Driving experience bj73 v lj73 (1 Viewer)

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Mar 17, 2021
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Hi all
I am looking for a new land cruiser after 20 years of not driving one, and am looking for a comparison of the heavy v light duty versions. Sorry if this has been asked before but I have searched and couldn’t find much on the driving experience

how do they drive in normal driving? Do they drive a lot different to each other?

I really like the idea of a bj, as it is a “real” land cruiser and will go anywhere but if it drives like a tractor I am getting too old for it.. I have had a fj40 in the past and loved it but if the lj with coils is a massive improvement, it will swing my decision

I am looking for a vehicle to go to the beach/ tow a boat ( not far less than 15miles) and occasionally do some 4wd but nothing serious. However I would like to be able to drive on a freeway for up 2 hours without needing to have a sleep afterwards... engine isn’t really important as the distance I will travel will typically be short ( less than 300m but typically 10-20m only)

Thanks
Chris
 

FJBen

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The LJ73 will be more comfortable with coils and good shocks than a leaf sprung vehicle. My BJ74 rides pretty dang nice for a leaf sprung vehicle, but its still no coil sprung rig.

I will also say my BJ74 is WAY nicer to drive than any 40 I've owned or been in. Quieter, softer riding and I can easily drive 2~3 hours without any fatigue. The LJ73 WILL ride better.

I see you are in italy, I would try and stay away from any BJ73 with the VM Motorri turbo diesel or LJ with the 2LTE. I believe others have stated the standard 2LT that europe got is actually a pretty reliable engine.
 
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Never got to drive a LJ so far. That being said I daily drove a BJ70 for about 3 yrs, bought it in southern British Columbia and drove it home to Fairbanks, AK. It had a pretty fresh, I think OME suspension. I too was surprised at how “comfortable” it drove for the suspension and short wheel base. Years later I bought a Ute “pickup” and drove it from southern Georgia to Anchorage, AK. That one drove a little stiffer and the biggest downfall to the pickup is that the seats don’t slide back as far as the other body styles. All this to say I would not be worried too much about the type of suspension. I would prioritize quality of the vehicle, like no rust, original paint, unless you can trust the paint job. Next figure out what engine you want. It seems that European LJ and KJ type engines did not suffer as much problems as their Japan living cousins. I would definitely stay away from the VM engine that I think only Spain and Portugal got, unless you find a very nice example for the right price and do an engine swap. Enjoy the search
 
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Thank you all for your comments - very helpful. I think i will try out a BJ first of all but it sounds like they are much improved compared to the old FJ40.

I agree a KZJ is a much better engine choice, but in Europe these are very expensive now ( 4/5 times more expensive to a BJ/LJ 70 series) - (the ones i have seen this year all start at €40k, where you can still get a LJ and maybe BJ that needs work for €7-10k) and importing one into italy nowadays is a no-goer.. The government implemented a couple of years a "eco tax" for new registered vehicles ( which included imported second cars) and it is prohibitive unless the car is very special and rare
 
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I have observed over the years that Italy has BJ71 there, a nice choice with the 13BT and a lot of them seem to come with the factory cable lockers.
 

4060seriesnut

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Thank you all for your comments - very helpful. I think i will try out a BJ first of all but it sounds like they are much improved compared to the old FJ40.

I agree a KZJ is a much better engine choice, but in Europe these are very expensive now ( 4/5 times more expensive to a BJ/LJ 70 series) - (the ones i have seen this year all start at €40k, where you can still get a LJ and maybe BJ that needs work for €7-10k) and importing one into italy nowadays is a no-goer.. The government implemented a couple of years a "eco tax" for new registered vehicles ( which included imported second cars) and it is prohibitive unless the car is very special and rare
How does it compare to importing a 1kz engine, in terms of cost? You could retain the original engine for some other project or sell it?
 

flx

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Never got to drive a LJ so far. That being said I daily drove a BJ70 for about 3 yrs, bought it in southern British Columbia and drove it home to Fairbanks, AK. It had a pretty fresh, I think OME suspension. I too was surprised at how “comfortable” it drove for the suspension and short wheel base.
(..)
Next figure out what engine you want. It seems that European LJ and KJ type engines did not suffer as much problems as their Japan living cousins.
Actually with good tires, new body mounts (important !), new OME kit and a good seat I find the FJ40 quite confortable for what it is. I would guess the only difference (in comfort) between a F/BJ70 and a F/BJ40, both with new rubbers, is the sound deadening and driving position.

I don't know where this statement on the European LJ and KZJ comes from but I think ~30% of classifieds for a KZJ7* state the head has been changed at some point and for the other ~70% when you ask it's often the case also. So I would guess that ~50% of the fleet still on the road may have had the issue at some point.
Now it seems not the end of the world, lot of them have very high mileage here, and as most already got the head changed that something you will not have to do again (if done properly) and otherwise they are very reliable engines.


Thank you all for your comments - very helpful. I think i will try out a BJ first of all but it sounds like they are much improved compared to the old FJ40.

I agree a KZJ is a much better engine choice, but in Europe these are very expensive now ( 4/5 times more expensive to a BJ/LJ 70 series) - (the ones i have seen this year all start at €40k, where you can still get a LJ and maybe BJ that needs work for €7-10k) and importing one into italy nowadays is a no-goer.. The government implemented a couple of years a "eco tax" for new registered vehicles ( which included imported second cars) and it is prohibitive unless the car is very special and rare
That's weird the price are so high in Italy ?? In france yes a KZJ is a lot more expensive than a LJ. But more expensive like 15k€ for a good condition one.
The most expensive KZJ currently for sale in France is listed at 30k€, it's for sale for over a year, and it's a rare soft-top KZJ70 with very low miles and brand new condition.

Normally for a vehicle homologated in Europe you should be able to transfer the registration from one country to another without an import process. For the eco tax in France you have to pay it when you transfer the registration of a vehicle (to avoid that you just go buy a vehicle in a country without ecotax) but it's reduced of 10% per year so it's free for a 10 years old vehicle. I don't know for Italy but something similar with the age would make sense.


How does it compare to importing a 1kz engine, in terms of cost? You could retain the original engine for some other project or sell it?
In Europe you can't legally do an engine swap like that. In case of accident your insurance would most likely not cover if the engine is not the correct model under the hood.
 
Joined
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italy
HI Flx,
thanks for the information, i am not an expert and only a relatively new resident in italy, but i have found it really difficult with importing cars ( even from other EU countries) mainly because they need to be 100% original at first registration. After first registration modification is easier ( not easy) but if they are already modified the only way i have found is to go first to Germany register it there and then re-register it here - for some reason the TUV approval process circumvents a lot of the Italian bureaucracy... but this all adds to cost of importing and time.. with no 100% guarantee you will succeed either

Italy's ecotasse is on the first registration in Italy, the classic car clubs have been trying to fight it since it came in, but have got nowhere

This is only what i have found so could be wrong, but I have a old porsche ( only slightly modified) and a BMWr100s ( very modified) that i have tried to bring to Italy and everyone i have spoken to ( too many auto pratiche to mention), has recommended me to sell them rather than bother trying to register them here

Cheers
Chris
 

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