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

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Jan 17, 2005
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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
Oct 4, 2020
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16
Location
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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idaho
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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Jan 4, 2011
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Vermont
 
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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Southern Colorado
 
 
 
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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Joined
Nov 3, 2010
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374
Location
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
Messages
39
 
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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