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

Joined
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To me, this is a 'head/heart' discussion. I wanted *anything* with wheels when I was in high school (beyond my parents car). My first 'car' - a '72 Chevy van with major rust, that got 60 miles of driving per quart of oil. Paid $300, sold it for $425 after trimming off the rusty panels with tin snips and spray-bombing them. I had my parents cars as backups, which was good. It was safe to buy such a heap because I didn't really have to depend on it.

A general observation about 30 year old vehicles - be they 60/62s or 80s. Shops won't like working on them, and will 'see you coming' with lists of $1000s in repairs every time you get near a place. Think 'Brakes Plus'! And you will have to be perceptive enough to know what is actually true and in need of repair. Parts will fail simply because of deferred maintenance or the part will have exceeded its design life.

Say you buy an '80 or a '62 with 200K on it that seems reliable and well-taken-care-of. Are you ready when the head gasket blows and takes out the engine and a shop wants 6-10K to replace/rebuild it? And you now don't have a vehicle you can drive for 6 weeks? All parts will be 'out of stock' or special order for 25-30 year old Toyotas.

I would strongly point you toward a 3rd or 4th gen 4Runner, stock, and when you have a garage and more experience/money/tools/years, then get a clean 60 series. They won't all go away, or all be $50K - there will still be one out there for you. Be patient.

At my elevation, my FJ62 can't tow the skin off a bowl of pudding, and I can't image you will like dog-slow performance and terrible towing, combined with 12 mpg and gasoline at California prices.
 
Joined
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idaho
To me, this is a 'head/heart' discussion. I wanted *anything* with wheels when I was in high school (beyond my parents car). My first 'car' - a '72 Chevy van with major rust, that got 60 miles of driving per quart of oil. Paid $300, sold it for $425 after trimming off the rusty panels with tin snips and spray-bombing them. I had my parents cars as backups, which was good. It was safe to buy such a heap because I didn't really have to depend on it.

A general observation about 30 year old vehicles - be they 60/62s or 80s. Shops won't like working on them, and will 'see you coming' with lists of $1000s in repairs every time you get near a place. Think 'Brakes Plus'! And you will have to be perceptive enough to know what is actually true and in need of repair. Parts will fail simply because of deferred maintenance or the part will have exceeded its design life.

Say you buy an '80 or a '62 with 200K on it that seems reliable and well-taken-care-of. Are you ready when the head gasket blows and takes out the engine and a shop wants 6-10K to replace/rebuild it? And you now don't have a vehicle you can drive for 6 weeks? All parts will be 'out of stock' or special order for 25-30 year old Toyotas.

I would strongly point you toward a 3rd or 4th gen 4Runner, stock, and when you have a garage and more experience/money/tools/years, then get a clean 60 series. They won't all go away, or all be $50K - there will still be one out there for you. Be patient.

At my elevation, my FJ62 can't tow the skin off a bowl of pudding, and I can't image you will like dog-slow performance and terrible towing, combined with 12 mpg and gasoline at California prices.
Thank you! I’m wanting to drop my budget now that I’m NOT looking for a 62 or 80, I need reliability like everyone is saying. And since I won’t “love” the car I’m buying (which will depreciate too) I’m Probably only wanting to spend $10,000- $12,000 now and within the last 15 years and below 180,000 miles So I can invest larger profit. But If I do this am I going to end up with something unreliable that is going to be a pit and blow out on me for the next few years? I know there’s a balance to strike but what’s the ballpark? Forerunners And 100 series seem outside of my budget now but don’t want something that I can’t resell in 3-5 years. Can I even get a good 4x4 for 12,000 considering I’m not able to repair it myself?
Thanks!
 
Joined
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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 :)
How much for a good 100 series? Are they generally more $ than other 4 wheel drive from similar years?
 

Seth S

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my observation so far: Fj60 $8k to $40k for most trucks. $8k is the minimal rust runner likely needs lots of mechanical work and maybe paint. $40k is realm of low mileage stock examples in great shape or cleanly built highly modified trucks.

pretty much the same for the 62’s except the base condition prices-tend to be higher. These are generalities because there are still gema hiding out there with unknowing sellers and steal prices.

clean stock 80’s pop up in the $5k range and the range I’ve seen on most had been in the $5k to $20k. they will vary with milesge, rust, modifications , 1fzfe or 3fe (up to or afternoon 93 basically).

not so familiar with 100’s.
 
