80 Series Maintenance costs?

Arktikos

Explorer
So I'm about to purchase a vehicle to replace my beloved 2001 Montero XLS. One candidate is a 220K-mile LX450 in good shape. My question to those who have owned an 80 Series truck for some time: how brutal are maintenance costs? I plan to drop $2K or so to baseline the vehicle after purchase. Assuming that previous owners did their part re: upkeep (and the LX470 I'm considering is very clean) what can I expect in terms of related expenses? (For context, I once DIY'd my own trucks but I now run two businesses and prefer to pay a shop for larger jobs).

On a related note, the only glaring cosmetic issue with this vehicle is a big crack in the dash. My limited research indicates that repairing the dash to its former glory is unlikely, that junkyard dashes are tough to come by, and that Lexus will sell me a dash and install it for roughly the cost of my home. Any input here would be appreciated.
How many miles per year do you envison driving the beast? That could make a big difference. Any maintenance records? . If previous owners did their part with front end, brakes and cooling system you might not need to spend so much. Mine had the original starter at 201K miles. Every once in awhile it wouldn't start on the first try so I bought a new one. Took apart the old one and it actually looks pretty good. The power steering pump is a common failure point with the 80 series. Brakes are said to not last very long. I guess it depends upon your approach. Personally, I'm not in favor of spending money on what most people call "preventative maintenance". If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Maybe get a dash pad cover? Dashes don't crack at my location, whether vehicle is parked indoors or not.
 
How many miles per year do you envison driving the beast? That could make a big difference. Any maintenance records? . If previous owners did their part with front end, brakes and cooling system you might not need to spend so much. Mine had the original starter at 201K miles. Every once in awhile it wouldn't start on the first try so I bought a new one. Took apart the old one and it actually looks pretty good. The power steering pump is a common failure point with the 80 series. Brakes are said to not last very long. I guess it depends upon your approach. Personally, I'm not in favor of spending money on what most people call "preventative maintenance". If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Maybe get a dash pad cover? Dashes don't crack at my location, whether vehicle is parked indoors or not.
The truck I buy will see fairly light duty since our long-haul vehicle is a 2006 LX470. The new truck will be used to tow my flats skiff maybe 1-2 times a month, drive my daughter to school (4-5 miles round trip) a few times a week, and explore local trails on occasion. So it will not see the regular tough use many of the 80 Series trucks in this joint do.

The current owner does not have long-term maintenance records but the truck is very clean up top (paint 9/10, interior 8/10 with the crack in the dash being the glaring issue, super clean frame).

Your take on not doing preventative maintenance is rare, and somewhat refreshing. But I'm used to interference motors so I'm accustomed to throwing $2K or more at a used ride for peace of mind.
 
No matter what, all old cars die. NHTSA publishes generic estimates of "vehicles sold remaining in the field" For light trucks as of December 2021 - MY2000 - MY1998 the estimate is 17% and MY1995 - MY1997 that estimate is 12%. Various models fair better than others, but I wouldn't expect more than a 5% difference.
Yes, I've had older vehicles (namely Jeeps) that simply gave up the ghost despite my best efforts to revive them. But a few years back I rolled the dice on a 200K-mile 2006 LX470 (before prices for them rose to stupid levels) and I have been stunned by that platform's build quality and reliability. Just took it on its 3rd 1000+ mile trip in as many years, and it laughed at the challenge (including steep mountain roads, chunky trails, and loads of highway miles). The doors close like a bank vault, the motor is always willing, the interior is crazy comfortable, and nothing shakes or rattles. It's like a flipping new car, hand to heaven. Best vehicle I have ever driven, much less owned. Which is why I have an older Cruiser on my wish list. I adore my old Gen 3 Montero (best value of any truck I've owned, hands down) but Cruisers are a different breed.
 

