Buying a 105 Series Landcrusier

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 19:34
ThreadID: 54554 Views:15069 Replies:13 FollowUps:22
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Hi All,

I'm thinking of upgrading the '96 80 series petrol, manual, cruiser to a '02 105 series diesel, auto cruiser (HZJ105R).

Some facts to assist comments.
- Must be auto as Mrs. doesn't drive manual
- Must be diesel as costs, touring range and engine longevity are important
- Don't want IFS

I've read a few posts, mostly only old archives regarding the 105 series naturally aspirated model with some unfortunate findings.

From what I've read, (and I'll stand corrected), moving from a petrol 4.5 to a diesel 4.2, even 6 years younger will leave me very disappointed at the lights, hills and towing. I want the vehicle capable of towing 1.5 tonne at 100kms without any trouble. Off road capability is very important (hence no IFS) and good weekend warrior for dunes, mud and steep rocky trails.

I'd obviously be looking to turbo the diesel donk however, what is the max kms you would recommend adding the turbo unit if it don't already got one? What other options do I have?

What are people's opinions regarding my upgrade options (lets say I want to stick with Toyota options for now as adding Nissan alternatives into the pot would be too much to manage in one tread).

Thanks in advance,
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Reply By: Davo_60 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 19:47

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 19:47
Hello Alex,

You could consider a multi valve diesel 80 series Auto with low km's about the same year as the one you have. Could take some time to find the right one but they are a nice vehicle and fit the bill.

AnswerID: 287316

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 20:42

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 20:42
Thanks Dave,
It's a consideration but was really hoping to find something a little newer. I know kms are important however ABS, Airbags, etc are temping. ideally, i'd take an 2008, 80 series, auto TD (if only).

FollowupID: 552539

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 00:04

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 00:04
Unfortunatly while a sweet vehicle it would set him back more than a much newer 105.
A good nick auto TD 80 with low ks is fine if your selling but not if your buying
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:10

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:10
You will do well in finding a diesel auto, that isn't IFS ,Factory turboed only IFS.
I don't know the exact numbers but around 160kw/375nm for the 4.5, compared to my '05's 95kw/285nm , leaves no doubt about "performance", as for doing 100k with out any trouble with 1.5 ton behind it,HAHAHA.
It is 3.5 ton rated, and I have had around 3 t behind it, it towed alright,got heaps of gear changing practice, just don't stop halfway up a steep hill!
Some people hurl them selves out of planes for a thrill, all I have to do is try and overtake a triple roadtrain in a headwind, then you'll know your ALIVE
I have. . . . Adjusted. . . to my 105's limitations, It has got me across the simpson, The red center and thru the Vic high country, albeit at MY pace,
I have considered spending $4/5K on getting it to go hard, but some here have recently posted cooling problems when pushed, then theres that tinny gearbox, some have had dramas ,others haven't.
In regards running costs I think you will find that they aren't THAT much cheaper to run, Diesel is around 15 c p/liter dearer than petrol and need oil changes (1HZ anyway)at 5K intervals, dearer filters, and heavan forbid, expensive to rebuild.
The 1hz is the same motor that powered the 80 series back in the early '90's, so was designed in the '80's, hence thier simplicity, and modest power.

AnswerID: 287337

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:46

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:46
Hey Shane,
I think I read a couple of your posts from in the archives regarding this topic.

So admit, the 4.2 105 is a slug compared to the 4.5. But when turbo'ed goes good, unless you encounter the Prado diff weakness, that is.

I'm interested to hear you think it's not much cheaper to run than the 4.5L. Admit, I didn't take into consideration servicing twice as often. I thought you'd get closer to 12L/100kms in the 4.2L. Guess i'm wrong.

Thanks for your advise.
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Follow Up By: Stu050 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:07

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:07
G'day Alex,

I have a late '02 HZJ105 diesel, and couldn't be happier with it.
Sure, it is not the quickest car around, but I don't push it either. It is a truck engine, after all. It returns me roughly 12.5L/100 with 4 people in the car and a full camping load in the back.

