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1986 Toyota Landcruiser (4x4) Review
  • Cheap to buy, Strong, Relaible, Fun, Easy to mod
  • Slow, Possible rust issues

by Ben King

I had always dreamed of owning a Landcruiser. I wanted a Troop Carrier, or later model 70 series but the budget would never quite allow for it. I stumbled across a listing for a 1986 60 Series, 2H diesel, 24volt, barn doors model, with just over 200km on the clock and in mint condition. I thought to myself, hmm this could be an option. So I went for it. (That was 6 years ago)

It didn’t take long for the 60 bug to bite, I joined forums, and did a lot of research (google) to decide how I wanted to mod it. There are a lot of off the shelf options to mod your 60 and you can go as subtle or as extreme as you like, which is one of the reasons the 60 is still such a popular 4wd platform.

I ended up getting an Ironman suspension kit, giving her a 2 inch lift. It seemed to lift it a lot more than that though, probably due to the fact that the nearly 30 year old original suspension was pretty saggy.

Next was wheels and tires, I went from 15 inch rims to 16, and after much deliberation with myself I purchased some 285/75/16 (33×11.5) Micky Thompson MTZ (good choice!) So tires fitted, no rubbing at all even at full flex. Happy!

Other additions included roofracks, roof tray, some LED lights on a switch for reversing, home made storage draws, and the latest addition – a 12000lb winch.

The thing with this kind of vehicle is, it probably will never be quite finished, there is always something else you want (or need) to do. You get to know the ins and outs, the rattles and squeaks, and that is all part of the fun of owning an old LC.

It’s big, heavy, stinks of diesel, and is fu#*^ing slow. It’s so slow up hills my grandma could walk faster. You do need patience – It’s a bit of a love hate relationship. Sometimes I just get frustrated and want to sell it and get something faster, then your over the hill and its all ok again.

There are several options for the 2H diesel to increase power like after market turbos and extractors. The other option is to do an engine replacement – or just buy a 12HT (factory turbo) model 60 series.

That aside, the 2H is strong and super reliable. You can point the 60 just about anywhere you want to go and it will get you there, and home again.

It can be a bit tiring to drive on long trips just because its a bit harder to drive than a later model car. There is plenty of interior space, I recently did a 1000km trip with 4 adults 2 dogs and a ton of luggage.. no problem. And in fact everyone commented on how comfortable and quiet it was. I imagine this could change depending on your suspension and tire set up.

You can expect to get 17-20(ish) litres per 100km. Doesn’t sound great but I always thought it was quite good on fuel before I knew that – maybe something to do with the 90 litre tank. I usually get about 500km a tank, not too bad really for a 3+ ton 29 year old truck.

If you are looking for a no maintenance daily driver a 60 is probably not for you.

But for all it’s negative points just remember this, don’t take it too seriously – It’s an old skool truck, a proper 4wd, they don’t make them like this anymore. When your washing it down the local car wash and a kid walks past and points at your rig yelling to his dad – look look dad! I want one of those!, and every time you sit in the drivers seat a sense of adventure and nostalgia comes over you, you crank the engine and you crack a smile. That my friends is gold. And that is why it’s a 10/10.

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1986 Toyota Landcruiser (4x4) Review Review
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  Submit an Owner Car Review