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The Buyer's Remorse is Strong in This One, Today.

stuzbot

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As fans of my recent posts will know, I've run into a fair amount of what I might charitably call 'teething troubles' with my Colorado, since I bought it: headlamp & grille arrangement held together with cable ties, the recalcitrant bonnet catch, the leaking brake fluid today... and then, while I was poking about under the rear, investigating that brake fluid leak, I spotted some bubbling round one of the drain holes in the side of the chassis rail by the side of the fuel tank. So 'had at it' with a big screwdriver.

Well, I'm sure you can guess the rest...

20210731_152340.jpg


Sigh! --I know none of these things are major show-stoppers in their own right. But I'm getting a nasty déjá vú feeling that this is going to turn into a repeat of my previous 'dream motor' purchase, where I bought an old VW Syncro with great intentions of rolling restoring it. But then kept finding more and more niggling wee things which needed sorting out before I could do any of the 'fun stuff'.

I fecked my leg up, two days after I got the Land Cruiser and only just this past week or so been mobile enough to start crawling round underneath etc. So, for most of the past month or more, I've been itching to get out there and start working through my mighty stash of 'preventative maintenance' jobs; tranny flush, new radiator, coolant flush, filters, axle & transfer box oils, etc. But, all I've managed to achieve in the past week or so has been an oil change, a new air filter and the LBJs.

And now I've got this annoying brake fluid leak to sort before I can attend to anything else on that list. Talk about one step forward and two back!
 

MODVRS

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I feel your pain. Had a scrape at both rear chassis rails a couple of weeks ago and found they'd rotted from the inside out. Had a go with the grinder and the MIG to see if it could be saved. The welding looks terrible but seems strong enough, we'll see what the MOT man thinks in due course. I'm glad I haven't towed anything heavy as I reckon the back end would have come adrift. Need to do the towers on the axle next and a small hole in an inner sill (which already has half a dozen patches on it).
 

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AndycruiserguyLomas

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This is exactly why buying a Collie these days is a minefield. If anyone is considering buying one of these I'd recommend taking someone along who owns one or has had experience of one to avoid these pitfalls.
I know Josh's dad Craig took the body off his and re made the whole rear half of the chassis with new metal, replaced the rear axle case and re constructed the front wings because of the tinworm getting hold.
 

Michael Montgomery

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Darn it so sad to see unpleasant surprises especially when you done your upmost best to avoid. I'm remembering when Andy Lomas visited me in Cyprus and the first thing he did was to stick his head under my vehicle and see its non corroded ass lol . In the years since I've learnt with appreciation how important and valuable the bottom side of these cruisers conditions is.
 

AndycruiserguyLomas

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Yep, apart from yours I must have looked under half the Cruisers in Cyprus. I remember calling at a car lot in Larnaca to look at a 96 Prado. It had done 475K km and basically it was like new underneath, and I mean like a 1 year old UK truck. All the steering components, suspension axles all factory black, chassis too, all the tinwork underneath factory green . It was though probably 3 times the price of a UK equivalent truck.
UK Cruisers are probably the cheapest in the world, for a reason.
 

DrrylDilger

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New to the forum, will be looking for parts suppliers for common rusty bits like rear window surrounds. Anyone got any good aussie suppliers they can recommend?
Thanks, in advance, Darryl
 
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stuzbot

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I feel your pain. Had a scrape at both rear chassis rails a couple of weeks ago and found they'd rotted from the inside out...

This is what I'm worried about.

The welding looks terrible but seems strong enough, we'll see what the MOT man thinks in due course

My welding's nothing to write home about either. I never got on with MIG at all. So a while back I bought one of those tiny wee inverter stick welders. No good for body panels, but would be fine for chassis stuff. I've hardly used it in anger yet. Just made up a couple of brackets for my old VW.

Typical scenario: I get out a bit of scrap metal to warm up on and am soon laying down elegant beads and writing my name etc. Then I turn to the actual piece I want to weld and it's 'stick / spatter / burn factor 11' all the way.

This is exactly why buying a Collie these days is a minefield. If anyone is considering buying one of these I'd recommend taking someone along who owns one or has had experience of one to avoid these pitfalls....

