Looking to buy first 60 series (Or, how to not taken and filled with regret)

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Hey everyone, I found a '87 60 and was just hoping for advice from you all on how I can navigate buying my first LC. I am not a mechanic and I have no car repair experience which really hamstrings me. But I cant help my passion for these trucks. And any help from guys with experience will be appreciated.

Preface: I am not looking for a pristine beauty, but something I can use without feeling guilty. But is at the least mechanically sound to be a daily driver.


QUESTIONS FOR THE EXPERTS

Mechanically what should I focus on when touring the car?
What should I be looking for under the cars body?
What non-obvious things should I consider in general?
What are prominent (albeit non-obvious) red flags?



Vehicle Details
  • 1987 FJ60 (Forgive me but I thought 60s were anything under the year 1985?)
  • Complete engine rebuild
  • Rebuilt transfer case
  • New Clutch
  • New Toyota 5 Speed manual trans (from Toyota)
  • Front hub and knuckle rebuilt
  • Rear shock tube repaired
  • New shocks and springs
  • AC condenser and evap cleaned and tested
  • De-Smogged
  • Rear driver side panel has rust
  • Interior looks pretty great actually
All above work has about 3k miles on it. And I apologize, I have no pictures of it for you all.

Asking price is $15k. It seems to me $15k for a "rouge around the edges" 60 series is pretty common? But maybe a expert could assist me on price.
 
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A few things about this listing I find concerning;
1. Complete engine rebuild. Why? These engines are insanely durable.
2. Rebuilt transfer case. Again, why?
3. Rear shock tube repair. This is the most concerning for me. This implies that rust was bad enough to cause this tube to need to be replaced. While rust here is not uncommon, if not done right it's problematic. Furthermore, is the rust isolated to just the tube or is the frame in a bad state too?
4. Rear drivers side panel, if you can see rust then triple whatever you can see.

Without pictures it's impossible to say if this is worth $15K. But if the answers to the questions above are more about preemptive work, and the rest of the truck looks amazing, then maybe.
 
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The Machinist

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It's mostly about rust. $15k isn't unreasonable but know you must get mechanically inclined and you will need lots of tools. It will be much more expensive than the purchase price.
If you plan to daily drive a 60, or take one on an extended trip, you will definitely want to know how to work on cars.

Fortunately, you can learn most of what you need to know through searching and reading these forums.
 

ntdb

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I also fell in love with 60s and bought one with no mechanics experience. I’ve learned a TON and had a lot of fun doing it. I agree that it’s essential to learn before driving these rigs out into the woods. They’re reliable but they’re old and you need to know how to care for it and make trail fixes when needed.

I’m not as worried as others about the rebuilds but I would want to see paperwork from a reputable shop documenting the work. Pull up the carpet in the back and look for rust. Look at the rear wheel wells and the rear frame rails as well.
 

2mountainfish

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My question is, are these cars or are they trucks? LOL. Like others have said you will have to become somewhat mechanically inclined to keep one of these rigs on the road. It would be helpful if it's not your only vehicle. That takes some of the stress off of having to do quick repairs when it does need them. Good luck if you decide to buy this one or if you happen to find another one, they are fun to own and everybody will want to talk to you about it. :)
 

Gretsch

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Welcome to the madness. Surely you have driven one of these beasts OP. They are much different than modern cars. If you haven't driven one yet I would suggest you do so before you ever start hunting to purchase one. They look cool and I totally understand the thoughts of driving around in your trouble free vintage 4WD. But the truth is thats not a real scenario. Unfortunately, you will most likely go broke having someone else work on these things and most LC specialty shops are booked out weeks or months in advance. Hate to say it but these are a not a good plan for someone who doesn't do their own work. I did a little work on cars at the time I bought mine, but I got much more familiar with a wrench after buying it. Learned a ton from folks on this forum so all credit to them. If I couldn't work on it myself, it would be sold. Get some tools and get to learning. Good news is you have already found the best resource to do so, so you are ahead of the game there. I have often said that if Mud wasn't available, I prolly wouldn't own my truck.

For all the alleged work done on that truck, I would be shocked if the seller is making much on it at all at that price. The rust you can see usually pales in comparison to the rust you can't. If the chore list is to be believed, a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done. Thats good news. There will be more, just know that. As @2mountainfish says, be prepared for having everyone asking you about it daily. For all the work needed on these, the fun of driving and talking about it with strangers balances things out pretty well. GLWS and HTH.
 
