Information for new 1998+ Toyota Land Cruiser 100 series and Lexus LX470 owners


Our Newbie Guide for the 80 Series Land Cruiser proven very popular, so we decided to compile one for the 100 series as well.

This guide is intended as a quick read for new owners and will hopefully point them in the right direction as far as obtaining service, help and support. This guide applies mostly to US based 100 Series (or Lexus LX 470’s) unless otherwise noted.

The information on this list is a compilation of personal experience, submissions from readers and knowledge gained from belonging to the 100 Series email list and the forums on

This guide should not be taken as a do all, end all. Personal responsibility should still be taken for any purchase or modification made based on the information supplied on this list. Slee Off-Road does not guarantee the correctness of the information or the content of this guide.


We get asked a lot to inspect vehicles, or what should one look for when evaluating a used vehicle. Below is a list of items we look at. Some are specific to the 80 Series Land Cruiser and some are generic.


Carfax is a good source for checking the accident history of the vehicle. However, unless the car was totaled even major accidents might not show up. This is typically the case then a car was repaired for the existing owner. The following are some items to look for in checking for accident damage.

  • Signs of overspray on trim pieces, lights and inner fenders
  • Weld and signs of repair work on inner fenders, core supports and underside of body
  • Check for VIN stickers in doors, hood, tailgate. Late model 80 Series had stickers attached to every body panel.
  • Check body panels with a magnet. If body filler was used, the magnet won’t stick in places.
  • Use Polaroid sun glasses and look at the paint. Repainted panels will stand out, especially if they are metallic paint.
  • Check body lines and panel gaps for alignment
  • Check A/B/C/D pillars for overspray or signs of paint matching. These are the normal placed where the body shop will try to blend the paint if just one panel was painted.
  • Check the overall shine of the paint on different panels.
  • Check for dirt in the paint, or changes in texture. The factory paint is uniform and clean.
  • Check behind the rock panels, fenders and tailgates for signs of repair.
  • Check the edges of body panels for paint masking marks or body filler.
  • Check for marks on frame where it might have been pulled on a frame straightening machine


On vehicles where a lot of accessories were added bad wiring can cause endless headaches.

  • Check all lights, horn, interior lights and electrical parts for functionality
  • Check fuse box for incorrect wire taps or modifications
  • Check for blown fuses
  • Check condition of battery
  • Check for corrosion under battery tray
  • If possible, remove dash panel below steering wheel or look underneath. This is most often the spot where accessories are installed. Check the neatness of the installation and correct splicing of wires. A rats nest is normally an indication that the work was not done properly.
  • Check for additional wires that were added to the positive terminal on the battery. Check that these were done properly, routed properly and fused properly.
  • Look underneath the back and along the frame rails to see if any trailer wiring was done properly.


Indications that the interior was kept clean and maintained is normally a good indication of the overall owners attitude towards the vehicle. Do not confuse a detailed interior with one that was kept clean on a regular basis.

  • Check for scratches on plastic trim pieces.
  • Check condition of upholstery, headliners, door panels and trim pieces.
  • Check under seats for dirt
  • Check the operation of the electric seat
  • Check the operation of all the heater controls, radio and other accessories
  • Check interior lights
  • Check for mildew and water stains on carpet.

Drive Train

  • Check head/block interface for antifreeze leaks.
  • Check outside of steering knuckles for oil & grease. Caked on dirt and grease is a good indication that the inner axle seals has failed some time ago and internal components could be damaged or worn beyond service specs.
  • Remove the square fill plug on the knuckle and take a sample of the grease. If the grease is runny, it is also an indication that the differential oil is running into the knuckle.
  • Check if radiator has been replaced. This could be indications of overheating conditions previously.
  • Check if there are deposits in the coolant overflow bottle. This could also indicate deposits in the radiator.
  • Check for leaks underneath.
  • Check tires for uneven wear.
  • Check tires to for the same tread on all tires.
  • Check that all the tires are the same brand and size
  • Check condition of spare and if it is the correct wheel
  • Check if any drive train components have been replaced. If so, try to determine why.
  • Check for vibrations during drive.
  • Check all fluids to see how dirty they are. Dirty fluids are an indication of owner neglect.
  • Run the engine at normal temperatures and check for unusual smells
  • Listen for any unusual sounds
  • Check for signs of any emissions equipment that might be removed.
  • Check exhaust system for rust, holes and repairs
  • Check for blue or white smoke when car accelerates.
  • Check the automatic transmission shifts smoothly
  • Check that the electric lockers engage by turning them on in low range and driving on a low traction surface
  • Apply the brakes at different speeds and see if there is any fade, or if the vehicle pulls sideways.
  • Apply brakes lightly and check for any vibrations through the pedal
  • Turn the steering from lock to lock and listed for any noises and/or roughness
  • Test drive the vehicle at highway speed and see if there are any vibrations