plh

Explorer
Yes, I've had older vehicles (namely Jeeps) that simply gave up the ghost despite my best efforts to revive them. But a few years back I rolled the dice on a 200K-mile 2006 LX470 (before prices for them rose to stupid levels) and I have been stunned by that platform's build quality and reliability. Just took it on its 3rd 1000+ mile trip in as many years, and it laughed at the challenge (including steep mountain roads, chunky trails, and loads of highway miles). The doors close like a bank vault, the motor is always willing, the interior is crazy comfortable, and nothing shakes or rattles. It's like a flipping new car, hand to heaven. Best vehicle I have ever driven, much less owned. Which is why I have an older Cruiser on my wish list. I adore my old Gen 3 Montero (best value of any truck I've owned, hands down) but Cruisers are a different breed.
Value of Montero - I agree. I had my '05 for 12 years and a lot of miles maybe put 140K on it. Only did PMs to it, never had a problem. Being it was my daily, it was just time to move on and replaced it with a '14 Outlander. I'm shocked at how well I like it. Built in Gifu along side the Montero / Pajero before that plant was sold off to make paper...
 

MOAK

Adventurer
No matter what, all old cars die. NHTSA publishes generic estimates of "vehicles sold remaining in the field" For light trucks as of December 2021 - MY2000 - MY1998 the estimate is 17% and MY1995 - MY1997 that estimate is 12%. Various models fair better than others, but I wouldn't expect more than a 5% difference.
that’s all fine and we’ll, I’d suggest you tell all the folks that are still running their 40, 60, 70, 80, and 100 series Landcruisers, some of which are traveling the world in them as I write this. Nothing between the lines here. Cars are not living creatures, they don’t die. They wear out and all things mechanical are repairable or replaceable. I will, and 10s of thousands of others, world wide, will keep their LCs going and rebuild or replace components as necessary. And that doesn’t even include all the other brands of vehicles. I myself have a 1990 Ford Ranger that I use as a daily driver. Look at Cuba. They are still running cars out of the 50s and very early 60s quite successfully. Here in the states the average age of a car on the road is 12 years. That’s an average. Hey, if one chooses the other direction, that is, purchasing a new vehicle every 5-7 years, more power to them. Personally I like having a vehicle that is relatively easy to maintain, with a handful of big things to maintain every 150,000 miles or so. Here’s a number for ya, the average car payment is 700 per month. For that kind of money I could easily replace the complete driveline, steering box, transmission & trans case and the suspension every 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Here’s another bit of math for ya- I purchased mine 9 years ago for a little over $9000. People around here thought I was nuts paying that much for a 96’. Recently I’ve been offered $23,000 for it from 3 different people from 3 different regions of the country. Obviously they had more money than brains, eh? I’m gonna laugh now, I’m done stating all the positive attributes of owning a vintage vehicle versus constantly losing money buying new or nearly new vehicles. Good day! Peace Out !
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Take a look on IH8mud forum, in the 80 section, there is a thread about parts that are NLA (no longer available) as OEM, the list is long. Specialty cruiser shops likely have a good handle on this and/or have spares, know where OEM may be or know how to work around it....non cruiser shops likely don't, regardless of how good the mechanics are.

I think 80's (personally) are enthusiast rigs at this point where an owner needs to have a good handle on parts availability.

This! ^^^

The aftermarket has only gotten better in recent years but more and more OEM parts are becoming unavailable. Sadly they are becoming not only more expensive to purchase but also more expensive to maintain should you use OEM or near OEM quality parts. It's most definitely an enthusiast vehicle at this point and should be treated as such outside of their reliability.
 

