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March 2010 Nuts & Bolts

FJ Cruiser
Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted March 1, 2010

Toyota Answers Your Toyota Questions

Toyota Tech Questions Answered
In January we decided to take Nuts & Bolts in a different, temporary direction. We have been gathering up your tech questions and taking them to the people who build new 4x4s. Last month was the Ford truck guys and before them, Dodge. This month is Toyota, but send us your GM and Jeep questions, as we'll be knocking on their doors next. Send your questions to

Leave Your Links
Q Your 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, and Land Cruiser all have rear links and coil springs, but your trucks all have leaf springs in the rear. What considerations are taken into account when deciding between the two for future vehicles?

A Toyota RESPONDS: For some time now, we have had a basic philosophy for the use of two suspension designs on our trucks and truck-based SUVs. For our pickups, we use a frame that has an open C-channel design under the bed area, where most of the cargo load is anticipated to be placed. The separate cab and bed arrangement of the body allows for a certain amount of frame compliance for enhanced ride quality when under a load. The leaf spring suspension works very well with this frame and body design and, in our opinion, is the most suitable for carrying heavy loads, such as blocks or dirt, right over the rear axle.

The SUV has a different body and frame design from the pickup. We have a single-piece body on an SUV, so we prefer to use a fully boxed frame underneath to enhance ride quality. The coil spring with link live axle suspension is best suited for this body and frame arrangement, as the suspension is a bit more compliant. In addition, we anticipate the typical SUV to have a load that is more spread throughout the vehicle, such as a load of passengers in the seats, or a combination of passengers and cargo spread through the vehicle.

Keep Cruising the FJ
Q Is the FJ Cruiser going to be killed? Rumor is that it's not long for this world. What about a redesign?

A Toyota: As of the present, there are no plans to "kill" the FJ. For 2010 it will receive the revised V-6 engine that is being released on the new fifth-gen 4Runner. It will also receive a larger rear differential (same size as the new 4Runner) and a revised steering rack that will enhance steering feel and reduce turning radius. There will also be a limited-quantity special edition coming during the 2010 model year.

Simple Green
Q Why does the Tundra use an oil filter element instead of a screw-on oil filter? What is the benefit?

A Toyota: From a performance point, there is no advantage to this type of filter. The primary reason for using it was to reduce the amount of material going through the recycling process when the filters are removed from the vehicles after service.
4WOR: Keeping it green!

I-Force U to Swap Engines
Q Does Toyota or TRD have any thoughts of making standalone crate engines? Say I wanted to put a 4.7L or 5.7L V-8 in my FJ-40 Land Cruiser.

A Toyota: We have nothing to announce at this time regarding standalone crate engines.
4WOR: Seems like something diehard Toyota guys would want.

Solid Ground?
Q Why can't we get the great solid-axle Toyota trucks in North America that you offer in places like Australia and the Middle East? Those diesel solid-axle trucks are very cool and seem like the perfect competitor for the Jeep Wrangler.

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