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the J7 Landcruiser

VVith the J4, the Land Cruiser had burned itself into the consciousness of users as an indestructible multipurpose machine. No other Land Cruiser before the J4 had rolled out of the factory halls in so many different variations, and in such numbers. Between 1960 and 1984, 1.1 million units were made, of 1.4 million Land Cruisers total — an absolute success story.
But by the early 1980s, the J4 was gradually getting long in the tooth. The concept as such had always been the measure of all things when it came to the title of "robust workhorse," but even Australian miners no longer saw themselves as lowly machine operators but rather expected at least a modicum of comfort. In that respect, the J4 had reached its limits. The maximum of technical and comfort-related innovations had been achieved with the final model revision; more could not be done without making radical changes. And so the process for a completely new development was set in motion, culminating in November 1984 with the presentation of the new J7 model line.
Chief engineer Masaomi Yoshii recalls that "The biggest change was the transition from the 40 to the 70 series. If one considers that the Land Cruiser 40 remained in production for about thirty years, a model change was no small thing. As always, the market demanded a capable, robust off-road vehicle, but in the meantime vehicles used for recreational purposes were enjoying growing popularity. Both customer groups had to be served. While the Land Cruiser 40 was considered too heavy and overdimensioned in the Japanese market, customers in the Arabic countries complained that the off-roader had gotten softer. We responded to these criticisms from both sides. Ultimately, for these reasons, the present-day Land Cruiser satisfies the most varied demands." For Toyota, development of a new Land Cruiser was a vitally important matter, and the company proceeded with great care. The developers scheduled three and a half years for their work, and Masaomi Yoshii began the process by touring the world's most difficult off-road regions in a Land Cruiser J4. Whether the road led to Australia, Asia, or South America, Toyota wanted to know where the limits, and above all where the weaknesses, of the J4 lay. Their conclusion was that the J4 had no truly fundamental "problems." Still, there emerged some basic ideas for its successor, and some already formulated thoughts were reconsidered and altered during this test phase. The objective was, among other things, to make the new Land Cruiser even more robust than the already very solid J4. At the same time, however, driving characteristics and comfort were to receive decisive improvements to reach new customer groups and satisfy changing demands.

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Parting Ways and Blazing New Trails
It was readily apparent that customer demands continued to expand and fragment, and that the existing model palette could no longer reach all target groups without unacceptable compromises. And the competition was getting tougher. In 1980, for example, Datsun (Nissan), now the strongest market competitor, presented its Patrol 160, truly a completely different vehicle from the sainted J4 and a contender to be taken seriously. Toyota had to mount an adequate response to these modern developments, yet at the same time could not abandon that important segment of buyers who needed a Land Cruiser as a pure working machine. Toyota decided, correctly as it turned out, to divide the model line. The robust, leaf-sprung workhorses ("heavy duty") would be joined by somewhat more comfortable, coil-sprung siblings, tuned for European tastes. And so was born the "light duty" line, a third model range alongside the Land Cruiser heavy duty and Land Cruiser station wagon lines.
As a result, in November 1984 two new, different Land Cruisers came to market simultaneously. To better differentiate the two, the light duty model was dubbed the Land Cruiser II or Bundera; after its 1990 facelift, it was called the Prado. This name is carried to this day by its successor, the current J15 line, in most of the world's markets.

Model Variations
Those who were thoroughly confused by model proliferation in the J4 series might do well to close this book right now. In its variety, the J7 exceeded by far every other Land Cruiser series to an almost unimaginable degree. It would not be inappropriate to devote an entire book to just the J7. Two model groups, five wheelbases, diverse body variations, facelifts, and, no misprint, twenty different engines create a universe against which a philosophical theorem by Wittgenstein would appear as a relaxation exercise. But don't panic; in principle, thanks to Toyota's typical modular system, the entire assemblage is quite easy to comprehend — once the underlying concepts are absorbed and one knows how to interpret the exceptions.
If we ignore the facelifts, the minor specification differences, or possible prototypes, and restrict ourselves to wheelbase, suspension, body and engine, there are just over 100 different J7 models. In other words, just about everything was possible, and the more interesting question is "What configuration was not actually built — and why?" For the purpose of gaining a better perspective, let us contemplate the most basic difference, as a defining criterion: the partition into "heavy duty" and "light duty."

