In July of 1951, the Japanese based auto company Toyota unveiled their new model- the Land Cruiser as BJ. Test driver Ichiro Tiara took the luxury of taking the vehicle to the sixth station on Mt. Fuji to the steps to the Fudo temple in Okasaki City. This act convinced many that the capacity of the vehicle is unlimited. The BJ featured a large piston displacement, long wheelbase, large body, and softer suspension. It was rated as the next generation 4x4.
In 1954, the BJ was renamed Land Cruiser by the request of an English competitor- the Land Rover- to Hanji Umehara, then Toyota's Managing Director, to have a name that sounds no less dignified. Years later as Japan's economy is promising, Toyota Land Cruiser is thriving and its production reached other parts of the world. The Land Cruiser was made available to the US in 1958.
Meanwhile, the second generation Toyota Land Cruiser released several trims for its model in the 60s: FJ40, FJ45 and FJ55. The FJ40 was at its time the most advance off roader with its remarkable engineering. The FJ45 rode on the FJ40 wheelbase and was available to the US from 1963 to 1967. It was originally offered as a short bed pickup with fixed of removable top and doors. The FJ55 was manufactured from 1968 to 1979. It had a unique styling, very different from early Land Cruiser, and very durable body.
The third generation Land Cruiser was called the Sports Utility. Two trims were made available: the FJ60 produced from 1981 to 1987 and the FJ62 produced from 1988 to 1990. The fourth generation Land Cruiser which was released from 1991 to 1997 came with two trims: FJ80 and FZ80. The present Toyota Land Cruiser has never been powerful. With a 4.7L double overhead cam (DOHC) V-8 32 valves engine capable of producing 235 horsepower at 4800 rpm with 20 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm torque. It is a full time 4WD in a mechanical center differential and new 5-speed transmission power in 18-inch wheels.
Safety features include front and rear ventilated disc brakes 4-wheel ABS, emergency braking assist traction control, stability control front seatbelt pretensioners, rear door child safety locks child seat anchors, rear center 3-point belt 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests 2 third row headrests, remote anti-theft alarm, system engine immobilizer, daytime running lights dusk sensing headlamps, and auto delay off headlamps front fog lights.
Basic DIY Tips for your Toyota Land Cruiser
When it comes to unparalleled off-road performance and on-road comfort and refinement, Toyota Land Cruiser tops the list. To keep your Toyota Land Cruiser that way, you should know how to do some basic vehicle maintenance. Here are the most important parts of your vehicle that you should keep an eye on regularly.
- Keep an eye on the engine
To avoid engine trouble, you should always follow your regular engine maintenance schedule. Bringing it to your local car service shop will save you money in the long run. However, if you have the proper know how, you can do it yourself. Don't forget to always check the motor oil in your engine. Make sure that it is clean and keep it at the right level. When you put too much oil, it might leak out to the other parts of the engine where it may cause damage. Of course, if there's too little to no motor oil at all, it can cause the engine to break down. Keep in mind that motor oil and the oil filter need to be changed regularly.
- Do a regular check up of the cooling system
To avoid overheating of the engine and the costly problems it causes, make sure you keep your vehicle's cooling system in check. The cooling system's main function is to keep the engine at the right operating temperature, so make sure it is working properly. One of the things you should check in your vehicle's cooling system is the coolant. The coolant should be replaced regularly as it becomes too acidic when left in the radiator longer than recommended. The high acidity level will cause corrosion inside the radiator and the other cooling system components. When replacing the coolant, make sure that it is half distilled water and half anti-freeze. Also, because of the constant stress and the extreme heat in the engine bay, the hoses in the cooling system might crack and split, causing coolant to leak. Just make sure that when you are checking the cooling system, do not open the radiator cap while the engine is hot.
- Keep tires properly inflated and wheels correctly aligned.
To avoid untoward accidents, make sure that you check your tires regularly. Check the air pressure on all four tires weekly. Under-inflated tires will put more strain on your engine because it will work overtime to make the vehicle move, resulting to low fuel economy. On the other hand, over-inflated tires might explode. Don't forget to rotate your tires. The front and back tires wear out unevenly so to make sure that they wear out at the same rate, rotate. Also have your wheels aligned. Properly aligned wheels will guarantee excellent wheel performance and will make the tires last longer. It will also help in improving the handling of your vehicle. Have your tires balanced as well. This is usually performed in conjunction with wheel alignment. It also helps keep your tires last longer. Check the tread depth of your tires regularly too. Make sure that it is still at the right depth to ensure your safety on the road.
These basic maintenance tips will surely help you in taking care of your Toyota Land Cruiser so always keep them in mind. Happy driving!
Toyota Land Cruiser: The Rugged All-Terrain Vehicle
Rivaling the Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, Nissan Patrol, and the Mitsubishi Pajero, the Toyota Land Cruiser secured its fame in history for its rugged dependability and all-terrain prowess. Spanning for more than sixty years, the Land Cruiser is Toyota’s longest-running vehicle in the company’s history. The Land Cruiser has gained popularity over the years and it is the best-selling full-size, four-wheel drive, body-on-frame vehicle in Australia. Conquering the tough Australian outback, the Toyota Land Cruiser proved itself to be one of the best off-road and on-road vehicles in the market today.
The BJ and 20-Series: The Toyota Jeep
In the advent of the Korean War, the United States government asked Toyota to build a military light utility vehicle patterned after the Willy’s Jeep. Powered by a Type B 3.4-liter 6-cylinder OHV gasoline engine, the Toyota “Jeep” BJ was coupled with a part-time 4-wheel drive system and it was larger than the original Jeep. The BJ-T (Touring), BJ-R (Radio), and the BJ-J (Cowl-chassis) was also introduced in 1953. In 1954, Toyota’s technical director, Hanji Umehara, called the Toyota Jeep BJ “Land Cruiser”, named after their competitor the Land Rover. He wanted a name that sounded less dignified. In 1955, the Toyota Jeep 20-series was made to appeal to the civilian crowd. The 20-series had a better ride, thanks to its 4-plate leaf springs and more stylish bodywork. The first Land Cruiser station wagon was built in 1958.
The 40-series: The First Land Cruiser Diesel Variant
New steel presses and a 3.9-liter F engine were introduced to the Land Cruiser 40-series during the 1960’s. In 1965, the Land Cruiser was named as the best selling Toyota in the United States. On that same year, the Toyota Land Cruiser’s global production sales surpassed 50,000 vehicles. The first Land Cruiser diesel variant was offered in 1974, powered by a 4-cylinder 3.0-liter B-diesel engine. Front disc brakes, a wider body, square bezel surrounding headlights, power steering, and a cooler were included in the Land Cruiser for the first time in 1979.
The 50-Series: Toyota’s Moose
The 4-door Land Cruiser station wagon was introduced in 1967. Nicknamed the “Moose”, this Land Cruiser was designed with a longer wheelbase and it had a fully enclosed box frame members. Toyota offered 3.9-liter and 4.2-liter engines coupled with a 3 or 4-speed automatic transmissions. This particular Land Cruiser model was designed for the North American and Australian market only.
The 60-Series: Introducing the Direct-Injection Turbo Diesel Engine
The new Land Cruiser was a 4-door wagon which accommodated 5 to 8 people. Designed to compete with the other sport utility vehicles in the market, creature comforts like air conditioning, an upgraded interior and a rear heater were included in the Land Cruiser. The 12H-T direct-injection turbo diesel engine was also introduced during this generation.
The 70-Series: A Beefier Land Cruiser
There were some changes made to the Land Cruiser during this generation to improve its performance. The 5-cylinder SOHC 1PZ, a 6-cylinder SOHC 1 HZ and the 3.0-liter KZ turbo-charged diesel engines were the options available for the Land Cruiser. Drive train modifications, longer rear leaf springs, and a coil-spring suspension were some of the improvements made on the Land Cruiser.
The 80-Series: The Land Cruiser Collector’s Edition
A full-time 4-wheel drive system and anti-lock brakes were now made available to the Land Cruiser. The 6-cylinder 3-F, 6-cylinder SOHC diesel, and the 1HD-T direct-injection turbo diesel engines were introduced to the Land Cruiser 80-series. Driver and passenger airbags, larger brakes, a High Pinion Electric Locking front differential, and front and rear axle lockers were also made available on the 80-series. In 1997, a special Land Cruiser 80s was built for the collectors. Embroidered floor mats, automatic climate control, special gray side moldings, and black pearl badging were featured on this limited-run collector’s item.
The 90-Series: The Toyota Prado
Available as a 5-door long wheelbase and a 3-door short wheelbase, the Land Cruiser gained the nickname “Prado.” The 3.4-liter 24-valve 6-cylinder, 2.7-liter 4-cylinder, and 3.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engines were made available for the Prado. This particular Land Cruiser series was geared towards urban usage and occasional off-road activities.
The 100 and 200-Series: The Modern Land Cruiser
Named the “Grand Cruiser”, the Land Cruiser 100-series started production in 1998 and it was patterned after the 80-series. The 100-series was fitted with a wider chassis, independent front suspension, and a 4.7-liter V8 2UZ gasoline engine, a first for the Land Cruiser. The Lexus LX470 was designed after the Land Cruiser’s 100-series platform. The 200-series is the latest incarnation of the Toyota Land Cruiser which offers numerous technological features for the modern driver.