Buying a SWB / MWB Landcruiser

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 11:41
ThreadID: 11115 Views:19896 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hey all

I'm after a late 80's SWB or Mid WB Landcruiser. I am keen on the Turbo Diesel, but am currently looking at a SWB 2.4l Petrol. I have had Landrovers before but know nothing about Toyota's (I am new to Oz).

Use is basically weekend trips aorund Sydney in the near future, followed by a trip round Oz in 2005. Main concerns are:
- Fuel econ vs Power (I had a Defender 110 with a 4cyl D which was gutless in Sand)
- SWB for round the city for the next yr
- Only 2 of us travelling and we travel light
- Thinking of roof tent

Keen for any suggestions or thoughts around the merits of the Petrol vs Diesel, and the SWB vs Mid

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Reply By: ross - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 12:57

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 12:57
John the landcruiser you are looking at is probably a LJ/KZJ70 Bundeera if it has a 2.4 petrol and is known in some countries as a Landcruiser ll or Prado (it was the 1st prado in Japan).Its also possibly a import from Japan and is a litle more difficult for body parts.These are a light duty version mainly welded where as the FJ,BJ 70,73,74 series are more a bolt togetherjob. The bundeera/prado use Hilux diffs,gearbox,motor.They also tend to be bit underpowered and a bit small in the rear even for 2 people.Still if you look back at the competition when released new they were still streets ahead and very capable offroad.
The one I would recommend would be a MWB BJ 74.The extra 10 inches or so in length , the larger 3.5ltr turbo diesel , much heavier duty body, suspension and drivetrain all make to being a much more comfy vehicle, and possibly the best all round landcruiser ever made.Downside it will be difficult or expensive to fit a roof top camper because of the fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) roof. The BJ74 is generally the most sought after in this class and is reflected in the price. A BJ 73 is a non turbo diesel version The FJ73 (petrol) is also a great vehicle but suffers from heavy fuel costs(Im currently fitting a 6 cyl diesel)
There is also the BJ 70 which is a swb heavy duty landcruiser with a steel roof but suffers from lack of rear storage space like the bundeera.You wil also notice with the 7# series some have a bolt on detachable windscreen and some have a one piece.
Australian 4x4 Monthly did a 7 page spread on the history and variants of the 70 series in the December issue.Back issues available and a must for 70 diehards like me.Also has info on what to look for when buying

Here is a site that has pics and info on all the 70 series variants

This aussie forum has about 20 swb/mwb L/C owners who can also help(some may know the history of prospective vehicles)
AnswerID: 49651

Reply By: biscuits - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 13:53

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 13:53
Hi John,

Not to start any patrol vs landcruiser rubbish, but have you thought about a MQ (older, leaf sprung) or GQ (newer, coil sprung) SWB patrols? I have a MQ SWB turbo diesel patrol and though its a bit slow around town, I reckon its great fun off road and in the sand dunes! Both models are very tough, the GQ more so as its coil suspension is heaps better than any leaf sprung vehicle. SWB patrols have a much better turning circle than the wagons which I find helps in the city for sure.

Hope this helps,

AnswerID: 49655

Reply By: Patroleum - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 20:25

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 20:25

I used to have a 2.4 Petrol (22R) Bundera 5 speed.
To this day it has been the best 4wd or car I have ever owned.
It was fantastic and tough as nails. That model was so well built
body&Trim wise. It had 320000km on it when sold and still felt tight.
Expect 15L/100Km fuel burn combined hwy/city if it is well tuned and
performance is ok. In sand we used to drive laden in soft sand for up to an
hour near full throttle and temp would not go above half.
A great all rounder.

AnswerID: 49693

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 22:13

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2004 at 22:13
There is a 88 model swb t/d cruiser in the 4 sales, that i used to own many yrs ago
They are a 3.4 four cyl diesel and i was getting 28mpg out of it back then. It is in need of some tlc, but for 5.5k.....would be interesting. It is a leaf sprung heavy duty model, unlike the bundies with hilux diffs, and coils
no affiliation either other than prior knowledge of unit.
AnswerID: 49708

Reply By: LBC - Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 at 07:18

Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 at 07:18
Thanks for all the ideas guys - esp Ross - still working thru all your feedback. . .

I am leaning towards the MWB BJ74, although based on your comments Ross - my main concern is fitting a rook rack on which to sit a Roof Tent (thinking Roof tent back half, combined with some storage front half). I was under the impression that up to and including the gutters was steel, with the FRP sitting on top - therefore the Roofrack working as normal into the Gutters. If this is not the case - then I am probably looking back at the SWB BJ70 or similar (as I will defintely need a roofrack).

Any further advice gratefully accepted . . . Thanks again for all the tips

AnswerID: 49735

Follow Up By: ross - Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 at 11:16

Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 at 11:16
John the FRP top only has gutters on the rear over the doors and over the front doors,no side gutters. Not a big deal but the rack has to speciffically for a 73/74 and the alloy ones Ive seen look really good from TJM, ARB ect .
I have a hefty suspension lift so a roof rack would prohibit me from a lot of undercover parking spots
I use a 6x4 box trailer I bought for a couple of hundred ,hardly know its there.I use it as a cooking bench by throwing some ply over it. OOPS you said you like to travel light!!

If I want more room I take the back seat out ,4 bolts and 6 minutes

Another option are the Thule lockable fibreglass containers that sit on a frame,again the frame would have to suit a 73/74
FollowupID: 311557

Reply By: lazylcd - Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 01:08

Friday, Mar 12, 2004 at 01:08
hi john

i owned a bj 70 swb, for about two years, and loved it, it had the 3.4l diesel 3b engine, it was a lil sluggish, around town etc, but comfortably sat on about 100Km/h on the free way, i think fuel consumption was roughly about 10 - 11 l / 100 k, great lil 4b on the sand, a lil tailly, on faster dirt tracks due to its length, never had a dramma with the engine, but 5th gear gave up the ghost on me around the 250, 000 mark, still a great lil car as long as your not going bush for a long time on your own, due to the storage room, but for a w/e great, would have loved to have kept it chopped the roof and put a soft top on it, just to have some fun in the sun :oD
AnswerID: 50037

Reply By: prado_95 - Saturday, Mar 27, 2004 at 00:09

Saturday, Mar 27, 2004 at 00:09
Most of the TD would be suitable, but MWB or LWB are more suitable for continued travelling.

Pertol consumption (and related costs) & range need to be carefully considered. Some places simply dont have petrol - the local will breathe it if there is any about!

Travelling around Oz will not see a huge amount of sand work, unless

Its no wonder you had 'fun' with a LR TDi engine in that weight vehicle. Lose some tare weight and choose a slightly more powerful TD.

Dont sacrifice too much comfort if you are goin to spend reasonable amount of time in it.

Practicality wise, look for a diesel Troopy with a turbo - plenty of room, and lighter tare than a 80 series (or similar wagon).
AnswerID: 52164

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