Buying 1994-1997 LC

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I am in a process of purchasing 94-97 Landcruiser and need some help.
I heard the 95-97 has head gasket issues. Is there a year that is more reliable than other?
What should I look carefully when I am inspecting Landcruiser?
Thanks.
 

semlin

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start by adding 93's to your list. They are no different from 94's and everyone here agrees that the 93-94's are better than the 95-97's for many reasons I won't go into :D
 

cruiserdan

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[quote author=semlin link=board=2;threadid=4887;start=msg37111#msg37111 date=1062518538] everyone here agrees that the 93-94's are better than the 95-97's for many reasons I won't go into :D
[/quote]


Everyone who matters, any way :D

(ducking and running.................. :eek: )


Oh, forgot, the green ones are the best of the best. ::)
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread...

Back from the vast wilderness that is work. This summer has been very busy and frankly the last thing I wanted to do when getting home was sit down in front of a computer (which I was doing 10-12 hours a day at a work), so I went mia for a while. But things are calm again, and I'm back. I've missed everyone, even you and Junk! :flipoff2:

Unfortunately my little landcruisin.com project got shelfed this summer too. If I can get motivated again maybe I'll ressurect it. :)

Ok, releasing the hostaged thread now. :banana:
 

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On topic, I just had both my O2 sensors replaced. Its my understanding thats a common problem that will rear its ugly head every 65k or so. Check and see when they were last replaced. My local dealer charged about $400 for the parts and labor.
 
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[quote author=The Beast II link=board=2;threadid=4887;start=msg37194#msg37194 date=1062529383]
Get a FZJ80 (95-97 I believe) - more powerful engine.
Matt
[/quote]

93-97 actually. The 93-94 80s are the best though. Toyota started the downward spiral of a tough utility vehicle into a soccer mommy mobile in 95. They still have not completely sisified it yet, but the Land Cruisers demise will come eventually. Sad... but true.

Anyways, you want a a 93-94. That is all... :D
 

semlin

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[quote author=The Beast II link=board=2;threadid=4887;start=msg37194#msg37194 date=1062529383]
Make sure the Cruiser has the all important front/rear diff locks. Get a FZJ80 (95-97 I believe) - more powerful engine.

Matt
[/quote]

I agree with Matt wholehearedly about the front/rear lockers, but the 93-97's all have the same motor. The Sleeoffroad link above will give you most of the info you need. Basically there are a series of minor trade offs between the 93-94's and 95-97's. Here are some:

The 93-94's have the "bus" tranny A442f which was apparently used on a toyota bus of some unknown type. The 95-97 in north america have the 4runner 343 tranny (apparently some early 95's have the bus tranny which you can tell from the door code). The 442 is definitely a bigger heavier and presumably stronger tranny that remained in 80's built in the rest of the world after the 343 came in north america. the 442 also has lower gearing pattern which some like for off road. The 343 is smoother, better behaved and has a 2nd gear start option. There have been reports of problems with the 343, especially grinding in reverse. However, they are not that widespread. 442s go clunk once in a while and generally sound like a bus tranny, but otherwise seem robust.

The 93-94's have a brass triple core radiator, while the 95-97's have an aluminum two core. At face value the earlier rad sounds better for cooling, but I have seen it said there is no real difference because the aluminum is more efficient. One place it may make a difference is with blockage. Landcruisers seem to be suscpetible to coolant system blockages. One reason is that toyota factory "Red" coolant does not mix well with other antifreeze and causes a sludge if mixed with regular "Green".

There is no clear difference in head gaskets problems between 93-97. All have the susceptibility which seems to derive from overheating and the lack of temperature sensitivity on the factory guage which allows you to run hot without knowing it. I have seen some people theorize that the later models are more susceptible to this problem but not enough consistent data to go on.

93-94s have obd 1 diagnostics capacity. This is a crude flashing light system that will diagnose some engine issues. Tools required, one paperclip. 95-97 have obd ii technology. You can get some very cool detailed diagnostic/operating data out of these but you need a $200 obd 2 scanner/reader.

