Buying my first 100 series, how many miles is too many to start? (2 Viewers)

Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
Apologies for the book but...

The question with the 100 Series is less "how many miles" and more "how much rust?" whether its 200,000 or 450,000 miles all the maintenance intervals and parts lifespans are the same. A 200,000 mile truck where all the suspension is original and pulleys haven't been replaced is not better than a 350,000 truck that was baselined at 300,000. Plus you are most likely going to be doing much of the work yourself or doing modifications and upgrades. These become 10x harder with rust. To me its much more about the deal that you get. For one, you're best off buying a 100 series off a suburban mom or some professional who just had this as their DD and doesn't really know anything about cars. Most of them don't know what these are worth, that's your best chance at getting a 100 series for sub 8K, anyone else will try to gouge you.

Frankly if you are looking at building it out then there's not much point in getting an expensive 100K mile truck when you are going to rip out all the ball joints, shocks, bushings, and springs anyways. Might as well get 250-300K mile truck with loose ball joints and saggy springs and soft shocks for cheap since you are just going to rip it out and upgrade it anyways.

Engine miles are almost irrelevant. The only way I have ever seen or heard of anyone killing a 100 series land cruiser engine is the heater T's busting and loosing all coolant and continuing to drive until the head gasket goes. I think I know of one person who had lower radiator hose issue and lost all their coolant as well, that's it. So as long as they've changed the oil, the transmission fluid is reddish, and the T doesn't fall apart when you touch it, the engine is probably fine just replace the T's the second you buy it. If it hasnt been done and the truck is >250K+ then just plan to replace all vacuum hoses, pcv valve, and spark plugs, gaskets, etc. You'll have a tune up and it will run like new and you'll have peace of mind. Clean throttle body and MAF while you're at it.

If you're getting a high mileage 100 Series LC and worried about it leaving you stranded then do the following:
A) Get AAA deluxe, its like $140 a year for peace of mind and pays for itself in one use
B) Take care of the 4 things that will cause a vehicle not to start 1) battery - keep a battery pack self jumper in the car 2) Replace the fuel pump and clean electrical connections if unknown age 3) replace alternator brushes if unknown age 4) replace or carry a spare starter if unknown age
C) CV/Front diff issues - have tools to be able to remove front drive shaft and flanges and you will be able to lock the center diff and keep going
D) Carry 1 Jug of Coolant, 1 Qt Oil, 1 QT ATF, 1x 4oz bottle of AT-205 leak stop, OBDII reader in the truck

Everything else is just about avoiding headaches but virtually none of means the truck is a time bomb. For instance, look for leaks around valve cover gasket, test the brake booster (car off, pump brakes 40x, turn key to on, time it and listen for strange noises if it stops in 30-40 seconds you're good). On test drive feel for slop in the steering, steering rack is a pain the butt to change out but if youre gonna have this for 4-5 years who cares itll be nice to have a new one in there and you'll know it was put in right and you can change all the bushing and fluid while you're at it. Slee has an informational page and OTRAM has a 100 Series Pre-Purchase inspection video that is very easy to follow. At some point past 200,000 miles old is just old and you're better off with more cash in your hand to put into baselining and know everything has been serviced and replaced.

Don't mind the book at all, nice to have all the info condensed. I think I have decided to go the route of buying one for ~$6-7k and then I'm putting the rest of my budget into baselining it and making sure everything that I think needs to be replaced gets replaced. I have experience working with older land cruisers and other cars in general and I since I'm going to own it for awhile I'm just gonna do the work myself. Definitely have had an easier time finding deals with ones that were obviously DDs. Thanks for the tips about not getting stranded as well!
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
Just want you to know the major things that I found out.
Since you're buying it now and paying a premium be cautious.
Also thru the years there's quite a difference in transmission and horsepower.
If you're not aware of the differences Slee has a
page.

Thanks! I'm now pretty set on finding an 06-07 model. I'm going to be finding a cheap beater (maybe $6-7k) and instead dump the rest of my budget into servicing and replacing all the parts that need it. I have started to notice the premium you're talking about, though.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
921
Location
Seattle, WA / Homer, AK / Reykjavik, IS
My 2000 has 407,233 on the clock. Regular maint. is the key to this Daily Driver.
I’m at 435k on my 98. Only had 10 miles on it when i picked it up (new 22 years ago). Other than normal maintenance and a couple of new starters, 10 sets of tires, brakes, and exhausts, it runs like new.

5EAC0D57-025F-452E-B741-5B9F6EEC52D4.jpeg
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
81
Location
Littleton, CO
Thanks! I'm now pretty set on finding an 06-07 model. I'm going to be finding a cheap beater (maybe $6-7k) and instead dump the rest of my budget into servicing and replacing all the parts that need it. I have started to notice the premium you're talking about, though.
That was our plan originally, too. Found a 2000 with 275k for $4300, but it needed about $10k of work and was in rough general shape. On the way back to the lot after getting it looked at we looked at a 2006 with 203k for $14,300 in pristine condition, impeccable service records and a 2-month warranty. After returning the beater, we went back and bought the ‘06!
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
That was our plan originally, too. Found a 2000 with 275k for $4300, but it needed about $10k of work and was in rough general shape. On the way back to the lot after getting it looked at we looked at a 2006 with 203k for $14,300 in pristine condition, impeccable service records and a 2-month warranty. After returning the beater, we went back and bought the ‘06!

Ahh interesting. I'm assuming that 06 has served you well, then. There aren't a whole lot of options on the used LC market right now that look that great so I may raise my car buying budget to somewhere around $9-$10k.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
To the point above regarding a $5000 repair bill, it's true, all that stuff done by a reputable shop would be about that amount of money. Two things though; how much would a new car payment be and for how long? Once these items are done it's another 150-200K before big items show up again. That's about 10 urs for above average driving. And second, can you turn a wrench? Because that number would shrink significantly. I've had mine since 215K and have almost put on 50K since. I've replaced the alternator and timing belt/thermostat. About $800 in parts and my time. I've owned it for 5 years now. That's like $14/mo in maintenance costs to date. Even though I've got some items coming up, it's still gonna be a cheap vehicle to own. I could drop $5000 into it today and it would still be cheap to own.

I appreciate you talking about DIY maintenance cost for yours, I was actually wondering how shop prices compared to DIY prices come out with LCs. I've worked on a lot of cars and my father whose going to be working with me on it has as well, and we've got plenty of tools. One of the most attractive things to me about these cars is how sustainable they are when it comes to maintenance.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
you want to see if there is a record of a few of these things are costly and might not show up on the test drive but sooner or later it will need it above 200,000 miles. ABS pump motor, rack and pinion, upper and lower control arms need work ball joints for sure and maybe bushings, CV joints, tilt steering, AC compressors leak. I'm sure I missed of bunch of other things that are probably worn down at 200000 miles. If none of these have been done you're looking at least $5,000 plus plus repair bills coming sooner or later. Good luck with your purchase.

Thanks man, I'm planning on doing all the servicing by myself and with my father unless we absolutely have to take it into a shop. I'm going to be patient and wait until an 06-07 model comes up with a good maintenance record, and that was used as a DD.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
159
Thanks! I'm now pretty set on finding an 06-07 model. I'm going to be finding a cheap beater (maybe $6-7k) and instead dump the rest of my budget into servicing and replacing all the parts that need it.
Ahh interesting. I'm assuming that 06 has served you well, then. There aren't a whole lot of options on the used LC market right now that look that great so I may raise my car buying budget to somewhere around $9-$10k.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news... there's no way you'll find an 06-07 in the $9-10K range unless it has major rust issues or a salvaged title. Even a high mileage '06 or '07 is likely to be asking well north of $12K and is more likely to be $15k. Average mileage '06-07 LCs are usually closer to $20K and above and low mileage versions can start pushing 30K. My wife totaled my '07 (115K miles with no rust) this spring and the insurance settlement was $29.5K. The insurance company had sight unseen bids from salvage yards for $8K just to sell off the parts. It ended up selling at auction for $11.7K to somebody who knew it would take them another $5K to get it back on the road. I don't know if he was planning on using it himself or if he was selling it off as a salvaged title car.

Unfortunately, I think you'll either need to up your budget by 50% or start looking for something more in the '00-02 range. I bought an '02 to replace my totaled '07 and there is not as much difference in the engines and transmissions as I would have thought. Yes, more gears and the extra hp in the newer LCs was nice, but it's not a game changer.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
9
Location
North West Arkansas, USA
I hate to be the bearer of bad news... there's no way you'll find an 06-07 in the $9-10K range unless it has major rust issues or a salvaged title. Even a high mileage '06 or '07 is likely to be asking well north of $12K and is more likely to be $15k. Average mileage '06-07 LCs are usually closer to $20K and above and low mileage versions can start pushing 30K. My wife totaled my '07 (115K miles with no rust) this spring and the insurance settlement was $29.5K. The insurance company had sight unseen bids from salvage yards for $8K just to sell off the parts. It ended up selling at auction for $11.7K to somebody who knew it would take them another $5K to get it back on the road. I don't know if he was planning on using it himself or if he was selling it off as a salvaged title car.

Unfortunately, I think you'll either need to up your budget by 50% or start looking for something more in the '00-02 range. I bought an '02 to replace my totaled '07 and there is not as much difference in the engines and transmissions as I would have thought. Yes, more gears and the extra hp in the newer LCs was nice, but it's not a game changer.

