About Land Cruiser Restorations!
- First imported to the U.S. in the mid ’60s, the open-top, two-door, short 90-inch-wheelbaseFJ40 Land Cruiser came with an inline-six engine very similar to the GM 250ci. The original engine was the 3.9L F model with only 125 HP. That model lasted until 1975, when the 2F was introduced. Parts for the F engine are hard to find, whereas 2F parts are readily available. Transmissions offered at that time were a three-speed manual (some early models with column shift) and then a four-speed manual from 1974 until 1983. Though only two transmissions were offered in the U.S., the FJ40 had four transfer cases over its lifetime, all cast-aluminum. The pre-1973 and post-1980 cases have the lowest low ranges, 2.31:1 or 2.27:1, making the 1973-1975 and 1975-1980 cases not as desirable.
- All FJ40s had solid axles with both the front and rear differentials offset to the passenger side. These axles are strong enough for moderate four-wheeling and hold up well to 33-inch tires. The axles can also be built to run up to 37-inch tires.
- When inspecting any Cruiser, be sure to notice the large spheres at the ends of the closed-knuckle front axle, known as “Birfield”. If these are dry or dripping there is a sealing problem, whereas a thin coat of grease is normal.
- Early FJ40 Land Cruisers come with drum brakes all around as well as manual steering, but both can be easily upgraded with disc brakes and a Saginaw steering conversion kit.
- Stock axle ratios were 4.10:1 until 1980, when they were changed to 3.70:1. During this time the fuel tank was moved to under the tub from under the passenger seat, and in 1975 the front axle was changed to disc brakes.
- The FJ40 was also offered with a hardtop that has metal sides and a fiberglass top panel. Replacement parts for these are available. However, the tops are different from 1974 and earlier with barn doors instead of a tailgate.
FJ60 & FJ62
- Between July and August 1980, Toyota began offering the four-doorFJ60 Land Cruiser series. This 107 1/2-inch-wheelbase station wagon came at a perfect time for the start of the SUV craze, and is a perfect platform for expedition/camping buildups. The FJ60 came with a carbureted 2F 4.2L inline-six engine, four-speed manual transmission, two-speed transfer case, leaf spring suspension, and solid axles with front disc brakes standard.
- Problem areas for the FJ60 include body rust, complicated emissions (which also hinder power and mileage), and the lack of an overdrive. A great upgrade is an H55 five-speed manual which has a lower 4.84:1 first gear and an overdrive fifth. Imported Toyota diesel engines made great improvements in mileage and power to the FJ60.
- From 1988 to 1990, Toyota introduced new upgrades, and while many Toyota enthusiasts appreciated the fuel-injected 3F 4.0L inline-six engine and electric windows and door locks, they disliked the rectangular headlights.
- The FJ62 engine surpassed the FJ60 for power (155 HP, up from 135) using the same suspension and solid axles, but was only available with an automatic transmission which resulted in poor acceleration. Also, where the FJ60 had 3.70 axle ratios, the FJ62 returned to 4.10s. The transfer case was the same as the FJ60, but was now engaged with a high/low lever and a vacuum-actuated four-wheel drive button on the dash.
- Diesel and manual transmission conversions for the FJ62 are now available. Land Cruiser Restorations offers these conversions as well as custom designed bumpers, roof racks, suspension, rock-sliders, and many other upgrades for the 60 or 62. Though not the most powerful trucks, these Land Cruisers are strong and reliable and can run upwards of 400,000 miles with proper maintenance.
FJ80 & FZJ80
- From 1990 until 1992, Toyota offered its newly redesigned FJ80 Land Cruiser. The rest of the world was able to order many different options for this truck, while U.S. customers were only able to get the luxury units. The 3F engine was carried over from the FJ62 along with an automatic transmission-only option. The FJ80 now had a fulltime four-wheel drive transfer case and a coil-sprung suspension with a longer 112-inch wheelbase, and stronger axles. Unfortunately, the FJ80 also gained weight over the FJ62, (approximately 4,600-pound curb weight), meaning acceleration and gas mileage did not improve.
- After just two years, Toyota upgraded to the FZJ80, a truck nearly identical to the FJ80 but with a 1FZ 4.5L inline-six, a much better engine. The 1FZ uses seven main bearings versus the prior four and has four valves per cylinder, a twin overhead cam, an aluminum head, and nearly 60 HP over its predecessor. The FZJ80 still uses a four-speed automatic and a fulltime transfer case. Another option in the FZJ80, which made these worth searching for, was a selectable front and rear locking differential.
Land Cruiser Restorations Team…