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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
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  #16  
Old 30 Mar 2014
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Lots of good advice above

This is probably the best landcruiser forum

Land Cruiser Club

and has model specific forums which you will find useful.

You won't find an HJ61 in the UK so forget that. despite owning and loving a 60 I wouldn't advise getting one of those either. My choice was made with the heart not the head. Me and my h60 had a lot of history together and thats why I made the financially ridiculous decision to renovate it. Parts (mechanical bits and expedition type goodies) are difficult to come by. Many of the parts are no longer made by Toyota, I have had to go as far afield as Holland, UAE, japan, USA and err, Sheffield to do mine! They rust if you just look at them and you will spend a considerable amount of money just getting it to a state where it won't disappear in a pile of brown powder. There are less than 300 in the UK now so they really fall into the category of enthusiasts collectors cars now.

My money would be on a good 80 series. It combines the durability of the 60 with the comfort and power of later cruisers. They have a good standard spec such as on Uk models factory difflocks.It has coils (leafs on african corrugations will take you to a whole new level of discomfort!), they don't rust too badly and represent a good all round option for overlanding, which is why so many people use them for just that. The only fault I know of with them is big end bearing failure so I would make sorting that (kits are available) part of the rebuild.

IN terms of buying ready equipped or standard depends to a certain extent what comes up. If you find a good unmolested standard spec one, there's a lot to be said for that. A good honest car that shows it's faults and provides you with a blank canvas to do what you want with it. On the other hand, you will never get back what you spend on the vehicle, so buying a car that has already been done can be a cost effective solution, the difficulty is knowing the work has been done properly using good quality parts and it was done to suit someone elses needs which may not be the same as yours.

I would avoid buying one that has already done a trip because travelling does tend to muller your truck!! You don't know how mechanically sympathetic the person was and you don't want a vehicle that has been some wannabees Paris Dakar substitute.

Petrol isn't a great choice. It's more expensive, less economical, ignition systems are more complex and prone to problems and the fuel is dangerous and volatile. Try opening a jerry can of petrol that's been shaken around on the roof in 50 degrees on African corrugations all day and you'll see what I mean. Many years ago I read an article about a kid who went up in flames refueling a petrol landrover in Africa.

The difficulty will be finding a good one, and ultimately this may dictate what you get. There aren't many left but Julian Voelecker or Andy Lomas (via the forum above) would be a good start point. Take your time, don't rush and you should be able to find something suitable.
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  #17  
Old 30 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post

The difficulty will be finding a good one, and ultimately this may dictate what you get. There aren't many left but Julian Voelecker or Andy Lomas (via the forum above) would be a good start point. Take your time, don't rush and you should be able to find something suitable.
Thanks, very helpful.
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  #18  
Old 31 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by Av8r View Post
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. Parts availability/cost, etc?
Overseas I travel on 2 wheels, although a good friend in France sourced a 61 Series locally with the factory 12HT last year for 5000 Euro or so, he's one very happy boy.

Be ready to travel and wait to find the right car and know what you're looking at or have someone who knows look at the car before you buy. The least amount of electric accessories the less will go wrong. Find one with a bull bar and spotties if your lucky some of the 61 series came out with a factory PTO winch, nice ;-) Buy from an owner not a dealer if possible. Or importing a car from Japan is easy enough there a plenty of dealers in the UK doing it, MOT'd the lot. You will find the cars from Japan are mostly very well looked after, un abused, often fully optioned and with low K's / miles.

Look at, a car that is proven and will stand up to some punishment, the 61 series Turbo Diesel and the 80 series Turbo Diesel are awesome 4X4's. Simply add 33 inch tyres and alloy mags and go ;-) Regarding the 80 Series, I'd recommend putting free wheeling hubs in to save some fuel, tyres and transmission.

Auto is not my choice although there are plenty out there and I have not heard of many issues with the boxes. Mind you it will depend on what you tow and they are not quite as fuel efficient.

One thing with all of the Toyota diesels is the oil, it must be changed every 5000 Kilometres or so without fail, easy to do albeit expensive at 9 litres or so.

Parts are easy enough to source given the net these days, generic oil, fuel and air filters and plentiful and cheap, anything else just order online or source through you local 4X4 clubs or wreckers.

The 2 models or variations I'd look at are;

1990 Toyota Landcruiser Sahara HJ61RG

1992 Toyota Landcruiser Sahara HDJ80R

Good luck, Cheers Dave
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  #19  
Old 31 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by Av8r View Post
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?
Hi,

Permanently importing any Land Cruiser made after 1988 into Australia is virtually impossible unless you can prove you have owned it for more than a year overseas and you have Australian residency granted before it arrives. However, with the impending death of the Australian car industry we might see the import laws relaxing. (Here's hoping!)

