Since most of us are buying our 100 series Land Cruisers used there are certain things we need to do before taking them out into the bush.
Theres something oddly satisfying about baselining the maintenance on a used vehicle. I kept things pretty simple with my 2004 Land Cruiser.
Land Cruiser Fluid Baseline
I was lucky enough to have full service history on my 100 series Land Cruiser so I knew exactly what I needed to do to get her up to speed. First, I knew the oil was changed in the last 4k miles. The transfer case oil and differentials were also changed in the last 15k so they were good to go too. That left the transmission.
I have a 2004 Land Cruiser so I have the 5 speed A750F (used in 2003-2007 Land Cruisers). This transmission is near bullet proof but it is a sealed unit. Toyota considers the transmission fluid in this tranny to be lifetime use, unfortunately I don’t buy that.
My A750F was shifting smooth enough but you could definitely tell there was a slight bump going from 2nd to 1st gear and accelerating again before coming to a complete stop. Since my vehicle had 220k miles on it I decided to do a full ‘manual’ or ‘red neck’ flush with Toyota WS ATF. Note: You do not want to do a real transmission flush at your shop. The machine that does it is too strong for high mileage transmissions and can often ruin them!
Land Cruiser A750F transmission flush
This basically entails pulling one of the transmission cooler hoses off and putting it into a marked bucket. You turn the engine on so it pumps out the dirty oil. Only pump 2-3 quarts of oil out at a time which equates to running the engine for 15 seconds or so. After this you need to crawl under your truck and pump in the same amount of oil the engine pumped out.
Keep doing this until red transmission oil comes out (expect to go through 12 quarts). Once this happens you need to put your land cruiser into maintenance mode so you can properly check the transmission oil levels.
Land Cruiser Chassis Baseline
I was getting the famous drive line clunk. Armed with a can of Ford XG-8 PTFE and my grease gun I hit all the zerks on the drive shafts. A couple took quite a bit of grease before it would ooze out at the seals. After doing this my clunks were completely gone and have been for over 10k miles.
My shocks were on the dangerous side. They were completely blown out and were not dampening at all. I knew I couldn’t afford to go all out on my lift just yet so I made a compromise.
Toyota OEM shocks are very inexpensive at about 35 bucks each. I grabbed a set of 4 as well as a set of rear OME 860 coils. This would give me about a 1″ lift. I put about 4 rotations on the torsion bar bolts in the front to match the rear lift.
While not my permanent lift it’ll have to do for now. At least the truck is now safe to drive.
Land Cruiser Engine Baseline
Since I had full service history I knew the spark plugs were never changed. At 220k miles they were overdue. Even though they are pricey I went full OEM on the new set of spark plugs. As you can see in the picture my old ones were toast.
The next item was probably the most critical. The T-fittings at the rear of the engine are known for gettting brittle and breaking after years of heat cycles from the engine. If one of these breaks you will be stranded so don’t mess around and just replace them!
I went full OEM with the two new T-fittings as well as all knew coolant hoses. I now have piece of mind that we will not be stranded due to a $10 part breaking.
Land Cruiser Tires!
My brakes were good so last but not least were tires! If you are planning on doing trails or just want an aggressive look just hop right in and go 275/70r18. They are about 2″ over stock and fit on a stock height vehicle. They perform amazing and don’t impact daily driving that much.