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Heavy Duty: Design
Twenty years had passed since the development of its predecessor. In the intervening years, the external appearance of a vehicle had taken on greater significance, even in the field of uncompromising off-road vehicles. Toyota was well aware of this; after all, they had paid close attention to the design of the station wagon. The development team now began its process of creating 3D studies of the possible finished product. In the foreground was the requirement that the new Land Cruiser must have a more sporty appearance, with an unmistakable personality. Moreover, the design was to make it easier for the customer to identify with the general concept of driving a 4x4. Even during the design process, the team working under Masaomi Yoshii invited the responsible parties from the major auto sales organizations, showed them concept models, and asked for their opinions — an unconventional process in the development of such a vehicle. Finally, in the spring of 1984, a production model of the new Land Cruiser was built, and the development team again asked for the opinions of the sales representatives. Yoshii recalls that, "Top decision makers from overseas dealerships visited the development department and entered the building with a positively fearful expression on their faces. But they left the department appearing quite satisfied!"
They had every reason to be satisfied. The new Land Cruiser J7 had become a modern vehicle, radiating agility, power, durability and confidence. Fundamentally, the design had nothing whatsoever in common with the J4, but adopted some recognizable characteristics. The individually attached freestanding fenders, the prominent turn signal / marker lamp units, the round headlamps, the bumper floating free of the bodywork, and the gap between bumper and fender adopted the predecessor's vocabulary of form and trod a middle road between a "workhorse attitude" and a modern appearance, between the J4 of the past and the J7 future.
The entire body design was heavier, more sturdy, more vibration resistant, and decidedly safer. Heavier-gauge sheet-metal was used, most load-carrying members were now formed as closed box sections. Overall, flat surfaces and nearly vertical glass characterized the J7 body. The space available was utilized to the maximum, providing outstanding outward visibility under off-road conditions. Visually, the side profile was relieved only by a large central crease; the most remarkable element was the front aspect. In the course of its production life, the heavy duty model was offered in five wheelbase configurations — short, medium, semi, long, and super long — leaving virtually no wishes ungranted when it came to versatility.
The "short" wheelbase grew by 25 mm (1 inch) to 2310 mm (90.9 in.), carried the designations 70 and 71, and replaced the 40/41/42 models. The short "7" was available with a closed steel top or with an open body and soft top. As in the preceding generation, this allowed the vehicle to be opened completely. If the window frames were removed from the front and rear doors, and the windshield folded down, the only parts still standing were the massive, specially reinforced B-pillars, which also served as roll bars. As ever, this was Land Cruiser travel in its most basic form.
The "medium" wheelbase, at 2600 mm (102.4 in.) was all of 170 mm (6.7 in.) longer than that of the J4 predecessor, and in the models 73 and 74 provided the successors to the 43, 44, and 46. This variation had a removable FRP (fiber reinforced polyester) top, usually in white but sometimes in black depending on the color combination. This model, too, permitted removal of the hardtop and window frames and folding down the windshield for completely open motoring. As in the short model, the rear side windows were of a practical, sliding construction.
The "semi" wheelbase, at 2730 mm (107.5 in.) was not introduced until 1990, and represented a completely new version. Finally, the J7 was available as a five-door model with all-enclosed bodywork. The models 77 (and later the 76) would henceforth serve in the role of comfortable, robust people movers, perfectly expanding the model range of short, medium and long-wheelbase workhorses. The semi was primarily developed for the light duty series, which also imparted to it a surprisingly stylish design: The rear side windows were mounted flush with the bodywork, and wrapped around the D-pillars. They were hinged at the C-pillars, allowing their rear edges to be swung out as vent windows. Especially in the visually upscale, premium equipment versions, the five-door no longer had to look like a
vehide sentenced to hard labor in the mines, even if it did embody the qualities to do exactly that.
The long' wheelbase corresponded to the "super long" of the J4, but grew another 30 mm to 2980 mm (117.3 in). As in the predecessor, there was a pickup and an enclosed, two-door high-roof body called the 75 (or, as of 1999, the 78), which was however not offered in an open soft top version. The cargo box of the pickup included tiedown hooks in the side panels and a tailgate, plus, in many markets, top bows and a canvas cover. In some markets, such as Australia, many vehicles were delivered with a wider, flat cargo bed and fold-down sides. Theoretically, the windshield of the pickup could be folded forward (if the roof were removed). This was possible because the long wheelbase model was also available as a "chassis cab" with an open cab, eliminating the need for a separate body variant. Thanks to its sheer size, the enclosed troop carrier, direct successor to the J45 "bush taxi," was and remains the best-loved model in the J7 HD model line. With
its variability and well over two meters (80 inches) of cargo bed length, it was ideal for transporting people or cargo, as well as civilian use in expeditions and "adventure tourism."
