In terms of the exterior, although the majority of 70 Series have manually winding windows, there are reports that the Electric Windows are prone too feeling sticky and resistant.
Rust isn’t what we’d call a hugely common issue but it can appear under the windscreen and the snorkel (if fitted).
The doors can fill with water if the drain hole is blocked, only really an issue if you plan on river crossings.
Inside, the Cigarette lighters are known to fail a due to other electronics “piggy backing” off of it.
The handbrake may need adjusting to operate smoothly.
Mechanically, it needs to be considered that the 70 Series will be used differently for a range of various applications.
For example, hard-core off-roading folk have very different common problems than those who mainly tow a caravan, and they have different problems to the examples that are used in mining or commercial applications.
Another thing you have to consider, as these are hugely popular, you don’t have to look very hard to find absolute horror stories about all the problems they have. But the reality is statistically, they are actually incredibly reliable.
Engine wise, the earlier 1HD engines are arguably one of the most reliable engines in that category ever made. With regular servicing and a set of injectors every 200k they’re virtually unstoppable.
The later models with the 1VD V8, (which, in Australia is in all of them since mid-2007) isn’t as reliable. It’s not a bad engine at all, it’s just more complicated, and there’s more to go wrong.
Again, we need to emphasise that the reliability experience can be vastly different based on the type of usage and any modifications that might have been done.
Some of the more common problems are fuel system related, for example pressure sensors and suction control valves at the cheaper end, and high-pressure pumps and injectors at the expensive end. The life of the pumps and injectors will be significantly longer with more frequent fuel filter changes. You don’t necessarily need an after-market pre-filter or anything (it won’t hurt). Just change the factory filter every 10,000km, it costs virtually nothing compared to a $5,000 to $10,000 fuel system overhaul.
The inlet system and EGR valves can clog up pretty badly so its highly recommended you fit a catch can to help with that, but be warned, in some cases that will void your manufactures warranty. The topic of catch cans versus warranty, is part of a much bigger conversation which we’ll have another day.
Now if you have an older or higher mileage engine that is having any fuel system or inlet repairs you might want to spend an extra $500 or so and get a new starter motor while you’re at it, because it’s located in the V of the V8 and everything’s got to come off to get at it.
The turbo is are another big-ticket item that sometimes fails on higher milage or poorly serviced units and if it fails, it can be about a $4000 round trip. That’s by no means every thing that can go wrong, just a few examples.
Although they’re a fairly tough engine, poor modifications, dodgy tunes and poor servicing can lead to the worst-case scenario of a blown-up engine, which in these can easily land you with a bill over $20,000. It definitely pays to look after them.
As far as the drivelines go, the clutches are definitely a weak point so if you’re towing or off roading that’s something you should upgrade sooner rather than later and you can usually get something decent in there for around $2500 to $3000.
The gearbox itself, does have a few issues, one of those is fifth gear failing and it’s recommended that if you’re towing or heavily loaded, change the gearbox & diff oils every 20,000km instead of 40,000km, and don’t use fifth gear when you’re towing.
The other driveline elephant in the room is the front and rear wheel wheel track difference, which is a result of the front of the vehicle being widened to accommodate the V8, however Toyota never really got around to widening the rear to match. This causes handling issues and in extreme cases premature wheel bearing failure, not to mention it just looks weird.
There are a whole range of different price points to fix this issue, ranging from different wheel offsets which means you need two different size spares, right up to a full replacement wider diff housing which can cost well over $10,000.
We know this may all sound like doom and gloom but keep in mind the perfect single all round daily driver, 4WD, work and tow rig just does not exist
Yes they are big they are tough and they are extremely capable. However, they are expensive to maintain and very expensive to fix.