Advice Appreciated on Rust and History

Location
United States
I hope you guys aren't sick of these yet, I could sure use some advice from the MUD knowledge base.
I am considering a purchase from the owner of an '06 LC for sale with 209k miles on the clock. After some back and forth over text and receiving some additional photos of the underside I am in need of advice on how concerned I should be about the amount of rust on the rear axle and other small areas. I am not used to dealing with rust and do not mind putting in a little work to clean and treat if worth it, but that would be new territory for me.

According to the carfax, the vehicle spent the first 3 years in NJ, then the next 5 in MD before making it south to TN. The engine bay looks pretty good considering, appears to be the original radiator, the Brake Master looks too shiny to be the original (so fingers crossed that's new), and the rear tailgate latch is rust-free. The exterior body looks clean, free of major dents, no evidence of rust in front of the rear wheels.

After some searching, it appears this same LC was listed on B.A.T in 2021 and didn't meet the reserve. 2006 Land Cruiser - BaT Auctions
Lots of chatter around some rust and reported structural damage in 2018 as the limiting factor, the seller does not have any doc from the dealership when purchased, but cannot see/feel any evidence of damage. According to the carfax the "structural damage" was retro added in 2020 (which puts it after purchase by the current owner) and date listed after trade-in to the dealer and before resale. This is a bit odd, but seems like maybe not that much of an issue. Still chewing on that...

Sell price - 15k
On to the pictures in question, what are your thoughts on level of rust if I am intending on keeping the truck for a loooong time? Worth it for the price now that the covid madness has calmed a bit? Big thank you for any insight you can give!
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jerryb

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there will be plenty of good-better examples south of 20 by hte end of 2023. I'd wait.
the comments on bat of all auctions are where i spend a ton of time lately.

Still, everyone should be waiting for the auto industry fallout. I think the sweet time was here before covid for LCLX, and will be back again.
 

87warrior

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Rust doesn't look bad and the little bit that is creeping could be halted with fluid film or the like.
No rust here (at least on BAT) so I consider that a rust free 100.
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The browning radiator indicates it should be replaced.
 
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The rust doesn't seem too bad and since it was a southern vehicle for a while that's a good start. But the reality is without a decent list of service history you are bound to throw some money at this thing over the next few years. Stuff will leak, creak, squeak, and want your attention. You could ignore it all and still run it for many more miles but if you want it to last that " loooongggg time " you should plan on dumping some money into it.

Does the AHC work? That could be a big expensive right off the rip. I don't really like buying auction vehicles without knowing previous owner history. You could put the VIN into Toyota owners website and see if any more history pops up.

The engine and transmissions on these vehicles are reliable but there are a lot parts that need attention as you round 200k miles on any vehicle. If it has been neglected it's entire life it may put a hurting on your piggy bank.
 
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You'll also want to see some under side picture up front. Make sure it's not a big mess of fluid and leaks.

Engine bay does look pretty clean. Probably a decent purchase for the price but still would be nice to have some service history to back up the miles.

Looks like it has a timing belt replacement sticker on the engine cover and those are the style that Toyota uses. Also Toyota battery. So at least it's been to the dealer. I suspect it's a rig that hasn't been off roaded much and may or may not have been taken care of over the years.

Get the VIN and check Toyota owners website.
 
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bigwavedave25

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what rust? looks fine
So no rust seen in my first image?
The BAT pics from last April didn't look as rusty in the rear to me as the current ones he sent, but I guess that's why I'm asking.
Thanks
 
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So no rust seen in my first image??
The BAT pics from last April didn't look as rusty in the rear to me as the current ones he sent, but I guess that's why I'm asking.
Thanks
Def some rust but not enough to slow you down since nothing appears to be rotting out. Focus more on maintenance and current mechanical state.

