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NEWB looking for a cruiser

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Kyle, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Kyle

    Kyle

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    Hi All. As the title states I'm a newB looking for a 95-97 cruiser. Mainly because it's in my price range and you can't beatem. I'm looking in the 12-16K price range and my only demand is it have lockers front and rear. I notice someone saying something about how these are prone to fail. What is it that causes them to fail and how fixable are they? Also, what do I need to look out for when looking for a cruiser. What are warning signs or what problem seems to be a re-occuring problem that I should expect and watch out for (besides gas mileage) with a cruiser.


    Any pointers that you all could give me while looking for one would be great. Where I live there isn't much to choose from, so I've been basically searching E-bay. For example, in my area I've found a 96 going for 12,500 OBO with 120K miles.

    Right now my search has narrowed to either a Cruiser like is stated above, or a 96-2000 4Runner (also with a rear locker) ;)
     
  2. 80and100cruisers

    80and100cruisers SILVER Star

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    Cruisers prone to fail? I think you are confusing them with heeps. :doh:


    -Matt
     
  3. MTNRAT

    MTNRAT

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    From what I have seen the factory front and rear lockers are very reliable. If they have rarely or never been used, they will need a little exersize on a loose surface to get them working properly. Check out www.sleeoffroad.com for a tech article on how to rebuild the locker actuators and other related 80s stuff. Also check out the newbies guide on that site as well.
    BTW the difference between a LC and a 4 Runner is night and day. The LC is in a different league. Just cuz they are labled SUVs don't make them the same.
    Cheers,
    Sean
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Kyle,
    The OEM lockers on the 93-97 FZJ80's are both front and rear. You may see some sellers indicating their vehicle has "locking diff." This is a true statement because all 80 series sold in the North American market had a center differential that is lockable. The front and rear locking axles was an option sold on a few FZJ80's. Nobody knows for sure but best guesses are that about 7% came with the option.

    There have been very few reported problems with the factory F&R diff locks. Some get rusty from lack of use. Some get the wiring harness beat up on the rocks. These reports are few and far between so don't think they are "prone to failure."

    Read Christo's updated newbie guide because he added a section on how to buy a used 80. Good stuff and no sense in repeating it here.

    Read the archives here and on the SOR archive link above; then fire away with newbie questions!

    -B-
     
  5. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    Speaking of prone to fail, check the head gasket on any '95 to '97 you're thinking of buying.
     
  6. Kyle

    Kyle

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    Yes I know the 4Runner and Landcruiser are totally different animals. If it weren't for the gas mileage, the 4Runner wouldn't even be in the running. For about a year or two I'll be using whatever I buy as basic transportation. In the future however, it will be come more of a toy, no pun intended.

    Where is this nooby guide located at? I was looking around the forums, but could not find it. If you could point me in the direction that would be great!

    Also, does anyone know what causes the head gasket to fail? I know the 3.0's in the old supra's and in the 90+ trucks/4Runners had it bad, and it was a poor design so toyota was taking the hit on a lot of them. But how common and or what causes this on the Landcruiser?

    Thanks for the help
     
  7. wob

    wob

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  8. Kyle

    Kyle

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    Thankyou for the link!

    I read through everything there and got some good general tips.

    So I see a cruiser in the local paper for 12,500. It has 119K miles, what are your thoughts around here on this? Is this too many miles? It would be optimal for me to grab one with more like 75-80K miles for about $15K, but then I've never owned a landcruiser. I know my 4Runner that my dad bought new and gave to me a while back has 250K miles and has never had the valve cover off, and nothing more than 1 clutch put in it as far as mainenence goes. I know this is much more the exception than the rule, but as a rule of thumb, how long would you expect a cruiser to run before the mainenence began outweighing the benefit of having it? Maybe that's not clear, I just would like to know if it's worth another 3 thousand or so dollars to get a cruiser with say 20 or 30,000 less miles on it? Also, how strong are the auto Trannies in these things? One thing I was spoiled with in the 4Runner is the 5 speed trans, so I never have had any issues with it.

    Thanks
    :cheers:
     
  9. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    kyle, what's on your avatar, a reatta??

    back in the day -- :)

    eric
     
  10. Kyle

    Kyle

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    My avator is my old obsession, my turbocharged AWD eagle talon that I dumped loads and loads and loads of money into. Time to move on now, it's sold (well, I have the deposit anyway, so I doubt he backs out). The avator is what I use on a different chat board where the size is very limited. I need to get me a new one I know.

    Anyhow, since i'm taking up bandwidth, I'll ask another question. What's the recommended change on the timing belt (or is it a chain). I know my 4runner is still going strong with the original! Also, is the engine an interference engine or not? I just rebuilt the one for my car, so I do know a little about engines and am not afraid to work on them, just wondering for my purchase negotiations however.
     
  11. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    [quote author=Kyle link=board=2;threadid=6102;start=msg49044#msg49044 date=1065709378]
    My avator is my old obsession, my turbocharged AWD eagle talon that I dumped loads and loads and loads of money into. Time to move on now, it's sold (well, I have the deposit anyway, so I doubt he backs out). The avator is what I use on a different chat board where the size is very limited. I need to get me a new one I know.

