1995 Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Overland Build – Triple Locked Adventure Pre-Runner

  • Model: Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80
  • Wheels: 37"
  • Category: Overland / Off-Road Build
  • Capability Score: 70/70
  • Build Level: Pro
  • Mods Budget: $$$$$
  • Owner: Adam Tolman

There are a few good reasons why Toyota has managed to sell millions of Land Cruisers worldwide over the years since this nameplate has been introduced to the market. It is reliable, quality-built, comfortable, and capable of tackling the most challenging terrain even in its factory form.

Our featured vehicle is an excellent example of a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80 overland build thoughtfully constructed by Adam Tolman. Nearly every part of the vehicle has been carefully revised and upgraded, resulting in an ideal adventure rig with a long travel prerunner suspension well-suited for embarking on multi-day expeditions into the wilderness.

What’s Triple Locked?

The FJ80 is significant, because it’s the last triple locked Land Cruiser, which means that it came standard with three locking differentials: Rear, Center and Front as standard equipment. It remained in production from 1990 to 1997. The model is regarded by many as one of the most powerful and capable Land Cruisers of all time. The company was constantly working on adding new features and improving off-road capabilities resulting in the near-perfect 1995 version.

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Toyota Land Cruiser 80 prerunner desert racing

1995 Land Cruiser 80 Build – Parts List

Engine specs, modifications

  • It’s powered by 4.5L 1FZ-FE with 293k miles on the original motor. No modifications to any engine internals. The Head gasket has been replaced and the fan clutch has been upgraded. Otherwise, it’s 100% stock.

Lift height and suspension modifications

  • Slinky Long Travel Stage5 HD Suspension
  • 75mm HD dual-rate Slinky coil springs.
  • Slinky/Icon 2.5 Remote reservoir, dual bypass adjustable shocks. 12” travel in the front, 14” travel in the rear.
  • OEM front radius arms with Slee off-road caster plates.
  • Adjustable front panhard.
  • Slinky front sway bar spacers and custom front sway bar disconnects.
  • Blackhawk HD lower rear suspension links.
  • Blackhawk HD adjustable upper rear suspension links.
  • Custom raised rear panhard bracket.
  • LCP Severe Duty swaybar links.
  • Blackhawk 30mm rear swaybar.
  • Timbren AO Bumpstops.
  • Extended brake lines.

Wheel specs

  • Icon 17×8.5” Rebounds, 0 offset
  • 37×13.50” Toyo Open Country MTs
  • Spidertrax 1.5” wheel spacers

Exterior mods

  • Homemade front and rear bumpers, rear dual swingouts.
  • Modified Trail-Gear Sliders.
  • Snorkel with OEM precleaner.
  • Prinsu roof rack
  • ComeUp Winch- Seal Gen2 9.5rs
  • Custom hood scoop and hood vents
  • 40” LED light bar (rack mounted)
  • 2x 9” LED/Laser off-road lights (bumper mounted).
  • OEM Replica roof spoiler/wind deflector.
  • Custom front grill.
  • LED headlights.

Interior mods

  • VW Jetta heated leather bucket seat swap.
  • LSeat leather replacement on rear seats.
  • Delta Vehicle Systems center console and shifter console.
  • Pioneer touch screen head unit with Apple CarPlay.
  • 6x 7” Rockford Fozgate speakers.
  • Goose-Gear rear drawers.
  • Custom rear “attic” rack.
  • Clearview Easy Slide- Slide and Drop fridge Slide.
  • Snomaster Dual Zone Fridge.
  • LED interior lighting.
  • 9” Overhead video screen for rear passengers.
  • Kenwood HAM radio.
  • Uniden CB radio.
  • Custom tailgate storage.

All other mods

  • Hudd-Expo low profile crossmember and skid plate.
  • Front Axle moved forward 1.25”.
  • Nitro 4.88 gears.
  • OEM Toyota electric locking differentials f/r.
  • Nitro chromoly front axles/birfs.
  • EBC slotted/dimpled brake rotors.
  • Hawk Performance brake pads.
  • Extended Diff Breathers.
  • Steering gearbox upgraded to Land Cruiser 105 series sector shaft.
  • Portable CO2 tank onboard air.
Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Rock Crawling with long travel suspension

Wheels


Roof rack


Roof Top Tent


Awning


Lights

To ensure proper fit and compatibility, we recommend you verify any selected parts or accessories with a qualified professional or seller prior to ordering.