Another advantage? that I like, is that there is no engine management computer to let you down in the middle of nowhere.

Having mechanical injection, it is a lot more tolerant of questionable fuel quality that the common rail system. (Also no RF interference on HF)

All in all, it is a basic (very) honest 4wd that will give you many years of sterling service.

My .02
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 00:07

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 00:07
The service and oil change intervals are identical for both the 4.5 105 and the diesal 105. they have the same manuel and service book
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:16

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:16

I drive a 105 cruiser at work. They are not the quickest vehicle out but ample power for towing.

Cruises well and will sit on 130 km/h all day without a problem.

The seats are poorly designed and have no lumbar support.

There is a grab handle above the drivers door. Because it is a work vehicle I cannot remove it. It keeps hitting me in the side of the head. Driving the 105 is like being in a boxing ring. Suggest if you buy one remove the handle.

I would not consider purchasing a 105 landcruiser.

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AnswerID: 287339

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:56

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:56
I hear what you're saying. Do you think if it was turbo'ed like your Patrol and you didn't hit your head on the grab handle and if it had lumber support you would buy one? How long have you been driving one for work? Do you have any other comments about them?

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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 10:01

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 10:01

I have a 4.2 TD patrol. The 4.2 motor is very reliable but it is not the most responsive motor. Power is a relative thing. The speed limit in the NT on a lot of roads is 130. The 105 has ample power to sit on 130 all day.

I have not towed with one but have seen plenty of them up here towing large vans.

My height is part of the problem with the grab handle - if you are shorter of stature it may not be a problem for you. If it is remove it with a screwdriver.

When I travel I take a lumbar support with me. It helps me a lot. I have a problem with 5 narrowed discs in my lower back. Without adequate lumbar support I get the obvious problems. You may not get any problems. The seats are vary basic and I would suggest that for a private vehicle you should look at after market seats.

The ride and handling is terrible compared to my patrol. The 105 does not have central locking. It does not have power mirrors. It does not have a CD player. It is a very basic vehicle.

I have been driving the 105 for the past 10 months and travel extensively in the Katherine Region. Very uncomfortable travel.

I would suggest that if you want a Cruiser spend the extra money and get a 100 series GXL. For the extra comfort it is worth the money.

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Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:30

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:30
Hi Tjiolpi,

The 105 series also comes in a GXL version. According to the options listed on the 2002, HZJ105R, Auto, 4.2 GXL comes with the following. Can anyone confirm this?

Standard Features: Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Cruise Control, Compact disc player, Central Locking Remote Control, Cloth Trim, Diff Locks, Engine Immobiliser, Limited Slip Differential, Leather Steering Wheel, Metallic Paint, Power Mirrors, Power Steering, Power Windows, Radio Cassette with 4 Speakers, Side Steps
Optional Features Air Conditioning, Power Sunroof

FollowupID: 553121

Reply By: Scott C (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:30

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:30
Hi Alex,

I like your choice, IMO you wont be disappointed.

Yes they are slow compared to the petrol, especially in auto, I put a DTS turbo on at 20k which made a huge difference but you pay for it with fuel consumption. Mine used around 17lt per hundred km around town, it gets a bit better on the open roads but not much, to be fair having Mud tyres, roof rack, winches etc doesn't help.

Towing is no problem, I can sit on 100kms and have plenty left if needed, this wasn't the case pre turbo.

Off road it goes every where I want it too, I would call it a great weekend warrior, as long as you have the appropriate rubber.

Good luck with the search,


AnswerID: 287341

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:04

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:04
Hi Scott,

17L/100kms is quite high, I mean I get 20-22L/100kms in the 4.5L.

What is the max kms you would add the turbo? You did it at 20K, would you do it at 120K or 220K? It'll hard to find one with less than 100K on it.

FollowupID: 552565

Follow Up By: Scott C (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:21

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:21

Yep 17lt is high, pre turbo and goodies it was around 13, it would use less if i backed off the turbo but i like the way it drives with the extra power.

Personally I would add a turbo at any time, I'm not a mechanic but if the motor has good service history it should last. The performance difference is well worth the expense (for me).

As mentioned by others you may find it difficult to find an auto, it was a hard to get combination especially around 02. You may have more luck looking at the 99 - 00 years

FollowupID: 552573

Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:37
if you want your 105 to go hard, then do as i did and install a turbo, intercooler and 3" exhaust system on it. my little 13 ft poptop caravan only weighs around the 1 tonne mark and i could sit on 130klm / hr no problems at all towing the van if i wanted to. like already said, good luck at finding an auto 105, i've never seen or heard of one (but that dosen't mean they don't exist). also mentioned was the zero lumbar support in the seats, they are shocking for long trips. up the cape i resorted to rolling a towel up and placing behind my lower back, mate even commented on how sore his back was after a 2hour drive the other week, and i hadn't said anything prior to him about the seats.
as for klms on engine, i have only just clocked up 100 000 klms on my 105. the turbo and intercooler and exhaust has only been on for about 10 000 klms.
AnswerID: 287346

Follow Up By: Scott C (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:50

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:50
Hi rumpig

They do exist, I have one, it took 8 months to get from when I ordered it. They are rare especially as a GXL

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Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:12

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:12
Hi Rumpig,

Thanks for the feedback. Seat wouldn't bother me, i'd be happy to replace them with good quality seats.

Otherwise are you happy with the HZJ105R?

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:21

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:21
yeh i'm more then happy with the vehicle, i've been up the cape in it, over to fraser a few times (towed my caravan up the beach no worries at all, this was pre turbo days). only problem i had was snapping a fin off of the fan into the radiator on a water crossing when up the cape. luckily i didn't hole the radiator, just some nasty big gouges. heard of this being a bit of a problem with the 100 series when up the cape, i know of 4 others that did the same thing when i was up there, mine was the only 105 series, the rest were gxl's. strange because i had no problems in the bonnet deep nolans crossing, but did it in a bit over knee deep crossing, going slowly in 2nd gear low range. other then that little incident, all has been good so far.
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Reply By: Ingtar - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:17

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:17
I have had a standard 105 for the past year or so. Things I have learnt about it in that time:

The diffs are not prado diffs, they are for the 105. The weakness comes from a special cut in the front diff that makes it stronger going forwards, but weaker in reverse under load. If you try to snatch recover in reverse you're asking for problems, if you are gently reversing a trailer it should be fine.

The manual gearbox and transfer case are the same as the prado... can't comment on the auto. I know this made it a PITA changing the front output seal on the transfer case, the whole front needs to come off rather than just the pinion.

Basically comes down to how you drive, if you abuse anything enough it will break.

Never had problems with the grab handle, but I'm only 5'8". :)

Did replace the driver's seat, but only because I was given some seats with adjustable lumbar and the originals were ripped. Still I found the original comfortable enough for 3-4 hour drives down south.

There were some early 105s (98/99?) in GXL trim that were factory turbo and hence had stronger gearboxes. If I was looking again, I would probably look for one of them.

Speaking to the guys at a few turbo shops, they don't really care about how many kms the car has done, they will do a compression test and maybe a dyno, and see what condition it is in. The also insist on new injectors. Apparently if you injectors are old they don't atomise the fuel properly and burn holes in the pistons.

My 105 has now done about 240000, blows no smoke, returns about 12-13L/100kms (up to 14-15 in soft sand). I would like to turbo but just don't have the cash laying around atm, so it IS slow, but you do get used to it. Remember you're driving a 3.5T vehicle which IS a light truck and you don't feel so bad... until a turbo patrol pulls up next to you at the lights. :)

Oh and just in case you aren't aware, the 105 has 5 stud rims with a different offset to the IFS model. I *think* the solid axle rims will fit on the IFS, but I KNOW the IFS rims won't fit on the front of a solid axle. So if you're looking for spare rims, there are plenty of splits available, but very few standard or dress rims. If this is what you are after, you will probably have to buy new.

Offroad capability - I have standard skinny tyres, I haven't got stuck yet (I know, not trying) but I have managed to follow a mate in his lifted 75 with muds everywhere we wanted to go.
AnswerID: 287365

Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:28

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:28
My fuel economy is around 14 (normal driving) and 17/18 in the sand with 235/85 tyres, I'm not disputing your claims, I am saying that they are preatty good and that prospecting buyers should facture a little more fuel usage.
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Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:33

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:33
facture? that should be FACTOR,

I have never hit my head on the grab handle either and I'm 6'2"
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Follow Up By: Ingtar - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 22:35

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 22:35
Yeah I'm quite happy with my economy. I have another mate with a 1HZ trayback, with significantly less mileage. He just went through the diesel/gas conversion because he was sick of me using so much less fuel. I think he was constantly over 15, although he's a bit of a lead foot.

I don't think I could get any better than 12 and obviously towing would increase, and I have heard numerous people sitting around the 15 mark.
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Reply By: newlux - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:27

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:27
Just in reply to the question about how many km's is too many to turbo.
I am looking at getting an 80 series cruiser at the moment and I spoke to a respected diesel mechanic about putting a turbo on a naturally aspirated engine. They say that they don't even do compression tests on the 80 series until they have over 300000km on them! So I imagine the 105 that you would be looking at would be less than that so you should be sweet.

AnswerID: 287406

Reply By: Zapper - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 11:28

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 11:28
Hi Alex, We have a 105, its a GXL 4.2, at the time I wanted to buy a turbo but price was out of the question. Now in hindsight not bothered at all, we love the 1hz. We tow a horse float with 2 horses so the float would be well over 2t, it slows down on big hills but then I am used to driving trucks and so it seems natural to me that you are on the gearstick on the hills, on the flat it will run at 100km no probs. Just gotta keep the revs over 2k and its fine. I think a lot of people that winge about it have been spoilt driving petrol cars and very modern powerful diesels.Mine is a manual I think the auto would be a different story

I cant say I have noticed the problems previous posts mentioned about lumbar support etc, I love touring in ours and find it very comfy, as for people saying what a slug they are I suggest they come for a drive with my other half, it certainly doesnt seem slow when she is behind the wheel.

Only mods we have is a lift and larger tyres. Just clicked over 180000km and Love the vehicle and would happily buy another
AnswerID: 287429

Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:59

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:59
I have 3 soon to be 4 of them and couldn't agree more with the above comment.

I have 1 with 130000 km 1 with 270000 and 1 with 330000 km and still going strong, I just love them.

Cheers Steve
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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy (Springsure- Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 14:33

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 14:33
The RV's and up have better seats (2 buckets) rather than the 3 seats across the front of the lower spec models.
Up to 2004 you can get the rigid front axle in the GXL but non turbo.
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AnswerID: 287450