plh

Explorer
that’s all fine and we’ll, I’d suggest you tell all the folks that are still running their 40, 60, 70, 80, and 100 series Landcruisers, some of which are traveling the world in them as I write this. Nothing between the lines here. Cars are not living creatures, they don’t die. They wear out and all things mechanical are repairable or replaceable. I will, and 10s of thousands of others, world wide, will keep their LCs going and rebuild or replace components as necessary. And that doesn’t even include all the other brands of vehicles. I myself have a 1990 Ford Ranger that I use as a daily driver. Look at Cuba. They are still running cars out of the 50s and very early 60s quite successfully. Here in the states the average age of a car on the road is 12 years. That’s an average. Hey, if one chooses the other direction, that is, purchasing a new vehicle every 5-7 years, more power to them. Personally I like having a vehicle that is relatively easy to maintain, with a handful of big things to maintain every 150,000 miles or so. Here’s a number for ya, the average car payment is 700 per month. For that kind of money I could easily replace the complete driveline, steering box, transmission & trans case and the suspension every 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Here’s another bit of math for ya- I purchased mine 9 years ago for a little over $9000. People around here thought I was nuts paying that much for a 96’. Recently I’ve been offered $23,000 for it from 3 different people from 3 different regions of the country. Obviously they had more money than brains, eh? I’m gonna laugh now, I’m done stating all the positive attributes of owning a vintage vehicle versus constantly losing money buying new or nearly new vehicles. Good day! Peace Out !
We were just discussing this at work today. $700 for a monthly payment (or more) what the heck! BTW - repos are up. Its not only wear out, but it is also the 4% of vehicles on the road each year that are in accidents that takes away from the original population. If you had 5,000 new in 1996 today there would be 1,730 left that had not been in an accident. Obviously many of these are not totaled, and there are repeat offenders as well. I think you understand.

Your 1996 is getting more rare every day, I for 1 are happy there are others out there preserving vintage vehicles. When you bought yours for $9K - so did other 3rd owner soccer moms, they probably didn't care for the vehicle like an enthusiast does.
 
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RiverCityDave

красный октябрь
There is a lot of info here, some good, some “anecdotal.” I have a 1994 poverty pack, which just means cloth interior in my case, and oddly it had chrome wheels (ha). Anyway, I’ve owned it since 2009. In that time, I’ve put over 130,000 miles on it, so doing the napkin math, that’s 10,000 miles a year. I bought it for 4500.00 (I know, right?!?!) with about 120,000 miles on it, and as she sits right now in my driveway, it’s at 255,000 on the odo.

I’ve used it as a daily the whole time, and I’ve taken some long trips with the family all over the southeast and Colorado. I’ve had exactly zero major component failures in that time.

smaller items- approx 1325.00
Two sets of starter contacts 20.00
One alternator rebuild 100.00
Four sets of brake pads 140.00
One set (4) rebuilt OEM calipers and Powerstop rotors. 350.00
spark plugs twice 40.00
drive belts four times 80.00
cap and rotor four times (didn’t need it, each time, it was clean and serviceable). 80.00
fuel filter 15.00
Rear Heater Delete 75.00
painless wiring starter relay (long story, but search it up). 25.00
power steering high-pressure hose 35.00
all cooling hoses (including THAT one) 200.00 (I get them from Wit's End - Joey - he sells like three total kits that have all of them)
AC service (dryer, refrigerant, new seals) 150.00

bigger items - approx 2500.00
head gasket (right now. The gasket hadn’t failed, this is related to the big freeze we had here in Texas. I had a freeze plug pop out of the back of the head. Totally my fault, and I’m doing all the gaskets above the block as PM work). approx 900.00 with machining. I got my gasket kit from TPD, but Joey has a complete kit now.
front and rear axle rebuild 100% OEM parts (mostly cruiser outfitters - cruiserteq) 600.00
Wit's End Front Axle Rebuild Poster 26.00
all rubber brake lines 400.00
oil cooler rebuild (also big freeze damage) I got this through TPD, but Joey sells a kit now. 350.00
radiator replaced with OEM brass. (Radiator was fine, I leaned on and broke the steam vent nipple). 300.00

optional parts - approx (whew…don’t tell my wife…) about 7k
regeared to 4.88 1000.00 Front RP Front Install Rear RP Rear Install
Icon/Dobinsons suspension 3” Slinky and VT springs with icon shocks F and R custom valved 1000.00
Delta VS LCAs 1000.00
Delta VS sway bar drops and bump stops 200.00
Delta VS Panhard bracket 275.00
17x9 Method wheels 1500.00
315 70 17 BFGs 1500.00
dual battery setup (Blue Sea and Hudd Expo) 450.00
ARB front bumper on the truck.