With the model revisions of 1999 (more about that below) the pickup cab grew by a good 15 cm (6 inches). This naturally meant that the pickup bed shrank by the same amount, as an even greater overhang was deemed too risky. For this reason, yet another wheelbase was added: The "super long" measured 3180 cm (125.2 in.), eight inches more space between the axles. The HZJ75 pickup became the HZJ79.
The forebody of these models was identical up to the A-pillars, and even in the area of the front doors differed only in their roof forms (flat, high roof, or fiberglass). For the troop carrier, customers could choose any rear variation — as long as it was the ambulance door version: the J7 heavy duty was, and is, available only with slightly asymmetrically divided rear doors. In the case of soft top versions, the upper window frame was usually removable. The spare tire was mounted on the outside of one of the rear doors, or, in the case of the pickup, under the cargo bed or on the cargo bed against the tailgate.
Whichever version we consider, the body of the J7 has a certain austere beauty. In its simple design, it is timeless, and even after it has been seen a million times, it does not lose its appeal. This is mostly due to its almost complete lack of fashionable frills; it was designed to serve a function. For the viewer, this evokes tremendous confidence in its abilities.
The minor qualification regarding "fashionable frills" is due to the occasional visual highlight that was bestowed on heavy duty models with more upscale equipment packages. As on the station wagon, the J7 was available in ultrachic two-tone models, dividing the body above the horizontal crease. Moreover, in addition to the standard models, there were "wide body" variants, that is, add-on wide fenders on the more prettified equipment packages. The five-door models also had a painted rear bumper and matching-color stripe along the lower edge of the bodywork, which, in combination with the wide fenders, created a two-tone variant down windshield were deleted from the engine hood, there was a new plastic radiator grille with massive horizontal bars, and, in the 70 and 73 models, the front door window frames were no longer removable. In 1999, the large, centered TOYOTA script on the radiator grille was replaced by the corporate logo, the now familiar three superimposed ellipses.

Heavy Duty: Facelift
There were no major revisions to the exterior of the J7 until January 2007. With the first major facelift in 23 years, it was given an all-new, modern front, lost the separate fenders (which were now only hinted at, by a prominent character line), and was given large, clear-glass headlamps with integral turn signals. The freestanding bumper also had to go. Instead of massive steel, its function was assumed by the now-standard plastic member, made of TSOP — "Toyota Super Olefin Polymer." This is considerably lighter than the old lump of steel, and recyclable, but ages rapidly from the moment of its first off-road excursion and the inevitable ground contact. The width of the forebody grew by another 80 mm (just over 3 inches), making the front end look respectably massive and beefy. And the V8 turbodiesel even got its own hood, recognizable by its central bulge.
The new front body styling still delivered on the same promise as its predecessor. It appeared timelessly modern, free of unnecessary frills, powerful and confidence-inspiring. The rest of the body lines, and dimensions aft of the A-pillar, remained unchanged, and as before the J7 was recognizable as a ,J7. There was, however, one change: The medium wheelbase was eliminated. The J74 was dropped from the program; unfortunately, its time was past.

Heavy Duty: Interior
The interior also underwent a fundamental transformation. The nagging feeling that one was sitting in a cookie tin gave way to the impression of a modern utility vehicle. A small amount of sheetmetal was still visible on the doors and dashboard, but overall, the interior was dominated by the all-new plastic instrument panel, with its readily visible displays of vital driving and supplemental information. In contrast to the dashboard (in the truest sense of the word) of the sainted J4, there was now a clear delineation of displays to intuitively guide the driver's attention to the respective functions, instead of the erstwhile "trial and error" approach. The interior of the new Land Cruiser was the product of a true "workplace design" approach, and was certainly one of the most significant elements in the new concept. As already seen in the J6, introduced four years earlier, switches were no longer scattered at random across the instrument panel. Instead, everything followed a definite schema, The levers for lights, turn signals, and windshield wipers were mounted on the steering column. Gauges were mounted in a small binnacle behind the steering wheel, aimed at the driver, with a curved dear cover to eliminate reflections. The operating elements for heating and ventilation were at a longer reach, nearly in the center of the dashboard. Below these was another row of switches, next to these the ashtray and cigarette lighter, over them the radio bay. Logically related control elements were combined visually into groups, and separated from one another by contrasting colors of the dashboard plastic. One knew at a glance where everything was, and could operate it confidently, even in the dark. Happily, these controls were also adequately illuminated, making night-time operation a pleasure.
