Editor Max Taylor recently invested in a second-hand 80 Series Toyota LandCruiser which he nicknamed Ruby. She’s a ‘project 4WD’ and required quite a bit of work to get her up to the task of hauling caravans around Australia.
SECOND-HAND 80 SERIES LANDCRUISER
Max believes there are fantastic bargains to be found for second-hand tow vehicles, and they’re a great option if your budget is limited but you need a new tow tug.
He recommends doing your research and understanding the capability of the vehicle before you buy it, so there are no surprises along the way.
Ruby had a 1993 engine in her and had less than 240,000km on the clock when Max picked her up from a wholesaler. He had her checked over by two different mechanics and she was given the all-clear. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, her head gasket blew and she needed major surgery. But once that was sorted, she’s been trouble-free ever since.
SUSPENSION AND TYRES
Ruby’s suspension was shot to pieces when Max bought her and he knew he’d have to replace it– she was riding on the springs and the shockers were leaking. ARB installed coil suspension all around and 400kg load-rated springs in the rear to cope with the heavy loads Max may be hauling. They also replaced the old alloy bar with a new steel ARB bullbar.
Ruby’s tyres were all mismatched and running on low tread so Max replaced them with Bridgestone Dueller All Terrain tyres and has been very happy with them.
Max’s most pressing issue is that, as a family man with two children, he’s had to fit two booster seats into Ruby’s back seat. Unfortunately, the booster seats have to be anchored in the rear cargo area where he was hoping to install some drawers, so now he’s in need of a good engineering solution.