For $2,000, Would You Roll The Dice On This 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe J80 Land Cruiser says its priced to sell today! Of course, that was a couple of days ago. He’s dumping it due to what he claims is a blown head gasket. Would that major flaw and his price have you blowing a gasket of your own?

These days, in light of the negative side effects of zolpidem (Ambien) many doctors have turned to having patients interact with Toyota’s online model configurator as treatment for insomnia. One of the major benefits is that it’s non-addictive.


I know, that’s mean, and while it’s true that Toyotas of today may not be all that exciting, that wasn’t always the case. As proof yesterday’s 1993 Toyota MR2 turbo got everybody kind of ramped up. Not only was it seen as a romper-stomper of a sports car but its GT350-funding price tag was approved by laudable 57-percent of you too.

That Mister Two wasn’t the only interesting thing Toyota built back in 1993, as the company also released such sturdy and studly fare as this J80 Land Cruiser. Sadly, this wagon is not in as quite as nice of condition as yesterday’s eat-off-it clean sports car.

Nope, while seemingly in decent shape on the outside, and reasonably worn on the inside, its mechanicals have one major flaw that may cause you to take pause. That of course, is why it’s so cheap.


The ad claims that issue to be a blown head gasket. Now in contrast to most of us, head gaskets don’t actually like to get blown. It can really ruin their, and their owner’s day. The good news here is that the engine in question, Toyota’s 4,477-cc 1FZ-FE, is a straight six meaning that it shouldn’t be too tough to get to the root of the problem. When healthy that SOHC inline should have been good for 212-bhp and 277 lb-ft of torque.

A four-speed automatic backs up Leaky McHeadfart as they do, and the rest of the truck’s mechanicals have seen some attention even if the engine has not. There are apparently new brake lines and a new radiator, while the ad avers that the tires, suspension and the rest of the brakes are all “Ok.”


There are three rows of seats inside this green over grey J80, and their condition seems to get progressively better as you move rearward. The truck has a sunroof power this and that, and leather, as it should be noted that it was with this model that Toyota got serious about addressing the luxo-SUV market. A version of the J80 was marketed as a Lexus, sporting an OHC V8 that you surely wouldn’t want to do a head job on. Mileage here is an impressive 215,000 and the truck comes with a clean title.


The seller is marketing this as a mechanic’s special and he’s priced it that way too. The asking is $2,000 and as you likely know if you spend any time around here, that’s cheap for J80s. In fact, that’s typically the price range where you might fully expect the truck to be actually on fire, or come with the warning that seven days after driving it a moldy girl will scuttle out from underneath it to kill you. This one just needs a head gasket, or so the ad says.


That of course is a gamble. Is it really a bad gasket, or is it really a cracked head, or worse a block that’s gone south. The new radiator is a clue that something bad has happened here. Did the previous one spring a leak leading to the engine being run dry? Who knows? All we know is that it’s a $2,000 Land Cruiser that you could park in your driveway and nobody’d be the wiser that it’s got a problem.

Would you take that two-grand gamble on this J80? Or, do you think that even at that meager asking the seller’s luck has run out?


You decide!


Detroit MI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.