Buying advice: Is this really a 1998 Land Cruiser?

rollandburn

New member
Howdy, i'm in Ecuador looking to buy a 4x4 for travelling around and possibly heading south for a pan-am trip. I've been trying to find something to fit my $30k USD budget and came across this "1998" which probably isn't too practical for long distances, but it looks cool and checks most boxes (reliable, resellable, easy to repair in most countries) ..... Can someone help me figure out if this ad showing the correct info (year)? I don't know enough about the different land cruiser models to know if it is correct or not and my search results are suggesting this is a much earlier 70 series(?). I have noticed the vendors here seem to be vague or inaccurate a little too frequently, and there seem to be so many model variations it's hard to tell with my untrained eye.

https://ecuador.patiotuerca.com/vehicle/autos-toyota-land_cruiser-quito-1998/1614587?owt=d

Also, I don't know if it is too much to ask... but I would be super thankful for any alternate advice. I kind of have my heart set on Toyota because of the aforementioned factors and am willing to pay a bit of a premium for that...

- reliable
- will resell easier when i'm done
- parts available across south america
- go anywhere

I hadn't really planned on overlanding but don't want my wheels to hold me back if this midlife crisis wants to go for it (ie. get a rooftop tent or sleep inside and hit the road). I had a 2002 double cab tacoma back home... the 3.4l 190hp engine was really disappointing on the long mountain passes of British Columbia. With this purchase, I have sort of resigned myself to the fact that i won't be able to have my cake and eat it too (ie. all the above factors vs. speed/power).

lc.jpg
 
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Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Badge and grille is right for a 1998, 4.5 litre petrol is right for a 1998.

Its an FZJ73 (possibly a 74) as it's a heavy MWB with leaf springs all round.

Hope that helps a bit
 

billiebob

Well-known member
One of the best Land Cruisers ever. Only RHD in Canada tho.

This is an international vehicle. I have zero input on what was sold in South America. Looks incredibly clean but what do the locals say? Does the seller have references? Is he a dealer? Is there a warranty?

South America is known for building vehicles long after the rest of the world moves on. I think they still sell new Fords with 1970s cabs. They were selling the old VW Beetle 30 years after Germany quit building them.

Have you driven it ??

ps, if you are planning a Pan Am trip..... this is one of the best choices..... slow and steady wins the race
and bring it back to BC
 
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Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Hmmmm the vendor insists the year is correct. I just found a 1995 FZJ73 that looks just like the one I posted....

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1995-toyota-land-cruiser-fzj73/

Now i'm not sure what to think.
Subtle differences between the 2 that helps to date them is that the Grille on the 1995 has TOYOTA, whilst the 1998 has the T in the hoops

If you can get the chassis number and plug it into Amayama or ToyoDIY you'll find the year in there.

Hope that helps,

Ed
 

Arktikos

Explorer
SWB 70 series with the 4.5 engine. That's the model of LC I'd want to get in S. America. Too bad it's had a makeover rather than maintained in stock condition. The video is an abomination. Best to take a good, in person inspection and review service records, if any.
 

rollandburn

New member
SWB 70 series with the 4.5 engine. That's the model of LC I'd want to get in S. America. Too bad it's had a makeover rather than maintained in stock condition. The video is an abomination. Best to take a good, in person inspection and review service records, if any.
Thanks for the replies gents...

Just curious which negative makeover bits you are seeing @Arktikos? The grill is different? Winch, seats redone.....etc... Or were you meaning more from a preservation point of view 'not original' is a negative on it's own regardless of the merits of the modification. I think it looks pretty good... a winch could come in handy and the grill isn't ugly. But i see your point.

The 1995 i posted above was to illustrate that indeed this could be a 1998 model.... the first response was that it was a "FZJ73 (possibly a 74)". But what do i know haha... that's why i came here. Maybe the leafs up front were only available on the older models?

I am drawn to this one because it has the 4.5 engine... all the other toyotas i'm seeing have smaller lower power engines.

