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Guess Who's [Almost] Back in Circulation?


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2021
Hi all.

It's your one-time regular half-wit stuzbot here. Owner of the awful Colorado, about which I "enjoyed" many a discussion in this 'ere forum a couple of years back. BTW --said Colorado eventually got sold for about a third of what I paid for it, just to get rid of the damned thing before its chassis turned completely to metal cornflakes.

Anyway, after a year or more of being without a 4x4, I have succumbed to temptation again and, just this very day, have taken possession of another 4x4. Unfortunately though, I'm not quite eligible to renew my regular appearances here and continue my attempts to disprove the old adage that "There's no such thing as a stupid question" as, although my new toy is a Toyota 4x4 with a 1KZ-TE engine and [essentially] Colorado running gear, it's not quite a Land Cruiser.

But, anyway....



I'm going to give it a good going over before I get it on the road: Deffo LBJs ASAP and possibly a new radiator. And one of the rear axle hub seals needs replacing as it's a bit moist. But, generally, it seems to have been a lot more well-looked after than my poor old Collie. Chassis pretty solid [at least all the bits I could reach to poke at!], engine bay nice and clean, auto-tranny changing smoothly. And it came with a folder full of receipts from RoughTrax.... which is either a good sign, that someone was prepared to spend decent money on it.... or a bad sign, that it was eternally needing money spent on it. Only time will tell.

Anyway, wish me luck chaps. As I embark on another journey into Toyota 4x4 ownership. Even if it won't be in your fine company this time.
Good luck and I suspect we will still all talk to you.....
Have fun and post more pictures ...looks a nice vehicle
WOO-HOO Stuzbot's back. Don't be shy it's almost a Landcruiser and will have the same problems so the common bonds will be there!
I've missed your sense of humour - welcome back.
Great to have you back Stu, glad to see the other neglected 90 didn't put you off, and you didn't go the green oval route.
What happened to the van - Renault Trafic or sommat ?
Thanks all for welcoming me back. I'll deffo make this my first port of call for any "crossover questions" which relate to LCs as well as Surfs.

@Tractionman I've still got the van. Renault Master. Originally, I only bought it as a temporary measure to move house with. But,, in spite of Renault's reputation it's been faultless in the 3 years I've had it [probably jinxed it now]. So I'll be keeping that for work and Smurfy Murphy [unimaginative but inevitable nickname!] will be my tinkering project. Hopefully it will take the pressure off a bit, when my project car isn't also my daily driver.
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Bloody hell an old Renault van was more reliable than the old Collie, haha.

I should have walked away from that Collie when I went to see it. I got truly shafted there. But, as they say "Hindsight has 20-20 vision". I'd been looking for so long and the two or three I'd seen before were so bad that I thought, at last, I'd found a semi-decent one. But, the more I delved into it, the more I realised just how neglected it had been; mis-matched tyres, bent radiator cross-member, bonnet catch that took several goes to close and [my first "What have I done here?" moment] finding one of the headlamp surrounds and radiator grille was broken and held together with cable ties.

The irony was, I initially forgave myself for missing those things as I had concentrated so much on looking over the chassis and rear axle mountings, when I went to view it. But, as it eventually transpired, those were rotting too, from the inside out. So, in retrospect, I just feel like a complete twat now. The guy who sold me it must have laughed himself to sleep for a week afterwards.

The Renault van, on the other hand has had a fuel filter and couple of oil changes since I've had it. It sips diesel, pulled up Shap Summit on 3 trips, loaded to the gills [including with my multigym and the misuss's motorbike], without even breaking a sweat. And, at 20 years old, there is still not a speck of rust underneath.

Anyway, some more pics of my new toy. These are from the eBay ad. I've not taken any more myself just yet. Worst parts are the rear bumper and front wing, above the wheel arch. But I'd much rather have my rust on the top where it's not doing any structural harm, than underneath, nibbling away at my chassis.

Might as well start off with the dreaded underneath pics...


In a bit of a change from the norm, it actually looked better "in the flesh" than it did in the photos. The guy said, after he took the photos, he thought the same.

More views of the top side...


Rear RH side bumper is rusted through and RH front wheel arch is bubbling. Apart from that, it seems fairly decent...


Interior, not bad for the age of it. And the driver's seat bolster not worn through yet. Which is always a bonus...


And finally, the mighty 1KZ-TE...