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Me: I’m always looking for the absolutely perfect needs nothing ready to go cruiser and just hoping the price is low. It’s easy to look for a basket case. My suggestion is find the cleanest problem free FJ60 you can find/afford and then just enjoy it. In a few years if you want something else it will be easier to sell and get your money back.
 
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Devils Paw 80

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Hey everyone, I found a '87 60 and was just hoping for advice from you all on how I can navigate buying my first LC. I am not a mechanic and I have no car repair experience which really hamstrings me. But I cant help my passion for these trucks. And any help from guys with experience will be appreciated.

Preface: I am not looking for a pristine beauty, but something I can use without feeling guilty. But is at the least mechanically sound to be a daily driver.


Asking price is $15k. It seems to me $15k for a "rouge around the edges" 60 series is pretty common? But maybe a expert could assist me on price...
FJ60 ran until '87 before being replaced by FJ62 in '88. The two big questions are: How well does it run and how bad is the rust. As previously mentioned, the repaired shock tube is a red flag for potentially bad news regarding rust. My 62 was far from rust free but the shock tube was fine, for example.
For a new 60 owner with no mechanical experience, my advice is to be selective about what projects you tackle yourself and which ones to hire out. This still requires a good knowledge of the Land Cruiser's mechanical workings and a trusted mechanic to work on it at times.
 
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Just a few updates:
So this seller runs a small shop for foreign specialty cars. He states he drives this 60 personally. It seems like hes trying to sell it, but not with much need/effort. So while he has it, he apparently uses it himself. Now, this sounds good to me. Of course it could also just be smoke.

He also stated that he initially sold it locally to a guy who had it for about 3-6 years (apologies I cant remember) The owner, then decided to get a pristine one off of BaT, and actually sold it back to the shop guy. Figured I should mention this.
 
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And yet still not a single photo of it........
This weekend I drove back up to get some pics and it was no longer in front of his shop...So I assume he drove it home. I am waiting on a response from the guy on why exactly he decided to do all those repairs. As some of the posters were curios about.
 

MoaByte

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This weekend I drove back up to get some pics and it was no longer in front of his shop...So I assume he drove it home. I am waiting on a response from the guy on why exactly he decided to do all those repairs. As some of the posters were curios about.
I understand 😄.
 

MoaByte

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TC was rebuilt because he wanted the five speed. Motor rebuilt because of worn valve guides (likely). Rust fixed because rust and it is still a problem. These are great trucks, but neglect results from having a reputation of being reliable. Also, they were built for a 35 year service life in a third world country. Anything still working needs work, everything that was fixed is questionable to how well the job was done. Honestly, it sounds like a good truck for that price.
 
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lol no
TC was rebuilt because he wanted the five speed. Motor rebuilt because of worn valve guides (likely). Rust fixed because rust and it is still a problem. These are great trucks, but neglect results from having a reputation of being reliable. Also, they were built for a 35 year service life in a third world country. Anything still working needs work, everything that was fixed is questionable to how well the job was done. Honestly, it sounds like a good truck for that price.
Glad to hear you say so.


What portion of the rig would you say are the most important to get pictures of, as well as investigate for rust/corrosion?
 

MoaByte

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Glad to hear you say so.


What portion of the rig would you say are the most important to get pictures of, as well as investigate for rust/corrosion?
Hahaha! I'm lucky to have mostly positive experiences with mine, but if the 60 is in your blood, then you bleed rust. Really, check your drip rails for cracks, rear floor under the seats where the body mounts are, the front floor pans, the windshield welt sealing area, the rear shock mounts(again), the open C-channels at the back of the frame, lower doors and rear quarters, the rocker trim, yeah, expect problems. Also, look for those stupid splice connectors that optimistic electrical geniuses may have had their go. Mechanical stuff is cheap(😆). Body work and paint is another story. Expect and be ready accept some rust issues and don't put them off for too long. Also, the tailgate is prone to rust. Basically, you are about to get married so hope your heart is in it. I have "no regrats" but it's always on my mind and "just another $5k and it will be about there" is a sign of being positive. But as far as cults go, you are joining the best one. 😁
 

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