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Are Japanese Import Models Smaller?

stuzbot

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I don't know where I picked this up from. I've been reading so many forums / reviews /articles on Land Cruisers over the past few weeks, it's all become a bit of a blur. But, as thread title suggests; are Japanese import models smaller --more precisely narrower-- than Euro models? I've got a vague recollection of reading something along those lines and it being down to some kind of tax regulation in Japan that taxed vehicles higher if they exceed a certain width or length.

And, while on the subject; any other differences between Japanese import and Euro models?

I also seem to have acquired the notions that the 1KZ-TE import engines have an intercooler fitted, which helps with the overheating issues. And also that the Japanese import models don't come with the rear difflock which some Euro models do, but always have the limited slip diff instead.

[All of the above based on another assumption. Namely that the model numbers beginning with T [ie. TZ, which I've seen a few for sale] indicates Japanese import.]

Any of the above True or false?
 
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Chris

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Smaller? Nope, I don't think so. They tend to be less well specc'd that UK models. Oddly, the UK go the highest specs on pretty much any Landcruiser ever made. Even the 40 series came with doors and windows that went up and down. Well down at any rate.

Most imports don't have lockers and many are autos in SWB which you don't get in a UK spec. But they did get intercoolers which no UK model did. Not until the more recent engines of course. Good values as they are more likely to be rust free. The big argument used to be that as grey imports they couldn't be serviced or insured yadda yadda.
 

Aeroelastic

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I Have a 1996 Prado, and owned a Uk Colorado previously, don’t think the Prado is smaller. I have swap a set of Colorado leather seats into my Prado and every thing fits nicely...

From my own experience and owning both, Differences between Prado vs Colorado:

- Auto retracted antenna- Prado only
- Intercooler - Prado only
- Climate control panel - Prado only
- Front chrome horizontal grill - Prado only (all Colorado has vertically arranged front grill)
- Fender mirror - Prado only
- nice front Prado chrome brush bar normally comes with 2 7” spot light - Prado only
- rear light clusters on the body not in the bumper - Prado
- Rear diff lock - Colorado only (Prado has LSD)
- front headlight washer - Colorado only
- instrument dial light adjustment- Colorado only
- rear heater/blower - Colorado only
- rear fog light - Colorado only (add your own fog for Prado)

All Japanese import indicator stalk is on the right side of the steering wheel, all EU one on the left. So I always swipe the wiper when I want to indicate in my Prado.

TX & TZ are trim levels for options like wood panels, leather etc. I suspected these might be similar to the GX & VX as in TX and GX are the lower trim option.
 
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stuzbot

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I Have a 1996 Prado, and owned a Uk Colorado previously, don’t think the Prado is smaller. I have swap a set of Colorado leather seats into my Prado and every thing fits nicely...

Thanks.

Presumably another half-remembered internet fact that was either untrue or I misinterpreted. As I want to use whatever I get for a bit of wild camping [ie. sometimes sleeping in the bac], I was a bit worried if I got a Japanese import and it turned out to be oddly narrow.

- Fender mirror - Prado only

Do you mean the mirror right on the tip of the front corner? If so, that's actually quite reassuring, as I saw that on one I might be going to look at next week and it set of the amber warning lights in my noggin, as I didn't think it was a factory standard part. So assumed someone had fitted it for doing lots of caravan towing. Odd that should be a standard part on Japanese versions. I don't really associate them with caravanning.
 

Aeroelastic

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Yes the little stubby mirror at the front left tip of the car. Check out my avatar picture, the black mirror.
It allows you to look at the front gap of your brush bar while parking with front obstacles. There is also a side piece that allows you to align the left fender to obstacle at tight spot. Although I find it too small sometime to use and during night time it’s a bit useless.
The front horizontal grill is a giveaway for a Japanese import.
My Prado also comes with chrome wing mirrors and door handles, not sure if these are standard in Colorado, my previous GX certainly didn’t have these.
 

stuzbot

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It allows you to look at the front gap of your brush bar while parking with front obstacles....

Ah. that's what it's for. And there was me thinking it was for use when towing caravans!
 
