Long awaited 80 series acquisition... or not???

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Sep 22, 2020
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athens, ga
So I’ve followed the forum, longed for a triple locked 80 series (desire intensified by the groups love for the 80s) and think I’ve found the one. A 1994 triple locked with some mechanical issues (needs value cover gasket, transfer case seals, and has a power sterling leak with source undetermined) and some cosmetic (headliner & leather need replacing plus driver side foam, etc.). Body is good overall and underneath isn’t rust free but the frame appears solid. Was ready to pull the trigger at $7k when I learned the odometers reading of 169k wasn’t correct. Carfax shows possible rollback. No dealer service records to pull readings from. Could be a rollback of as much as 80k +/- So I ask, should I run? These are so rare it seams and will only increase in value. I’m concerned I’m allowing my emotions to guide the decision. Buy or run? Will the carfax hurt value greatly if resold later?
 
A rig with no history and no proof of some sort will make the deal a little tricky. Most of all, check the head gasket. The 94-95 Land Cruisers are notorious for having head gasket issues and if not fixed properly can compromise the whole engine over time. A relatively expensive job to do.

Not impossible though. If you have the time, resources and willingness it can definitely be done. Good luck.
 
I’d skip it. Everyone’s going to say buy the cleanest 80 you can find, locked or unlocked. I’m mot sure what kind of wheeling you’re looking to do but honestly most people don’t need the lockers. A bit of lift and 35s is kinda all most people need.
Ps one of the biggest reasons of why I bought mine is because it has all of the maintenance record dating back to 97. Knowing the cars history made me feel a bit better about buying a car with 290k😅
 
I can agree with the others. I would rather pay the extra money and find a high mileage truck with a textbook of maintenance records, than anything newer or better equipped with a shady history. In my experience of having owned 18 cars, it’s never worth it. But, if it’s not going to be relied upon to get you everywhere and you’re ok with the possibility that it dies the second you get it, then go for it.
 
A rig with no history and no proof of some sort will make the deal a little tricky. Most of all, check the head gasket. The 94-95 Land Cruisers are notorious for having head gasket issues and if not fixed properly can compromise the whole engine over time. A relatively expensive job to do.

Not impossible though. If you have the time, resources and willingness it can definitely be done. Good luck.
The gasket needs replacing. There’s a power steering leak somewhere and the transfer case seals need replacing. Carfax shows 6 owners, most years in Colorado, the Nebraska, TN, now AL and the rollback issue. Of course it it titled. Definitely issues, especially cosmetically, but like all...has potential. I guess there’s a reason I’m a bit uneasy about it. I thought if price was nego to $5.5 or $6k it might change things 🤷‍♂️
 
I’d skip it. Everyone’s going to say buy the cleanest 80 you can find, locked or unlocked. I’m mot sure what kind of wheeling you’re looking to do but honestly most people don’t need the lockers. A bit of lift and 35s is kinda all most people need.
Ps one of the biggest reasons of why I bought mine is because it has all of the maintenance record dating back to 97. Knowing the cars history made me feel a bit better about buying a car with 290k😅
I fit into that category. Besides loving the 80 series I’d be buying as an investment I could drive, maybe everyday. Love the idea of buying and selling years later for small profit. I felt the lockers made that more likely. Perhaps I’m wrong about that tho.
 
Always best to buy the cleanest, most maintained (documented) Cruiser you can find. IF you really want lockers, add them later. Aftermarket selectable lockers (ARB, Harrop) are superior anyway....most folks will tell you.

IF you don't plan on doing any real hardcore off-roading, then 33"-35" tires and an 'Aussie' in the rear....will take you most places you have any business being.
 
I fit into that category. Besides loving the 80 series I’d be buying as an investment I could drive, maybe everyday. Love the idea of buying and selling years later for small profit. I felt the lockers made that more likely. Perhaps I’m wrong about that tho.
Probably an engine swap VS a rollback. Probably done in a backyard. Probably being sold for problems and probably being purchased on emotion. Too many owners and too little history for me
 
I'll add to not take rust and the need for a body work and/or re-paint lightly. All of the other, mostly mechanical, repairs can add up to a decent amount of $$ (over $10k easily) but if a rig is rusty or needs to be fully repainted it can double the time/$$ of the restoration or cut resale in half, etc. Not that rust and paint/body can't be addressed, just drop the purchase price accordingly or manage your budgeting appropriately.

Any hint of rust and it better be really cheap in my opinion!
 
I'll add to not take rust and the need for a body work and/or re-paint lightly. All of the other, mostly mechanical, repairs can add up to a decent amount of $$ (over $10k easily) but if a rig is rusty or needs to be fully repainted it can double the time/$$ of the restoration or cut resale in half, etc. Not that rust and paint/body can't be addressed, just drop the purchase price accordingly or manage your budgeting appropriately.

Any hint of rust and it better be really cheap in my opinion!


^^^^^^

Sage advice right there.

My mantra has always been "Don't buy rust"......if there is any way to avoid it.
 
well rule number one is lockers. i mean if it doesnt have lockers you dont buy it. you cant even make it around the curve in the starbucks line without AT LEAST the rear one on, sometimes you need the front. rust?? who cares, LOCKERS! headgasket shot? LoCkErZ!! it doesnt even have a body sitting on the frame?? thats just an even better view of your l0(|<3R5!!!!!!

seriously, if you need lockers add them later. always get a clean truck and build from there.
 
The gasket needs replacing. There’s a power steering leak somewhere and the transfer case seals need replacing. Carfax shows 6 owners, most years in Colorado, the Nebraska, TN, now AL and the rollback issue. Of course it it titled. Definitely issues, especially cosmetically, but like all...has potential. I guess there’s a reason I’m a bit uneasy about it. I thought if price was nego to $5.5 or $6k it might change things 🤷‍♂️

Sounds like the truck needs a lot of work and $$$ for too little gain on your side at this point. I'd skip and keep looking, there are some good ones out there. Checking the "Classifieds" page here in the forum might help, people are always selling reasonable rigs there. Last but not least, fixing things yourself will make your pocket thank you later but beware. It can also bring a lot of white hair, wrinkles on the face and sleepless nights to your life. It all depends on how you manage your expectations.
 
The 94-95 Land Cruisers are notorious for having head gasket issues and if not fixed properly can compromise the whole engine over time
If you have a few minutes you should read some of the threads below. In them, some very knowledgeable Mud members seem to disagree with all the head gasket paranoia.
 
If you buy a rig, drive it around, and plan on selling if for a profit, you're crazy. I'm not saying it doesn't sometimes happen. But you shouldn't make that part of your plan. There is a bigger chance that you will dump a bunch of money into an old vehicle that drinks gas fast and whose parts are expensive, and recover only part of what you have "invested". Get it because you love Land Cruisers.
 
If you buy a rig, drive it around, and plan on selling if for a profit, you're crazy. I'm not saying it doesn't sometimes happen. But you shouldn't make that part of your plan. There is a bigger chance that you will dump a bunch of money into an old vehicle that drinks gas fast and whose parts are expensive, and recover only part of what you have "invested". Get it because you love Land Cruisers.
Very much appreciate that advise! I completely agree after reading this and thinking it through rationally but had to be pushed back onto the right path.
 
Go setup an account onhttps://www.toyota.com/owners/my-vehicle/vehicle-specification and add the vin to it as one of YOUR vehicles. it will give you all the toyota records of it being serviced by them. then go to that vehiclehistory.com website and see what is there. This is for any one you look at. those are free before you even think about paying for vehicle history.
 

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