What is the best year for the 100 series Land Cruiser?

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
I owned an FJ-40 and an FJ-55 back in the day, and together assembled at least 250K miles on them.




Every manufacturer has a golden period or two when all the stars align and the product is near perfection for that era. What model number and year(s) are the best for the 100 series L.C.? At least I think it's the 100 series. What I want is a 4 door station wagon with the factory locking diffs. I did a quick search and found nothing directly addressing this query. I figured the assembled gurus on here could point me in the right direction. Negative comments on eras are also sought, if any. For instance, the Fj-55 suffered from wholly inadequate frame and body undercoating and started to rust as it rolled off the showroom floor. Only an owner would know that.
Thanks for responding.
jefe
 

Greenbean

B.S. Goodwrench
Well only 98 and 99 had the factory locking rear diff.

Some were loaded with options others weren’t. If you want the third row power vent windows you’ll be looking for one with rear A/C. Not all got it though. I’ve seen one w/out it.

2000 had ATRAC from then on.

2001 got “latch” child seat anchors.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Gbean, good to know. Thanks. What did they go to after dropping the rr. locker? Traction Control? It's been a long time, and I've had a lifetime of jeeps and trucks after the L.C.'s.
jefe
 

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Porterhouse

New member
2000 MY year dropped the rear locker for ATRAC. You’ll find much info over on Ih8mud forum for more details. 2003 MY went to 5 speed, which many prefer. I’ve owned my ‘99 for nearly fifteen years now, and wife had an 03 for almost ten. Still love my Hundy.
 

Chris Boyd

Explorer
I have a 99 and like it for the e-locker and the simplicity. This is my built rig. I have an 06 and like it for towing with the 5-speed tranny. This my DD and mall crawler.

Depends on your use and need. They both get the same MPGs, roughly speaking.

I’d say not 98, as it’s first MY of 100 series and some known issues with brake masters, etc, - though many have them an enjoy them! I’d personally stay away from AHC, while many have it and like it, most get deleted for standard lift kit.
 

zimm

Expedition Leader
2001 has the 4 pinion front diff and 03 the 5 speed.

those are your big dates.

anything can be swapped but the 4 to 5 speed, so, considering how old all of them are, 03 and up is what you want. there really is NOOOOOOO point in getting a 4 for the price of a 5. none.
 

Greenbean

B.S. Goodwrench
2000 and up should have the 4-pinion diff I thought?

Hence ATRAC,

Also for 06-07 AHC was an option so not all of them had it. Good luck finding one w/out it though.
 
Personally, I would say the 2003 to 2005 are the best, because they have the 5 speed, 4-pinion front diff, and weren't saddled with AHC like the 2006-2007. The 2006-2007s do get VVTi which bumps horsepower from 235 to 275, which would be nice. Source: I own a problem free 2004
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Thanks for your considered thoughts. A good friend had an '88 FJ-60? on which we did an SOA and a lower geared transfer case swap. It still had the old stove bolt 6 and definitely smogged to death. There were so many little tubes, pots, and circuits to try to keep the emissions in check, that it became un-smoggable in California after about 1995. It is 3rd in line in the photo below. In the pic also are the other SOA's I did that year; a Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 and Jeepster C-101.


I got a lot of use in the 180K miles and 15 years I had the 55. The engine was swapped out right away to a Chevy V-8 after my experience with the 40.
 

4Beast

Observer
In terms of "best" I'd probably say an 06-07 without AHC, but those are unicorns. The Vvti would be nice, but the original 4.7 is totally trustworthy. Otherwise a 03-05, as you get the goodies like 5 speed, backup camera etc. The ATRAC is actually very good at what it does, with the exception of a few types of situations. And you're not going SOA on any of these!!
 

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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Beast, thanks for your input. What would be the difference in getting a similar year Lexus GX470? They seem to be more available and slightly cheaper than the L.C.'s of the same year on the same platform. Too much electronics?
jefe
 

4Beast

Observer
Beast, thanks for your input. What would be the difference in getting a similar year Lexus GX470? They seem to be more available and slightly cheaper than the L.C.'s of the same year on the same platform. Too much electronics?
jefe
The LXs all have AHC. It is actually a pretty cool system, but in my mind something additional that could break and put you in a tough situation (although complete failures are really rare). I think there is a comparison of LX vs LCs around somewhere, but a lot of the stuff is pretty minor, as the LCs are pretty high end to begin with.
 
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