Landcruiser decision time

Submitted: Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 19:35
ThreadID: 85079 Views:3890 Replies:11 FollowUps:2
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I own a Toyota land cruiser Ute HJ75 1994 model . I bought the vehicle from a government auction 15 years ago with only 65000 k on it . It has been a great vehicle and has now done 450000k. I am reaching retiring age and would like to do some extended traveling and fishing. I intend to buy some type of tray on and pull a small boat for estuary and bay fishing .I would like to get into some remote locations The vehicle is perfect for my needs but I am concerned about the amount of ks it has done and are considering my options which are limited because of finance
Should I spend money on the old vehicle to bring it up to speed or should I look at buying a latter model cruiser. It does use a little bit of oil but only after it has done about 8000 ks after an oil change. It has no rust or bent panels and the gearbox transfer case ect have never been a problem. It would have done well over 95 % of its ks on bitumen I think I would be lucky to get $6000 for a trade in and reports on the new cruisers are not all that good. I would be prepared to spend say $5000 on it if that were to bring it up to speed on what I am trying to do. I would like some opinions and experiences with reconditioning old cruisers for extended travel. Thanks in advance Mark
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Reply By: Hairs & Fysh - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:06

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:06
Hi Mark,
I'd be doing your oil changes at 5000K with filter. Depending on what roads you travel replace your air filter as well. or as needed
As you say, your not going to get much for her as a trade in or a private sale for the matter.
If the running gear is in good condition I'd keep her. $5000 isn't a lot compared to updating,
The choice is yours, Good luck with it and happy travels :)

AnswerID: 448589

Reply By: mike39 - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:32

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:32
You have one of the best Landcruisers built.
Mine, (bought new 1997), is a trayback, has only done 280000k but in that time I have had no problems whatsoever.
I do reckon though, that at 8000km. oil changes you are letting it go a bit long. I have sometimes stretched it to 6000km. but at that km. did the oil and filter too.
In 3000km. mine goes down about 3/4l., and always has. Just a normal amount I would consider.
I reckon you have as good a vehicle as you could replace it with, if a few dollars needed, well spend them.
What do you consider are things that have to be done to "bring it up to speed"? Perhaps wheel bearings, hoses, belts. spring bushes, radiator check, alternator.
With normal maintenance I reckon mine will see me out (74 this year) \
We do a lot of remote bush camping and I am fully confident about its reliability.
AnswerID: 448591

Reply By: Member - notso perfik - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:34

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:34
Hi F2

Iv'e got a 1989 FJ 62 and was in the same position as you 350.000.
Could only afford to spend about $5000 on it. So had chat with the minister of finance We decided that with that amount we would only be buying someone elses problems to cut along story we spent it on the car. Never looked back got agood mechanic though. We tow a 22ft Hallmark around & around

MI Misses Mi Mad dog n Me
AnswerID: 448592

Reply By: Member - jethro - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:54

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 20:54
I think you've answered your own question Mark. You have owned your truck for 15 years/385000kms, you know its history, do you want to risk buying someones elses trouble?
I have a '93 HZJ75 Trayback 412000km on the clock, I'm just about to put new suspension under the old girl, other than that i've owned it for nearly 10 years and apart from a blown head gasket early on(fixed under wty) i've had trouble free motoring.
Like like Jon said oil & filter every 5000km, routine maintenance & you'll have many more years of trouble free motoring.
AnswerID: 448593

Follow Up By: mark f2 - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 22:34

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 22:34
Looks like I will have to upgrade my mainteance rotine and do a few more oil changes ect and start doing it up bit by bit. Its a bit hard to no were to start but I think I will start with injectors and fuel pump as the engine is my main consern . Thanks for the replies mark
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 08:11

Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 08:11
The weak link in those is the leaf spring suspension.

I carry heavy loads and it was not long before the bum was dragging.
A set of Polyair bellows suspension bags corrected that.

The because I have a heavy bar and winch the front then required attention.
Bought a pair of pump up shocks, bored the bottom bush to fit the mounting, made them individual pump up and no more front end droop.

Run the rears around 50psi when loaded and front 30/40 psi depending on loads.
Has been this way for over 10yrs., was told it would rip the front shock mountings out, never has, and we do very rough country work.
FollowupID: 720866

Reply By: juspokinalong - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 21:08

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 21:08
I'd keep it, $5000 will go along way towards keeping it top nick, change oil at 5000 km though.
AnswerID: 448596

Reply By: equinox - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 21:39

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 21:39
Hi Mark,

You have expressed a desire to visit remote locations. You have also expressed doubts about your vehicle by virtue of your post itself.

If you intend going to remote locations then there should be minimal doubts about the reliability of your vehicle.


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AnswerID: 448599

Reply By: Rockape - Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 22:34

Friday, Mar 18, 2011 at 22:34
here is the truth and cost,

great vehicle but time has caught up with it, I am lucky to be able to keep my old girl going, which is a few years older than yours.

