The Land Cruiser currently has the longest running history in the Toyota lineup. With origins from the Toyota Jeep BJ which was created in 1951, the name 'Land Cruiser' has since been used from the release of the 20-series in 1955.
With the three series of heavy-duty / wagon / light-duty types being produced simultaneously, the current 2002 120 (Light-duty Prado)-series model marks the tenth edition of the Land Cruiser with tremendous progress that continues on till now with the aim of always being at the top of the world. Here we will introduce you to the successful over 50-year history of the Land Cruiser.
The First Transfiguration in 30 Years
The pressure from the preceding model sales volume was enormous. However, the 70 series was able evolve the Land Cruiser while maintaining the images of rigidity, reliability, and durability of the past. Without major alterations to the basic structure, many small details that pioneered the path to modernization were added on.
In 1984 a new 70-series was born, bringing to a close a long era of 29 years (including the 20-series) during which the 40-series remained virtually unchanged. There were limits to what could be done to modernize the old design of the 40-series model. For this reason Chief Engineer Masaomi Yoshii introduced a complete overhaul in the design, producing the 70-series to lead the Land Cruiser with a new generation.
The first pre-condition however was that the new Land Cruiser was not to sacrifice any of its toughness, so a strong ladder frame was outfit with rigid leaf springs. The body plates were thickened by 1.0mm for added strength. While leaving something of the image of the 40-series, such as externally added fenders, it was also given modern features such as curved glass. As before there were two body types available, the short BJ70 (soft top and van), and the middle BJ73 (FRP top).
In 1985 a derivative of the BJ70 model was added, the LJ71G, which had a 2L-T-type engine (4-cylinder, 2,446cc, 85PS, 19.2kgm). As indicated by the letter G, this model was registered as a passenger car type wagon. It had a soft appearance in the front mask, and the suspension had rigid coil springs. In the export model it was known as the Light Land Cruiser, or the Land Cruiser II. Moreover, this was the same engine that was installed in the 4 Runner
At that time the BJ70 lineup was also expanded with the addition of the BJ71 and BJ74, which had a 13B-T-type turbo diesel engine. The BJ74 LX grade also came with automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Later the Land Cruiser shifted its weight to the 60-series. In competition to outdo its rival model the Pajero in terms of luxury, the 60-series evolved into the 80-series. During this period the 70-series tended to fade into the background.
Then in 1990 a significant minor change was introduced in the 70-series, when two newly developed engines were introduced; the 1PZ-type engine (replacing the 3B-type with an OHC (Over Head Camshaft) 5-cylinder, 3,469cc, 115PS, 23.5kgm engine specs), and the 1HZ-type engine (replacing the 13B-T with an OHC 6-cylinder, 4,163cc, 135PS, 28.5kgm engine specs). Moreover, to the middle length model a new ZX grade was added. Both the PZJ70 short and the HZJ73 underwent modifications.
Following that in the same year the 70-series wagon underwent a complete makeover. In addition to the original 2-door, a 4-door semi-long was introduced, the name was changed to the Prado, and with other design changes it took on its own unique identity. The 4-door model had 3 rows of seats and could carry 8 people. Compared to the 70-series that was registered as a commercial vehicle, it now had more potential reclassified as an RV. The 2L-T-type was transformed with electronic controls in the new 2L-TE-type engine, which gave it improved performance. With the minor change the short version kept its LJ71 number, while the long version was renamed the LJ78. At this time also appeared a 4-door semi-long, with a choice of two engines the 1PZ or the 1HZ named accordingly the PZJ77 and the HZJ77Source - Toyota
In 1991 the Prado semi-long had a wide body version added to the lineup. In 1993 the short also had a wide body version added, and a newly developed engine was added, the 1KZ-TE (2,982cc, NET130PS, 29.5kgm). All of this meant major improvements in performance. In 1994 the 1PZ-type engine was dropped from the van series, leaving only the 1HZ type of engine.
With the full model change in 1996 it embarked on a new and independent path as the Prado. The van type underwent a series of minor changes, taking on front rigid coil springs in 1999, leading up to the present day.
The instrument panel on the 70-series had a thick resinous crash pad to help protect passengers in the event of a collision. The design had very little in common with the predecessor 40-series, but it did retain the heavy-duty image using lots of straight lines. The floor tunnel was large, as before.
The suspension on the 70-series was based on the rigid leaf springs of the 40-series. While the leaf width and thickness was virtually unchanged, the interval between the right and left leaves was widened (+14mm in the front, +30mm in the rear), and an anti-roll stabilizer was added.
From the beginning the 70-series carried the 3B-type engine, which in 1985 was replaced by the high-powered spec direct-injection turbo diesel 13B-T-type engine. This engine was added to the upper grades of the series, doubling the 70 lineup from 2 variations to 4.
In 1990 the 70-series underwent a significant minor change, with a brand new engine lineup. The 6-cylinder 4.2-liter 1HZ-type engine was replaced with a naturally aspirated 13B-T-type diesel engine, which with its fuller torque made offroad driving more fun.
The 1PZ-type engine was developed at the same time as the 1HZ-type engine, and as a 5-cylinder 3.4-liter engine it was basically the same structure as the 1HZ. Because the gear ratio in the M/T set for high-speed driving prevented the engine from delivering adequate torque in the low rpm range, and because of gas emissions regulations as well it was phased out.
The 70-series underwent a minor change in the suspension in 1999, when the front springs were changed from leaf to coils. The 4-door semi-long model was developed at the same time as the 70-series Prado 4-door, but was only sold in Japan.
The change to coil springs in the front was designed to improve the riding comfort as well as handling stability in high-speed driving. The leaf springs tended to create understeer in the steering, because of the slight shift in the position of the leaf pivot.
The first time that coil springs were put on a Land Cruiser was with the LJ71G, with the debut in 1985 of the Wagon-type, a version of the 70-series short model with the same basic chassis but a new suspension.
When the 2L-T-type turbo diesel engine (left) was put in the 70-series Prado Wagon, it became an electronically controlled 2L-TE-type (right), and in time with a minor change was released as the newly developed 1KZ-TE-type engine.
The instrument panel design on the Prado was the same shape as the original early 70-series straight-line design, but this was changed to a curved design when the 2L-TE-type engine was replaced with the 1KZ-TE-type.Source - Toyota