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(93-94) -> (95-97) Design Changes

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by alaskacruiser, May 21, 2003.

  1. alaskacruiser

    alaskacruiser

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    I'm trying to figure out the motivation behind some of the design changes Toyota made between the 93-94 model and the 95-97 model FJ80. I might be a little off on the tech specs on some of the changes, but here are some of the changes I know about:

    1. Transmission: Changed from the larger A442F to the smaller A343F.
      I've asked a lot of people about this change.
    - Some argue it was for fuel economy (less weight), but the fuel economy didn't improve!
    - Others argue it was done to make the cost of replacement / rebuild less for the consumer.
    - What makes me wonder is the fact that the A442F was RETAINED in the Australian version of the FJ80, and even went on to the Aussie 100 series for a few years! Considering most of their SUVs are actually used in harsh conditions (unlike most of the mallrunners we unfortunately see in the US) maybe they did it because they didn't think most US consumers needed the overkill heavy duty tranny.

    - Toyota even hints that they were aware of this trend on their website in a section talking about the history of (and changes to) the Landcruiser (http://www.toyota.com/html/shop/vehicles/land_cruiser/history/land_cruiser_history.html ):
    "1995: The Land Cruiser takes a large step toward offering the kind of safety features Land Cruiser buyers want.With more consumers using their sport utility vehicles as passenger vehicles, and with those same consumers looking for vehicles with enhanced safety features, Toyota gives the Land Cruiser standard driver and front passenger air bags, adjustable shoulder anchors and a new grille featuring redesigned headlights"

    - I emailed an Aussie tranny mechanic and asked him his opinion on the tranny change and here's an excerpt of what he had to say (including my question):
    "I'd like to hear your thoughts on the durability/reliability of Toyota's A442F transmission (used in the US landcruiser from 1993-1994/95) and the A343F that replaced it for 1995-97. Many people have noticed that Toyota only changed the tranny to the A343F in the US, and left the A442F in other countries. Can you speculate as to why this was done (was it cost-saving?) In any case, what is your opinion on each of these trannies? What are the pros and cons of each and, in your opinion, which will hold up longer? Thanks! Vik

    Both the A442F and A343F transmissions is capable of holding 450K/W of power. I don't know why the A442F was replaced with the A343F but if I was to guess I would say weight ( both dead weight and centrifugal weight ), The smaller 2.7 and 3.4 litre Landcruiser Prado engine's are just to small for the A442F heavy weight. The A442F is much larger than the new design and for this same reason I would say that the older A442F transmissions is a little stronger."

    - The A343F has the delayed-shift problem, and the A442F doesn't. The A343F has a 2nd gear start feature which is lacking on the A442F, and shifts are somewhat smoother (IMHO). On a side-note, my last FJ80 (a '93 with the A442F) needed a tranny rebuild at 80k miles (this is with
    regular 15k fluid changes)- this may be an anomaly though because it is definitely premature compared to others on this board. My '97 (with the A343F) seems to be doing fine at 45k although the delayed shift problem pops up once in a while, but we'll see in another 40k miles.



    2. Radiator: Changed from 3 core brass to 2 core aluminum design
       Some have speculated this was done to save money, but how do you explain that the 2 core design costs MORE than the 3 core when obtaining replacement parts? Older parts in general cost more (as far as I know) and moreover, if they were going for cost-cutting, it wouldn't make sense for them to replace a 3 core with the aluminum 2 core if the 2 core costs more. Are they just making more profit on this particular part?



    3. Head: Changed from Cast iron block and head to cast iron block with aluminum head
    - Some have debated whether this is the cause of so many head gasket failures on the newer FJ80s and I wonder about this as well. Is the combination of a cast iron block and head more expensive than with the aluminum head?
    - If not, what are some possible reasons for this change?



    4. Power antenna: changed from metal to plastic gearing
       I can't think of any reason other than cost-cutting on this one.


    I'd be interested to hear peoples theories on each of these changes. Please feel free to correct or add to some of the tech specs and let me know if there are more I've missed!
     
  2. Rogue

    Rogue

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    I believe that Toyota cut costs and raised prices accordingly.  Isn't that what business is all about?

    How can you make your claim on the tranny when your '97 hasn't even reached the point that your '93 needed the tranny rebuild at?
     
  3. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    > 1. Transmission: Changed from the larger A442F to the smaller A343F.
    I've asked a lot of people about this change.
    - Some argue it was for fuel economy (less weight), but the fuel economy didn't improve!
    - Others argue it was done to make the cost of replacement / rebuild less for the consumer.
    - What makes me wonder is the fact that the A442F was RETAINED in the Australian version of the FJ80, and even went on to the Aussie 100 series for a few years! Considering most of their SUVs are actually used in harsh conditions (unlike most of the mallrunners we unfortunately see in the US) maybe they did it because they didn't think most US consumers needed the overkill heavy duty tranny.

    It might have been to coincide with OBDII and wanting a electronic controlled tranny.




    2. Radiator: Changed from 3 core to 2 core Al design
    Some have speculated this was done to save money, but how do you explain that the 2 core design costs MORE than the 3 core when obtaining replacement parts? Older parts in general cost more (as far as I know) and moreover, if they were going for cost-cutting, it wouldn't make sense for them to replace a 3 core with the aluminum 2 core if the 2 core costs more. Are they just making more profit on this particular part?