The dashboard housed generously sized eyeball vents. Above the (still quite small) glovebox, the front-seat passenger was given a "panic handle." In addition, some equipment levels included a small instrument module containing an altimeter, inclinometer, and auxiliary fuel tank level indicator. The sun visors were now truly worthy of the name and could even be swung to the sides. Additional features included heated rear window, rear wiper, and a heating system with cabin air recirculation. The new sliding controls for heating and ventilation could now be adjusted more precisely. Compared to those in the J4, these were a vast improvement, even though the new model's design forced the elimination of the handy foot-operated vent flaps in the footwells.
Depending on body and equipment version, the seating arrangement offered maximum variability, as Land Cruiser customers had come to expect. At the front were two individual seats or a driver's seat and double bench seat. The second seat row (even in the troop carrier) could be equipped with a three-seat bench, or the space could be taken by the long side-mounted benches. Even in the short wheelbase models, this provided "space" (in this case the word is used advisedly) for seven. In the troop carrier, thirteen people could be accommodated without difficulty. Modern "family vans" could learn a thing or two from the Land Cruiser. In the short and medium wheelbase models, the driver's seat could be folded forward to permit access to the rear seat row; the larger door openings helped to facilitate this maneuver. Whether upholstered in vinyl or fabric, the seats were adequately contoured and comfortable, and front legroom had been increased by 50 mm (2 inches).
This comfortable feeling was reinforced by a discernible feeling of mass in the design. The doors dosed with a solid thump, and thanks to the additional, massive sound insulation, interior sound levels were dramatically lower. The developers had achieved a perfect compromise between pleasant isolation and the necessary closeness to the outside world.
August 2009 marked the end of an era. In response to changing demands from major customers, driver and front passenger airbags were finally introduced in the heavy duty models. This, of course, necessitated a fundamental redesign of the dashboard and newly designed air vents, four-spoke steering wheel, height-adjustable steering column, and several other items. For the first time in 58 years of Land Cruiser production, there was no longer any bare metal visible to the front-seat occupants. In addition, vehicles fitted with airbags also got a special front bumper, lengthening the vehicle by 100 mm (4 inches).

Heavy Duty: Drivetrain and Suspension
The chassis of the J7 did not differ greatly from that of its predecessor. As always, the vehicle was based on a rigid ladder frame, which, however, was no longer riveted, but rather welded. Other design changes (such as completely closed box sections) made for a lighter yet stronger frame design. The heavy duty models naturally continued to use two solid axles on leaf springs; the front axle was given a stabilizer bar. The upper mounts for the front shock absorbers mounted to tall towers attached to the frame, while the rear shocks attached to a separate tubular crossmember. The rear shock absorbers were also staggered, one ahead, the other behind the rear axle. As a people mover, the P7 had decidedly softer springing than the other models. Due to the likelihood of carrying heavy cargo, the J75 pickup went in the opposite direction; When it came to spring rate, its rear spring package more closely resembled an I-beam than a resilient element.
Power was, as usual, distributed through a manual four- or five-speed gearbox to the transfer case, where a further gear reduction could be applied if needed. A new player in the transmission department was the four-speed automatic, introduced in parallel
on the J6, and now primarily available on the upmarket gasoline-powered models. Depending on model, the four-wheel drive was engaged by means of a lever on the center tunnel, or by a vacuum servo activated by a pushbutton on the instrument panel. The axles were equipped with manual locking hubs or eliminated these entirely. So far, so good; a proven and "lean" combination of robust drivetrain components, perfectly suited for the selected task.
Braking was by drums all around, or a combination of ventilated front discs and rear drums. The handbrake acted directly on the rear drums. Steering was by recirculating ball, and power assist was available as an option.
