I think maybe if you recline the driver's seat way back and put some neon accents underneath, with a huge "coffee can" muffler you'll see some difference in "sport" mode...
Seriously, Sport is presumably used to increase the dampening rate of the shocks, firming up the ride and decreasing sway in the corners. However, I've had adjustable shocks before and can't really tell the difference either... :-\
Adjustable shocks, or the Sport/Normal switch were not on older cruisers. Don't know when it started. Know it's on the Lexus. The ECT button, or Electronically Controled Transmission is exactly what H describes. It's used primarily, as I understand, when you are going up steep grades. It 'holds' the transmission in a higher? gear longer to keep the transmission from shifting up and down as frequently. The ECT switch on older cruisers is on the dash just under the clock. From what I've seen the sport/normal switches have been down on the center console with the shifters.
[quote author=cruiserdan link=board=2;threadid=6656;start=msg54306#msg54306 date=1066925458]
We have an apple and an orange here.
Aisa has adjustable shocks on his, we don't get them here :'(
Some US version Supras and Cressidas had them. They were known as "TEMS" in the US (Toyota Electronicly Modulated Suspension).
Probably so. I know the Japanese market 100s come w/ the adjustable height suspension as standard, while in the US, you have to get the LX470 to get this feature. And you can still get the optional rear diff lock over there, too (all this, for under $40K w/ V8 or TD, new). So I wouldn't be surprised if there were 80s w/ adjustable suspension.
What kind of shocks do you have? I installed Rancho RS9000 on mine. This has 5 dampening positions or you can get the newer version which has 8 or 9. You can get it with the optional under dash selector switch. I would not recommend this set up if you use your rig offroading most of the time. I use this LC to take my families and in-laws when we go camping. Mostly interstate driving to National Parks. My own personal LC is a different story.
I had a '99 US model Montero with adjustable shocks via a dash switch. The difference was quite clear. As to offroading, I did some video analysis of the truck going over several types of terrain repeatedly in the soft and hard positions. From the driver's seat, slow movement with lots of articulation (technical terrain) worked best in the soft position as it seemed to keep the wheels in contact more by allowing the suspension to conform faster to the terrain. The video confirmed this, so I always wheeled it in the soft mode unless traversing faster areas with "whoop de doos" or similar on it. Then, hard mode prevented bottoming with the price being a harsher ride. The shop manual actually identified the damping force in each mode, and there were large differences between the 3 levels. These factory shocks were Tokico as I recall - a respected shock name.
I've been in several vehicles where the switch didn't really change the damping force in the shocks enough to be meaningful, however...
If you can scan the images, I might be able to translate them. BTW, I got a Japanese car magazine from my sis-in-law last night. It shows previews of cars to be released on the JDM into 2006. There's a new Supra turbo coming out, new Corolla, Arista (aka Lexus GS), 5000GT (costs $100K, looks like a Ferrari). Nissan separated the Skyline GTR into a dedicated GTR line that uses parts common w/ the Fairlady-Z (the Z sold here under the infiniti label) and looks more like a 911. Honda will feature a new NSX in '06 w/ aluminum body, looks like a Lamborghini; also, a new honda S2200 type R is due. For Toyotas, I didn't see any new SUVs. There was some ad for a "Landcruiser Magazine" whereby you can buy a numbered nickel/silver cigarette lighter for 35,000 yen, though. (cruiser content), and you can get 100 series front/rear air dam and side mouldings since many rigs there don't come w/ running boards.
Another funny thing...I saw an insert ad for Autobacs (their equivalent of PepBoys) with a full page of motor oils. The recommended was a Mobil 1 5w40 SJ/SL...didn't say anything about being a diesel oil, so I doubt it's Delvac 1. Most oils featured were either 10w30 or 5w40...only one 5w30, which leads me to believe vehicles there aren't spec'd with 5w30 like here.