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Iwan

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The only narrower/wider toyota I've seen is the Previa and the narrower Estima Lucida which was designed narrower and slightly shorter to get into a lower taxation bracket.

I don't think the LC's were like this.
 

diggerdave

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Of course, base models like mine don't have the wheel arch extensions (or the plastic nappy on the body) that most others have, which sometimes people refer to as a narrowbody version. I don't think I've ever noticed a Prado without the wheel arch extensions though. Then again there are very few UK ones around either.
 

chadr

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My UK 1997 Collie (see sig for details) does have the automatic aerial - retracts and extends with ignition if radio is on, or else there are manual up/down buttons next to the clock on the dash.

I knew the other differences but didn't realise the one about the left/right "swapped" indicator/wipers stalks! How strange - why bother?

I Have a 1996 Prado, and owned a Uk Colorado previously, don’t think the Prado is smaller. I have swap a set of Colorado leather seats into my Prado and every thing fits nicely...

From my own experience and owning both, Differences between Prado vs Colorado:

- Auto retracted antenna- Prado only
- Intercooler - Prado only
- Climate control panel - Prado only
- Front chrome horizontal grill - Prado only (all Colorado has vertically arranged front grill)
- Fender mirror - Prado only
- nice front Prado chrome brush bar normally comes with 2 7” spot light - Prado only
- rear light clusters on the body not in the bumper - Prado
- Rear diff lock - Colorado only (Prado has LSD)
- front headlight washer - Colorado only
- instrument dial light adjustment- Colorado only
- rear heater/blower - Colorado only
- rear fog light - Colorado only (add your own fog for Prado)

All Japanese import indicator stalk is on the right side of the steering wheel, all EU one on the left. So I always swipe the wiper when I want to indicate in my Prado.

TX & TZ are trim levels for options like wood panels, leather etc. I suspected these might be similar to the GX & VX as in TX and GX are the lower trim option.
 

Aeroelastic

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My UK 1997 Collie (see sig for details) does have the automatic aerial - retracts and extends with ignition if radio is on, or else there are manual up/down buttons next to the clock on the dash.

I knew the other differences but didn't realise the one about the left/right "swapped" indicator/wipers stalks! How strange - why bother?

Thanks, didn’t know that UK collies has the Auto antenna as my previous GX hasn’t got one, probably is a VX option?
The left/right indicator one is a nuisance, even the headlight controls are in the opposite side.

Those side mouldings and body panels make the car look more chunkier, but god the plastic clip holes on the car body are source of rust. I have just removed my 2 front panels plastic and both of the wings have rust starting from those body clip holes and spreaded around. Did some sanding and rust proof with paint spray to prolong the life of the front wings. Instead of removing many panel screws and clips to check the wing condition, One quick way you can check this is to remove your front sidelight/blinker housing (just one screw on the top then the whole unit pull straight out), then shine a torch into the wing to check those clip areas. Worth having a look if you haven’t check yours before. It’s a well hidden area of rust source. Although this will be looking from the inner side of the wing it will give you a good idea of the conditions on the outer face. Last thing you need is for the MOT tester to pick this up...

The door ones seem to be ok though... just did some sound proof using those self stick material on all 4 door panels and it makes a difference during highway speed.
 

Iwan

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I remember chris green 90 bought a prado 95 and it had the rear air conditioning where it hooped around the roof over the back seats, very similar to some of the aussie 60 series have. That 95 seemed to be loaded with extras.
 

Aeroelastic

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I guess this is telling me that lots of these are options when ordering a brand new Prados 20 odd years ago, I was literally comparing my previous GX and the TZ Prado I have now on the difference I quoted above.

Those proper roof rear AC thing looks cool and professional... but most of the AC of the Collies I look at when hunting for one they don’t work. Leaking refrigerant, compressor bearing etc.
 

Aeroelastic

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And of course how can I forget those humongous wind deflectors of a Prado on the 4 windows. These feel quite over the top initially but when I started using the car it make sense. You can leave the windows down by a fair bit without getting wet on a rainy day while travelling...
 
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