Imports are usually more expensive to insure in Australia and some of the mainstream companies refuse to offer agreed value on them. You might be stuck with market value and it can be a pittance.

Parts should not be an issue. Most Toyota dealers will now order parts for imports although you might have to wait for them to arrive and pay a bit more.

In the unlikely event you find an ex-Australian car with the Australia compliance plate still attached under the bonnet, then re-importing again is no problem.

Cheers,
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  #20  
Old 31 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by bnicho View Post
Hi,

Permanently importing any Land Cruiser made after 1988 into Australia is virtually impossible unless you can prove you have owned it for more than a year overseas and you have Australian residency granted before it arrives. However, with the impending death of the Australian car industry we might see the import laws relaxing. (Here's hoping!)

Imports are usually more expensive to insure in Australia and some of the mainstream companies refuse to offer agreed value on them. You might be stuck with market value and it can be a pittance.

Parts should not be an issue. Most Toyota dealers will now order parts for imports although you might have to wait for them to arrive and pay a bit more.

In the unlikely event you find an ex-Australian car with the Australia compliance plate still attached under the bonnet, then re-importing again is no problem.

Cheers,
Brett.
Yes, it'll be a personal import, the one-year rule and residency won't be a problem.

I'll need to investigate the insurance issues, but had already assumed there would be a cost implication.

Thanks for that, very helpful.
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  #21  
Old 8 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by liammons View Post
Sorry, the manual box is weaker. But it can easily be changed for an 80 one.
Quite a common mod.
I'm pretty certain the manual in the 100 series is the same as an 80, but the manual in the lower powered 1HZ engined 105 is weaker (although appropriate for the engine).
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  #22  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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It would be good to know a budget about how much you want to spend for the car with modding.

To take a Land Cruiser is a good choise.

Which one - here we can discuss near endless.

I did chose a new Land Cruiser 200 (europe spec) for crossing africa. We choose to sleep inside, not in a tent or rooftent.



You can find details about our car and our travel diary here
Trans-Africa

I would suggests to use an automatic car, one with aircon. Look for comfort while driving, what points to never models.

Therefore you dont plan to do some offroad stuff, i would suggest spend the money to travel comfort, not the way who lead to Frontbar, Winch, Difflocks and so on.

Here is some inspiration for building an sleeping plattform inside:
4x4tripping: Sleeping inside of the car, Overlanding with comfort (but less space)

What was helpful for is for our trip:
4x4tripping: The top 7 overland equipment and gear


Here is an German Article about choosing an vehicle, who may be helpful too:

4x4tripping: Optimale Fahrzeugwahl für Reisende

Surfy

Last edited by Surfy; 9 Apr 2014 at 13:31.
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  #23  
Old 9 Apr 2014
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What happended to the 70 series?

60.000km in Africa - 0 problem (only broken leaf springs but these were not original toyota!)
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  #24  
Old 10 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by noel di pietro View Post
What happended to the 70 series?

60.000km in Africa - 0 problem (only broken leaf springs but these were not original toyota!)
Unfortunately we struggle to get hold of them in the UK, the Troopies and Traybacks were never sold over here.
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  #25  
Old 10 Apr 2014
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Just to add to the other great content....

Whilst I love my 80, I would personally choose a 100 series because it is a more comfortable drive and would ideally aim for a post August '03 to get the newer gearbox, although they are still a little pricey for overlanding.

You can pickup a reasonable 80 for around £5-8k, but expect to have to spend another £5k to baseline it.

100s can be picked up for around £8k upwards and will require around £3k to baseline.

Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, we have had some very badly rusted 80s and 100s here mainly due to previous owners playing in the sea!

Prep wise there isn't a vast amount in it. It is worth while swapping the torque converter on the auto 100s and if you can afford it or are planning to go off piste a lot then also fit a front air locker to strengthen the front diff (not so necessary on the later models).

I prefer the autos due the ease of driving and also they are better in sand and mud, although drink more fuel on short runs - on longer high speed runs the different final gearing can nudge the auto ahead of the manual. They are generally pretty bomb proof, however the key is to make sure that they have decent fresh oil and an extra oil cooler.


With regards the pre-prepped vehicles you can pick up some real bargains particularly when looking at some really high specced ones, however they do tend to be tired and will still need to be baselined.

Mods wise aim for something like a 2" lift, a snorkel, diff breathers, underbody protection (on the 100s) and I would probably also fit a 3rd battery and split charge system for extra electrical kit. You may also want a roof rack for extra storage.

Some people opt for a platform in the back so you can sleep on top and then store kit underneath - this works well although do remember that for some countries you may need a guide so access to one of the 2nd row seats is handy, although you can have removable board for covering this when not required.

Are you based in the UK?
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  #26  
Old 15 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
It would be good to know a budget about how much you want to spend for the car with modding.


Surfy
Hi Surfy

Thanks for those links, some very good ideas.

Budget is less than £20,000 including servicing and mods and equipment.

The aim at this point is to purchase as new and low miles a vehicle as possible, while still leaving a reasonable amount for servicing and modifications/equipment.

We would like to also sleep in the vehicle most of the time I think, so some camper ideas like those in your links are good.
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  #27  
Old 15 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
Just to add to the other great content....
Yes, some really good advice in this thread and via PM so far!

Thanks to all who have contributed.

Quote:
Whilst I love my 80, I would personally choose a 100 series because it is a more comfortable drive and would ideally aim for a post August '03 to get the newer gearbox, although they are still a little pricey for overlanding.

You can pickup a reasonable 80 for around £5-8k, but expect to have to spend another £5k to baseline it.

100s can be picked up for around £8k upwards and will require around £3k to baseline.
Very helpful, thanks for that.

I had narrowed the search so far to the 04 model year or newer. Are there any easy ways to spot one that's "August 03" or newer from the pictures etc in classifieds or features?

We live a long way from anywhere in rural Scotland, so when travelling to look at vehicles, etc, it's better to know for sure before you go.

Quote:
Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, we have had some very badly rusted 80s and 100s here mainly due to previous owners playing in the sea!

Prep wise there isn't a vast amount in it. It is worth while swapping the torque converter on the auto 100s and if you can afford it or are planning to go off piste a lot then also fit a front air locker to strengthen the front diff (not so necessary on the later models).
Wouldn't be planning on going too far off-piste, dirt roads or tracks and maybe some open desert or beaches when camping.

So for example, sand ladders could be useful, rock sliders not so much..... Not planning to play in the mud too much either unless we really have to.

Capability/reliability/range for unplanned changes to route or forced detours is good, but that's about it.

Quote:
I prefer the autos due the ease of driving and also they are better in sand and mud, although drink more fuel on short runs - on longer high speed runs the different final gearing can nudge the auto ahead of the manual. They are generally pretty bomb proof, however the key is to make sure that they have decent fresh oil and an extra oil cooler.
Surprised Auto seems to rank so well from those that know, but happy to go down that path if it's the right thing to do.

Quote:
With regards the pre-prepped vehicles you can pick up some real bargains particularly when looking at some really high specced ones, however they do tend to be tired and will still need to be baselined.
Is there anything in particular worth avoiding or alternatively worth snapping up if you see it?

Quote:
Mods wise aim for something like a 2" lift, a snorkel, diff breathers, underbody protection (on the 100s) and I would probably also fit a 3rd battery and split charge system for extra electrical kit. You may also want a roof rack for extra storage.
Do you have a rough idea of cost to do all these properly?

Quote:
Some people opt for a platform in the back so you can sleep on top and then store kit underneath - this works well although do remember that for some countries you may need a guide so access to one of the 2nd row seats is handy, although you can have removable board for covering this when not required.
We were thinking along these lines. The China transit will need a guide, so the seat is necessary.

Quote:
Are you based in the UK?
Yes, in Northern Scotland.

Last edited by Av8r; 17 Apr 2014 at 09:19.
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  #28  
Old 18 Apr 2014
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You mention a budget of £20k , dont forget costs of importing into OZ , + quarantine cleaning costs , the tax adds up quite quickly .

If you go auto then make sure you have a spare starter assy , as you cant tow start , so have to rely totally on the batteries and starter working . HTSH
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  #29  
Old 18 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by tacr2man View Post
You mention a budget of £20k , dont forget costs of importing into OZ , + quarantine cleaning costs , the tax adds up quite quickly .
Aye, don't I know it.

Fortunately £20K is the budget for the vehicle and initial servicing/mods only.

We have another budget in mind for living and fuel costs, services on the road, carnet/visas, shipping, china transit, import duties, etc.

Quote:
If you go auto then make sure you have a spare starter assy , as you cant tow start , so have to rely totally on the batteries and starter working . HTSH
Good point.

Thanks
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  #30  
Old 18 Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
Just to add to the other great content....



You can pickup a reasonable 80 for around £5-8k, but expect to have to spend another £5k to baseline it.

100s can be picked up for around £8k upwards and will require around £3k to baseline.


?

Why would you rate a 100 cheaper to baseline Julian?

Just curious
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