In 1999, the suspension underwent a major revision and, to the amazement of many, equipped with coil springs at the front. There was, as expected, an outcry in the Land Cruiser community, but this was confined to the die-hard fans. The vast majority of (volume) customers had a more dispassionate view of the matter, and saw the Land Cruiser as a pure productivity tool and were perfectly happy with these improvements to handling and ride comfort. The reworked J7 was given the axles of its bigger brother, the J105 (giving it five lugnuts per wheel, instead of six) and a different reduction gearbox with a ratio of 2.295:1 instead of the earlier 1.963:1.
Along with the 1999 redesign, the model code was altered. The former 70/73/77/75 became the 71/74/76/78, while the 75 pickup was now the 79. At least, most of them — for some major volume customers with specific needs, models such as the FZJ70/73/75 and the HZJ70/75 continued to be available with leaf springs all around, in some cases as recently as 2004. This proved once again that nothing is impossible. Not much changed in the drivetrain and suspension department with the major facelift of 2007, although the front track did grow by 95 mm (3.74 inches) in keeping with the wider front end. This resulted in an unfamiliar appearance, but especially in the case
of the longer models, significantly defused their tendency toward oversteer.

Heavy Duty: Engines
The selection of available engines was extensive. At the J7's introduction in late 1984, it was powered by the familiar 3B and 2H diesels as well as the 3F gasoline engine; the 2H, however, was reserved for the model 75 and 75 pickup. A year later, in October 1985, the 3B was fitted with a new cylinder head, direct injection, and a turbocharger. This turned the 3B into the 13B-T, the BJ70 into the BJ71, and the BJ73 into the BJ74. Now with 124 horsepower at 3400 rpm and no change in peak torque, this was a pleasantly peppy package. In the short and medium wheelbase models (and the 13B-T was only intended for these), the powerplant was a real joy. Direct injection gave it greater agility, lowered fuel consumption and was guaranteed to put a smile on any driver's face.
In January 1990, the 3B and 2H were replaced by two other engines from a newly developed generation. The 3.5 liter, five-cylinder 1PZ and the 4.2 liter, six-cylinder 1HZ of the new "Lasre" engine family were nearly identical except for their cylinder count. Both employed the swirl chamber principle. Their massive cast housings contained a timing-belt-driven overhead camshaft and overhead valves. The 1PZ, with its six-bearing crankshaft, was a pleasant, smooth-running machine with an adequate 115 horsepower and 238 Nm (176 lb-ft) of torque, but occasionally had to contend with problems specific to its dual-mass flywheel. Its bigger brother, the 1HZ, was more powerful, delivering 130 hp and 285 Nm (210 lb-ft). Its seven-bearing crankshaft made it just as smooth, and a paradigm of steady, effortless power development. The 1PZ disappeared from the lineup in 1995, but the 1HZ continued to power the J7, in particular models HZJ71, 78, and 79.
Beginning in August 2001, strictly for the Australian market and only in the troop carrier and pickup, Toyota fitted the J7 with a real piledriver of an engine. The 1HD-FTE, also used in the J8, delivered an energetic 166 horsepower and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) from its 4.2 liters and spoiled its customers with power, smoothness, and stress-free response. This move on Toyota's part was consistent and goal-oriented, seeing as its arch-rival in the marketplace, the Nissan Patrol, had once again set its sights on the Land Cruiser's throne with new, more powerful models. Toyota merely shrugged and ended the discussion by presenting its HDJ89/79.
Once the customers have been spoiled, there's no going back. With the major model revisions of 2007, Toyota followed this with an even more powerful engine, again unfortunately for the Australian market only. This was a slightly detuned version of the 1VD-FTV common-rail diesel also installed in the J20. Instead of the 231 to 286 horsepower found in the 320, this engine developed "only" 207 hp in the J7, and instead of 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) it generated 430 Nm (317 lb-ft). Still enough to pull a single-family house off its foundations at idle, yet extraordinarily devoid of any drama in everyday operation. This was plain and simple understatement, and the gold "V8 D4D Turbo" sticker on the B-pillars of these VDJ78/79 models, and the mean-looking air scoop on the hood, were discreet indicators of what lurked beneath the hood. This move was necessitated by the threat of tightening Australian exhaust emissions limits; this new engine could easily pass even the stricter Euro 4 standards. The question of why the 1HZ was not developed any further can be answered with beancounter precision: The 1HZ was a relic of the 1990s, and sooner or later it would run up against its developmental limits. The introduction of a completely new, modern engine in two model lines was clearly the more rational solution. But a simple engine swap wasn't enough. The eight cylinders took up a bit more space, so not only did the characteristic protruding fenders have to go, but also the entire forebody had to be widened by 80 mm (just over 3 inches). This gained a total of 300 mm (12 inches) of space, enough for the 1VD-FTV and all its accessories.
