Advice Purchasing an 80 - Rust question

Joined
Aug 12, 2019
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Canada
Long time lurker here. Currently have a couple 1st gen Tacomas but I haven't been able to shake the long time desire to own an 80. I've read through a ton of threads, Slee's page, etc but now I'm stuck.

I just looked at a stock 1997 LX450 with factory lockers - Canadian truck 160k miles, my main concerns are rust and a significant amount of oil leaking from the engine (more time would be required to figure out where it's coming from). Battery was dead when I got there but hoping that is because it sat and not some hidden electrical problem. Couldn't test drive it (no insurance) but the lockers seemed to function on the snow covered driveway - he's owned it since 1998 and didn't know how they work/never used them. The shape of the head gasket is still unknown but I can dig into that more later.

I'm no stranger to rust dealing with Subarus and Tacomas (the 97 with 109k miles has been retired from winter duty to preserve it) but one area of rust has me concerned. There is a significant amount on the dog leg area of the drivers side rear door - it's hard to tell the extent since it's hidden but I'm hoping to see what you guys think.

Thanks.

20191009_181800.jpg
 
Joined
May 12, 2015
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Bakersfield, Ca
 
Oil leaks are common

I wouldn't buy anything with rust down here but may be different where you're at. Not familiar with that area rusting out.

What are they asking for it.
 
Joined
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Canada
They use a lot of salt on the roads here so everything eventually rusts.

His asking price works out to about $7300USD
 
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Lake Waconia, MN
MN rust belt here. That rust is normal / above average for a rust belt 80. That entire corner on my 1997 80 is...missing. (225K miles). But the passigner side looks brand new down there...go figure.
 

Comet

Knower of little, master of less.
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That is but a flesh wound. Dig deeper to negotiate a better price. I'd sell you mine today for $7500 USD if I could only get it back together fast enough for your plane ride in. Good luck with your hunt.
 
Joined
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Man - come to TX or at least the south to find a clean rig if you're planning to hold it for a while...... you can coat it up with Fluid film for the winter..... coming from maine originally it's shocking the difference in underside rust.... my dad's 2 year old F150 has more rust on it than my 97' 80.....


there are lot's around - saw this one recently while searching for a friend but he wants a lighter color..

 

ppc

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You need to dig in further. There have been a number of vehicles where the seat belt mounting point for the rear seats has rusted out. That mounting point is in the rear wheel well. You also need to crawl under and inspect the frame and other bits for rust damage.
 
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Fly to Dallas and drive home in a rust free cruiser.

I don't think Canada is very strict on import rules.
 
Joined
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east coast Canada
 
 
 
Importing into Canada is not difficult, but not to be taken lightly!

I did this last april. The seller(preferably) or buyer must report to the IRS who issues a permit to export the truck from the USA. You have to specify the exact date and border crossing to be used!
If the truck is modified, as in lift, it will not be accepted by the Canadian border folks! So no modified trucks allowed! If you do any work on it to even make it safe for the drive, you will pay taxes on the work done in the US! Then you will pay the GST when you get it to Canada along with the import duties and excise tax because it has AC!

To put it in numbers you can understand.....I paid $3000 US for my 93 from Cali, my son and I flew down to get it. Make sure you have ALL documentation cause when you show up at US customs with a 1 way ticket they will ask for proof of why you are there and how you are getting home.

K, so the $3000 truck ended up costing me pretty much $10,000 CDN after all was said and done. Airfare, hotels, $1200 worth of work at Valley Hybrids, food and approx $900 worth of gas as it was a 3800 mile drive.
But, I have a RUST FREE cruiser, but it still needs lots of neglected maint items, this winters work, as no salt for this girl.

So, if you want to import, do your research first!

You also need to remember that $1.00 US will cost you about $1.27 CDN, so it adds up quickly
 

TurboDennis

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Importing into Canada is not difficult, but not to be taken lightly!

I did this last april. The seller(preferably) or buyer must report to the IRS who issues a permit to export the truck from the USA. You have to specify the exact date and border crossing to be used!
If the truck is modified, as in lift, it will not be accepted by the Canadian border folks! So no modified trucks allowed! If you do any work on it to even make it safe for the drive, you will pay taxes on the work done in the US! Then you will pay the GST when you get it to Canada along with the import duties and excise tax because it has AC!

To put it in numbers you can understand.....I paid $3000 US for my 93 from Cali, my son and I flew down to get it. Make sure you have ALL documentation cause when you show up at US customs with a 1 way ticket they will ask for proof of why you are there and how you are getting home.

