In 2008, the
latest iteration of the Land Cruiser was released with the 200 Series. lts bold
stance and all- around comfort mean it is sought after, particularly in pre-owned
versions, for its comfortable on-pavement qualities and true off-road
capability. This was very much the idea when Carl Montoya, owner of Nitro Gear
& Axle, decided to sell his long-serving 100 Series Land Cruiser, a model
also owned by several OutdoorX4 staff members and which was included in a multi-part
build featured in Issues 8-11. ln Carl's case, his goal was to assemble his own
interpretation of what a TRD Pro Land Cruiser would be like had Toyota offered
such a version for the ZOO Series.
the 2OO Series Land Cruiser is my favorite vehicle of the many Toyotas I've
built," said Carl. "lt's like a Bentley on 35's with a better ride
off-road, and it can comfortably haul a family 3,300 miles in 12 days, then
drive to school and work the next morning. Land Cruisers have not gone soft
over the years; in fact, the ZOO series has stronger differentials, bigger
axles, a larger motor, more suspension travel, a stiffer frame, and better sound-deadening
materials than any previous model. It also adds a bunch of creature comforts,but
not at the expense of what counts."
2009 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER
Starting in 2008,
Toyota upgraded the Land Cruiser's powertrain with a much more powerful 5.7L 3URFE
V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, 9.5" rear differential,
9" lFS front differential, and KDSS Suspension. Carl's Land Cruiser, a
2009 model, has been
upgraded further to include additional enhancements including to the suspen- sion,
wheels and tires, gearing, and other modifications. The result has proven
adventure-worthy in travels throughout Colorado, Central Utah and the Pacific
Upgraded Just differentials
Super Deluxe Long
retaining the OEM KDSS.
Long-travel set-up using OEM Toyota Tundra
arms, tie rod ends, CV shafts, Billet Icon upper control arms, TRD Pro Bilstein
60mm Piggyback shocks with internal zone control progressive three-rate
damping, and Timbren Industries bump stops
Rear: Old Man Emu
Rear Coils, Icon Omega 2.5"
shocks, Icon Billet lower rear trailing arms, 1.5” rear wheel spacers for a 3”
wider track, 3" front lift, and a 1" rear lift for level stance which
considerable increase in wheel travel and also gives the vehicle's suspension comparable
rebound to the Ford Raptor, all wrapped within a luxury SUV and factory body
WHEELS AND TIRES
Grappler 285/75R18 (35x11.50).
width helps keep the big tires under the wheel wells, even with the 3"
-Toyota OEM Forged 18" TRD Pro wheels.
- Slee Offroad
locker and compressor switched for a factory look.
Utility flat rack with removable sunroof panel has a low profile, is simple to
install and has a lower height that the OEM roof rack.
- Slee Offroad
Group 31 battery tray
- ARB 63 quart
- OEM Toyota 2013
headlamp assemblies with IPF LED drop-in high-beam and fog light bulbs.
- Asfir hidden
winch mount with Warn 9000lb winch, synthetic rope and Factor 55 Prolink.
-Nitro Gear 4.88
ratio ring & pinion gear package with ARB Air Lockers front and rear.
*Note: 200 Series
Land Cruiser stock gearing is 3.90 with a .58:1 6th gear. What this means is
sixth gear was almost useless when stock, than on flat ground, because the
larger tires further reduce RPM and the MPG plummeted to near single digits.
After the re-gear we were able to average 16+ mpg on fully loaded highway trips
with the supercharger reducing the mileage approximately 'l-2 mpg but still
better than stock gearing and oversized tires. If funds allow only one or the
other, the gears made more difference than the supercharger in terms of performance,
drivability, and economy. It just makes the truck feel "right."
UNDER THE HOOD
-The engine has
been modified to incorporate the use of the first Magnuson Supercharger with
custom Unichip programming in the U.S. with custom bracketry from a company
named Torfab. The engine displaces SSOHP at the crank and 404 ft/lb torque on a
-ARB twin compressor, manifold, and inflation
kit which operates the lockers and fills tires quickly at
100% duty cycle.