Hey Everyone! We hope you are doing well and we are excited to bring forward the next installment of our series on the tools included with our Toyota Land Cruisers! Today we dive into the very dizzying world of jacks! For this post we will keep our focus on the 40 and 55 series. Don't worry, we will make the jump to the 60, 70 , 80 and 100 soon enough. :)
Jacks, at first it seems like an easy tool to figure out, especially when trying to find the right one for your 40-55. However, the more I read, the more I found out just how many variations, large and small, occurred over the course of the 40 and 55 series production! If you care about purchasing the correct jack for your 40-55, then look for these details.
While there are many little details that can identify the year a jack was made, at a macro level the easiest way to quickly narrow down a year range for a jack is by the part number!
Now you will have surely noticed there are 5 variants for part number 35011 AND there is an overlap between part numbers 35011 and 35050. This is largely due to the fact that Land Cruisers were offered in so many different markets around the world, and unfortunately it is unclear on exactly the criteria for what cruisers got the different part numbers. However, with those two part numbers you at least know the year range of the jack. If you come across the 35011 jack, here is how to identify the 5 variants within the 1963-1978 jack. The variants are often categorized as A-E. Key differences are bolded in the table below.
But wait there is more! To further help date when the jack was made. There is a handy date code on the rim at the top of the neck flange. The jacks use a 2 character date stamping. First character denotes year. 5 could be 1965 or 1975, 3 could be 1963, 1973 or 1983. Second character denotes month of manufacturer. A-January, B-February, C-March, D-April, E-May, F-June, G-July, H-August, I-September, J-October, K-November, L- December. Using the date code along with the physical characteristics outlined above should help you confidently date a jack.
Now that we have gone over the types of jacks across the early Land Cruiser years, let's talk about common issues one should look out for when buying a used jack. With the cast iron jacks, look carefully for cracks in the bases. Cast iron, while tough, is brittle so cracks my indicate poor shipping or a rough history. Thankfully cast iron can be repaired in some cases. Check that all screws are present and accounted for and the style of head is consistent throughout. Finding a replacement screw of similar vintage aesthetic will be almost impossible. Look for mis-aligned body to base axis. This could indicate someone has taken the jack apart in the past. And that brings us to the last point, check operation! Poor storage condition, treatment, or re-assembly can cause poor function. Thankfully, these jacks can be fully taken apart and serviced! You have to love that field serviceability of the service tools. :D
The last but not least part of this tool collection puzzle is the jack handle and rods! The jack handles remained relatively stable within each design era. The cast iron jacks had yellow cast handles that came in two lengths, short- 26cm and long- 30cm. The brown steel jacks came with cast or stamped brown handles that were 32cm and 30cm respectively. Is there a way to further date the correct jack handle for your jack? Of course:
There are also some variations in the jack rods themselves. Both rods (two are needed per kit) are about 61cm in length. For the yellow cast iron jacks the rods were also yellow and had larger square receivers (see photo comparison below), however jack variant E (77-78) did have yellow rods with a smaller receiver end. The brown steel jacks also had brown steel rods, no major changes between years.
That about sums up the jacks for the 40,45 and 55 series! That information should empower you to find the perfect jack for your year 40, 45 and 55 as well as some key areas to keep an eye out for. It has already helped me from making the mistake of buying the wrong jack for my 1965 FJ40L.
I would like to end this blog post with an acknowledgment of the giants on which shoulders we stand. The cruiser community is at its best when we all help to lift up and teach one another. We were kindly granted permission to repost this information from the original author. If you want to fully appreciate the breadth of information on these old 40,45,55 series jacks, check out the original document. Its not only super well organized and documented, its full of so much fantastic detail I couldn't possibly have covered it in one blog post. Check it out here: https://forum.ih8mud.com/media/albums/land-cruiser-jack-reference-fj25-fj40-fj45-fj55.5174/
Thank you all and we hope you have a great week ahead! Cheers from the Cruiser Cult!
An interview series with fellow cruiserheads. This post: Nate, aka Mattress King