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Engine: 1HZ 4.2-Liter Inline 6-Cylinder Diesel Engine
Transmission: A440f Automatic Transmission
Exterior color: Mustard Yellow Exterior (532)
Interior: Blue Cloth Interior
Front & Rear E-Lockers
Zeal Lift kit
BFG Mud Terrain 33x10.5
PTO gearbox, but no shaft or spool
Full Floating Rear Axle
4 Wheel Disk Brakes
Recaro Driver / Suspension Seats
Back up Camera
The 70 series Toyota Land Cruiser was the most “Land Cruiser” of all the Land Cruisers. It earned a reputation around the globe for rock-solid reliably, unstoppable off-road capabilities, and comfortable amenities for its occupants—except for in the United States, where it was never available. The 1HZ-powered HZJ77 variant was produced and sold only in Japan, the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM), depriving the rest of the world from what is arguably the best Land Cruiser ever built. In long-wheel base J77 form, it came equipped with one of Toyota’s best engines, the 1HZ 4.2L six-cylinder diesel engine. The 1HZ offers low-end torque, reliability, longevity, and the ability to add a turbo charger. It’s so good that it is still in production today. The 1HZ was paired with the A440f automatic 4-speed torque converter lock-up transmission. It’s mechanically actuated and hydraulically controlled with mechanical throttle control input for kick-down function. The power goes to all four wheels when engaged through electrically activated front hubs and an full floating rear axle. The benefit of a full floating rear axle is easy repair if it breaks out in the field—which it won’t because this is a 70 series Land Cruiser!
If you are like me, you have been waiting patiently for the last 25 years to be able to finally get an HZJ77 Land Cruiser. Now you can! This is made possible through the 25-year exemption that allows JDM cars to be legally imported and registered in the US. This is not an easy task, but JDM import vehicles are one of our specialties at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. After we complete the import process, the truck has a clean Colorado title and a Colorado assigned VIN number. This makes is legal to register in any US state, excluding California due to CARB requirements, and Hawaii. We imported “Big Bird” earlier this year and have thoroughly enjoyed it in the time we’ve had it. A Mustard Yellow HZJ77 body sitting tall on a Zeal Lift kit above tall and narrow BF Goodrich Mud Terrain Tires is a striking picture. Inside a Recaro driver’s seat and functioning back-up camera accent the already fantastic stock amenities. On the road, it turns heads everywhere it goes, bringing Land Cruiser fanatics out of the woodwork. The odometer shows only 134,625 kilometers, or 83,652 miles, a low mileage common for JDM cars. We, however, suspect that this mileage could be inaccurate. In researching the car, we found that the timing belt sticker shows 100,753 kilometers in 2006. It is entirely possible and would be common place that it only covered 34,000 kilometers in the last ten years and there is no evidence the odometer has been tampered with, but we are very critical of our cars and this raised enough of a kernel of doubt that it warrants mentioning. The Japanese automotive industry is very meticulous—much more so than the U.S. industry, but the JDM tax system is dictated on the number of kilometers driven per year, which can result in small odometer discrepancies. It is a turn-key HZJ77, ready to be driven for the indefinite future—because it is a HZJ77 Land Cruiser!