K, so the $3000 truck ended up costing me pretty much $10,000 CDN after all was said and done. Airfare, hotels, $1200 worth of work at Valley Hybrids, food and approx $900 worth of gas as it was a 3800 mile drive.
But, I have a RUST FREE cruiser, but it still needs lots of neglected maint items, this winters work, as no salt for this girl.

So, if you want to import, do your research first!

You also need to remember that $1.00 US will cost you about $1.27 CDN, so it adds up quickly

This is not entirely correct. I imported a few from US west coast as well.

First of all, you would be better off having it shipped to somewhere in US close to the border. Then just drive over with a car hauler trailer and pick it up. WAY cheaper than paying for airfare, gas, hotels, food, tolls, temporary permits/plates, etc. Not to mention wear and tear driving 3-5k miles and possible breakdowns along the way (especially when buying a $3000 rig). I paid as little as $1300 to ship an 80 from California to Cleveland, OH

Secondly, you have the export paperwork mixed up. I dont think IRS is involved in any way. You need to file an AES (google "AES filing"). You have to file it through a customs broker, costs about $30-50 and takes 5 min. Anyone can do it (you or the seller). The AES file goes to the US Customs who must verify that the truck is exportable prior to you showing up at the border with it.

Thirdly, i've never heard about the "no modifications" thing. Nobody ever asked me about any modifications. And only once (out of 5-6 trucks that i imported) did anyone even bother to walk outside to look at the thing... And it wasnt modifications they were looking for..
 
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east coast Canada
 
 
 
I was quoted $3000US shipping to Boston. Then I had to get it from Boston to Nova Scotia. Not cheap when you look at exchange. I wanted to make a road trip with my son, I had the truck inspected and repaired as necessary for the drive. I am very skilled, was not worried about a break down.

Have a look at importing on the Canada Customs website, it's quite clearly written, no modified such as lifted, allowed.

You are correct about the AES, but if the seller does it he does have to file with the IRS. No temp permit required, it came with the Cali plates, in my name.

We all don't live next to the most busy US/Canada border like you do. Beleive me, I was with the Canadian Border folks for close to 2 hours having to prove a bunch of s***. They even questioned me why I only paid $3000 when it was listed for $5000! They asked where I found the add, I told them, they brought it up, the grilling started. I tell the truth, no BS, get caught doing that and you are f***ed!

You experience vs mine is different.
 

TurboDennis

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I was quoted $3000US shipping to Boston. Then I had to get it from Boston to Nova Scotia. Not cheap when you look at exchange. I wanted to make a road trip with my son, I had the truck inspected and repaired as necessary for the drive. I am very skilled, was not worried about a break down.

Have a look at importing on the Canada Customs website, it's quite clearly written, no modified such as lifted, allowed.

You are correct about the AES, but if the seller does it he does have to file with the IRS. No temp permit required, it came with the Cali plates, in my name.

We all don't live next to the most busy US/Canada border like you do. Beleive me, I was with the Canadian Border folks for close to 2 hours having to prove a bunch of s***. They even questioned me why I only paid $3000 when it was listed for $5000! They asked where I found the add, I told them, they brought it up, the grilling started. I tell the truth, no BS, get caught doing that and you are f***ed!

You experience vs mine is different.
For shipping, you really have to shop around. For the last truck i imported, i had quotes from 1000 all the way to 2200 (for open transport) . If you're not in a rush, post it on u-ship and just wait for a carrier traveling that route with an empty spot on their truck. They will usually give you a WAY better deal than standard rate. Im pretty sure you could get a rate under $2000 to ship to Boston with some shopping around.
If you wanted a road trip, that's cool, but it can be done cheaper is all im saying.

As for modifications, here's a quote on the subject from the Canadian government website:

A vehicle modified from its original state may not qualify to be imported into Canada. Canadian-owned vehicles modified in the U.S. also may not qualify for return to Canada. Examples can include:
  • a van converted to a motorhome (often known as Class B motorhome)
  • a van equipped with raised roof and/or modified interior
  • a pick-up or a passenger car equipped with lift kit
  • a motorcycle converted to a motor tricycle ("trike")
  • a vehicle that has been stretched or lengthened, etc.
"MAY" is the key word here. It doesnt mean, or imply "shall". I highly doubt this guideline has ever been enforced by CBSA.

