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Toyota Landcruiser Information & History

The Land Cruiser is a series of popular four-wheel drive automobiles from Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan. Originally, they were strictly utility vehicles, but they now are available as sport utility vehicles.

Widely used around the world in areas which require durability, reliability and off road performance. Its widespread use as the transport of choice for militia units and irregular forces in the third world have served as a testament to their reliability and toughness. Created as a competitor to other off-road vehicles like the Land Rover and the Jeep in many places the Land Cruiser is ubiquitous and has almost eliminated other 4WD vehicles from the market.

Their design started in 1950, and mass production began in 1953. The Land Cruiser has been produced in a number of different versions, including the successful flat bed pickups predominantly used as Technicals.

In many places, the term Land Cruiser has almost become a generic term for an off road vehicle.

Toyota designer Kazuo Morohoshi interviewed in South African Car magazine explains the background to the birth of the Land Cruiser "Growing up after the war, I was really impressed by the US Army personnel's Jeeps... and how they could climb up and over obstacles. We have many classic shrines with stairs leading up to them, and these cars simply climbed up those steps. I decided that one day I would make a similar kind of 'mobile', something more like an animal or insect than a car, which could do even better".


1941 - The Japanese government tasked Toyota to produce a light truck for their military campaign. Toyota developed a prototype, the 2-ton AK10 in 1942. It was not a success and the production run went to Nissan. There are no known surviving photographs of the AK10. The only known pictorial representation is some rough sketches. The truck featured an upright front grille, flat front wheel arches that angled down and back like the FJ40, and headlights that mounted above the wheel arches on either side of the radiator. It had a folding windscreen. The US Army Willys Jeep arrived in the Pacific in May 1943 so allegations of the later BJ being copied from the Jeep are open to question.

1950 - The Korean war created demand for a military light utility vehicle on Japan's doorstep an updated Jeep. The US put out a request to tender for 100 vehicles - the exact requirement spec is unknown. Toyota did not respond to this tender. In the second half of the year, Toyota gets an opportunity to tender for a contract for a Jeep type vehicle to be procured by the Japanese National Police Reserve Force.

1951 - The BJ prototype is born in January 1951 called the 'Toyota Jeep', which like the British Landrover Series 1 that appeared in 1949 - also has a strong resemblance to the American World War II Willys Jeep. The BJ is a tad bigger than the Jeep, considerably more powerful thanks to its 2.2 litre four-cylinder side-valve truck engine generating 61 kW at 3 000 and 215 Nm at 1600 revs per min. The BJ is part time 4x4 like the Jeep. Unlike the Jeep however the BJ has no low range transfer gearbox making do with an extra low first gear of 5.53:1 ratio. Toyota loses a National Police Reserve Force tender, but Toyota had the confidence and tenacity to continue development of the prototype with a view to export markets which is part of the vision and strategy of Kiichiro Toyota - the founder of the Toyota motor company formed in 1937 from his father's automated cloth weaving business. In July of 1951 Toyota's test driver Ichiro Taira drives the next incarnation of the BJ prototype up to checkpoint 6 of the famous extinct volcano -Mount Fuji, the first vehicle to get this far. This test is overseen by the National Police Agency. Suitably impressed by the feat the NPA promptly places an order for 289 units adopting the Jeep BJ as their official patrol car. This acts as a catalyst for subsequent orders from the Forestry and Agricultural Agencies, together with several Japanese electrical power utilities.

1953 - Full volume production of the BJ begins with assembly undertaken at the Toyota Automatic Loom Works Ltd, and the painting done at Arakawa Bankin Kogyo KK, later to be known as ARACO, which is now an affiliate of TMC.

1954 - The Land Cruiser name born. The US Willys-Overland company maker of the Willys Jeep of WW2 fame, objects to Toyota's use of the name 'Jeep' the BJ is referred to as the 'Toyota Jeep'. Toyota apparently having believed 'Jeep' to be a generic name for a four-wheel drive. Technical director Hanji Umehara pondered over a new name. "In England we had another competitor - Land Rover. I had to come up with a name for our car that would not sound less dignified than those of our competitors. That is why I decided to call it 'Land Cruiser'," he recalls in an interview with South African Car Magazine.