Joined
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A clean 3rd gen '96-'02 4Runner is $5-8K. Well within your budget. 4th gens are ugly, at least the first few years with the Chevy Avalanche cladding and wheelwells. Starting in 2006, they look halfway decent. You might also consider a Lexus GX470 - many are under $12K and all have a v8.
 
Joined
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Vancouver, Canada
A 3rd gen 4runner will need lots of maintenance too, they are 20-25 years old. Except they also have electronics and fuel injection to fail. I partly got the 60 because I don't trust the 4runner in the middle of nowhere since it's getting to that age. What's easier to overhaul, 40 year old electrics or 20 year old electrONics? I'll put on rebuilt axles and new suspension, refresh the injection pump, do the refresh of the other engine peripherals, and I'll be removing as much electrical as I can so short of the head gasket or other engine internal part blowing up it won't stop. But mine is the simpler 3B diesel not available in the US unless imported. And this all adds up to $$ but in the end it will be more reliable than a 15 year old truck.
To be clear, my 4runners have never let me down but they are at the age where problems from old components can just pop up unexpecedly. But if you arent going deep into the wild this risk might be acceptable for you. It isnt for me on long trips in Canadian wwilderness so the 4runner will be reserved for less adventurous duties.
 

oestlarsen

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WA
How much for a good 100 series? Are they generally more $ than other 4 wheel drive from similar years?

I think that will be all over the board. I opted for high miles but big ticket items fixed (steering rack, ABS / Master $$$, timing belt service and extensive service history). Got a 280K miles 2 owner ride and has run great ever since...($6,500). My research and experience told me not to be afraid of the miles, but watch for the few big ticket items around the corner - or at least factor them in. Lately seems people pay crazy prizes for "low mileage" hundies...Find a family/soccer parent ride..
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
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43
Do you have the space to work on the vehicle? In my opinion these trucks are very easy to work on as I myself started as a beginner and have learned alot working on my 60. I personally would get a 60 series as the 62 seems to be more expensive and driving manual is more fun. If I were in your shoes and you really wanted to get a 60 series cruiser - I would buy a 2-3k corolla/Camry that's reliable as a daily driver while you work on the cruiser. Doing so will make life less stressful as you don't want to be stuck in the middle of fixing something as a beginner and not being able to complete the job in one weekend. Get a 60 series that doesn't have rust problems and hasn't been neglected. You should be able to find something that has a good base to work with in the 10-12k region. $6k to fix/upgrade will result in something you could eaily turn into a good Daily driver if you do the work yourself. 80 series are good as well as I think their price bottomed out but are on the rise. The 80's and 90's kids are starting to get to a point in their life where they have money to blow on childhood memories (my dad or grampa had an old cruiser when I was a kid, they were so cool! I want one too!) and the 60 and 80 series aren't gonna get cheaper.
 
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idaho
UPDATE:
Hi all,
After much deliberating I've decided to go for it! Life's short, I'm young looking for adventures (and failures) and I'm buying a 60 if I find the right one. Thank you all for your previous advice and if you come across one that's almost rust free, around or under $15k and good for me as my daily send her my way and I will pursue vehemently!

Dan
 

Gretsch

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UPDATE:
Hi all,
After much deliberating I've decided to go for it! Life's short, I'm young looking for adventures (and failures) and I'm buying a 60 if I find the right one. Thank you all for your previous advice and if you come across one that's almost rust free, around or under $15k and good for me as my daily send her my way and I will pursue vehemently!

Dan

I put together a similar thread on Mud when I wanted a cruiser. Much older than you with an established family life and career, but it was something I always wanted to try. I got the same head/heart discussion you did. I struggled with the idea for some time but the thing that sealed things for me was a post someone added that basically said, go for it. Nothing is set in stone and if it ends up not being your thing, there is nothing that says you cannot make a change down the road. If you don't try you will never know. After seeing that I knew I had to try and see where it goes. Some years later now and she is still my daily driver. I cannot say its been all fun and games but no question its been an adventure and a real lesson in what can be achieved with enough will. I found myself doing things I never thought I would be capable of. Would a modern vehicle been light years easier than one of these beasts? Sure. But it wouldn't have been a Land Cruiser. Every successful mile is a victory and additional proof to all those who said I was nuts they were wrong. Enjoy your cruiser.