⚙️ Technical Details

Model: Toyota Land Cruiser 80 (Lexus LX450)


Production years: 1990-1997


Approximate prices on the market (Used): $10,000-$40,000


Engine: 4.5L 1FZ-FE


Drivetrain: Four-Wheel-Drive


Construction: Body On Frame


Traction Enhancement Devices: Rear, Center, Front Locking Differentials


Low Range: Yes


Stock wheel size: 275/65R17 – 31″


Offroad Wheel Size: Up to 37″


Build Level: Pro


Budget: $$$$$


Off-road Capability Score: 70/70

How did we get this score?

Toyota Land Cruiser 80 overland build - Tepui roof top tent

Interview with The Owner

We met Adam Tolman from Syracuse, Utah, the owner of the 1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80, arguably the most expertly built overlanding/pre-running/rock-climbing rig we have ever seen. He bought this vehicle in December 2014 and has been improving it ever since using his experience in off-road racing and participation in the Baja 1000.

“Slinky long-travel springs and Icon shocks makes high-speed off-roading smooth and fun”

The rig was essentially built for multi-day camping trips for Adam’s big family. He built the camping trailer and many other accessories from scratch. His suspension setup based on Slinky long-travel springs and Icon shocks makes high-speed off-roading smooth and fun while also allowing him to successfully climb rocks when he feels like it. Read one of the most detailed and informative interviews we have ever taken with a guy who clearly knows what he is doing.

How did you become interested in off-roading?

Grew up driving off-road to go hunting with my dad. In high school a couple friends had FJ40 Land Cruisers and we played what we called “Cruiser games” in them. Cruiser games was basically chasing each other around town in the cruisers and playing tag by tapping the other vehicle with the bumper. Sometimes the taps were pretty hard. Good thing the cruisers were tough! That got me into cruisers and I’ve been hooked for 30+ years now.

Why did you choose this particular model for your project?

I started out with an FJ40 and have had a few Toyota pickups and a Tacoma but off-roading has always been a family thing and I needed something larger as our family grew and the 80 series Land Cruiser was perfect because it fit our family of 6 and was capable enough to handle any type of off-roading we wanted to do.

What inspired you to choose this modification style?

This 80 is built more as an “over landing” type setup. It’s built this way because most of the time we do multi-day trips with a different campsite location each night. I took a lot of ideas from many Australian touring setups and also just from years of figuring out what worked for us and the things we needed.

Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80 Slinky Long Travel Stage5 HD Suspension

What challenges did you face while putting it together?

Cost is always the biggest challenge. It can get expensive to build custom vehicles and Land Cruisers can be one of the more expensive in terms of parts etc.

Other challenges have been getting a suspension setup that is properly set up for a heavy truck but is also flexy for rock crawling and capable of high speeds offroad. I really wanted a rig that was an overlanding prerunner. The 80 series isn’t really thought of as a prerunner type vehicle but I think I’ve built one as close to it as you can while keeping it road legal.

What do you love about your vehicle?

I love the 80 series because it’s incredibly capable with front, rear and center diff locks. It’s very comfortable and has plenty of room. It’s a really versatile platform that can get built out to tackle any type of off-roading.

See Also
Lifted Toyota Hilux overland truck On 35” Off-Road Wheels from Japan

Is it your daily or a weekend ride?

My 80 is a daily driver and I love it.

Do you take it off-road? If so, where and how often?

I take it Offroad as often as possible. Usually, I manage about 1 multi-day trip a month with a few day trips mixed in.

Toyota Land Cruiser 80 low profile prerunner bumper with a hoop
Lifted Toyota Land Cruiser 80 on 37×13.50” Toyo Open Country MT Tires
Overland travel trailer
Nitro chromoly front axles/birfs
Icon Rebound 17×8.5” off-road rims with 0 offset

What are your future plans for this FJ80?

