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Black 200 bought

Ratmos

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Another 200 came up on Autotrader that looked good so we went to see it straight away and decided to buy there and then because of its great condition. Apart from age related scratches it was very unmolested apart from different coloured wheels which we think are Prado items. Everything thing worked as it should and a check with Toyota revealed that in 10 years there was a problems only with the air con and radio. The only MOT advisory was for a rusty chassis. After a good look underneath there was little caked on mud and a previous undersealing job that is failing. A towbar as been recently added which apparently cost £1500. All these things added together leads us to believe that in 73000 miles it was used mainly as a Chelsea tractor. The main thing we have added is an Ultragauge which takes readings from the OBD port below the steering column. We monitor what the gearbox is doing especially when towing our 2 tonne caravan. On a recent holiday we were getting about 16 MPG which we hope to improve with a torque convertor lock up controller. There are 2 lock up controllers that are most popular and we favour the Stocklock which has to be bought from Australia. An added switch on the dash gives manual control if needed that is especially useful descending hills giving better engine braking. The lock controllers address the main complaint that lock up doesn't happen for long enough in 6th gear. Any sniff of a hill above 70 MPH and the torque converter unlocks when the engine torque is very much capable of coping. Most of what we learn is from the 200 Facebook group that is great for advice. They are mainly Australians that modify their 200s for off road use and towing of heavy off road caravans. All interior lights are now LED which gives a better white light and gets away from lamps that get too hot to touch. Originally we were thinking that we would have to make changes to the suspension to improve handling on road and for towing but the level and suspension controls sort all of that out. For a 3 tonne 4x4 vehicle it handles very well compared to the Range Rovers and Land Rovers I have driven in the past. Handling when towing is much better with the boot loaded and we will move a bit more weight to the front of the caravan so it's above the present 75kg and allowed with the higher tow bar weight. We have many plans like LED exterior lights upgrade, extending towing mirrors, catch can, modern head unit, extended fuel tank, undersealing and TPMS but it all can wait until we win the lottery. So it is confirmed the Toyota 200 series Land Cruiser does exactly what we wanted and tows the caravan with ease and sits at 60 MPH all day on any hill towing. Certainly it's a big improvement on the Hyundai Santa Fe which struggled at times especially on steeper European roads. One unexpected thing was that the local Toyota won't service it unless they sold it so we have a longer drive to a better dealer that has better access. This was after the local dealer had said they were happy to deal with a vehicle imported from New Zealand. One striking thing was when we were on holiday was the increased number of twin axle caravans being towed by vehicles which probably are not 15% heavier that the caravans they tow especially if the caravans are up plated to carry more. I think there are going to be changes in the UK where more weighing is done to test whether vehicles are legal. We have a public weigh station close by so we can keep an on the train weight. With extra passengers and gear in the boot, I wouldn't be surprised if we had another 150 kg in the car but there is only manufacturer's recommendations for this and not tested unless the police pull you over to get weighed. We have a few questions: 1. Do any British 200s have the extended fuel tank that we believe are fitted standard to Australian models?
2. Was KDSS an option in the UK?
3. Are there any manual diesel UK cars?
4. Do towbars bolt to the cross members only and not to the chassis legs as well?
 

Raj

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Hi Ratmos,
I got one 200 2014 recently, I too looked at KDSS. I think it comes with all models in UK. We get full spec model here. Only options missing in my car are rear tint, automatic boot close n rear entertainment
 

Ratmos

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There has been only one 200 series that I looked at in the UK (mine does not) that had KDSS making me believe it was only an option. Unless the car is going to be used off road a lot then it's not much use, but it may improve on road performance if it effectively increases the roll resistance of both axles. KDSS can have its problems however, namely a lean to one side. Look at Project 200 for a solution to the problem if you have it. The AHC (auto height control) appears standard in the UK. When I mention it on the Facebook page the Australians know nothing about it. Be aware, I had to have both rear shocks changed. They are specific to an AHC vehicle and only genuine Toyota parts are available. It turned out to be an expensive visit to the dealer. I am happy with the spec I have that doesn't have any options. Work coming up is a full flush and change of the transmission fluid along with its filter. Also we will get a Stocklock, lock up kit for the transmission to improve its performance especially when towing.
 

Raj

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Thats something to investigate. I thought all LC200 have kdss. I will check car tomorrow and update. When I sent mine to service at toyota, I asked them to change all the oils, transmission, break, differential, etc etc, then fuel filter as well but given short time they didnt change all those oils. After service from toyota I drove about 100 miles and I felt its not powerful enough (I expected it to react to feather touch acceleration but I have to do hard press for it to move) so I took to a independent 4x4 specialist. He tested and told its fine no performance issues. May be I have to get used to diesel engine with such heavy body. I am planning to send it after few months for another full check and get all the oils changed. If I interpreted correctly in owners manual (page 24 of service manual), auto transmission fluid should be changed at 40K or 4 years. My car did 50K miles now.
 

GeekOKent

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4 years and 40k seem like low numbers to be honest. Any chance you could take a picture of the page where it says this and upload it here?
 

Rob Cowell

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It's inspect at 40k km, or 48 months. Quite what inspection you're supposed to do I'm not sure. Pour a bit out and check the colour?

Diff oil is replace at 40k km.
 
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Raj

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Attached pages from service manual showing autotransmission fluid change interval. Also attached 2012 LC200 Europe brochure. Looks like what we have in UK is the luxury model from that brochure and on page 33 it says KDSS is not available on luxury model. Not sure why and may be luxury model 200 is only for onroad driving.
 

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Ratmos

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Be aware that transmission fluid is left in the pan and the transmission cooler pipes when it is drained at the sump. Follow Project 200 for the right way to change the transmission fluid. My 200 series weighs 3.1 tonnes and goes 0-60 mph in 8 seconds. That's fast enough for me and it won't be that much slower towing my 2 tonne caravan. There are techniques to spool up the turbochargers before launching form a standing start so they are making boost early on. The ECT switch makes a difference to performance but we are not sure if that changes engine programming or just transmission shift points. The Australians take these cars thousands of miles off road with no problems. They know these cars backwards so join the Facebook page. You will learn a lot. There are many specialists in Australia that programme the ECU specific to your needs. There are 4x4 experts here but I don't think they would know the 200 series well enough. For a start they have to have a 4 wheel rolling road. I have looked into this and it would mean buying a spare ECU to get it reprogrammed to minimise the time the car is off the road. When it comes to transmission oils, I am changing completely to synthetic. Yesterday we used the Clearview towing mirrors properly for the first time. They are seriously good. Highly recommend them.
 

Raj

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Hu transmission fluid change, I wont be doing it myself. Near reading 'frogs island 4x4' are experts in these vehicles. They used to do lot of modifications on land cruisers. When I visited them this week, they have a old land cruiser with all the kit, heavy tyres, bumpers, roof top fittings etc etc and a beautiful united nations type amazon. We have very good experts here on the forum itself. I agree Australia is LC 200 heaven. in my few days here I learned a lot from here. I am getting used to driving land cruiser now, drove about 200 miles in total so far. I only felt the difference as I regularly drive my wife's Lexus RX on long journeys n all shopping trips with family. That car is feather touch acceleration. Land cruiser is a bit manly drive :) have to use leg instead of just toe fingers.
Looks like most of LC owners here do some maintenance themselves. I ll now start learning that as well.
 
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