By on January 6, 2015

06 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe FJ60 Land Cruiser is still a common sight on the streets of Denver, where I live. These things are not anywhere near as comfortable or fuel-efficient as modern SUVs, but they are just about impossible to kill… and that counts for a lot with your FJ-driving demographic around these parts. Being so prized, however, means that you don’t see many of these trucks in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, and when you do see one it tends to get picked clean in a hurry. I went to a local yard on a typically freezing-ass Half Price Day sale last week and spotted this remarkably un-stripped ’82.
19 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot even 300,000 miles on the clock. What went wrong?
17 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHere’s the likely explanation for the junkyardization of this truck. Rust isn’t a big problem around here, thanks to the single-digit humidity, but vehicles that live in the mountains (or relocate from the Midwest) can get like this.
01 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe pushrod F six-cylinder engine evolved from the licensed-by-Toyota-way-the-hell-back-when Chevy Stovebolt, which means it’s related to the engines used to power Toyota military trucks during the ill-fated attempt to set up the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
24 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinShoppers for 21st-century trucks would find this interior absolutely intolerable. By the standards of 1982, though, it’s pretty nice.
25 - 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe previous owner had some association with a school full of sullen kids forced to sit through PowerPoint presentations about stuff like the difference between “Teacher Voice” and “Outdoor Voice.”

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39 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser...”

  • avatar

    “Rust isn’t a big problem around here, thanks to the single-digit humidity”

    I’ve got to ask, what does humidity have to do with rust?

    • 0 avatar

      Your point is well taken. I’m in Florida which is tantamount to living in a swamp, humidity-wise, and cars here, especially old ones like I drive, don’t rust. The exception, of course, is if you live at the beach, right at the beach, and then the salt air can cause havoc.

      The rust buckets that I do see here are without doubt, transplants from Ohio or Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh seems to be a big draw) or some other similar place.

      The rust always seems to be from salt, either road salt or mother nature (sea) salt.

      • 0 avatar

        I lived in the God-awful humid south most of my adult life and the only rusty cars I ever saw were from the north or those that lived on the beach

        • 0 avatar

          Ditto – lived in Houston for eight years – the only rusted cars I saw came from Galveston or deep east Texas – the deep east Texas cars/trucks were victims of complete neglect and minor dents going unrepaired.

          Humidity is tough on wiring and electronics, but just plain H20 doesn’t rust out cars (well OK, we are talking about early 80’s Japanese iron to put things in context)

          Salt, neglect, design issues (debris and water catch areas, inadequate drains, etc.) or low quality materials do.

    • 0 avatar

      Look at it this way, Lie2me, rust needs 3 things: warmth, corrosive agent (salt), & moisture/humidity (well and metal to chow down on). Well, four things, oxygen too, because OXIdation is a pretty simple chemical reaction. In freezing ass climates that stay cold, humidity is virtually nil, the air is at too low a temperature to hold the moisture. But when they salt the roads, your cars drive on it and it coats body panels and metal parts with a nice salty wet corrosive crapmix. You park in a heated garage and rust never sleeps, as the saying goes. Park outside in the brutal cold, and wash your car clean when temps rise above freezing, and body parts and fasteners and everything will last much longer but not forever, unless you coat them in oil or oil-diesel fuel mix/krown rustproofing in Canada.

  • avatar

    Occasionally I’ll see one of these in great condition around here in Ohio. People will pay through the nose for them in good condition on Ebay. Nothing holds value quite like an LC, cept maybe a 911.

    • 0 avatar

      Same in BC. I had an elderly neighbour who wanted to sell a mint one. He told me in passing he hoped he could get $2-3K for his old truck, to which I chuckled and told him to make sure he hit Google before he listed it. He ended up putting it up for $18K and it sold pretty quick.

  • avatar

    My parents had a 87 J60 Land Cruiser. Still had the leaf springs, I believe.

    I was young person then, and I still found the ride intolerable for daily use. It did have impressive assembly quality and seemed like it would go forever.

    They replaced it with a J100 in 98 or 99 or so. Totally different car, luxurious. Still very well assembled. Still going – 250K miles on it.

    • 0 avatar

      “Still going – 250K miles on it.”

      Of course it is.

      Glorious. :)

    • 0 avatar

      The J100 is my favorite body style, and it has aged so well – timeless! It holds two tone paints very well too. It’s my understanding it was a massive improvement in nearly all ways over the J80*.

      Thinking down the road, the J100 sold in such greater numbers than the J80, that it’ll be easier to keep on the road.

      *Am a fan of the J80 Anniversary Editions.

  • avatar

    I feel like it belonged to a teacher who lived up in the mountains of BFE. If you have ever seen the sad Canadian film, “The Sweet Hereafter” (which won the Palme d’Or) I picture something along those lines. Bonus! The film also contains footage of an aero Town Car (with cloth!) driven by the protagonist, a Safari Wagon, and a gorgeous black Brougham at the end.