Yeah no I've noticed that as well. How is the interior difference between the 02 and 07? I'm definitely planning on kitting it out for overlanding, but it'll mostly be used for driving on roads. I don't have an issue with upping the budget really, but if there isn't too much of a difference then I would love to have the extra cash to dump into upgrades.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
159
Yeah no I've noticed that as well. How is the interior difference between the 02 and 07? I'm definitely planning on kitting it out for overlanding, but it'll mostly be used for driving on roads. I don't have an issue with upping the budget really, but if there isn't too much of a difference then I would love to have the extra cash to dump into upgrades.

I've owned both... Currently drive an 02, but drove an 07 until my wife wrecked it last spring.

In terms of driving, IMO there’s not much difference between the 02 and an 07. Towing or climbing hills on a highway mountain pass, maybe you’ll notice some difference. Every day driving or typical off roading - I doubt it. Maybe you’d notice if you drove one right after the other, but having been in my 02 for six months now after my 07, I never think back. I think all 100 enthusiasts will agree that while the 4.7L has a lot up good points - reliable, smooth, etc - NONE of them are powerhouses. If you want heavy towing or fast acceleration, don't buy a 100. They can do it in a pinch, but that's not their strength. And both are 3 ton hunks of steel, so buy a 100 and your days of surgically carving a highway at 90mph are done anyway.

As for other differences between the 100 generations, more from a buyers or drivers perspective:

It seems a majority of the ‘03 and up have AHC suspension. If you don’t plan on lifting the car and the AHC system is in good condition, they drive beautifully - smoother and more refined feeling than standard suspension. It does age and replacing the globes - sort of the AHC equivalent of shocks - is expensive at maybe $4-600 per corner for parts. AHC can’t tolerate as much weight as the non-AHC torsion bar / springs and shocks siblings, so it suffers if towing heavy tongue weight trailers or heavily loading up your truck for camping. This can be overcome by adding air bags. You can remove the AHC system for approximately the same cost as lifting the car - slightly more involved than just lifting a standard suspension, but not that much more.

I think it was the 2000 that added ATRAC. It’s not as good as locking diffs like were available on the 80 series, but it’s a good upgrade over the non-ATRAC 98 and 99 cars. I’d still love to add locking differentials to my 02, but I wouldn't use it often enough to justify the cost. A man has to have dreams, and it is doable (I think it's about $1K per axle plus $600 for the compressor in parts?).

Interiors are roughly the same except for the center dash section. All the US 03 and newer came with nav systems that integrated all the hvac controls into the nav system touch screen. 2002 and older 100s were more split between nav and non-nav systems with the non-nav cars having hvac controlled by dials and buttons and a standard double din stereo. Non-nav cars can easily take a modern head unit (i.e., CarPlay / Android, hands free talking etc). The non-nav cars can be converted by first converting the HVAC controls to manual versions, then adding a new stereo. There are two threads here for how to do that, one for 2002 and older and one for 2003 and above. It's getting more and more difficult to remove the nav system from 2003+ cars because a couple of the parts are very difficult to source.

Obviously the older you go, the more likely the interior is to have crappy leather. You can replace the skins for roughly $500 per row... double that if you want them professionally installed. You can often get away with just replacing the front seats as they usually get much more use than the rears or 3rd row.

Short story long - absent budget constraints, I’d go for an 06 or 07 for the transmission and extra power. If I had budget constraints, I’d go for an 00-02 and add maybe $5k in baselining costs to make sure it's set for another 150K miles (10-15 yrs for most people). I'd probably still end up with a truck that is 98% as capable as an 07 (except for a few very specific circumstances) but for maybe $7-10K less.

From a pure drivability standpoint, there isn't much difference from the first 1998 to the last 2007 of the 100 series. It evolved over time, but it never radically changed. Newer 100 series are certainly more likely (though not guaranteed) to be in better condition than older 100s, but the generational differences are small enough that you will likely be happy with anything from a 98 to an 07 as long as the price and conditions are synchronized.
 

OwnerCS

GOLD Star
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
1,014
Location
USA
You are in a good location to find a deal. Mine is from the ArkLaTex. If you can take some time, you may be able to find the best deal on an LX470. I'm located in Conway and found mine in Bryant.

If I lived up in NWA, I would start attending some of the NWA Rigs & Coffee monthly meetings and look up a guy named Jason Harris owner of Ozark Overland Outfitters. I bought most of my mods and suspension enhancement from Jason.

There is a lot of cruiser expertise in your area that I would call on to check out any future purchase ideas. Once in a while, I will see a nice 100s series on Craig's list up in NWA that is already built.

Are you planning to use the rig strictly for an off-road or as a nice family vehicle with some off-road capabilities?

If you see this one at a NWA Rigs & Coffee event, you'll know who I am.

1608382773924.png


The before picture.

