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Old 3rd December 2012, 17:38   #1
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Default 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift

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Background

After many years of owning and having a great time with Spidey (The Gypsy that started it all! ~ Spidey!), I had decided that I would slowly move away from active offroading & get more involved in expedition trails & camping. I had also pretty much done all that I wanted to do with Spidey (except coil over) & hence wanted to move on and selling Spidey was firmly on my mind.
Few weeks of deliberations and Spidey found a new home at one of my best friend's garage. So, I was on a lookout for a 4x4 and I had the following as my criteria for the next 4x4 I would buy:

• No MM-Jeep/Maruti-Gypsy. Had to be a Japanese SWB 4x4 (Prado, Pajero, Nissan)
• Full Hard Top for luggage security & personal comfort during long distance travel & park anywhere
• Few creature comfort like decent ride (on tarmac & bad roads), handling, A/C, PS Music and rattle free
• Preferably a diesel
• Reliability – wanted to use it as my daily ride
• Decent offroad capability to take me till the offroad spot, mud trails, jungle trails, and an occasional offroad etc.
• Ability to modify it in future for lift kit, snorkel, diff locks etc

Chances of hailstorm in a desert are more than finding a good condition Nissan, Pajero, Prado at a reasonable price and with me adamant on having a SWB made matters worse. Many months passed and with help of friends did get leads of few SWB 4x4s but on close inspection they turned out to be duds. In the meantime a friend got a Prado from Chennai and while seeing pictures of that pace I spotted a SWB Prado in the garage there. Developed interest in it friends found out that it had come from Delhi just few days ago but did not look too good in the current condition. Anyway, we let it pass and then few weeks later we heard of a 3L V6 powered Mitsubishi Pajero SWB petrol for sale in Chennai. We tried finding out it but it became a wild goose chase with dead ends. Few weeks later we were in Chennai for a friend’s wedding and we ended up meeting the person from whom my friend had bought the Prado. There we saw the SWB prado again and it looked dull & boring in it’s current state. Let it go again and forgot about it.

Now few weeks later I got to know that the SWB Prado has been sent to KL for full makeover; including a fresh coat of paint, mechanical onceover, clutch change etc. The work was done at very reliable garage and got an update that the Prado is now worth considering – especially since there are no new leads for SWB 4x4 coming now. Friends told me that the engine is in reasonably good shape, body clean, and overall now is a decent vehicle.

Our friend was travelling to KL to pickup his car and it was decided that we all will go to KL and see the SWB Prado. If we like it, we do the deal & drive back. If not then also drive back in the car with our friend. We boarded the train and landed up in KL and the driver was there to pick us up in the SWB Prado. First look at it and it did look nice – lot nicer than what we had seen in Chennai. We sat and drove for 1 hour to our friends place and enjoyed the drive. In our mind, we had made up our mind on buying it. We liked the overall feel of the vehicle. I mean it wasn’t perfect and lots of things needed to be done but for a ~15 year old vehicle it was in good shape now. We took turns driving it and making notes on aspects which needed work and aspects which were good etc.

We called up the dealer in Chennai and confirmed the deal and as I had to travel abroad the next day for office work I came to Bangalore by bus and Jaggu/Rajesh drove the Prado to Bangalore.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 20:53.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 17:41   #2
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Default re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

The Prado is a sub variant of the legendary Land Cruiser and has been sold in various countries under different names; for example, the Colorado in UK, Meru in Venezuela.
The 90 series Prado was the second generation Land Cruiser Prado made between 96 – 02. [The current generation (4th gen)Prado is the 150 series]. The 90 series SWB versions had versions starting with R (RZ, RX, RS, RJ). The LWB were called the 95 series.

Comparasion of the LWB/SWB Prado:

Length : 4675mm/4240mm
Wheel Base : 2675mm/2370mm
Width : 1820 mm
Height : 1880mm

The SWB Prado has a smaller wheelbase (of course, that’s why it is called SWB) but surprisingly, the leg space for the middle row is almost same and the net difference is about ~1.5ft in the third row. However, with the 3rd row of seats in place for the LWB Prado, surprisingly the SWB Prado has more luggage space.

1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-1.jpg

1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-3.jpg

How could I not do a comparision with a gypsy :-) We parked both the gypsy & Prado side by side and noticed that the wheel base of the Prado is almost same as that of a Gypsy(2375) but the overall length of the Prado is more than the Gypsy by ~20 cm

This model of Prado has front disc brakes (share the same discs & pads as that of the Fortuner) and the rear are drum brakes. The ABS was standard in all versions of the Prado and this model also has the same. I have found the braking to be OK in city & highways. Surely feel that discs all around would have been great, but as this is the basest model of the SWB Prado, so only the front gets discs.

The wheels are one upsize and are 275/70/16 while the Prado came with options up to 265/70/16. They have some 20,000 odd km life still left in them.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_wheels.jpg

The fuel tank, has a protection cover, stores some 90 litres of diesel giving a range of ~900 km on a highway run
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_fuel_tank.jpg

The current model is as basic as it gets, has no center diff and has manual free-wheeling hubs, of ASIN make. No all-time 4WD on this model that I have.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_hubs.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 19:59.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 18:35   #3
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

The Prado has front as Independent suspension with double wishbones, coil springs & stabilizer bar
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_ifs.jpg

The rear suspension is live axle located by five links with coil springs
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_rear_link.jpg

The front shocks were shot and the vehicle was going all over when we had got it so the first thing on the agenda was to change shocks. Got an OE replacement shock form after market and got these replaced. What a change it gave to the drive with the Prado no longer behaving like a drunk elephant.

I got these KYB Gas Shocks. Costed me ~10k for a pair of these + all the required OE bushes
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_shocks.jpg

The old shocks. I retained the coils as they are good and no need to change them as yet. I have plans to goin for a 2" lift kit in the future and will change all these then.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_shocks_2.jpg

While the shocks were changed, I could see the components of the IFS and was really surprised by the quality of these parts & they looked solid for another dozens of years.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_shocks1.jpg



The under body of the prado. A nice coat of underbody treatment is evident and one can again see the fuel tank guard
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_underbody.jpg

Here you can see the huge gearbox/t-case of the Prado
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_underbody_2.jpg

The front gets a light steel plate as under body protection
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_front_cover.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 4th December 2012 at 16:08.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 18:49   #4
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Most of the 90/95 series Prado’s in India have the 3L-Turbo Diesel or the 2.8L NA diesel. The one that I have is a 3L (2800cc) engine which makes some 88 BHP & 180 Nm of torque. The engine sounds 100% like a quails engine – after all it is the same block shared by this 3L engine (2800 cc) and the Quails 2.4L.

The gearing in the SWB is really short and ideally suited for the city traffic. One can be in 3rd gear all day long in Bangalore traffic. On the highways you do feel the need for taller gears and cruising at 70-80 kmph in 5th is what this Prado is most comfortable at in all respects. At 100 kmph in 5th gear the tacho shows 3K RPM, courtesy the short gearing.

This is my daily drive now and have driven extensively over the last few months in the city. As this is my first diesel vehicle, still taking getting used to the ‘not so rev happiness’ of petrol. Also the diesel clatter is something that I am learning to live by. Though must say that Toyota has done an amazing job with the sound insulation but still you can easily hear the diesel clatter.

I got the following done @ Nandi Toyota Bomanahalli Service Center:

• Engine oil for the 2nd time (with flush). I had changed it after few days of driving it in Bangalore. and this was the 2nd time in < 500 kms that I was getting the oil changed.
• Front Brake Pads had lost the bite and were replaced. The Fortuner Brake pads are a direct fit (INR 5000/-)
• I was also not sure of when the timing belt was changed and which one. So, the Timing Belt, other related belts were changed (INR ~5,000/-)
• Apart from the above, few electrical parts like indicators, front parking lists, rear top brake light etc. needed wiring checks.

Must say that am pretty impressed with the quality & professionalism of Toyota service. Best part is that they are just 2 KM away from my home.

Oil being changed
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_oil_change.jpg

And filter also
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_filter.jpg

What remains to be done:
• Some silencer bushes are weak and need replacement. Ordered for OE ones.
• The engine smokes under heavy acceleration. Black smoke. Will get injectors cleaned/checked. If required, will get new.
• Not sure if the pump needs re-calibration. SA mentioned some 22-25K as cost. Not sure if it is worth it.
• Cosmetic Stuff:

o Sound deadening/damping. Have bought the dampmat and will get it installed on the front 2 doors, rear door and the side panels
o The floor carpet is not OE and is not fitted to perfection. Would want to get the seats removed and carpet done again professionally to OE standards
Also got headlights polished at 3M. Made a small difference to the quality of illumination. New bulbs are on the agenda
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_light_polish.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 20:20.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 19:07   #5
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

The Prado doors open wide and getting into it is just opening the door and walking in. On this model there are just basic door pads and no OE power windows or bottle holders/etc on the doors. One may use the side steps to get in but I rarely use them (will go away once I start modifying it for off-road).

