Recommendations for an aspiring owner

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Mar 30, 2011
Pacific Northwest
Hi, first off, sorry if this is the wrong forum. I know it's a tech oriented forum but I haven't logged on for years and it seems this is one of the more familiar places I am able to post.

As the title states, I am finally looking to buy...again! It has taken a long time to get to this point, but I have time and I have money saved. I did a lot of research about 3 years ago when I started saving and planning. I had to finish my degree which took a great deal of attention so I put the search on hold.

I set out to save about $10k for a reasonable truck that runs and rust free, (at least none in critical spots). I really like the early 70's models but not attached. Has to be manual, preferably 4 speed. And the real topper would be if I could find an Japanese import, BJ40 diesel. I love the idea of having a diesel but know nothing about it.

I am noticing, however, that a lot of trucks seem to be selling for more these days, by about $2-3k. Is my original budget still reasonable? I am looking for something to learn on. And by that I mean I have never done anything with mechanics, but it is something I have wanted to learn for a while. I have a brother in law who is quite skilled so I at least have a place to start. I still welcome internet strangers opinions, however of course!

Thanks in advance for help!
Hi all,

davesun, welcome!

I think US $10K is a good starting budget. You really need to be clear in your mind what is important to you, and what is not.

You mentioned being interested in a BJ40. Be aware that the B diesels are noisy, slow, yet very reliable engines. A turbocharger can help liven-up a 3B a lot, but it is still not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination. The higher fuel mileage of the B diesels is about the only reason to choose one over a F/2F/3F powered 40.

IMO, the most important thing on a 40/45/55 Series Land Cruiser is the condition of the body and frame. Inspect these very carefully, looking for shoddy repairs, bondo jobs, etc.

Good luck!

Thanks Alan!

I guess I was under the impression that diesel components were cheaper, so if in my tinkering, I damage something, less of a consequence. Or am I approaching this incorrectly?
Run Davesun !

Change plans . You made a mistake. Get out while you still can !! Don't buy any Fj40.

Lucky you.

If I were to have my choice, I would go late model '79 or late model '81 with digital clock. Both US spec gassers.
Diesel Cruisers are not cheap by any means to repair and sourcing some parts is a real problem . I'd reserve that for someone with experience although quite a few have gotten by just fine with the help of the 'net and this forum . As said above , they aren't fast and painfully slow to accelerate compared to a good running 2F but the mileage is nice . Diesel is a whole different game for sure .
I'll second Alan's point. Don't underestimate body rust. I thought my rig had no rust until I started looking closer after purchase. There was a 1/2" layer of bondo on the rear quarter panel with mangled body work underneath, a few rust holes under the scrappy bedliner the PO installed, etc. The cost and time investment to fix rust is easy to underestimate! Good luck!

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