Anyone here interested in tough, long-lasting vehicles?


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
May 17, 2024
Raleigh, NC
Mainly the kind that can handle any harsh driving conditions and where maintenance can be delayed but the machine keeps on ticking. Any new vehicles? I'm talking mainly about the old Land Cruisers, 4runners and Lexus LX.

All the new vehicles have hybrid and turbo engines and not sure how they'll handle it. The new 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser has a hybrid powertrain, but I hope Toyota has built it well and it can go to 300k miles.

I would sure hesitate to buy a turbo anything, given the reliability issues of air pumps spinning that fast. On the other hand, it works for the M1.
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I would sure hesitate to buy a turbo anything, given the reliability issues of air pumps spinning that fast. On the other hand, it works for the M1.

I know, I'm with you. But in like 3-5 years when I need another car, it will be so hard to find a vehicle that does NOT use a turbo! Nissan is always slow to change, I wonder if the Pathfinder and the Frontier will continue using their good ol 6-cylinder NA.
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Absolutely. That’s all I drive. Got a Jeep XJ that I’ll keep fixing the rust on. As everything is available, they’re simple and tough.

Also got a couple 1989 GM cars with the 3.1 MPFI engine (not the 3100). Tough, simple, reliable, will go to 300k and beyond easily. One has 312k and still gets over 30 mpg, which is better than EPA.

I’ll keep driving my old stuff as long as I possibly can. I refuse to own anything new, which is basically disposable. Better engineering means the new stuff is designed down more closely to the point of failure.
Several years ago, my grandson and I rescued a Toyota 20R engine from a wrecked 1974 pickup with 283,000 miles on the odometer. As far as we could tell, it was the original engine. My grandson modified the engine to run on propane and installed it on a portable saw mill. It's been running for a bit over 5,000 hours on the mill without any repairs except a radiator hose, and shows no signs of quitting.
It's been observed by auto writers that the drive for fuel economy (and perhaps reduced costs) has impelled makers to design with smaller, more high-strung engines aided by forced induction. It doesn't take a mechanical engineer to see that it's not the best recipe for longer term reliability. Perhaps likewise with automatic transmissions that added more speeds- there have been a lot of newer cars with reports of transmission failure. Then there's the whole category of electronic technology-related failure as cars have become much more technically complex.

My 87 T-bird has over 225k with no sign of driveline trouble. It turns at ~2000 in overdrive at 80 on its old school pushrod 5 liter and gets good mileage. My newer car is an 06 Sebring Convertible with 2.7 4-valve 6 with no turbo. It turns at ~2700 at 80, reflecting how smaller engines keep up on power by running faster. I really like the way it drives; though it can seem doggy at times, it responds very smartly on demand. Seems very reliable, now has 125k.

Recently it dropped ball joint going 75 on the interstate. I'd known they should be replaced because of bad sealing boots and was actually in process of figuring out how I was going to do it. I'd had it happen in Tbirds but it was always at slow speed in turning. The right front snapped 90 degrees to forward and I guided it off the roadway with the still-good left, spewing tire smoke all the way. That action yanked the half-shaft clean out of the transmission, which then struck the oil filter and opened that up.

Thought I might have some really serious damage, especially seeing the leaking motor oil, but it all went back together fine- had to buy whole control arms to replace ball joints; I think they changed that the next model year to replaceables. But basically I really like the engineering and execution on this car. For the money it can't be beat.
I've been retired for a little over 6 months, not working at the plant for a year but... I still drive my old '99 buick work car as it gets decent mileage and is more or less "fixable". Still have my 79 GMC 4x4 that I drove off the lot in May of that year, my hunting and cruising vehicle, slowly getting back into shape...
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