How urgent are these shop-recommended repairs? Plus pics of my rig...

mrq

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Hi, all!

Yesterday I took my rig to my LC mechanic for a tune-up. He replaced the rotor, distributor cap, spark plugs, & plug wires (OEM).

Upon looking at the invoice when I got home I noticed that there were a few recommended repairs listed.

The recommended repairs are: Front sway bar bushings
Gearbox fluids - marginal
Slight brake shimmy (I didn't notice this)
Brake fluid moisture 3%
Trunion seals seeping



How urgent is it that I get these things fixed? And which ones should I do first?

I'm a college-age kid with not a ton of money so the repairs may have to wait awhile while I save up.


BONUS:

Here's some photos of my rig I took this afternoon. It's a '94 w/ 228k miles.

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A81B06E3-B2B9-45A3-A5D1-2937F66D2782_1_201_a.jpeg



E9CB0C7E-E8AF-4C1A-BDCA-02F6EA4E8C4A_1_201_a.jpeg
 
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I would flush the brake hydraulic system first, 3% is too high, when you get to about 4% the water in the brake fluid can boil inside the calipers causing loss of braking efficiency. Water in the fluid also can cause corrosion inside the system.

Post up a couple of photos showing the swivel balls/steering knuckles of the front axle.
 
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Your sig says you are a novice wrench turner, so the first thing you should do is get the FSM in whatever format you prefer. This will be the best guide for you to learn about your rig and how to fix it. Don't even bother with the Chilton or Haynes manuals. Sway bar bushings are pretty easy- soak the bolts daily with some PB Blaster for a few days before removal will increase your chances of not breaking them upon removal. Most fluids are fairly easy to purge and refill, and relatively inexpensive; again, the FSM is your best friend, as is searching this forum for posts about work done and documented by others on the forum. As many on this forum will say, and I agree; use OEM parts whenever possible- it will help keep you from having to replace the same part(s) over and over again. There are discount Toyota parts vendors that can save you $, such as Norwalk Toyota Parts Center.
Cheers, and happy wrenching!
 

cme4lyt

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I agree; brake fluid flush is the ‘low hanging fruit’. Easy to do and important. Next, gearbox fluids, another easy diy item.

‘Trunion seals’, those are important but it’s difficult to tell what you in for without diving in deep.
 
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None of those do you have to worry about killing a bus load of nuns and kindergartners.

They are recommended to get you to empty your wallet with them.
Same thoughts here.

Add them to your own to do list. All manageable by a shade tree mechanic.

Knuckle seals are maybe the exception to that for a total novice.

Maybe see if there's a cruiser club in your area for some support if you want to start wrenching on it yourself.
 

iptman

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Also, what's a "trunion seal" anyway? There are trunion bearing but they don't seal anything. I'm assuming he means the knuckle wipers but the point is this guy might not know what he's talking about. The wipers on the back of the knuckles are meant to keep a film of grease on the knuckle balls. Unless they're dripping oil down on to your wheels then you don't have anything worry about. A pic of the back of each knuckle will help us set you straight. Why do you say this guy is a LC mechanic?


Also, get those D rings off your bumper before you're temped to use them in anger. Those holes are not structural mount points and will rip off and hurt someone if you try to use them as such. Those holes are meant for a attaching a high lift Jack to jack up the front of the truck. Theres a specific part that mounts to the holes and then to the jack. The structural tow points are below connected to the frame. You can see them in your pictures.

Nice looking 80 btw. Very clean.
 
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Plugs, wires, rotor, etc are very easy to change. You should be doing this type of maintenance yourself and save money. Save the big stuff for the mechanics like transmission and major engine work. Download the FSM and start reading about the basic maintenance. If you are relying on mechanics for the upkeep of your cruiser then you will go broke. Nice looking '94 though, post up some interior shots.
 

mrq

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Portland, OR / SW WA
Also, what's a "trunion seal" anyway? There are trunion bearing but they don't seal anything. I'm assuming he means the knuckle wipers but the point is this guy might not know what he's talking about. The wipers on the back of the knuckles are meant to keep a film of grease on the knuckle balls. Unless they're dripping oil down on to your wheels then you don't have anything worry about. A pic of the back of each knuckle will help us set you straight. Why do you say this guy is a LC mechanic?


Also, get those D rings off your bumper before you're temped to use them in anger. Those holes are not structural mount points and will rip off and hurt someone if you try to use them as such. Those holes are meant for a attaching a high lift Jack to jack up the front of the truck. Theres a specific part that mounts to the holes and then to the jack. The structural tow points are below connected to the frame. You can see them in your pictures.

Nice looking 80 btw. Very clean.
Cheers for the advice! My mechanic owns and DD’s a ‘97 LC. He’s worked on my LC for years and previously worked on my mother’s ‘94 LC for years back when she had hers. He’s a Toyota master tech & has worked on quite a few Cruisers & knows them well. I do definitely trust him & I do believe he knows what he’s doing. He may’ve not been the one that typed-up the invoice and listed the recommended repairs – it could’ve been the other guy who runs the front desk (who was previously a VW mechanic).