    Anyhow, since i'm taking up bandwidth, I'll ask another question. What's the recommended change on the timing belt (or is it a chain). I know my 4runner is still going strong with the original! Also, is the engine an interference engine or not? I just rebuilt the one for my car, so I do know a little about engines and am not afraid to work on them, just wondering for my purchase negotiations however.
    [/quote]

    there's a timing chain, so no worries there, though front steering knuckle repack (and rears) is the critical element on 80s -- hopefully done every 70K !!

    eric
     
  12. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    [quote author=Kyle link=board=2;threadid=6102;start=msg49019#msg49019 date=1065703508]

    Also, does anyone know what causes the head gasket to fail? I know the 3.0's in the old supra's and in the 90+ trucks/4Runners had it bad, and it was a poor design so toyota was taking the hit on a lot

    [/quote]

    Not quite accurate,
    Head gasket issues seem to stem from the push to remove Asbestos as a compound used in head gaskets. It took several tries by more than one automaker to come up with suitable substitutes for Asbestos. The early 3.0 V6's with Asbestos compounds in the head gaskets did not have the gasket issues of the later engines. We had 2 '89 V6 parts trucks that were retired from service with well over a quarter million hard miles on both. No head gasket problems with either one.

    D-
     
  13. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    I wouldn't be so fast to discount the cruisers with 100+K on them. With proper care, these rigs can easily go 250K or more. Heck, I bought mine with 172K on it, and it's one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned!

    -H-
     
  14. Desertmaster

    Desertmaster

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    I just met a 92 LC owner down in South Carolina as I was on a business trip in a rest area off of the highway that I was travelling and we struck a brief conversation about LC's. to my shock he had 460K on the odo without a major repairs at all, he was the first owner.........Do I have to say more ?


    Al
     
  15. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Kyle,

    >> So I see a cruiser in the local paper for 12,500. It has 119K miles, <<
    >> what are your thoughts around here on this? Is this too many miles? <<

    That's not too many miles. Price vs value is hard to judge via a forum and with limited info on the truck. Give us more info on options, prior maint hist, and current condition.

    >> ... but as a rule of thumb, how long would you expect a cruiser to run
    >> before the mainenence began outweighing the benefit of having it?

    Never. That's not being sarcastic, it's just that some FJ40's will run forever and the same with our 80 series.

    >> Also, how strong are the auto Trannies in these things?

    Depends... :D

    Seriously, both available automatic transmissions (North America only got the autos) are very strong and it is unlikely that you will have any serious transmission problems if the tranny received normal maintenance. Even if it saw heavy use as a tow vehicle or use off-road or any other abuse (other than lack of maintenance.)

    -B-
     
  16. 410225

    410225

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    Well Kyle,
    I bought my 97LC about a month ago and paid 15k with 109k miles on it. I bought it off the used car dealer and checked the carfax for history. It was one owner car and he bought 100series. Dealer installed Center locker, 3CD in dash changer for me. I have checked with Toyota main frame to see the service history and PO brought his LC to dealer and had all the records. Older gentlemen.
    It is going to be really depends on how previous owner treated his vehicle. You can buy 92 soild LC with 250k mi with proper maintenance or you can 97 with 100k miles with c :-Xpy maintenance done. you are buying a machine and machine needs regular maintenance and repair. You are buying a used machine on top of that.
    History of maintenance - make sure you have proper maintenance history.
    Drive and feel the car - Make sure no funny noises heard.
    check underside and engine for leaks. - Especially CV joints, Diff, tranny.
    Check the tailgate to see for rust.- Prone area for rust is the underside of hatch.
    I used to have 94LC and I am coming back because I just love this vehicle.
    Good luck.
     
  17. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    [quote author=410225 link=board=2;threadid=6102;start=msg49167#msg49167 date=1065726613]
    Dealer installed Center locker, [/quote]

    This is a mis-type, Kyle -- but the 3CD thingie isn't... :D
     
  18. Kyle

    Kyle

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    Thanks for the help once again. I haven't called the guy in my area about the landcruiser, I just don't want to call and bother him until I have cash in hand (which hopefully will be sometime next week). Anyway, if I can think of any more questions, I'll be sure and post them up!

    Thanks again
    :cheers:
     
  19. Kyle

    Kyle

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    Well I called and checked on the cruiser in my local area, here's what I found. The guy I spoke with seemed like he was only 1/2 way interested in speaking with me and seemed like he was in his mid 20's. He said he bought the car from an auto auction his buddy had held about 4 years ago. It has basically all options including the front and rear lockers. He said he doesn't know if it's ever been wrecked, doesn't know about the title, doesn't know about the mainenence, etc., his wife "take is down to some guy on 102"...what a goob. Anyhow, here's more bad news. Driver's side mirror doesn't work, the driver's seat has some wear on it, in fact is torn but he has sheep skin covers (YUCK!!!) on the seat. He's used the vehicle to tow his 20 foot boat in the past. It's been his wife's truck since they've had it and she wants a new on is the story I get.

    From gathering all this, I think the most I would offer for this thing is about 10K, and that's after I find out if the title's clean and it needs no immediate attention. I'm sorry, but my sports car had 155K hard miles on it and the everything worked, the seats had slight wear but NO where near tearing, and it was a Mitsubishi for gosh sakes.

    What are some of you all's takes on this?