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  #1  
Old 21 Sep 2006
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Landcruiser advice for Landy owner

Having owned Landies for a number of years (first Defender 110 now Disco Tdi) I am considering going over to the dark side, i.e. getting a Landcruiser.

Needed for towing heavy caravan, fairly mild off road (e.g. trip to Morocco with tracks in Atlas and Sahara, no challenge event type stuff), and day to day use.

Now I know Land Rovers, but am a bit confused by Landcruisers. I would be looking for a long wheel based one. I know that the HZJ78 is considered by many to be the ideal overland vehicle, but hard to get, and I would like coil springs all around. So am wondering what are the options?

1. Engine options and fuel economy (I think I read somewhere that mpg would be worse than LR).
2. Which versions do NOT have electronic engine management?
3. Are they really as reliable as people say? Potential problem areas (like gearboxes and steering boxes in LRs)?
4. Models and the confusing numbering?
5. Cost of spare parts? For LR there are lots of specialists selling reasonably priced parts (like clutch kit for £65 and radiator for £110), how does Toyota compare, are there independants that offer lower cost spares than the main dealers?

Grateful for any advice,

Pieter

Last edited by pieter; 21 Sep 2006 at 20:37.
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  #2  
Old 23 Sep 2006
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Hi. You want/need an 80 series. HDJ80. No electronics, coil springs, max tow weight (3500kg), powerful (4.2TD), but not a economical as a Tdi Landy. The 4.2TD will do 20 mpg in day to day driving, and if you take it easy you can get 28mpg on a run. Very reliable and quite cheap. £4000 will get you a 1991/1992 vehicle. £8000 will get you a 1996/7. Don't be afraid of big mileage, but go for the lowest you can find. Manual would be a better option, but the autos are very nice.

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  #3  
Old 24 Sep 2006
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listen for bearing rumble in 1,2,3 and 5th, it will be quiter in 4th. this is the mainshaft bearing and 2 out the 3 H60s I have owned have had problems here, starting at only 120000 and 165000 miles. otherwise just look for rot (less so on the coilers) and on the 4.2 apparently the cylinder liners can give problems occassionaly. Most have never been used for what God and Toyota intended so finding a good one shouldn't be too tough. check for excessive wear due to heavy duty towing though, they can be a victim of their own success, as can landrovers of course.
personally I think they are more reliable than landies, but if they go wrong they are harder to fix and parts are harder to come by than for landies. probably the biggest difference is the range of aftermarket goodies available, although the 80 is better than the 60 in this respect.
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  #4  
Old 25 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
Having owned Landies for a number of years (first Defender 110 now Disco Tdi) I am considering going over to the dark side, i.e. getting a Landcruiser.
What do you mean going to the dark side - you have finally seen the light ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
I know that the HZJ78 is considered by many to be the ideal overland vehicle, but hard to get, and I would like coil springs all around.
HZJ78s are rare and thus expensive in Europe so the next best (or better) option is to go for an 80 series as the others have said.

They were mainly sold as Autos, although plenty of manuals around if you prefer that, although the big lazy 4.2 goes very well with an auto and the LC autos are extremely well built.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
1. Engine options and fuel economy (I think I read somewhere that mpg would be worse than LR).
No real option. All the better LC have the 4.2 diesel which is turboed in the 80 series. In 1995 they introduced a 24valve version which was a little more adaptable and frugal, but was only available as a manual in Europe due to some emissions issues, although some autos are available but as imports.

Ideally aim for around 22-25mpg from an auto 80 series (25-28mpg for manual) day to day and then around 28mpg on long runs (30-32 for manual).

The key thing is to ensure that the pump and injectors are well maintained to get the best consumption.

If you are feeling flush go splash out on an intercooler and 3" exhaust system - for a manual 24valve this will return around 32mpg and 35mpg on a long run (plus of course around 30% more power and torgue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
2. Which versions do NOT have electronic engine management?
All models up to and including the 80 series which finished production in 1997/1998.

HOWEVER - LC electronics aren't as flakey as other manufacturer's so not worth worrying about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
3. Are they really as reliable as people say? Potential problem areas (like gearboxes and steering boxes in LRs)?
Yes they are reliable just as long as you look after them.

There is a weak point with the big end bearings in the 80 series (1990-1995 mainly) due to the oils we use in Europe - if you buy one of these change the big end bearings as a matter of course and you should be fine.

The wheel bearings and CV joints get some abuse, mainly because they are considered to be a servicable item by dealers so just as long as you strip these down, replace the seals and repack them with new grease you should be fine.

The autoboxes are bullet proof, however do benefit from an extra oil cooler if doing a lot of desert work or towing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
4. Models and the confusing numbering?
The main one to aim for is the 80 series which was available in 12 valve form with a 4.2 litre straight six turbo diesel engine (1HD-T) between 1990-1995, then in 1995 this was replaced with the 24 valve version between 1995-1998.

From 1998 came the 100 series with the independent front suspension and the electronic engine management, still a great car if in your price range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
5. Cost of spare parts? For LR there are lots of specialists selling reasonably priced parts (like clutch kit for £65 and radiator for £110), how does Toyota compare, are there independants that offer lower cost spares than the main dealers?
Most of the service items are available from Milner Offroad (http://www.milneroffroad.com), however I personally prefer to pay the extra to get genuine toyota filters and pads because they are better. If you need to get a lot of extra OEM kit there are contacts in the US and NL who are willing to sell and ship genuine parts cheaply.