1608382857434.png
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Tucson, AZ
My '01 had 232k miles on it when I bought it. It needed brakes ($500), and shocks ($450) shortly after. This year I had to replace the fuel pump ($550) and fan bearing bracket ($450). I do oil changes myself, but all the other work was done by shops. Still cheaper than a car payment.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
2,852
Location
Atlanta, GA
Bought two. One w 235K and one w 150K. Both excellent service, no repaint and no rust. I mean zero. Both drive fantastic. I performed all normal maintenance items to zero base them and go from there. Be patient.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
159
If you can take some time, you may be able to find the best deal on an LX470.
Agree.

Great deals are difficult to find in either camp as I think the secret is out, but when I've seen great deals, it seems more likely to be on an LX than LC. I'm not 100% sure why... maybe more LX owners used it as a luxury SUV, so once it gets old to them, they perceive it as worthless and price it as a 15-20 yr used up car and not a Land Cruiser. Maybe it's lower buyer demand because buyers want to see "Land Cruiser" across the back. There are some style difference - maybe that's part of it (LX has more ornate body panels, wood grain, etc).

I guess it doesn't matter why, the point being make sure to include the LX 470 in your search and you'll increase the odds of finding something you like within your budget.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
276
Location
West Coast
I really think you should look into the LX. Not only is there a premium for the Land Cruiser badge, it's harder to find one with great service records. What sold me on the Lexus is that you can put the VIN into the Lexus Owners portal and see all the history. I know you can do that with Toyota as well, but in my experience the Lexus records were always WAY better. It wasn't even close. I think this is because people who bought the LX just wanted a luxury SUV to drive around town and they also seem to be the type to always take it to the dealer. The one I bought from the original owner was brought to the dealer for EVERYTHING! Even with the dealer doing most of the work as needed I still needed a new radiator, radiator hoses, bought T's, heater core hoses, thermostat etc...basically there will be stuff that needs attention no matter how well it's been maintained.

If you are patient you will find one. Go to Craigslist and set up alerts for all the regions you would be willing to travel to and be prepared to jump on one. That's how I found mine. I feel slightly bad because the guy for sure could have gotten more money for it but I think in his mind it was just an old SUV and not worth much any more.
 

ramangain

Clarksonian disciple
SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
2,156
Location
Atlantis - recently discovered in the Rust Belt
You may also want to consider if you give a rat's a$$ about the exterior re: dents, dings, sun fading, etc. After 20 years, my rig ain't looking too showroom fresh, but rust is minimal and the mechanicals are cherry* that the next owner will appreciate what they are paying for.

* denotes once I rebuild the front drivers side driveline parts.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
257
Location
WA
Follow the Science! Listen to the experts!

Did you suspect that "provenience" and "provenance" originate from the same source? You're right; they're parent and child. "Provenance" is the older of the two. It has been used to mean "origin" in English since at least the 1780s, and it is modeled on the French verb provenir, meaning "to come forth, originate." The French word, in turn, derives from Latin provenire, a composite of "pro-" (meaning "forth") and "venire" (meaning "come"). "Provenience" is a chip off the old block, originating as a modification of "provenance" about 100 years after its parent debuted in English texts. The source of the extra syllable in "provenience" is most likely "proveniens," a participle of "provenire" (the similar Latin participle conveniens gave us "convenience," another "venire" derivative).

- - from Merriam-Webster - -
 

tjb

Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
192
Location
Maine
It does age and replacing the globes - sort of the AHC equivalent of shocks - is expensive at maybe $4-600 per corner for parts.

I agree with everything in @kgrove's post, but having recently shopped and replaced my globes, would add this:

Dealer list price, four globes
$3,884.04​
ToyotaPartsDeal.com, four globes
$2,685.32​
LexusPartsNow.com, four globes
$2,872.12​
Same parts, same back-end company as ToyotapartsDeal.com.
Impex, Japan
$596.32​
NOT A TYPO. (And price dropped since I bought them a month ago.)

I paid $90 for shipping from Japan; ToyotaPartsDeal just told me it was about $19 to ship four globes.

It's a pretty easy job to swap them out, depending on rust. Empty the AHC fluid, unscrew the globes, screw the new ones in, refill the AHC fluid.

I really think you should look into the LX. Not only is there a premium for the Land Cruiser badge, it's harder to find one with great service records. What sold me on the Lexus is that you can put the VIN into the Lexus Owners portal and see all the history. I know you can do that with Toyota as well, but in my experience the Lexus records were always WAY better. It wasn't even close. I think this is because people who bought the LX just wanted a luxury SUV to drive around town and they also seem to be the type to always take it to the dealer.

I'd echo this. I think a lot of LX owners bought a pre-paid maintenance plan/warranty as well. The LX I purchased was religiously taken to the dealer at every service interval, and all the scheduled items were performed.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom