Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > Light Overland Vehicle Tech
Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



Like Tree12Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Which Land Cruiser?

Hi folks,

A few questions from a newbie here.

We're a couple looking to buy a land cruiser and spend the next year or so getting to know the vehicle and bringing it up to as good a state of reliability as possible.

With the eventual goal of completing two overland trips, one from SA to the UK, and then a second a year or so later from the UK to Australia where we'll be moving to and so importing the vehicle to keep.

Would be interested in knowing people's thoughts about the following?

- Which series? 80 or 100, or..... We're currently inclined to find as new-ish and low miles an example as possible within a sensible budget, given this will be a lifetime ownership vehicle that we'd plan to keep and use after the trips for exploring Australia for hopefully a long time to come. Albeit, have read about the different schools of thought on modern electronics and sensitivity to dirty/poor fuel in some parts of the world. Still undecided but open to people's experiences?

- Is the newer/lower miles option the way to go here from a cost-efficiency perspective? Or is it possible that it actually makes more financial sense to find an older/higher mileage example for less money and then spend more on rebuilding? In other words, is a £5K base vehicle and £10K of servicing sometimes a better option than a £15K base vehicle and £5K worth of servicing?

- Buy a prepared overlanding vehicle or build one up from a standard vehicle? Is there rule of thumb here that it makes more sense to buy one that someone else has spent the time/money preparing, or is there little difference? We've all seen the ads that say "buy my truck for 18K, 40K spent on it"... But is this (a) true and (b) universally applicable?

- Modifications? What makes sense to do? We're not really interested in extreme off-roading, and while we're all for having a bit more off-road capability and longer range than standard and enough accessories to make life easier, in reality it'll spend most of it's life on roads of some description, albeit perhaps some very rough ones. I'm usually of the opinion that the most reliable and capable vehicles are often the ones that have as few modifications as possible, so what is genuinely helpful and adds to reliability/durability rather than subtracts from it?

- Comfort? This will be our home for a very long time. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the most comfortable options are for sleeping/cooking arrangements? Would like to keep the option of sleeping inside the vehicle if at all possible, although a roof tent would be useful for some occasions, there will be times/places/weather when we'd prefer to stay inside.

-Automatic or Manual, diesel or petrol, active or passive suspension? Bearing in mind not just the needs/compromises of these two trips, but also it's future home in Aus?

Thanks in advance and apologies if I've opened a can of worms on the choice of series debate.....
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered User
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 377
61 Series Sahara Manual with the 12HT motor!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
It is easier to keep a vehicle with minimum electronics running for longer. All the electronic gizmos fail over time due to corrosion, gradual breakdown and increasing fragility of PVC or other plastic parts including the coating on all the (MILES) of wires themselves.
After all that, there remain all the mechanical failures that a vehicle with no electronics can also have. People seem to forget that, even with 5000 sensors, your chassis can still crack or a radiator hose can still burst etc etc.

If you buy a structurally and mechanically sound base vehicle such as an 80 series (running well and not rotten with rust, NOT necessarily mint) and throw 10k at restoring it, you will have a very tight vehicle indeed. 15k for a 100 series that cost 50k+ new means someone else already got 35K of use out of it, its far from new.

Its beyond me how you could spend 40k prepping a vehicle. Where are these people going, the moon??

With an 80 for example;
replace the rad, hoses, water pump and flush the cooling.
service the front and rear axles and the drive line.
service the engine.
put decent suspension on it.
put decent new tyres on it.
stick on some form of a bullbar (in case you hit wildlife/livestock).
throw a few jerrycans in the back for diesel and water.
Total cost of doing all this with proper Toyota parts except for the suspension, tyres and Bullbar, 5-7k. Labour, I would guess another 2/3k; but make sure whoever does it knows what they are doing.

Everything else is only toys: roof tents, shower systems, fridges, split charge systems, on board dvd player, built in hot tub!! ........
If you were on a bike you wouldn't have any of the above and you wouldn't die for the lack of them

When you look at these 40k spent vehicles, you wonder where the money was spent.... toys usually..... and then you wonder how much of the worthwhile stuff was done properly (use Toyota parts, NEVER rubbish pattern partsfor essential stuff, they are cheap for a reason usually)

Instead of paying someone to do all this, learn to do it yourself, even if you have to pay someone to teach you a bit of it. The factory service manuals are available for free in .pdf online, more basic manuals can be bought on amazon etc which will be easier for those with a non mechanical background (the FSM's assume you have a reasonable basic knowledge of mechanics). That way you'll know it was done right and if anything does break you;ll be able to diagnose the problem and most likely be confident fixing it.