US Model Specifications


(Changes listed for the 1999-1998 are in comparison to the 80 Series US Spec Land Cruiser, the rest of the changes are listed with reference to the previous 100s Series Land Cruiser)

  • Introduction of the new body style and 4.7L V8 2UZ-FE Motor. The motor is a DOHC motor with 230 hp at 4800 rpm and 320 ft.lbs of torque at 3200 rpm
  • 4 speed Transmission – A343F
  • Rear Electric Locking Differential Lock was optional equipment
  • HF2A full-time 2 speed transfer case with center differential lock
  • Unlike the 80 series, the transfer case does not have a viscous coupler.
  • Rear differential was changed to a 9.5″ ring gear.
  • Rear differential is a 4 pinion diff with ratio of 4.3
  • Front differential only has 2 pinion gears.
  • Rear axle is a semi-floater 32 spline design.
  • Wheel studs changed to 14mm 1.5 treat pitch
  • Bolt pattern for wheels changes to 5 on 150mm
  • Wheel Lug Nuts changed to 22mm
  • Front suspension was changed to a IFS system with torsion bar springs.


  • Rear AC was added as an option
  • Rear Differential Locker was an option



  • VSC (Vehicle Skid Control) added
  • A-TRAC (Active Traction Control) added
  • EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) added
  • Rear Differential Locker was no longer available as an option
  • Front differential was changed from a 2 pinion to a 4 pinion unit.



  • A tether connecting the fuel cap to the fuel lid has been fitted
  • The aluminum wheel with chrome tone painting has been adopted.


  • CRS (Child Restraint System) lower anchorage for securing child seats has been provided behind the seat cushion of center and left side seat of rear No.1 seat
  • CRS anchor brackets for securing a child seat have been provided on the floor behind the rear No.1 seat.
  • The one-touch auto up-and-down function are provided in the power windows of all doors.
  • An automatic glare-resistant EC (electrochromic) mirror system has been adopted for the inner rearview mirror.
  • A compass has been integrated in the inner mirror. This compass
    is standard equipment on the models without the multi-information display.
  • A DVD Based voice navigation System with 7″ touch screen was offered as an option
  • 6-disc DVD automatic changer is provided in the rear console box as an option, together with the multi-display


  • No Major Changes



  • The front bumper and radiator grille design was changed.
  • The rear back door name plate molding was changed
  • Running board design was changed
  • The roof rack was added as optional equipment
  • The rear turn-signal lights was changed from amber to clear
  • The roof-rail has been adopted as optional equipment.
  • 275/65R17 tires with 17x8JJ-60 wheels are provided as standard equipment.
  • 275/60R18 tires with 18x8JJ-60 wheels are provided as optional equipment.
  • Wheels were redesigned


  • The center cluster of the dashboard was changed
  • The combination meter design was changed
  • Added the new steering wheel with controls on the center pad
  • The pillar handles and coat hook was changed for the vehicles with side curtain airbags
  • The screen of the multi display was changed to a touch screen
  • A voice recognition system was added to the GPS system
  • Side and curtain shield airbags were adopted as optional equipment
  • Drive and passenger airbag system was changed to a dual-stage unit.
  • An RSAS (Rear Seat Audio System) was added as standard equipment.
  • Power tilt and telescoping features added to the steering column


  • Engine Output increased to 235hp
  • Changed to a drive by wire with an accelerator position sensor on the accelerator pedal
  • An A750F 5 speed automatic transmission was added
  • Rack and pinion steering was changed to Variable Gear.
  • The throttle position sensor was changed to a no-contact unit.
  • Charcoal canister capacity increased and moved to above the spare tire.
  • Shift pattern for transmission was changed to a gate type.
  • The front and rear driveshaft were updated with stronger U-joints and larger tubes
  • Propeller Tube Diameter ’03 Model (A750F) ’02 Model (A343F)
    Front 65.0 mm (2.6 in.) 54.0 mm (2.1 in.)
    Rear 75.0 mm (3.0 in.) 65.0 mm (2.6 in.)
  • The differential gears were changed to a 4.1 ratio.
  • The tow hitch was offered as optional equipment
  • The rear cross member was changed to accept a towing hitch that can be bolted to the rear cross member.
  • Catalytic converters were changed
  • Radiator fin pitch was changed for better cooling
  • Alternator was changed to a high output segment conductor type
  • Fuel cutoff switch when airbags are deployed was added
  • Crank Hold Feature was added. This feature will keep the starter engaged, once the ignition switch is turned to the START position without having to keep the key in the START position.



