Advice on whether I should buy a Land Cruiser (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 4, 2020
Messages
16
Location
idaho
Hi Everyone,
Total noob here looking for advice on whether I should buy a land cruiser. It’s Obviously my decision, but I just wanted to hear what input people have especially regarding my background and limited experience with cars. and if there’s any general information place on the internet where I can do my own thorough research rather than just random websites please comment them! Any and all advice welcome even if you don’t read entire post!
Okay, About me:
—I’m 23 and am just starting out in the world, I have owned 1 car that I am selling for 35k and need to purchase something cheaper, I have a limited knowledge about cars but am willing to put some time in on YouTube, forums etc to learn more (Is this a deal breaker if I can’t repair, understand its ins and outs, and maintain it myself?!)
—I have a budget of about $18000 and am absolutely in love with the fj62, my dream car, and figure now is my chance to buy with me being young and with value of land cruisers increasing.
—Depending on price I’d be willing to put a few thousand upfront in to getting it in excellent shape (I’m only buying a rust free cruiser in already decent condition) but need something reliable!
— it would be my daily driver and only car, and I would want something safe and reliable enough to go on LA freeways when I likely move there in a year.
—I Am an avid fisherman and outdoorsman and want something I can tow a drift boat in and camp in.
—how often to I need to maintenance the vehicle and how much should $ I plan to put into it annually to keep it running well?

that being said, right now I’m in touch with private sellers and a private land cruiser dealership with prices spanning from $8000-$25000, and have been on the phone a lot with that dealer/mechanic (seems like very genuine guy) who would be happy to update and maintenance a vehicle I buy after I purchase it out of state and ship it to him before he ships it to me (I wouldnt see the car in person but will FaceTime private owner and dealership mechanics and have them get an inspection on it before I make any sort of purchase.
Any and all input appreciated! -Dan

============= UPDATE ===============

Wow thanks for all the replies and great advice! I honestly wasnt Sure if I was going to get any replies, you are all great people. after reading, maybe the 62 or any land cruiser isn’t right for me because my Very limited knowledge about cars and being young and broke, but I believe life is short and my heart is telling me not to settle for a forerunner for the next 8 years or Tacoma, It wants a cruiser. But is it even possible to have something reliable enough for my needs with me just starting out in the world? maybe a later 80 series or 100, what do you all think of that?( I love the 80 series, or would it be another Big project at $15k?)

And, on a more personal note, I have been going through a rough Patch and it’s nice to find a community like this, I’m almost choked up. I Graduated college in may and I am still figuring things out and who I am and what I want to do with my life. The whole reason I was talking about moving to LA earlier is because that’s where the opportunity for music industry is (I love to jam guitar and songwrite) not my beloved Idaho (boiseans hmu lol) , but am starting to question everything now! I just don’t want to feel like I never left idaho and took a shot at the world. I Moved out of my somwhat dysfunctional parents home recently which was really important for me. im happier and Working some, but I have to leave my uncles in a month and now I’m on my own and It’s decision time as to where I’m going to live and what I’m going to do LOL. I almost don’t feel ready b/c I lived in a somewhat pampered Christian environment growing up and never really felt like I was my own free person until recent.. ⭐So, Whether it’s me getting a land cruiser for my car, or trying to find a stable job where I’m not yearning for more, or Trying to figure out how to make an impact on the world without moving back to smoggy LA where my connections and music buddies are, I finally feel like im starting my journey BUT I feel in the dark because I Honestly don’t know much about those three things or how to go about them! (lol) ⭐So I know this is a car forum, but it’s just nice to have support from a good group of People who are few steps ahead of me willing to help. I really appreciate The input!



-Dan
 
Last edited:

ceylonfj40nut

Waiting for Barn Time
SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
3,074
Location
TX
 
If you want to learn to work on the rig and have $ do it. These are old rigs that have been neglected by previous owners because they are robust. You inherit the cost of all their deferred maintenance. If you don’t think you have the mechanical skill but can write checks perhaps do it. Until you have baselined the rig and trust it mechanically, plan on another vehicle in addition to the cruiser. There will be times when it is down for maintenance or issue. Actually, plan on another vehicle in addition unless Uber delivers parts to you.