All the above applies if you buy a 60 series and 80 series or even a 100 series. bi er
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Oh and diesel, manual all the way.

Manual is one less thing to go wrong, diesel is cheaper to run.

But the 100 and I think the 105 have a weaker gearbox than the 80.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liammons View Post
It is easier to keep a vehicle with minimum electronics running for longer. All the electronic gizmos fail over time due to corrosion, gradual breakdown and increasing fragility of PVC or other plastic parts including the coating on all the (MILES) of wires themselves.
After all that, there remain all the mechanical failures that a vehicle with no electronics can also have. People seem to forget that, even with 5000 sensors, your chassis can still crack or a radiator hose can still burst etc etc.
Yes, there's certainly a lot of logic in that argument, and it's been repeated often enough by people that have 'been there and done it' that I'm seriously considering that option.

On the flip side however, I'm also not averse in theory to newer 100/200 series. Yes, there is more to go wrong, but they're also newer and lower miles..... there are still plenty of people using them for overlanding without seemingly any major issues cropping up so far.

Quote:
If you buy a structurally and mechanically sound base vehicle such as an 80 series (running well and not rotten with rust, NOT necessarily mint) and throw 10k at restoring it, you will have a very tight vehicle indeed. 15k for a 100 series that cost 50k+ new means someone else already got 35K of use out of it, its far from new.
That's essentially the main decision really.

Which is the better option..... I see the arguments on both sides.

The main factor for me though is as close to bulletproof reliability as I can get.

Ease of fixing it in the wilderness is second to that, as although I'm pretty much mechanically illiterate (despite a fair bit of previous motorsport involvement) so would be reliant on getting it to a repair facility, I do see the argument that finding someone able to work on an 80 series might be easier than finding someone able to competently repair a newer one.

Quote:
Its beyond me how you could spend 40k prepping a vehicle. Where are these people going, the moon??
In a previous life I managed a big corporate's involvement in both a rally raid team and international group N campaign, and we never spent that much on preparing one. Although to be fair, we didn't expect them to last beyond a few races before rebuild either.

But you still see the ads.... Hence why I'm here and asking questions.


Quote:
With an 80 for example;
replace the rad, hoses, water pump and flush the cooling.
service the front and rear axles and the drive line.
service the engine.
put decent suspension on it.
put decent new tyres on it.
stick on some form of a bullbar (in case you hit wildlife/livestock).
throw a few jerrycans in the back for diesel and water.
Total cost of doing all this with proper Toyota parts except for the suspension, tyres and Bullbar, 5-7k. Labour, I would guess another 2/3k; but make sure whoever does it knows what they are doing.
All good advice.

I'd be planning to try and get someone like Julian Voelcker to overhaul the truck completely. His reputation seems to be spot on and I see he's a mod on here as well, so hopefully he'll be along shortly to offer advice.

Quote:
Everything else is only toys: roof tents, shower systems, fridges, split charge systems, on board dvd player, built in hot tub!! ........
If you were on a bike you wouldn't have any of the above and you wouldn't die for the lack of them
LOL

I don't mind toys if they help with comfort at my age....

Been there and done that on the bike front, and spent more than enough time sleeping in tents in the desert on raids and getting woken by the bikes at 5:00 am....

But it's not just me now, and the wife requires a certain level of creature comforts these days. Especially if we're living in it for a couple of years.

Quote:
When you look at these 40k spent vehicles, you wonder where the money was spent.... toys usually..... and then you wonder how much of the worthwhile stuff was done properly (use Toyota parts, NEVER rubbish pattern partsfor essential stuff, they are cheap for a reason usually)
Absolutely.

My mantra is to keep the mechanicals as close to factory spec as possible, and rebuild anything needing it using only original Toyota parts.

Toyota spends hundreds of millions developing and testing these vehicles to try and keep their reputation for reliability and ability to go anywhere.... It's very unlikely many aftermarket suppliers can equal that.

Quote:
Instead of paying someone to do all this, learn to do it yourself, even if you have to pay someone to teach you a bit of it. The factory service manuals are available for free in .pdf online, more basic manuals can be bought on amazon etc which will be easier for those with a non mechanical background (the FSM's assume you have a reasonable basic knowledge of mechanics). That way you'll know it was done right and if anything does break you;ll be able to diagnose the problem and most likely be confident fixing it.

All the above applies if you buy a 60 series and 80 series or even a 100 series.
Thanks, good advice.

Can't emphasise enough how mechanically ungifted I am though, so while I'm certainly happy to try and learn, I'll still be trying to buy reliability as a primary objective.

Last edited by Av8r; 29 Mar 2014 at 22:48.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liammons View Post
Oh and diesel, manual all the way.

Manual is one less thing to go wrong, diesel is cheaper to run.
That is what I'm thinking at the moment....

Only concern is there's not many of the manuals out there in decent condition. Rarer than hen's teeth from what I can see.

Also interested in figuring out if petrol has any advantages over diesel either from the dirty/high-sulphur fuel in Asia/Africa perspective, or for owning it as a lifetime vehicle in Australia.

Understand it's more expensive in fuel costs, although also cheaper to buy, but what's the reality like in terms of reliability, fuel availability in remote areas, etc?

Quote:
But the 100 and I think the 105 have a weaker gearbox than the 80.
Manual, auto, or both?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
And also, do any of the Aussie members have experience of running a UK sourced land cruiser? As that's where it'll be ending up for the rest of it's life after these trips.

I know Toyota have different specs for different markets.

Is there anything that's critically different?

What about insuring an import?

Parts availability/cost, etc?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8r View Post

On the flip side however, I'm also not averse in theory to newer 100/200 series. Yes, there is more to go wrong, but they're also newer and lower miles..... there are still plenty of people using them for overlanding without seemingly any major issues cropping up so far.



That's essentially the main decision really.

Which is the better option..... I see the arguments on both sides.

The main factor for me though is as close to bulletproof reliability as I can get.

I have seen looms on older cars start to degrade after 30 years, especially if a little water gets in from a dozed windscreen seal etc.

You are talking about keeping the vehicle for a good few years, even if you buy a 5 year old LC today, it will still be 25 years old in 20 years time. Its at that point that the electrical gremlins will REALLY show their head.

Mercedes, Toyota and a few more were knocking out simple diesel engined cars/trucks that could comfortably do 500k miles in the 1970s, think mercedes OM617 engine, Toyota 2H etc. Then they realised their mistake and needed to start making cars less reliable in order to sell more new ones and make a bigger profit. Cue endless fiddly little gadgets, nonsense and this is where we are today.

I would never buy a common rail diesel engined anything, on simple principle; any engine failure has to be catastrophic and leave you stranded and in need of a new engine.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liammons View Post
I have seen looms on older cars start to degrade after 30 years, especially if a little water gets in from a dozed windscreen seal etc.

You are talking about keeping the vehicle for a good few years, even if you buy a 5 year old LC today, it will still be 25 years old in 20 years time. Its at that point that the electrical gremlins will REALLY show their head.

Mercedes, Toyota and a few more were knocking out simple diesel engined cars/trucks that could comfortably do 500k miles in the 1970s, think mercedes OM617 engine, Toyota 2H etc. Then they realised their mistake and needed to start making cars less reliable in order to sell more new ones and make a bigger profit. Cue endless fiddly little gadgets, nonsense and this is where we are today.

I would never buy a common rail diesel engined anything, on simple principle; any engine failure has to be catastrophic and leave you stranded and in need of a new engine.
Totally get that line of argument, and there's a lot going for it.

On the other hand however, my real worry is not 30 years from now, it's the next 5 years and 50,000 miles.

And I've spent enough of my life in stripped down rally cars, on bikes, camping in deserts, etc, to appreciate a bit more comfort and civilised performance than perhaps a 20 year old vehicle can give. Albeit, I'm not willing to trade reliability for comfort either....

It'll be an interesting journey this I feel, trying to find the right tool for the job.

Thanks for your input.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8r View Post
That is what I'm thinking at the moment....

Only concern is there's not many of the manuals out there in decent condition. Rarer than hen's teeth from what I can see.

Also interested in figuring out if petrol has any advantages over diesel either from the dirty/high-sulphur fuel in Asia/Africa perspective, or for owning it as a lifetime vehicle in Australia.

Understand it's more expensive in fuel costs, although also cheaper to buy, but what's the reality like in terms of reliability, fuel availability in remote areas, etc?



Manual, auto, or both?
Sorry, the manual box is weaker. But it can easily be changed for an 80 one.
Quite a common mod.

Low octane petrol is a problem too, same as diesel. I'm not as familiar with petrols to know how much of a problem though.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8r View Post
Totally get that line of argument, and there's a lot going for it.

On the other hand however, my real worry is not 30 years from now, it's the next 5 years and 50,000 miles.

And I've spent enough of my life in stripped down rally cars, on bikes, camping in deserts, etc, to appreciate a bit more comfort and civilised performance than perhaps a 20 year old vehicle can give. Albeit, I'm not willing to trade reliability for comfort either....

It'll be an interesting journey this I feel, trying to find the right tool for the job.

Thanks for your input.

I drove a brand new petrol Dacia Duster for 2000kms last year in Romania, top spec, was no nicer than my 1991 80 series, just shinier. I'd take the 80 over it anyday.

A 100 is a little less bumpy, and looks more up to date inside and out, but it isn't that much nicer. It also feels flimsier, not badly built, just not as rugged.

Drive a few of each, see which YOU prefer and why, remember mileage is like age, its only a number on these.

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liammons View Post
I drove a brand new petrol Dacia Duster for 2000kms last year in Romania, top spec, was no nicer than my 1991 80 series, just shinier. I'd take the 80 over it anyday.

A 100 is a little less bumpy, and looks more up to date inside and out, but it isn't that much nicer. It also feels flimsier, not badly built, just not as rugged.
Fair enough.

I currently drive a 4 year old Audi diesel with 120K miles on it, and recently had to drive a brand new vauxhall hire car for a week.... it was horrible.... cheap, tinny, underpowered.

But I also suspect that had a lot to do with what I'm used to rather than the merits of the vehicle itself.

I suppose I'm wondering if a lot of the 60 vs 80 vs 100 vs 200 series arguments online have as much to do with the owners opinions as the actual performance of the vehicles?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8r View Post
Fair enough.

I currently drive a 4 year old Audi diesel with 120K miles on it, and recently had to drive a brand new vauxhall hire car for a week.... it was horrible.... cheap, tinny, underpowered.

But I also suspect that had a lot to do with what I'm used to rather than the merits of the vehicle itself.

I suppose I'm wondering if a lot of the 60 vs 80 vs 100 vs 200 series arguments online have as much to do with the owners opinions as the actual performance of the vehicles?
Well, you may not be too far from the mark there, this is why I suggest trying them all. Long time since I drove a 60, but they are very agricultural!

An 80 or a 100 will feel very different to your Audi, but both feel more like a very big car, rather than a small truck. Both are very comfortable on a long drive (400/500 miles), you just sit back and relax and they eat up the miles.

As for enthusiasts, well....... There a those that would recommend a defender
Now thats like driving a tractor with all the wheels the same size.

Go with the one YOU like the best to drive, they are all capable trucks, just the 200 has shown more weaknesses, particularly in Oz!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liammons View Post
Well, you may not be too far from the mark there, this is why I suggest trying them all. Long time since I drove a 60, but they are very agricultural!
I've never driven a 60, but have driven old Nissan Patrols from the same era, so can imagine 'agricultural' is a good description.

Quote:
An 80 or a 100 will feel very different to your Audi, but both feel more like a very big car, rather than a small truck. Both are very comfortable on a long drive (400/500 miles), you just sit back and relax and they eat up the miles.
Yes, I've driven a few 80 and 100 series, but it was a very long time ago and they were all petrol versions. Can't remember much about how they drive other than "big car" rather than "small truck" is about right.

Quote:
Go with the one YOU like the best to drive, they are all capable trucks, just the 200 has shown more weaknesses, particularly in Oz!
Thanks, do you know what it is about 200 series that are 'known issues' in Oz?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 30 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: My place and other places.
Posts: 172
Basically the 200 V8 has some engine reliability problems, like burning oil long before high milages are reached. That as much as I know about 200.

Look on LCOOL, the Oz LC forum.

UK forum is landcruiserclub.net

USA is IH8UD
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:13.