long distance BJ42 buying and drive back

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Dec 3, 2013
Hi- When you are interested in a long distance rig (and you do not want to waste time back-and-forth). WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR ON A BJ42? (5SPD,3B,PS)

There will likely be no mechanic nearby= no compression test :(

I want to do it in one shot:
a. fly in, uhaul it back 2 days on trailer
b. fly in, buy it, take it to mechanic and have him swap out key parts (hoses, batteries)

It has been sitting for months now and has been known to need attention mechanically.

fly in, start it cold, look for smoke, drive it hard, feel the tranny-out, stop it and check for leaks?
Swap shoes and brakes out and drive 2 days straight?

Advice: what to look for? what to test? what to bring (parts/tools)? where to look? Obviously rust in the pillars and rust holes are not good.

@@crushers@@D'Animal@@Tapage@@Poser@@Trollhole@@cruiserdan@@Tools R Us@@Mace@@landtank@@65swb45
Ok I'll bite. The good version is you'll arrive, he'll be nice, you'll think he's funny, you'll settle on a price, shake hands and you'll drive away into the endless highway beyond in a wide shot in a brand new-to-you and pretty rare BJ42.

The bad version is pretty ugly dude. I bought a '70 45 six months ago, and didn't have the time nor the means to see if it ran. Turns out it'd been starved of oil somewhere in its past and would seize on it's first outing. Except I was only 5 mi from home. How far from help will you be?

I'd do some basic calculations to see what it'd cost to get it and you home if it all goes sideways.
Bj42's are known to be super reliable and if it was driven daily untill a few months ago I would risk flying in and driving it back.That being said I have a history with these and you should be able to fix any small stuff with simple hand tools along the way.If you can't afford taking your time and going at a leisurely speed I would have it shipped or trailer it.

I am flying from Texas to San Diego tommorow to pick up a BJ74 and drive it 1500 miles back without having seen the truck and it already has 310k kilometers on it.........I guess it should have no problem getting me back,after all it's a Diesel Cruiser ;)

Just my 2 cents
just my opinion ... there's no substitute for a thorough once over by you and/or with a 40 guru (i.e. local club) ... all these trucks are over 30 years old now and unless its an Icon (debatable whether they're 40s) you're just asking for trouble without a thorough once over ... the old Fram saying comes to mind, "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later" ... there is no cheap way (time/money) with these things ... good luck ...
Sounds like an opportunity for a great adventure . With the access we have to the internet these days and this website , with a few tools and a credit card or a bit of cash you'd probably be alright taking the minimalist approach . The will be lots to spend money on later when you get home. Keep an eye on the oil and water gauges especially to ensure you don't cause damage if something goes wrong . Good Luck
Thanks for weighing in guys. I found a mechanic an hour away that might preview it for me. Might. If not I will take off for 3 days and try to make it with minimal expenses.

Funny thing is its cheaper to transport it profession ally than go at it with Uhaul. Former 2050$ later 1899$ plus fuel (over 600$)

Will probably have mechanic change all fluids, belts, and hoses.

What about cooling system? Is there anything to look out for?
You may think this odd, but: I purchased a 82 BJ42 back in October, and my only hesitation with the deal was that I DIDN'T get to fly somewhere and drive it back! I thought that that would be a really fun mini-adventure. I only had to drive 100 km to get it home! Go for it; take a bunch of metric tools along ...
3b's will die if the cooling system has been neglected. I am all for the adventure of buying and driving, but it requires a good contingency fund and an easy timeline/attitude. Enough that if it goes sideways, you can ship it and fly home and still be happy you just bought it. I bought mine sight unseen, and had it shipped. Cheaper, easier, easier to insure etc etc.

I would take the time to find and book a reputable mechanic near your purchase. Putting it on a lift and making sure it's in good condition before driving could save your life, not to mention you wont buy a lemon. You may not see a broken spring, or know that the brakes are ok with a driveway inspection.

