Looking for advice on purchasing HJ61 Land Cruiser (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 21, 2019
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20
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New York, NY
Been in love with this model since i saw one here locally for sale. Went to see it but the lift shackles were welded rather than bolted and welds were starting to crack. Been on the lookout for one ever since!
I have a 1984 Toyota Sunrader and 1987 Suzuki Samurai(Both for sale if anyones interested!)
Currently rebuilding samurai engine cleaning up after previous owners bad mechanics. First time but getting through it.
All to say i am more mechanically inclined than most but no master.

Anyways; This will be my first diesel and id like some pointers on what to look for when purchasing a turbo diesel toyota. Common problems? This one is 24V is that a pro or a con? Seller says engine has 110,000 miles which is great but wondering what might need replacing from sitting. these are all questions off the top of my head. If you have any info to offer at all Id appreciate it greatly!
Looking forward to your responses. Thanks! Info below

LAND CRUISER, DIESEL, RH DRIVE, 5-speed manual, 24-volt This vehicle is not perfect but it is terrific! The Good: Very capable 4WD Five passengers in comfort High roof option (more headroom) Sunroof PTO winch on front, strong enough to lift a truck! Two brand new batteries Great tires Unbreakable--the diesel engine is described as "bullet-proof" and the vehicle is built like a tank. Use this for safaris! The Bad: Some dings but nothing major The carpeting is not anywhere near perfect - some tears in the back Windows need lube--they're slow The radio looks good but doesn't work. Probably the missing antenna. Needs an AC belt which I can give you. other minor things The Ugly: One side has a red decal, the other is just paint. Both sides look good (and nobody can see both sides at once). I have two, and I don't need two. I'm keeping the best (the automatic) and selling this one. Make an offer, but please don't waste either of our time with silly offers.
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Joined
Sep 30, 2014
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Check the sunroof and roof areas for rust, it’s extremely common and expensive if you’re paying for someone to fix it.

If you’re serious about purchasing I would look at doing a compression check, check the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge. Should be a very small puff of black smoke on startup (clears within a few seconds), if there’s constant smoke (white grey or black) you’ll have bigger issues.

Never trust an odometer reading and be prepared to spend money baselining the vehicle. Having said that, anyone with reasonable mechanical skills should be able to do the majority of the work and if you fix most things you’ll have the truck last another 20-30 years (assuming the roof doesn’t rust away)
 
Joined
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Generally speaking, if the engine starts from cold and runs smooth with minimal smoke that clears fast, then its good. Cold start means that it hasnt been started at all for 12 hours or more.
If that's rust in the roof (maybe its leaves) I would thinking long and hard.
24v is supposed to better for starting in arctic like conditions. It can be a pain locating 24v parts
JDM vehicles have a history of altered milage.
 
Joined
May 11, 2014
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Utah
Be prepared to replace a lot of seals and gaskets if it has been sitting for a while. I have been chasing dry rotted gaskets in my HJ61 for years!
 
Joined
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New York, NY
Hey fellas,
been out of commission after being hit on my motorcycle a few days after I posted this!
Thanks for all the info. I finally went to see the thing. Seems he hasnt been too proactive on trying to sell it and thus i was the first person to actually see it in person. All those pictures where leaves could have been rust were leaves entirely. This thing is VERY clean. Im very close to pulling the trigger.
Few problems i noticed:
-Oil temp guage seemed unresponsive after driving it up and down the road
-Front driver window switch is unresponsive
-Rear hatch does not open from the exterior
-radio is unresponsive and antenna does not rise
-Transmission feels fine when switching through gears but once im on the road, it seemed to be missing 2nd gear or have trouble engaging. finally got it in everytime and could be I wasnt used to driving right sides stick shift but figured it was worth noting

LASTLY: Hes asking $11,000
which according to craigslist where people are asking $20k and up im wondering, Are people really getting those prices paid?
or do they ask 20k and end up selling for 10k?
What are these things REALLY worth. How much are you all paying vs how much a rich car collector paying because money is not an issue. Thanks again and will look forward to posting the new rig should it come into possession.
Best,
Jerry
 

dogfishlake

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Hey fellas,
been out of commission after being hit on my motorcycle a few days after I posted this!
Thanks for all the info. I finally went to see the thing. Seems he hasnt been too proactive on trying to sell it and thus i was the first person to actually see it in person. All those pictures where leaves could have been rust were leaves entirely. This thing is VERY clean. Im very close to pulling the trigger.
Few problems i noticed:
-Oil temp guage seemed unresponsive after driving it up and down the road
-Front driver window switch is unresponsive
-Rear hatch does not open from the exterior
-radio is unresponsive and antenna does not rise
-Transmission feels fine when switching through gears but once im on the road, it seemed to be missing 2nd gear or have trouble engaging. finally got it in everytime and could be I wasnt used to driving right sides stick shift but figured it was worth noting

LASTLY: Hes asking $11,000
which according to craigslist where people are asking $20k and up im wondering, Are people really getting those prices paid?
or do they ask 20k and end up selling for 10k?
What are these things REALLY worth. How much are you all paying vs how much a rich car collector paying because money is not an issue. Thanks again and will look forward to posting the new rig should it come into possession.
Best,
Jerry
Glad you are ok after the accident!
That sounds like a really great price for the truck, if it is that nice. Those issues are just common stuff that happens with trucks of that age. Honestly there will be more problems that pop up but at least it sounds like the major items are good!
Hope you get it.
 
