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Towing Vehicle - Leaning towards 80 Land Cruiser

 
 
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RichMayo
Just got MTs


Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Odometer: 413
Location: Yate


1997 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:34 am    Post subject: Towing Vehicle - Leaning towards 80 Land Cruiser Reply with quote

Hi All,

Looking for some validation really that i'm not going down the wrong route here.

What i'm after...
- vehicle capable of towing a trailered 4x4 to pay and plays
- plenty of boot space (my suzukis ain't cutting it in that department)
- good offroad capability out of the box (bit of green laning and recovering my suzukis from pay and play sites if necassary)
- reliability / maintainability / parts availability

Not so bothered about...
- economy
- comfort factor

What i've ended up at is the 80 series land cruisers. There's a bit of a hidden agenda here too as i figure long term i might be able to transfer some of the running gear to a project when it gets long in the tooth (does that even happen on these?). Budget is up to 6K. It helps that i like how these things look - and the live axles appeal to me as i've been independant up front so far.

So some questions...

Am i on the right track? Is there an obviously better vehicle i should look at?

Should i look for a manual or automatic considering what i want to tow and do some mild offroading? (i'd rather a manual tbh but could live with an auto)

Seems to be alot of auto's around - what diff ratios are in the autos vs the manuals and how readily available is further gear reduction? ( trying to plan ahead a bit if i ultimately end up using the axles on a project )

Am i right in thinking the front and rear lockers were on all UK models but optional on the imports? Or is there some difference between manuals/autos in this space? (again future proofing should the axles end up in a project)

Bit worried about spending thousands on an "old" "high mileage" vehicle - but i've heard these things are bullet proof - should i just stop worring and accept they hold their value because they keep on going?

What tends to ultimately kill them? Rust?

Thanks
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cynic-al
Mud Obsessed


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Odometer: 6039
Location: scunthorpe


1989 Suzuki SJ

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From memory manual diffs are 3.9 auto are 4.1 ratio but it could be the other way around. I've seen them do some very impressive things offroad with little to no modification. I've never owned one but I am building a set of axles for my land rover and have converted the diff locks to air rather than the electric motors which are good but cost £450 to replace :/ I've also replaced the diff crush collars with solid ones has they have a reputation of giving way if your hammering them offroad.

They suffer rust and driver damage the same as an old land rover or Nissan. Parts are more expensive and harder to come by. An example, full rebuild kit for land rover 4 pot calipers, £20, land cruiser 4 pots £100. They have a reputation of being better made than land rovers, generally I would say true but land rovers have some nice features like replaceable swivels. Guess it depends on your point of view but I don't think you will go wrong. I've also learnt the early ones with 15 inch wheels (1990 - 1992 ish) had smaller brakes than the later ones with 16 inch wheels.

Hope that is of some use.

__________________________________
I know enough to be dangerous.
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RichMayo
Just got MTs


Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Odometer: 413
Location: Yate


1997 Suzuki Vitara

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the response. Apologies as i probably should have updated the thread...but funny you mention Nissan... i ended up buying a '95 y60 SWB patrol. Was at least a 3rd of the price of some of the landcruisers i was looking at. Might be looking at some power issues for towing (2.8TD) but so far i'm reaaally happy with it.
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