Good luck! Be patient and don't let the excitement of a new cruiser cloud your better judgement.
I did the buy them fly and drove it from Vancouver island to saskatoon with my wife. totally took t he chance and in the end of was a great adventure but only great because we didn't have any problems. we really hadnt planned for any outs and thankfully didn't need them. we just took our time and were fortunate the PO hadnt totally taken us. the body wasn't what he said it was but mechanically it worked fine thankfully. if you think you can trust the seller then take some basic tools with you. give him a certified cheque for a few hundred less than the agreed on price and have cash in hand for the rest. that way you can deduct some dollars easily if you find some things that need attention and can dicker him down a little. good luck
When I brought my 47 a few months ago, I had to take the risk of not being able to see it. What helped me decide if I should bag it, was the fact that I spent about half an hour on the phone getting to know the bloke. The bloke seemed a good fella - he was willing to answer any questions that I could throw at him to the best of his ability. The result: a decent truck that I'm exceptionally happy with.
Hope this helps, and good luck.
I'd fly and drive. Done it loads of times with good success. I have also spent some time on my back in parking lots of parts places and farmer's quansets.

I can't say what you should do but if you are handy with tools and have a good data plan on your smart phone (and a way to charge it in a 24volt rig) you should have a good adventure no matter what happens.

I'd stop at the first parts store and swap all the fluids and then drive. Turn up the heater and roll down the window as much as possible. Old LandCruisers have a way of making the landscape come alive.
Old LandCruisers have a way of making the landscape come alive.

It's because they are so slow that you actually have time to view the scenery around you. :p :p

On the highway, I always cruise at a leisurely 80km/hr pace; so it is true for me.
Fly out and drive it back, you'll have a blast and its a great way to bond with your new truck. I bought mine and drove it home 800 miles by myself without any tools or problems........but I'm an idiot :). It was a great adventure.

You could always get on the Internet and locate a shop to have the current owner take it to. They can run a compression check and change the fluids for you if everything checks out. This is what I would have done......if I wasn't an idiot!
I'll go against the grain here and say I wouldn't do it. Not that I'm worried about you, but I'd be worried about unnecessarily doing damage to a truck that isn't ready for such a trip. It's kinda like asking someone to run a marathon when they haven't exercised much. If fuel leaks out somewhere and it catches fire, or if it blows a hose and you overheat the engine, you'd be wishing that you had transported it and brought it up to shape first. If something breaks, it's unlikely you'll be able to find the replacement part at a gas station along the way, or even at a Toyota Dealer along the way. These are reliable trucks -- after they have been gone through and properly maintained.
I bought my 40 a few months ago, sight unseen and 1600 miles away. Paid 730 to get it hauled. I felt that it was well worth the price to ship it versus flying/driving to retrieve my truck. The adventurous part of me wanted drive it back myself though.
I will fly somewhere and buy a diesel cruiser and drive it home. Someday..........I think it would be a blast.
I bought my fj40 1700 some odd miles away. only inspection it had was the 3-4 minute glance over I did when I first spotted it on the side of the highway, I didn't even pop the hood. a few weeks later I called the owner back up and he gave me a brief run down of the mechanical shape and we struck a deal. I flew out to Jackson Hole Wyoming from my home in Alabama and he picked me up at the airport. I got on the road around midnight and was home early sunday evening. that was THE most memorable drive I ever had in the truck and the only regret I have was not having more time to enjoy the scenery on the way home. I had to be at work Monday morning. I had enough tools with me to do anything short of an engine overhaul and being a mechanic for a living working on it didn't scare me if the need arose but thinking back I new nothing about cruisers at that time. That first trip is what inspired me to do my restoration, diesel conversion and the biyearly road trips I have taken in it since then. It has taken my back to Wyoming and Montana. to Colorado on two separate occasions the pacific coast through death valley and sequoia in the winter and has never left me stranded. I guess that first drive formed a bond you can say.

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