1991 Toyota Hi-lux SSR LTD from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

8th Oct 2002, 07:14

I can't agree with this owners comments. I had a 1993 Hilux Surf SSR-X Limited and I can safely say it was the best vehicle I've owner (there's been a few!) In my time with it, it never let me down, and the only repair was to get the alternator re-wound. I used it to it's fullest extent, and brought it places where I thought it might get into difficulty, but, it always pulled through.

I am currently looking for another as I foolishly sold mine to buy a Supra, but it's back to the 4x4xME!!

13th Nov 2002, 10:51

I completely agree with the preceding two comments - had mine (89 2.5TD SSR) for about 4 years, only real issue was oil leak from engine rear main seal allowing oil onto clutch plate (i purchased vehicle cheaply because of this). No big problem to repair leak and replace clutch (these vehicles are a pleasure to work on - well engineered and designed). Spares are readily obtainable here in the UK.

An excellent vehicle which I have used for all sorts of activity from towing a 1500kg caravan all around Europe to some serious off road work without any problems whatsoever.

19th Jan 2003, 12:04

I have a 1991 toy hilux sr-5 diesel. no problems. it don't run hot and it has plenty of power. the things I don't like is the really short bed (its 4 door) and it is so light that unless its in 4x4 it don't wanna go in the show. awesome truck.

2nd Feb 2003, 02:24

I own a SSR-V, 1994, 3.0 diesel Surf and the only problem I have had so far is sagging back shock absorbers (changed all 4 shocks for $250). The car is a gem. I live in Australia and I have subjected it to all forms of harsh terrain and it has pulled through with ease. 2.4lt have head cracking problems, but they have been rectified in the 3.0lt. Surfs Rock!!

23rd Sep 2003, 17:45

I own a 1990 SSR LTD 2.4lt Diesel Turbo.

I have heard of the many cracked heads, but have had no problems with mine. I have taken it off road many times (beach and rough terrain) and have had no problems at all. It excels as a 4WD. My mate just spent twice what I paid for a new Landcruiser and my Surf will go places his gets stuck. Sounds like the previous comments owner got a lemon. I would recommend a Surf to anyone. Great car.

18th Nov 2003, 01:52

I have a 1991 Surf and I love it. Yes the head did blow, but lucky for me it was under warranty so the poor dealer had to replace it and some other bits with brand new parts. Seems that the head problem is so widespread that second hand heads are not available.

27th Aug 2004, 03:11

I am from Tanzania Dar-Es-Salaam. I have been interested to know the cause of overheating of the 2.4, 2lT engine of my Surf SSR-X 1992 experienced in December 2003 exactly a year since imported from Japan at 154,000 km. The garage found a cracked overhead cylinder, was repaired and put back. Since then I felt a lose in power and funny noise from what I initially thought to come from the Turbo, but the idea was rejected on test. I am still driving with my heart close to the chest and I am not sure if I can risk driving the car upcountry close to Mt Kilimanjaro during Xmas time. I also had frequent sway bar mounts breaking. Last time I replaced them with those of Discovery and had no problem since then. The car is good and drive well on bad roads of Tanzania. I am planning to replace the overhead cylinder with a used 3l. In Tanzania only used replaceable parts for Surf are available . Lamosai.

14th Sep 2004, 16:46

I bought my 1990 Hilux Surf SSR Ltd three years ago and have had constant problems. I have taken it off-road only a couple of times, and it performed fine, but I was just driving across grasslands. My problems have all come about from day to day family car use. First the alternator packed up, then the engine seized, the 4wd hubs started 'freewheeling' and had to be replaced. We put a reconditioned engine in 6 months ago, but now its blowing smoke, burning heaps of oil and has lost power - I can't even pass people who are going 80km because it has no power. I urge people to stay away from these vehicles - they are bottomless pits that your money pours into, and are a constant source of stress.

1st Nov 2004, 01:02

I have purchased a second hand Toyoya Hilux Surf 3.0 Turbo Diesel Automatic Transmission on December 2002 and it has performed well on-road and off-road so far aside from weakened rear springs perhaps from the original owner in Japan.

I am from the Philippines and would like to have a spare Turbo Kit Assembly and Transmission Spares (Sensors esp.) as I want to keep this vehicle for as long as possible.

Any suggestions where I can procure these items is most welcome.

14th Mar 2006, 11:29

I have just bought a Toyota Surf as an import into the UK. It is the 3lt Turbo diesel and is in the condition of a 6 month old British car. It is in fact a 1994 and has done 69,400 miles. The chap I bought it from has a son who is a Toyota mechanic and he says you must use recommended cooling fluid to stop local boiling in the head, then you will have no head problems. The engine runs as new. I changed all belts and gave a service and the only thing I have found is the power steering pump is leaking. I believe I have to only renew the seals, but has anyone any information or details of the power-steering pump on this vehicle? Andy.

15th Aug 2006, 04:31

My mechanic messed up the control box of my Automatic Hilux with an engine IKZ-TE. Could anyone assist me in buying a new (read used) control box? You can contact me through tzcitizen@yahoo.com. I am based in Tanzania, East Africa.

Much appreciated.

20th Aug 2006, 19:39

Just got a superb Surf (ssr LIMITED) it says on the rear? Can anyone tell me what the Limited means? Is it just limited edition, top of the range or what? It's a 1990 japanese import that's superb. Thanks guys.

4th Oct 2007, 00:58

The cylinder head cracks very easily in the 2.4DT Surf, often at under 100,000km. It's a systematic problem. It happened to me and two other guys I know. I was coasting on a gradual downhill and noticed that the car had overheated and lost power. The car just about did the remaining 5km or so to the Toyota dealer, who then told me the dreaded news. There was barely 90,000km on the clock.

Depending on where you are in the world, the economics of car maintenance and value of old vehicles may make it worth fixing, but I wouldn't count on it. With Japanese labour, it's a 200,000 yen repair. Most people scrap the car (i.e., give it to someone who sends it on to you guys worldwide).

It's a shame because it's a decent car in heavy snow. My missus once spun a 180 in it and hit a snowbank in the opposite lane, but that was on black ice. We get super heavy snow here in the Japanese Alps, so we know all about winter conditions.

You also get about 10km/l out of it, which is great for a big car. The only other problem I had was the back window motor rusting up. That one didn't cost much to repair.