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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.

"Overall, 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 than a

Ford Raptor 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."


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 Northwest.


Upgraded Just differentials Super Deluxe Long Travel Suspension retaining the OEM KDSS.

Front: Long-travel set-up using OEM Toyota Tundra

lower control 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"

Rear Bypass 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

provides 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 width.


Nitto Trail Grappler 285/75R18 (35x11.50).

The narrower width helps keep the big tires under the wheel wells, even with the 3" track increase.

-Toyota OEM Forged 18" TRD Pro wheels. -__-


- Slee Offroad locker and compressor switched for a factory look.

- BajaRack 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 fridge/freezer

- OEM Toyota 2013 headlamp assemblies with IPF LED drop-in high-beam and fog light bulbs.

- Rigid Industries Dually LED lights concealed behind OEM bumper louvers.

-ARB Series III Simpson roof top tent

- Slee Offroad Sliders

- ARB skid plates

- 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."


-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 four-wheel dyno!

-ARB twin compressor, manifold, and inflation kit which operates the lockers and fills tires quickly at 100% duty cycle.

Originally published in Outdoorx4: