Should I invest $20k to $25k in our 08 LC 200? (1 Viewer)

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Oct 26, 2016
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Owned our much enjoyed 08 200 for the last 160k miles, but issues have appeared. It may very well be we simply need a new transmission, as the codes were read by our trusted independent techs, and their opinion is we need a transmission, and some new seals and gaskets on the engine.

They didn’t recommend putting $$$ into it, feeling it better to trade it in and get a newer suv.

Discussed with my wife trading it in on a newer LC or ?, who will do what I decide, but would rather spend the money to fix it up as well as upgrade it, than get a newer suv...

260000 miles, drives as smoothly as it did when we bought it 4 years ago, just goes into Christmas tree light and limp mode too many time where we can’t rely on it anymore.

Rebuilt transmission is $3200 from Toyota...plus labor to R&R it. Thought of pulling engine as well, rebuilding it at same time( expensive) or buy a complete with 28000 to 35000 miles from a salvage yard for $5000 to $5500, feeling we could basically rebuild the major part of the drive train, add a proper Front and rear (ARB or??), new carpet, power steering pump, hoses, belts, Old Man Emu suspension, wheels, lights, etc.... for $20000 to $25000... and have an amazing vehicle for $30000 to $35000 invested ( car value in present condition estimated at $10000..plus/minus....

thoughts???? Some vehicles are simply amazing and built like a tank, and are capable of a million miles....with a transmission or two, and a engine or two as well.. Car simply still drives amazing, and we have always thought of making it a proper Aussie vehicle... seeing first hand how Aussies appreciate true off-roaders...
 

gaijin

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Dec 9, 2012
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Owned our much enjoyed 08 200 for the last 160k miles, but issues have appeared. It may very well be we simply need a new transmission, as the codes were read by our trusted independent techs, and their opinion is we need a transmission, and some new seals and gaskets on the engine.

They didn’t recommend putting $$$ into it, feeling it better to trade it in and get a newer suv.

Discussed with my wife trading it in on a newer LC or ?, who will do what I decide, but would rather spend the money to fix it up as well as upgrade it, than get a newer suv...

260000 miles, drives as smoothly as it did when we bought it 4 years ago, just goes into Christmas tree light and limp mode too many time where we can’t rely on it anymore.

Rebuilt transmission is $3200 from Toyota...plus labor to R&R it. Thought of pulling engine as well, rebuilding it at same time( expensive) or buy a complete with 28000 to 35000 miles from a salvage yard for $5000 to $5500, feeling we could basically rebuild the major part of the drive train, add a proper Front and rear (ARB or??), new carpet, power steering pump, hoses, belts, Old Man Emu suspension, wheels, lights, etc.... for $20000 to $25000... and have an amazing vehicle for $30000 to $35000 invested ( car value in present condition estimated at $10000..plus/minus....

thoughts???? Some vehicles are simply amazing and built like a tank, and are capable of a million miles....with a transmission or two, and a engine or two as well.. Car simply still drives amazing, and we have always thought of making it a proper Aussie vehicle... seeing first hand how Aussies appreciate true off-roaders...

At 260,000 miles, with reliability issues, I think it's time to say, "Thanks for the memories" and move on.

Just my US$0.02.
 

tincan45

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Take the 18-20K you can probably still get and dump the extra cash in a younger model with less miles....assuming you want to stick with a 200.
 
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At 260k, and what it needs. You're in enthusiast territory. It financially doesn't make sense due to the astronomical labour costs that it's going to run you vs the price of buying one that has has 50k miles.

I wouldnt go beyond a new transmission with it.
 

CharlieS

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I don’t quite get to how you got to that high number unless you are adding in all of the optional aftermarket upgrades. If you replace or rebuild your transmission and replace the necessary seals and gaskets on your engine, wouldn’t you be back in a good running problem free cruiser for well under 10 thousand?
 
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Sep 11, 2006
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Signal Mountain, TN
I'd find an independent shop to install the $3200 transmission, (for an additional $1000 or so) and the minimum of seals etc needed for that job. Then drive it a bit and see if the reliability problems are solved. If so, keep on keeping on, if not, sell/trade it and move on.

Another option I'd try with any auto transmission having issues is replace the fluid and see if it improves.... It's a pretty cheap experiment....
 

Sandroad

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Hmm.......a 13 year old vehicle with over a quarter million miles that you can’t rely on anymore and needing a transmission plus engine work. I realize many of us bond with our vehicles and find it hard to move on, but is yours really a good one to start with for a build into a ”proper Aussie vehicle”. I think not.
 

CharlieS

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Of course it would be nice to have a brand new 21 to build from, but that is nowhere near equivalent.

The equivalency is spending the same amount to buy a replacement as you would have to spend to get your current land cruiser back in good running condition.

What vehicle can you buy with $5-10k? How would it compare to your land cruiser in good running condition?