IMG_5978.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
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122
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Billings, Montana
I bought my 60 in 94 and it has been my daily driver ever since. Absolutely love it. But not sure I would buy it if I knew I was moving to LA and had to commute very far. Great thing about living in Montana is a 30 minute commute can be avoided at all costs. Good luck.
 
Joined
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Probably more of the same. I've owned an 80 since 2005 and until this year a 60 since 2010. I rarely drove the 60 because there was always something that it needed. When all my other vehicles, including "reliable" models less than 6 years old, were offline for wathever reason, the 60 always ran. Maybe it didn't run smooth, and I was the only one that could start it, but always ran. Maybe I had to pull off the freeway every 30 minutes to let it cool down, but it always ran.

Starting procedure under 50 degrees outside:
1. Pull out manual choke 1/2 way
2. Pump gas 7 times
3. Crank the engine for about 3-5 seconds
4. Pump the gas 3-5 times (depening on how the cranking sounded)
5. Pull the choke out all the way and crank it over again. Be ready to push it back in to adjust it before it dies.

Started every time.

It smelled like gas. My hair moved in the wind with the windows up and the doors closed, but somehow water never leaked in.
It climbed mountains like a goat. It had manual 4-60 air conditioning (Manual windows, rolled down at 60 MPH.)

Would I daily drive it in LA? Yes, if it passed emissions reliably, didn't have a cooling problem, and had AC. Having rust falling off and crappy steel bumpers earns a certain amount of respect around cars that are worth 6 figures, and you just can't buy that with more cash. People always got out of my way for some reason. Maybe it was that, "I hope you're insured, because I'm not!" look I have about me.

Drive what you love, love what you drive. In order to love it, you have to hate it at some point. That usually includes blood, swearing, and a missed deadline. If this is what you want in your life, go for it. Even a $15,000 60 series is going to have something it needs in LA. You're putting daily miles on a vehicle that has already lived a full life. Roll the dice, close your eyes, get in, strap in, and shut up!

Now, if you were my kid I'd smack you upside the head and tell you, "Hell no!!" Get a high MPG car and work on this on the side. But, you haven't lived until your only transportation leaves you stranded and you have to solve the problem on your own. Go be an adult. This is the fast track to learning how to solve problems.

BTW, it's a big world, but it's not so bad being a Christian kid from a small town in Idaho. City kids have it much worse. And a dysfunctional family? HAHAHA! Functional families are a myth, like a reliable Land Rover. We've all got shadows in our closets. If you don't either you're lying or you are someone else's shadow. Get over it and don't blame them for your woes.

That's all.
The last paragraph is priceless. Common sense is NOT common.
 
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Birmingham, Alabama
Here because I saw your post in the 60/62 classifieds. I'm glad you are following your dream and not going the 80/100 route. I think you would have regretted that. I was in somewhat of a similar situation 6 months ago. Had fallen in love with 60/62 and wanted it as a daily driver (had a back up car though) but had zero mechanical knowledge. Barely knew how to change a tire or properly jump the battery. Read all the stuff saying much work they will need. But my brother made the point that was mentioned somewhere above that if you make the purchase and it's too much to handle you can easily resale and make most if not all of your money back since the market is so hot right now. So I went for it.

I purchased a pretty clean 62. Drove it a few hundred miles home. No issues. Until week two. Then it would start sometimes and not start other times. Took it to our regular mechanic who had no clue what to do with it. Dropped a few hundred in his lap and still didn't have it running. Almost gave up. Found a local guy who works specifically on crusiers. He got it up and running at a really decent price. But then the intermittent no start issue started again. Thats when I decided it was time to humble myself enough to ask some really, really dumb questions on MUD and start learning. Thats what I did. Started asking questions. And got her running with my own two hands.

I forget how the saying goes but it seems like these old cars like to test their new owners with surprise issues to see how you will respond. That was true for me. Will probably be true for you even if you get a great rig. But you'll rise to the occasion. And then she'll settle down for a while. Until the next issue to learn how to fix. Local chapter will help you. It will be frustrating at times. But you'll be happy cruising in your dream car. And you'll be happy with yourself for learning how to wrench. I'm excited for you.
 
