How reliable are land cruisers?

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Dec 19, 2004
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daily driver is going to my grandma who seized the engine in her car. as a replacement for a different car i am considering a land cruiser for about 8k-19k $. i was wondering what i could get with that range, how reliable they are, and what factors to consider when buying. any help is much apprecaited. TIA! :bounce:
 
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Reliablility is a relative measurement, that is difficult to be precise about.

If you read through the backlog of this forum, you will come across all of the common problems that occur with 80 series cruisers. What you won't find is what percent of the cruisers have these problems. Over all the curisers are pretty good in the reliability department. Head gaskets are the major ding, given the cost to replace. There are a bunch of little problems that are common, but that list is probably shorter than for other comparable vehicles.
 
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Land Cruisers are IMO very reliable, but require regular servicing. They are fine tuned machine and very rugged. Fortunately a great deal of thought went into not only the original product, but also future serviceability. An example of this is the fact that you can change the front brake pads w/o removing the caliper itself. This significantly reduces the time and effort expended on a particular maintenance item. If you are good with tools and can do maintenance yourself the Land Cruiser will last indefinately. However, if you must have a mechanic do all of your services for you, you may find the Land Cruiser's maintenance to be cost prohibitive depending on your socioeconomic status(I know I couldn't afford to pay a mechanic to do all my maintenance, but doing it myself allows me to learn about the truck, be able to afford genuine toyota parts, and have an excellent understanding of the status of every system on the truck should a failure occur).

With $19k you should be able to buy a VERY VERY clean low mileage '97 model(the last year of the 80-series in the US. You will also find earlier 100 series' in that price range, but it is a completely different truck and was the beginning of IFS in the US Spec land cruisers. If you plan to offroad your Land Cruiser I would highly recommend the 80-series over the 100 as it has a solid front axle and can be had with differential locks front and rear(a very spendy aftermarket addition if you don't get one with them). If you want a Land Cruiser for the mall, grocery getting, and taking the kids to soccer, then the 100 would be best as it is newer and has more "updated" styling.

I know I'm gonna catch flack for what I just said, but the 80 is more suited to true offroading than the 100 and I don't think anyone will deny that.

Good luck, and welcome to the board!
 

cruiserdan

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19k will buy a WHOLE LOT of very nice 80 series Cruiser.

Anything can break, these seem to do less of it. A quick look at the international usage of Land Cruisers in very nasty areas should give you in indication of how well they hold up overall.



You could do much worse.
 
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Want to see what 19K can do for you.............................

Go to the for sale section and look at WolfpackTLC heavily modded 80... :eek: :eek:

Thats what I would do with 19/20K if I was looking for a killer LC.
 

e9999

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just keep in mind that reading this forum will likely give you a very misleading idea of how reliable the cruisers are because most of us here (not including myself of course :D ) are perfectionist paranoid DIYers doing a lot of preventive maintenance that the rest of the population would not worry about, the latter also taking also for granted that they should bring the truck to the dealer once or twice a year, which for us if pure anathema...
E
 
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e99999999 is right on about all the PM most of us recommend and do to our own vehicles. He mentioned that some do it because we are perfectionists and I'll add that many of us do it because we take our 80's and our families in very remote areas where a failure means big trouble. We want the peace of mind that goes with good maintenance done by our own hands.

Another reason is that many of us plan to keep these vehicles for a very long time. 200k to 300k miles and 25+ years (though I'll be too old to drive by then.)

-B-
 

lovetoski

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We had a Passat that lost an engine at 80,000 miles, due to a faulty timing belt tensioner. We replaced it with an 80 that had 200,000 miles on the clock. In the 30,000 miles we've had it, we've had fewer problems that the Passat had by far. I've done some PM, but that's to be expected. My 60 has more miles, and was really worn when I bought it. Despite that, it's never left me stranded. I've done a lot of maintaince to get caught up, and it now is really reliable.

If you keep up on the PM, they will outlast everthing else, period. If you don't do the PM, they'll still outlast anything else, but the repairs will make you cry.

The key on buying a used one is to find one that's had great maintainance.
 
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If your interested in reliability Toyota will give you that. If you're looking for bulletproof the landcruiser will give you that. Looking to invest 19k you just might consider an FJ 62 (1989 series, fuel injection, PW, PL, etc....). The beauty is it has many of the 80's comforts but not the bigger price tag. Either way you truly can't go wrong. Example I have an 85 FJ 60 Stock, w/ 140,000. The wife bought it for a b-day gift to me a few years back. At purchase ($4,500US) it only had 100,000. The under carriage is rusted pretty bad, it was stolen/recovered (minus the factory radio) and then between the wife and I we've put the remainder on. The truck I have today (dings, dents, scratches & I mean scratches, I added on the trails) is still a screamer. Minus the body, the engine (2FE) is still running strong. You'll do fine with whichever LC you decide to go with.
 

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