About the D-rings... Yes, I am aware that they’re not to be used as recovery points or tow hooks. They’re purely there for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons – I like how they look.

And thanks!
 
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mrq

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Portland, OR / SW WA
Thanks so much to everyone for the advice and info!

I would like to start learning how to do some basic repairs and maintenance on my rig. I am not a handy person at all so it’s going to take some real studying & practice before I can do anything myself. As per your guys’ recommendations I will download the service manual and use that as a place to start.

Cheers (again) for all the input!
 

mrq

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Portland, OR / SW WA
Plugs, wires, rotor, etc are very easy to change. You should be doing this type of maintenance yourself and save money. Save the big stuff for the mechanics like transmission and major engine work. Download the FSM and start reading about the basic maintenance. If you are relying on mechanics for the upkeep of your cruiser then you will go broke. Nice looking '94 though, post up some interior shots.
Cheers for the advice! I will for sure be doing that.

Here's some interior pics...

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IMG_4735.jpeg


IMG_4528.jpeg


IMG_4734.jpeg
 
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Thanks so much to everyone for the advice and info!

I would like to start learning how to do some basic repairs and maintenance on my rig. I am not a handy person at all so it’s going to take some real studying & practice before I can do anything myself. As per your guys’ recommendations I will download the service manual and use that as a place to start.

Cheers (again) for all the input!
Find a club in your area. Offer to help other guys with shop days on their rigs.


Watching and helping is a good way to learn, especially if there's other enthusiasts you can chat with about your cruisers.
A lot of us would have grown up helping and watching our dads
 
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When I picked up my 97 model a couple of years ago at 200,000 miles all the fluids were original except engine oil and the radiator coolant (it was sludged up). The Brake fluid was almost black, PS fluid ditto. The ATF (transmission fluid) was the original and never touched; sent a sample to Blackstone Laboratories for an Oil Analysis. Found it had 954 ppm Copper and 220 ppm Lead (over 20 times the average/normal range) with high particle counts. Gear boxes had never been touched either, original fluid from the factory and needed changing. Steering knuckles as well as the driveshaft slip yolks and U-joints were dry as a chip, they appeared to have never been regreased since it left the factory.

Point is, often we go through all the PM (preventive maintenance) when we first get an 80 to baseline the maintenance, start with a clean slate. After 20+ years and mulitple hands on the vehicle (or none) you don't know what the previous owners or mechanics have or have not done before you picked it up. As mentioned above, you can do all that pm yourself.
 
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Tachycardic

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Beautiful 80! Buy yourself a hand pump and a few steel and aluminum crush washers for the differentials and transfer case. Get the appropriate diff/transfer case oils and change them yourself. It'll save you some money.

I would not worry about the seeping oil. if it leaves a mark on the pavement or your driveway, then take care of it. Same with the shimmy. If you don't notice it, then you can sit on it for a bit.

You should do something about the brake fluid moisture. I guess you could have it flushed--that would be easiest, fastest, and most expensive. But you may want to consider taking a turkey baster, or that hand pump, and remove what you can from the reservoir. Then replace with the same amount with fresh power steering fluid or ATF (whatever you have in there). Do this over and over every week for about 5-6 weeks, then get the fluid retested to see where you are with the water content.
 
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mrq

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Portland, OR / SW WA
Beautiful 80! Buy yourself a hand pump and a few steel and aluminum crush washers for the differentials and transfer case. Get the appropriate diff/transfer case oils and change them yourself. It'll save you some money.

I would not worry about the seeping oil. if it leaves a mark on the pavement or your driveway, then take care of it. Same with the shimmy. If you don't notice it, then you can sit on it for a bit.

You should do something about the brake fluid moisture. I guess you could have it flushed--that would be easiest, fastest, and most expensive. But you may want to consider taking a turkey baster, or that hand pump, and remove what you can from the reservoir. Then replace with the same amount with fresh power steering fluid or ATF (whatever you have in there). Do this over and over every week for about 5-6 weeks, then get the fluid retested to see where you are with the water content.

Thanks so much!

And cheers for the advice & info! I’ll probably start with the brake fluid flush first, then worry about everything else.
 

iptman

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Buy yourself a Motive pressure bleeder. I don't know how I did brakes without it now. $60 well spent.
 
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You should do something about the brake fluid moisture. I guess you could have it flushed--that would be easiest, fastest, and most expensive. But you may want to consider taking a turkey baster, or that hand pump, and remove what you can from the reservoir. Then replace with the same amount with fresh power steering fluid or ATF (whatever you have in there). Do this over and over every week for about 5-6 weeks, then get the fluid retested to see where you are with the water content.
I'm certain you are combining two different thoughts here. Definitely DO NOT put ATF or power steering fluid in the brake reservoir.

You can do that procedure for the power steering fluid, however.

For brakes, just go buy a quart of brake fluid, get a friend to help and bleed the brakes. That will cost you less than $10. (remove all the old/nasty fluid from the reservoir first, then keep it full of fresh fluid while bleeding)
 
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