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Note about the photos on this site:
Most photos were taken by me.  I usually allow people to use my photos for personal use or websites.  Simply Email me.  
The Land Cruiser 80 series was manufactured from 1990 through 1997, with model years beginning 1991 and ending 1997.    There are three
separate sub generations with in the 80 series.  The 1991-1992 models.   The 1993-1994 models.  And the 1995-1997 models.  Each sub-
generation has significant differences from the others that are worth noting.

Production of the Land Cruisers 80.  
Units imported into the United States.  Does not include other units.
The following is from Coolcruisers.com
1991         8446 units
1992          7865 units
1993         8886 units
1994       11007 units
1995       14208 units
1996        12816 units
1997         11502 units

Body/Frame:
The Land Cruiser 80 uses a fully boxed super heavy duty frame, with a body bolted to the frame.   The front end appears to a clip type (not confirmed)
that be entirely removed, similar to the prior Land Cruiser, but unlike the mini-trucks and 4Runners, which have an integrated sub-body attached to
the main cab.   This frame design is exceptionally strong and durable.   As far as I know there were no major changes to the frame between sub-
generations.   The body has minor differences between generations, such as different headlights in vehicles built from 1995 on.   Also, the fender
flares are fiberglass and easliy breakable on 4x4 trails on the 1991-1994 models, but are made of slightly more flexible plastic from 1995 on.

The gas tank is a 25 gallon unit and is located on the American driver’s side, opposite of the early Hilux/PU/4Runner models with the exhaust
running down the passenger side.

Engine:
The 80 series had two engines.  The 1991-1992 models came with the 3FE, which is basically a fuel injected version of the 3F, which is a motor that
dates back to 1984, but is still based on the old F series engine, which dates to the 1950s.   The 3FE which is the fuel injected version was born in
1988 and was continued on when the Land Cruiser 80 series was first introduced.   This was a 4.0 liter engine and made 155 h.p. and 220 ft/lbs of
torque.

In 1993, Toyota introduced the 1FZ-FE, which was an entirely new design and much more modern and was 4.5 liters.  It had duel overhead cams, a
timing chain, and 24 valves.  It made 212 h.p. and 275 ft/lbs of torque.  This motor remained relatively unchanged for the duration of the 80 series
production run.  It was slightly more fuel efficient than the previous motor.   
Check out my 80 series engine/trans page for a lot more info.


Engine Problems to Watch for:
The 1FZ motor is far more desired because of it’s higher power, although both motors are extremely reliable and durable and can last hundreds of
thousands of miles.   The 1FZ does suffer from two fairly common problems.  Head gaskets tend to go out on higher mileage vehicles.  For those
who’ve owned the 22R engines, it’s not unlike the timing chain situation.   Some motors seem to go their entire life without any problems, some
motors have a problem early on, some at 100-150K miles.  Some folks change the head gasket on higher mileage engines as a form of preventative
maintenance.

The rear main seal tends to leak on medium and higher mileage engines.   It’s possible that Toyota engineers didn’t take into account that most
1FZs were be attached to an automatic tranny that is never removed to replace, for example, a clutch on a manual tranny model.  In any event, if the
rear main is leaking, it’s usually not a big deal and most owners simply live with it.   The way the seal is designed, is not a critical part of the motor
that would gush out oil in the event of a catastrophic failure.  

A third minor issue is a small heater hose behind the engine block that tends to leak on higher mileage engines.   It’s commonly talked about,
because it’s a pain to get to and fix.   Otherwise, this motor is about as bulletproof as they get.   

Transmission:  
The American 80 series only came with a 4 speed automatic transmissions with overdrive.  There were two versions.   The A440F was carried over
from the previous Land Cruiser and used through the 1994 model.   The A343F was introduced in 1995 and used through the 1997 model.   There is
much debate about the differences between the two trannies.  Essentially, the A440F is larger, holds more fluid and has slightly different  gearing.   
The A343F is smaller and some claim, weaker.  However automatic transmission problems with 80 series Land Cruisers are fairly rare, even on
high mileage vehicles, so it appears both models are more than adequate.   Also, the A343F was carried over to the heavier and more powerful Land
Cruiser 100 series behind the 2UZ-FE 4.7 V-8, so it must be a good tranny.  
More info on my 80 series engine and trans page.

