't do a lot of major wheeling. I don't drive my own vehicle on a daily basis (company truck). I am not completely Cruiser illiterate - there is a fair bit of information floating around out there and it feels like I have read all of it. And I don't have the space or cash to get a whole bunch of these things, so I kind of want to do it the right way early on in my cruiser career.

    Basically, what would you do if you were in my position and had to do it all over again knowing what you do now?

    Thanks to all who post a response for your help. ;)
     
  2. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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    oh thats a tough one. It comes down to cheap and expensive. but they all equal in the end. you can buy the cnd spec for less. BUT it will cost lots to fix it up. OR you can buy a decent rig off the start.

    If I then what I know now I might just buy the clean JDM unit first. But I didn't know mud or any of its members. I like my CDN spec cruiser. And I will and have dropped a fortune into it. And will continue to .

    The JDMs offer lots of toys. The CND ones are basic. But the price difference is there. You can't buy the perfect HJ61 for what I paid for my BJ60. But it isn't comparing apples to apples.

    So Maybe comparing a BJ70 with a JDM 74 is not comparing apples to apples. Talk to Wayne.

    He will at least help you see the whole picture.

    Either way you own a Cruiser and are happy :)
     
  3. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    If budget wasn't an issue...it would be a BJ74 over a BJ70 for me.

    Reasons:
    1) Direct Injected Factory Turbo Diesel engine.
    2) Some (like mine) came with Cable Locking Axles front and rear.
    3) Most are low mileage (mine had 72k kms on the clock), and little to no rust.
    4) More room for gear and people.
    5) AC and PTO winch from the factory.

    Even though the initial purchase price of a decent BJ70 might be significantly lower than the purchase price of a BJ74...think about how much work and money you would have to drop into it before you would have the same kind of equipment that a BJ74 already comes with. And in the end, while the 3B is a great engine, even dropping a turbo into it doesn't make it as good an engine as a TDI 13B-T. With a locked BJ74, throw on a mild lift and good 33" tires and you have yourself a very capable wheeler.


    My 2 cents.
     
  4. lowenbrau

    lowenbrau

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    You have to look at the big picture. If you are going to keep it forever as as mostly wheeling rig that gets 10,000km a year then there is no real advantage to buying a low mile rig. Its very reasonable to expect over 500,00km from a cdn spec BJ70. If you plan to buy a winch and lockers then the lines start to get fuzzy because the JDM import might have them. Same for lower gears. Generally CDN spec=3:7:1 JDM = 4.11:1. Some feel the removable top of a BJ74 is an advantage. Some feel the tight footroom in any seat of the BJ74 is a disadvantage. The suspension seats in the BJ70s are rare in the JDM BJ74s and the do a lot for making the ride seem better. Finally, nearly all the JDM rigs have air conditioning and the Cdn spec rigs do not.
     
  5. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Thanks for reminding me of my 4:11s, Bruce! I love them with my 255/85r/16s! And another plus is my rear FF axle. Also factory and already on the truck when I got it.
     
  6. bj70_guy

    bj70_guy

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    If I were starting from scratch again I'd go straight to a JDM. DI turbo, lockers, pto, FF rearend, and a/c make a pretty sweet package. Throw in low miles and a solid frame/body - for not much more than you would have paid for a pretty stock cdn BJ70 a few years ago...
     