Initially, the range of gasoline engines also included the well-known and thirsty 3F motor. Later this was joined by the LFZ-F and 1FZ-FE, described in detail in the J8 chapter. Anyone vho has ever tried to keep up with a Saharan border patrol, usually in a J7 pickup powered by a "manly" 4.5 liter with an even "manlier" 20 mm cannon mounted in the bed, in their own, only slightly overloaded HZJ78, knows what it is to be humbled by the powerful gasoline engine. Just a touch of the throttle would literally leave any following vehicles in its dust. Power is relative, and this is an example of applied relativity. In January 2007, the engine lineup was expanded with the addition of the 1GR-FE fuel injected V6, also installed in the J12 and described in that chapter. In June 2009, the FZ engine block was sent into
retirement. Beginning in July 2009, the modern and in comparison to the 1FZ-FE extraordinarily lively 1GR-FE remained the only gasoline engine in the J7. To complete the confusion caused by engine model proliferation, for a time BJ73 models produced in the Portuguese
plant (for Portugal and Italy) were powered by 66A engines, supplied by Stabilimenti Meccanici VM S.p.A. These, however, were beset by significant quality control issues, and therefore did not enjoy a long production run. The 66A was a five- cylinder diesel of 2.5 liters, 108 horsepower and 298 Nm (220 lb-ft). This engine was chosen for a rather profane reason: Engines under 2.5 liters enjoyed considerable tax advantages in Portugal and Italy, and the normal heavy duty engine range started at three liters. South Africa also went its own way; there, the HJ75 was powered by the ADE236 engine, built by Atlantis Diesel Engines. This was a direct injection 3.9 liter that delivered an astoundingly low 80 horsepower but 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque.

Light Duty
As already mentioned, the J7 was unveiled simultaneously with its somewhat softer cousins, the light duty range. This would expand the model range to encompass vehicles intended from the outset for transportation of people rather than cargo. Henceforth, these would form the cornerstone of the Bundera model line and, from 1990 onward, the Prado. The Bundera (or Land Cruiser II, as it was called in some markets) struck a chord with buyers and kicked off a veritable boom in the off-road vehicle sector. And it was the trailblazer for its incredibly successful successors, all the way to the current Land Cruiser Prado, the J15 generation.

Light Duty: Design and Interior
At first glance, light and heavy duty models are easily mistaken for each other. Even the light duty truck gazes back with round headlamps, the proportions of both models are similar, and, from the A-pillar back, the bodies are identical anyway. The deciding detail may be found at the front of the Land Cruiser. In contrast to the heavy duty, the hood edges of the light duty models run forward almost in parallel, the turn signals are integrated in the front valance, the fenders are tailored to be much smaller, and the characteristic gap between the fenders and bumper is absent. The light duty does not differ much from its workaholic sibling, but it comes across as tamer, more European, and more suitable for the masses.
With 3.2 square meters (34 square feet), the J7 had about 36 percent more glass area than the sainted J4. The windshield was now curved, and showed much more rake, standing at 53 degrees (previously 75 degrees) from the horizontal. Combined with the massive reshaping of the entire body, the aerodynamic drag coefficient was reduced by 15 percent. On the J4, even the front roof overhang had functioned as an air brake.