  • avatar

    Jesus, I love Land Cruisers.

    Maketh mine a J80 OR J100.

    I’d rather not spend $20K on a car with 140k miles on it…. BUT, that mileage is a drop in the bucket on these brutes.

    J100 with a lift and I’m a happy camper. So subdued, so luxurious. Relatively unbreakable.

    Thumbs WAY up.

    • 0 avatar

      These are the epitome of “you get what you pay for”

      I’m hoping used LC200s will be in the $30-40k range once I settle down to raise a family, hopefully in a locale that will give me ample opportunity to use the ‘Cruiser as intended.

    • 0 avatar

      I want a 70 series or a 105 series which is pretty much the hundred series on the 80 series frame meaning you get the solid front axle still unlike the USDM 100 series. Plus a 105 series can be had with an interior not unlike the 60 series photographed above. The early (91-92) 80 series is good for this also.

  • avatar

    Benjamin was ‘Cruisin for a bruisin’.

    The Toyota warmed as Ben worked to clear the fresh snow off the side windows. The muffled sound of the radio had little trouble working it’s way out of the uninsulated vehicle. In fact, it was clear as a bell.

    “She was in the backyard – they say it was a little past nine
    When her prince pulled up – a white pickup truck”

    “Ahhhhhh.”, Ben exclaimed. Clearing the snow from the windshield in the laziest manner possible had destroyed the passenger wiper blade. It made a hellish sound, much like what the educator might have experienced during the chalkboard era. He reached inside to turn them off. As he resumed clearing the windshield, he was struck dumb by a wonderful sight. Everyone knows teachers love apples, and there before him was a perfect one, draped in the seat of Sara’s grey slacks. She reached up with her snow broom to nonsensically clear the powder from the roof of her Outback Sport, her faux fur-trimmed coat hiked up, exposing her pants material approaching burst pressure. “Ohhh myyyy gerrrd.”, Ben thought, entranced. A voice from his 7’o’clock startled him. “Well…you gon’ take a bite outta that or what?” He was releived to see it was James. He too, glanced at Sara’s behind, gesturing with his eyebrows in a manner only he could. Ben responded by slumping comically over the rumbling hood as if unconscious. Their levity was cut short by the new principal exiting the school. Ben slammed the door of the Toyota, and muttered to himself, “Sonofabitch.” He watched the man get into his green Discovery, and remarked additionally, “Piece of shit.”

    Soon, the rusty ‘Yota was in front of a nearby Autozone. Ben begrudgingly fitted one new wiper blade. He warmed his hands in the dash vents and daydreamed about that ass. A cold hand reached into his man purse filled with useless completed tests. He pulled out the thumb-worn school newsletter with Sara on the cover. As typical, the song on the radio crooned something about love and pickup trucks over the noise of the idling six. Ben stared at the image with a deep yearning. She wasn’t wearing an outfit that drew off her shape nearly as well as the one he saw an hour ago. He had to imagine it in the form of dotted lines, denoting what lay hidden. “Oh my GERD!”

    It was time to leave the orange-illuminated parking lot. Ben grasped the lever for the transfer case with hope. It simply bowed as if rubber. He banged it sharply with his palm. He engaged 1st gear, reverse, and neutral in an attempt to free it. There would be no four wheel drive tonight. The new wiper blade was already forming a ridge of new accumulation. It was getting bad.

    Ben sawed the wheel back and forth. He couldn’t believe how bad the truck was. This was worse than last year when the tranfer case problem first appeared. He reacted by purchasing some fresh BFG’s, but now the tires were “worn…probably?” He could barely make it through the intersection from a stop before the light turned red again, and a plow overtook the Land Cruiser, leaving him with deep spill off his blade that added to the challenge. This whole time, Ben wrenched on the lever that refused him salvation. His palm became sore. Then, the grip broke free in his grasp. Ben glanced at the broken plastic part inside, and angrily threw it to the passenger floorboard. “Great. It’s wasted!”

    The crippled Toyota made the right onto one of Denver’s steepest slopes. Ben saw the telltale signs in the snow of panicked motorists who had came before. “This is so stupid.” The freewheeling front tires grabbed the deep ruts and feedback from the rear was lost. There was no bringing it back. Tim McGraw’s Truck Yeah provided the soundtrack to crash to. As Ben faced the wrong direction to his acceleration down the hill, he wished he had a better truck under himself now. The Land Cruiser’s front bumper whipped around just in time to bury itself like a spear in the side of a Lacrosse that was parked at the bottom. Ben climbed out, slamming the tin door for the last time. Then he called the police, his insurance company, and finally James for a ride home.

