Got my eye on a '91

Joined
Oct 26, 2005
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Farmington, NM
Hey all,

First post. Been reading here for over a month though. I love the search function...I'll go looking for one thing and then learn all kinds of stuff about another. I would like to ge a truck for offroading with the family. Have had my eye on a '91 FJ80 with 180,000mi. Body is in pretty good shape, interior is ok. No rust and no vibrations and ran smooth and straight at 65 on the highway. Few things that have caught my eye:

1. When I look under the truck there is a moderately thick goop of what I believe to be oil build up. It coats the underside of the engine, transmission and even the center differential. I know it won't be clean but this doesn't look like your usual oil leak. I told the seller about it and he said something in the front axle/hub was leaking and slung crap all over the place. He had the left front replaced. He had no idea if it was the birfs, repacked or whatever was done. No clicking with turning. What do you all think?

2. Steering has a loose feel to it. I have searched on this and many report the tie rods or steering links as the culprits. Tie rods look OK but not sure. I does appear to have a new steering dampening shock. I have not driven other FJ80's so I' not sure if this is how they all feel. Just feels loose to me. Looking for a bit more input.

3. It has a quarter horse sticker on the back and a used rear hitch. I'm assuming the vehicle pulled a trailer a fair amount. What would be the general concensus on a truck that probably pulled a trailer for a while? Will the engine last as long or who cares?

4. I've read numerous pages on what maintenance will need to be done but not many have solid prices (except birfs) to get things done either myself or by someone else. Ball park figure to spend on rig maintenance after purchasing?

I'm going back tomorrow. They're going to put it on a lift so I can see everything underneath to get a better idea of where the goop may be from. Sorry for the long post.

Thanks for the help,

TR:cheers:
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
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Farmington, NM
No pics. It's at one of those little car dealers. 180,000mi, Tan in color with cloth seats. They are asking $6550. I think thats crazy. Edmunds shows $1200-$2500. Hope to make it a good expedition vehicle.

Glad you chimed in. Love your portaled '91.

TR
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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Albemarle NC
Sounds decent depending on price (I'd say no higher than $4.5k on that one if in top condition, which it obviously isn't)..

1) Try getting a mechanic (that you know, trust, or specalizes in Yotas/LCs) to give it a once over. If this is the only owner, ask about a front axle service/birf job and how much it cost. If what he got done cost around $600-$1k, then he probably had the birfs done, whether he did or not, it is probably a good time to go ahead a do a birf job (repack, new seals, etc.). Can you tell if it is oil or grease; if oil, check the rear main seal and oil pan, if grease, probably the birfield.

2) Sounds like the ends are worn, manually check them for looseness, if they wiggle by hand, then they should be replaced. If not, then take them apart and check for wear.

3) If it has had propper maintainance (minus birf job, don't know of many non LC enthusiast that do this) it should be fine, the 3FE is a great motor, and if kept up will push past 300k with ease. Towing a horse trailer wouldn't put any excess wear on the drivetrain (which is almost 1ton equivilant). If they tranny shifts smoothly, there shouldn't be any other drivetrain issues to worry about.

4)$250ish should be about right to for a tune-up, new belts, and all the fluids base-lined, add another $250 for the birf kit + grease + DVD, and 2-3 days (you do it) or up to $700 and a day or two (get a mechanic to do it + the required parts).

Good luck, and you'll be plenty happy if this is an off-road vehicle, throw some 32's or 33's on there and you'll be set (your on-road preformance will suffer, these things, 91/92, are pretty slow anyways, and that extra mass will hurt). Both my 3FE equipped 80's can hang with any equally equipped 93+ while off-road; on-road, they are a pretty big step ahead.
 
Joined
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Kingsport, TN
Like alkaline747trio said $4500 would be the max for '91/'92 unless it was under 100k and from an arid region. I gave $4500 for mine and it spent most of it's life in CO and was super clean with no rust.
 
