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Sigh! --Will I Ever Find One?

stuzbot

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I just thought I'd share with you the fun & japes of my quest to find a decent Prado / Colorado so far.

There have probably been 20 or 30 "mint conditioned... maintained regardless of cost... drives like a new car...." [You know, the usual bullshit] ones that I've liked the sound of on eBay or Gumtree. Only to find, when I put the details into the Check MOT history site that most failed the MOT more times than they've passed and have often carried the same list of advisories for 5 or 6 years running [Maintained regardless of cost, my arse!].

In amongst all that obvious dross, I've managed to find a few that sounded decent.

1: Rung up that one in Slough that's already been discussed. Bloke tells me it's been sold. But, a week later, it was still listed on eBay

2: Found one not too far away in Yorkshire. Another one with nothing major in the MOT history and the guy says it's solid and rust free underneath. I ask him [twice] to send me some photos of the underside. He doesn't bother. So I don't bother.

3: Found another one at a dealership in Stockport. A bit more than I wanted to pay but, again a good MOT history. So, again I asked for some photos of the underside. That was last week. As of today, no response from them either.

4: Another dealership. This time in Bolton and another Land Cruiser with a decent MOT history. Nice chat with the guy on the phone last Friday. He knows his stuff about Land Cruisers and we tentatively arrange I'll come up on Monday to see it.He's supposed to ring me on Monday to confirm a time. But doesn't. So I ring him on Tuesday. "Oh. Sorry. I decided to keep it for my dad. Because he needs a car and can only drive Land Cruisers"

5: Which brings me onto today. I find another one. In Rotherham this time. Usual story "Solid underneath... loads of service history.... all genuine Toyota parts..." etc. Once again the MOT history checks out. Last MOT with only one minor advisory for a split rubber boot. But it's only MOT'd til July, so that's a bit of an alarm bell. A lot can happen in 11 months.

Anyway, I head off to Rotherham today, on the train. Having arranged for the guy to pick me up at the station. I walk out of the station to find he's arrived to collect me in the Land Cruiser. Second alarm bell. Everyone knows you want to check out a vehicle with the engine cold, so you can assess how it starts, how it sounds, how smoky it is, etc. Before it's warmed up.

Anyway, the exterior and interior look really nice and we head back to the guy's house for me to give it the once over.

First thing I do is lift the bonnet and loosen off the oil filler cap. It practically flies off into the air, as I loosen it and, when I remove it, there's a constant spray of oil spitting out. Enough to completely soak the palm of my hand when I put it over the top for a second or two.

I'd decided at that point not to bother. But, just for the heck of it, I crawled underneath to check the amazing 'rust free, regularly treated and rust-proofed chassis' I looked at the rear axle hanging bracket and it looked like a chocolate wafer. I pulled a lump of it off with my fingers and it felt like I could have poked my finger right through it, without too much effort.

So that was the end of that one. I stood up, dusted myself down and said "I think I'll leave it".

The seller looked rally shocked and said "I've never seen anyone being that thorough when buying a car before!"

Thorough? From getting out of the car and opening the bonnet to asking for a lift back to the station can't have been more than 10 minutes. And I had already decided it was a waste of time after about 2.

I know this is not a particularly interesting or informative post. But I just felt like venting a bit, as I'm starting to feel like I'm on the quest for the Holy Grail here, trying to find a Prado / Colorado that's a halfway decent platform to build on. As I've said before elsewhere. 'Thank god for the DVLA MOT History Check site!' I shudder to think how much time I'd have wasted traipsing round the country to view all those other supposedly mint ones, had I not had that to give me a pre-emptive 'heads up'.

Oh well. Back to eBay again. The quest continues!
 

chadr

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I do feel for you - finding a good Collie is not going to be easy, as you already know! :icon-wink:

However, I would stick with it and don't give up - keep using the MOT history site but you still may end up wasting time and money on viewing some "good" ones that turn out not to be so.....

Also might be worthwhile checking out Autotrader too, as I've seen a few Collies come up there which are not on eBay.

If you post details here, you can always ask if there are any forum members close by, who might be able to give a potential buy a quick once over, to save you some hassle.

Good luck! :thumbup:
 

stuzbot

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Thanks. I realise it's going to be a bit of a quest. I just needed to vent before, as I'm becoming so fecked off with people either not mentioning obvious faults or, like this guy today, just out and out lying about stuff and wasting people's time.

I can survive without a motor til near the end of June. That's when I've got some trips planned, so will deffo need some wheels by then. So I'll give it another couple of weeks for my future Land Cruiser to materialise..

...before I'm forced to go over to the dark side and start looking at ads for Nissan Patrols too!
 

Dave_S

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Whisper..... have you looked at Hiluxes? Tend to be cheaper and you can find some really tidy ones.... just a thought (I have a Hilux and an 80 Series ;-) )
 

Dave_S

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Edit: as Chad mentions - I prefer Autotrader to e-Bay - tend to be a higher class of rip-off merchants <joking, well mostly> - certainly more chance of finding legitimate dealer cars....
 

Michael Montgomery

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I feel for you. Sadly sourcing a good old vehicle is always gonna be tiresome but thankfully you have a lot of them in the UK and it’s only a matter of time so keep at it I would say.
Recently here in Cyprus where we have less vehicles to choose from being a tiny market a friend bought a 1991 80 series. He asked me to go along with him to view it and only had pictures of the vehicle body to go by.
I know by my 10 years experience owning one how they should drive and what’s a good one. My friend said the guy hadn’t driven it for 5 years, was well maintained road tax not been paid for 3-4 years plus interest and only selling it because he’s too old to drive it now bah bah bah....

I said to him forget what the owner says look at the paperwork and get the vehicle inspected properly that way that would be a good guild to the truth of facts.
Upon seeing the vehicle and driving it Things states coming up. Before I go into what I want to point out that you are not going to get a clean well
Maintained 80 full stop. More so what is available and how much you gonna pay for it etc.
The vehicle had brake issues, no cold A/C, browning exhaust, front seats and carpet in poor condition, front end accident not repaired properly clearly seen, usual backlash in the drive train, no tools, cracked dash amongst other things that add up. A big of haggling he bought it. Cost of vehicle £13000 plus £1500 road tax due and two weeks in my cousins garage fixing the small things to get it driving better. In all fairness it’s a 80 with some love, attention and money spent on could be brought back because here in Cyprus there is no underside rust really to worry about.
Time will tell.
Best of luck
 
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Shayne

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The best ones are usually owned by those who don't know what they got , its just an old 4x4 that never breaks down to be given any thought .

Ebay is a waste of space nowadays and autotrader and the like seem mostly people who buy to sell .

Gumtree is where granny will sell hers when the grandkids show her the Clio with go faster stripes for 900 quid on there and convince her they need it and she doesn't :lol:
 

Mick W

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There was a Collie parked on the forecourt of the garage opposite Rampton hospital (Near Retford up the A1) back in December. Was being used as a storage facility by look of it. Check my thread ‘90 series or donor vehicle’ there’s a picture’ it might be worth a call. Good Luck, it took me 6 months to find mine and you might have to lower your expectation a little but spend some money to make it what you want.
 

stuzbot

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Whisper..... have you looked at Hiluxes? Tend to be cheaper and you can find some really tidy ones.... just a thought (I have a Hilux and an 80 Series ;-) )

I have considered a Smurf. I understand the 3rd gen SSR X is the one to go for. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be that many of them about either. The normal pick-up types wouldn't be any use to me as I need something with a lid on it I can sleep in the back of. For those camping trips when the beautiful British summertime weather is especially "bracing"!

As I only half-joked in a previous post, I've even been looking at ads for Nissan Patrols, Mitsu Shoguns, Isuzu Troopers and even Nissan Pathfinders in moments of weakness, when it's seemed I'll never find a decent Land Cruiser.

Edit: as Chad mentions - I prefer Autotrader to e-Bay...

Ebay is a waste of space nowadays and autotrader and the like seem mostly people who buy to sell ...

Gumtree is where granny will sell hers ...

I've not looked at Autotrader yet. But have been regularly scouring eBay and Gumtree. It pretty much seems to be the same ads on both of those. I'd be surprised if Autotrader was any different; people seem to just copy/paste the same blurb onto every site. But I'll have a look, on the off-chance.

In all fairness it’s a 80 with some love, attention and money spent on could be brought back because here in Cyprus there is no underside rust really to worry about...

...you might have to lower your expectation a little but spend some money to make it what you want.

Thing is. I don't think my expectations are ridiculously high. I'm just looking for a motor with a solid chassis underneath, an engine that isn't worn out and a transmission [whether auto or manual] that isn't about to shit its insides out. All the other 'stuff' [brakes, suspension parts, cooling system., exhaust, fluids filters, belts, etc is just service parts and mechanical bits'n'bobs that I can attend to over the coming months.

I don't mind tatty bodywork, grubby interior, things like the window motors not working... or the stereo being missing... or the built-in teasmade not making a decent brew... or the automatic herbal aromatherapy buttock massager having packed up.... I really couldn't give a stuff about things like that. But, as the old saying goes "There's no point building a house on sand". So no use pulling the trigger on something that has all the bells and whistles but is going to need thousands spent on it, just to get it through an MOT.

I am amazed at just how bad so many of these are underneath. You'd think, given the Land Cruiser's reputation for rugged dependability and longevity that Toyota would have put a bit more effort into rust proofing the chassis. I mean, they can't have expected them all to spend their time in hot dry countries with no salt on the roads. I'm also amazed at the number of owners who have lavished care and attention on the exterior and interior of their motors but, apparently, never bothered to even look underneath, much less clean or maintain the underside.
 

SteveJB

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Well my prince you are going to have to kiss some frogs and a few toads before you can find the princess of you desires
Another option is BCA or any local auction site that is local to you and if you pay the insurance you can always take it back if expectations are not met
I looked for over eight months for an 80 but ended up with an 100 and am not disappointed with my choice so maybe expand your wish list to include an 100
 

stuzbot

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This looks decent


I've seen that one. It's also on eBay: Toyota landcruiser 3.0 D4D 5 speed manual privately owned and sale no vat added | eBay - [Leaving Land Cruiser Club]

If I remember correctly [and, for the full comic effect, bear in mind I'm in Manchester] I spotted it as the fourth one in the following quartet:

ME [scouring eBay ads] "Oh. There's a decent sounding one!" Looks at location: Penzance, Cornwall

ME [scouring further] "Ah. That one looks good too!" Looks at location: Derry, N. Ireland.

ME [after more scourage] "Third time lucky!' Looks at location: Somewhere I've never heard off. Look it up on Google maps... bloody East Anglia!

ME [seeing that one and more in hope than expectation] "C'mon. Even under 100 miles distance would be a start!" Looks at location: Edinburgh!

I suppose I should have been pleasantly surprised it wasn't Aberdeen... or Shetland!

The other thing I found a bit dubious about that one is that the seller has studiously endeavoured to make sure the reg no. isn't visible in any of the photos. Which always makes me a bit suspicious that they don't want anyone to be able to check the MOT history. In addition, isn't word on the streets [well these cyber streets anyway] that the further North you go in UK, the worse they tend to be for the dreaded tin worm?


Well my prince you are going to have to kiss some frogs and a few toads before you can find the princess of you desires...


Ain't that the truth! It would be nice if the sellers occasionally gave you a bit of a hint though. "One beautiful princess. Great body and personality. But does have webbed feet and occasionally sits on lily pads, catching flies with her tongue"


I looked for over eight months for an 80 but ended up with an 100 and am not disappointed with my choice so maybe expand your wish list to include an 100

Well, my original wishlist [as with so many of us] was to find an 80 Series [or a Y60 Nissan Patrol. I'm not prejudiced!]. I pretty soon realised that was not going to happen, so broadened it to a 90 Series manual. then [after finding how rare those were and being reassured about the dependability of the auto box] to a 90 Series auto or manual. Then, after finding even those were pretty hard to come by, to a 120 Series [for road tax reasons, a pre-2006 one].

I'm not opposed to the idea of a 100 Series at all. I just need a Land Cruiser in my life. My only concerns there would be on the tax & fuel costs front. I imagine the road tax would be pretty steep on those? I did actually get an insurance quote on a 100 Series a while back and was pleasantly surprised to find it was less than £100 more than the quotes I was getting for the 90s and 120s.


Are the 100 Series any less prone to the underbody rot?
 

Chris

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Less rot? I'm afraid not. Newer of course and therefore there's going to be less rust on average but not immune no. There's some shockers.
Personally I take little notice of MOT history. My wife's Corolla says rust every year and has done for a decade. I look at it and think, hmm, really. Never mind. You're going to be lucky to find rust free. Now rot free is a different thing and clearly you're getting a handle on the BS that people put in their ads. A bit of rust isn't an issue. I've a 15 plate Hilux with rust. It's rust in the wrong places that's the danger signal. And you're only really going to know that by being thorough as you are by looking underneath. I also avoid anything that is slatherd in black goop.
 

diggerdave

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Aren't Gumtree and Ebay motors the same thing nowadays? I seem to remember that Ebay took over Gumtree (or something like that).

It can be hard to distinguish surface rust from serious rot but a good look with a torch ought to reveal holes and patches. I don't think a neat patch on the chassis would necessarily be a deal-breaker for me as problems can be quite localised.
 

stuzbot

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That does look good, insofar as you can judge from the MOT history. No advisories since 2013. Pretty impressive. And a pre 2001 model, so cheaper on road tax too. Sounds right up my street. But, unfortunately a long way for me to go to look at, seeing as I'm sans vehicle and relying on public transport at the mo'.

Hmmm... I wonder if we have any helpful forum members in that area who wouldn't mind doing a bit of 'spotting' for me?


Random off-topic question: The 90 Series rot box I went to see the other day and several of the ones I've seen in ads had a 'binnacle' [is that the right word?] on top of the dashboard, with fancy digital compass / pitch / roll / direction gauges in it. It looked pretty cool. But I notice that it's not there on most of them. Was this a factory option, or is it something that people have fitted later?
 

stuzbot

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It can be hard to distinguish surface rust from serious rot but a good look with a torch ought to reveal holes and patches.

Surface rust isn't a problem at all. In fact I think it's pretty much a given on a UK vehicle. And you'd like to think the MOT man could tell the difference between that and rot. However, with that one I went to see yesterday, the metal was actually wafering on the axle support and I could break bits of it off it with my fingers. Yet that had not had any mentions of rust on previous MOTs. So either it had rotted spectacularly quickly in the 10 months since it was last MOT'd, or Stevie Wonder was on duty at the MOT station that day.
 

Jacob100

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The one in Rotherham - was it the one that had been 'doctor-owned'?
 
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