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Toyota Land Cruiser



  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    I suspect the recommendation for chains on the rear is more of a safety issue than a mechanical one. Imagine two senarios, one with chains on the rear and one with the chains on the front:

    In High range, with the center diff unlocked, your torque tends to go wherever the resistance is the least. In a very low traction situation (glare ice, for instance), the chained axle (say front, in this case) will have the resistance and the rear will not. The result is the rear spinning. If you are accelerating around a curve, or perhaps, going downhill into a curve under braking, you might find yourself pointing in the wrong direction in a hurry when the tractionless rear breaks loose. This sudden about-face will also probably put you in the oncoming lanes, assuming you were lucky enough to keep 5200 lbs of momentum on the road that is. You get a much different result though if those chains are on the rear: Not too much sudden directional control, but braking action to control speed and traction in the back that keeps your behind behind you.

    Mechanically, with the open center diff, it really should make no difference. If you lock the diff though you CANNOT put chains on only one axle unless you are in the deep sloppy stuff where the un-chained axle can spin at a faster rate than the rear. This is a great way to get stuck, BTW. Even with chains on both axles though you should not lock the center diff unless in the slop or travelling in a straight line.

    Since keeping all of that in mind can be quite a bit of work, the manual offers the simplest, and least dangerous recommendation: Put them in the rear.

    BTW: I'm not sure how well this applies to the 2000+ versions with all the TC and VSC doodads. It holds true for my '98 though, as well as my prior 4Runner and prior to that, my 4WD P/U

  • britthobrittho Posts: 1
    May I first say hello and thank you for all of the great information that I have read on this board. I am looking to purchase a Cruiser in the next weekend or so and it will be our first. I do have one question about the stereo in the 98 model. Does the 98 have the 7 speaker stereo that had the bass issues or does it only have 6 speaker system without a sub? The dealer informed me that it had a 6 speaker system but I did not get a chance to listen the last time I was in the vehicle. Did they make the change to a 7 speaker system in 01? Thanks for any help.
  • scifiscifi Posts: 54
    The 98 LC only has the 6-speaker system. You are correct with the JBL being 1st introducted in the 2001 model.

    The 6-speaker system is just OK in my opinion: it has fairly good frequency response & not too much distortion; but in a top-of-the-line SUV, one should expect at least a better-than-average stereo.
  • njpaguynjpaguy Posts: 55
    Leasing a 01 TLC. Wanted to check out the new 5-spd auto box on the 03. Closest dealer with rig is Lexus. My question: is there more sound insulation in the Lexus, or is it an aural illusion? It's not a newness thing, because even with 64,000 miles on my TLC, it doesn't have a rattle or squeak! The Lexus seemed to be even quieter on the road.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I've heard that theory but have nothing to confirm it. The new 5 speed is supposed to be quieter than the older one so you would need to drive an '03 LC to know.
  • I find that I'm always having to verify that the doors are actually locked after using the key to lock/arm the system. There is no audible chirp as in most other systems out there. I know the lights blink when locked but I'm not always in eye shot of the front/rear when locking/unlocking the LC.I'm wondering if it is possible to have the dealer add a "chirp","chirp,chirp" for locked/unlocked with the factory keyless entry? Thanks.
  • pamgreenpamgreen Posts: 4
    Thanks for the information! I checked out as you suggested - great site! I have an appointment with a dealer next week to either disable the running lights or change the light sensitivity using the sensor on the dash which the manual says is possible, though the service manager seemed sceptical. We constantly have pedestrians and other drivers pointing at our lights or honking to tell us that they're on - so possibly our lights are even brighter than normal running lights. I hope to solve this annoying problem soon.
  • mk85mk85 Posts: 7
    Changed my front pads on my 97 lx450 and now my brake pedal goes down too much. I did bleed the brake lines but did not help.
    What could this be???? Bad caliper.
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    Did you do all the work yourself on the brakes?

  • mk85mk85 Posts: 7
    Yes, I did the brakes. Usually bleeding the lines takes care of the problem but did not this time. hmmmm.
  • joeeblow1joeeblow1 Posts: 238
    Unless you opened up the system to air, there should be no reason to bleed the brakes. Normally new pads need to bed into the rotor, so it will take a few stops to get things in place.
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    The cheapest thing to do would be to rebleed the brakes, using a large container of fresh fluid so you can just pump like crazy through the first caliper in the sequence. I'm guessing you got a bit of air in the lines and a fast pump through will carry the bubbles out on most vehicles. Be advised that some master cylinders need to be removed and bench bled if they get too much air in them.

    That's what I'd do first. I know it's a pain but it's the first thing a garage would charge you to do.

  • joeeblow1joeeblow1 Posts: 238
    You can bench bleed the master cyl while it's installed. Same principle as on the bench.
  • What is a good time to change out the brake pads? I have a 2001 LC and i am about to hit 29000. I have noticed a little shimmy in the wheel when i stop. The majority of the miles are highway so i don't know what that would do to the brake life. I also was looking at getting some new tires, preferably some bigger ones. I have the GPS Nav and the dealer told me that changing tire size will affect how the computer calibrates the speed, distance and time to destination. Is this true?
  • joeeblow1joeeblow1 Posts: 238
    "the dealer told me that changing tire size will affect how the computer calibrates the speed, distance and time to destination"

    I dunno if the NAV system is tied into the wheel speed information from the ECM, but regular, hand-held GPS is not affected by tire size changes (obviously). Tire height changes will affect your speedometer and odometer.