Just looked at the BAT link, much cleaner back then so any rust you see is pretty new and can probably be tamed. Clean looking rig for sure. Seats aren't ripped AND the original tool kit. That's some hot action.
 

bigwavedave25

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The rust doesn't seem too bad and since it was a southern vehicle for a while that's a good start. But the reality is without a decent list of service history you are bound to throw some money at this thing over the next few years. Stuff will leak, creak, squeak, and want your attention. You could ignore it all and still run it for many more miles but if you want it to last that " loooongggg time " you should plan on dumping some money into it.

Does the AHC work? That could be a big expensive right off the rip. I don't really like buying auction vehicles without knowing previous owner history. You could put the VIN into Toyota owners website and see if any more history pops up.

The engine and transmissions on these vehicles are reliable but there are a lot parts that need attention as you round 200k miles on any vehicle. If it has been neglected it's entire life it may put a hurting on your piggy bank.

You'll also want to see some under side picture up front. Make sure it's not a big mess of fluid and leaks.

Engine bay does look pretty clean. Probably a decent purchase for the price but still would be nice to have some service history to back up the miles.

Looks like it has a timing belt replacement sticker on the engine cover and those are the style that Toyota uses. Also Toyota battery. So at least it's been to the dealer. I suspect it's a rig that hasn't been off roaded much and may or may not have been taken care of over the years.

Get the VIN and check Toyota owners website.
Thank you for the insight.
Maintenance looks great. I cross-checked the carfax with the Toyota owner's site and the truck has a stellar service history. The early gap in the carfax was covered on the Toyota site, dealer maintained its whole life except for some recent service done at Toyota/Honda specialist in Knox. Both TB/WP services were done at a dealership. So all looks up to date there.
The seller states AHC working fine and has had a flush during ownership. From what I can tell, the lines still looked clean and only one globe has some surface rust forming on it (I do intend on keeping the AHC functional).
Service and condition look good, it's just the surface rust I have no experience with. I'm planning to replace all rubber... bushings, linkages, etc. so I do intend to put efforts into restoring and light modding any LC/LX that I end up with. Southern cars are a dream to wrench on, but this one looks like possibly a different animal.
 
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bigwavedave25

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Def some rust but not enough to slow you down since nothing appears to be rotting out. Focus more on maintenance and current mechanical state.

Just looked at the BAT link, much cleaner back then so any rust you see is pretty new and can probably be tamed. Clean looking rig for sure. Seats aren't ripped AND the original tool kit. That's some hot action.
Yeah, you can see the rust starting to form in the BAT pics, I'm sure from its early life up north. Sucks that it looks to have progressed that much in a little over a year. This will be one of the first things to address on my checklist.
The seats and carpet still look to be in good condition, though the entire interior could use a serious deep clean at this point. Beyond my soft goods cleaning skills, I will probably pay a pro to bring it back to life on the inside. It's definitely not BAT clean at the moment, ha.

edit:
To one of your earlier points, the seller stated that he parks it under a carport and has no [seal] leaks, the area under the truck has been and is currently dry.
 

bigwavedave25

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Woops, looks like I posted this in the wrong forum. Sorry about that, thank you for moving it.
 

dubdub20003

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I agree with comment way above... there is just no reason to start from this as a base if you want to own it a long time. If it was $8k, sure... but for $15k, I have to believe you can find a much better southern car. Rust always wins. You can fight it and fight it... but it virtually always wins out. I'd much rather replace parts on a rust free vehicle than fight rust on this ride.

It is not just a question of whether it has rusted through the frame somewhere so you have structural issues... look at every single nut and bolt. You will fight those to get free every time. Rusted bolts also round over easy, so then you really have to get creative with cutting wheels and the like.

You live in NC... there is no reason you cannot find a better option in GA, AL, FL, SC, TX, etc. Don't hate yourself this much. You deserve better!
 

bigwavedave25

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Thank you for the comment, @dubdub20003 . Both you and @jerryb make great points.

Since the goal is to keep and wrench on for a long time, having a clean starting point that I'm not immediately in a battle with is definitely ideal.

Thanks, I think I needed a splash l of cold water. :)
 
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