Now you have got to be honest with yourself, I will try to explain this.

1. Old cruisers don't use oil and that maybe because you have pushed out the oil changes, 5000k is the change time for 1HZ engines. This means the engine maybe needs to be looked at for remote travel. $ 8000 to 10000 for a full rebuild which should include the pump and injectors.

2.Gearbox/transfer will have wear, but if there is no noise then go for it, just remember we get used to the way our old machines sound so you may want to it checked out and see if anyone can detect something wrong. Change the oil

3. Diffs and axles, see if you have any leaks from your front ball joints or the rear axle. Change the oil.
Top dollars to get the old girl back to near new would be $20000 and that would be that rebuild of most major components.

Have a good one

AnswerID: 448608

Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 11:55

Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 11:55

I faced this dilemma a few years ago. I had a 1986 landcruiser ute that had been converted to a dual cab by a mining company before I bought it.

I had it for 15 years and went all over the country with including living in Darwin for quite a few years. In that time I had done a lot of improvements and added a lot of extras.

What I did find with a cruiser of that age is I was always having to fix it. I told myself for years that the cost of fixing was way less than having to buy a new one and even a near new one might have someone elses problems.

After changing the standard diesel motor to a turbo factory motor, changing the diff, overhauling the gearbox (bearings went after putting the 12HT motor in), replacing all the suspension, replacing all the brakes, replacing the radiator with a high fin extra cooling radiator, changing rims, hubs, axles, tailshafts front and back, and many many extra minor bits. I thought I would get to a stage when the vehicle was just like new. Nope. Just kept on replacing parts.

Like you I want to keep traveling and going to those remote places and do it in comfort and without having to change wheel bearings at every caravan park.

Finally bit the bullet and bought the new V8 landcruiser ute. Wow. Just love it. Most of the criticisms come from people who do not own one.

Most common maintenance now is giving it a wash and polish. Still the same robust 70 series that toyota has made for years now just all the parts are new.

Some of the things I was looking at with my old cruiser was overhauling the steering ball joints as the bearings top and bottom you could feel had wear marks in them and were loose. The steering box was loose, constant problems with leaking axles, leaking front diff seal, encroachment of rust in some small places, general noise from worn parts, door latches comming loose from worn parts and worn hinges - the list just keeps going on. When you start looking closely at older vehicles especially 4x4s there is just so much worn out parts.

My vote is to buy as new as you can afford and get factory turbo diesel.



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AnswerID: 448639

Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 20:58

Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 at 20:58
Hi Mark,
Like you I bought my 1991 HZJ75 ute about 17 years ago from a government auction. It had all the log book services done and did not look knocked about. I can't remember exactly how many K's it had but was below 100,000. It now has just under 300,000K and runs fine. The only major components I have had to replace were the radiator because of damage and the clutch purely as a precaution at about the 170,000K mark before a CSR trip. I am expecting a lot more use out of the old girl with a bit of work.
A couple of questions. Are you able to do whatever work and re-building is needed yourself or will you have to pay someone else?
Are you happy or financially able to shell out in excess of $60,000 for a new one
or would you rather sink $5000-$10,000 into the vehicle you already own.
Being a mechanic I can do whatever repairs are needed myself without having to carry the extra cost of labour and having had the ute so long I know its strengths and weaknesses. If you are not in the same situation maybe replacment could be a better option for you.
Good luck with whatever you decide and happy travelling.

Cheers Pop
AnswerID: 448671

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Mar 20, 2011 at 07:52

Sunday, Mar 20, 2011 at 07:52
I too own a 94 model Troopy, So yours has 450,000 on it eh, well keep driving mate, mine has 754,000 +, I also smile at the comments re oil changes, I bought mine with 106,000 Ks on it, Ex Telstra, was based in Cairns, I have always done the oil changes at 10,000 K intervals but also always add a bottle of Nulon to the oil, still on the original engine, might add a litre of oil in the 10,000 period, Gearbox and T/F Case have have both been overhauled around 2005/6, fuel Pump rebuilt 2004. still running the original Uni joints on the drive shaft,
I must admit though since going onto the pension I'm reluctant to go places I used to like Simpson Desert , I did buy the vehicle with plans to do the Canning SR, never did get there though.

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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Mar 20, 2011 at 09:29

Sunday, Mar 20, 2011 at 09:29
Mark it's good to see your thinking logically...

On most 4x4 forums it seems people have to justify why the want to spend and keep a dinosaur.

People knock newer vehicles say things like " they're never as good as the 20 year old one I had", truth of the matter is they are and in most cases much better.

The way some people talk is you take a newer 4x4 on a dirt road and the fall apart and they stop working every second day.

Older 4x4's may exceed in 2% and offer less in 98% of your travels.

You can not better newer vehicles for travelling.

And for the diehards if you break a gearbox, diff or axel due to wear are you going to get it going again there and then.

AnswerID: 448699

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