Updated: Jul 10
Vehicles are prone to rusting, that's just how it goes. When buying any used car or truck, rust is a big problem to watch out for. Sometimes you can get lucky and pick something up that's rust free, but more often than not you'll be sending your new purchase out for some bodywork. In this post, I'll show you the top 7 places where 1981-1989 Toyota Land Cruisers rust so you know where to look when searching for the newest addition to your garage.
1. If the windshield is original then chances are there is some rust in the corners of the windshield gasket. Check for bubbles and other imperfections in the paint in these areas. Peal part of the rubber back and take a peak as well. Rust in this area is very difficult to fix due to the complex shape needed for the windshield weather stripping that has to fit in it. If the rust here is too severe you're better off paying more for a more solid vehicle.
2. The drip rails on the roof is a common rust spot on the FJ60's. If you have surface rust, check to make sure it hasn't spread to the structural beams inside the roof. If the rust has spread this far, it's best to keep looking.
3. Ah yes the ol' tailgate. This is the first place you'll notice rust starting to build up. Open the tailgate and look at the hinges on the inside. Even someone who's unfamiliar with bodywork can tell if it has been patched. Replacement tailgates can be found and the one you have can be fixed, but the more solid sheet metal you find the better.
4. This is probably the most important part because it's a section of the frame. You might have to drop the spare tire in order to see it, but check the back frame rails for rust build up. If the frame is rusted out, It's best to walk away from this truck.
5. Put the back seat down and gently peel back the inner wheel well cover. Most trucks have rust here. It's not a deal breaker, but should be noted. This area is relatively easy to repair, so don't be discouraged when you see it.
6. This spot is very easily noticed. If the rust is really bad I would suggest replacing the whole fender, otherwise it will be hard to connect the lower chrome molding. New and used front fenders are readily available if yours is beyond basic repair.
7. This is the obvious spot where every FJ60 and FJ62 will start to rust out. Run your finger along the inner rear wheel well and you will feel if it's a patch job or original sheet metal. If you still can't tell then look at how the rear mud flap is attached. it should sit level and be symmetrical to the one on the other side of the truck. If the truck doesn't have a mud flap then the fender has probably been patched.