Gen 3 hilux surf info

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Hey I hate to bring up old threads but I haven't found any information on the gen 3 hilux surfs. Im thinking about getting a 1996 toyota hilux surf as the next vehicle, hoping to get the diesel the 1KZ-TE motor. I am just wondering if there are any common problems or maintenance problems i should be looking out for or budgeting for. Also just looking for general information on them, weather they are worth it or not.

thanks
collin
 
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I hear they are over heaters just like the 2L-TE was. As a general rule, I stay away from any motor that has the letter "E" in the model number. Electronic fuel injection on a diesel can get complicated if and when an ecu isn't doing what it's supposed to. I'm curious what draws you to this vehicle vs. another model diesel Toyota ?
 
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I hear they are over heaters just like the 2L-TE was. As a general rule, I stay away from any motor that has the letter "E" in the model number. Electronic fuel injection on a diesel can get complicated if and when an ecu isn't doing what it's supposed to. I'm curious what draws you to this vehicle vs. another model diesel Toyota ?
well I'm thinking either a fj80 with a diesel or the hilux surf, i want to build something that will go anywhere i need/camping/fishing rig. I'm leaning towards the surf because it has a 2wd option and the 80 doesn't. why? what would you suggest?
 
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well I'm thinking either a fj80 with a diesel or the hilux surf, i want to build something that will go anywhere i need/camping/fishing rig. I'm leaning towards the surf because it has a 2wd option and the 80 doesn't. why? what would you suggest?
The motor in the Hilux surf was an enormous mistake by Toyota. As the age old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". If I were in your position and I had it narrowed down to those three, I would pick the hdj81. Even though it's full time 4wd, it still gets really good fuel economy and as long as the BEBs have been done it will run forever. A surf will cost you a fortune in repairs and it will only be a matter of time before you want to set it on fire. If your budget is $10k or less and you want the 2wd option, find a rusty hj60 or hj61 and fix the body as you go, they get great fuel economy and are very trustworthy. Here's one in your neck of the woods that looks outstanding!
Toyota: Land Cruiser HJ-60 GX
 
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well I'm thinking either a fj80 with a diesel or the hilux surf, i want to build something that will go anywhere i need/camping/fishing rig. I'm leaning towards the surf because it has a 2wd option and the 80 doesn't. why? what would you suggest?
It's a fairly inexpensive and simple job to convert an 80 to 2wd/selectable 4wd if that's all that is holding you back.

A friend of mine has a 1KZ-TE Surf and I like it a lot, more than my 80 as an every day vehicle due to its smaller size and IFS. But when it comes to off road ability, reliability, and general awesomeness the 80 is the clear winner. An 80 is built like a tank compared to a Surf.
 
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The motor in the Hilux surf was an enormous mistake by Toyota. As the age old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". If I were in your position and I had it narrowed down to those three, I would pick the hdj81. Even though it's full time 4wd, it still gets really good fuel economy and as long as the BEBs have been done it will run forever. A surf will cost you a fortune in repairs and it will only be a matter of time before you want to set it on fire. If your budget is $10k or less and you want the 2wd option, find a rusty hj60 or hj61 and fix the body as you go, they get great fuel economy and are very trustworthy. Here's one in your neck of the woods that looks outstanding!
Toyota: Land Cruiser HJ-60 GX
It's a fairly inexpensive and simple job to convert an 80 to 2wd/selectable 4wd if that's all that is holding you back.

A friend of mine has a 1KZ-TE Surf and I like it a lot, more than my 80 as an every day vehicle due to its smaller size and IFS. But when it comes to off road ability, reliability, and general awesomeness the 80 is the clear winner. An 80 is built like a tank compared to a Surf.
Thanks for the information guys! yeah I'm looking at importing one from japan since I can into Canada (the vehicle has to be 15 years or older) and those have been my two front runners. it won't happen for a while but i like to get the most information i can before making a decision lol. so sounds like a hdj81 will be my choice as of now. any motor in that, that is a better one or any years that are better than others?
 
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You don't want to convert that 80 to 2wd, you'd have to change out your transfer case, front diff, hubs, etc. There is a 2wd selectable version of the hdj81, there's not a whole lot of them out there but they do exist, they're all 5 speed manual. I've never owned a 1kz-te, I'm just telling you what ive heard from friends who own cruiser repair shops.
 
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You don't want to convert that 80 to 2wd, you'd have to change out your transfer case, front diff, hubs, etc. There is a 2wd selectable version of the hdj81, there's not a whole lot of them out there but they do exist, they're all 5 speed manual. I've never owned a 1kz-te, I'm just telling you what ive heard from friends who own cruiser repair shops.
That's not correct. It's just front hubs and a spool for the t-case. Whole deal is about $700.
 
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Thanks for the information guys! yeah I'm looking at importing one from japan since I can into Canada (the vehicle has to be 15 years or older) and those have been my two front runners. it won't happen for a while but i like to get the most information i can before making a decision lol. so sounds like a hdj81 will be my choice as of now. any motor in that, that is a better one or any years that are better than others?
HDJ81 will have either the 1HD-T or the 1HD-FT (1997 only I believe). The FT is the 24 valve version of the 1HD-T with some other minor changes. Both are good motors that will give you years of service. I wouldn't worry too much one way or the other. If you get a 1HD-T the first thing you do is change the big end bearings, not a job that should be put off.

The interiors were updated in 1995, but there were no other significant changes that I'm aware of.
 