95-97 have airbags. 93-94s do not. If you go offroad you may prefer the 93-94 for this reason but I have never heard of an airbag deploying.

As for what to look for:

1. check to see if the front axle / birfield has been redone. This is an over $1,000 job and IMHO must be done if your vehicle is over 100,000 miles. Some say do it sooner than this.

2. have the coolant system checked carefully. Blockages are common and this could mean the truck has been run hot making it susceptible to head gasket woes now and in the future. figure out if the owner has ever mixed coolants.

3. check the front carpets for signs of sunroof leakage. This is common and very hard to diagnose/fix. There are numerous sunroof threads here to educate you.

4. look hard for rust in the rear tailgate. This is the only place it seems to commonly develop.

5. check the wear of the brake rotors. These things can eat brakes so you need to know how close you are to replacing them.

6. check under the engine for seal leaks. Seepage on the main seal and others is common and usually not a big deal.
 

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[quote author=semlin link=board=2;threadid=4887;start=msg37209#msg37209 date=1062531147]
93-94s have obd 1 diagnostics capacity. This is a crude flashing light system that will diagnose some engine issues. Tools required, one paperclip. 95-97 have obd ii technology. You can get some very cool detailed diagnostic/operating data out of these but you need a $200 obd 2 scanner/reader.
[/quote]

There is something much more to this. 95 and later uses a hot wire airflow meter and not a flapper type. Much more acurate and faster. Important if you want to add forced induction.

Also 93's tend to start blowing power steering hoses due to age. Our standard recommendation is to get the latest model your money can buy.
 
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Semlin says: " ... everyone here agrees ..."

Not so fast there Bubba. :D

Those of us with the technologically superior A343 tranny would point out that it is the same transmission Toyota puts in the V8 100 series and the V8 Tundras. Some naysayers choose to point out that Toyota used the same tranny in the 4-Runner. Both of us are right.

If you can afford a well maintained 97 then try to find one and wait for one with the lockers.

-B-
 

MTNRAT

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Christo says: Our standard recommendation is to get the latest model your money can buy.
Hmmm, and this from a guy who works almost exclusivly on 80's.
Sean
 

landtank

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This isn't because I own one but...from what I've read the 1996 could be considered the gem of the lot. Yes I've had the slow reverse on the tranny which seemed to be ushered in with the 315s but has faded with the gear swap to 4.88s. An e-brake freeze up and I've just replaced the exhaust but other than the usually maintenance nothing else.

I've read where one poor sole with the mighty 442 had a solenoid poop de gras as well as replacing the ECM for a CE light. There are people with 97s that will shudder at the mear sight of a slight hint of moisture under the vehicle fearing a head gasket failure.

Honestly they are all good vehicles when properly maintained. If buying a used vehicle like these try not to get emotional. That will only lead to compulsivity which is the breading ground for a bad purchase and future regrets.

Good-Luck
 
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I like the less umm ;ess dressed up interior of the 93-94. I know thats not much of a difference but i like it. Also I like cloth much better than having leather. I may be one of the few people with Cloth seats and Diff locks. Although I love my 93, what christo said is totally true. Always buy the latest model of the car, that is when they car is at its "best" because of all of the improvements they have made to it. Example: 90-92 80s had the 3fe( :flipoff2:). When it comes down to it, the thing with the tranny isn't really noticable. Just buy the latest your money can buy wiht lockers of course.
 

cruiserdan

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OEM diff locks and a cloth interior are indeed rare. I have seen only two. A beige 93 and a silver 96. The 96 was also notable as it did not have the third seat package, again only one of two I have seen without third seat. I have also seen a 93 with a semi-floater rear and no ABS and a couple assorted years without sunroofs. As I was quite interested in 80's I watched the new ones come and go from our store with great interest.
We only ever had one with cloth and diff locks, that was the beige 93. We never sold a new one without third seat or a sunroof. We never had a new 93-4 without ABS, we sold two 91's without flares, we had more 93-4's with cloth than leather and we had more 95-7's with leather than cloth. In all, we had less than one in ten with diff locks.
 

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