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Old 10-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
Ranger159 OP
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Question Question about 97' Toyota Land Cruiser

OK, not sure if this is the right place to ask, but if It's not someone will correct me, and I shall haze myself for the transgression.

So, here is the situation, I am looking to pick up a older truck that I can take out in the back country with the family. I've come across a 97' Land Cruiser with 223K miles on it and everything is in working order. No leaks, drips or squeaks other then the obvious wear of a vehicle with 17 years. Underside is good, no off evidence of off road damage. The private party is asking 4600.00, which is just about median price according to KBB. Just wondering if there are any Toyotas Savvy inmates out there that can give some insight. The only issue that I can find lays with the clear coat on the roof of the vehicle, it is failing and has peeled off over the front half of the truck. The to me seems like a seemingly simple thing to repair, I had a mid 90's Ford with a similar issue, and have seen several cars/trucks from the 90's exhibit the same problem.

Any insight would be helpful, all of my Google-Fu has turned up that the LC's are pretty solid and have seen mileage out past the 300K mark.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:35 AM   #2
tominboise
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http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/

Check out the link above first and foremost. I have a 97 LX450 (same thing as yours but with thicker leather on the seats). That many $$ is probably high for that many miles. I think you should be looking at $2500-3000 range. It all depends on the maintenance records available. If it's been well maintained, everything works and it has locking axles front and rear, then the price is more reasonable around $3500-4000. But, your local market may demand higher prices. I don't know where you are.

Big things to looks for, among others, are headgasket leaks, front axle birfield joints leaking, any unknown CEL that show up (the EGR system can be a bit problematic). Cheapest way to go is to be very handy with a wrench.

All that said, they are a tough truck and will run many, many miles in harsh conditions with minimum maintenance. I don't plan on selling mine anytime soon.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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LC's are rock solid and having owned 4 LC's, just keep in mind the cost can be significant for quality replacement parts like engines.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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I have a 96 with 235k miles. Best vehicle I've ever owned. Price sounds reasonable- especially if maintained right. I would check on Ih8mud.com to see if anyone is in your area and would check it out with you. Most guys there would know what to look for.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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I've had a few with the I6 engine. Be prepared to be shocked at the MPG

They do run forever, they also take as long to get up to 65 mph

That sound high to me re price, but all depends on the local market.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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By and large the Land Cruisers are by far the most reliable 4x4 I've come across. I've got one sitting in front of my house with over 400k, next to no maintenance done on her (goodness knows when the last oil change was - it was as black as black, and 2L overfilled when I got her) and it still runs like charm.

80 series diesel (HJZ/HDZ) would be my personal choice for a reliable engine. (Even 20 years old they still go for over $10k here in Aus.)

As long as you've given her a good once over I wouldn't be too concerned with the mileage.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
Ranger159 OP
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Thanks for all of the feedback, some valuable knowledge there. I would love to find a diesel one, we used the Prado (diesel) on my last deployment, loved it a lot, not fast out of the gate but great MPG and a friggen goat.

Not looking for a highway machine, but more of a GTF out of town and off the beatn path rig. Plus I can load the kids and hit the middle of nowhere with the seating.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
GH41
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I don't know what "off of the beaten path" means to you but if I were doing it with a vehicle that old I would invest in a sat phone!!! Maybe stock in a wrecker company too. GH
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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My dad has had four Land Cruisers; never did one leave us stranded in the middle of no where on camping trips when I was young.

I wanted to be different and get something else, so I researched the hell out of everything in that category. I have a '94 Land Cruiser. Mine could use a few new seals to keep it from marking it's territory, but it runs great. I'm just catching up on the previous owners neglected maintenance, and I got it cheap enough that I'm fine with that.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #10
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In 2007, I actually sold my 2002 Explorer with 100K when I got my 1995 FZJ80 with 140K miles because even being older and having more miles it was a far better vehicle. They are rock solid vehicles. Not cheap to maintain if you do it right, but even if you don't it will still probably run close to forever. By and large, it isn't a vehicle that will leave you stranded unless you really neglect it. Even things like the headgasket, which may effect about 10% of high mileage landcruisers, doesn't typically fail outright. You generally get fair warning that it is going. If you ignore those signs for a thousand miles, well, that's on you. Same with the knuckles/birfields. They don't really fail outright, but they'll start making noises if neglected. But in short, if you treat it right, it will get you home from wherever you go. Transmissions are rock solid as are the axles.

