Weak Link: Body mounts
Models Affected: All FJ-40s
What happens: The stock body mounts are made of rubber, and even the newest FJ-40s are nearly 25 years old by now. This means that they are likely cracking and falling apart, leading to excess noise and misalignment between the body and frame.
Sturdy Fix: Polyurethane mounts, such as those offered by TPI, are firmer and longer-lasting than rubber mounts, since they resist degradation due to contaminants and are a higher durometer than rubber.
Contact: TPI 4x4
Weak Link: Stock carburetor
Models Affected: All
What happens: All F-series motors were carbureted until the introduction of the 3FE in the '88 FJ-62. While the carbs are simple and easy to work on, they also are inefficient, have trouble adapting to changes in altitude, and don't like off-camber or steep ascents and descents.
Sturdy Fix: Downey Off Road offers a throttle-body fuel-injection kit that solves all the above problems in a simple, easy-to-install package. The kit improves mileage and emissions and includes a new plenum, injectors, fuel pump, and all necessary wiring and hardware, as well as Downey's thorough instruction manual.
Contact: Downey Off Road
Weak Link: Coarse spline axles
Models Affected: '60-'67 FJ-40s
What happens: Early Land Cruisers had coarse 10-spline rear axleshafts with far less contact area than the later 30-spline axles.
Sturdy Fix: The later 30-spline axles are a bolt-in swap, although the side gears in the differential must also be changed. Classic Cruisers has a huge selection of used Land Cruiser parts, including all the parts necessary to upgrade your axles to the later pieces.
Contact: Classic Cruisers
Weak Link: Gas tank capacity
Models Affected: FJ-55s and FJ-60s
What happens: 24 gallons of fuel seems like a lot by modern standards, but it doesn't last long in a 4,200-pound vehicle that gets 13 miles per gallon. Land Cruiser wagons make great backcountry expedition vehicles, but their use can be severely limited by fuel range.
Sturdy Fix: Man-A-Fre offers a 49-gallon replacement fuel tank for the FJ-55 and a 38-gallon tank for the FJ-60. Both mount in place of the original fuel tank. The tanks are made of aluminized steel, are fully baffled and trapped, and reuse the OEM sending unit. Installation requires relocation of the spare tire in order to maintain clearance. Most wagon owners mount the spare on the rear bumper or cargo area.
Weak Link: Tire clearance
Models Affected: All FJ-40s and FJ-55s
What happens: The FJ-40s and 55s use the same-length front springs. However, the 40-series springs have an offset spring pin, and the 55-series springs have a centered spring pin. Both vehicles can experience rubbing when larger tires are used, particularly with a shackle reversal.
Sturdy Fix: The front spring pack on the FJ-40 can be turned around to provide more tire clearance and increase the wheelbase, and the offset springs from the FJ-40 can be used on the 55-series to accomplish the same thing.
Contact: Do it yourself
Weak Link: Drum parking brake
Models Affected: '68-'80 FJ-40s and FJ-55s
What happens: Land Cruisers used a drum parking brake affixed to the back of the transfer case. While this provides good holding capabilities when the shoe is new and makes it easier to swap in rear disc brakes, it is also the most common location for an oil leak on vintage Land Cruisers.
Sturdy Fix: Man-A-Fre designed a disc-brake replacement for the transfer-case-mounted parking brake. The new brake retains the stock parking-brake cable and uses brake pads that are less expensive than the shoes they replace.
Weak Link: Rear Hatch Struts
Models Affected: All FJ-60s
What happens: With time, the stock door stays that hold up the rear cargo hatch leak and quit functioning. This can be annoying when packing and unpacking cargo, and dangerous if you happen to hit your head on the heavy door.
Sturdy Fix: Direct-replacement door stays are available from Specter Off Road. The struts include all necessary hardware and are a far more elegant solution than an old broomstick.
Contact: Specter Off Road
Note: Toyota Land Cruiser owners are some of the most faithful and fanatical we have ever encountered. In an effort to minimize letter bombs being sent to Four Wheeler headquarters, we refrained from recommending any engine or axle swaps in this article.
4320 Aerotech Center Way
P.O. Box 247
1543-B N. Maple
Cool Cruisers of Texas
Downey Off-Road Manufacturing
Santa Fe Springs
Longfield Super Axles