We are extremely critical of our cars and strive to accurately describe them, good and bad. Mustard Yellow was originally an FJ40 color; on the HZJ77 it is striking. The original color was a two tone silver and blue, but the Mustard Yellow was a high-quality paint job that looks factory spec. The majority of the glass was removed and the interior doors and door jambs were painted. The paint is in good condition, except for a few minor flaws. We used a body filler detector to search over the vehicle for any areas that may be hiding large dents or rust. The only filler detected was where the original wheel fender flares were attached. They have since been removed and the mounting holes were welded shut. There is 1/16” or less of filler over the holes to smooth out the welds. Overall this is a mostly rust-free Land Cruiser, having a fraction of the rust that even very clean US-spec Land Cruisers do. There are a few areas of minor rust worth mentioning, nearly all are out of sight making for easy repairs if desired. They are: the driver’s side lower rocker area where the factory drain hole is (pics are on our website if you are reading this elsewhere), a small area in the lower rear wheel arch where the plastic bumper fairing bolts to the wheel arch, and the seam between the rear seal and the bed panel. A one-inch diamter area on the rooftop adjacent to the sunroof has minor rust where the paint was chipped off. No panel work is needed, a wire wheel could remove all of the rust. Other paint blemishes on the vehicle are minor, except for a small section on the rear roof where paint has begun to peel. A quick spot sand and repaint would correct it. The frame is mostly clean with no corrosion, except for a few surface spots. The suspension parts and axles have some minor surface rust as well. The suspension is a Zeal lift that rides nicely. The vehicle at some point had a PTO winch installed, but when the front porch stock bumper was replaced with what looks like a Prado bumper, the spool and shaft were removed. However the PTO gearbox and shifter are still installed. The wheels are Toyota 16 inch wheels powder coated in white, but the spare wheel remains in stock color. They are wrapped in five 33 x 10.5 inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tires with approximately 80 percent of the tread remaining, the spare hasn’t seen pavement.
The interior is above average with very little wear. There is a faint smell reminiscent to other JDM cars we’ve had, but I wouldn’t call it an odor. I have an extremely keen sense of smell and I would not describe it as offensive. It is certainly not the chain-smoking sushi chief odor that low grade auction examples have (we don’t touch those). The carpet is in exceptional condition and covered by some aftermarket floor mats. The driver’s seat was replaced with a Recaro bucket seat with lumbar support. It is still mounted on the factory suspension seat frame, making for a far more comfortable ride than stock. The rear seats fold forward with ease, opening up copious cargo volume in the back. The dash is crack free and in excellent shape. The ZX model was equipped with power windows, doors locks and air conditioning. The A/C blows ice cold and the heat is hot. The back-up camera turns on when in reverse and three 12 volt power points are mounted on the passenger side dashboard. The only interior defect worth noting is on the driver’s side master window control panel. The switch that controls the passenger side window won’t roll the window up. However the switch on the passenger side door works perfectly, so only a switch replacement would be necessary.
The 1HZ engine accelerates smoothly and doesn’t blow any white smoke, except for on startup after its been sitting for extended periods. This is usually caused by the crankcase being vented back into the intake and is solved with an oil collection can. The Provent 200 catch can is a common modification on these engines to eliminate oil buildup in the intake. The drive belts appear to be in good to fair condition, but I have no records for when they were last replaced. The timing belt has been changed and noted in the picture of the sticker, but that was back in 2006. The A440f transmission shifts smoothly and drives nicely allowing a free hand for your morning coffee. The four wheel drive system engages on command and functions correctly. The suspension is stiff, but compliant allowing for a comfortable ride. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. The exhaust has not leaks or holes. Overall it is mechanically sound, ready for your on and off-road adventures.
Right Hand Drive: Driving a right hand drive vehicle is as easy a left hand drive—don’t be intimidated by it. The HZJ77 is one of the easiest right hand drive vehicles to drive thanks to excellent visibility. I teach performance driving and would be happy to give any necessary instruction required to develop confidence driving from the right seat.
25-Year Rule Import: Owning a 25-year rule imported vehicle is legal according to Federal regulations, as long as it passes emissions. The only states that have extra requirements are California and Hawaii. California requires 1975 and later vehicles to be CARB legal, which the HZJ77 is not. You would need to have it independently tested ($1500 per test at most labs) and CARB compliant in order to get it CARB certified. Hawaii is even stricter, making it cost-prohibitive to certify a 25-year rule car there.
Parts Supply and Maintenance: HZJ77 Land Cruisers are very simple vehicles. They were designed to be ultra reliable and repaired easily—in the field if necessary. Parts can be sourced via a multitude of Land Cruiser sources and many were available on US-spec Land Cruiser models. JDM only parts can have some lead time, usually less than one to two weeks, but plan accordingly.