Newbie Questions

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Jan 4, 2004
Houston, TX
Been lurking for the last few days as I have begun the search to purchase a Cruiser. I am looking for some advice to help narrow down my search in this pursuit. Here is some background info about me to help

This Cruiser will be my daily driver
needing to last me about 3 years (as a daily driver)
I drive around 30k miles a year (mostly highway)
will have about 13K to spend, want to buy something for ??-10K and have the rest for fix ups/repairs over the time frame
like the looks of the 40's
from reading think a 60/62 maybe better

anyone use a 40 as a daily driver?

Any help is appreciated, If I need to give more info lemme know


You can use a 40 as a daily driver, BUT if you drive 30K miles a year and it is mostly highway, for your money you should get a mid to late 90's 80. The 40 is great, but not built for comfort or long term highway driving. Though I do drive mine on the highway to work 1 or 2 days a week (20 miles one way) and its not a problem.
What you might want to do is buy a highway vehicle for business and buy a 40 for a Toy. My 40 is an extra vehicle and my Toy.

That's my opinion. I know you will get lots of others.

I agree with romer.. 30k is a lot of miles in a year. You could spend 7K on a "highway car" and pick up a 40 toy for ~ 6 and still have a play toy. Gas mileage on cruiser is not real good.

Read the Cruiser Maintenance Thread in this same forum. There is a lot of information and discussion between the 60 and 80 series.

ANY SUV is going to have significantly lower gas mileage, be much noisier and have higher maintenance than an small car. I do long trips with my '82 BJ60 but it is deisel (better mileage), 5 speed (lower engine speed and quieter), and meticulously maintained (keeps maintenance costs down 'cause it's cheaper to tweak something than replace it).
If you've got the $$$ get a highway car and keep the 'Cruiser for fun!
I have a 60. I love her to death, but the MPG totally blows a big fat harry. youre gana get about 14 MPG if you drive it like an old man. Right now, Im totally trying to get one of those little toyota vans from the 80's to drive to alaska as the fuel consumption is a big deal when it comes to 5000 miles. I would totally do what nocents said. buy a nice 7K MR2 or celica and then get an old 40 for about 6G to have fun with. If i had the cash, thats what i would totally do. If your totally set on getting an LC as a daily driver, go for an 80.

if you have questions about fuel economy visit
really don't have the option of getting a car, some of the driving I do is on backa--wards dirt country roads, and when it rains (even when it is not wet) wouldn't be able to get through some of the stuff in a car. and as for the gas mileage, the company picks up that tab when I am traveling for business, As of now I have a 2000 tahoe (with 96K) and that mpg is rated at 16 high/12 city so that shouldn't matter much

As for the 80 series when does "mid" 90's start, found a 92 w/89k for $10.5, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have read some things about the electronics issue being a pain, but I have just started to learn about cruisers so.....I have also seen some 80 series for sale with 230k+ for sale

part of the reason I am wanting to have some cash on hand is that the wife is going to grad school and we will be on one income and should something come up wanted to have some cash in the pocket, but if I could find a good 80 series that would last me for the two years that would be good, what is the reliabililty/durability of it lasting 100K starting at 95-120K?

Thanks for the replies, if this info is already somewhere sorry for the doubling up, just tell me where it is.
[quote author=zuluzeugma link=board=1;threadid=9639;start=msg84668#msg84668 date=1073275426]
I have a 60. I love her to death, but the MPG totally blows a big fat harry.[/quote]

I am going to totally learn a whole new language from you youngsters. :D
There was a big change in the 80 series in 93 - more powerful motor, better brakes, etc., so you want to look for a 93-97 FZJ80. They had optional locking differentials during those years, so you should look for that. The 91 and 92 FJ80's have the same engine as the FJ62, which is a GREAT engine, but underpowered for those trucks, as they weigh about 400 pounds more than an FJ62, which is already slooow.

An FJ62 or 91-92 FJ80 makes a great daily driver and has the combination of long distance comfort and off road capability that you are looking for. It's just that the 93-97 FZJ80 is even better at both things, and everything else.

For more info:
You might want to seriously look at the 4runners. I believe you would get better gas mileage than a big 80 series and if it's mostly just for you than you will have more than enough room. I like the older 4runners.
anyone know of a place in Austin, TX to take a cruiser to have it checked out before I buy one? any idea how much this should cost?
Have you considered a early 80's toy pickup? 5 spd 4 banger. Them little buggers run forever. 3 or 4k and you'd be set for awhile. Won't be pretty but it'll get you there and back.

I'm gonna start driving my 77 40 as a daily driver as soon as I sell my gay jetta (don't ask). I've driven it to work quite a few times. It's not comfortable but I'm only 20 miles from work. I know it'll always get me home that's the beauty of a cruiser, but i'm not always sure what speed I'll be going. I have a lead foot but I try to keep the 40 down around 50- 55 most of the time to prevent fatigue on the motor.

I would highly recomend some sort of second vehicle. If you want to really enjoy and experience a cruizer you've got to spend some time wrenching and creating your perfect beast. But, if you just want a vehicle I'd recomend a 60/62 with a automatic. Pick one up off some old man with under a 100k miles and you'll be set.

If you want to build up your perfect rig then I would definetly say whatever it is start with bone stock. Otherwise you may end up replacing some home made shackles with 1/4" bolts bent about 20 degrees that you never noticed when you bought the rig....

I'm done, good luck.
My suggestion would be to by a brand NEW Hyndai w/ 100,000 mile war. for under $8,000 and by an older 40 to fix up.

I love my cruiser and there is nothing better than taking the top off in the summer and running as a daily driver. But it was -4 last night and don't care how well my heater works (and it works well) the cruiser is to drafty.

Like some have said, part of the enjoyment is wrenching on the cruiser. That is hard to do when you have the "gotta get it done by monday" deadline haning over your head.


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