Should I be Skeerd off by a high-mileage '97? (2 Viewers)

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Some guy in Union City has a few 80s, 6 if I counted right. I was going to pull the trigger on his built one (lift, bumpers, triple locked) but we didn't come to a agreement on price. They seemed clean, typical +200K mi, about $10k. He also had a 40th Anniversary, but it seemed like he was trying to sell a image not a used car.
 
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I'm virtually new to the 80s scene, having only owned 40s and a few 60's over the years, but over the weekend, I went to buy some tube doors from a fellow MUD member and was very impressed with his stable of built 80s. So much so, I caught the 80s bug.... like I need another Cruiser (don't we all? :oops: )

And I have been reading the FAQ and stickies and starting to work my way back through this voluminous forum.
As a 80 series newb myself, here's my perspective. I bought a truck with 226K on the clock and a lifetime of deferred maintenance. I knew that going in, but the cost to baseline the truck is not inconsequential. I decided to go with it as it was a one owner truck that has spent its whole life in Texas and has all original paint, body panels and no accidents so it was a really clean example.

However, I'm currently looking at a $5-$6K budget to get the truck to square one. That includes all the leaks (valve cover, distributor, oil pump, oil pan), replacing the dying power steering pump, replacing the worn shocks, springs and steering damper, new tires, flushing the front and rear diff fluids and t-case fluid, and a few odds and ends like weather stripping, CDL switch, etc. This does not include any modification or cosmetic refurbishing like reupholstering the seats (to be fair tho, the driver's seat is the only seat that needs reupholstering).

As you may have noticed in the discontinued parts thread, the major component (transmission, short blocks, etc) part numbers have been discontinued but service parts (belts, hoses, etc.) are available through the dealer or independent vendors like WitsEnd, Cruiser Outfitters, etc. and you have the option of buying the non branded part from the original OE supplier (Denso, Aisin, etc).

If you can do the work yourself, you'll save quite a bit, and my plan is to do what I can myself, but I don't have the space or tools to do the major repairs/service. I think it's easy to get swept up into the romance of these being indestructible mammoths, but the reality is that if they've been neglected (ironically on account of their reputation for dependability being confused for indestructibility) and you're going to spend double or triple the purchase price to undo the neglect the truck has suffered over the last two decades. This isn't to say you shouldn't get into one, it's just that it's an expensive start that will get more difficult over time as more and more parts and resources disappear as the vehicle ages out.
 
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As you may have noticed in the discontinued parts thread, the major component (transmission, short blocks, etc) part numbers have been discontinued

If you can do the work yourself, you'll save quite a bit, and my plan is to do what I can myself, but I don't have the space or tools to do the major repairs/service. I think it's easy to get swept up into the romance of these being indestructible mammoths, but the reality is that if they've been neglected (ironically many have been on account of their reputation for dependability being confused for indestructibility) and you're going to spend double or triple the purchase price to undo the neglect the truck has suffered over the last two decades. This isn't to say you shouldn't get into one, it's just that it's an expensive start that will get more difficult over time as more and more parts and resources disappear as the vehicle ages out.
Fact check: Toyota still sells the factory short block.

Your other points are bang on. Toyotas are no different than other automobiles. They need TLC, some more than others. That's why the 80 series pricing spectrum is so broad and the buying demographic so diverse.

I've said this time and again that in the USA, the 80 is the tip of the LC spear. It's the last of the solid axles while offering just enough luxuries to be able to daily drive it as you would a new 200 series off the lot. I treat mine like a Prius with really shtty mpg.

Here is the Prius getting washed

IMG-2074.jpg


Select the most well maintained, well loved, lowest mileage, latest MY 80 you can find and enjoy the journey. It's really that simple and fun.
 

Feldrian

Full of opinions and expensive ideas
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Feels like this thread veered of topic a little. I certainly wouldn't part with that kind of money for a built 80, unless I actually knew the owner/ truck and even then I'd rather do it myself.

Agreed rust free is worth a premium. I bought my CA/ WA registered 80 ('97 LX) with no rust for $500 with a knocking engine. In your shoes I'd keep looking.
 
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Fact check: Toyota still sells the factory short block.

