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!