Living With a 20 Year Old Landcruiser

12 months with a 95 series UK Toyota Truck

Iv'e owned 4x4's since i was 17, in fact my first car on the road was a Suzuki SJ410. but i'd always just used them as a toy for local by-ways and the odd play day. I purchased this earlier 95 series LWB in November 2020 with the intention of doing the usual. Using a 4x4 just for winter fun and those odd snow days and flooded weeks. However March came and went, when i'd usually sell my 4x4's and the LC was still with us.

In this article i'm going to give an idea of why this fantastic machine still sits on my driveway despite heading into its second winter. But also what its like to live with a Landcruiser as not just a work horse but a toy too. What does it really cost to run and maintain these 20 year old vehicles. Proper 4x4's are a dead breed in regards normal manufacturers these days so are the early noughties trucks the last of the breed?

We purchased the LC on Ebay auction after previously viewing the vehicle. It was local to me in Stroud and had been on the same Cotswold farm estate since 2001, including ourselves its only had three owners. We paid £2277 which you would struggle to do in the current market, turns out with a recent valuation the private reg is worth £650. It had 171,000 miles, an average amount for these 3.0 TD 4 pot engines. The truck has good service history and it was pretty clean considering it had been on a farm. The most important thing for a 90's Japanese vehicle, it had no rust on the body and very minimal on the chassis.

Since August 2020 we have covered 17,000 miles, not bad for someone who works from home most of the time and during a period of COVID of course. The Colorado acts as my daily so its used to shift the toddler to nursery, travels in bad weather with the family and shift car parts from place to place from my various other projects. It also acts as a recovery vehicle at a rally stage I manage in Mid Wales. it travels from Bristol on a 350mile round trip several times a month without skipping a beat. Its quite happy doing 70mph on the motorways as it is towing rally cars from ditches.

Of course did also buy the 4x4 for fun. We live within spitting distance of Salisbury plains and the Devizes area which is littered with by-ways. We also make regular trips to Wales including the Wye Valley and Strata Florida, Elan valley area. It has seen some serious work and abuse there is no doubt about it. We have submerged it on several occasions, several times with water getting inside the cabin. The old diesel happily sits in over waist deep water until recovery arrives, but most of the time it will make it own way of deep bogs thanks to the locking diffs.

Now as you might imagine a 20 year old Japanese truck has taken some maintenance costs in the past 12 months. But I am big on preventative maintenance and also modifying the truck to suit my needs. Its had the axle dropped and welded up, very common on these for the axle mounting points to rust out so i had a new one made that was bad. A 50p patch has been welded on the chassis and the other biggy in terms of issues was a charging issue, to be safe I changed it all but it turned out to be a simple fuse. We also initially ran a Cooper Mud Tyre but then opted for a Maxxis All Terrain instead due to the extra journeys we now do on roads, this has reduced road noise dramatically not not altered off-road ability much, see our other tech article on tyres.

Other than these things I have changed stuff on the truck I would expect to due to the nature of the work it does or to prevent it breaking down in the future. As the truck helps pay my bills it needs to be 100% reliable for those long welsh trips. its worth noting that I have never come across any vehicle that does so many jobs that I can't think of a reason to sell it. But why didn't you buy a 4.2 Amazon i hear some of you cry. Well firstly budget, 80 series Amazons are £10k+ trucks and even the 100 and 120 fetch strong money but we aren't a fan of their looks anyway. Yes the engine is better on the 4.2 but in our eyes its not worth the extra money. I'm not sure you'd find another all rounder as good as an old Colorado.

Below I have listed everything that has been done to the truck since August 2020. I have tried to include the reason for purchase, cost and supplier for anyone interested. We would predict the current value of the truck to be around £5500 in todays market. Hopefully this gives an insight for some of you looking to buy a similar truck in the future. The total including the truck so far has come to nearly £7000. Despite being more than its worth its results in a very useable, reliable and capable vehicle.



  • Pedders/Monroe 40mm Lift Kit - £546 - RoughTrax
  • Stainless Custom snorkel - £250 - Infinity-Exhausts
  • 24" Single Line LED Light Bar - £37 - Ebay
  • 16"x8" Tuff Torque Steel Wheels - £297.28 - 4x4 tyres
  • 285/75/16 Maxxis WormDrive AT Tyres - £480 - Tech&Tyres
  • Cobra 19 CB Radio and Ariel - £40 - Ebay
  • Polybushed front lower arms - £72 - Milner Offroad
  • Polybushed Steering rack - £25.20 - Milner Offroad
  • Extended Rear Brake Pipe - £30 - Langley 4x4
  • Stainless exhaust system 2.%" bore no rear silencer - £370 - Infinity-Exhausts


  • October 20 - Front Pads/Rear Pads/Propshaft UJ/Trans Fluids/Brake Fluid - £297.60 - Parts Breakdown - £297.60
  • February 21 - Engine Service/Alternator&Belts/AC Pulley Bearing/Transfer Box Output Seal/Inner&Outer trackrod ends - £644.51 - Langley 4x4
  • March 21 - New Yuasa Batteries fitted (Pair) - £200
  • May 21 - Front Brake Pads/Front Brake Discs/N/S Front Wheel Bearing/Rear Lower Trailing Arm - £336 - Langley 4x4
  • June 21 - Radiator/Thermostat/Cambelt Kit - Preventative - £422.10 - Langley 4x4
  • September 21 - Front Ball Joints & O/S Front Wheel Bearing - Part Breakdown - £270.60 - Langley 4x4
  • August 21 - Starter Motor Replacement - £210 - Part Breakdown - Langley 4x4
  •  October 21 - Rear Discs/Rear Pads/Rear Caliper/Fit Supplied Bushes - £788.72 - Parts Breakdown - TR Auto Servicing&Repairs

Tell us what you think...

  1. Had a few of these in my time. Nice solid trucks.
    Last one was a 3.0 d4d manual, very last of the colorados.
    Just bought a 150 series Landcruiser 4.0 v6 petrol.
    On its way from Japan so underside shouldn't be crusty.

    1. How did you find the later D4D engine? Our worry was being more modern could cause more electrical issues. Importing from Japan is always an interesting prospect that does come with its own risks.

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