Your other points are bang on. Toyotas are no different than other automobiles. They need TLC, some more than others. That's why the 80 series pricing spectrum is so broad and the buying demographic so diverse.
Thank you. I stand corrected (clearly still a newb over here).

Great looking truck you've got ... are you on 35s?
 
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37s, thank you! Welcome to the club, glad to have u. Hoping to also welcome the OP in short order.
Thank you for the welcome - I appreciate it. However, to be totally honest, I'm not sure if I'll keep the truck. So far, I've driven it a total of 3 days before the ABS sensors malfunctioned and the front axle made a sound akin to a blender trying to eat a bag of rusty bolts. Not the truck's fault, but the excitement of ownership, and the connection to the truck, has been severely blunted. Since then, it's been in one shop or another for almost two months getting diagnosed and repairs quoted (maybe I picked the wrong shop to start with, but that's another topic) and with every day that passes I question why I wanted a 23 year old truck in the first place.
 
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Thank you for the welcome - I appreciate it. However, to be totally honest, I'm not sure if I'll keep the truck. So far, I've driven it a total of 3 days before the ABS sensors malfunctioned and the front axle made a sound akin to a blender trying to eat a bag of rusty bolts. Not the truck's fault, but the excitement of ownership, and the connection to the truck, has been severely blunted. Since then, it's been in one shop or another for almost two months getting diagnosed and repairs quoted (maybe I picked the wrong shop to start with, but that's another topic) and with every day that passes I question why I wanted a 23 year old truck in the first place.
If you decide to part with it, there maybe a person on this thread who may be interested.

Just saying.....
 
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Just my $0.02. I bought a '94 with 263k miles towards the beginning of summer with the intention of it being my daily driver. I absolutely love the thing. I've wanted an 80 series for years so finding a (mostly) rust-free, West Coast truck in my back yard here in Connecticut was impossible to pass up. I've already put 7k miles on it, but not without throwing some money at the local Toyota parts guy. These things aren't cheap to keep on the road, not because they're unreliable, but because they're old. After 20-25 years rubber is going to dry out and things are going to fall out of spec. To echo everyone here, maintenance is key.

I am a strong believer that if you buy a reliable car that's been well-maintained, miles don't matter. Hell, I daily drove a 2001 Mercedes E55 AMG with 200,000 miles for a while and it was a dream, but the previous owner was certifiably neurotic. My trick for the 80 has been to put money aside as if I'm going to build it out, but know that (on my budget) that's more than likely going to go toward maintenance. And that's okay. I'd rather have a well-running, mostly stock 80 than a beautiful, fully built truck that s*** the bed.
 
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It's also a damn sight more money to pay someone else to do the work than to do it yourself. It's a 23 YO truck. It WILL need work. How much are you willing to put forth? If you think it's an investment, it's not. It's a hobby or a therapy tool, or an obsession, but it's not an investment.
 

Feldrian

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It's also a damn sight more money to pay someone else to do the work than to do it yourself. It's a 23 YO truck. It WILL need work. How much are you willing to put forth? If you think it's an investment, it's not. It's a hobby or a therapy tool, or an obsession, but it's not an investment.
Spot on. I've told my wife that me working on the 80 in the garage is cheaper than therapy, a drinking habit or a divorce. She tends to agree.
 

Spike Strip

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Hi, Work on your own truck and get one that has had regular maintaince. High mileage not a problem with these trucks. Mike
Mike, don't mean anything by this, but just curious ... You have a screen ID, 'Michael Hanson'. Your sig line says, 'Mike Hanson' ... Signing every post with your name seems just a tad superfluous, eh? ;)

Unless, of course, you're running for some kind of Public Office :idea:
 

Comet

Knower of little, master of less.
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Comet is glad you are still looking. Comet thinks you can find a suitable rig that meets Comet’s approval. Comet needs pictures though. Comet gets bored with banter and needs the visual to get Comet over the top.
 

Spike Strip

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Comet, it makes your teeth turn green
Comet, it tastes like Gasoline
Comet, it makes you vomit
So buy some Comet, and Vomit, today!

This is why I want an 80...
 

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