Joined
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Perth Western Australia
Is it an oil temperature or oil pressure gauge? If its the oil pressure gauge , then it needs further inspection. They dont come with an oil temp gauge from the factory, just coolant temp.
2nd gear is usually a take off gear, so you don't need to go from 1st to second very often.


If it starts, runs and idles smoothly from a cold start, that would probably seal the deal for me. The other things are fairly run of the mill problems for 30 year old landcruisers.

Whats the solenoid for on the firewall? Radio not working? New batteries? Possible charging problems me thinks
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
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Sweden
Some JDM HJ61 have a factory analog oil temp gauge.
Its round and it is mounted in the center near the ashtray.
The fact that the rest of the world did not get them means that it is just a meaningless jap toy/gadget.😁
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
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Location
New York, NY
thanks for the info folks!

Started right up after sitting awhile. idled just fine.
I suppose it would have been the coolant temperature gauge that wasn't working. Not "oil temp"
didn't notice the solenoid on the firewall. what purpose would it have served to add that?
It does have new batteries. Could be cause the previous ones fried?
would i have to look into testing the alternator or charge-regulator?

same diagnostics as a 12v system or does the 24v complicate things?
 
Joined
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I just mentioned the batteries because the 24 volt systems are often misunderstood with owners trying to fit 12v radio/cd players . This causes the batteries to become unequally charged and then the engine wont start.
The 24v systems are as reliable as the 12v systems, you just need owners who understand them.

I had a solenoid just like that to connect my fridge battery to the charging circuit after the engine started.
But you can use them for all sorts of things

After my first landcruiser nearly burnt to the ground one night because of the PO's dodgy wiring, I always point out non standard electrical devices/wiring. I would ask the owner (if you haven't bought it yet) what the solenoid switch is for.
If you buy it, I would disconnect it until its purpose is fully understood and/or any other mysterious wiring connected to the battery

This is looking more and more like a decent buy, so dont let that put you off

same diagnostics as a 12v system or does the 24v complicate things?


Yes, basically. It just gets confusing sometimes, Im not good with electrics but I would still buy one if it was good.
Some of the 24v parts take some tracking down. Someone was looking for rear door 24v electric window motors not long ago. I dont know how he got on.
 
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Joined
Sep 21, 2019
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New York, NY
Welp! Today’s the day. On a bus to pick it up assuming all my tests go well.

URGENT QUEStION re: compression check.
I brought my compression gauge but after doing a bit of MUD site research I’m seeing it’s more complicated than your ordinary gas engine. And has a Toyota specific threading?

And how involved is it to pull the injectors?

any alternatives for checking that the cylinders are good? I drove it last week. Seemed to havegood torque from take off and strong motor but after my Suzuki purchase I’m a bit gunshy.

fast response would be appreciated as I’m due to arrive in an hour or two. thanks all!
Looking forward to seeing how it handles on the the 4 hour ride back home.
 
Joined
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Vancouver BC
If the engine is dead cold and starts without smoke, the compression is probably pretty good.
How it runs when warm means far less, I once had a cylinder that was at 1/2 compression and it ran fine and pulled strongly once warmed up.

As for compression testing, do you have a diesel compression gauge? It's a much higher pressure than a gas engine...
 
Joined
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And how involved is it to pull the injectors?

Its not hard for someone with some experience with diesels. You should have the correct spanners for the injector lines. To be honest, if I was the seller I would do it for the customer, I wouldnt be allowing potential buyers to be doing it themselves.
But as already mentioned, a cold start is a reasonably effective way to ascertain an engines condition.
Feel the exhaust manifolds for heat before you start it. Make sure they are dead cold.
 
Joined
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Got these a bit too late but I did the best to the best of my knowledge. Everything checked out from dead cold start. Black puff that cleared within a few seconds checked coolant for oil residue and what not.

all to say; I’m a BONAFIDE HJ61 owner
Handled beautifully on the 4 hour ride back home.

needs a few things like window switched and lubing, ac belt, and headlights but beyond that it seems like a decent buy.
Thanks for all your input
Really grateful for this community
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