    Ben assumed correctly that his insurance would have no enthusiasm in repairing the minor damage to the Toyota. He stepped out of the black Silverado into the snow-covered parking lot.
    “Oh, did you get a new truck?”, Sara asked.
    “Yeah. Somebody totaled my Toyota. It’s a shame. I kinda liked that old piece of crap.

  • avatar

    If my teachers looked like the chick on the right, I wouldn’t be nearly so sullen.

  • avatar

    I hate living in the Northeast, vehicles like this just don’t exist here.

    Hell, until I saw one on an episode of “Alaska Off-Road Warriors”, I didn’t know the FJ55 was even sold in America.

  • avatar

    Son of a b*tch! I typed that comment for 10 minutes!!!!

    Argh! Dam you TTAC.


    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, they really need to fix this comment function.

      I don’t visit any other sites that lose comments like this place does…. In fact I don’t think I’ve EVER had a comment”lost” anywhere else on the web. WTF?😐

    • 0 avatar

      Before you hit submit, do a select all/copy. Then, if your comment gets eaten, search for ess eye dee in it and replace it with something, anything, else.

      That seems to help.

  • avatar

    This would be on Kijiji for $12,000 around here.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    A fixation on the pure, simple lines of a J100 led me to buy my Trooper, the “poor man’s Land Cruiser”. Still a classically beautiful design 15 years later. I just wish the Trooper had the LC’s reliability, but at 222k I guess I can’t complain much except for the 3rd transmission.

  • avatar

    Toyota… listen closely.

    If you EVER apply this “we ain’t got no room for boring, predator styling fascia crap” to The House of Land Cruiser, you will pay dearly!!

    Please keep the LC stately. Or I shall smite you.

  • avatar

    The seats still look pretty good for cloth .

    I spy a hand crank hole under the grille ~ was a hand starting crank really available ? .


    • 0 avatar

      From a little google searching, yes it was available (sorta). Post 81 motors didn’t have the Wing Nut on the crank, but that’s easy to retrofit. Truly for desperate times, can’t imagine cranking over a 4L six by hand.

    • 0 avatar

      If I am not mistaken, 60 series trucks could still be had with a power take off on the transfercase as well. Never saw a hand crank but it wouldn’t shock me.

      • 0 avatar

        RE : Hand Cranks

        Thank you ! .

        Growing up dirt poor on a New England farm meant hand starting our 1937 and 1935 John Deere ‘A’ & ‘B’ Model tractors by hand , no they didn’t have hand cranks , we took the flywheel covers off and did it by hand on the ring gear , no gloves , it was a B*TCH lemme tell ya .

        $9 for a 6 volt battery , we couldn’t afford it and it ran on a Magneto anyways so no Farmer was going to ‘ waste ‘ Dollars on a battery because ‘ you damn kids are JUST _LAZY_ ! ‘ =8-) .

        I’ve had hand crank vehicles but an InIine 6 Banger ? oh GOD NO .

        The Land Cruiser guys all insist it’s _not_ a 235/261 under license but it is ~ I have the 1963 Motor Magazine that has an article about how smart this Toyota Company was to have bought the rights to it .


  • avatar

    Believe this would be the 2F motor. I almost purchased one of these that someone had swapped the head and fuel injection from the later 3FE motor on to and put a 5 speed in. It was a sweet truck but I cheaped out and went for the tired 93 80 series that nearly broke me and has sucked my will to turn a wrench for a few more years. That would be my avatar above and no…the Engine I took out didn’t go 300k either. Something about a previous owner’s aversion to checking the oil. They are durable machines in the sense an industrial machine is…They will run as long as maintained. The manual actually had honing the cylinder bores at 400k or something like that as required maintenance IIRC. But if that maintainence hasn’t been done hold on to your wallet as I am convinced there is not a part on any Land Cruiser that is less than 250 bucks. But I still want another one.

  • avatar

    Love the Land Cruisers. Dad has a 67 FJ 40 with the 4.2 liter inline 6 with 3 speed manual. Got rid of the sloppy column shift and updated with a later model floor shifter. It is mechanically sound and the frame is solid but the tub is rusted enough he opted for a replacement instead. It will be on and painted by spring time.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My brother-in-law had a dark brown 87 Land Cruiser that he bought new and junked about 2 years ago. It was a manual and although it was not a smooth riding truck it was tough. Great vehicle. I think he had about 400k miles on it with the original engine.

  • avatar

    My ’05 100 series Land Cruiser is my daily driver and the best vehicle I have ever owned. 160k miles and still looks and drives like new. No rust, since I’m in Dallas.

    I’d love to have an old 80 or 40 series for weekend offroading, but don’t have an extra $20k with two kids in college. Probably will wait to buy a 200 series for a daily driver and keep the 100 series for offroading and camping.

    That “Iron Pig” in the article is completely rotted. Maybe a few knobs and trim bits could be salvaged, but the rest is ready to be sent to the crusher. RIP.

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