Ease of entry, especially to the rear seats, profited from the newly tailored bodywork. The side doors were 6 cm (2.4 inches) taller and 12 cm (4.7 inches) wider than those of the preceding model, making for much easier access. Now, longitudinal bench
seats in the second row made sense. On top door. The reason: In Japan, there was a tax break for vehicles of all this, the opening angle of the doors was less than four meters in length, and the J7 just barely met that increased by 30 percent. On the later-model condition without the outside-mounted spare. So the entire J4, this was only possible if the door arresting planet was blessed by this Japanese tax dodge. One year later,
strap broke. this oddity was corrected and the spare mounted outside the The light duty models were also available in two-tone color right rear door. combinations. Especially with chrome plated grille, mirror The interiors of the light duty and heavy duty models were
housings, running boards and wheels, and without distracting basically the same: Dashboard, control elements, and even seats trim striping, the 70 in Champagne/Brown or Silver/Gray was a were identical. Many of the same options appeared in both real treat for the eyes, presenting a wonderfully classic appearance. lines. The Japanese market was pampered with stylish extras, Depending on equipment and tires, the body could be fitted including available storage bins in the rear side panels and rear- with narrow black fender flares, or wider versions such as those seat armrests. that graced the heavy duty line. In April 1990, the Land Cruiser developers gladdened the Wheelbases were those of the heavy duty line: short (with customer base with a thorough facelift for the light duty line.
fixed steel roof or open body with soft top) at 2310 mm (90.9 The new version got an all-new front, with rounded engine inches), medium (fiberglass top) at 2600 mm (102.4 in.) and, as hood (now without a central crease), rectangular headlamps
of 1990, the semi, at 2730 mm (107.5 in). The long and superlong set deep into the plastic grille, and slanted turn signals that line were not represented. The rear of the vehicle was accessed wrapped around the corners of the body. The new look was
through the same asymmetrical double doors. Curiously, in the modern, appealing, stylish and yet pleasantly timeless, and re first year of production, the spare tire was mounted inside the mains so today. The new model was called the Prado, and if
one looks closely, one may discern a similarity to the current heavy duty model range. Along with the facelift, a third wheelbase entered the game: the semi. The light duty version in particular was an interesting model. Equipped with a comfortable suspension, energetic engine, luxurious interior and not least a stylish body with modern tailoring, the five-door models 77/78/79 presented a direct challenge to Pajero/Montero, Patrol & Co. and represented the immediate ancestor of the five-door Prado.

Light Duty: Drivetrain and Suspension
"Anyone familiar with the preceding model, with its remarkable profile and rock-hard suspension, will be amazed by the passenger-car-like comfort of the new model," touted the press kit for the 1985 IAA (the Frankfurt Auto Show). Indeed, the suspension of the Land Cruiser light duty seemed truly revolutionary. Frame, body, axles, transmission, and drivetrain were basically the same as on the heavy-duty models, but the springing was radically different. The design targets called for this vehicle to be more comfortable than its heavy sibling, yet by no means sacrifice any of its off-road virtues. The ladder frame and solid axles remained. Designing for appreciably lower payload, however, now made it possible to suspend the axles on long-stroke coil springs. This guaranteed a perceptibly higher level of ride comfort, better road grip, and increased directional stability. And compared to the leaf-sprung models, axle articulation was positively phenomenal, making the light duty models particularly favored in off-road trial sports. The frame members were now completely welded, once again greatly improving rigidity and durability, while reducing susceptibility to vibration. The axles were located by two extra-sturdy longitudinal arms and a Panhard rod at each end, giving the light duty models pleasant, stable cornering characteristics.
At the time of its introduction, the Land Cruiser II was equipped with a vacuum-assisted dual-circuit braking system with a load-dependent rear brake proportioning valve, 302 mm (11.9 in.) front brake discs and 254 mm (10 in.) self-adjusting rear drums. The handbrake worked on the rear drums by means of cables. In normal operation, the vehicle was driven in rear-wheel-drive mode. Four-wheel drive could be engaged electropneumatically at the press of a button (with the front hubs locked). Some markets, however, still retained the proven mechanical actuation system. With four-wheel drive activated and the vehicle at rest, the low-range gearing could be engaged by the lever on the center tunnel. The Japanese market got electrically activated locking hubs and electrically adjustable shock absorbers. Even then, the J7 enjoyed a technological advantage over its competitors.

