Tow Weight 83 FJ60

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Jun 5, 2011
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Hello All,

I am looking for some info on towing with a stock 83 FJ60 four speed, it does have custom steel bumps. What is the weight it can tow and any other things I should consider when using this cruiser for towing. All info and thoughts on this is much appreciated.

Thanks all......
 
The owners manual I have for an 83 lists a max weight including the wagon of 7500lbs which only leaves you about 2000 lbs if you figure 5000 to 5500 is what most wagons tend to weigh. Mine weighs more others less. 62's are rated at about 3500lbs for a trailer if I remember correctly.

A buddy of mine did tow a 60 on a dolly with his 62... But only over fairly flat ground. He doesn't recommend it due to stopping distance. Which is probably the biggest concern as the brakes on our rigs are not the best. I even have brakes on my camp/utility trailer.

Not a lot of extra power to begin with either.

Tony
 
My owners manual says 3500 lbs towing weight.
 
First, what are you planning on towing?
Length, weight, etc.
Trailer brakes?

Where (topography)?

There's more than just hooking up and towing.

As previously mentioned, in stock condition, they're under powered and inadequately equipped in the braking dept.

You can remedy both situations with time and $$$.
But the length/weight issue can not.

More info please.
 
Thanks for the info and the possible start of a new obsession.

A little back ground: I have a 1990 VW Vanagon which the engine has been rebuilt twice and have put an additional 12k for restore and mods. The point of that is Vanagons like Cruisers are a hobby/obsession and I am thinking of going the Cruiser route for the next few years.

My main needs with the 83 would be for desert dirt roads in Southern Cali. I will be doing night celestial photography and need to get into the back country. Also at other times would like to be able to tow a 17-20 ft AirStream trailer which weighs around 2500-3000 lbs to festivals around the south west. O Ya being able to Camp overnight on Pismo Beach without getting stuck in the sand, which happened in the Vanagon not fun.

On the Vanagon the brakes, rotors, tire/rims, need to be changed from 14'' to 15'' which is a $2500 mod. What goes into the Cruiser Mod to beef it up? And the two replies both from manuals (different?) have the tow weight from 2000-3500 lbs anyone elso want to chime in on there thoughts?

Thanks again.......
 
The easiest way to upgrade the cruiser's brakes is to install calipers from a 4-runner. Even so, trailer brakes are still recommended. If you haven't bought the airstream yet, I would also recommend hunting for the smallest one you can find. Land cruisers have a relatively short wheelbase, which can be problematic for towing a long trailer.
 
"Cruiser Mod" tends to be an ongoing thing for most of us. Some things are expensive some aren't depends on what you want to do with the wagon.

Differing tow weights come from Toyota. My 83 weight rating is a total weight which includes rig and passengers. Manual says not to exceed this. It also lists max tow weight of 2500 lbs but add weight to the rig and you reduce this.

My 1990 62 (with an auto tranny) manual lists 3500 max towing and probably includes a max combination towing weight somewhere just haven't looked. Most of the time an auto has a higher tow rating.

Pretty much all vehicles have a max recommended tow weight not just Toyota.

You will really like the 60 right up until you hook that airstream to it...

Tony
 
The thing that we tend to overlook is that while the FJ60 engines make fair amount of torque, they don't make a lot of horsepower. How this translates into real world use is like this: Torque is the amount of work that an engine can do; Horsepower is how fast the engine can do the work. So with a fair amount of torque, but low HP it can do a fair amount of work, it just isn't going to do it very fast. So pulling a 20 ft. Airstream over the pass on CA14 is certainly within it's ability. However you may be going slow enough that to avoid being a danger to yourself and others Soledad Cyn Rd. might be the better route to take.

Though it is the common and popular recommendation and after having done it, I disagree with the 4rnnr calipers suggestion. There is an improvement, but at the expense of increased pedal travel and with a softer pedal, which most people find objectionable. The 'cure' for those two issues is to go to a larger bore master cylinder, however in doing the math in making that mod, while it does reduce pedal travel and firm up the pedal feel, also results in less effective brakes than stock. The total leverage of the brake system is lower than stock.