The seats are basic and just about do the job. Can do with more padding & cushioning but then one needs to remember that these are ~15 years old.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_door_open.jpg

As you get in, you see this VERY spartan interior. Just the basics and nothing else. The seating position is nice and one gets a commanding view of the road and the double split mirror at the LHS edge of the bonnet makes your 100% sure of where the tyres, edges are.
The switches are old school style on this model (the upper end models had climate control, electric push button A/C controls etc). However, the quality of the switches is top class and they do feel built to last. There is a nice looking clock there and a 2DIN stereo. A double layered storage area + arm rest in the middle of the two seats completes the interiors in the front.

The center dash was bit roughed up, so I got the 3M carbon fiber vinyl done. One of the screws of the center facia is broken and that is something I need to address.

1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_interior.jpg

The 4WD lever. No provision to lock center diff etc or rear diff locks etc. Just old school style 2WD -> 4H -> 4L. The 4WD levers move like butter with no play or rickety behavior. Once 4WD is engaged, a green light comes up in the dash.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_4wd_lever.jpg

The Prado comes with a casio style, MID information that shows roll/pitch, compass, altitude, barometric pressure, timer, temperature, AVG & actual speeds etc. You use the buttons below to cycle through the options, settings, lights on/off & also calibration. The bulb of the center one needs replacement.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_clinometer.jpg

As this is a 2 (or 3 in technically correct terms) door version, the access to the center row is from the passenger side -- just like in a Gypsy. The passenger seat slides forward & backrest comes forward for a slightly not so easy access to the rear seats.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_entry.jpg

Once you are sitting behind, a slight push to a button makes the seat move all the way forward & backrest move at same time for you to get out
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_entry1.jpg

However, once you are inside the rear seats, there is more than enough legroom for you to relax and move your legs forward. This is me sitting comfortably with more than 6" of leg room still available. The rear seats do not slide back/forward but they do recline and one can set them as per ones comfort.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_legroom.jpg

Another view of the legroom at the rear. That speaker is in it's OE position.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_legroom1.jpg

The rear seats get cubby holes on both sides to keep that bottle, map and even straps to tie small small stuff.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_cubby_holdes1.jpg

There are no windows for the rear passengers and they can make use of the butterly windows for the times when there is no AC being used.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_butterfly_window.jpg

The boot area of this Prado is good for your occasional airport run + highway journeys and much much more than most hatchbacks. There are latches given to tie your luggage or put a netting. The rear seats can be folded if you need more luggage space. However there is no 60:40 split seat at the rear in this model.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_boot.jpg

The rear door opens wide and has mesh net provision for storing few items. There is also a washer bottle for the rear wiper.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_rear_door.jpg

The boot areas has provision for storing the tools + hydraulic jack (all OE)
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_tool_storage.jpg

The OE tools. wheel spanner + the jack handle assembly
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_tools.jpg

The wheel spanner has a tapered end to use it to scoop out the OE wheel hubs. A nice thought
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_wheel_spanner.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 19:38.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 19:41   #6
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

The coolest part of the Prado is how the seats go flat to make 2 people sleep/camp comfortably in the vehicle. So, for those times when you don't get a hotel or are in a jungle, you have an alternate sleeping option available for you.

The front seats can be folded back and once the head restraint is removed they can align nicely with the rear seat.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_seats_folded1.jpg

Even with this position, one can sit nicely
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_seats_folded2.jpg

The rear seats folded down give you a nice sleeping position.
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_all_seats_down.jpg

And yes, with all seats folded, you stil have some room to keep some of your luggage inside the vehicle
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_all_seats_down1.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 20:26.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 19:47   #7
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Of Road:

Haven’t done any hard core offroad with the Prado (and don’t intend to in near future) and have used only for farm trails and bad roads.

This model of the Prado has the following 4WD relevant specifications:

Approach Angle 37.2
Departure Angle 30.5
Breakover Angle 25.2

Low Ratio: 2.566:1

Also, this model doesn't have any center diff, or rear diff locks of any kind. Just old school style 2WD -> 4H -> 4L

From the limited times that I have engaged the 4WD on the Prado I can share the following:

• The torque in 4WD-L 1st gear is huge and the crawl while coming down slopes is something else.
• The vehicle climb inclines in 4WD-L 1st easily without any need of ABC
• The broken farm trails/bad patches are where you can just plonk the gas pedal and the Prado will handle those with ease. No bouncing around like in a jeep/gypsy. (the BEST part I like)
• Reasonably good articulation keeps the wheels firmly planted on the ground giving the much needed traction. This allows you to tackle the ruts easily
• Water fording – I am pretty sure that this model has Diff breather tubes but haven't got to seeing them or taking pictures of them as yet. I understand that the Prado is capable of ~700mm of wading depth.
• THE BEST PART – all this can be done with the comfort of closed cabin & A/C, music

Had done a small ramp test for articulation @ 3M while getting some work done there. This is nothing great but keeping all wheels on ground goes a long way in delivering traction to the wheels
1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_articulation_1.jpg

1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado. EDIT: Now with 2" Ironman Lift-prado_articulation_2.jpg

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 20:08.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 20:06   #8
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Other Points

The short dimensions of the Prado, combined with a light but precise steering wheel make it a pleasure to drive in city and park in tight spaces. Apart form the thick B-Pillar must say that the all round visibility is top notch with no major blind spots (apart from right behind/below the rear door).

Was surprised when I stumbled upon DIY Toyota Site and after punching the chassis number, one is able to get ALL the part details of the car. Was really helpful in finding the OE Part # and also in finding which other vehicles the same part was used. Used this to cross check with Nandi Toyota while ordering parts

One can decode a lot of information from the VIN plate of the vehicle, apart from just the engine# & chassis #.

Such as:

Axle: G52 A04B: Diameter of ring gear – 7.5” , 52: Axle Ratio of 4.56, 4 Pinion Open Diff

http://toyota.off-road.com/trucks-4x...ion-18588.html

Plant: A51 : Manufactured at the Tahara plant in Japan

TRIM: LE10 : Leather Upholstery as standard


Future Plans:

• Get the papers transferred to KA and pay the road tax. That is #1 priority. Right now an issue and is taking time to get NOC from Haryana + the required B-Extracts
• Get the small small stuff done such as door damping, change ICE/Speakers
• Need to check if any tie rod ends/etc need to be replaced
• Get the engine in tip-top shape
• Drive for some more time before deciding on
o 2” Lift Kit
o Safari type Snorkel
o Rock Sliders
o Expedition Roof Carrier
o Rear Diff Lock (ARB Types)

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd December 2012 at 20:36.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 20:37   #9
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Congrats dude.

I think iron man and tjm have 2 inch lift kits for this little beast.
Dont touch the pump, even if you have to it wont cost so much, max is under 10k.

Some pics of the engine bay?
Dont remove the injectors , once removed from a factory engine the smoothness is gone forever.

Black smoke might be due to timing problem.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 20:50   #10
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Many many congratulations on your new acquisition .
It looks to be in a good shape, specially considering its almost 15 years old. And im sure it will do great off-road. I remember seeing a Land-cruiser Parado going to the north pole with top gear as well. Hence off-roading is in the genes.

Once again congratulations and drive safe.

P.S. At what price did you close the deal?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 21:18   #11
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Oh so this is what you got after giving off a beautiful offroader eh?!

My 2 bits: This is a fun vehicle.. super fun if you ask me and ofcourse capable also. Short gearing, nice crisp throttle and the perfect size. Drove from KL to KA and Rajesh and myself were in love with it. Offroad capabilities are a bonus. As mentioned by Khan saab, for the age of the vehicle, this piece is in great shape also. Just a few tweaks here and there and it will be in ship shape just like a 30-40k kms vehicle. Best part Toyota does all the work! What more can one ask.

I am waiting for all the mods to start, then the fun begins

Congratz! you also got what you always wished for so happy bunny.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 21:19   #12
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Great buy indeed.
Coming from a Gypsy, you will absolutely love the comfort and the security of a hard top in the Prado.
Keep us updated with the mods and ownership experience.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 22:16   #13
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Ok, my official Tbhp congratulations to you on the aquisition, it's a lovely vehicle and like Jaggu said, for a 1998 model, it is in tremendous shape, even the interiors don't show their age and it is a true expedition vehicle. Even though I saw it at night, the build quality shows character and toughness.
Great writeup as well, still don't believe you when you say no more Offroading, it's only a matter of time and we'll catch you digging up tracks.
So, when do we go on a drive in the white beauty?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 22:34   #14
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post

Future Plans:

• Get the papers transferred to KA and pay the road tax. That is #1 priority. Right now an issue and is taking time to get NOC from Haryana + the required B-Extracts
• Get the small small stuff done such as door damping, change ICE/Speakers
• Need to check if any tie rod ends/etc need to be replaced
• Get the engine in tip-top shape
• Drive for some more time before deciding on
o 2” Lift Kit
o Safari type Snorkel
o Rock Sliders
o Expedition Roof Carrier
o Rear Diff Lock (ARB Types)
No plans for fresh tyres ? Looking at the sidewall tyres seem to be old.

City and off roading is OK. Do you really intend to do highway trips ?
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Old 4th December 2012, 15:54   #15
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Default Re: 1998 Toyota 90 Series SWB 3 Door Land Cruiser Prado

Lovely review! Would follow this thread closely. I often wonder how difficult it is to maintain these old gems. How are the service costs, and part availability in case something critical goes bust.
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