  • Added power lumber support for the passenger seat.
  • A Bluetooth hands-free function was added to the multi function display
  • The backup camera system was added as an option.


  • The color of the windshield and front door glass has been changed from bronze to green.
  • The privacy glass for the rear door, rear door quarter, quarter, and back door has been changed to dark-gray tempered glass.


  • SLLC (Super Long Life Coolant) accepted and service interval increased. The color of this coolant is pink and the initial change interval is 100 000 miles, and every 50 000 miles thereafter. Previous interval was every 30 000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first. The coolant comes pre-mixed and does not require diluting.
  • The transmission dipstick was removed. The fill position is now checked at the overflow plug.
  • ATF-W (Automatic Transmission Fluid) is now specified instead of the ATF-T-IV. The ATF WS is not interchangeable with other types of ATF (ATF type T-IV, or D-II).


  • 18″ wheels become standard equipment


  • The cruise control system was changed to keep the vehicle’s set speed in its memory even if the vehicle dropped below the low-speed limit.


  • The design of the headlights and the grille where changed.
  • The design of the rear combination lights where changed.
  • The rear spoiler was introduced as optional equipment.
  • The taillight and stop light bulbs where changed to LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes).


  • 2UZ-FE Engine- The VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), ACIS (Acoustic Control Induction System), and AI (Air Injection) system are added to the 2UZ-FE engine to achieve a greater performance level and reduce exhaust emissions.
  • Active Height Control Suspension (AHC) is introduced as optional equipment. 
  • The Brake Control System was updated (ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, A-TRAC and VSC System).
  • Tire Pressure Warning System is added.



  • 2UZ-FE Engine some (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) where added.

Lexus LX470 Differences

The Lexus LX470 share the same drivetrain and the 100 Series Land Cruiser, but there are distinct differences in both appearance and appointments. In some cases items that were added to the 100 Series in later model years, was available since introduction on the LX470. In some cases some items were never offered in the Land Cruiser. The major technical changes occurred at about the same time. Below is a partial listing of the different items from the LX470:

  • The high beam headlights are the multi–reflector type and the low beam headlights and the fog lights are the projector type.
  • Body cladding on the doors and quarter panels
  • Power telescoping and tilt steering column available from 1998 onwards
  • Combination meter design is different using backlit gauges and needles
  • Wheel design is different from the Land Cruiser
  • Front and rear Auto AC systems standard equipment from 1998 onwards
  • Active Height Control Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AHC & AVS) standard equipment from 1998 onwards


  • A genuine leather with wood steering and a wood shift knob have been provided as optional equipment.


  • Chrome plated 16″ wheels offered as optional equipment
  • A Mark Levinson 9 speaker stereo system was offered as an option


  • No Major Changes


  • The rear wind deflector with high-mounted stoplight was added as optional equipment.
  • Running board lights were added as optional equipment.
  • The roof rack can be ordered as a color matched unit
  • Tires were changed to 275/60R18
  • Rain sensing wiper system was added
  • The air conditioning system was changed so that the recirculation control will switch to RECIRC, even if the mode was set to FRESH if the smog ventilation sensor detects the entry of the exhaust gas into the cabin
  • Power windows can now be operated with the key or the transmitter.
  • The power windows and moon roof can now be opened with the wireless door lock remote control system
  • The LEXUS link system has been added as optional equipment
  • A forward night view system was added as optional equipment


  • The tinted glass color was changed from bronze to green and the rain sensor and night view camera was optimized for the new glass color
  • Leather seat material was changed from imperial to majesty
  • The LEXUS parking assist system has been added as standard equipment


  • The LEXUS Link was discontinued.

2006 LX470


  • The LEXUS Link system is added as optional equipment.
  •  Theft Deterrent ECU
  • The Audio System was revised with software changes in the RSAS (Rear Seat Audio System) and SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service) could be received.


  • The wheel design is changed.



  • 1998/1999 Accelerator position and throttle position sensors can cause malfunction and cause a situation where the truck does not respond to throttle input.
  • Starter contact can wear out. The starter is located under the intake manifold.


2.1 Getting the mud off

After that Sunday drive through the mud and dirt, the easiest and safest way to clean the underside of the truck is to use a garden sprinkler under the truck. This will soak the mud and dirt until it just falls off. In the end the truck will be clean and the driveway dirty.

2.2 Mud flaps

If you do decide to remove the running boards front mud flaps are available.

