1990 Toyota LJ70 Land Cruiser

1990 Toyota LJ70 Land Cruiser


Status: Sold to T. Johnson of Linden, VA
Manufactured: Japan
Imported: Tenerife, Spain
Engine: 2.4L 2LT Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
VIN: JT1V0LJ7009046688

Writeup: Greg Skotzko

Out of the blue, I got a message from Bill that he had something I might like to drive and write about – I was intrigued to say the least. Driving out to Marshall to see this truck and test it out took me through the beautiful countryside along Route 15 at 4 in the morning – however, it was worth it. I was excited the whole way – the chance to test this vehicle out on a trail, assist in getting photos, and write about my experience. We drove from the dealership out to the Commonwealth Classics Off-Road Driving Course. We pulled into the trail head just as the sun was starting to peek out over the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a far cry from the truck’s first home of sunny Tenerife in the Canary Islands but in the end; off-road is off-road, no matter where you are.

Turning off the Toyota’s 2LT turbo diesel, we were met with the peace and quiet of nature. A beautiful setting to take photos of this 1990 LJ70 Land Cruiser, as well as get a sample of the upcoming Commonwealth Driving course and its challenging trails.

We met up with Commonwealth Classics’ off-road driving instructor, Tom O’Neil and his late 80’s FJ62 Land Cruiser at the trail head, nestled in Markham, VA. Tom has been driving vehicles off-road for over 35 years both professionally and recreationally. He has over a decade experience teaching off-road driving to students from the U.S. Government and Military – including SOCOM and Military Trainers alike, using vehicles ranging from classic Land Rover Defenders to up-armored Humvees and more.

Tom took us on a tour of the 200-acre property and instructed us on how best to use this LJ70 Land Cruiser to ford streams, climb embankments, and traverse the muddy terrain. The truck rides on a solid frame with a 2.5” lift and new 33” Cooper Mud Terrain tires. The 2LT Turbo-Diesel has power and torque to spare in low gear and cruises comfortably on the highway. The front and rear ARB differential air lockers make this truck almost unstoppable when climbing up a steep embankment or over fallen trees. 

Driving through the trails, I couldn’t help but appreciate the thought put into the interior of the 70-Series Land Cruiser by Toyota. The factory installed inclinometer and tilt gauges do their job to keep you informed as you roll along.  While crawling over the trails, I could feel the seats supporting and holding me comfortably both on and off-road. In between listening to Tom acting as my trail spotter and admiring the power coming from the diesel, I realized that I thoroughly enjoyed this truck. I could see myself enjoying off-road time on the numerous Virginia trails as well as on back country roads with the windows down, family comfortably in tow.

As the sun kept climbing higher above us, we wrapped up our exploration of the Commonwealth Classics off-road trails and bid Tom a fond farewell for the day. The several hours we spent out there were gone before I knew it and are only a portion of the entire day long course. It was time to clean the mud out of the wheel wells and reminisce on the fun I had exploring what is a portion of the off-roading class. I can’t wait to come back and do it again – there are more classes coming over the summer and Tom is a top-notch instructor who took me under his wing and taught me a few things today.

Driveline: The 2.4 L turbo-charged in-line 4-cylinder 2L-T diesel engine starts easily and pulls the truck with power to spare. The truck cruise around 65-70 mph on flat highway. The 5-speed transmission shifts crisply and meshes well, no trace of the clutch slipping. The truck has a high and low transfer case as well as both 2WD and 4WD. Locking hubs are installed on the front. All 5 33” Cooper Discoverer SST Pro tires were installed in June 2018. Truck has ARB compressor mounted in the engine bay, feeding front and rear ARB differential lockers.

Exterior: The white paint shone brilliantly under the Virginia sun, much like it did in Tenerife. The vehicle was repainted previously and remains in good condition. Truck is rust free. The body panels are all straight and devoid of larger scratches and dents. The frame has been repainted and is straight and solid. Chrome on the front bumper is in great condition with no rust patches. The rear bumper is straight with no dents and already drilled and tapped for a recovery point.

Interior: The interior is finished in a two-tone gray cloth. The truck has bucket seats in the front with seating for two on a bench in the rear. Carpet is clean and free of stains, tears, rips or holes. Gauges and lights are functional. The front seats have minor tears. The doors shut firm and the power windows are functional. The passenger sliding windows are in good condition with no cracks, chips or scratches. Once you put yourself in the driver’s seat and feel that turbo diesel come to life, you’ll suddenly find yourself searching for the out of the way places and taking the path less traveled. Let this Land Cruiser transport you there. 

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