Light Duty: Engines
The Land Cruiser II began life with a rather limited engine selection. There was a small four-cylinder diesel and a small four-cylinder gasoline engine, and that was deemed adequate for a start. The former was designated the 2L, a normally-as-
pirated diesel of 2.5 liters displacement that did its best to move the vehicle with its modest 72 horsepower and 155 Nm (114 lb-ft). This swirl chamber engine had a cast iron block, belt-driven overhead camshaft and five-bearing crankshaft. Although smooth in operation, "performance" was not in its vocabulary. The turbocharged version of the 2L was made available a year later, in October 1985. This engine was also installed in the Toyota Crown sedan. With 86 horsepower and 188 Nm (139 lb-ft), on paper the 2L-T was more powerful than the 2L, but still not exactly a miracle of performance. For the 1990 facelift, the 2L-T was reworked, with different valve timing, modified intake ports, and higher compression ratio. Renamed 2L-T II, the engine now produced 90 horsepower and 215 Nm (159 lb-ft), still not enough to bring the original goal of greater driving enjoyment within reach. The electronically controlled stablemate of the 2L-T, the 2L-TE, managed 97 horsepower and 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque. Alongside these, some markets also got the 3L engine, a larger, 2.8 liter version of the 2L. Its 88 horsepower and 185 Nm (136 lb-ft) were still quite modest. Clearly, there wasn't much more performance to be wrung from this engine block. In March 1993, Toyota faced reality and presented the newly developed KZ block alongside the L block. Sooner or later, the KZ would replace the L entirely. Along with the 1PZ and 1HZ, the 1KZ was the smallest member of the Lasre engine family. Its engine block was of cast iron, topped by an aluminum alloy cylinder head, belt-driven overhead camshaft, five-bearing crankshaft, and was remarkably smooth in operation. With a satisfying 125 horsepower and 295 Nm (218 lb-ft), finally there was an engine with appropriate performance numbers. The electronically-controlled version, the 1KZ-TE, even provided 130 horses. Now the J7 was really getting to be fun, and adequate power was available both off-road and on pavement.
The gasoline engine range was much more comprehensible. From the beginning, there was the 22R, a cast-iron 2.4 liter carbureted engine with alloy head, overhead camshaft driven by a duplex chain, and overhead valves. This delivered 105 hp and 184 Nm (136 lb-ft), which however did not catapult it to any great fame. Its electronically controlled sibling, the 22R-E, appearing somewhat later, enjoyed a slight advantage with 114 hp and 192 Nm (142 lb-ft) and was even allowed to propel the "semi" wheelbase range.
Osamu Shinoda, also one of the J7's chief engineers, once said "In some parts of the world, the Land Cruiser 70 is a member of the family and, in a sense, takes on the role of eldest son." In this respect, the J7 was a worthy successor to the J4, and rightfully earned its place in the hearts of the off-road world.
The J7 light duty was replaced by its successor, the J9, in 1996. It established the Prado line, the third model line alongside the Land Cruiser and Land Cruiser Station Wagon lines, and gave Toyota a solid footing in the "not quote so uncompromising" off-road market segment. Production of the J7 Prado numbered 300,000 units, and more than two million examples of the Prado line have been built to date, making it a long-term success story.
Today, good examples of the light duty line are not all that easy to find. Like the J6, the J7 is in a sort of limbo. It has not yet achieved "classic" status, but has long since transcended the "old car" condition. Accordingly, many Bunderas or Prados have been scrapped, or exported, or are simply in a deplorable condition. Fortunately, the picture is changing, and restoration stories are appearing more frequently.
The J7 heavy duty, on the other hand, is a story without end. If we ignore for the moment the Bandeirante, in 2010 the J7 surpassed the J4 in terms of numbers built. This model has been in production for 27 years, and even today the end is not yet in sight. Sadayoshi Koyari, whose business card reads "Chief Engineer, Land Cruiser" has recently confirmed the long-term viability of all current models. Not only that, but as of August 2012, the model range will include the first-ever crew cab pickup for the world wide market.
Even though vehicles produced mainly for the humanitarian-aid market play little to no role in Europe, the J7 will stay with us for quite a long time to come. After all, what could replace it? This vehicle is the perfect solution for a very specific application. Its suitability is measured not in terms of comfort features, electronic accessories, matters of style nor a desire for variety. It was designed to function under the most demanding conditions, and it does so out-
standingly. The J7 will stay on the job in the most remote corners of the globe, wherever a vehicle is needed to provide absolute suitability to the task, performance, and durability, regardless of any bells and whistles. Anyone who has driven through the central Sahara and heard the grinding of the CD player mechanism, or, after fording a stream, discovered that the buttons for the power windows no longer function, knows that such games and gimmicks may be cute, but not necessary to do the real jobs. And so the 37, in its various versions, will continue to perform its tasks, stoically, inconspicuously, serving as a reliable tool for the UN, IRK, and other organizations.

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