What to look for when purchasing a 70 series (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
516
Location
Los Angeles
Hey guys,

I have the opportunity to pick up a BJ74 for what I think is a pretty good deal ($8k).

It's got 341km on it, some rust, frame seems solid but needs to be wire wheeled. Interior is pretty good. AC doesn't work.

I haven't seen it in person yet, I'm trying to figure out if I want to even think about getting into this.

What things do I look for when checking this thing out? Have zero experience with 13bt's. I know my way around Land Cruisers, but not with 70 series. I want it to be daily driveable.

I'd have to give me up nealy finished fj40 for this. Is this something I want to get into here in the us? With the age of this thing am I just asking for it?

Thanks for any words of wisdom!
 

Gun Runner 5

KI4CMQ
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
17,151
Location
Thomasville, GA
Does the seller have any service history? Mileage isn't always an accurate indicator of condition. I've seen some high mileage Cruisers that were in excellent condition because they were well taken care of and I've seen some low mileage Cruisers that were crap because they weren't. As with most vintage vehicles, rust can be an issue and despite what many claim, it is NOT easily repairable. I been told more than once, that the A/C just needs servicing when the issue was often far more expensive than just freon.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
423
Location
Rockingham NC
Do not recommend that you give up a nearly completed FJ40 for an unknown condition 70.
Unless you just want to start all over and build another Land Cruiser and never drive one….
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
516
Location
Los Angeles
That all makes sense and is standard 4x4 stuff, but thanks for chiming in! I guess to rephrase the question: is there anything specific to 70 series and 13bts that I should have an extra close look at?

The truck is a manual 5 speed with cable lockers, 2.5" lift, some pretty good body armor and 35's. I'd probably redo the suspension because that's my favorite part (keeping it leaf sprung), fix any oil leaks and call it a day.
 

Gun Runner 5

KI4CMQ
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
17,151
Location
Thomasville, GA
That all makes sense and is standard 4x4 stuff, but thanks for chiming in! I guess to rephrase the question: is there anything specific to 70 series and 13bts that I should have an extra close look at?

The truck is a manual 5 speed with cable lockers, 2.5" lift, some pretty good body armor and 35's. I'd probably redo the suspension because that's my favorite part (keeping it leaf sprung), fix any oil leaks and call it a day.
The 13B-T is an old school (proven) powerplant that will provide good reliability and reasonably good fuel economy. Like many older Toyota diesels, parts are becoming a challenge to source.
 

joekatana

GOLD Star
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
4,430
Location
Texas
That all makes sense and is standard 4x4 stuff, but thanks for chiming in! I guess to rephrase the question: is there anything specific to 70 series and 13bts that I should have an extra close look at?

The truck is a manual 5 speed with cable lockers, 2.5" lift, some pretty good body armor and 35's. I'd probably redo the suspension because that's my favorite part (keeping it leaf sprung), fix any oil leaks and call it a day.


A 13BT powered 5 speed with cable lockers for 8K ? Dude if you are not jumping on to this please let me know where it is and I buy it sight unseen!

Just my 2 cents......and cash in hand

Joe
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
1,857
Location
Norwich, VT
8K does seem cheap…."some rust" Bj74 vs. "nearly finished" FJ40

Some rust = means different things to different people

nearly finished = same deal

You are definitely "asking for it"

Could you please be a little more vague?

Why is your cruiser a hog beast? Just curious…...
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
611
Location
Sunshine Coast,QLD
Fj40. Cool and plenty of them in US market, bj74 cooler and rarer in US market, 8k inc lockers, it's a good start, you can always work on the rust, 13bt, very reliable, and fun to drive , and with a growing gaggle of US owners of 74's you will have help in finding parts & accessories.
You won't be dissapionted, go for it
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
1,857
Location
Norwich, VT
8K does seem cheap…."some rust" Bj74 vs. "nearly finished" FJ40

Some rust = means different things to different people

nearly finished = same deal

You are definitely "asking for it"

Could you please be a little more vague?

Why is your cruiser a hog beast? Just curious…...

Sorry…Too harsh. I find the 70 to be an awesome size and really fun rig to drive. Rust will be a challenge with either rig.
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
516
Location
Los Angeles
Nah, just tough Cruiser Love...


Haha love it! No worries stayalert. I've been battling rust with my FJ40 since day one. With this I'd probably just carve out the rear fenders and be done with it. I have friends who do body work, if I needed any help with that I'd just do it right. I've daily driven my FJ40 until these last couple of years (toddler) and it's about to get its final round of work before I call it doneish enough to stop obsessing for a while.

How does everyone feel about the 200k miles on a JDM rusty rig? My FJ40 has 150k and is still chugging along like a happy tractor, but it's been in my possession for 50k of those miles. I know my way around a 2F, a 13BT not so much. I'll poke around it this week.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
830
Location
GMT (+3)
How does everyone feel about the 200k miles on a JDM rusty rig? My FJ40 has 150k and is still chugging along like a happy tractor, but it's been in my possession for 50k of those miles. I know my way around a 2F, a 13BT not so much. I'll poke around it this week.

I think the 70 series trucks I've had a look at overseas are similar to the domestic Land Cruisers as far as condition and mileage goes.
If you're looking at late 1980's trucks, they're comparable to 60's and 62's as far as how worn is worn out. 300K taken care of vs 100K neglected, it's the same math.
 
Last edited:

gofast

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,092
Location
Peachland, BC
Not sure if you bought it but here's pain points I found in my 70's ownerships.

Rear "rocker" and pinch weld behind the rear wheels is a trouble area, so is the rear wheel arch. Check the windshield frame for rot too. The 13BT factory turbo's need attention early - expect to pay to have them rebuilt. Find out when the injectors were done last too.

Look for frame rot on the round tubular cross member.

If for any reason the head was off, find out it they used OEM gasket or not. I've seen two aftermarket failures in the last two years.

jack up the truck and look for excessive play on wheel bearings.

wire hacks etc - avoid 12v taps

AGM batteries in 24v with 12v converter systems don't do well the loads don't balance right between batteries. It took me two sets before I figured out that they failed early

pull the tail lights and look in the body cavity - might be able to tell if its been hit and had an accident or not.

check to see if door panels line up with the body.

Don't be distracted on the coolness - look for missing clips, covers, bolts etc.
 

gofast

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,092
Location
Peachland, BC
There was a real rush of JDMs coming to Canada about 10 years ago. My very good friend-a toyota master tech who graduated to his own business spent a lot of time working on these. I was lucky and got to be his helper. Most trucks were low km too and the rougher ones got parted, good examples were converted to LHD, JDM frame swaps etc.

Turbos were sent in semi frequently for rebuild -they typically had shaft play. Not every truck had this issue but enough so that it made sense from a PM point of view if trouble was suspected or oil leaking.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom