HJ61 Lancruiser

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 05, 2003 at 11:23
ThreadID: 7611 Views:3563 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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I am looking at buying a 1986 HJ61V high roof landcruiser. It has a 4L turbo diesel and 238K on the clock. It also has factory diff locks fitted front and rear, are these decent equip. & likely to be Ok?

Can anyone let me know things to look out for with the engine and turbo? Is this a high mileage?

The vehicle has been used for towing a 2ton boat during the last 3 years. What should I look for to indicate wear in the gearbox and drive train?

Any comments most appreciated

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Reply By: ross - Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 10:59

Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 10:59
These are great cars and you can get a lot of miles out of them IF they have had proven maintainance.
See if you can start the engine cold without the owner warming it up before you get there.Ive caught them doing this because they know.Feel the manifolds if possible as they stay warm for hours
If the engine is in good shape it should start easy and blow only a small puff of grey/white smoke for a second or two and settle into a steady idle. If it is hard to start,runs rough and blows lots of smoke its likely a compression problem and time to walk away. Check for oil leaks where the g/box joins the motor.Note the colour of exhuast smoke when its revved or under load.Blue is worn rings.
I dont know much about turbos so I cant help there.
The gearbox should be a little stiff when cold .When warm watch out for a notchety feel when changing into 2nd and 3rd and if present it means the synchros are gone.With the g/box in neutral and handbrake on, engine off ,get underneath and grab the output flange on the transfer case where the drive shaft to the back wheels bolts on and check for movement.If there is up/down or sideways movement ,even a few mm means big money to fix and will cause unholy vibrations as it gets worse.Jumping out of gear is another thing to watch for.
There is a seal that separates the t/case and g/box oil .If it fails and it is not uncommon for an elderly landcruiser it causes all the oil in the t/case which is lower to be sucked up into the g/box and this is disastrous.The basic test is to remove the filler plug on the gearbox and see if oil floods out because it is now overfilled.It can be remedied with an Australian invention that involves a hose that plugs into the filler plug hole and recycles it back to the t/case.Many landcruisers from that era have them fitted as precaution
The front swivel joints need doing every 5-6 years .Look for signs of leakage of grease and oil mixed together behind the front wheel.It should be clean and shiny.Its $600+ job.
The factory diff locks are great but I was unaware of them being fitted to this model and my workshop manual does not mention them(I have a1988 FJ 73 series which uses the same manual).They could be an aftermarket item and if they are not making any noises can be considered ok.

A landcruiser like this one could be a darling or a disaster and if your not sure a $100 investment to have it checked is money well spent.Its not uncommon to have to spend thousands on these to get them up to standard at this age if they havent had on going maintenance from PO
AnswerID: 32864

Follow Up By: gerard - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:07

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:07
Thanks Ross

Saw a little bit of black smoke on start-up from cold but otherwise roared into life and settled at a smooth idle immediately.

Yep, the change from 1st to second was slightly notchy but ia felt worse in some other cruisers and even hiluxs that I have driven.

Definitely factory diff locks, this happens to be the second hj61 that i have seen in the last 2 months with front & rear diff locks, prior to that I had not seen any.

What is the name of the bearing that needs replacing if the driveshaft is loose at the rear of transfer case?

Thanks for your help
FollowupID: 23740

Reply By: Phil G - Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 14:06

Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 14:06
Ross has given you a great summary, but just to add a few points. The diff locks were a factory option (I just checked the brochure!). Very few had them.

Towing in 5th gear damages these gearboxes. Mine had noise in all gears except 4th, and was more noticeable when the vehicle was warmed up. May cost a few grand to overhaul. The oil transfer problem wasn't as common on the post 86 models, and is easily fixed.

Mine commonly blew smoke on startup, and when you floor it, but the smoke is much less after a country run. If the motor needs repairs, expect to spend mega dollars. But, they are one of the greatest motors ever put into a 4wd, so the likelihood of that is low, unless the motor's been cooked or poorly maintained. Get an inspection by a good 4wd workshop - worth every cent.

AnswerID: 32883

Follow Up By: ross - Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 14:31

Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 14:31
Phil I have heard rumours of these diff locks and it is mentioned in the axle decoders but it never states what years they come in.What I wanted to know is how you activate them .Are they self engaging like Detroit locker or is there a cable set up?
FollowupID: 23514

Follow Up By: Phil G - Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 23:33

Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 23:33

they are electronically activated - just flick a switch.

FollowupID: 23544

Follow Up By: gerard - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:21

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:21

The diff locks on the two HJ61s that I have recently seen have all been cable activated. There are two handles beside the drivers seat where the cup holder would normally be. You lift the handles about 50-70mm to engage the locks. There are two small lights on the dash to indicate engaging in one of locations where normally there is a handbrake or filter light.

The gearbox sounds pretty quiet especially compared to a BJ61 3B with the H55 box that I recently rode in.

As mentioned before very little smoke on start up, unlike the aforementioned 3B engine. On cold mornings it would blow clouds of white smoke as it clattered into life, taking about 5-10 secs to settle down to a lumpy idle. The glow plugs may be a bit beggared though as if it was glowed twice it would normally roar into life and settle to a relatively smooth idle quite quickly. Can glow plugs be a bit worn out or are they either working or buggered?

I am having the HJ61 fully inspected by the AA, which includes blow by tests and electronic compression check. I will get those results before having a leakdown test done.

thanks again for the invaluable advice
FollowupID: 23746

Follow Up By: Phil G - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:10

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:10

I had another look at the factory brochure and it has photos of the levers and you are absolutely correct. I wrongly assumed that they were the same as the 80 series factory difflocks.
FollowupID: 23775

Reply By: Phil G - Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 23:36

Monday, Oct 06, 2003 at 23:36
Just another thing, Ross mentioned the notchy gear selection when cold. This is often due to the gear oil. Changing from 80/90 to 75/85 often fixes the problem.

AnswerID: 32945

Follow Up By: gerard - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:09

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 21:09
Thanks phil

FollowupID: 23741

Reply By: ross - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 08:45

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 08:45
Gerard my manual refers to it as the output shaft bearing and there is also one for the front drive shaft.I think it is a tapered needle bearing .As far as I know it requires a complete stripdown and tends to wear other parts as well if not dealt with straight away.My mechanic mentioed it can turn itnto a $2000+ job in a worst case scenario.Ive looked at a lot of the mines vehicles that have come from the goldfields and it is a common problem even in 2 yo vehcles but mainly through rough use.I bought a 1988 model that s still as tight as the day it as made.
AnswerID: 33211

Reply By: ross - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 08:49

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 08:49
With rough gear change it should go away when warmed up and is normal when cold.The glow plugs can either be dead or dying ,I should have mentioned that in my original post and do contribute to hard starts,even if just one is faulty.
AnswerID: 33212

Follow Up By: Phil G - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:07

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:07

The 12H-T is direct injection and doesn't have glow plugs. Just a heating element on the air intake that only gets activated when very cold.
FollowupID: 23774

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