Potential purchase: 1985 BJ73 (1 Viewer)

Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Tacoma, WA
Hello Mud,

Stumbled upon this BJ73 for sale locally and was looking for some feedback from the community. Will be looking to keep this as my weekend and local ride with my LJ78 being my daily driver. I like the idea of the SWB or MWB as my next Cruiser and the all manual setup is appealing to me.

My initial thought was wait for a HZJ73 to pop up, but looking at current market prices it's a big jump in price. I get the appeal of having a more modern engine for parts, but damn. The allure of the HZJ73 is there and I will need some patience in looking.

This BJ73 is local, that's a big selling point. Also with it being a 1985, it's an older one and has that classic all brown look inside. But looks to be some rust on the rear quarters. Understanding the 3B, a turbo would be first on the list after shoring up the routine maintenance and confirming it's turbo ready.

Will be checking it out in person in a few hours, so more to come. Initial thoughts? What are some specifics to look for with the 3B?

1985 BJ73
236,690 km
Manual Transmission
Non-factory paint
AC/Heat
~$20,000

Many Thanks,
Jordan


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Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
654
Location
Everett, Wa
This one has been for sale for a while. The seller has it listed as a BJ70, which as you pointed out its actually a BJ73 (a JDM one at that, with the RHD)

I think at $23k they are asking a little too high. There appears to be decent surface rust on the frame from the photos. I would be curious to check out the whole underside and see what condition its in. There are also rust spots showing on the paint which means there is rust underneath. They are notorious for rust/rot in the windshield frame. Interior is in good shape so that is nice.

Since you are local, I would see if they will allow for a 3rd party inspection. Torfab up in Everett is the local go-to Land Cruiser shop. They are busy I believe, but should be able to do a pre-buy inspection. I would have them check the compression on the 3b and just a general once over for issues.
 
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Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Tacoma, WA
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yea, my gut reaction was the same with the price, and confirmed when looking more detailed through the photos. $20k is my ceiling, so that might take it off the table immediately with the seller. The more I looked at it, the more that $20k seemed high.

Definitely an option to reach out to Torfab, I feel like that would be the best route. Might reach out if it's worth any sort of second look.
 
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
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SLC, UT
It looks pretty crusty and I personally wouldn't be a buyer at half of that price, unless the interior was 100% complete and perfect.

Having gone head to toe through a BJ73, I can tell you the 3B is definitely getting really hard to get parts for and some of them are down right non-existent. To add a turbo you'll want to take the head off and check things out. Pre-cups are almost certainly going to be cracked and need to be replaced, but if the head is cracked you'll end up in a spiral. The large valve heads are unobtanium unless you want to roll the dice with Chinesium (and still may end up with the wrong head and poor castings).

Things I would be worried about:
Clearly issues with rust underneath an aftermarket paint job is a big red flag for me.
Surface rust on frame isn't terrible, but will need to be dealt with.
Skid plate has significant rust makes the rest of the underbody suspect.
Looks like it is missing rear headrests and roll bar/seatbelts for rear seat.
Knuckles need to be rebuilt (not a big deal but for the money it is one more issue and shows a general lack of maintenance)
Thats just a quick short list, I'm sure I could come up with more if I looked longer.
 

TonyP

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Joined
May 5, 2014
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5,460
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South Korea
My opinion, as much as I dig the FRP Top 73, $20K is far too much for a 3B with rusty rockers and rear quarters.
If it was re-painted and already has rust showing, it probably wasn't painted properly and you're opening yourself up for a world of hurt.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
43
Location
Tacoma, WA
Oh boy was it a mess. Positive is that I got to check out the dims and feel of a 73, really like it. The FRP is sweet, but not too sure if it would be a proper match with the Pacific northwest. Better maintained, perhaps.

This one in particular, I agree with most who chimed in, was worth half the asking price at best. Rust throughout, couldn’t get it to start, puddles on the floorboard, you name it.

Thanks to all who chimed in, reassured my gut feeling on this. Well, the search continues. Damnit, I want a winner!
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
654
Location
Everett, Wa
If it makes you feel better I have been looking for 6 months now for a "project" Bj73 and locally the only options have been that one and one that was swiss cheese. Hang in there, one will show up for both of us, haha. If you are not opposed to the RHD that opens up 74-series (with a 13bt motor) and you can find those in BC with similar rust in your price range.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
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Location
Tacoma, WA
Makes me feel better-ish. Misery loves company but my wallet doesn't appreciate competition haha. My current ride is RHD, definitely keeping it as an option for the next one and might be sick enough in the head to prefer it!

Owning my LJ is a lesson learned in many ways and one of those is to ask around before throwing money down. More and more I'm leaning towards saving a bit more and waiting for the HZJ.

Will be looking forward to the border opening up; I have seen a couple up there but was hesitant to move forward given the circumstances. Someday soon, hopefully.
 

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