The evolution of my 80 Series Land Cruiser.

by Joe Fury
(Newman Western Australia)

At home in the Pilbara

At home in the Pilbara

G'day Adventurers.

You may be interested in the evolution of what was once an off the showroom floor 80 Series Toyota Sahara Land Cruiser.

Back in 1992 this model Land Cruiser wagon had all the bells and whistles, the Sahara was top of the line, with a turbo charged six cylinder engine, automatic transmission, electrically activated diff locks, constant four wheel drive, power windows, dual zone climate control airconditioning and an electric moon roof, all very nice but I have over the vehicles life so far added to it and modified as much of it as is legally possible all along the lines of making a very good and capable four wheel drive ~ better suited to my needs.

The 80 series is visually recognizable, the ARB bar work is colour coded to the Toyota white body paint, but it starts to evolve at this point.

The bull bar houses a 10000 lb Warn winch, wired though a contactor pack giving it better source of volts at the winch motor, the winch power is supplied from a dedicated AC Delco maintenance free battery that is housed under the floor along side the left chassis rail, this battery also supplies power needs for a 600 watt inverter and the 60 litre Engel fridge. The Engel was secured on it's slide out deck over 10 years ago and has been there since, never off and trouble free.

All other electrical needs are met by the engine bay mounted dual battery system, all batteries are fed via a 140 amp alternator.

The Toyota 1hd-t engine was problematic with the known but not eagerly accepted by Toyota crankshaft bearing issues, the engine failed and was subsequently replaced with a new
late model 1hd-t crate motor, this new motor has covered around 160,000 Kilometres in the Cruisers 400,000 life time. This engine is standard apart from a Taipan 3 inch exhaust and a Denco air to water intercooler system(s), along with the Safari snorkel these enhancements give a noticeable boost to the already willing performer.

The standard a442f auto transmission was overhauled at the 320,000 Kilometres, it has a Hi stall converter and with the transfer case reduction gearing the Cruiser now has very strong engine braking even in the steepest of off road situations.

The Cruisers fuel capacity has been increased by fitting a 160 litre auxiliary tank giving a usable range of 1200k's, the fuel is filtered via a bank of three standard spin on fuel filters.

The suspension has also been upgraded not only because of the extra weight but also for a better ride feel on and off road, with up rated Kings springs and good quality shock absorbers, the rear springs are assisted by Poly Air bellows for the heavy duty work.

Wheels and tyres, all six of them are the standard Toyota steel 16 inch wheels which have over the years worn many different brand name tyres and of them all the best ones for my purposes are the BFG KM2 mud terrains ~ yes they go flat and yes they get destroyed, just not as often. The Cruiser carries it's two spare wheels on swing out wheel carries on the back bumper.

This 80 series is a working vehicle it earns its keep off road in the Pilbara, there are many more parts to the evolution in living with the Sahara, next time in part 2.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

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Jun 08, 2016
by: Anonymous

Great setup Joe -
I also have an auto TD Sahara, but it's a '91.
I'm intrigued by the battery between the chassis rails - do you have any more details on this? It is mounted upright or on its side? What size is it? Does it hang down lower than everything else?
Have you had any issues with the terminals getting dirty and having a poor connection?


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