I thought I had given this one a good going over, following on from seeking lots of advice from the good folks on this forum. But I'm starting to feel a bit of an eejit now. As I've said elsewhere, I was so fixated on looking for things like corrosion round the rear axle hangers, issues with the 4x4 system and checking out the state of the engine, colour of ATF etc. that I've somehow missed glaringly obvious stuff elsewhere.

Thankfully this corrosion on the rear chassis is a good deal further back than the axle and while there's a lot of surface rust round the axle area, I've not seen any rot. But , since they rot from the inside, I'm starting to wonder what else might be bubbling away unseen, waiting to spring forth.

If I had a garage or workshop, or even a driveway, I'd buy a cheap runaround for the meantime and strip this thing down, and give it a good going over. But I live in a block of flats, so have to work outside in the carpark and am only allotted one parking space. So whatever motor I own has to function as a daily driver /rolling resto. No-one likes admitting they've made a balls up. But I am wondering whether I should just cut my losses on this one patch up that hole in the chassis and sell it to try and recover as much of what I've outlaid as I can.


Darn it so sad to see unpleasant surprises especially when you done your upmost best to avoid. I'm remembering when Andy Lomas visited me in Cyprus and the first thing he did was to stick his head under my vehicle and see its non corroded ass lol . In the years since I've learnt with appreciation how important and valuable the bottom side of these cruisers conditions is.

It's unbelievable how bad the rears of them are, compared to the fronts. The front end of the chassis still has the original black paint on it in lots of places. Whereas the back is pretty nearly all over orange with surface rust.

As someone said in one of my other threads "Surely they can't all have been used for launching boats!"
 

Lancashire Cruiser

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The problem is with older Land Cruisers is you never really know what sort of duty they have been used for. There is a 10 year old LC which comes in for various jobs, recently we had it up on the ramp at my mates garage and the back of the chassis was full of what felt like soft wet mud, but could of been anything. The guy who owns it runs it until it breaks something with no service in between, unfortunately a lot seem to have been used like this, then an enthusiast eventually gets hold of it and has to start sorting out the problems from years of neglect.
They all tend to look good from the outside but you take a look at the MOT history and there are years of just getting it through an MOT with little or no preventative maintenance.
 

stuzbot

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The one I bought had a pretty unblemished MOT record. I'm beginning to think the MOT tester might have been a friend of the family.
 

goodoldboy

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Bugger & Bugger. That looks at first pretty bad but what's the other side like ? and the back of this section ? is there anywhere local that could do the work for you - looks like it's a pretty quick (and fairly cheap )job.
Typical scenario: I get out a bit of scrap metal to warm up on and am soon laying down elegant beads and writing my name etc. Then I turn to the actual piece I want to weld and it's 'stick / spatter / burn factor 11' all the way.
basic welding advice , i'm sure you know this already , get the earth clamp close to where your'e welding , grind a clean patch for it & crank up the Amps a bit .Try short runs after you've tacked it up .I worked as a welder/fabricator in the 80s for a while although i'm a fitter by trade & the small electrode/low Amps stuff was always harder - a bit like sharpening drill bits , the bigger the better.
 

chapel gate

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"Surely they can't all have been used for launching boats!"
this is an urban myth.

maybe moister collects at the back more because the front drys out quicker when driving, or any bits of oil leaks are normally at the front from the engine/ power steering pump etc. i dont know, but the back always suffers more.
 

stuzbot

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Bugger & Bugger. That looks at first pretty bad but what's the other side like ?...

The other side didn't feel as bad. It certainly wasn't rusted through. In an Ideal world, I'd cut that whole section out and weld in new. But, in present circumstances, I'll just have to patch it for the time being. At least it's further back than the axle hangers and I'm not planning on doing any towing. So a patch should do for the meantime.
basic welding advice...

Welding's one of those skills I think I could become at least competent at, as I'm pretty dextrous. My trouble is, I'll only drag the welder out once in a blue moon when I need to patch something up. I think I need to start practicing regularly, to keep my eye/hand co-ordination in.

or any bits of oil leaks are normally at the front from the engine/ power steering pump etc...

Aye. The one good thing about an old leaky engine is it keeps the corrosion down.
 

stuzbot

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Well, I've just been out to stick my head under the waggon and check out the plumbing for the Load Sensing Valve and, as I contemplated the amount of crustiness round the rear of the chassis, I just thought "I can't face wrestling with this, when it's my daily driver." So I reckon I'm going to sell it and walk away before I dive too deep down the rabbit hole.

