For Sale Need purchase advice asap please! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 19, 2019
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Hatfield, pa
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United States
I'm hoping a folks here can help me out asap as I'm considering buying this BJ40 tomorrow but I'm having some second thoughts. I'd like to know what you think. You don't have to read my whole post if you dont' want, you could look at the quick write up in this next paragraph and look at photos and share you thoughts. If you read the entire post you'll get a better idea of what I'm looking for. My basic question is this, is this truck worth the amount I'm looking to spend on it (listed for $18,500 but I'm getting it for a fair bit less than that). I'm asking for honest opinions based on what I'm paying. I'm not looking for someone to nit pick each and everythign about it. It's BJ40 that I acquire in the $10k to $20k range. It's not going to be perfect.

Quick write up

I'm considering buying this 1978 BJ40. It came from Costa Rica where it got a basic body restoration (about what you'd expect from a Costa Rican body restoration) then was shipped to California for a mechanical restoration then on to the current owner on the East Coast. The "restoration" happened 1.5 years ago. The owner doesn't know much about it, isn't a big enthusiast, just bought it on a whim and now doesn't have room to store it. It's overall in decent shape. The interior is extraordinary and done with full interior top lining, custom leather seats, etc. True mileage is unknown (5 digit OD). Everything works, needs nothing. Just had brakes all redone, stops on a dime. It's listed for $18,500 but I'm getting it for a fair bit less than that.

Why I'm concerned

It has three things that have come to light just today after I've been looking at and talking to the seller for a few weeks.

1) It starts hard in the very cold. If it's been sitting for some time then he tries to start it, it takes 2 or 3 tries with the starter turning for about 10 to 15 seconds each try
2) It smokes when it starts, not a tiny bit and it does go away after a couple of minutes of warming up but when it does start cold, it's sending out a decent cloud
3) The rust. It has a few spots of rust showing, they don't seem major to me but they aren't anything either
4) My main concern is the sound of the engine. I realize this is a diesel and this is an old engine but it seems to make quite a racket. Am I off on this? Here is the video
More details on me

1. I'm a risk taker, anyone buying a BJ/FJ is taking a risk unless you want to spend $75k for a frame off restoraiton HOWEVER, i'm more comfortable with risk than most. I do have money to fix things when they go wrong even worst case situations like an engine rebuild if necissary. You may say, "why not just spend $25k or $30k and get one with less risk". It's not a simple answer but let me answer it simply like this, my wife and I agreed this is what we want to spend (under $20k) and we'll deal with issues as they come up.

2. I am NOT a purist, let me repeat, I am NOT a purist. I don't care about original parts or US spec vs SA spec. I want something that looks good and runs ok.

3. I won't put many miles on this vehicle. It's a third car for us, I work from home too. It'll see 2500 to 5000 miles per year and I ONLY intend to keep it for a couple of years unless I fall in love. I'll look to sell it to someone like me, a non purist.

4. I'd rather not debate things like "should I get a diesel"? or "Is a BJ/FJ the right vehicle", etc. I've done a fair amount of reasearch. I'm def getting an FJ/BJ and prefer the diesel but not dogmatic about it, if I found a nice FJ I'd by that.

5. I don't lack for looking. I've been scouring Facebook, Craigslist, Offerup, IH8Mud and any and all other sources all over the country to find a vehicle.

Pics being posted in a minute
 
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Here is the listing


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swamp-thing

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i think you’re seeing a small part of the rust.... just give it a little while and you’ll see a lot more, especially since some of those spots aren’t really your typical cruiser rust spots.

Rust on the chrome door hinge? Meh.

You pointed out some reasons why a costa rican restored cruiser is potentially a ticking time bomb... cool color.

Good luck
Why not just tell us the purchase price? Maybe seem less of a risk if it was only 5k haha
 

M1A1cruiser

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As a new(ish) owner of a SA BJ40 I'll offer a quick opinion.

Check thoroughly for bondo. I didn't. I don't exactly regret it, but it was a surprise and I'm uncovering more significant rust than I thought I would. Not a big deal. I like the work. I like the journey more than the destination. And, like you, I like the risk. But I also paid less than half what you're talking about there so I also don't mind the work.

Those areas of rust you point out might be a good thing. If you can actually *see* the spots, perhaps it means that all the other rot hasn't merely been mudded over.

As far as a hard starting, smokey diesel.... that might be as simple as not warming the glow plugs enough before starting. I'm far from a diesel expert, but I've done enough research to know that glow plugs (and the various methods to control them on early cruisers) are finicky things.