Transmission Shifting:   
On all models, the transmission has 3 under drive and 1 overdrive gears.  Placing the lever in D allows the transmission ECU to do all the gear
changes.   The shifter has a button that allows the driver to downshift from overdrive to 3rd gear.   The shift lever can then be used to downshift to 2nd
or 1st gear.   The transmission is electronic and on at least 1995 and later A343F models, I don’t believe the transmission will downshift if the rpms
will exceed the engine’s mechanical limit.   I’m not sure about the A440F models.

Transfer case and center diff.
Unlike the Hilux and mini-trucks, the transfer case on the 80 series is a stand alone part and does not share fluid or oil with the transmission.  

There were two transfer case types used in the 80 series.  The HF2A and HF2AV.   They are essential the same transfer case with one difference.  
Both are extremely beefy and durable transfer cases.  They are part mechanical and part electronically actuated transfer case and because of the All
wheel drive feature of the 80 series, they are full time transfer cases with a geared center differential, which means that the front diff, axles and drive
shaft are always turning and always under power.

The HF2A came on 1991 and 1992 models.   The center diff in this transfer case has two modes.  “Open”, for normal all wheel drive mode, in which
power is sent to both axles equally, but one axle can slip independently of the other axle.  This is exactly the same as how an open diff works side to
side.   The other mode on this transfer case is “locked”.  This locks both the front and rear axles at the transfer case just as if it were a conventional
part time transfer case placed in 4WD.   The locking of the diff takes place via an electric motor and can be controlled via the ECU or a manual switch
on 1991 and 1992 models.    

1991-1992 models have 3 transfer case modes.  All wheel drive for normal everyday use, when the lever is in “H”.    Push the center diff lock button
and you get 4 wheel high.  Move the shift lever to “L” and you get 4 wheel low.  

The HF2AV came on 1993 through 1997 Land Cruisers with the 1FZ engine.  This transmission has one difference than the older version.  It has a
viscous coupler.  This term has lead to much confusion, because modern AWD systems in cars and SUVs also use what they call a vicious coupler
in place of the center diff.   The HF2AV viscous coupler does not replace the mechanical geared center diff at all.  What it does is essentially act like a
limited slip differential does in a conventional axle differential.    Essentially making the center diff somewhat in between an open and locked center
diff.   What this does is improve traction on very slippery surfaces, without the need to lock the center diff in 4 wheel high, thus having the
disadvantage of the front and rear axles being locked if you suddenly hit dry pavement and want to turn.  

The purpose of this new system is simplicity.  The driver doesn’t have to think and essentially can just leave it in “H” and get all the benefits of an
open diff and nearly the benefits of a locked 4 wheel high for snow or sand or other loose traction.  

However, because of the addition of the VC, Toyota eliminated the center diff lock switch on all 1993-1997 models.  Fortunately, the wiring still exists
and a common modification is simply purchasing the switch and plugging it in.  This gives the driver the same control as the earlier models.   

An addition modification under the dash, can allow the driver to put the transfer case into low range, but have the center diff unlocked, if he so
chose.   One purpose of this might be to aid turning where low range was still needed while one turning but the axles were binding due to the
traction from the front and rear axles.  

One final note about the transfer case operation.   On models with ABS, when the transfer case is placed in “L” and/or if the diff lock switch is
activated, the ABS system automatically shuts off.   A very handy feature for serious off roaders.

Front suspension.
The suspension is solid axles front and rear with coil springs and control arms.   The front suspension was a designed based somewhat on the
mid 1980s 70 series Bundera, where a Hilux type axle and differential were used in conjunction with coil springs.  On the 80 series, the axle housing
is considerably beefier and wider.   

The front diff is offset to the American passenger side and is an 8” ring gear, similar to the Hilux solid axle trucks, but using a high pinion type diff and
4 pinion carrier with reverse cut gears for added strength.  The high pinion diff was designed to clear a steering rod that runs behind the axle and
under the diff.   The outer birfields are larger and stronger than the Hilux birfields, but the axle still necks down from 30 spline to 27 spline when
going into the birfield.   Overseas models had manual hubs as an option since some models were part time 2WD.   However, all American models
were AWD and had flanges instead of manual hubs.  The manual hubs are actually the same as the Hilux/mini solid front axle trucks.