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:23

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 19:23
When I went on my journey, I did approx 11000 k's starting in Brisbane going to Birdsville, across the Simpson, up to Alice springs, Kings canyon, Uluru, Great Central road to Kalgoolie, then back to Brisbane Via Port Lincoln, Bairnsdale, Mt Hotham, Merimbula ,Canberra.
My average fuel consumption was close to 15l/ 100k, I had my second spare tyre, Big Oztent, hilift jack, shovel, camp table and nothing else on the Roof rack (photo in rig pics), I was travelling alone,so I took 100 litres spare fuel (same weight as a passenger and cloths) putting my cruiser's gross weight at 3.48 ton (on a weigh bridge).
I didn't seem to matter how it was driven, The worst economy I got was crossing the simmo, 110 liters/ 610ks (18/100), best I got was from Curtin springs (NT) to Kalgoorlie 225liters, because of the open mainly flat dirt road , and travelling mostly at 85- 90kph, all other times travelling at posted limit (including NT).
I had to get a service done at Ceduna (100000) as well as a Quick oil and filter at my Uncles (5k) .
Running around to and fro work, no added weight apart from stuff that is bolted on, get 13-14/100.
I also own a petrol/gas MWB cruiser (3f) which uses 25/100 on gas doing the same task, so, a typical week is around 300k for me.
I owned a 80 series T/D and there is no doubt that they used a lot less fuel and went well.
The Middi is far more drivable from a stop/start point of view, and while I'll only save less than $10 in fuel It also needs 6 liters of oil per service (10K) oppposed to 9 every 5K.
Whats wrong with the 80 you have got? There is no real avantage having a 100, they are mechanically very similar 300 kgs lighter, able to put 200kg on roof (100s are only 150).
Better the Devil you know, Have you considered gas, I know the 1FZ's aren't user freindly at the pump, but there are plenty that get around happily on LPG.
I know the service book says same service intervals for petrol/diesel but any motor that has a swirl chamber (non direct injection) should have its oil done every 5K.
A regular contributor to this forum has both a Petrol (4.8) and a diesel Patrol (4.2T)(I know you don't want to go there) and has tracked closly the expenditure of both vehicles and claimed that overall, they compared close to each other, including servicing.
AnswerID: 287498

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:48

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:48
Thanks Shane,
You have some good points. Main reason for upgrade is to get a an auto and something newer. My 80 is going well just getting a few kms on it now and am looking for something that I would keep for the next 5 odd years.

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Reply By: rumpig - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 20:37

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 20:37
couple of other things you may want to know about the 105 before you buy it.
the handbrakes are crap and constantly need adjusting, especially if you go near mud and water. every one i know with a cruiser complains about their handbrakes.
the LSD's are usually good for nothing after about 80 000klms, nothing a rear locker won't fix though.
other then that, they are great.
AnswerID: 287517

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 14:53

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 14:53
Very interesting to hear about the handbrake. The one in my 80 series is also crap, I don't both adjusting it anymore. I've adjusted to driving without using it. Just scares the bleep out of my mates when they drive it.
FollowupID: 552901

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 02:32

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 02:32
newsflash all cruiser handbrakes are crap 75s 79s 80s 105s whatever
However Ive nver actually needed a handbrake just chuck them into 1st and if its eeely steep low 1st and they will always hold. even with around 300,000k they still keep their compresion
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Follow Up By: Pete and Lez - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 09:27

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 09:27
Adjusted properly they are ok, still put in 1st gear though.
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Reply By: Rossco td105 - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 01:23

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 01:23
G'day Alex,

Think you will like this vehicle. Will need a turbo if you want some sort of 'performance'. I think the auto was in the early GXL's. I have changed the front seats on mine.

Treat it right and you won't have problems with diffs or gearboxes (I run 35in muds and twin diff locks... it's not a comp truck, I drive accordingly!).

You are right re. touring range, with twin tanks (270litres) I can get 1500km with 50/50 tarmac, heavy 4WDing.

Live axle is great for "weekend warrior" use. Some lift does wonders for articulation.

Over-all km's don't seem to be a problem when fitting a turbo, if serviced correctly. Doesn't hurt to have boost and EGT gauges to keep an eye on things.

A factory 1HDFTE 105 series RV would have been my pick, pity...


AnswerID: 287549

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 09:36

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 09:36
I didn't know the 105 came with any factory turbo's. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
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Reply By: Rossco td105 - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:04

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:04

Sorry mate, think that there is no such cruiser, hence the pity...

AnswerID: 287956

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