Probably the greatest 4 wheeling machine in the Toyota collection would have to be the vintage Land Cruiser. Within this genre of 4×4’s, the FJ40 is known as essentially the most iconic trucks, right up there with the Hummer and the Land Rover. As these models become more and more hard to find the price tag is rapidly soaring. For the hobbyist this price gain is a nice thing, for the first time buyer it could be a dilemma. To avoid wasting a lot of money in the long term, purchasing the best Land Cruiser from the get go is essential. A rusted out body which has a nice paint job is very prevalent… so don’t be misled!
Examine Body and Frame
You will find anything from rusted out junkers to jacked-up steroid cruisers, when you first begin looking for your first FJ40. Remember that even the nicest ride might well have significant issues buried beneath all that sparkle. Pay attention to the chassis and frame, from below the truck. What looks like a minor concern today could become a fatal defect, later on.
You should really pay attention to the suspension if the FJ40 you’re considering buying has been lifted. Chances are that if somebody spent the bucks and spent the time to lift the vehicle, they more than likely used it for 4 wheeling. An inexperienced individual that doesn’t understand what they’re doing can really mess up a suspension, easily. Fresh paint or welds in locations you wouldn’t normally expect to see it might be signs of neglect or abuse.
Check the Engine
The general state of an engine cannot be decided by sound, only. Opened up the hood and check inside the engine compartment. Engine mounts, valve covers and the carburetor are some of the items you’ll want to be aware of with the FJ40. An exhaust leak at the exhaust manifold may also be an indication of neglect. Find out if the prior owners kept service records, in the event that they did this is a great indicator the FJ40 has been cared for the right way.
Ensure the engine is an original Toyota Land Cruiser engine. Purchasing an FJ40 with both a original engine and transmission can make life a lot simpler, if you’re planning on doing a total restoration. When you are simply purchasing your next toy and have zero desire for collectors’ appeal then the engine type will not be as important.
How Exactly Does The Interior Seem?
It can take several hours to repair visible cracks and holes in the floor board (which allow road heat to rise up into the driver’s area in the FJ40) therefore… when you carry out your evaluation of the interior– pay close attention to the details. Ensure that the seat belts are factory rather than after market. Execute a visual check that all of the indicators function appropriately. Non functioning gauges could be a sign of an electrical problem.
The Test Drive
After the FJ40 has surpassed your primary necessities, it is time to go out for a test drive. The asking price * really should * determine just how tight your truck drives. The higher the cost, the fewer squeaks and rattles — in a perfect world, anyways.
Look closely at how the Toyota handles. Does the steering action catch, at all? Do you experience any sort of grinding when you press the brake pedal? Is it smooth or hard for the tranny to shift between gears? Your main goal is to stay away from getting stuck with a pricey repair invoice… before you are able to even appreciate your new/vintage land cruiser!
It is time to make your decision to purchase or not, after you have completed all of these steps. Address this with one of two mind sets. You might be either a collector/restorer or perhaps you are purchasing a toy to go have fun with in the foothills. If the FJ40 has received quite a few modifications completed to it over time, it may not maintain very much worth as a collector’s item at a later date. At the same time, in case you are getting a land cruiser in essentially mint condition and decide to change it heavily… it will likely be difficult to get your initial investment to return. Irrespective, your best bet is to don’t hurry and select shrewdly.
Before you buy into the money-sucking world of old Land Cruisers, make sure you check out our tribute website to the Toyota FJ40 vintage land cruiser, and vintage land cruiser videos