needs x approx 1000.00 to whatever if I paint it.
power steering rebuild 500.00 (price includes the cost of rebuilding the old one as a spare)
drive shaft (u joints Front and Rear ) rebuild 300.00
probably replace wheel studs (Joey’s story freaks me out) 100.00
new keys 100.00
Something for the fading paint.

wants - 8200.00
Dobinsons front adjustable Panhard 200.00
Dobinsons adjustable rear control arms 600.00
Delta VS center and shifter console 1200.00
Scheelman Vario-F (Grey Cloth) seats 3600.00
Dissent Rear bumper and swing outs 3200.00

So as far as the "Had to have," I'm 3825.00 in, plus fuel, oil, and oil filters.

I have the hard numbers, including oil changes every 5k, etc., but that’s math you can do yourself. I don’t think I’ve missed anything major here.

it’s never left me stranded, ever. Even when things went wrong, it started and drove me home. I’ve done all the work myself, and I feel confident that there is very little that could happen with it right now that I couldn’t diagnose myself, even in the field, and probably fix, short of some totally unforeseen major engine failure. That being said, it gets 14-15 mpg, which is a real issue. The internet says I’ve spent roughly 25,000 dollars on almost 10,000 gallons of gas driving those miles. That’s roughly double my total investment in hard parts.

I seriously feel that if you’re going to own one of these older trucks, you need to be able to work on it yourself or be engaged with the local Landcruiser club. Paying the dealer 100-125 an hour to diagnose an electrical problem with a 30-year-old wiring harness will take all the fun out of ownership real, real quick. Add a LOT to the above costs if you’re paying labor. Like maybe double or more.

If I had to pick something that worries me, it’s the wiring. The harness is old and stiff, and when I did the head gasket work, almost every connecter broke or cracked. They (connectors) are available from the dealer and easily replaced, but the wiring isn’t. In fact, I just placed an order with Joey at Wit’s End today for all six new injector plugs. (He’s down with COVID, which actually, so am I…so it might be a while). The engine harness for a 94 is NLA, so I can see this becoming an issue I have to spend money on some time in the next 5 to 6 years. The 95-97 is still available, BTW.

That’s my .02 on 80 series ownership. I LOVE my truck. It’s been money well spent as far as I’m concerned, and I’d do it again. If I had to guess, based on the folks I know and the stuff I see on the mud and such forums, my example is slightly above the center of mass for overall cost and somewhat below for non-optional hard parts and maintenance. Between Wits End, Cruiser Outfitters, and one or two other places, you can still find 99% of what you need OEM-wise. The aftermarket stuff like Delta VS, Dobinsons, etc is TOP NOTCH, so there’s still some life in the old girls if you take care of them. I mean, consider that even if I invested in new paint and all the ”wants” on my list, I’m still way, WAY, WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY under the cost (actually, not even half, and that’s just MSRP) of a new Tacoma or 4Runner, and it’s a much more distinctive vehicle (subjective, I know). The gas mileage is the same, as is the horsepower. So you know, take it for what it’s worth.

She's a little cosmetically challenged right now, but literally, every time I drive her, someone says something to me about how much they love it. It actually gets on my wife's nerves it happens so often because she likes to claim she doesn't like driving it.

I've added links to most of the things I spent or will spend money on, you can verify my costs if you'd like.

hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

MOAK

Adventurer
There is a lot of info here, some good, some “anecdotal.” I have a 1994 poverty pack, which just means cloth interior in my case, and oddly it had chrome wheels (ha). Anyway, I’ve owned it since 2009. In that time, I’ve put over 130,000 miles on it, so doing the napkin math, that’s 10,000 miles a year. I bought it for 4500.00 (I know, right?!?!) with about 120,000 miles on it, and as she sits right now in my driveway, it’s at 255,000 on the odo.