1955 - The original 85 horsepower (63 kW) diesel engine was replaced with a 125 horsepower (93 kW) F-series 3.8 L petrol unit. 20 Series Land Cruiser introduced alongside the BJ. Designed to have more civilian appeal for export than the military-oriented BJ, more stylish bodywork, a better ride thanks to longer, four-plate leaf springs which had been adapted from those of the Toyota Crown saloon. Under the bonnet it sported the newer, larger, more powerful F-Series six-cylinder engine (3 878 cc, 78 kW). The interior of the vehicle is also made more comfortable, the extra space achieved by moving the engine 120 mm forward. The 20 Series still has no low range, only the extra low 1st gear but it has synchro-mesh on the third and fourth ratios.

1958 - The first hard-top Cruiser introduced. From this year an even longer (2650 mm wheelbase) model, the FJ35V, is produced in both wagon and van body styles.

1959 - First Toyota vehicles exported to Australia - they are Land Cruisers the initial lot for use on the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

1961 - 20 Series is upgraded to the now classic 40 Series. Many of the changes related to production techniques, Toyota having procured new presses. Mechanically, the 40 is given a new, uprated 3 878 cc version of the F-type engine (now producing 93 kW) and the Land Cruiser at last receives a proper set of low range gears.

1961-1965 - Global Production passed the 50,000 mark. Land Cruiser is the best selling Toyota in the US.

1967 - Introduction of a new station wagon Land Cruiser. The 50 Series or FJ55 - sometimes called 'the Moose' produced alongside the 40 series. 1967 - The 50 Series has a longer, 2700 mm wheelbase model, designed with an eye to the North America and Australian markets, where it establishes the Cruiser's reputation for robustness and reliability over an above the competition - a reputation that continues to this day. The 50 series is eventually to get a more powerful (4,2 litre 2F-type) six-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 104 kW at 3600 r/min and 294 Nm at 1800 rpm. The 50 Series has a longer, 2700 mm wheelbase model, designed with an eye to the North America and Australian markets, where it establishes the Cruiser's reputation for robustness and reliability over an above the competition - a reputation that continues to this day. The 50 series is eventually to get a more powerful (4,2 litre 2F-type) six-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 104 kW at 3600 r/min and 294 Nm at 1800 rpm.

1968 - 100,000th Land Cruiser sold worldwide.

1972 - 200,000th Land Cruiser sold Worldwide.

1973 - 300,000th Land Cruiser sold Worldwide.

1974 - The real diesel era for the Land Cruiser begins this year, the B-type diesel engine is fitted to a new BJ version of the 40 Series. A four-cylinder unit displacing 2 997 cc, it delivers 63 kW at 3 600 rpm and 196 Nm at 2 200 rpm. Its introduction boosts Japanese home market sales, as the smaller power-unit put the diesel Cruiser in a lower tax category than its four litre petrol-fuelled sister. Over the following years, this diesel engine is improved, eventually evolving into the 2B (3 168 cc 3/69 kW/216 Nm) and 3B (3 431 cc 3/73 kW/226 Nm).

1975 - The 3.8 L engine is replaced by a larger and more powerful 4.2L version. In Japan the Land Cruiser has almost always been available with a diesel engine originally 3.2L, reintroduced a 3.0L in 1976, and updated to 3.2L again in 1979 - but was never officially available in the U.S.

1980 - The 2nd generation station wagon is introduced - the FJ60 produced with a view to the US station wagon market it has a choice of petrol (2F) and diesel (3B) power-units.

1981 - Land Cruiser sales surpass a million. A high-roof version was introduced, and a bigger diesel, the 3980 cm 2H engine, is added. The new model also comes with a five-speed transmission. 60 Series introduced into South Africa in the 1981 Toyota 1000 km desert race, when a stock Cruiser showed its ability to compete on equal terms with competition off-roaders through the punishing wilds of Botswana.

1983 - The final year of sales for the FJ40. In America, these classic Land Cruisers shrink in numbers each year, but clean examples rise in value. Specialist suppliers of aftermarket parts and restorers who return old FJ40s to better-than-new condition replace Toyota dealers as the main source of Land Cruiser expertise.

1984 - 70 Series introduced - (pickups and station wagons) replacing the stalwart classic 40 series. Fortunately the 70 Series is a superb vehicle and soon becomes a classic itself. Initially only available in petrol engine with 2F power plant. Automatic transmission Cruiser introduced the first in a Japanese four-wheel drive.

1985 - 70 Series diesel introduced. Diesel engine offered in 60 Series luxury VX version generating 100 kW.

1988 - The petrol engine uprated, the new 3F unit displacing 3 955 cc and generating 108 kW. Available in a G version, allowing it to be sold in Japan as a passenger car.