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HDJ81 will have either the 1HD-T or the 1HD-FT (1997 only I believe). The FT is the 24 valve version of the 1HD-T with some other minor changes. Both are good motors that will give you years of service. I wouldn't worry too much one way of the other.

The interiors were updated in 1995, but there were no other significant changes that I'm aware of.
thanks for the info! now whats the difference between the 80 and the Prado?
 
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so stay away from them as well?
Some guys have managed to keep the motors going strong with some modifications (might find more info via search), but they had a higher rate of cylinder head failure presumable as a result of the extra weight.

Wouldn't be my personal choice, but it depends on what you're looking for.
 
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Some guys have managed to keep the motors going strong with some modifications (might find more info via search), but they had a higher rate of cylinder head failure presumable as a result of the extra weight.

Wouldn't be my personal choice, but it depends on what you're looking for.
Okay, and how about the 60s how are their diesels?
 
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Some guys have managed to keep the motors going strong with some modifications (might find more info via search), but they had a higher rate of cylinder head failure presumable as a result of the extra weight.

Wouldn't be my personal choice, but it depends on what you're looking for.
I am looking for a 60 or 80 (preferably an 80) with the diesel so I can make a camping, fishing, light off roader (not going to be hitting anything crazy, just want to to be able to go where I want it to go), daily driver rig.
 

IanB

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I've had both a '96 Hilux Surf w/ 1KZ-TE and 2X HDJ81's, both have their merits.

The Surf was great around town, smaller size makes traffic and parking lots a breeze, tight turning radius, that amazing roll down rear window, multimode TC gives you 2wd, AWD, and 4x4 w/ low range options. It was a great vehicle. The engines have suffered overheating failures, though no where near to the same extent as the 2.4's did. Make sure to keep the cooling system in top shape, add an EGT and coolant temp gauge you can trust, and it should be fine. Weak points are the same as the 4Runners of the same era, change the lower ball joints and either replace the rad, or bypass the factory trans cooler in favor of an aftermarket external cooler to avoid the "pink milkshake" should the rad fail and mix coolant and trans fluids.

The HDJ81's are bigger in every way, and better in many ways, but they are not as nimble, and sadly no roll down rear window (can you tell I loved this feature?).

I got way more looks in my Surf than I did in either of my HDJ's, I liked them both, but there was no question when I lost the 1st HDJ what I'd be getting to replace it.
 
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I've had both a '96 Hilux Surf w/ 1KZ-TE and 2X HDJ81's, both have their merits.

The Surf was great around town, smaller size makes traffic and parking lots a breeze, tight turning radius, that amazing roll down rear window, multimode TC gives you 2wd, AWD, and 4x4 w/ low range options. It was a great vehicle. The engines have suffered overheating failures, though no where near to the same extent as the 2.4's did. Make sure to keep the cooling system in top shape, add an EGT and coolant temp gauge you can trust, and it should be fine. Weak points are the same as the 4Runners of the same era, change the lower ball joints and either replace the rad, or bypass the factory trans cooler in favor of an aftermarket external cooler to avoid the "pink milkshake" should the rad fail and mix coolant and trans fluids.

The HDJ81's are bigger in every way, and better in many ways, but they are not as nimble, and sadly no roll down rear window (can you tell I loved this feature?).

I got way more looks in my Surf than I did in either of my HDJ's, I liked them both, but there was no question when I lost the 1st HDJ what I'd be getting to replace it.
So if you had to get another one, which would you get? The surf or 80? And what kind of cost for maintaining them were you experiencing?
 

IanB

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So if you had to get another one, which would you get? The surf or 80? And what kind of cost for maintaining them were you experiencing?
The 80, I thought that would be obvious as I no longer have a Surf, lol.

The Surf was nothing real special over and above what I'd do on a 4Runner of the same vintage, which I've already pointed out. Just a coolant flush to make sure everything was in good working order. If I were doing it again now, I'd probably add some gauges to better keep an eye on things.

The HDJ81 I've dived deeper into with the BEB's, front axle service, etc, I think the potential for maintenance costs is MUCH higher on the Land Cruiser platform, thanks in no small part to this site and the crazies that inhabit it, planting ideas in our heads.

Whichever route you decide, it's always a great idea to have a cheap beater/backup plan should you ever find yourself needing parts you can't grab locally. These are 15+ year old vehicles, things will fail at some point. You'll start stock piling things like filters, and planning ahead for maintenance work as some of these items are a week or more away.
 
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The 80, I thought that would be obvious as I no longer have a Surf, lol.

The Surf was nothing real special over and above what I'd do on a 4Runner of the same vintage, which I've already pointed out. Just a coolant flush to make sure everything was in good working order. If I were doing it again now, I'd probably add some gauges to better keep an eye on things.

The HDJ81 I've dived deeper into with the BEB's, front axle service, etc, I think the potential for maintenance costs is MUCH higher on the Land Cruiser platform, thanks in no small part to this site and the crazies that inhabit it, planting ideas in our heads.

Whichever route you decide, it's always a great idea to have a cheap beater/backup plan should you ever find yourself needing parts you can't grab locally. These are 15+ year old vehicles, things will fail at some point. You'll start stock piling things like filters, and planning ahead for maintenance work as some of these items are a week or more away.
Makes sense. I'm use to parts being hard to find parts I own a 96 Subaru Sti (Jdm) so parts are hard to find as well
 
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