A couple of weeks back, I randomly found [needless to say, while looking for something else] that I still had a replacement fuel filter and thermostat I'd bought for my old Collie and never got round to fitting. So, already, I think I've enough ammo to convince myself that I was actually saving money by buying this Surf.

Otherwise those parts would have just gone to waste!
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That looks well given the age (3rd generation)? and the undersidelooks a good baseline to start work, looking like it's recently been jet/steam washed which was a bonus when looking at it before purchase. Hopefully you won't have to pi$$ about with the brakes on this one.
Have you got more room for any work without restrictive covenants like the old place, I think you were talking about an old out building ?
As for getting turned over, I think most of us have been there in one way or another, blinkered by other things, at least you have turned another page now. Good luck with it !!
Have you got more room for any work without restrictive covenants like the old place, I think you were talking about an old out building ?

You've got a good memory!

New place is a bit of a case of "swings & roundabouts", compared to where I lived in MCR.

In MCR I was in a block of flats with only one allocated parking space. So I couldn't keep more than one vehcle. Here, I'm out in the sticks in a wee row of cottages up a muddy lane. So there's potentially more room to park up. although things are still a bit tight, as all the neighbours have at least one vehicle. So there's sometimes a bit of jostling for position, when parking.

In MCR I had to trail up and down two flights of stairs to the flat, to get tools and take them out to the carpark to work. Here I can park just opposite the front door.

But... in MCR at least my parking space was level and tarmacked. Here, it's a rutted muddy lane and on a slope [the latter becomes a hindrance when trying to check levels / top up fluids, etc].

As for the outbuildings, I've commandeered one [you can see them in the background in my first 2 pics above]. But they're all pretty dilapidated and gradually falling to pieces, with holes in the roofs. But at least it gives me somewhere semi dry-ish to work... provided the "thing" I'm working on can be removed from the truck and fitted through the door.
Here's a quick intro to the new wagon, wot I've just uploaded to that digitronical YouTube place....

From what I overheard some kids saying, it seems iif I get another one million subscribers, I can become an "Influenza"
Well done Stu, the wagon looks even better this time somehow, a much better result than the old Collie, but we all have to start somewhere.
Despite the fact that the receipts don't match up (tyres) it looks like it has been looked after
You're well on the way, prioritising your jobs, ordering parts in advance, soaking areas to be dismantled. Look on it as preventative maintenance with you lbj's, because as you know, if they let go, you will be in for a much higher bill than spent on your parts.
Yes, there are niggles and matters that need addressing (rust underneath that so far looks not bad) bumper etc, but nowhere near the likes of the Collie.
When we own some of these older motors, that's always going to be so, it's keeping on top of it that makes a difference and keeps them rolling.
I think you have done well there mate.

Apart from the usual niggling worries after buying... What did I miss on inspecting it? Why so many previous owners? How much of this folder of receipts is actually relevant? instinct is that I'm starting from a much better place this time around. The main one being that [so far, fingers crossed!] the chassis looks solid under all that surface rust; engine starts on the flick of the key and runs with no blow-by; tranny passes the "no milkshake in ATF" test and also changes smoothly, without clunking, when switching quickly back and forth between D & R; and the 4WD system and difflock all works.

I'm sure there'll be plenty of knuckle-skinning and forehead-banging along the way. But another big advantage this time around is that it's not my only vehicle. So that takes a whole level of stress out of the equation. There's nothing like the joys of sitting out in the pissing rain, on a darkening Sunday evening, trying to get some seized up part fixed, so your only vehicle is usable for work the next morniing.

All that said, I've not started wrestling with those LBJs. So there may yet be "tears before bedtime"!
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Yep, I'm with you there, the less stress the better, and by the comments you give such as another vehicle handy, that in itself takes off an enourmous amount of pressure, which can lead to silly mistakes working against the clock/weather to get to work etc. Dont ask how I know, lol.
Sorry if I'm talking to the converted, and you probably have it covered from the Collie saga, but a decent gas blow torch is invaluable in shifting some of the siezed bits that show no surrender.
Good luck !
Nowt wrong with a Surf mate, the love child of a Collie and a Hi Lux… I had one almost identical when I was in New Zealand, Loved it… good luck with it mate.. at least it hasn’t got the tapping knocking D4D engine in it, so your on to a winner before ya start…. All the best..PS there was a chap on here some years back who overlanded a Surf, he sent a load of pics when he was travelling in Portugal I think, some other members might remember him,…. It was a cracking looking truck what he’d done to it,.. can’t remember the thread tho, worth looking for if ya got time, or if someone remembers the thread
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