Slee Off-Road 100 Series Newbie Guide

19 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Slee Off-Road 100 Series Newbie Guide
Lexus GX470

Newbie Guide

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


Lexus LX450


(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.

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