Buying an 80 with a rusty frame (1 Viewer)


Nov 2, 2019
Seemingly well-cared for, low-mileage (unlocked) trucks going for 15k (sale is pending). That's the market today. Shake your head in disbelief, but it is what it is.
Nov 25, 2020
Oklahoma City, OK
there're not too many exceptionally priced cruisers out here in Oklahoma, but when I was shopping for mine earlier this year, I saw a few decent deals. I ended up with a really good deal on mine: a '97 with 255,000 miles in good condition for $6k. haven't had to do any major work on it yet, just fluids and battery. I suppose the starter going out randomly was kinda an issue, but the part was $100 and I was able to replace it myself having never worked on any vehicle before. I do have some knowledge of how cars work but I'm not trained. let's put it this way, I don't touch anything without watching a youtube video, reading an article/forum post, or consulting my mechanic friend. anyway, hope anyone reading this finds the deal they're looking for!
the oklahoma/texas market tends to be pretty cheap, but a lot of people out here don't take great care of their vehicles so you just have to make sure whatever you buy is in proper shape. I personally wouldn't buy anything sight-unseen, at least have an inspector look it over for ya if you're out of state and can't travel to look at it.
btw Oklahoma isn't known for rusty vehicles unless they've been sitting in a field for years (actually there're quite a few of those) but with texas, the closer you get to the coast, the more rust you'll find.
Oct 19, 2020
North Alabama
Since my last post I bought a second 1997 LX450. It's $500 more than my first and probably $5,000 nicer. My advice is to avoid rust at all costs. I've come to trust these mechanically, and what doesn't work I have a certain idea of what I'm getting into to fix them. Same with paint and body work. However, I have no clue what I'm in for with rust. Surface rust is fine. That can be addressed. Anything more is an automatic pass for me.

A few suggestions to anyone shopping for an 80 series/LX450
  • Have your money ready to go because if you spot a deal you'll have to act quick or it will be gone by the time you figure out how you're going to buy it. If you can get the seller to accept payment through things like Venmo or Cash App that will allow you to use a credit card if needed.
  • Go look at some around you, even if they are below the quality level you want. You'll get an education on what wears over time and start to see common patterns.
  • Learn how to conduct a pre-purchase inspection. This video can help:
  • There are common problems with these vehicles, and known ways to address them. If you can connect with someone who has more experience with these when considering a purchase their knowledge can be very helpful. Everyone on this forum has been great to me since I joined and is a wealth of knowledge. Use them.
  • Pass on rusty vehicles if it's going to be a daily driver. There were 14,000 LX450s sold in the US, and many more 80 series Land Cruisers. Wait and you'll find one.
  •,, and Facebook Marketplace always have these and are good spots to look in addition to autotrader type sites.
  • Lastly, these seem to be going up on value. A 39k-Mile 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser 40th Anniversary Edition sold for $77,500 on 8/17/20 through Wait for the one you want, but maybe don't wait too long : )

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