  7. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    from a importer AND wheeler view.
    most of the merits of each have already been touched on.
    if you buy CND 70 you will be getting a truck (most likely) that has 300,000 + km on it. the CDM 70 still fetch a good dollar even in rough condition and are hard to find.
    if you are going to wheel the rig a super clean LOW km JDM unit would be a waste of money. if it is going to be a daily driver / mild off road truck that you are going to keep for 20 years then a ultra low km rig would make some sense but not in super clean condition.
    Daryl C in Edmonton has a very good outlook when it comes to JDM. medium km (150,000 - 200,000) NO RUST (but minor dents and scratches are fine)NO lockers (okay if they happen to be there) and he is into a JDM cruiser for just about double what a CDM would cost. say $13,000 - $17,000 but with still half of the average 70 series km and no rust.
    the ultra low km JDM units are fantastic, you are buying a rig that (in most cases) has not been molested and with routine maintenance and undercoating will last for 20-25 years. IF you do decide to go this route then buy a beater for in the bush. what I used to do is buy a $1500 beater (when "parts" cruisers were not so expensive) beat it for a season and strip it down and go buy another. this way you have a truck that is a blast but very low investment. the secret is do not sink money into a beater (lift kit and tires are acceptable but MUST be moved over to the next beater to keep the costs down).
    now cruisers are worth too much even in rough shape but there are times when a good deal comes along. gasser 40s are a dime a dozen. I know of at least 2 for $2000 each. the mileage will kill you if used as a daily driver but for a weekend warrior these would be perfect.
    my personal wheeling rigs are still beaters. I have been wheeling a Mitsubishi J53 this past year and loved it. one of those in less than perfect shape can be had for abut $8000 and can be used as a daily driver to boot.
    a LJ71 with the little 2.4TD is a great truck for a daily driver and a bush beater. excellent fuel mileage, as good as a NA 3B on the highway, 490 diffs from the factory and the coils are a superior ride blowing suspension seats out of the water. very nimble and comfortable. one of these in not perfect shape can be had for around $11,000
    the BJ71 has much more power than the LJ. a bit stiffer ride and less fuel economy. it used to be you could get a BJ71 for just a touch more than the LJ71 but lately the prices have been climbing. NOT one of my favorites.
    the BJ74 is a great truck. the longer wheelbase makes for a better ride than the BJ71 but with the same power. the top comes off which is a real benefit on a SUNNY summer day. (we make a super tight bikini top and rear 1.2 doors for these units) these will range anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000. the shape and km will determine the price.
    the HZJ74 is going to be a SWEET ride but I would wait a year for these since the 90s are usually pretty high km.
    the HZJ77 is going to be the ultimate for highway and city and light off road truck in the 7* series. these will be fetching $20,000+ since the Japanese are wanting these rigs for themselves.
    the 80 series is fantastic on road, off road. they will suck into the mud, they are very heavy and complex. for everything else off road they really rock. if body and km are not and issue and if a 5spd is not important then you can get into a 80 series for about $15,000 - $20,000. the premium units are fetching close to $30,000 and these prices will be going up as more Canadian Importers are bring them in.

    BTW, I do not drive a ultra low km unit since I don't respect them. for me a 25,000 km unit would look like it has 150,000 on it with in a year so, for my life style something like that is a waste. I fell more comfortable in a 150,000 km less than perfect bodied rig. this way I can bring my wet dog inside and if a pop spilled it would not be the end of the world.

    I like to tailor the purchase into what a customer wants not what I have in stock to sell...
    I would welcome any calls to discuss you needs and desires and maybe we can fine tune what you will end up with in the future.
    cheers
    BTW, once you get a RHD the girlfriend will change her mind. there are plenty of ladies driving RHD. the cool factor is way up there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2005
  8. Eric Winkworth

    Eric Winkworth

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    It all depends on what you want as far as accesoires, just check for frame rot, look a the tank well, and make sure she doesn't smoke alot, I would just turn up the fast idle to about 2500 and go watch the tail pipe.

    All and all you will find even a high KM Cruiser in good shape overall is going to run you about $10000 it seems like alot at first, but in reality it isn't, there is alot of metal to one of these rigs, put a good bumper on it and go take out some Caviliers!!! J/K

    bring a magnet with you and a cloth to check for bondo on wheel wells etc, expecially when buying CDN spec cruisers

    I towed a jeep that was in park once, lol I used 4 high too, it feels as it could tow a transport truck with a trailer in 4 low, although I stopping would be another story, as would getting over 40kmph. I love my CDN spec cruiser and I plan on it lasting forever, but I will definitaly need to let Wayne go over it and put a nice 13B-T or some other diesel in it when the 3B starts to get tired, although it will prolly be a few years, I have started a fund for it. I live in ontario, and plan to drive it out to you adventually!!!

    cheers
     
  9. lshobie

    lshobie

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    Hi Technikev

    I think if you buy a "CDN beater in the meantime" - you will end up dumping alot of money into it before you know it and probably wont get your money out. It's like most used CDN cruisers, they are rusty, high kms, need additional maintenance items, like u joints, major brake work - including pricey e-brake parts, possible front end work, it really is limitless. You will probably have to tend to some body repairs - which we all know will only last a year or 2 before the rust starts to reappear.

    The next thing you will notice is someone with a nice, air conditioned, rust free turbo diesel passing you up a hill for virtually the same money with less KMS. The 70's lack highway power, and although they are great off road on rough slow technical trails, you still have to get to your 4 wheeling spot via a highway.

    In my opinion unless you can get a very good condition 70 for a very good price - low thousands, then get a BJ74. It will treat you well, have more options, last a long time, need less maintenance, and have a better resale value.