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Mine isn't even on the road right now. It moves but isn't insured. I start it up every once in a while. I have to charge the worn out battery every time and then touch the end of the 14/3 house wire I rigged up through the driver side window to the other wire connected to the glow plug bus bar for a few seconds, then turn the key and hope there's enough juice left after 5-10 seconds of glow to give it a few turnovers needed to catch. Then one cylinder will catch and I play with the pedal until they all get going. The exhaust manifold is off so it makes a lot of racket. I run it for a while to heat it up, move it where I need to, then turn it off again. I puts a smile on my face every time it magically comes to life. Fuel, compression, glow - that's all I need.
 
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New Jersey
For what it's worth, please do your due diligence in regards to the mechanical condition of a 60/62 before purchasing no matter how much you trust the seller, especially if you are considering buying it and having it shipped to you. A compression test on the cylinders should be an absolute must, performed by a professional mechanic with documentation. There are just some major repairs like replacing a head gasket that you may not want to take on yourself and it will cost thousands to have it done professionally.
 
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The Netherlands
When I drove the 60-series for the first time I was actually looking at Patrol's Y61 and Lancruiser 80/100-series as a daily drive.
I daily drive an '84 60-series now, I love it and I don't have any regrets.
I just fell for it completely, bought one with a really good running engine/gearbox and the usual rust on the bodywork.
The car has had no serious mechanical failures in the past year and the car has proven to be mechanically reliable.

The way I approached buying a 60-series is as follows.
I am by no means a mechanic, but I have always been a mechanical enthusiast so to say.
I intended to have a part of the work done by (and together with) the local Landcruiser specialist so I could get my knowledge up.
This means that I had the bodywork done just by throwing money at it, simple as that.
I have the intention on learning bodywork, but under the current circumstances of work/Covid etc. this isn't manageable.
For all mechanical work I joined the mechanic when he was working on the car and he was completely open to show and teach me anything.
If you are not mechanically illiterate this usually means that after seeing it 1 time you can do it yourself.
It also gave me an idea on how incredibly easy these cars are, which gave me the confidence to order parts and just start working on the car.
The return of happiness on working on your own car and actually fixing/replacing something is priceless.

So if you have the budget to buy a decent 60-series and budget to be prepared for an unexpected repair then yes.
However, at your age think twice.
You might not be interested in life lessons but I have driven many moneypits ever since I was 18 and I regret a lot of those.
Parts for 60-series are getting more rare by the week it seems so prices are going up accordingly.
Make sure your wallet and/or skills can keep up with this.
In my opinion it's not worth going broke over a car, so make sure your financial situation suits the car you buy and intend to drive.
 
Joined
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idaho
Here because I saw your post in the 60/62 classifieds. I'm glad you are following your dream and not going the 80/100 route. I think you would have regretted that. I was in somewhat of a similar situation 6 months ago. Had fallen in love with 60/62 and wanted it as a daily driver (had a back up car though) but had zero mechanical knowledge. Barely knew how to change a tire or properly jump the battery. Read all the stuff saying much work they will need. But my brother made the point that was mentioned somewhere above that if you make the purchase and it's too much to handle you can easily resale and make most if not all of your money back since the market is so hot right now. So I went for it.

I purchased a pretty clean 62. Drove it a few hundred miles home. No issues. Until week two. Then it would start sometimes and not start other times. Took it to our regular mechanic who had no clue what to do with it. Dropped a few hundred in his lap and still didn't have it running. Almost gave up. Found a local guy who works specifically on crusiers. He got it up and running at a really decent price. But then the intermittent no start issue started again. Thats when I decided it was time to humble myself enough to ask some really, really dumb questions on MUD and start learning. Thats what I did. Started asking questions. And got her running with my own two hands.

I forget how the saying goes but it seems like these old cars like to test their new owners with surprise issues to see how you will respond. That was true for me. Will probably be true for you even if you get a great rig. But you'll rise to the occasion. And then she'll settle down for a while. Until the next issue to learn how to fix. Local chapter will help you. It will be frustrating at times. But you'll be happy cruising in your dream car. And you'll be happy with yourself for learning how to wrench. I'm excited for you.
Hi Partner,
Your comment came at such a cool time. I found my car yesterday and the owner has it aside for me next week. I found myself second guessing myself today for a bit for the reasons you've talked about, but you're totally right. Life is short, these cars are beasts and I know she will be good to me and I will be good to her. Thank you for taking the time for your comment, want to keep in touch with you guys, will send pictures etc to anyone next week shoot me emails numbers hahha. super pumped. I'm officially buying!

Daniel
 

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