1st Gen Tundra vs. 80 Series Land Cruiser

Hi guys/gals,

Looking for some advice on a new platform to build an overland vehicle with. I currently have a 1994 Toyota pickup, the truck is in pretty good shape, but its just not quite checking all the boxes (primarily the seating capacity, secondarily the power/fuel economy).

I've been looking into 80 series cruisers recently and spoke to my neighbour who has a factory triple locked cruiser. I've asked him to let me know if he ever considers selling it but I'm afraid he'll be asking 10-12k CAD for it if not more and it isn't quite in ideal shape. The other option is my dad recently mentioned he's thinking about selling his 1st gen 2006 tundra.

Pros of the cruiser:
-safe storage
-solid axles/triple locked
-good aftermarket

Cons of the cruiser:
-high cost to buy/cost of ownership
-most in my area are starting to get a little rusty
-no bed space

Pros of Tundra:
-lower cost to buy/cost of ownership
-V8 makes good power
-good condition
-bed space

Cons of Tundra:
-less aftermarket
-less safe storage
-less off road capability

I've always "fan boy'd" over the 80 series land cruisers, but I just don't know if the "bang for the buck" is really there anymore. Most have 300k km on 4.5L gas engines and are still asking top dollar for them, and I feel like iIwould miss having bed space for jerry cans, fire wood, etc. If anyone has any advice on either platform as an overlanding vehicle, please feel free to let me know.
 
Yeah, I think that's pretty much all toyotas at this point unfortunately. My dads tundra is very clean on the body, but id want to get the frame properly media blasted, inspected and undercoated before I start building it, just to make sure. One of the big pros for me is that the tundra only has 136k km on it so its barely even broken in at this point
 

Kpack

Adventurer
I have no experience with 80 series LC, so my observations are strictly from the Tundra side.

Pros:
-V8 is pretty reliable and has decent power. Nothing like a modern or larger V8, but better than a V6
-2005-2006 Tundra's have a 5 speed transmission and VVTi
-Double Cabs have a ton of space inside
-Bed space is great (6.5' bed)
-Aftermarket support is better than you think. Lots of options for suspension, armor, etc. Most of these are designed specifically for the 1st gen Tundra.
-Though wide, they are still narrow enough to fit through most jeep trails (at least here in the NW)

Cons:
-Heavy. My DC weighs close to 5,500 unloaded
-Rust. If unchecked it can get really bad. Last year I cleaned up my frame, painted it, and coated it with Fluid Film. It held up great this last winter.....no rust at all. I'm a believer in Fluid Film now.
-No factory lockers. You can add ARB (among others) to front and back. I only did the rear.
-Towing capacity is meh
-Long. DC Tundras have a really bad breakover angle. A lift can help some, but that can only do so much. The rear of the bed hangs out pretty far past the rear axle.
-Lack of storage inside the cab
-Dated interior design

Maintenance items to watch for:
-Timing belt and water pump every 90k miles
-lower ball joint, replace with OEM
-leaking power steering rack
-exhaust manifold leaks (ticking)


I've said it before in other threads, but I consider the 1st gen Tundra to be a kind "one-size-fits-all" vehicle. It's good at a lot of things, but doesn't excel at any one thing. For me it works great because that's what I need. I need a truck that can be a truck (haul, tow) while at the same time be capable of moderate wheeling on some technical trails.
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
Having owned an 80 series. I say Tundra. The bubble burst pretty quick for me. Drive both and see what you prefer I guess?

If it was between the Tundra and a 100 series it might be a tougher choice for me. But, Tundra vs 80 is a no brainier for the Tundra to me.
 

tacollie

Land traveler
How often are you off road? LC will excel over the Tundra. The rest of the time you'll probably be happier with the Tundra. Tundra is better on gas in my experience.
 
I have no experience with 80 series LC, so my observations are strictly from the Tundra side.

Pros:
-V8 is pretty reliable and has decent power. Nothing like a modern or larger V8, but better than a V6
-2005-2006 Tundra's have a 5 speed transmission and VVTi
-Double Cabs have a ton of space inside
-Bed space is great (6.5' bed)
-Aftermarket support is better than you think. Lots of options for suspension, armor, etc. Most of these are designed specifically for the 1st gen Tundra.
-Though wide, they are still narrow enough to fit through most jeep trails (at least here in the NW)

Cons:
-Heavy. My DC weighs close to 5,500 unloaded
-Rust. If unchecked it can get really bad. Last year I cleaned up my frame, painted it, and coated it with Fluid Film. It held up great this last winter.....no rust at all. I'm a believer in Fluid Film now.
-No factory lockers. You can add ARB (among others) to front and back. I only did the rear.
-Towing capacity is meh
-Long. DC Tundras have a really bad breakover angle. A lift can help some, but that can only do so much. The rear of the bed hangs out pretty far past the rear axle.
-Lack of storage inside the cab
-Dated interior design