Future plans for the 80 are pretty minor since I’ve got it to a point where I’m really happy with it. But I will probably add some tcase crawler gears. I also have plans to replace the carpet and add some sound deadening and insulation to the interior. Eventually it might get repainted.

Anything else you would like to share about your vehicle or about the off-roading in general?

I’ve spent time over the years doing all kinds of off-roading. I did a lot of rock crawling with my FJ40 and minitrucks. I still enjoy some of the hardcore stuff from time to time but I have really enjoyed exploring new places for the past several years. Exploration is generally less difficult off-road but it’s not uncommon to encounter difficult situations or obstacles when finding new places.
I’ve been lucky to even have some experience with off-road racing. I’ve been participating in off-road racing with a group of friends for almost a decade now. Most of the time I’m just part of the support group but I’ve had some time as a co-driver during the Baja 1000. That is a pretty awesome experience and everyone should try to experience it at least once!

How we test?

Offroadium Verdict & Score Explained

We have created our own rating and classification system to differentiate and evaluate the off-road capabilities of vehicles showcased on Offroadium. Based on it, we can conclude the following:

Off-road Capability Score: 70/70

With heavy duty upgrades across drivetrain, suspension, armor, and accessories, this FJ80 build achieves the maximum 70 out of 70 points on our off-road capability scale. Oversized 37” tires on 17” wheels earns the full 30 points allotted for this critical attribute. The rugged body-on-frame construction nets 5 points. Having rear, center, and front diff locks banks the full 20 points available in this category. Low range capability adds 10 more points. Lastly, custom steel bumpers and other protection provide the 5 point bonus for armor. Simply put, this Land Cruiser features peak hardware for conquering any terrain.

Complexity Level: Pro

The extent of customization exemplified on this FJ80 is indicative of a professional grade build. Adam invested immense time and effort revising nearly every system to optimize overland expedition capabilities. The custom long travel suspension, heavy duty links, remote reservoir shocks, and other solutions represent custom pro-level problem solving rather than bolting on off-the-shelf components. Attention to details like brake line extensions and sway bar modifications further demonstrate the meticulous approach of an experienced builder.

Mod Budget Level: $$$$

Constructing overland expedition vehicles requires substantial investment to incorporate solutions capable of enduring frequent and extended off-pavement punishment. While declined to share exact totals, Adam acknowledges that costs can quickly escalate. Based on the sheer quantity of quality upgrades, custom steel fabrication, and top-tier branded hardware, we classify this as a $$$$ build likely representing tens of thousands in modifications alone. But for hardcore overlanding, the value returned from these purpose-built enhancements makes the vehicle priceless.

Toyota Land Cruiser 80 with a snorkel and LED lightbar
Toyota Land Cruiser 80 on 37s extreme rock crawling

Author’s Opinion

As a professional mechanic who has worked on many Land Cruisers over the years, I can confidently say that the 80 Series is one of the best off-road platforms Toyota has ever produced. However, to keep one of these rugged beasts running strong takes diligent maintenance, especially on higher mileage examples.

In my experience, common issues to look out for on older Land Cruiser 80s include:

  • Wheel bearings and head gaskets tend to fail more often
  • Wiring harness and PHH unit problems are not uncommon
  • Various interior bits like bulbs, seats, and steering wheel show age

But the key things I check for first are rust, maintenance history, and overall frame condition. If those check out, these trucks can easily rack up 300K+ miles. Mileage means far less than proper care on a Land Cruiser.

Before modifying or pushing your 80 Series hard off-road, address any maintenance items first. I recommend less experienced owners refer to the maintenance manual if DIYing repairs.

Overall though, I think the 80 Series is one of Toyota’s most capable and reliable 4×4 platforms. With proper prep and care, it will provide years of trouble-free adventures on any terrain.

Pros

  • Legendary reliability and durability for going anywhere off-road
  • The last Land Cruiser with 3 standard locking differentials

Cons

  • Poor fuel economy, especially when loaded down for expedition use
  • Can be expensive to purchase and maintain

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