As far as I can see, the chassis is only rotten in that one spot alongside the tank and the rest of it is mostly surface rust. But it's going to need a proper going over and treating [as well as that bit patching] to stop it getting any worse and it's just beyond my available time or inclination to embark on all of that whilst still trying to keep it on the road and attend to the various other preventative maintenance jobs I had planned for it.

So, if anyone wants to make me an offer, before it goes on eBay, feel free!

OK. It's listed in the classifieds, if anyone's interested.
 
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karl2000

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I can't face wrestling with this, when it's my daily driver.

I think you've made the right decision tbh, especially given that you're working on it in a parking space and its a daily driver - its just too much sh*t to deal with!

Be ideal for someone who wants a 90 as a second motor and has some space and time - you did spend a lot of time and effort finding one and have already done work on it so there's plenty of good points about it too.

Anyway once you've flogged it....... IS THE SEARCH BACK ON? :) Or are you fed up with LC's now?

Good luck!
 

stuzbot

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I think you've made the right decision tbh, especially given that you're working on it in a parking space and its a daily driver - its just too much sh*t to deal with!

Yes. I reckon so. Its not that I was expecting a 20 year old truck, at the price I paid, to be perfect. And I don't mind getting my paws dirty and working on it on my spare time. But, as my only vehicle, it has to be a rolling resto and, even though the chassis is far from being as bad as some I saw advertised at double the price, it's going to need some work and its just not the kind of thing I want to be starting on a weekend, when I need the truck to be back on the road by Monday.

Anyway once you've flogged it....... IS THE SEARCH BACK ON? :) Or are you fed up with LC's now?

Good luck!

I wouldn't say it's put me off Land Cruisers. But I'll maybe not be so determined that 'nothing else will do' next time.
 

Jake the Peg

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Why don’t you look for a reputable place to do decent repair on the chassis if it’s only in the one area, unfortunately things like brake pipes and the LSV are things that don’t tend to last the life of the vehicle, and are quite likely to require to be done on any older vehicle. If your happy with the truck it could make sense to get a little help and shouldn’t cost a fortune, probably less than the cost of exchanging.
I get where your coming from, being able to do jobs yourself, i hate having someone else work on my cars, but there are times I have to just shell out!
 

AndycruiserguyLomas

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I totally agree with Jake, get it done and assess what you've got when its back. £3500 as it is? not a prayer. You might like it when its done. I've had a couple and am still trying to buy the V6 back I liked it that much.
 

stuzbot

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I nipped out today to give the LSV another soaking in PlusGas in the forlorn hope I'll be able to get it off when my new LSV comes without snapping either bolt, or brake pipes, or both. And, as I lay under the motor, contemplating the cruelties of fate [and waiting for the PlusGas to soak in, so I could lather some more on] , I had a good hoke around with a screwdriver and laid about me with a wire brush and I'm mildly optimistic that that piece of rot on the chassis doesn't extend as far as I dreaded it might.

The rear body mount is crusty but intact, as is the chassis behind it and the rear axle mounts seem likewise crusty but rot free. So, if the gods are smiling ón mé, it may not be as bád as I first thought. If so, it should be a fairly straightforward patching job, even for a welding halfwit like mé.

As regards paying someone to do the work; with my limited funds, I'd rather keep whatever cash I have for stuff that you definitely can't do at home; wheel alignments, tyre fitting, etc. Basic patch welding is something I should be able to take on myself, albeit with a bit more practice first.

After all, how can I justify buying myself nice toys like my inverter welder, by rationalising how much money it will save me... and then wimping out and paying someone else?

BTW followers of this thread may have noticed I'm sounding uncharacteristically more upbeat today. This is due to the pleasant surprise of finding the previously encountered rot wasn't as bad as I feared and also the smug satisfaction of feeling all prepped to take on this LSV, now I've soaked it several times in PlusGas.

Allow me my few hours of innocent well-being and I promise that once I've ripped the old LSV and brake lines to shreds, trying to remove it, normal miserable service will be resumed!
 

stuzbot

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Aye. That's the rub.

When I walked out today and saw it sitting there in the sun, in amongst all the boring hatchbacks in our carpark, I felt the "That belongs to me!" surge of pride and was almost looking forward to working on it.

But lying in bed at night, trying to get to sleep, I'm mentally running through the list of things I have to sort out and it seems insurmountable.
 
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