    They went from brass core to aluminum. Maybe the engineers figured a 2 core aluminum will cool as good as a 3 core brass.


    3. Head: Changed from Cast iron block and head to cast iron block with aluminum head

    Not true, all 1FZ-FE is cast block with aluminum heads.


    4. Power antenna: changed from metal to plastic gearing
    I can't think of any reason other than cost-cutting on this one.

    No idea
     
  4. Junk

    Junk

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    It was 100% conspiracy - jipping us on the antenae of all things. :slap:

    Easy as slapping peanut butter on yer bread. Cut costs - change some material (alum/brass) (metal/plastic) nonOBDII to OBDII. Yeah it's always about trying to manage expenses - but they were also trying to migrate this from more of a utility vehicle (aka beatermobile) to more of a luxury (mallcruiser) truck. Face it, almost every company out there would rather target the more affluent than the dudes that wheel their junk in the woods/rocks every mofo chance they git. :slap: :slap: :slap: :D :D
     
  5. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    I once read that for the camry, Toyota, which owns large stakes in their parts suppliers, got them to re-design the front door handle/locking mechanism to use fewer parts. They were able to shave $6 off the cost of the door handle/locks. Multiply this by millions and it makes a difference.
     
  6. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    I'd say if your so concerned about the A343F tranny, I'd say import a complete engine/bell housing w/ 5 spd manual and t-case from overseas and swap it in and don't worry about it. Every auto tranny I've used has had some kind of delayed shift. To me, that's just one of the auto drawbacks. That's one reason why I prefer manual.
     
  7. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Alaska,

    Dude, you're trying WAAAAAY too hard on this one.  This is what's known as mental masturbation.   :G

    All manufacturers make upgrades, improvements, and changes all the time. Most coincide with model year changes; many don't.

    1. Transmission: Changed from the larger A442F to the smaller A343F.

    More electronic conrols and capability to interface with the OBD-II ECU. Lower weight, comparable strength.  The A343F is the same tranny used behind the Lexus V8 in the 100 series. I think the Tundra V8's get the same transmission or a derivative. Cost savings only due to more platforms sharing the same components, not for the reasons that you are implying.

    2. Radiator: Changed from 3 core to 2 core Al design.

    The two core has larger tubes and is lighter. The 2 core *does* cool as well; it may or may not last as long or be as impervious to clogging from contamination.

    3. Head: Changed from Cast iron block and head to cast iron block with aluminum head.

    All 1FZ-FE's worldwide have aluminum heads. If you're talking about the 3FE to 1FZ-FE change then that was a major cost loser for Toyota. They spent millions designing and building that little change.  Cost of the vehicle probably didn't go up much, if any, in relation to the development costs.

    4. Power antenna: changed from metal to plastic gearing

    The plastic gear was a '97 (or late '96) change and was carried forward to the 100 series. These antennas have a feature that returns the mast to the same height when it is turned off then on.  This is a feature, not a cost reduction.

    You didn't mention that '95 and up have SRS in the US. Another loser for Toyota if you're looking for examples where they were trying to cut costs.

    You didn't mention that ABS became standard in '95. Another loser if you're Toyota.

    New dash design in '95.  No cost savings there. Probably coincided with SRS.

    -B-
     
  8. Rogue

    Rogue

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    The head issue is one with the 1HZ, not the 1FZ.

    Consumer models of the diesel have an aluminum head, but mil-spec models get the cast iron head and are virtually indestructible.

    Despite what Beo says, the 93-94 trucks are still the best! :G
     
  9. alaskacruiser

    alaskacruiser

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    Oh- forgot one more change: they changed the front bumper corner pieces from metal (attached flush with the middle part of the bumper) to plastic pieces. Definitely cost-cutting.
     
  10. Rogue

    Rogue

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    They must have changed the bumper pre-'94 because my endcaps were plastic. Now, they are metal though! :G
     
  11. Junk

    Junk

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    Is there a point to any of this? :dunno:
     
  12. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Probably not...

    BTW, 95+ trucks are for ninnies!!!
     
  13. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    OK,

    Let's stir sommore :G

    I suspect part of the push for the transmission change was the transfer case lever vibration issue. Some of you may remember my post from SOR regarding that. The transfer lever mounts to a hard boss on top of the transmission directly over the planetary gear set. The lever "buzzed" because of this. It was not detrimental, just an irritation. I believe Toyota changed that to please north american ears.
    In addition adding airbags also added additional weight to the platform. The EPA weight class fence was being straddled and weight needed to be shaved elsewhere, EG an aluminum radiator, lighter transmission, smaller ATF volume, Certification for One less passenger and restrictions on the percent of vehicles that could be equipped with running boards, roof racks, hitches and cargo mats.

    "Trust me" :G
     
  14. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    >> Is there a point to any of this? <<

    Not a good one, that's for sure. :dunno:
    -B-
     
  15. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Once Dan has spoken there is no more room to argue. :bow:
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Darn Rogue, :slap: Dan's already hard enough to be around without you going and giving him an even bigger big-head.
    -B-
     
  17. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Man, I'm gettin' a headache. I think my hat's too tight. ::)
     
  18. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Dan are you sure it's not the doorway your standing in? 8)
     
  19. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Rick,

    You may be on to something there...................(splinters from someplace)....... :G
     
  20. Junk

    Junk

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    That's more than we need to know there Cdan :D