Could use some second opinion(s)/buying advice

Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
288
Location
Seattle, WA
Context: Never had an 80, would like one. No garage at the moment, just surface parking. However, perfectly happy to do as many minor things as I can.

So had a quick test drive of a 1995 (with cloth!) last night as it was getting dark. Today I go look at a 1996 for comparison. Neither has lockers. 1995 has 200k miles, 1996 has 225k.

Here's my notes on the 95:

Manufacture Date: 01/95 - So no OBDII (I think)

White smoke on start up
Strong smell of gas both inside and outside the vehicle

Bottom of tailgate is rusted on the inside near the carpet (top left when looking down at open tailgate) - Not the usual spot near the glass on the upper hatch. It's only visible when the tailgate is open.

A lot of little nicks in paint with small bits of rust around door and door frames, including both A pillars

Clear coat fade on hood and roof

Underside is very clean, no rust on frame

Interior is very clean - need to take off wood trim

Small fixes needed
  • Both side mirrors wobble to the point of being useless
  • Needs new speakers
  • Needs new front headlight
What really got to me is how nice the interior was (seats and carpet). I enjoyed the drive although, at 65mph I was already at 3000rpm and it seemed happier at 60mph.

Main question is do you think I can get a good lead on the smoke/smell issue from a PPI inspection by a Toyota dealer?

How much worse is OBDI?

If I can get it at less than list then I'll be more than happy to put $1-2k into engine work although the PHH is done which is a plus (PO got stranded when it blew). It's listed high and I hope there isn't more rust but it seems like a strong contender as I had a smile on my face the whole time I drove (in the slow lane).

Thank you in advance
 

NorCalFJ100

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Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
583
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I think a lot of people will agree on the rust being a no-go or a significant reason for negotiating the price down. It can be cancerous in nature where once it comes to the surface, there is usually more below the surface. What is the asking price point if you don't mind sharing.

In regard to the white smoke, I think the best thing you can do is a compression test along with a leak down test. You'll learn a lot about the condition of the motor. These tests are not included with the standard Toyota inspection. Technically they are easy to do and can be done yourself on site. Just need the two different types of gauges. Perhaps they can be rented from a local auto parts store.
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
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Jan 29, 2014
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5,680
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Battle Ground
You had me at “rust”. My suggestion is to buy one from Eastern WA or Oregon. My 93 spent its life in Hermiston, OR and has zero rust.

Don’t make a huge deal over oem lockers unless they have been rebuilt. Even then, they are not th best.
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
6,873
Location
Deep East Texas
Any significant 'rust' would be a deal breaker for me. Certain areas of the PNW should have vehicles with little to no significant rust issues. I'd keep looking and be patient. Have money in hand ready to buy...once you've located a good one.

Best of luck to you,

Flint.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
3,058
Location
Oregon
You had me at “rust”. My suggestion is to buy one from Eastern WA or Oregon. My 93 spent its life in Hermiston, OR and has zero rust.

Don’t make a huge deal over oem lockers unless they have been rebuilt. Even then, they are not th best.
I agree that getting one from the west coast or south west is a great way to go. I just bought me one from Washington and it has very little rust, even surface rust.

However, I totally disagree with the factory lockers. IMHO, they are totally awesome. Maybe on rusty east coast rigs they are problematic, but on my two west coast rigs, they totally rock. Front and rear selectable lockers are awesome. Maybe I've been lucky or maybe you have been unlucky. I can only speak from my experience and I love them.
 

sxp

Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
160
Location
Portland, ME
There is a white sticker on the underside of the hood that will tell you if it is OBDI or OBDII.
 
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