Anyway, thanks again for all the input..... looking forward to joining the club!

ps. I'm now realizing @Paddler Ed meant it could be a FZJ73 or 74... not a FZJ73 from 1974. Doh! hahah...... wikipedia shows this truck as a BJ74

pps. as i learn more, "model numbers 70 through 74 referred to the two-door short- and medium-wheelbase versions" of the 70 series. Also, my note above about Wikipedia showing the truck is a BJ74 is likely incorrect because the preceding letters, i now see, refer to the engine. Considering from "1987 until at least 1990 the BJ73 hardtop was available in the Italian and Spanish markets with a 5 cyl 2.5l turbo diesel this is def not a BJ74. A 74 maybe... but not a BJ. @Paddler Ed was likely correclty suggesting this truck has the 1FZ petrol engine seeing that it has the 4.5l petrol engine.... so, FZJ73 or 74 is probably correct, like he said. Nothing like a full circle haha.
 
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rollandburn

New member
One of the best Land Cruisers ever. Only RHD in Canada tho.

This is an international vehicle. I have zero input on what was sold in South America. Looks incredibly clean but what do the locals say? Does the seller have references? Is he a dealer? Is there a warranty?

South America is known for building vehicles long after the rest of the world moves on. I think they still sell new Fords with 1970s cabs. They were selling the old VW Beetle 30 years after Germany quit building them.

Have you driven it ??

ps, if you are planning a Pan Am trip..... this is one of the best choices..... slow and steady wins the race
and bring it back to BC
Yea i think it's a dealer... there would certainly be a warranty in that case. I haven't driven it... yet. I'm going there on Monday and will go take a look.

I like your confidence that this is one of the best pan am choices i could make.... i have a similar sense from all the reading i've done. It's the 4.5l engine that appeals the most. Unfortunately I moved to Ontario not long ago so there may not be much point bringin this truck back lol... plus i think i'll want to get my $$$ back... it wouldn't sell in North America for what i can get back for it down here. Plus i have a 600hp 911 turbo sitting in the garage which is likely going to have most of my attention when i get back haha. =]
 

rollandburn

New member
Update: There will be no warranty, they are basically a car lot selling used cars but aren't going to warranty a 200,000km truck. Understood. They say a compression test showed 140psi on all cylinders, the relatively low mileage is because the previous owner was an old guy who rarely drove it. Mods are what we have seen, bumper grill winch leather seats.

I have a buddy in another city here in Ecuador who has a sweet Land Cruiser... he says the one I'm looking at is pricey but a decent truck if everything checks out. This is his truck... so sweet. Not for sale =[

paolo's land cruiser.jpg
 

Arktikos

Explorer
Update: There will be no warranty, they are basically a car lot selling used cars but aren't going to warranty a 200,000km truck. Understood. They say a compression test showed 140psi on all cylinders, the relatively low mileage is because the previous owner was an old guy who rarely drove it. Mods are what we have seen, bumper grill winch leather seats.

I have a buddy in another city here in Ecuador who has a sweet Land Cruiser... he says the one I'm looking at is pricey but a decent truck if everything checks out. This is his truck... so sweet. Not for sale =[.
Yes, my preference would be for that 70 to be completely stock in appearance with no mods. Wouldn't keep me from buying it though. The upholstery change is OK, seats look nice.

What engine does your friend's Cruiser pickup have?
 

rollandburn

New member
Yes, my preference would be for that 70 to be completely stock in appearance with no mods. Wouldn't keep me from buying it though. The upholstery change is OK, seats look nice.

What engine does your friend's Cruiser pickup have?
Yep agreed. I think i'm going to go take a look at it this week and probably buy.... just strategizing on ways to beat him down on price a bit. =]

Not sure on the friends engine, he's more a friend of a friend to be honest. I'll try to find out though... i just came out from breakfast and saw it parked in the lot... so he's apparently in town here somewhere. Check out this beaut!

 

rollandburn

New member
Yes, my preference would be for that 70 to be completely stock in appearance with no mods. Wouldn't keep me from buying it though. The upholstery change is OK, seats look nice.