In the current market you can’t touch a 60, 80, 100 or 200 series for that money, even if it was in the same condition as your current vehicle. I looked at a $10k 40 series last week with a rotted out frame and tub... The market is insanely hot right now.

You shouldn’t lump the build costs (bumpers, suspension, etc) into the comparison, since you’d need to spend that money on a new vehicle as well to bring it to the same level of build out. It is irrelevant to the question of whether you should repair your current vehicle.
 
Joined
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I may be wrong what our 200 is worth . Perhaps it best to invest $5500 for a new transmission and seals ....and look into selling it rather than trading it in.

I was guessing at the $10k as trade in.. and would sell it to a private buyer in its present state... It drives beautifully, other than the limp mode encountered often in mornings after sitting overnight. Disconnect battery, and it really boots and is fine rest of day once warmed up.

Better get a second opinion on issue, but with 260k, the transmission recommendation seemed accurate... will take it to Toyota, and see what they say
 

lx200inAR

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I'm not a mechanic and maybe there is more to the story, but if it runs fine after clearing the code, then why does the transmission need to be replaced? Seems like it is and issue with a sensor or control module rather than the transmission. Have you tried one of the bluetooth OBDII tools to clear the limp mode condition? Not that any regular limp mode triggering is serviceable, so I agree that something needs to be fixed, just having trouble wrapping my head around how these two things are tied together.
 

bentonrover

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I'm not a mechanic and maybe there is more to the story, but if it runs fine after clearing the code, then why does the transmission need to be replaced? Seems like it is and issue with a sensor or control module rather than the transmission. Have you tried one of the bluetooth OBDII tools to clear the limp mode condition? Not that any regular limp mode triggering is serviceable, so I agree that something needs to be fixed, just having trouble wrapping my head around how these two things are tied together.
I agree with this. Nothing is broken part time? Good after a reset points to some electrical issues etc. I would hold out and grab another opinion or 2.
 
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Charlotte, NC
I may be wrong what our 200 is worth . Perhaps it best to invest $5500 for a new transmission and seals ....and look into selling it rather than trading it in.

I was guessing at the $10k as trade in.. and would sell it to a private buyer in its present state... It drives beautifully, other than the limp mode encountered often in mornings after sitting overnight. Disconnect battery, and it really boots and is fine rest of day once warmed up.

Better get a second opinion on issue, but with 260k, the transmission recommendation seemed accurate... will take it to Toyota, and see what they say
Reading between the lines here it sounds like you do little to no wrenching yourself (and this is NOT a criticism, just an observation, totally OK!) - and you are definitely into enthusiast/wrench yourself territory with this one (age, mileage). So, you are facing serious costs to deal with some of these issues. However, if she runs and drives beautifully after codes are cleared - I have to agree w/ other posters you likely do not need a new or reman transmission, much more likely some sensor or electronic doo-dad has gone wonky and could be replaced at much less $ than full trans. Maybe. Hopefully. Would have to see the codes.

If the transmission is not slipping, missing shifts, hard shifting, etc - then I'd bet it's not in need of full swap. Unless/until it has to come out to replace the offending part(s). Then you have a great opportunity to reseal the engine. And if you're not doing that yourself - $$$$.

Since this isn't a 'hey I have Code Nxxxx on my Trans has anybody had any luck with these rebuit control units from <blah> - how long did the job take you?' thread I think your answer is move on.
 
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Canton, GA
I attempted a junkyard tranny, guaranteed to work. It didn't. I am out a ton of time and had to fight for all of my money returned. Then I paid 4500 for my transmission to be rebuilt/installed, it had to go back to shop for something with soft shifts. In the mean time I have been chasing other cels (recently found leaking windshield).

If I were to go back in time and give myself advice it would be to move on to another 200. I probably wouldn't take my own advice though.
 
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Is OP in Australia? Is the engine a diesel? 5.7 is darn near perfect gas motor. No clue on longevity of the diesel. Also, tranny failure for 200’s is really, really, low.
One thing that’s often overlooked with Christmas tree dash lights and multiple faults = battery. Low voltage does really weird things to vehicles. How old is the battery.
 
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Littleton, CO
1) If you’re in the US the vehicle is worth far more than $10k.

2) Don’t trade it in unless you’re a very good negotiatior. Most people aren’t with car dealers.

3) Get at least one more solid review from a Toyota expert even if you need to pay $250.

4) If it’s just the tranny fluid you can do it yourself. In fact it should be replaced anyway.

5) If there is an issue with the tramy but not significant, for $10k or less you can replace the entire suspension, fix the issue at hand, replace radiator/pump/idlers/starter/etc, add cool 4x4 gear, new leather....

If I were you, I would obtain a highly-verifiable opinion from a Toyota guy (or gal) then bring that professional opinion to the forum. Several members are Cruiser experts and can probably guide you in the right direction after knowing the biggest issues at play.
 

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