Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Parker County, TX and Santa Fe County, NM
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Re: Jeep or FJ60
If it's been well taken care of, a 60-series will last for hundreds of thousands of miles but any truck that old is going to need a lot more maintenance and TLC than a new one. Particularly if you like to do your own mechanic work, owning an older Land Cruiser can be very satisfying and very fun. Your expectations must be in line with the age of the truck, especially comparing it to a (newer) heep - for example by any modern standard the 60 is heavy, way underpowered, rides stiff, has old brake technology (incl. drums on the rear), etc. etc. As long as you're willing to accept these characteristics and don't expect to drive 80 mph on the freeway and don't expect it to be the equivalent of a modern truck, they are great trucks and a ton of fun. You also have to decide if you want a nice daily driver, a trail rig, or something in between as the answer to this question will determine what condition of truck you will be willing to accept and what your budget will need to be.
The two biggest bugaboos of older Land Cruisers (IMO) are #1 rust and #2 the dreaded Previous Owner. Mechanical parts are mostly common and easy to get, body parts less so and are becoming more scarce and there isn't yet the big aftermarket of body parts like there are for 40-series Cruisers. Before you buy one, look it over very carefully for rust, especially low on the quarter panels and the door sills. Use a magnet to check for bondo. If possible, take someone with you who knows these trucks to make sure that the Previous Owners have not really screwed it up with ghetto mods & nasty cheap repairs.
They are easy to work on compared to later trucks, as long as they are not rusty and have not been buggered by the PO. More room under the hood, simpler systems (carb vs. fuel injection), etc. Again, you will want to be a decent mechanic or at least want to learn to be one to own any truck this old.
TLCA # 16550
High Desert Cruisers