Kalifornia is a whole different equation. LA freeways are not great for these slower rigs. Hope it will pass smog. Make sure you can get it registered in CA. Not all can be registered. Good luck.
 
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
4,389
Location
Riyadh and Auburn
 
 
If you want to learn to work on the rig and have $ do it. These are old rigs that have been neglected by previous owners because they are robust. You inherit the cost of all their deferred maintenance. If you don’t think you have the mechanical skill but can write checks perhaps do it. Until you have baselined the rig and trust it mechanically, plan on another vehicle in addition to the cruiser. There will be times when it is down for maintenance or issue. Actually, plan on another vehicle in addition unless Uber delivers parts to you.

Kalifornia is a whole different equation. LA freeways are not great for these slower rigs. Hope it will pass smog. Make sure you can get it registered in CA. Not all can be registered. Good luck.
I think the above is very good advice. I would never, ever begrudge someone owning their dream land cruiser but if you have to drive one every day then take all or part of that $18K and buy a newer used Tacoma or 4Runner. At 23 you really need something that you can depend on. Now if the family has excess vehicles at your disposal then that's a different story.

Just curious why the 62, btw? If I was buying a 60 I would want the manual and the 3FE is marginally better (maybe?) than the 2F. Just curious.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
8,405
 
60s are a lot of work and are slow. Really wouldn't work well for your needs. I would recommend a 100 series with vvti. Put a mild lift on it, trailer brakes, and a roof top tent. The v8 will tow adequately as well.
1601815981053.png
 

Seth S

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
3,807
Location
Vermont
 
93 and newer 80’s are a pretty nice upgrade from a 60 and the market on 80’s hasn’t exploded like 60/62’s yet. You’d probably find an 80 with a 1Fzfe engine a lot more useable as a daily driver and for $18k could find a really nice one with a lot of goodies
 

Chris Cahill

SILVER Star
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
288
Location
Galveston, Texas
 
Get yourself something newer and more reliable as a daily driver, save up for the 62 and enjoy learning to repair and maintain it yourself once you have it. Use the 62 on the weekends and for your adventure trips. 60 series are great vehicles but you will end up frustrated if you try to use it for daily driver on the freeways.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
2,341
Location
SK Canada
 
 
i feel you. i love my 62. i think it’s an awesome truck and i daily drive it with a smile every time i drive. that being said i’ve put a LOT more than 18k into it to make it a dream truck. if you can afford down time and tools and time to learn to work on it yourself then go for it. there are only a few mechanics a i’ve come across that are comfortable working on it and can actually fix the problem. and they often have big hours associated to most for.

it’s not bad advice to get something newer and more reliable and then find a 62 as a project that you can take your time on. believe me it sucks having to rent a car because you’re in the middle of a project waiting for parts to come and you don’t have a ride for two weeks! i’ve been there just this summer

now also understand i love these vehicles and will never turn someone away from looking at buying one. they do have something that the newer vehicles don’t that makes you excited to get behind the wheel. but just be honest with yourself what kind of rabbit hole you are willing to go down and how much can you afford!

good luck
 

oestlarsen

SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
374
Location
WA
 
 
Another vote for the hundy...perhaps not as retro-chic..but will do everything well. I commuted and road tripped in my early 80 but the hundy is just all around more versatile..(air con, 80mph up mountains, towing etc)
You will have money left over to save up for a 60/62 later :)
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
1,208
Location
Ontario - Canada
I think it’s going to depend on the expectations of your job and employer. At 23 your other life responsibilities are pretty much aligned with owning a 30 year old, questionably reliable truck.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
337
Location
Denver
 
I was about your age when I caught the 60 bug. Granted, I spent $2k on a beater and had a 99 Corolla as my backup/daily. Like others have said, it’s pretty impractical to have a 30 year old truck as a DD when you’ve no real idea what has/hasn’t been done as far as maintenance.