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Farmington, NM
alkaline747trio said:
1) Try getting a mechanic (that you know, trust, or specalizes in Yotas/LCs) to give it a once over. If this is the only owner, ask about a front axle service/birf job and how much it cost. If what he got done cost around $600-$1k, then he probably had the birfs done, whether he did or not, it is probably a good time to go ahead a do a birf job (repack, new seals, etc.). Can you tell if it is oil or grease; if oil, check the rear main seal and oil pan, if grease, probably the birfield.
I just drove by again and had to stop. The place was closed but I shot under the 80 anyway. I found a fresh drop of oil on the concrete...still wet, definitely oil. The rest of the "goop" is a mixture of what I would say is oil and dirt. Not grease. Tomorrow I can check the rest when they put it on the rack.

Will an oil leak from the rear main seal or oil pain cover the center diff. I can understand the engine and transmission, but it must be some leak if it is shooting down the rest of the truck, right?

What would it cost to replace the rear main seal or a leak from the oil pan? I think I read that the rear main seal often leaks and many have just left it alone. I think one guy even went to a heavier oil to slow the hemorrhage.

It's good to see the '91-92 guys coming out.

TR
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
138
Location
Michigan
Trout,
Check the valve cover for leaking. They are more like a huge "O" Ring than a conventional gasket and split when they get old. Mine was leaking down the rear driver's side of the engine. Looked at first like the oil pan, but I found pools of oil in the low spots on top of the engine. My oil pan bolts were only finger tight so I re-torqued them.
You can get a look at the rear main by removing a small plate if I recall.
If you buy the 80, you'll see why the front diff. is covered with oil during your first oil change! The filter sits above the diff., so when you spin it off you dump about a quart of old oil all over it (and your driveway). This can be avoided by using filters that don't have check valves, or poking a hole in the top of the filter to break the vacuum before you spin it off. I've had mixed results.
There is an oil cooler hose that gets soaked during the oil change also. After several years of being coated with oil the hose gets spongy. It's worth changing if it looks soft.
Loose steering depends on what you are used to. Mine feels loose compared to my wife's VW Passat, but is about the same as my Dodge pickup.
If you get it, spend a few hours cleaning the throttle body thoroughly and replace vacuum lines leading to the EGR valve. I bet one of them is completely carboned up.
Good luck.....I'd shoot for $4000. Sounds like the oil leak is minimal. When I searched on the same leak it seemed like most posts pionted to loose oil pan bolts. At first it looked like rear main, but closer inspection shows it's not.
With gas cost up there won't be people falling over themselves to buy it for $6500.........especially if they know 12 mpg is about the best you can expect.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
183
The oil pan gasket is a known leak point on the 3FE, you can replace it, but it will likely start to leak again in due course. Think of the thick goo as rustproofing.
 
Joined
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Took a look under the truck today. Oil seemed to be coming from everywhere. could not pinpoint it but if starts about mid-engine and goes everywhere from there. What it will take is a great cleaning and then time to see where it starts.

I pulled on the tie rod...big time loose. I've decided to pass for now. They weren't budging from the $6500.

Oddly enough I drove down the street right after and found a '92 with 140,000mi on it. Same color, better condition, less oil for sure underneath (who knows maybe it was cleaned). Caked on grease/dirt on the birfs. Drove a lot tighter in the steering and the engine sounded better. Everything still worked on the inside as well. They are going for $8000 and some change. It's been there for a while so I'm holding out.

Thanks for the help and the education.

TR
 
Joined
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Greeley, Colorado
TroutRunner said:
Oddly enough I drove down the street right after and found a '92 with 140,000mi on it. Same color, better condition, less oil for sure underneath (who knows maybe it was cleaned). Caked on grease/dirt on the birfs. Drove a lot tighter in the steering and the engine sounded better. Everything still worked on the inside as well. They are going for $8000 and some change. It's been there for a while so I'm holding out.

Thanks for the help and the education.

