Best Land Cruiser Oil & Lube Guide

by AJ Deysel

Lubrication is of course very important for any and every vehicle. Every car needs to have oil to keep everything moving smoothly. That being said, there are many different automotive oils out there, so many that finding the right one can be very difficult, and yes, specific vehicles need specific types of oil, even more so with older Land Cruisers or high-mileage vehicles where information on the right type of oils or lubes is not as readily available as with common modern cars.

Today we are here to help you find the best oil for Land Cruiser and other Toyota overland vehicles, ones for older and newer vehicles, with great protection from wear, and more. The Land Cruiser is a great model no doubt, but to operate efficiently for a long time, it needs to use the right oil, grease and coolant. Today we’re going to cover the best oils for various Toyota Land Cruiser models, and we will answer a plethora of your most pressing questions too.

Petrol Engines (Gasoline Engines)

Older Engines and Carburetor Model Land Cruisers

For older engine and carburettor model Land Cruisers, we recommend a good 20W-50 Motor Oil like this Castrol GTX. Some of the Land Cruiser mechanics we spoke to, have customer Land Cruiser with over 200 000 miles on the odometer, without a single issue, just running this oil.

EFI and EFI multi-valve 1FZ-FE Engine Land Cruisers

Although most think of the Chevron Delo 15W40 are for Diesel engines, they provide superior protection and lubrication for heavy duty Gasoline engines like the legendary 1FZ-FE 4.5 liter EFI Land Cruiser engines like found in the older 70 and 80 series Land Cruisers, and all the 70 Series Land Cruisers from South America. We have spoken to mechanics that have maintained Land Cruiser 70 Series pickups with the 1FZ-FE engine for over 400 000 miles on only this oil and it’s predecessor.

High-Performance Engine Land Cruisers

If you have a high-performance gasoline engine Land Cruiser, like a 200 series, or a 100 Series Lexus LX470 or LX570, or any of the V8 Gasoline model Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus LX models, this is the oil for you. Offering superior synthetic lubrication at extreme pressures and temperatures, there is nothing better.

Diesel Engines

All Diesel Powered Land Cruisers

Chevron Delo 400 cannot be beat for Diesel engine Land Cruisers and Lexus LX vehicles. No matter the model, age or mileage, this is the oil that just works perfectly in them.

Gearbox, Transmission and Transfer Case Oil

Land Cruiser 40 Series, 60 Series & 75 Series Gearbox Oil

Often called a Hypoid gear oil, this Valvoline 80W-90 gear oil is perfect for the older model Land Cruiser gearboxes and Land Cruiser transmissions.

Land Cruiser 76 Series, 78 Series , 80 Series, 100 Series and Lexus LX Gearbox Oil

Often called a Hypoid gear oil, this Valvoline 80W-90 gear oil is perfect for the older model Land Cruiser gearboxes and Land Cruiser transmissions.

Front & Rear Differentials Oil

All Land Cruiser series models and Lexus LX Differential and Axle Fluid

Tried and tested 80W90 Gear and Diff oil is perfect for any model Land Cruiser and Lexus LX differentials and axles.

Brake & Clutch Fluids

All Land Cruiser series models and Lexus LX Brake Fluid

Motul synthetic DOT-4 Racing brake fluid is tried and tested.

What is Oil Viscosity?

As you have seen, all of the oils discussed in this article feature a special rating, with the one for Land Cruisers (most models) being 15W-40. This number is used to describe the viscosity of the engine oil and this is important to know about.
Viscosity in this case, is referring to a fluid’s resistance to flow. The first number in the rating, in this case the “15” stands for 15 degrees Fahrenheit, with the “W” standing for winter.
In other words, this number describes how low the temperature can go until the oil in question becomes very viscous. The second number in that designation, in this case the “40”, refers to how hot the oil can get before it gets exceedingly runny. Generally speaking, when doing a Land Cruiser oil change, you mostly need to go with 15W-40 mineral oil, as a specialist Land Cruiser mechanic we spoke to, has been using that rating mineral oil in all models of petrol (gasoline) and diesel Toyota Land Cruiser for over 20 years, with many of those vehicle still running flawlessly at over half a million miles on the clock.

How to do a Land Cruiser Oil Change

To help you get to grips with doing an oil change, let’s quickly go over how to do an oil change on a common Land Cruiser model. To be honest, this is quite a long process to describe, so we thought it best to just show you a short tutorial video on the matter, just to make your life a little easier.

Synthetic Engine Oil vs Mineral Engine Oil

You may have noticed we have mentioned the word “synthetic” a few times, which therefore implies that there is also natural or normal motor oil, which is called “mineral” oil. So, what is the difference between the two? Synthetic engine oil is a highly refined alternative to mineral engine oil or standard mineral blend oil and it contains far fewer impurities. Therefore, synthetic engine oil does come with some big time advantages compared to standard oil, but only often in newer model vehicle engines which have smaller tolerances, and only if just synthetic oil has been used in the engine from break-in and brand new, otherwise the mineral wear patterns have already formed, and synthetic will not really provide any real benefit over a high-quality mineral oil, just costing a lot more. Here are some of the main benefits you get from synthetic oil.

  • Synthetic oils, due to their specially manufactured nature, do a better job at lubrication the vital components of a vehicle’s engine, and it does a far better job at protecting your engine from long term wear and friction damage with newer high performance engines with tight tolerances, but as stated above, only if those engines have been run from brand new with only synthetic engine oil.
  • Because synthetic engine oil is highly refined, therefore containing fewer impurities, it allows engines to stay cleaner for longer, causing fewer deposits and buildup, and it can be used for a longer period of time before requiring an oil change. Many synthetic oils include various additives specially designed to help maintain and clean engine components.
  • Another notable aspect of synthetic oil is that it performs better than normal oil in extreme temperatures before breaking down or losing viscosity. Synthetic oil resists becoming too thick at low temperatures and it also provides better engine protection at high temperatures by not losing viscosity.

With all those benefits of synthetic engine oil mentioned above, most of the overland Land Cruisers that have reached high-mileage problem free, have been using only high-quality mineral or mineral-blend normal engine oil their entire lives. This is because they were initially run in from new with good mineral oil, so there would be no benefit to changing to fully synthetic oil after that, it will just cost more. As long as you use a good quality mineral oil, and stick to the regular recommended service intervals to change oils and filters, it should keep going on mineral oil forever.

Fully Synthetic vs Synthetic Blend Oil

As briefly mentioned before, you do not just get fully synthetic oil and mineral oil, you also get synthetic blend oil, which is a mix or hybrid between the two.
This is often done to improve some lacking properties of certain mineral oils, like viscosity at high or low temperatures.

How Often does Synthetic Engine Oil Need to be Changed?

Generally, each engine and brand of oil will vary in how long it can go without needing an oil change, it all depends on the wear of the engine, the purity of the fuel used, the operating condition and environment that the vehicle operates in. Technically, some high-quality fully-synthetic engine oils, can go up to 20 000 miles before needing a change in a new, clean engine which operates normally, however, because off-road vehicle and overlanders often rev hard or work in tougher conditions, and also because not all engines are new, we would recommend changing your engine oil and filters at around every 5000 – 10 000 miles.

Can I Switch from One Oil Type to Another?

If your car has been using mineral engine oil, it is perfectly fine to switch to synthetic engine oil, but as stated previously, will cost more without much benefit. However, going from synthetic to mineral oil is not recommended. An engine, accustomed to fully synthetic engine oil, when switched to mineral oil, will not perform nearly as well, and will wear in different areas than it did with synthetic oil.

Which engine oil is best for Land Cruiser?

What type of oil does a Land Cruiser take?

As has been noted several times, most Land Cruiser models requite engine oil to feature a viscosity rating of 14W-40, (with the exception of the latest high-performance gasoline models, which requires fully synthetic 5W-40).

How much is Land Cruiser oil?

Generally speaking, you can spend anywhere from $20 to $100 on engine oil for your Land Cruiser. Here is short list of the best engine oil for Land Cruiser according to price (low to high).

How much oil does a Jeep Wrangler take?

All newer models of the Toyota Land Cruiser have an oil capacity of around 6 quarts. The older Land Cruisers takes around 4 quarts of engine oil.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, as long as you pay attention to the owner’s manual of your Land Cruiser, and change lubricants regularly, you should be fine. Perhaps one of the most important factors to keep in mind is that besides the very older models, such as the 60, 70 and 80 Series Land Cruisers, these vehicles all require fully synthetic 5W-40 engine oil. As long as you keep this in mind, and you figure out how to do an oil change on your own, your Land Cruiser will continue running for a long time to come.

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