Front steering:

Rear suspension.
The rear coil suspension is similar to the coil spring suspension of the 1990-1995 4Runners, but of course, much beefier.   Like all prior Land
Cruisers, the 80 series diff is offset in the rear towards the American passenger side.   The diff is a large 9” ring gear and is similar to earlier Land
Cruiser models except that the 80 series has larger bearings.
1991-1992 models came with semi-floating axles and used a different carrier in the diff.  1993-1997 models used a full floating axle.

Brakes:  
The 1991-1992 models used disk front brakes and drum rear brakes.   On 1993-1997 models, Toyota introduced rear disc brakes on full floating
models, which were all American Land Cruisers to my understanding.   1993 and later models also came with ABS, while the earlier models did
not.   ABS appears to be optional on 1993 and possibly 1994 and standard on all later models.

Wheels and tires:
The 1991-1992 models came with 15x6 aluminum rims that were nearly identical to the mini-truck and 4Runners of those years.   In 1993, Toyota
introduced an all new 16x8” aluminum wheel.  Partly to help clear the new rear disk caliper and partly for better styling.  A new tire size was
introduced in 1993 also.   LT275/R70-15, which is roughly a 31.2” tall tire by about 11” wide.   This wheel and tire was continued through 1997.
The spare was a full size with even the wheel matching the other 4 on the Land Cruiser.

Lockers:
Front and rear lockers were available on American models from 1993 through 1997, including on the Lexus LX450.  It’s been said that approximately
7% of the Land Cruisers produced for the American market had lockers.   Earlier models did not have lockers.

There are differences between axles with and without lockers.   Axles with lockers have the diff openings cut a certain way to allow the fit of the locker’
d diff, so it is not possible to just bolt up lockers to a non-locker axle.   There is also a difference at least one rear axle shaft with the splines being
longer on the locker or non-locker version (can’t remember.)

There is some pre-wiring that exists in all 1993-1997 models, and I believe that is the wiring to the switch, the locker ECU and the front locker.  This
makes is somewhat easier to install Lockers on a non-locker vehicle if you have the other parts.  Some models may have the rear locker wiring and
some may not.

All models have the locker switch on the dash just to the left of the steering wheel.  Look for the dial switch when looking at used vehicles.  

Interior:
1991-1994 models had pretty much the same interior layout.   However, leather was apparently only available from 1993 through 1997.  Airbags
were not included on 1994 and earlier models.

In 1995, Toyota completely redesigned the front dash layout and added both driver and passenger side airbags.   The doors also had side impact
beams added.  This layout continued through 1997.

3rd row seats were an option, so not all rigs have them.   Cloth interiors have manual front seats.  Leather interiors have electric driver and
passenger side electric seats.   There was no seat heater option that I know of.  

The 80 series has a rear heater, just like many prior model Land Cruisers.   This heater uses a separate heater core from the main heater and has
a vent in between the two front seats.  A switch on the dash controls only the fan speed with a high and a low speed.  I’m not sure if this was optional
and what years it was included on, but my 1995 has it.   There is no rear A/C that I’m aware of.

The 3rd row seats fold up to the side to retain as much rear cargo space as possible.  These seats are very uncomfortable for adults.   The 2nd row
seats seat backs fold flat, and then the entire seat pivots at the front and fold forward.  This gives exception room in the back of the Land Cruiser
lengthwise.   There are two 2nd row seats and they are independent of each other.

Other differences between years:
Other significant differences between years include the radiator and exhaust.   I’m not sure what type radiator was used on the 1991-1992 models.  
The 1993-1994 models had a 3 core brass model, which was considered the most superior design.   1995-1997 models had a 2 core aluminum
radiator.   Also in 1995, the exhaust system, which was well tucked under and guarded by the frame, was moved lower below frame level up front to
move the hot cat converters away from the passenger floor board.   In 1995, Toyota began to implement OBD II standards with 1995 models being
partly compliant and 1996 and 1997 models being fully OBD II compliant.
Last Update:  February 22, 2007
FAQ, Buyer's Guide and General Info About the
Land Cruiser 80 Series
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Quick note.  Much of this information was obtained from other sources.  Most notably from sources at
www.ih8mud.com.   A website that I HIGHLY recommend for potential and current LC80 owners.   While there are
several other Land Cruiser FAQ lists on the net, I've compiled information that I found the most useful and helpful and
I've geared this FAQ towards someone who is already familiar with Toyota mini-trucks and 4Runners.
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