TR

IMO you are getting into FZJ80 range at that point and under. There are some for sale with same miles, 93's 94's for 7K range. That is WAY to high for a 92....IMO...
 

ginericLC

Wagon Wheeler!
SILVER Star
 
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MH, IDaho
Price depends upon location. If you are willing to travel you can probably get a better price. Idaho prices are just like what you are describing.
 
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If I were you I would hold out for a 93+ find one with diff locks. Anyhow watch ebay for a month or two there are always good deals and just assume you are going to have to do the full maintenance....more or less $1,500 for all the parts from C-Dan. Remember you can buy a cruiser anywhere in the U.S. and get it shipped for around $700. I have seen some really nice 91/92's go for $3500 with under 130k also have seen nice 93+ go for under $6,500 w/ under 130k. Remember gas is expensive right now and some people could use the money---when I got mine I called over 50 people, made low ball offers--got yelled at!---but I ended up getting a great deal with full service records.

Here is a low mileage 95--if you are going to bid do so in the last couple of minutes.... The 3rd one is in vegas with 113k and private party--nice and close and probably no rust.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-Toyota-Landruiser-Nice-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ4589508018QQcategoryZ6443QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=192422082&dealer_id=4205954&car_year=1991&bkms=1132274849509&model=LC&lang=en&isp=y&start_year=1991&certified=&search_type=both&distance=0&make=TOYOTA&min_price=1&sponsorModel=&sort_type=priceASC&address=98383&advanced=&end_year=1997&max_price=8000&cardist=1689

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=189249984&dealer_id=56905756&car_year=1992&search_type=both&make=TOYOTA&sponsorModel=&distance=0&model=LC&address=98383&advanced=&certified=&max_price=8000&bkms=1132274849509&sort_type=priceASC&min_price=1&first_record=26&end_year=1997&start_year=1991&isp=y&pager.offset=25&lang=en&cardist=885
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
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Farmington, NM
Beowulf said:
TR,

Are you looking at the one on the lot down on Eubank?

-B-
Actually at Garcia Subaru for the 92. The 91 is on Juan Tabo.

The 92 is way better than the heist the 91 guy is trying to pull off.

I agree that for these prices I might as well get a newer one. Back to work.

TR
 
Joined
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Messages
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Farmington, NM
SR.GRINGO said:
If I were you I would hold out for a 93+ find one with diff locks. Anyhow watch ebay for a month or two there are always good deals and just assume you are going to have to do the full maintenance....more or less $1,500 for all the parts from C-Dan. Remember you can buy a cruiser anywhere in the U.S. and get it shipped for around $700. I have seen some really nice 91/92's go for $3500 with under 130k also have seen nice 93+ go for under $6,500 w/ under 130k

Here is a low mileage 95--if you are going to bid do so in the last couple of minutes....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-Toyota-Landruiser-Nice-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ4589508018QQcategoryZ6443QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Thanks for the info. I've been keeping trucks in my "Watch List" to see what they sell for. The key to used cars is to be patient. The longer I wait the more I will have to spend.:D
 
Joined
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FYI, from Little Rock, AR Democrat Gazette:

TOYOTA, 1991 Landcruiser, Beautiful well care for High mis but well cared $4200 obo. 417-265-3504
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TOYOTA 1991 Land Cruiser. 4x4. 95K. Very clean. S/R. 3-rd row. Tow pkg. $7,350. Call 501-538-1854.

If you become strongly interested, I may be able to go take a look at one.
-psfpilot
 
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psfpilot said:
FYI, from Little Rock, AR Democrat Gazette:

TOYOTA, 1991 Landcruiser, Beautiful well care for High mis but well cared $4200 obo. 417-265-3504
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOYOTA 1991 Land Cruiser. 4x4. 95K. Very clean. S/R. 3-rd row. Tow pkg. $7,350. Call 501-538-1854.

If you become strongly interested, I may be able to go take a look at one.
-psfpilot
Thanks,

I'll keep trying around here for a bit more. I appreciate the offer.

TR
 
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