    A good time to change your pads is when the pad thickness is near or at the minimum assuming they are in good shape. Pull the wheels and look through the caliper to see how thick the pads are. A shimmy could be due to a warped rotor or unbalanced tires, etc.
  • bplacebplace Posts: 9
    Where is the best place to buy seat covers and a cargo mat for a 99 Land Crusier? Thanks
  • fj100fj100 Posts: 97
    Seat covers - Canvas type, not water proof just dog resistant -

    Husky Cargo Mat - Do a web search on Husky cargo liner, then check prices and look for the added bonus of free shipping. I have the husky liners, front, middle and rear and would never run a vehicle without them.

    Enjoy that '99 LC.


    '99 LC, 68k miles, bfg at's 285's, ome lift, sway away torsion bars, arb winch bumper

    check out for pics of my modified LC
  • Hi -I've read back thru message 2000, but I got bored and thought I'd post my questions.

    I am considering a '95 thru '97 series 80. I have run into conflicting info on the locking diferentials: were they or were they not standard equipment?

    If they were optional, how can I positively i.d. the axles to be sure that they have lockers - are there air hoses or electrical wires going to the pumpkins? Where are the dash switches located?

    How is this model LC on ice, with proper winter tires? I am assuming the diffs act as open units when they are unlocked. I would prefer to have traction control for snowy roads, but I really like the solid axles and lockers for off-road use.

    I am also considering a 2003 Land Rover Discovery II S (US$35K), but the reliability problems, lack of a locking center diff, and miserable resale value have got me scared. So I am contemplating a 6 year old LC for about $18K-$20K instead of the new Disco to get the solid axles and off-road capability at a price I can afford.

    Comments are very welcome.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The locking diffs is a confusing question because it depends on which differentials you are talking about. The center differential is locking and that was standard. The front and rear differential had optional lockers. It is easy to figure out if the vehicle had this because there is a rotary dial on the left side of the dash to operate them.
  • fj100fj100 Posts: 97

    The optional front and rear diff lock switch is to the left of the steering wheel. Here is a pic of what you are looking for. Also, you will need to add a center diff lock switch, very simple procedure and the wiring harness is already there. The switch from toyota is like $51 and takes about 10 minutes to install.

    Check out the following link for the pic of the diff locker switch.

    Check out the following link for the pic of the center diff lock.
  • Thanks for the info. I guess I need to ask any seller if he has that round knob on the panel. I would guess a large number of LC owners aren't even aware that lockers were an option, so when they say "all options" it doesn't necessarily mean that.
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    The 80 series will do very well on ice and snow. We have used studded and siped mud tires for years and switched this winter to Michelin's new 4X4 Arctic Alpin. Improvement in onroad conditions for sure, offroad I don't know yet - didn't do any wheeling this winter.

    I think FJ100 knows this, but you don't need to add a center locking diff switch as the 80's automatically lock the center diff in low range. If you want complete control of the center diff in high range, the switch is worth having.

    As to your other questions, yes the diffs are open when not locked. On the Rangie - they do have a locking center diff in low range just like the 80 has. But you're wise to steer clear of them if you want reliability as well as offroad capability in one package.

  • The problem for me is that the Discovery IIs have NOT had a locking center diff since mid-2000. For 2003, with the redesign of the Disco, overseas markets got an option for a CDL, but we in the USA still can't get it. I would be willing to live with traction control if I had the CDL, but not by itself. I have read too many stories at DiscoWeb about people getting out of control backing down steep hills without CDL.

    Thanks for the other comments about LC and snow driving.
  • I am going to look at a USA spec '96 Lexus LX450 with diff locks and 83,000 highway miles tomorrow morning. I understand that it is basically a "tarted up" Land Cruiser. Can someone tell me what is different about the Lexus?

    Is the suspension lower/ softer with the Lexus?

    Any specific reasons to either choose or avoid the Lexus? I believe '96 was the first year for the LX450....

    Would people think I'm crazy if I drove a Lexus down a muddy trail?

    I will be installing OME springs and bigger tires anyway, so the suspension is a minor issue.

  • fj100fj100 Posts: 97
    The differences are very minor, like they picked the quietest tranny and transfer cases for the lexi. The interior is a little different and may have auto climate control. Body cladding and different wheels. The suspension was softer and needs replacing with the OME.

    People will think your crazy for driving a Lexus down a muddy trail but you have front and rear diff locks.

    I would highly recommend installing the center diff lock button. It gives you more control over your drivetrain. Also discounnect the wiring for the automatic engagment of the center diff in low range. After you install the center diff button of course. This allows you to disengage the center diff in low range and regain your turning radius or for backing heavy trailers in low range. I have my wiring unplugged and people can not believe highly tightly I can turn around in low range.


  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Can anyone point me towards some relatively tame off roading area's in central Ma.? I've had my 2000 LC since it was new and haven't tried it in the woods yet. Truth is I've never been off roading at all. Any links to websites or local clubs would be appreciated.


  • joeeblow1joeeblow1 Posts: 238
    It's a myth that Toyota picked parts for individual vehicles. I would go for the LX450 over the '96/'97 fzj80 for the slight upgrades, and the prices are comparable for the 2 rigs.

    For trails in Taxachusetts, go to the TLCA website and look for local clubs. Yankee Toys are in Boston, and they are an active club (
  • fj100fj100 Posts: 97
    It may be a myth however the myth was started by Toyota and Lexus and propageted by Araco (the company that builds LC's).
  • scifiscifi Posts: 54
    When they allegedly picked parts for particular vehicles, was this a line of parts (type of transfer case) or individual parts (this specific transfer case from this line of transfer cases)?
  • fj100fj100 Posts: 97
    Supposedly Toyota picked individual parts off the lines that meet certain higher standards. These parts were then designated for the LX vs the LC.
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