Maintenance items to watch for:
-Timing belt and water pump every 90k miles
-lower ball joint, replace with OEM
-leaking power steering rack
-exhaust manifold leaks (ticking)


I've said it before in other threads, but I consider the 1st gen Tundra to be a kind "one-size-fits-all" vehicle. It's good at a lot of things, but doesn't excel at any one thing. For me it works great because that's what I need. I need a truck that can be a truck (haul, tow) while at the same time be capable of moderate wheeling on some technical trails.
Yeah the rust is a big concern for me, as long as i can keep it in check though and do my preventative maintenance i dont want it to deter me too much. Timing belt was just replaced about 6 months ago. The tundra i would pick up off my dad is a TRD offroad, with a trailer brake and air lift in the rear which are nice features even if i wont use it a ton. The main goal would be an OME lift, some armour and some bars to go across the bed to put a RTT in. Might look into swapping the factory LSD to an air locker at some point too.
 
Having owned an 80 series. I say Tundra. The bubble burst pretty quick for me. Drive both and see what you prefer I guess?

If it was between the Tundra and a 100 series it might be a tougher choice for me. But, Tundra vs 80 is a no brainier for the Tundra to me.
yeah im kind of concerned that going to a full on SUV might not be ideally what im looking for but what is nice is that I have safe storage for my gear if I go on a trip with buddies while still maintaining the seating necessary for 4 people
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
yeah im kind of concerned that going to a full on SUV might not be ideally what im looking for but what is nice is that I have safe storage for my gear if I go on a trip with buddies while still maintaining the seating necessary for 4 people
What about a canopy or tonneau cover to secure your gear?

Also, with truck boxes you don't have to worry about the inside of your vehicle getting messed up / dirty either. Just rinse with a hose after. Just my 2 cents.

Having had SUV's in the past, I prefer having a truck and don't think I'd go back.
 
How often are you off road? LC will excel over the Tundra. The rest of the time you'll probably be happier with the Tundra. Tundra is better on gas in my experience.
It would be a daily driver. It'll primarily see forest service roads or minor trails while travelling. I dont plan on running anything like the rubicon on it, but i definitely want to put it through its paces. I'm hoping that a bit of armour, a small lift, 33's (ish) and potentially a selectable locker would take me everywhere i want to go. The biggest difference, i see by going from something like my current pickup to a tundra or land cruiser would be approach, departure and break-over angles. I'm definitely a little spoiled the way I have it right now
 
What about a canopy or tonneau cover to secure your gear?

Also, with truck boxes you don't have to worry about the inside of your vehicle getting messed up / dirty either. Just rinse with a hose after. Just my 2 cents.

Having had SUV's in the past, I prefer having a truck and don't think I'd go back.
Totally! its nice not making a huge mess in the cab. I think it could work out if I keep gear in the back while driving then when I get to a good hiking/backpacking location, just move whatever I'm not taking into the cab.
 

wiggilez

New member
the biggest gripe I have with my tundra is the "lack" of after market support, especially coming from the XJ/MJ platform, or even compared to the 04 tacoma.
 
the biggest gripe I have with my tundra is the "lack" of after market support, especially coming from the XJ/MJ platform, or even compared to the 04 tacoma.
Yeah understandable, realistically with the tundra id only be doing minor mods. The biggest thing I just started reading up on was the front diff size. Apparently they use a similar 7.5" ring gear to my current pickup. Not too sure if I'm too crazy about putting all that torque through such a small ring and pinion set up 😓
 

tennesseewj

Observer
I sold my triple locked 80 series on 35s with bumpers/winch/sliders for my 2006 Tundra. I miss owning the Cruiser and I'd love to own another one, but for my uses daily driving the Tundra is unquestionably superior.

The only con to the Tundra from a daily driving perspective is the length and turning radius.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
I sold my triple locked 80 series on 35s with bumpers/winch/sliders for my 2006 Tundra. I miss owning the Cruiser and I'd love to own another one, but for my uses daily driving the Tundra is unquestionably superior.

The only con to the Tundra from a daily driving perspective is the length and turning radius.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Aside from the daily driver aspect, which do you prefer as an overlanding vehicle, and just as importantly which vehicle do you trust more when in the middle of nowhere? My current truck is scoring pretty low on the trusting side. I've been trying to travel from Vancouver to Alaska but I cant seem to get my current truck in a state that I trust the 3L. So that is also going to be a big deciding factor for me.
 
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