The Toyota Land Cruiser has a long reputation as a great off-road vehicle, but over the years these trucks have gone from backcountry do-it-all to something of a glamorous luxo-ute. This doesn’t mean the newer Cruisers are any less capable, but there is a model that really was the pinnacle of performance in the U.S. and that was the FZJ80 Land Cruiser, ’93-’97. These were offered with front and rear selectable lockers in solid beam axles, coil-sprung suspension, and a torquey 4.5L straight-six engine.
Low gear increases from 2.4:1 to 3.1:1
Though they are capable out of the box, when we add upgrades like heavy bumpers and larger tires (and you know we will) they could always use more low-range gearing.
Marlin Crawler, a name synonymous with Toyota gearing, now offers lower low-range gearsets for the 80 and 100 series Cruisers (all ’91-’07 Land Cruisers). With a lower gearset the truck has more torque multiplication and a slower, more controlled crawling performance, and it can idle up large obstacles even when fitted with larger tires.