Everyone talking about rebuilds and swaps….am I throwing money into a pit building up a 240k mile rig?

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Francis K

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Seems like half the threads lately are about blown engines, I picked up a 97 LC with around 240k on the odo that I’m pumping a lot of money into with aspirations of it being an everyday driver to replace my 2020 GX lease, with my sports car on the side during the warmer months. She runs strong she actually feels better than my old 97 LX where i was the original owner that i sold at around 150k miles but still Is this an exercise in futility?

I’m half way into with parts coming in every day, mostly all that is left is slapping them on and paint. What do you guys think?
 
SpenserAK

SpenserAK

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Even if you have to swap in a new crate motor and replace every other major part it will still be cheaper than a new 4 runner.
That’s generally what it comes down to for me. Although prices are going up and you could save a little on gas with something else, you’ll spend more simply acquiring something newer that only wishes it were a cruiser, and still have to build & maintain it on top of that.
 
Squeegee

Squeegee

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My last 80 had 310k on it and the engine had never been touched. The guy who bought it had it compression tested and the guy doing the test thought it had a fresh rebuild. If it’s had basic maintenance, in all likelihood it’ll be a happy car for a long time
 
Corbet

Corbet

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You are only hearing from the vocal people. Don’t let them sway you from doing what you want. I have nearly 400k on my SC80. It’s my forever truck.
Yes, but you did rebuild the engine. 😉 As have I.

Back to the OP, yes it will be a money pit like any older vehicle. But if you love it what difference does it make? Like others have said, new is also expensive.
 
effjay80

effjay80

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I wouldn't fret or sweat. My 220k 94 is a clean well-maintained platform and tossing money into its maintenance to keep it running well makes perfect sense economically and emotionally. I'd rather have this bird in the hand than anything else in the bush. :)
 
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eastbeast

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My '95 has 380k and has never had any major work done on it. Knock on wood. It'll eventually get an LS drivetrain swap but I wanna see how long this thing is gonna go first.
 
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manofthewoods

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Seems like half the threads lately are about blown engines, I picked up a 97 LC with around 240k on the odo that I’m pumping a lot of money into with aspirations of it being an everyday driver to replace my 2020 GX lease, with my sports car on the side during the warmer months. She runs strong she actually feels better than my old 97 LX where i was the original owner that i sold at around 150k miles but still Is this an exercise in futility?

I’m half way into with parts coming in every day, mostly all that is left is slapping them on and paint. What do you guys think?
Money pit? If it's a rusty heap with a trashed interior, probably.
I completely rebuilt mine (13$ big ones).
Rust? Absolutely none. Interior, great. Paint is original- no peeling.
Worth it for me
 
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jiggletits

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I don't understand people who think 250k is "high mileage"... you buy Toyotas for a reason... If that is high miles to you, might as well stick with Ford Chevy Dodge
 
cvenom96

cvenom96

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Yes it's a money pit. Yes it's a fun money pit. Got mine w/ 224k 6 years ago. Now it's at 320k because it was my daily for quite a while. Now due to remote work I put maybe 100 miles on it a week unless we take a road trip. I love the stupid thing and wouldn't get rid of it. It's mostly where I want it now so I've slowed down significantly on buying stuff for it but it will never be "finished".
 
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samiam09

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ca
As i have said many times I sold my 2004 jeep tj Rubicon with 75000 miles .and purchased a 1996 lx450 with body damage and 203000 on it. ANd I have been happier with the lx then I was with the jeep. The Jeep was a nightmare to work on, the cruiser is not nearly as bad even the pesky heater hose was a breeze compared to working on the jeep. The Cruiser now has 279000 on it and its still rides better and keeps running with normal maintenance.Yes i will be rebuilding the engine this year before I escape Commiefornia in retirement.
 
Ozark80

Ozark80

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It probably only needs a top end refresh in the near future, and maybe not even that. If you're really worried about needing a fill rebuild soon then do an oil analysis. That should at least give you an idea of the engine's overall health.

These things routinely trundle over 300k, sometimes with very casual maintenance.

On forums like this, you tend to hear about the unlucky few with blown engines.

On top of that, there's no way to know the service history of those engines in need of a rebuild under 300k. they could have repeatedly been run severely low on oil by an oblivious PO, for example.

Again, a Blackstone oil analysis should tell you more.
 
Feldrian

Feldrian

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Even if you have to swap in a new crate motor and replace every other major part it will still be cheaper than a new 4 runner.
Yeah, that's not always true - I could have bought a new LC for the price I have in to my restoration (which included a crate motor) .

Ultimately value is in the eye of the beholder. If you put money in to your 80 and plan to keep it for a long time, like many of us do, it's worth it in my mind. My biggest concern is rust, especially structural rust. My truck is an ex- SoCal truck, so it's not in bad shape, but it's certainly something I'll keep an eye on. As parts become less and less easy to procure (especially new) I imagine that will a growing concern. One of the drawbacks of a boxed frame, unfortunately.

It's a 90's truck - It's never going to drive as nice as a new one, but to me that's half of the appeal. Just make sure you're comfortable with that before you invest $50k that you're not going to see a full return on if you need to exit the vehicle.
 

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