In the late nineties I had been toying with the idea of a 4WD with the missus for a number of years. I was thinking FJ40 with a 253 in it, wifey was thinking 80 series GXL...
Cleaned up and down to the local beach for a test run
We met "in the middle" with an 87 4Runner I spotted at an insurance repossed car yard. It looked like a pig but I saw through the dirt and minor damage. The cars are sold by tender and my bid of $4700 was successful. 4runners (basically a Hilux wagon) are a popular 4WD and hold their value pretty well (8-10k$AUD for an '87 in 1999) so she looked like a bargain.
- 1987 4runner 2 door wagon with removable factory fibreglass canopy
- Naturally aspirated "2L" diesel engine (2.4 litre 4cyl); power steer & aircon
- Part-time 4WD with manual front locking hubs
- 5 speed G52 cog swapper, 2WD & 4WD High and Low range selectable transfer case
- Independant front suspension torsion bar (IFS), using CVs
- 148,000kms on the clock
Spent a couple of days up front getting it "nice" - pulled the interior out, high pressure cleaned everything, put it back together again. Peeled off some awful stickers and "touched up" some paint.
Discovered a really nasty oil leak on the first drive - suspected front crank oil seal. Was correct - dismantled front and replaced it. $AUD13 for the genuine part; plenty of mucking around to get it in. Replaced the timing belt as it had been covered in oil for quite some time.
2006 Update - since its purchase in 1999, I have done 110,000kms, done an engine rebuild, replaced the gearbox and a handful of other bits and pieces. Value for money? Well, todays "throw away" brand new cars would have represented better value - but I still have a soft spot for beaten up old cars. Not to mention a little $12,999 drive-away-no-more-to-pay car won't hook a chain around a 1 tonne log and drag it across the dirt...
2009 Update - sold to Adam the sparky at Wanneroo! With three little kids in the family, it was no longer a practical car (even though they loved playing in th back of it). When I first mentioned to Adam I was thinking about selling it, he insisted I talk to him first. For about two years he pestered me "when can I have my car?" - once I have bought my new car, a very sedate BF Falcon, he came over and took the old girl away with a big smile on his face :)
She was a great car the 'ole hilux; the last three years I owned it I left the back off it permanently - even through winter! Had many adventures in her, learnt a lot about 4WDs and diesel engines, a great chapter in my car history.