1989 - 80 Series station wagon Introduced - replacing 60 Series. Solid or beam axles front and rear, introduction of coil springs and trailing arms. Initially the 80 was offered with a choice of three engines, the 3F-E six-cylinder petrol unit, the 1HD-T direct injection turbo-diesel (120 kW/362 Nm), and a normally aspirated 6 cylinder diesel. All 80 series Cruisers sold in North America and Europe are full time 4wd. In Africa and Australia, a part-time system is still available - the South African version badged the GX. 80's produced between 90-91 have an open centre differential which is lockable in 4HI and automatically locked in 4LO. From 92 on, vehicles with ABS had a viscous coupling that sent a maximum of 30% torque to the non-slipping axle. The differential is lockable in 4HI and automatically locked in 4LO.

1990 - Introduction of new-generation diesel engines, the five-cylinder, SOHC 1PZ and six-cylinder, SOHC 1HZ diesel - still current with minor modifications to this day. Later the same year, wagon versions had a complete makeover. 2 million sales mark is passed.

1992 - Petrol unit replaced by the new 1FZ-FE petrol engine - current with minor changes to this day this is a DOHC 4 476 cc unit peaking at 160 kW and 372 Nm.

1993 - The introduction of the Turbo diesel now sporting a 24-valve, DOHC inline six-cylinder engine displacing 4.2 litres.

1995 - Driver and passenger side airbags, adjustable shoulder-belt anchors introduced in some models together with ABS. Turbo diesel gained four-valve heads and a power boost to 125 kW - still no intercooler though many fit them themselves. 80 Series VX still highly desirable to this day

1996 - In the Granada-to-Dakar Rally, a pair of Land Cruisers finish first and second in the unmodified production class - the only class in this event that has any relevance to the stuff that the public buys. All US and UK 80 series models given ABS and airbags as standard equipment. Introduction of the 90 Series Prado (Colorado in some markets such as the UK). The Prado is clearly aimed directly at the Mitsubishi Pajero (Shogun in the UK) niche - which has very successfully cornered a good chunk of the burgeoning SUV leisure market. The Prado is available in three-door short wheelbase and five-door long wheelbase versions with a choice of the 5VZ-FE petrol engine (24-valve V6/3 378 cc /132 kW/298 Nm) or 1KZ-TE turbo diesel (4-cyl/ 2982 cc 3/92 kW/295 Nm). All Prados have independent front suspension - wishbones and torsion bars giving a better on road ride. Purist insist that this is a dilution of the Cruiser ethos and it's not a real Cruiser. 70 Series remains THE workhorse utility vehicle Globally. Station wagon version known affectionately as the Troopie in Australia. The name derived from the term Troop Carrier as a result of its military utilitarian heritage. Troopies are seen almost ubiquitously in TV news programmes used as aid vehicles, by the UN, as ambulances and such like in the most rugged inhospitable parts of the World.

1998 - Toyota introduce the 5th generation 100 Series Land Cruiser station wagon, to take over the 80 series mantle. The 100 Series Land Cruiser is notably larger, heavier, structurally more solid, substantially more powerful and with better brakes than the 80 series. It is nevertheless more fuel efficient, generates fewer emissions and is considerably quicker. At launch it featured the first V8 engine in a Toyota car - the 32 valve 2UZ-FE engine. Displacing 4.7 DOHC produces 173 kW and an awsome 434 Nm on the flywheel. Independent front suspension (IFS) appears for the first time in the big Cruiser (first appearing in the 90 Series/ Prado back in 96) causing complete consternation amongst purists - "we will never forgive Toyota for going independent at the front with the mighty 4.2 turbo-diesel" - Australian 4WD Monthly. Indeed UK, US and many other markets only get IFS versions of the 100 series - and do to this day. These IFS 100 Series were initially available with the 4.7 V8 and laterly the truly amazing 1 HD-FTE 4.2 litre 6 cylinder 24 valve 151 kW - 430 Nm turbo diesel. Toyota releases proper 'hard core' solid axle versions of the 100 series Cruiser for markets with great tracts of wild territory including Australia - badged the RV (full time 4x4)and South Africa badged the GX (full time 4x4 with ABS very similar to Australian RV wagon). The Australian Standard wagon with part time 4x4, manually lockable free-wheeling front hubs, plastic carpets, no ABS, manual windows and barn door rear - a very basic utility vehicle. The South African spec GX is supplied standard with 3 diff locks. This vehicle in petrol guise won Australian 4WD Monthly 4x4 of the year award for 3 yrs in a row until Toyota dropped the petrol version due to forthcoming stricter emission control regulations.