What engine does your friend's Cruiser pickup have?
Apparently the engine in it is a 2F.... 4.2l

2F
ManufacturerToyota
Production1975-1988
ConfigurationI6
Displacement4.2 L (4230 cc)
Cylinder bore94 mm (3.7 in)
Piston stroke101.6 mm (4.0 in)
Compression ratio7.8:1
Fuel systemCarbureted
Fuel typeGasoline
Power output101 kW (135 hp)
Torque output271 N·m (200 ft·lb)
PredecessorF
Successor3F/3F-E
 
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DaveInDenver

Luddite
Apparently it's a 2F.... 4.2l
A 40-series pickup with a gasoline engine would be a FJ45 but they could have a diesel engine, too. That would likely be a 3B, making one of those a BJ45.

His grill doesn't have the "diesel" badge on it so a 2F is likely but cosmetic things get overlooked or swapped for whatever reason. The person who did the work isn't beholden to keeping it showroom original either. It looks like they used a newer 70-series pickup bed on it and used what kind of looks like the cement paint color that you see on Tacomas and other current Toyota vehicles. So anything's possible.

Also people swap engines, like putting in a 3FE or a custom built 2FE, which is a fuel injected 2F that Toyota never made but Cruiser people sometimes do. Also small block Chevy V8s aren't an unusual swap into a 40 series Cruiser.

So @Arktikos is maybe asking more specifically details on that individual vehicle since the truck is obviously really nicely built and you can't see in the photo or video. For example, towards the end of the video it appears there might almost be an exhaust pipe routed on the outside of the left side frame rail, which can be a clue that it's got a Chevy small block.
 
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rollandburn

New member
A 40-series pickup with a gasoline engine would be a FJ45 but they could have a diesel engine, too. That would likely be a 3B, making one of those a BJ45.

His grill doesn't have the "diesel" badge on it so a 2F is likely but cosmetic things get overlooked or swapped for whatever reason. The person who did the work isn't beholden to keeping it showroom original either. It looks like they used a newer 70-series pickup bed on it and used what kind of looks like the cement paint color that you see on Tacomas and other current Toyota vehicles. So anything's possible.

Also people swap engines, like putting in a 3FE or a custom built 2FE, which is a fuel injected 2F that Toyota never made but Cruiser people sometimes do. Also small block Chevy V8s aren't an unusual swap into a 40 series Cruiser.

So @Arktikos is maybe asking more specifically details on that individual vehicle since the truck is obviously really nicely built and you can't see in the photo or video. For example, towards the end of the video it appears there might almost be an exhaust pipe routed on the outside of the left side frame rail, which can be a clue that it's got a Chevy small block.

He told me the engine is a 2F..... I wouldn't be surprised if it is customized completely, these guys don't mess around. I have video of that truck ripping through bogs and trenches. They build them to truck them here in Ecuador... funtional art.. not garage queens at all. The guy runs his own shop so the chances of the engine being replaced with another is high.

I changed my mind on that land cruiser in my initial post on his advice. He's now got me looking at a 2009 FJ Cruiser (that used to be his, sold to his friend 5yrs ago) with 100k miles... for wayyyyy more. Unfortunately I'm starting to realize there are sheisters around every corner here, and even people you know will lie boldface. Odometer tampering is everywhere... actually starting to become tiresome looking for something decent. Crazy expensive prices in Ecuador amplify the importance of every decision.

Here's a few pics.... still on the fence as it basically doubled the prices i was thinking of... but then again an FJ has few downsides and will be a joy i'm sure. 1/2 the mileage, twice the price. Fox suspension all around. City driven only. Also maybe easier to sell than the Land Cruiser. Ho hum...

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DaveInDenver

Luddite
That FJ Cruiser looks alright. It's the more rare 6 speed manual, which means it's also full time 4WD (no 2WD on the transfer case). Looks like the seats have been reupholstered to my eye, which might mean the driver's seat had the famous sliding over the edge wear you see in high mileage Toyotas.

I like the newer 120 series-derived vehicles well enough and the 1GR is a darn fine engine (good enough for the new 2022 300 series Cruisers after all). Although don't expect miracles compared to your 5VZ-FE Tacoma, the trucks are heavier, too.

Either way, if the question is a FZJ73 or FJC, man, no question I'd personally go with the actual Land Cruiser. Assuming, of course, all things equal. I would pick the non-basket case FJC over a questionable Cruiser I suppose, at least if the intention is just to drive it. But a mid-90s 70 series is a tough truck so it'll take a lot to wear it out comparatively
 
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