Interested in getting 100 series, what to look out for?

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Nov 28, 2017
Hi all, I've tried searching the forums but can't seem to get a hang of it. Anyway, I am currently in the market of buying a SUV and I have narrowed it down to the 100 series (LC or LX470). I am located in Canada, so there aren't many options available. I am considering coming down to the states and importing one (as long as it's not over my budget).

From my preliminary research, it appears that 2003+ are the ones I want. I read something about an upgraded engine, and possibly interior as well - but could someone advise? Also, is there a link somewhere that gives a breakdown of each year like from here 4Runner.

Next, I am wondering what the reliability is for these vehicles. Like how much should I expect for maintenance each year, how much can I drive before the car "dies". Is 200,000 kms alot for these vehicles?

Any help is appreciated.
What to look out for? RUST. Since you live in the Great White North, you may want to fly south and pick up a rust free example from SoCal, AZ, TX, NM, etc and then head over to your local Krown dealer to keep it rust free.

Slee Off-Road 100 Series Newbie Guide
I live in Alberta and just recently bought my lx470. I also looked at importing from the states but i actually found that the LX's are cheaper up north here than all the Land cruisers and LX's i could find down south. Lots in the states seemed to have more km's than i was comfortable with and the ones that didn't were overpriced. I sat around for a while browsing Kijij and Craigslist and finally found a 98 with 190K in Vic. I would have preferred a 03+ but i figured all in all it was the mileage that mattered the most. I would stick to the west side of Canada so that you stay away from all the pure salt they use over east. Checking if the AHC is fully operable is a must as it can be very expensive to fix, if you are looking to replace with Coil suspension then if you find one that is broken it might make for a good way to take off a few thousand from the seller. When i was looking around i found many models with 400-500 km's so around 200K should give you a ton of life left in the rig. Good luck with the browsing, if there's any you find in Calgary im happy to go have a look and let you know its condition.
Keep in mind, Timing belt and water pump every 90K miles.
Rust around windshield, rust under car, CVs, power steering rack, history of timing belt (AND related components), I like to go ahead and replace engine cooling thermostat and heater line T's.
LX and LCs are close to impossible to find in Canada. Just took a look on and Kijiji and Craigslist and there are under eight 100 series for sale. Not much to choose from?

What to look out for besides whats been stated? Brake booster/ABS/Accumulator ---> big money fix, as much as what a rebuilt trans or motor would cost for a stupid electrical part. These tend to go out without much warning as it did on mine.
rust... rust... rust...
Slee Off-Road has a great beginners guide of items to inspect while buying a used truck, known issues with each year, and the differences between the different years models.

Slee 100 Series Newbie Guide
I bought a 1998 LC last year. I have always wanted one but I didn't know what to get. I am a simple man, I don't like little lights on mirrors telling me there is someone in the lane next to me, I don't like lane warning systems, I don't like motors opening and closing doors for me..that kind of thing. I like to be able to work on my own stuff and not have something like an infotainment system total my car.
My research had me looking at a ton of 100's and I found, down here in the states anyhow, that 1998-2002 Land Cruisers fit my needs the best. They can be found with a normal radio and heater system with knobs. The later LC's and LX's have the heater going through the radio/screen/infotainment system. It is challenging to add things like ipod connectors and seemingly impossible to replace. The LC has good old shock and spring/torsion bar suspension and not the ACH system. I understand if that goes it can be replaced with good old suspension pieces, but why not just get the good old suspension to begin with? The transmission was a struggle for me. 2003 introduced the 5 speed, but after much soul searching, it wasn't a deal breaker for me. Like I said, I work on my own stuff so mileage wasn't a concern as long as the rig was solid and didn't have any rust.
Slee has an excellent write up as to what to look for: Slee Off-Road 100 Series Newbie Guide

I ended up with a 1998 with 217,000 miles on it, factory rear locker, nice enough to be presentable and people that don't know have a hard time believing it is almost 20 years old but beat up enough that I don't worry where I park it, no rust and good maintenance records....and I absolutely love it. I don't know if this helps, but it was fun reliving my search!
Good luck!
If you buy an 04+ make sure the radio, navigation, climate control work. I had an 04 a few years ago & it was bad & was $$ to fix. From what I remember the 2004's were the worst for this.

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