A more promising upgrade is to leave the hydraulics alone and swap in the '95-ish 4rnnr's vacuum booster. I have not done this, yet, as I'm doing an engine swap. Once that is up and running it is the next mod on the list as I also plan to tow small to medium sized trailers. A couple guys here have done that swap and their reports are encouraging.
 
The thing that we tend to overlook is that while the FJ60 engines make fair amount of torque, they don't make a lot of horsepower. How this translates into real world use is like this: Torque is the amount of work that an engine can do; Horsepower is how fast the engine can do the work. So with a fair amount of torque, but low HP it can do a fair amount of work, it just isn't going to do it very fast. So pulling a 20 ft. Airstream over the pass on CA14 is certainly within it's ability. However you may be going slow enough that to avoid being a danger to yourself and others Soledad Cyn Rd. might be the better route to take.

Though it is the common and popular recommendation and after having done it, I disagree with the 4rnnr calipers suggestion. There is an improvement, but at the expense of increased pedal travel and with a softer pedal, which most people find objectionable. The 'cure' for those two issues is to go to a larger bore master cylinder, however in doing the math in making that mod, while it does reduce pedal travel and firm up the pedal feel, also results in less effective brakes than stock. The total leverage of the brake system is lower than stock.

A more promising upgrade is to leave the hydraulics alone and swap in the '95-ish 4rnnr's vacuum booster. I have not done this, yet, as I'm doing an engine swap. Once that is up and running it is the next mod on the list as I also plan to tow small to medium sized trailers. A couple guys here have done that swap and their reports are encouraging.

The pedal travel issue is a matter of personal opinion. In my old race car I converted a disc/drum setup to 4 discs while keeping the original master cylinder. The result was a brake pedal that required more travel to do the work, but the brakes worked like a charm and I actually preferred the "soft" pedal because it was easier to control braking.
 
That is what I was trying say, that pedal feel is a personal preference thing, but that stock is near the soft end of the spectrum for most people. Witness all of the posts about needing to change the bore size of the m/c after going to the 4rnnr calipers because of complaints about the pedal being too soft or the pedal travel being too great. Very few are happy with the pedal feel after doing just the caliper swap.

My speculation, at this point, is that the 4rnnr booster has a more aggressive boost to pedal displacement curve, which will result in an increase in brake system hydraulic pressure for the same pedal effort. This is based on the comments posted by those who have done the booster only swap.
 
Resurrecting an old thread I know, but might be some valuable information.

On the other side of the Atlantic we can legally tow 7716lbs if the trailer has brakes and are rated for such a load, but only 882lbs if the trailer doesn't have any brakes. These are numbers Toyota Norway comes up with and you may wonder why so odd numbers? Well over here we use the metric system so 3500kg with brakes and 400kg without brakes.

Might mention that we only have diesel 60 here with manual transmission unless imported and that manual cars tend to be allowed to tow more as the auto tends to overheat with all our hilly mountains and sharp corners.

With my HJ61 with a little tune, I definitely feel that I have a 2000-3500kg load on the back, but it doesn't perform bad at all unless I meet a very steep hill.
 
I think that the towing issues associated with the 60 series is not so much about the power and braking alone, it has all to do with the wheelbase, weight and CG of the truck doing the towing. Even with an upgraded diesel or V8, though it may have the HP to back up the torque, it is still a shorter wheelbase higher CG 4X4 leaf sprung SUV.

I personally got educated as to what can happen when the trailer takes over several times while living in the FL Keys. Lots of boats being trailered there all the time. I've seen a 25' boat literally eat an F-150 when it jackknifed. I would not pull more than half the 60s weight even with brakes. But that's just me.
 
You should see what these guys in Toyota mini pickups tow here. They will literally tow an entire other pickup, plus both are loaded 10 ft. over the bed with random stuff. The tow vehicles usually look cobbled together too. I am not exaggerating. See this all the time on I10 south of Phoenix (heading to the border I presume).

It is very impressive and balsy.

Point being... the Landcruiser will tow whatever you strap to it (within reason), but the driver has to have the balls, the skill, and the time to go slow.
 
Not a whole lot of distance between balsy and stupid. If someone wants to overload their vehicle and put themselves in harms way fine. It is when they go on public roads and put my life in danger too that it bothers me.
 
I completely agree.. just making a point.

I'm surprised DPS lets them do it, really.
 

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