2.3 Snorkels – Why you need them!

Snorkels are needed when you expect to do a lot of deep water crossings. The snorkel requires drilling 1 large hole and a number of smaller ones in the truck. It essentially moves the air intake, which in the stock form is located in the passenger front fender, to the roof line.

Performance gains from the snorkels is often debated, but this should not be the first reason to install one.

When installing a snorkel on a US Spec 100 series the automatic antenna must be removed and replaced with a whip. A early 1992 Toyota Pickup antenna is a close fit, except that the lead is to short. It needs to be extended. The bottom of the antenna also has to be cut shorter and supported with a custom bracket.

2.4 What are those 4 holes on the back bumper

2.5 Trailer Wiring


3.1 Cracking leather seats

The leather seats do crack eventually. Applying a good conditioner from time to time does help. The skins for the seats can be purchased and replaced, but this is an expensive option.

3.2 Installing a CB

Option 1: Replace stereo use regular single din stereo as opposed to double din which is stock Toyota. If using single din stereo then mount below regular stereo in extra space.

Option 2: Cobra “all in the mic” units can be installed under the seat or under the center console.

3.3 Installing auxiliary CB speakers

Interior dome light housings can be converted to accept small speakers. These can then be mounted to the roof liner. The transparent “lens” is then covered with cloth for a factory look.

3.4 Rear Drawer Systems

“The first thing a lot of 80 Owners do is remove the rear 3rd row seats and replace them with a storage system, which is very handy for storing all the recovery gear and those bits and pieces that we need to take 4-wheeling. Some have a fridge roller fitted so that a 12v fridge can be mounted safely and rolled out for access. The other benefit of storing everything in drawers is you still have a flat area to use and if you add a bed extension behind the front seats you can have a bed measuring approx 180cm x 145cm. There are many different types ranging from the basic do -it-yourself type utilizing plastic tubs and MDF (fine particle board) to the zinc plated light gauge steel or aluminum and sealed roller bearings. The upper market use the factory tie down points so that the seats can be replaced and no holes or damage is done to the 80 and when fitted look part of the factory design.” – Mick Barson

3.5 Aftermarket Stereo’s
3.12 Speakers for the front doors

4. Drive train

4.1 Factory lockers

4.2 Aftermarket lockers

4.3 Brake pad wear

4.5 Differential Gears – 4.1 vs. 4.88

5. Suspension

5.1 Better ride without the lift.
5.2 Larger Tires – Pro’s and Con’s
5.3 Can I fit 35″ tires
5.4 Why replace a relatively new suspension
5.5 Changing shocks
5.6 Changing coil springs
5.7 Changing the torsion bars

6. Accessories

5.1 Grill Guards
5.2 Winch Bars
5.3 Winches
5.4 Auxiliary Lighting
5.5 Light Bars
5.6 Rear Bumpers
5.7 Tire Carriers
5.8 Nerf Bars
5.9 Recovery gear
5.10 Camping Showers

7. Driving skills and off-roading

7.1 Using Front and Rear Lockers
Courtesy of George Coyant.

In random order…

  • Don’t use them on paved roads.
  • Disengage the front at least if you need to turn. Even momentarily.
  • Engage them just before you think you’ll need them.
  • Don’t go down steep hills with the front locker engaged.
  • If you go down hills with the rear engaged, be prepared to catch the rear end if it slides out.
  • Exercise them every now and then. Whilst parked, hit each button until you hear the compressor engage.
  • Have a locker/compressor cut out switch wired up (I think this is standard now).
  • Experiment over an obstacle. Get the feel of what each locker does and experiment with speed over the obstacle. You’ll be amazed at what you can now just idle over.
  • They engage immediately but if there’s a bunch of energy stored in the driveline, you may have to back off for a second after disengaging to have them physically disengage.
  • Change the diff oil after a 1,000 or so km.
  • Change the diff oils at say 20,000km intervals to help clear any muck in the diff housings.
  • Keep an eye on the air release at the solenoids. If you see diff oil spray out upon disengaging, the piston oil seal has gone. This used to be quite common, however the current seal is good if fitted correctly. It’s fiddly.
  • If you’re in a tight area and need to swing the rear out, you can engage the rear locker only and dump the clutch. It’ll turn on its own axis…
  • Don’t engage the front locker when reversing.
  • You can use air lockers in high range. In fact, can engage them at up to 100kph as long as one wheel on an axle isn’t spinning.
  • If one wheel is spinning wildly, don’t engage that locker.
  • By engaging them early, you’ll save digging great holes in the track.That’s enough for now…Cheers