I’ve used it as a daily the whole time, and I’ve taken some long trips with the family all over the southeast and Colorado. I’ve had exactly zero major component failures in that time.

smaller items- approx 1325.00
Two sets of starter contacts 20.00
One alternator rebuild 100.00
Four sets of brake pads 140.00
One set (4) rebuilt OEM calipers and Powerstop rotors. 350.00
spark plugs twice 40.00
drive belts four times 80.00
cap and rotor four times (didn’t need it, each time, it was clean and serviceable). 80.00
fuel filter 15.00
Rear Heater Delete 75.00
painless wiring starter relay (long story, but search it up). 25.00
power steering high-pressure hose 35.00
all cooling hoses (including THAT one) 200.00 (I get them from Wit's End - Joey - he sells like three total kits that have all of them)
AC service (dryer, refrigerant, new seals) 150.00

bigger items - approx 2500.00
head gasket (right now. The gasket hadn’t failed, this is related to the big freeze we had here in Texas. I had a freeze plug pop out of the back of the head. Totally my fault, and I’m doing all the gaskets above the block as PM work). approx 900.00 with machining. I got my gasket kit from TPD, but Joey has a complete kit now.
front and rear axle rebuild 100% OEM parts (mostly cruiser outfitters - cruiserteq) 600.00
Wit's End Front Axle Rebuild Poster 26.00
all rubber brake lines 400.00
oil cooler rebuild (also big freeze damage) I got this through TPD, but Joey sells a kit now. 350.00
radiator replaced with OEM brass. (Radiator was fine, I leaned on and broke the steam vent nipple). 300.00

optional parts - approx (whew…don’t tell my wife…) about 7k
regeared to 4.88 1000.00 Front RP Front Install Rear RP Rear Install
Icon/Dobinsons suspension 3” Slinky and VT springs with icon shocks F and R custom valved 1000.00
Delta VS LCAs 1000.00
Delta VS sway bar drops and bump stops 200.00
Delta VS Panhard bracket 275.00
17x9 Method wheels 1500.00
315 70 17 BFGs 1500.00
dual battery setup (Blue Sea and Hudd Expo) 450.00
ARB front bumper on the truck.

needs x approx 1000.00 to whatever if I paint it.
power steering rebuild 500.00 (price includes the cost of rebuilding the old one as a spare)
drive shaft (u joints Front and Rear ) rebuild 300.00
probably replace wheel studs (Joey’s story freaks me out) 100.00
new keys 100.00
Something for the fading paint.

wants - 8200.00
Dobinsons front adjustable Panhard 200.00
Dobinsons adjustable rear control arms 600.00
Delta VS center and shifter console 1200.00
Scheelman Vario-F (Grey Cloth) seats 3600.00
Dissent Rear bumper and swing outs 3200.00

So as far as the "Had to have," I'm 3825.00 in, plus fuel, oil, and oil filters.

I have the hard numbers, including oil changes every 5k, etc., but that’s math you can do yourself. I don’t think I’ve missed anything major here.

it’s never left me stranded, ever. Even when things went wrong, it started and drove me home. I’ve done all the work myself, and I feel confident that there is very little that could happen with it right now that I couldn’t diagnose myself, even in the field, and probably fix, short of some totally unforeseen major engine failure. That being said, it gets 14-15 mpg, which is a real issue. The internet says I’ve spent roughly 25,000 dollars on almost 10,000 gallons of gas driving those miles. That’s roughly double my total investment in hard parts.

I seriously feel that if you’re going to own one of these older trucks, you need to be able to work on it yourself or be engaged with the local Landcruiser club. Paying the dealer 100-125 an hour to diagnose an electrical problem with a 30-year-old wiring harness will take all the fun out of ownership real, real quick. Add a LOT to the above costs if you’re paying labor. Like maybe double or more.

If I had to pick something that worries me, it’s the wiring. The harness is old and stiff, and when I did the head gasket work, almost every connecter broke or cracked. They (connectors) are available from the dealer and easily replaced, but the wiring isn’t. The engine harness for a 94 is NLA, so I can see this becoming an issue I have to spend money on some time in the next 5 to 6 years. The 95-97 is still available, BTW.