Expect 13-15mpg for an unmodified LC. Not the quickest vehicle, but it does fine and the torquey inline 6 will tow very well. I'd like to get a 100 series, but my 80 series just won't die.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GH41 View Post
I don't know what "off of the beaten path" means to you but if I were doing it with a vehicle that old I would invest in a sat phone!!! Maybe stock in a wrecker company too. GH
So I take it you have never owned or been around one. I drive mine daily and it has 220k on it and I would drive it across the country right now with out so much as a second thought. My father in law has one he bought new in 91 it has about 500k on it and he drives it at least 3 or 4 times a week.
They were built to survive in harsh environments with crappy gas crappy oil and no service. There is a reason they are the most prevalent SUV world wide.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #12
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I've got a 93 with 165k on it. I'm going to echo most other posters here who have had one.
Underwhelming power
Crappy mileage
Higher than average maintenance costs
Best vehicle I've ever had, by far

Usually when the engineers get done with designing a vehicle the accountants take over and fuck it all up. That didn't happen with the land cruiser. The engineering and design details make me happy. It was marketed as a luxury machine but was designed and built to cross africa off road without breaking down. Double bonus if you find one with the factory diff locks, it'll be damn near unstoppable.

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Old 10-23-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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I have a 91'. It has less power and worse mileage than the 97. I paid 3k for mine, but would have gladly paid that price for a 97, especially if it had lockers.

I looked at a 96 about a year back that sounds like similar condition, and had lockers and the dealer wanted like 7500. That was too high.

There is a 94' in town where I live for sale at 1999, but it is leaking out of every possible orifice, has 300k miles on it, and has been severely neglected.

I would maybe pay $1000 for it.

But, the one your looking at, if the Birfs aren't leaking, I would say is worth it. The front axle will cost close to 2k to have serviced from Toyota. It only needs to be done every 200k miles, and less if you take care of it. Or you can learn how to do it yourself and save some serious bucks. (I did my 70 series axle in Kenya, then my 80 when I got home)


I would agree to the underpowered, terrible mileage, expensive maintenance, Best vehicle I have ever owned comment.

Turning radius is amazing, comfortable to be in all day, everything works (power windows, door handles, power mirrors, etc) And they are really fun to drive. Plus, even though horsepower is lacking, torque is very abundant. It is actually quite a bit faster than it seems because it seems to have all its power at like 1500 rpm.

Anyway, Pretty sure that classifies me as a fanboy, but, I have been through a lot of vehicles before arriving at this one, and its in our family to stay.

Ryan
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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'97 Bah! Dont go in for that new fangled technology!

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Old 10-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #15
GSAragazzi
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From



To
Quote:
Originally Posted by tominboise View Post
http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/



Check out the link above first and foremost. I have a 97 LX450 (same thing as yours but with thicker leather on the seats). That many $$ is probably high for that many miles. I think you should be looking at $2500-3000 range. It all depends on the maintenance records available. If it's been well maintained, everything works and it has locking axles front and rear, then the price is more reasonable around $3500-4000. But, your local market may demand higher prices. I don't know where you are.

Big things to looks for, among others, are headgasket leaks, front axle birfield joints leaking, any unknown CEL that show up (the EGR system can be a bit problematic). Cheapest way to go is to be very handy with a wrench.

All that said, they are a tough truck and will run many, many miles in harsh conditions with minimum maintenance. I don't plan on selling mine anytime soon.
The Mud link is a must. I agree with all th posts. I had an 80 nd th thing is built like a tank. Currently I own 100 which should tell you that learned that LandCruisers are the way to go. Just make sure the head gasket is taken care off, check th knuckles and if thy need seals do the brakes at the same time.
One solution to the paint is to DIY (I did) by scrubbing the paint and rolling...yes rolling Monstaliner. That paint is UV stable and seemed tough as anything. There are tons of colors, say your cruiser is blue. Buy Blue Monstaliner lose to the hue, that way you don't have o worry about the inside of car doors/frame, under hood etc. Just an idea
I'll try to post a pic.
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