Sounds like you've made your decision, and I can't imagine anyone who isn't physically there telling you anything that would talk you out of it. Which is as it should be. If you want it, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Buy what you want. Enjoy tinkering with it. The forum will help regardless of whether you overpay for a rust bucket, or get a steal of a mostly restored South American diesel.

Hope to help,
Travis.-
 

M1A1cruiser

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I spent a moment on the CL ad.

Have a close look at this point, where the top/sides meet the tub in the rear.

It looks to me like you might find one of the same "modifications" that I found, in that the top has been welded to the tub. Under that nice new paint is a little plate of steel that attaches the top to the tub. This is an issue for a couple reasons. 1. This is a notoriously rusty spot, and if just welding it together and painting over it was the solution that could be hiding a bigger issue. 2. you obviously won't be able to take the top off. Now, you can argue that you never would anyway, and that's fine. But, back to number 1., this may be indicative of other patches (front floor pans, rear sill, etc.) that might not be what you want.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 6.33.34 PM.png


I did read your post, and I'll say again, buy what you want. If you're not ever gonna take it apart or do significant work to it, and are just gonna drive it for a couple years and sell it, who cares if there are some "bad" (in one guy's opinion) repairs. It'll drive down the road with the top on juuuuuust fine. But, you asked, and that's been my experience. If you're worried at all about rust (and/or previous, questionable-quality repairs.... hello South American cruiser) then I'd look very closely at all the nooks and crannies.

Again, just hope to help.
TDC.-
 
Joined
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That’s a 4-5k state side truck. And they don’t sell that fast at that price point.

In my opinion


Honestly I think you should run away from it.
You can swap entire drivetrains (motor,tranny,axles etc) less than it costs to deal with that kinda rust and repaint.
 
Joined
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Ok. Full disclosure. I can get it for $16,500

You could find a broker or someone on here to get you a Costa Rica one for 1/3 that price and in better shape. Then pay a grand or 2 maybe 3 to get it titled and to you.

People go down there pay around 3k for those in much better shape. Several threads of people taking the adventure down to get one. Or using someone they met here to do it.


I’d be interested to see what they did to rebuild the motor and trans. I’m guessing good probability dirty fluid in them from not being changed since one of the Bushes was the president.

The biggest rules of buying one of these I’ve learned is run away from body rust there’s always more you can’t see than can see. See the vehicle in person first.
 
Joined
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That has all the signs of a serious rust bucket. I would not pay more than 7k for that.. I would pass if I were you.. my 2c
 
Joined
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I think you will have headache every winter with cold start. I don't have experience with Toyota diesel engine, but I have good experience with VW T2 diesel, back to 90's. It sound exactly as T2 on your video. I only what to tell you what this engine need more attention.
 
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I’d be concerned about the motor-hard cold start and smoke are two signs that the motor is tired. I would make a few calls and find out how much a rebuild would cost, If anyone stateside would rebuild it....
 
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I think engine a bit louder than normal. My BJ70 with 3B wasn’t so noisy. It also fired right up and didn’t smoke when cold. But then, it came from Ontario Canada, a lot colder than my location in Alaska.
Could be a lot of rust under new paint, who knows. I like the color and interior work.
 

777Gage

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FYI - The following ad isn't what you're looking for. But this is a deal....(no affiliation, just came across it)
At $1500 and even that's negotiable......perfect price! Build whatever you can dream up a 40 to be.
 

yotadude520

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I agree with the others, there are much better cruisers out there for the money. There was a really clean, 2 owner 78 40 with no rust in Tucson that just sold for $20k. This is not worth the $18k, or $16k. I would maybe consider buying it at $8k.

I understand that you just want something to drive and enjoy and it won't see much use - and that's fine. But I genuinely think you can do better than this especially with your budget. Look at @447xpro's 40 - that thing is in much nicer shape and is from a forum member.

 
Joined
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I agree with the others, there are much better cruisers out there for the money. There was a really clean, 2 owner 78 40 with no rust in Tucson that just sold for $20k. This is not worth the $18k, or $16k. I would maybe consider buying it at $8k.

I understand that you just want something to drive and enjoy and it won't see much use - and that's fine. But I genuinely think you can do better than this especially with your budget. Look at @447xpro's 40 - that thing is in much nicer shape and is from a forum member.



I'd love to buy it if he'll take high teens but he says high 20's
 

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