That’s my .02 on 80 series ownership. I LOVE my truck. It’s been money well spent as far as I’m concerned, and I’d do it again. If I had to guess, based on the folks I know and the stuff I see on the mud and such forums, my example is slightly above the center of mass for overall cost and somewhat below for non-optional hard parts and maintenance. Between Wits End, Cruiser Outfitters, and one or two other places, you can still find 99% of what you need OEM-wise. The aftermarket stuff like Delta VS, Dobinsons, etc is TOP NOTCH, so there’s still some life in the old girls if you take care of them. I mean, consider that even if I invested in new paint and all the ”wants” on my list, I’m still way, WAY, WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY under the cost (actually, not even half, and that’s just MSRP) of a new Tacoma or 4Runner, and it’s a much more distinctive vehicle (subjective, I know). The gas mileage is the same, as is the horsepower. So you know, take it for what it’s worth.

She's a little cosmetically challenged right now, but literally, every time I drive her, someone says something to me about how much they love it. It actually gets on my wife's nerves it happens so often because she likes to claim she doesn't like driving it.

I've added links to most of the things I spent or will spend money on, you can verify my costs if you'd like.

hope this helps.
Thanks, mine is a very familiar story that I didn’t care to copy & paste my “notes”. I’ll drive mine till, well maybe not till I die, but at least the next 20 years which would make me 88. LOL
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
@mellowdave put it well, if you’re willing to make your ownership hands on involved in most every way, a labor of love so to speak, then it can be worth it. HP numbers be damned, they are slow, no way around it. Mine was a poverty pack as well and that’s the only way I’d own an 80.
 
Last edited:

FMC

New member
Reading it wrong- there’s nothing between the lines. I have a triple locked 450/80 and have known these numbers for years. The 96 model was a test with right around 5,000 models imported. The remaining 10,000 were 97 models. I’d love to find out how many 450s there are now especially the very rare ones that are triple locked. They are identical vehicles to a Toyota Landcruiser with all the options, except an upgraded stereo system, moon roof, leather seats, badges, different headlights, grill, body cladding, insulation, softer springs, a cell phone option, and color choices. It has been argued by some that the 80 series was designed and built to last a half million miles. Toyota motors has never come out and said this as it would open the doors to liability claims, however, behind closed doors and in off the record interviews it has been said and labeled as folklore. Interestingly that folklore is becoming a reality as there are way more than a few that have reached that half million mark and are still going strong. Mine sits in our carriage house anxiously awaiting its next assignment, it’s not daily driven but still sees an average of 12,000 miles a year touring N.America.
I've got a 97 triple locked 450. I assume the original poster meant 450 and not 470
 

FMC

New member
My maintenance costs have been essentially oil changes since I base lined it. Spent about 8k baselining the vehicle because the PO essentially lied and said it needed nothing and the inspection shop I used did me no favors. Luckily, though, other than that the lx has been solid. And I've been happy once I got rid of all the oil leaks, etc,
 

Ozark_Prowler

Active member
I had a 97 FZJ80 for nearly a year, and in the end I honestly didn't quite get all the hype around the 80 series. A 100 series is better in every way except for rock-crawling, and if you're doing that, just buy a Jeep or solid-axle minitruck. The 2UZ will get you those million miles without having to open it up for a top end rebuild like on the 1FZ.

Also, get ready to deal with umpteen oil and coolant leaks from obscure seals that are a PITA to replace. And axle seals every 60k or so. At least it's not a turbodiesel model: they apparently need new bearings every 100k. If it were any other brand, we'd call that maintenance-intensive crap, but because its Toyota, they get a pass.

Plenty of older Tahoes and Cummins Rams get abused and casually maintained for 300k miles plus to little fanfare; meanwhile, it's considered a minor miracle if an 80 series makes it that far without blowing a head gasket or spinning a bearing. I think a lot of the uber-dependable mystique comes from often well-endowed owners who don't mind dumping money into them. Nobody talks about all of them that were junked in the Obama era when they were basically worthless..
 

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