    I am just getting my dealer licence now here in Ontario and it may seem like I am a little biased, but I had the same questions you did - and now I've bought my first 2 JDM 74's expected to arrive late July. In my opinion buying a mid 80's BJ 70 is false economy.

    Regards,
    Louis
     
  10. masteryota

    masteryota

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    When I bought my truck, I just wanted a 70 for the body look.
    I liked the idea of solid axle all-around for wheeling.
    I liked the idea of a diesel engine, even tho the diesel prices keeps on rocketing!
    I also liked the fact that a short wheelbase like that could get me out of tight situation, it's a very nimble truck! (Compared to my old toyota pick-up xcab)
    My canadian 70 had 292xxx km on it when I bought it, could'nt care less really, because it's not a daily driver, it's more of a week end warrior, and that's the reason I did'nt go with an imported cruiser. Looking at them with all their options like lockers, and winches makes me jealous, and I know that when I'm done with my rig I'm going to have spend more on repair and upgrading than I would have spent if I had gone with an imported. But then again, I got what I want and now am working on my rig to configure it the way I want it and that's a fun thing to do, to build your own rig. So if you have the $$ for an imported, go ahead, but if you don't, well don't be afraid of cnd cruiser! They're worth it too!
    Matt
     
  11. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    my first BJ74 i brought in had 300,000 km on it. why would i bring something like that in when i coud have bought a nice unit for just a bit more? because i was going to put this truck through it's paces. i ran more than one tree down it's passenger side getting used to how big a gap i needed to be able to fit.
    also this helped me to find out if the 13BT was as good as the old 3B. i cranked the boost and the fuel, i ran a welded in the rear and limited slip in the front, 35" boots and beat that old girl.
    i jsut retired "ol smokey" a few months ago. it was a good old truck and never let me done (that i remember anyway).

    cheers
     
  12. rick_d

    rick_d

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    my vote, JDM

    You may find a nice BJ70, or even a moderate one. 10 months from now you say, "well that rot in the rear doors and corrosion in the hood should be fixed". Then 3 months after that, "the rear quarter rot needs to be addressed". Then a month later, "that tranny sure does whine"....etc.etc.

    see where I am going?

    If you end up loving the truck it will nickel and dime you until it's right. And if you begin the "rust battle" when you see JDM trucks you will kick yourself.

    my "rust war" on 1988 JDM truck was replacing the rear chrome carpet strip (3 pieces $26 US).

    A CDN BJ70 will have rust (cancer) and I am not satisfied with the 3B power. Use (age) is also and issue. JDM trucks may only have the urban wear on transfer input gear (requiring McNamera gear) but a 300,000 km 1985 Maritime truck is going to be worked. A 300,000km BC truck may be cleaner, but still will have wear. and a 300,000 km Sask truck is well a joke (ha! GB/SW).

    As a canadian, it's a breeze alone or finding a dealer like Wayne. At this point, you may find 150K trucks vs the 30-60K trucks of the past 3 years. So, they will be cheaper...I reiterate, "avoid the rust". You can fix most anything else.
     
  13. Island Moose

    Island Moose

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    I am a soon to be cruiser owner and am coming over from the dark side... Soon j**p and (hopefully) other four letter words will be mostly banished from my vocabulary.

    Good for you, come into the light my son. :bounce:

    Anyway, I am trying to gather information and opinions to guide me on my purchase of a BJ7something. The 80 series are nice, but a little large for what I need right now. I am thinking of contacting Wayne or one of the other importers and plunking down some cash to try and round me up a BJ74 that would meet my desires.

    IMHO, the 70's (http://members.shaw.ca/jcmorrison/glamshot2.jpg) 's are the best looking rigs of the bunch. The 75 series troopies make me blush.

    My current issue revolves more around a problem that goes kind of like this:

    Should I go and buy a Cdn BJ70 beater to play with in the mean time? Is it one of those things that I will fall in love with and not care about the mileage or lack of room and not want the 74? Do I worry about getting one with no rust issues or find one that seems to be mechanically sound and not worry about body cancer? I believe that the 70s ride harsher than the 74s, but the ones I have driven don't seem too bad and since I have not driven a 74, I have no frame of reference. The RHD doesn't concern me too much, but my girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for even considering it, but well, she's not the boss quite yet.;) What are the relative merits and down sides between a 70 and 74? Hell, lets throw the BJ71 into the mix for good measure.

