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What's your model ? (longish)



It is nice to that we still attract new members to the forum and still some
of us old hands pitch-in with help. So perhaps it is time that we have a
reminder about identifying your TLC. This is not just this fat grey balding
old fart being a pedant, but as we all get to know our Toys we come to value
intimate knowledge of its technical ID, not the fact that it is a Prado,
Amazon, Colorado, LandCruiser, GX, VX, SX, F1, V1 or F16.
We learn in time that we have to forget whatever is stuck to the bonnet,
tailgate, dash panel, or even writ large on a decal down the side of the
thing. Toyota are very clever people and know how to market their excellent
product, and a name or model variant ID on the panelwork is just that -
marketing. It does not identify your Toy when you need parts or technical
I have seen 'Colorado' written on late model 90 series and then again
written on a lightweight (4 cylinder) SWB 70 series of late 1980 vintage.
Yet both 70 and 90 series remain in production in various world locations,
so which Colorado is it?
Amazon appeared on late 80 series and then became the name of the 100
series. (I have also seen a 105 with 'Amazon' on it. That could be
interesting if ordering steering parts - the 105 is a 100 with a solid beam
axle from the 80 on it and not the more usual IFS). The Colorado/Prado
became the 'LandCruiser' in some UK and European markets. Yet the 80 was
first known as a 'Landcruiser'. (Go to markets outside Europe and those
model/series combinations can alter again). I am sure that other old hands
here will trip me up with other combinations but it's the principle that is
important - you need to know the series number of your Toy.
This gets even more confusing when it comes to buying parts. The average Toy
dealer is probably the most unhelpful in this topic. This is due to the fact
that certainly in UK and also in some European markets, most of the Toys we
see are grey imports. So the dealer knows what few 4WD models he has sold,
and to some degree what grey imports there are around. But Toy make such a
superior robust product that most dealers only sell pads filters and lamps.
They rarely service cars they have sold beyond routine changes of these
parts. They will never have overhauled front swivel bearings or dealt with
sticky difflocks. This is mostly due to Toy products being priced near the
top of the market and owners of such vehicles trade them in before they
start to wear and need overhaul or major repair. (A good example of this is
the problems some of our friends in Ireland, Denmark and Norway have with
their dealers.)
So members of excellent forums such as this are second or third owners of
vehicles often 10+ years old, a time when the need for serious overhaul
becomes apparent. When we do this we tend to go to third party spares
suppliers - Milner, Jap4X4 etc. - who are general dealers and whom we cannot
expect to know about our own Toys. Though these people are generally more
knowledgeable than a lot of dealers, and often have a better idea of the Toy
parts catalogue than regular Toy partsmen.
It is not unknown to have to convince a Toy partsman that his computer
system has all the details of most models made around the world, if only he
will depart from the default menu and look at the boot-up menu. It was an
almost biblical revelation to the man in the Aylesbury Toy dealer when I
showed him my LHD NATO spec 80 on his system with rear doors he never dreamt
existed !
So, how do you know what your Toy is ? (now that you have been persuaded
never to call it by its tailgate badge name again). Look for an aluminium
plate on the bulkhead or firewall under the windscreen when the bonnet is
lifted. (Or look in the handbook for directions to its location if
different). Then you will see its true technical DNA, e.g.
The first group tells you the type of engine (HZ) then location of
manufacture (J for Japan), '80' is the design series, 'L' is for LHD.
The second group shows trim and door style, etc. (There are some
publications on the net that give a full breakdown of all specs).
So although this is a 'LandCruiser GX/SX etc' - to us all it is an '80'
Next is -
FRAME NUMBER - HZJ80-0012761 or prefixed by the more familiar
'VIN' instead of Frame number.
The VINs usually have the normal 11-13 digits/numerals. Many imports don't
have a VIN but the frame number. Again you will recognise the engine type
and series designation. This number is repeated on the bodywork in the usual
manner and for those 6 cylinder models with a frame chassis it is stamped on
the chassis member visible behind the wheel in the front right wheel arch.
Some Toy partsmen will swear blind that it must have a VIN when you tell
them the shorter frame number, and he will try and make a fool of you by
insisting on looking at the spec plate, you will have the last laugh, but
then you will be able to walk him through his parts software and show him
how it ID your Toy.
On the spec plate are a list of other self explanatory numbers etc which are
easy to understand.
All this becomes of greater importance when travelling overseas; when very
clear ID of the vehicle for parts is critical, especially if you are talking
to someone in a parts depot somewhere across the continent on a bad phone
line and the parts will take 3 days to get to you. The good news is that in
these out-of-the-way places there are far more Toys than in Europe and more
mechanics per square mile who know how to fix them. Just find the local aid
agency and you will be halfway to fixing your Toy or at least finding a man
who can.
Sorry to be a bit tedious but its an important aspect of maintaining your
beloved Toy ;o)
Linslade, Beds
70/80/90/105 driver