- SSM approval for newest LC76 and LC79 models
- Higher GVM and safety equipment on 2023 models
- More ground clearance and wider wheel track
- 2024 four-cylinder models expected to run the same conversion
They might be hard to find in Toyota dealers right now, but the demand for LandCruiser 70 Series models continues unabated, just as the need to equip them for ultimate off-road adventures continues to burn.
One of the best mods for any LandCruiser is the inclusion of portal axles, and these are now available for the latest updated models.
The 2023-model 70 Series Cruiser brought fresh safety equipment and a higher GMV capacity that came as a result of shifting the near-40 year-old design into a different vehicle category rather than just giving owners a higher payload.
From late-2022 builds the 70 was given a GVM of more than 3500kg, which moved it from the light to the medium goods vehicle category. This allows the Cruiser to avoid other safety features that became compulsory for light vehicles and would have been difficult to introduce into the 70 Series range.
New safety kit that was introduced at the same time included pre-collision system incorporating autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
The higher GVM and new technology meant the existing Second Stage Manufacturing (SSM) approval held by Marks 4WD for its portal axles was no longer applicable and a new SSM approval needed to be applied for.
To attain this SSM approval Marks 4WD had to purchase new 2023 vehicles, install its portal axles and handbrake kit to them, and put them through a series of tests under the ROVER Road Vehicle Regulator guidelines. The tests included loading the vehicle to more than 4000kg and performing brake tests, brake fade tests and noise tests, to ensure the vehicles still meet existing ADR standards.
The new Cruiser passed the tests and Marks now hold SSM approvals for fitting its portals to the LC76 wagon and LC79 in both single- and double-cab ute variants. Approval for the LC78 Troop Carrier will have to wait until they can get a new vehicle to be tested.
The team is also awaiting the arrival of the 2024 2.8-litre automatic transmission 70 Series models to ensure the portals kit fits without any changes, but they don’t foresee any problems there.
SSM approval means the fitting of the portal axles and ancillary accessories must be done to the vehicle prior to it being registered - and it is approved in all states of Australia. The kits cannot be approved post-rego, even with engineering certification.
The advantages of the portal axle conversion are many, but none more so than the additional 150mm of ground clearance under the differentials without any suspension modifications. This gives you the benefits of increased ground clearance without the negative effects of raised or modified suspension.
The conversion also widens the wheel track by 80mm while correcting the variance between front and rear axle track to give the 70 a wider stance and better stability both on- and off-road. The conversion is designed on and approved to run on 35-inch tyres, and this is the approved tyre size for the conversion.
Fitting Marks 4WD portal axles is a big step in creating the perfect 70 Series LandCruiser, and we all know there are countless other modifications that can be made to improve the Toyota workhorse. But fitting portals as a first step creates the foundation on which to build your ultimate LandCruiser.
Now if we could just get Toyota to ramp up 70 Series production again.
For more details on the Marks 4WD portal axles conversion and other great products for your four-wheel drive, take a look at the website at www.marks4wd.com