    Yeah, a lot of questions, but I try to learn from others knowledge and mistakes.

    I don't do a lot of major wheeling. I don't drive my own vehicle on a daily basis (company truck). I am not completely Cruiser illiterate - there is a fair bit of information floating around out there and it feels like I have read all of it. And I don't have the space or cash to get a whole bunch of these things, so I kind of want to do it the right way early on in my cruiser career.




    OK....BIG questions! First off, let's address the off-roading issue. If you buy a low-mileage, cherry condition JDM cruiser, you WILL have a hard time beating the hell out of it in the mud and rocks. There are those out there who do but they are callous monsters :D . IF you are buying only to off-road the thing...get a Canadian beater that runs for under $5000 and spend your money on things that make it climb rocks.

    You CAN take a cherry BJ70 off-road, and have fun occasionally, but it may bother you to bang it up.

    These RHD trucks will turn heads everywhere, your girlfriend will want to drive it because guys will walk over and drool in front of her :princess: , the RHD will quickly fade into a non-issue. CHICKS HATE RUST...she'll be more likely to give you the OK to spend $15G on a cherry JDM than $5G on a rotten local rig.

    SO....you really have to make a decision and stick with it, are you wanting an off-road-only beater or something that you want to be seen in with the old lady?

    It sounds to me that you really don't want to be restricted to an off-road only rig, and that you appreciate the uniqueness of the JDM's. If I were you I'd seriously consider visiting Wayne and seeing the insane condition of these JDM's.
    :grinpimp:


    Basically, what would you do if you were in my position and had to do it all over again knowing what you do now?

    I hate rust, with every fiber of my being. I restored a 1972 VW bus, and watched the rust spread to my new panels before I could seal them! As a kid we had no money, but my step-dad drove a 68 Ford F-100 with ZERO rust in Nova Scotia (not an easy thign to do). I have an aversion for rust hammered into my DNA.

    To me the JDM's were the obvious answer to wanting a Landcruiser with no rust and no bondo. I NEVER intended to off-road seriously. I worked/lived in Australia so driving RHD was OK for me.

    I really want a turbo on my truck, but I wouldn;t have given up the soft-top to get it.

    ;)
     
  14. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Not all JDM's are rust free. Mine has some issues that were unforseen. I have two nice holes, one on each rocker. My wheelwells have rust bubbles courtesy of the gay fender flares installed by the PO that I promptly removed. I also have some rust starting in the rear right corner in front of the rear bumper.

    So, there are well-equipped JDM's with relatively low kms (compared to CDN ones) that may have a LITTLE rust issue, but maybe sell for a good price. These are rigs that will not be a pavement princess, but something that you will not be afraid to wheel.

    There were only around 600 BJ70s ever imported into Canada. If you find one of these in mint condition, they are collector vehicles IMO, not wheelers...they're so rare. The BJ74s are also getting fairly rare in the auctions, and selling prices are going higher. If you want one, I would suggest you buy one sooner rather than later, as the prices for good ones will only get higher as we get to the tail end of their production. Of course...you can always wait until the HZJ74s show up more in auction. :D

    RickD: Mint 300k Saskabush beater. LOL. :D
     
  15. Island Moose

    Island Moose

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    Stone's right when you consider JDM's that have been "in-country" for a while. Like the Canadian versions, they will eventually turn to dust in Canada without protection.

    Any broker though who brings in a rusty rig from Japan has to be smoking the ganga too much.

    I've had mine for 6 months and I've had to touch up a few rock chips that have turned orange.
     
  16. rick_d

    rick_d

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    stone-

    hey, it ran! (I did not say "drive")

    and your battle with rust is a hella easier to deal with than a certain named black '85...
     
  17. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Moose:

    I've sprayed my frame rails and panels with a wax-based rust proofer. My frame is mint.

    You wouldn't buy a cable-locked BJ74 with 120,000 kms but has a few body rust issues for $12k landed at your doorstep? I would much rather do that than buy a stock NA BJ70, rusty but trusty, and stock for $7k.

    Rick: :D I hear ya. She has some character marks...but I love her.
     
  18. Island Moose

    Island Moose

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    I hear ya, a few spots is no big deal to stop and reverse if the price is right. I draw the line when cutting and welding becomes necessary. You miss one spec of rust and all that new paint starts bubbling up...nightmare. To be honest though, I wouldn't pay 12 grand for anything with more than surface rust.
     
  19. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    thanks guys, for the vote of confidence...
    ;^)
     
  20. expat

    expat

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