Also note the vague wording. This list is just a bunch of examples. They could argue that a sticker on the tailgate is a "modification from original state' and not let it in, if they wanted to enforce this.

You're right about the grilling. I imported a $1500 rig once (blown engine), and they gave me absolute hell. That was actually the time i was referring to when they went outside to look at it. I had a notarized bill of sale from the seller (a dealership) stating the value, but they didn't feel it was enough and demanded i show them the craigslist ad. The ad was no longer available online, so they gave me s*** for not printing it out. Then they demanded i surrender my phone and searched it for half an hour for any email/text correspondence with the seller. They didn't find any, so they proceeded to search on computer for any available details/history on the truck using the VIN number. That yielded nothing, so they gave me more s*** for not printing out the ad (as if a printed out craigslist ad is somehow more convincing than a notarized bill of sale from a dealer), and let me go.

All this time i was standing there wondering how many cars full of drugs/guns went past the inspection station while the 6 or so officers were on this mission to get a couple of hundred dollars of extra taxes out of me.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
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Minneapolis, Mn
 
There is advice to look at warmer climates and purchase an 80 from there... DO IT!!! Don't deal with rust if you don't have to and you don't have to. The rust you see is just that...only what you see. You are not taking into consideration everything else that rust kills on the rig...the e-brake, the nuts and bolts, frame, everything!! Believe me I know... from Minnesota!
Look on the web for a clean, no rust 80 from down south.. an BTW that price is way too high even with lockers.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
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Canada
I appreciate all of the replies. I think you guys are right about finding one in a warmer climate. I was born in Houston so taking a trip back and coming home in a Land Cruiser is pretty appealing. I looked at a former California FJ80 with around 90k miles in the summer and it was night and day to this one. Thinking I should see if it's still available... I'd probably be happier settling for an FJ over the FZJ if I didn't have to deal with rust.

Spent about an hour inspecting the rig, crawled underneath and looked at most of the major stuff but didn't take any other pictures. It wasn't bad for a truck exposed to our winters but there were definitely a few rusty parts on the bottom, frame looked a lot better than any Tacoma I've seen... Good comment on the seat belt mounting point for the rear seats - the coating was falling off what I assume was that area. Pretty sure if I kept digging I'd find more problem spots.

I helped my brother import a Dodge with the 5.9 Cummins when the dollar was on par and that was an interesting experience. He had it 'shipped' from the east coast but it was just driven to Bozeman Montana by a truck driver (cheap but I don't recommend it). The hood was destroyed on the drive (came unlatched - most likely user error) the driver did find a replacement so could have been worse. I drive across the border quite frequently and it's usually fast, efficient and pain free on both sides. Bringing the truck back was none of those. We were sat down in a small room while the truck was searched top to bottom. All of the paperwork was in order and it should have been a simple process but they were convinced the truck was lifted (it was a bone stock 3/4 ton) and there were some old receipts from the previous owner (dated well before the purchase date) which they to accused us of hiding to avoid paying GST. Worked out fine in the end but it's definitely important to have all of your paperwork lined up and to keep a level head while dealing with the guys at the border. I'd happily do it all again for a nice clean 80 though. That truck was replaced by a much cleaner duramax from Tuktoyaktuk, NT - turns out the Arctic is a great place to buy a truck but ymmv.

I personally would not try to import a lifted truck. I heard about a Jeep JK that was bought new in Wyoming while the guy was at school. He had it lifted and heavily modified and was turned around at the border when he tried to import it coming back to Canada. Took it to the closest dealer, had them put it back to stock to import it and then paid another shop to reinstall everything when he got home. Jeep guys make no sense.
 
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I imported because I live on the rust coast! If you want to see rust, come to Atlantic Canada coastal areas, not only is it on the roads but the air is loaded with it also!

Dennis, they also made me surrender my phone, then they saw all the messages and PM's on my MUD account about the truck and where Valley Hybrids recommended the value and the owner accepted the offer. All documentation was in order so I was covered that way but they made it an awful experience. This was also not my first time, but was my worst time.

I was also killing two birds with one stone. It was an amazing and great bonding road trip with my 19 year old son! He absolutely loved driving the Cruiser and we both got to see the Southern USA as we went the 40 across and then came up to avoid any possible snow.

I was talking to a American fellow here last year that bought a lifted truck from a Canadian that bought it from another American. He was unable to import it, it got flagged via VIN, then he had to sell it back to an American.

No way I was going to have that happen!
 
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