Get something cheap and reliable for your commute and then get your 60 or 62 that you can wrench and learn on and then take it into the mountains or wherever you want.
 

Ocho77

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
1,633
Location
Michigan
 
I'll go against the flow and tell you 'YES'!

They are awesome trucks and fun to drive. If you want one, buy it. For $18k, you should easily be able to find a road ready 60 series from a Mud member on here.

There is a lot of wisdom on this forum, but also a lot of disparity. There are threads where people buy a $1500 60 series and drive it across the country and talk about how they drive these in austere places because you can piss in the tank and it will run forever.

There are more people on this forum that will sway you from buying one, stating that they are needy vehicles and will be down for maintenance, to slow to drive, will cost $5k initially before you can drive it 1 mile to Costco.

Take it all with a grain of salt. If you want a 60, buy one, and look for the best maintained one you can afford.
 

MANUCHAO

omnia mea mecum porto
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
5,119
Location
Sur Cal
 
 
 
need to purchase something cheaper
🤔🤔
Stock 60's aint cheap to keep on the road...specially in CA.
As stated above...get your self a commuter....
After the honeymoon period dissipates, you be a lot happier having the 60 series as your hobby vehicle, and you'll get to work on it at your own leisure....

With that said...
Welcome to the 60 series world.......... they rock !!!
 

MoaByte

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
906
Location
Moab
 
I agree with all of the previous posts. There are many worse choices than a 62. If you love them, then do it. You will learn a lot and the trial by fire of keeping it running is part of the bonding process. Having one is like getting married. It will take up most of your spare time, drain your bank, it will be moody, it will bring other cruiser heads into your life. You will have greasy finger nails all week long. You won't own it, it will own you.
 

Spike Strip

Midnight Rider
SILVER Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
14,878
Location
City of Angels
 
 
 
62 is a great truck to learn on and there's no better automotive resource than MUD. There are also multiple places selling parts and repair services in and around Los Angeles.

However, I live in Los Angeles and I do not DD my 60, though some people do. On freeway, steering can be less than fun unless everything is new and installed properly. Truck is ok for parking, cuz they're relatively narrow, but not great in mini-malls. I have an old Corolla that is the work horse.

Then there's the issue of theft if you'll have to park on the street - These rigs are easy to steal because of lack of deterrents, but of course you can install Lojack, alarms, locks, etc... Just look at all the MUD threads for stolen early LCs.

If you're going to be a student, this really isn't the truck for you, at this point anyway.

Whatever way you go, good luck!
 

OSS

Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Messages
2,977
Location
Oblivion
I don't recommend buying a FJ62 to be your only vehicle. A FJ60? yeah, ok, if you've got a garage or private driveway and tools and time and are handy and clever to work on it maybe, but not a 62. I owned my 60 for 30 years and while I may sound like a snob, if never buy a 62 if I was in your situation.
Twenty years ago? Heck yeah- But not now.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Los Angeles
I've had my 89 FJ62 for 31 years (All Stock), with No major issues in that time. Normal wear and tear on basic parts, replaced brakes, battery, tires, radiator, starter, alternator, etc., and small parts/items over the 30 years. i just stayed on top of the maintenance. Los Angeles daily driver for about 12 years, then got a second car and switched the LC to weekend drives. Always Passed Ca. Smog Tests. Super glad i made the purchase. Had great trips with it. No regrets! Great advice from all the folk who replied to you. So, Good luck in your decision.
 

mattressking

10 digits to freedom
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,124
Location
San Diego, Calif.
Yes if you have time and are a smart, capable wrench that has a serious appreciation for tinkering and repairs. If not, the answer is no.

However if you were a smart,capable wrench that enjoys tinkering, you wouldn’t require the input from others. You already know your capability and willingness to take on projects at unforeseen moments.
 

MoaByte

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 13, 2014
Messages
906
Location
Moab
 
I can't think of another vehicle of that vintage or genre that I'd rather have. You can't go wrong with a Chevy. Look at all the LS conversions, just saying.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom