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Another one looking for a half decent 80 series


New Member
Jan 18, 2022
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As per my post in 'introduce yourself':

New to this forum and I'm in the market for (preferably) an 80 series 4.5 on LPG, or perhaps a 100 series Land Cruiser if the price is right (I know, "join the back of the queue" :grinning:)

My Dad has had four Land Cruisers over the years, three 80 series 4.5L converted to LPG and one 100 series 4.7L also on LPG, and my wife has a 2007 Prius which I also drive and maintain so I'm fairly familiar with Toyota reliability and quality. I work on all my own cars and not afraid to get my hands dirty but I do want something sturdy, reliable and fairly simple (hence preferring the 80 series and being put off by the Range Rovers!)

I've been to look at one so far, found it on Facebook marketplace in Stockport. Needs a fair bit of work, it's been parked up in a barn seemingly since 2013 (!!!!) and is pouring out white smoke from the exhaust. The guy selling it wasn't the previous owner and didn't seem to know too much about it, he was just selling cheap cars/vans from home. Obviously something had gone wrong and the previous owner didn't think it was worth fixing at the time. My guess is either the head gasket or a cracked block - it's definitely getting coolant into the cylinders but there's no mayo in the oil cap. It was also pretty tatty overall and obviously hadn't been looked after too well - it was still full of detritus and crap from when it was parked up 8/9 years ago. Someone had been mucking about with the LPG system also, pipes and clamps were loose and electrical connectors were unclipped, so that put me off. I don't mind a bit of work, but I feel like it was too much and all this is before you consider all the perished rubber and seized up parts after sitting for 9 years. The seller did say he'd take less than the asking price to move it on - it was up for £3850 and I reckon he would have taken closer to £3k.

I'm also considering going to look at this one:
1997 Toyota Land Cruiser VX 4.5 AUTO LPG/GAS 7 SEATER 80 SERIES (NOT AMAZON) | eBay - [Leaving Land Cruiser Club]

It's up for sale from Valley4x4 for £3995. I've already read a few horror stories about this guy, I believe who also calls himself the 'Cruiser King'. By all accounts I shouldn't trust a word that comes out of his mouth, but just going off the photos, it doesn't look that bad. Sounds like it needs a new head gasket, rad or other issue with the cooling system to be resolved, but if I spent, say £500-£1000 on parts, a bit of bodywork and paint (I'm not after pristine, just sort out the rotten tailgate, the rot around the LPG filler and probably a couple of other bits), and a few weekends of my time I could potentially end up with a half decent 80 series for £5-6k which in the current market doesn't seem too bad. I suppose that's if, as the seller seems to describe, all that's wrong with it is an overheating issue.

Has anyone actually been to see this specific car in Mirfield? I know prices in general for used cars are a bit mental, especially the 'modern classics' like Land Cruisers, but am I mad for considering spending £4k on an 80 series that needs quite a bit of work!? It seems the only other option is I spend £8000+ for a fairly sorted car, but they're getting few and far between. Would £8k even get me a half decent 80 series these days?? There's one on autotrader that looks very tidy (although still not what I'd call mint) for £17k which seems mental IMO.
I've got no personal experience of the 80 series but I would want a good video of underneath and also worth checking MOT history on .Gov website.
If you're close enough to view it easily that's fine but if it's a long trip and the chassis/sills are rotten, you'll be annoyed I imagine.
Hi Oli and good luck! Prices are a bit of a lottery at the moment - they are definitely going up, but also a lot of chancers asking stupid money. There have been a few decent 80s changing hands under £10k recently, so they are around - but you need to know what you're looking at and be quick when you do commit!

Regarding the link you sent through, if it was really an easy fix and "guaranteed not overheated", as the advert suggests, I would ask why Valley 4x4 don't just repair it themselves and add a couple of grand to the sale price? My guess is that they really have no idea how much damage has been done and don't want to launch into the work and find its a money pit.

As Nick says, if its close by all means have a look, otherwise I'd be a bit cautious. Maybe getting the AA to do an assessment for you, if you're a good distance away and really serious... or see if any of the 80 series guys on here are local and willing to pop by and look at it for you.
It's about an hour each direction for me, so I don't mind going to have a look at it. I'll be going with my Dad who, as already mentioned, has had a few of these over the years. I have also checked the MOT history online. There's a couple of failures (2018 and 2009), nothing too concerning. 2018 MOT also mentions 'underbody generally suffering from light corrosion' which isn't too concerning if it is just light corrosion - needs a good poke around.

Dave S - I agree with your point regarding why haven't they just repaired it themselves. I suppose there's a degree of risk as to how much work it would turn out to be, but I'm not completely averse to a bit of risk. One of the things that does concern me however is if the engine is knackered - cracked block or whatever, it's not exactly easy to find a good second hand engine and I bet when they do come up for sale, they aren't cheap.
That was what I meant really Oli - this cheap Cruiser could quickly turn into an expensive Cruiser if the block's toast.

Given how close you are, definitely worth a visit, I'd say. You'll need to dig into the bodywork to see how much work will be needed to get it "right" - as you say, the MOT history is promising, but it could easily need sills, wheel arch repairs, etc - but given your dad's experience he'll probably know where they tend to rot out.

Make sure all the ancillaries etc work too - electrics, lockers, etc - stuff that wouldn't necessarily show up on the MOT but still can be expensive to fix.

If you do go, take some photos and report back, eh!?

All the best
Good shout on the photos, will do and will report back - could save someone else the trip if it's a shed.

Unless of course he's watching over me and tells me off for taking photos. By the sound of it he's an interesting character this 'Cruiser King' :laughing:
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Shifting s/h 4.5 petrol engines must be like shifting dead men, therefore should be fairly cheap, still its like buying work. If its solid with a fault like that its £2.5k max.
He's a character alright, I was there about 6 weeks ago. As soon as he saw me going round the weak spots on these things and obviously knew my stuff he said they were closing even though it was half past two in the afternoon.
I don't think he and I saw eye to eye, if you know your stuff he'll not like you.
Retail prices without warranty, mmn.
If you went with the truck and needed an engine I would have one that needs head gasket doing but I know it hadn't been cooked as the truck was used on the road for some time after. The overheating only showed when towing. The rad etc was never inspected so may turn out to be ok.
Interesting, good to know - what sort of price would I be looking at out of interest?
The problem is that the price of the diesel 80s is dragging up the petrol ones.

People know exactly what these cars are worth now adays and it’s certainly a sellers market.

Personally if you’re set on a petrol then recommend importing one from Japan.
90% of the cruisers over here are rotten and been green laning for years. Hence why everyone is fanatic about triple lockers.

My dad imported a diesel 80 a couple of years ago and the condition was incredible.
It is Literally the best driving cruiser I’ve ever drove and I’ve driven a lot.

I wouldn’t touch that £4k turd and to be honest a £8k one will only be a tarted up turd.

Save up and import one.
Yep mine will be coming up for sale in spring. I have a trip planned in it (won't have time to sort the new one out for the trip) and still on a prototype long range fuel tank (made by a club member on here) would want the finished item fitted before sale tbh as had various adjustments. Would also want to give a good check over after the trip incase anything needed sorting.

No lpg though, run on super unleaded even before e10, 97500 miles currently, had all the usual areas done (it's all in my build thread so nothing to hide) well maintained, genuinely doesn't want for anything, getting a new air con compressor this weekend, yes I do a lot of green laning but it's also washed after every trip, I've posted various trip reports for laning/camping etc, not a battered vehicle, even the drivers seat is in shape I just use it as intended. Only thing that doesn't work great is the heated rear screen.

Haven't got a definite price currently but my insurance agreed value is £12.5k.
I don't expect it to achieve that and I know what I'd be happy with.
Won't have the winch fitted but will have a mount.
Likely will go with the standard wheels with 33's (has 35's on steel rims) 3rd row seats will be with it and a spares package, various seals, belts, wheel bearing kit, genuine cv joint, some service bits.
Will all be built into the price but all that stuff sells separately too.
This is more like it :-


Only 40K EUROS.
Yep mine will be coming up for sale in spring.

Interesting, will be sure to keep an eye out for when it goes on sale if I’ve not found one before. Where do you plan to list it for sale? Just through the club or eBay/Autotrader/somewhere else?

The one at Valley in need of work has mysteriously gone up in price again. It was on for £4995 a while ago but got dropped to £3995 but now he’s relisted it for £4995. Must really not want it to sell. He’s had it since at least September 2021 too - you can see it on google street view parked outside his unit! Guess I won’t be going to see it for £5k. He can jog on.
As much as I'd love an import, there are various complications:

Primarily, my main use for a Land Cruiser will be towing - towing other cars using a car transporter trailer. Are Japanese imported 80 series plated with towing capacity and if so are they plated for 3.5t like the later UK spec 80 series are?

Secondly is the cost - I get what you're saying that an import will be of a much better condition as Japanese imports almost always are, but it's also likely to be at a premium. I'm guessing to a large extent, but I wouldn't be shocked if we're talking in the region of £20k or more by the time it's road registered in the UK. I don't want an 80 series that much, to be honest.

I'm not looking for a mint show car by any means. I'm looking for an overall solid work horse, a few battle scars are fine, I just don't want an absolute rot box and I don't believe that all UK spec cars are. This one I went to see that had been parked up for 9 years wasn't. It had surface rust to the underside, but it would clean up. Obviously the tidier the better, but I'm under no illusions that I'm looking for an old car at the lower end of the market, it's not going to be perfect.
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Agree to disagree. There's a difference between a rot box and a bit of surface corrosion and/or some scabby areas.

It's an old car made of steel, it's always going to rust and even if I got a mint jap import it would rust eventually unless you put a lot of time and effort into protecting it every year. Not something I fancy doing tbh - I'm not after a garage queen.
Agree to disagree. There's a difference between a rot box and a bit of surface corrosion and/or some scabby areas.

It's an old car made of steel, it's always going to rust and even if I got a mint jap import it would rust eventually unless you put a lot of time and effort into protecting it every year. Not something I fancy doing tbh - I'm not after a garage queen.

Ok we’re not talking Land Rover rot box but pretty dam rusty.
You may drop on a diamond in the rough but they are thin on the ground.

I’d rather pay £15k for an import petrol than £8k for a tarted up green laned UK car.

Majority of the Japanese cars are used as show off toys and have never towed anything in their live.
Although if you want a tow vehicle then I seriously wouldn’t get a petrol anyway but that’s another story.
Well the obvious exception of course, other than barn finds, are those pre loved 80's owned by people like us. OK we don't sell them very often, but I've an 80 sitting out there that's in very good fettle indeed. No plans to sell it, but some people do; look at Gary. But I'd certainly NEVER sell mine to a dealer. It would be to someone I knew and trusted or a recommendation from similar.