If you want to be put in touch with some other LC owners in Portugal let me know.
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  #5  
Old 26 Sep 2006
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Thanks very much everyone, so I now know what to go for (80). I appreciate the detailed advice.

A bit more feedback on fuel consumption from other owners would be great, because so far I have quite a wide range (I do appreciate it depends much on driving style and circumstances), but still from 20-30mpg is quite a difference.

Since it would be used day to day as well, 20mpg would put me off!

Thanks again!

Pieter
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  #6  
Old 26 Sep 2006
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fuel consumption

Julian has given the most detailed account possible and he knows the vehicles well. Fuel consumption is difficult. It's a relatively big engine, the car is heavy, and with racks and fully loaded for a trip south it will have the aerodynamic profile of a brick. but once in the desert you'll have a better engine with a great torque curve for sand etc.

I use my 80 as my only car. Great fun driving it in London although our glorious mayor may want to make it even more expensive to do so...Back here, I leave the roof rack on - nowhere to store it - and leave the awning on the side but other than that it is stripped back. I also believe in giving the engine a good and regular thrashing so I'm not gentle with my right foot. I also have no idea what my fuel consumption is on a regular basis. The engine sounds and feels fine, I change the oil very regularly and fill it with diesel more than I'd like to. But unlike a LR, I can sit at an indicated 80 mph on the motorway and hear myself think - and the radio for that matter.

Buy one. You won't regret it.
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  #7  
Old 26 Sep 2006
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I managed to buy a dog of an 80, so take someone with you who knows them. At 160k (miles) the headgasket went and the auto box packed up as the guy who bought it off me drove it home. Otherwise it was great .

I'm now a landy convert though.
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  #8  
Old 26 Sep 2006
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Wink yoda says 'don't do it!'

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
Having owned Landies for a number of years (first Defender 110 now Disco Tdi) I am considering going over to the dark side, i.e. getting a Landcruiser.
Pieter

Tempting, the dark side is.
Find your inner strength, You must.
hmmm...
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  #9  
Old 26 Sep 2006
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>>>.A bit more feedback on fuel consumption from other owners would be great

Couple of years ago a plain no-rack auto 80 in the desert:
Nasty small dunes 14mpg/5kpl
(a bit worse than my 61 and about the same as a Defender 110)

Out of Tam once on the highway an amazing 40mpg/14kpl!
Even my 61 got a record 33 but the Defender only reached 25 (the best it ever got in the dz). We couldnt work it out either but bar the tricky dunes (where a manual is best) the auto was always most economical of the 3 cars in the desert and lovely to drive.

Over the years in the desert I have found 80s a bit better on fuel than hard working 2.5s. Around town it might be different.

Just picked up 91 manual to drive to Mali. So far it's done about 500 miles to a tank - if that's 90 litres (??) then it's about 8.4 kpl/24mpg. Nothing special but pretty normal I believe.

Ch
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  #10  
Old 27 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter
A bit more feedback on fuel consumption from other owners would be great, because so far I have quite a wide range (I do appreciate it depends much on driving style and circumstances)
Fuel consumption will vary a lot even for bog standard spec vehicles before you even consider the effect of suspension mods, extra weight etc.

I have a '94 12valve 80 with a 2.5" lift and 150k miles on the clock and average 19-22mpg on day to day driving. I know someone else with exactly the same model, age and mileage and his wife averages 28mpg around the Midlands.

The key thing is the servicing - they are very forgiving motors with the only main indication of lack of service on the fuel system being the fuel economy. As a result many owners tend not to bother servicing the pump and injectors also depending on where you go it can be extremely expensive.

You should ideally aim to try to get the injectors and fuel pump stripped down and rebuilt every 100k miles with worn parts being replaced and then properly re-calibrated (many injector companies don't have the kit to service the dual pressure 80 series injectors) - I can get this done for about £300-£500, but I know several people who have been charged three times that.

The other thing is the valve clearances, it doesn't take much and once the cars get away from dealer servicing this also tends to fall by the way side, but you should aim to get these checked regularly. Unfortunately with the shims they aren't as easy as standard tappets on other diesels, however once you have done them a couple of times you soon get a stock of different sized shims to mix and match.


I guess the servicing issue is the same for all makes of vehicle, if the car isn't properly serviced you are asking for trouble and unfortunately as is clearly illustrated on other lists at the moment, even the dealers don't get it right.

As for my poor fuel consumption, my 80s days have been numbered for a while now (upgrading to a 100 series), but when I have found it's replacement I'll take it off the road to give it all the TLC it has missed out on over the last couple of years, including full injector and injection pump service and recalibration, re-shim the valves, do the big end bearings, tidy up the suspension and driveline (crying out for new CVs) and will either sell it of keep it.
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  #11  
Old 28 Sep 2006
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Hi Julian

Thanks for you detailed replies.

Good to know what to look out for, and particularly to know about the importance of servicing the injection system.

Chhers,

Pieter
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