1999 - High spec Cruisers get independent rear automatic climate control system for added convenience and passenger comfort. Toyota Australia launched the Land Cruiser 78-series, updating the trusty, not to say rustic, 70-series with the addition of a coil-sprung front axle and a choice of petrol and diesel motors from the 100 series - the trusty1HZ diesel (96 kW at 3800 rpm, 285 Nm at 2200 rpm) and 1FZ-FE petrol engines (165 at 4600 rpm, 387 Nm at 3600 rpm). The diesel is matched to a new manual transmission from the 100 Series with and a shorter final drive ratio - to improve performance. The 70 Series had persisted with leaf-springs all round for a lot longer than its main competitors - the Nissan Patrol and the Land Rover Defender and Discovery. Indeed the 79 still has leaf springs at the rear. It now gains the 100's live front axle and coil springs, which also brings a wider track and four pot caliper front disc brakes. The South African version to this day still has drums at the back. Australian Troopies use disks - more effective and less prone to sand ingress, which plays havok with brake drums. The wheel-base has been extended by 200 mm to 3180 mm (125 in) putting it up there with the Defender 130. Some of those 200 mm are taken up in stretching the cab by 120 mm to increase interior room. The rear leaf-springs are longer for more travel and a better ride.

2000 - 50th Anniversary of the Cruiser total sales of Cruisers this year is over 191,000. Total Global production to date 3.72 million. High spec Cruisers and 90 Series (Prados/ Colorados) get active traction control (Active TRAC), vehicle skid control equipment (VSC), and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) systems as standard equipment in some markets.

2001 - Upgrade to high spec IFS Cruisers, various trim and equipment enhancements.

2002 - Turbo Troopie introduced into Australia- (79 Series station wagon) with 1 HD-FTE 4.2 litre 6 cylinder 122 kW 389 Nm 24 valve turbo diesel - (As for the VX and Australian GXL but without the intercooler) snorkel is standard. Optional front and rear diff lockers. The Troopie is still not available in South Africa but appears very common in Mozambique, Lesotho and is not unusual in Botswana. All New Prado Released (120 Series station wagon simply Toyota Land Cruiser in the UK market) - the new Prado was released late in 2002 in both GX and VX turbo diesel form utilising the an intercooled version of the 3 litre KZ-TE engine found in the Hilux. This oil burner produces 96 kW and 343 Nm of torque. From April 2003, a new 4 litre V6 petrol engine will be available, delivering 183 kW and 382 Nm. Both models now come with 17 inch (432 mm) wheels limiting tyre choice and enough electronics to build your own Federation Death Star. The new Prado's body has 60% more torsional rigidity, leading to improved off- and on-road performance, lower noise and better quality. A new ladder frame chassis, combined with a revised suspension provide outstanding durability and off-road ability. The centre of gravity has been reduced by 30 mm, ensuring better stability. Dual fuel tanks, with a total capacity of 180 litres, extend the Prado's range. Together with a Torsen limited slip central differential, Active Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control provide outstanding mobility on almost any terrain. VX models also feature Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control to enhance vehicle stability under difficult off-road conditions. Face Lift 100 Series - Face Lift versions of the 100 Series GX and VX models were released in late 2002. Minor exterior changes have been made (essentially comprising of more chrome look plastic). GX models now have seating for 8, dual airbags to supplement the ABS brakes and electrically adjustable rear view mirrors - a redesigned dashboard with satin silver trim is also included.

Early 2005 - Toyota exhibits the "FJ Cruiser" as a 2007 model to debut in 2006. It features bodywork reminiscent of the classic FJ40 but is based on a pickup frame and has a modern V6 engine.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

Most Popular Parts For Toyota Landcruiser

2000 - 2005 Toyota Landcruiser Fuel Filter
Brand: Japan

 Part # E1000-64533

Year Range: 2000 - 2005
Model: Landcruiser
Application: Fuel Filter
Notes: When comparing prices, please note Bosch is WITHOUT bracket. Kyosan and OES are both WITH bracket. For models with production year from 1/1998.

Category: Toyota Filters

2000 - 2005 Toyota Landcruiser Radiator Cap

 Part # G1010-28655

Year Range: 2000 - 2005
Model: Landcruiser
Application: Radiator Cap
Notes: from 1/1998

Category: Toyota Water Cooling

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