The 70 Series Landcruiser is a terrific 4WD platform for all sorts of uses; Mining, Tradies, Caravaners and a hell’ve a lot more, but it’s a real disappointment in manual only.
Cruisematic Automatic Trans Conversion for 70 Series
The Cruisematic Conversion from 70 Series manual to automatic, using the Landcruiser 6 speed transmission completely changes the nature of the beast. Gone is the notchy gear shift, excess backlash, hard to handle high revving truck; transformed into an easy drive 4×4 with signiﬁcantly reduced engine RPM – hence reduced cabin noise & engine wear with improved fuel economy and much greater ﬂexibility off-road.
The Cruisematic 70 Series Auto Conversion uses the Toyota 6 speed AB60 automatic transmission. For VDJ76 Wagon, VDJ78 Troopie or VDJ79 Ute Landcruisers, in Single or Dual Cab, with the 1VDFTV V8 TDi engine, the conversion to automatic using the 200 Series automatic transmission results in less noise, more fuel economy and a significantly improved driver friendly vehicle for ALL license holders.
Engine RPM drops to a quiet 1550rpm at 100kph on highway use with standard sized tyres. That’s around 1000rpm less for pre-Oct 2016 vehicles, and approximately 550rpm less for later models. The extra RPM is completely unnecessary, the 4.5Li Turbo Intercooled engine has loads of power and torque, even for heavy towing, so the extra fuel and noise is completely wasted.
The GO 4×4 demonstration vehicle uses 305 x 70 x 16” tyres, RPM is under 1500rpm on highway, and the fuel saving is terrific.
Automatic transmissions are superior for off-road driving. You don’t have to reduce power when changing gears, there is constant torque to the wheels, hence you maintain momentum. And it’s much easier to crawl over obstacles with control at low speed with automatic.
A good automatic with a switchable torque converter also gives you a lot more flexibility for on-road use. If you’re towing a heavy load, there’s no sweat when you’re pointing uphill. Simply press the accelerator, and off you go.
The Cruisematic Conversion uses the Toyota AB60 6-speed automatic transmission, same as the 200 Series. The standard unit is rated to 900nm torque at the crankshaft.
Even though this automatic is a tough unit, many parts are upgraded to make it even tougher.
A billet torque converter – for extra strength and reliability, upgraded valve body – for a positive shift between gears, its own computerised management system (TCU) – for great control – optional full Auto, Tip-Tronic (Toyota call it Selectable) and even manual in low range – using the Torque Converter Lockup Switch.
The Torque Converter Lockup Switch is another great addition to the Cruisematic Conversion Kit. With the torque converter locked, slippage in the transmission is eliminated. It’s like a manual, reducing heat, and improving economy.
And the engine braking is awesome off-road with the switch ON. It drives exactly like a manual, the Lock-up switch as like the clutch.
Heat is the enemy of every 4×4, especially the transmission, so the extra cooling \capacity – twice the size of the 200 Series and the built-in temperature gauge, mean heat won’t be a problem or a surprise – even in extreme situations.
The Cruisematic Conversion uses a billet CNC-machined adaptor, which mates the transmission to the original 70 Series transfer case.
Result, the rest of your vehicle stays factory. There are no driveline or chassis alterations. Ultimate Toyota reliability!
Inside, it looks like a factory fit. A custom centre console mounts up to the interior like it was always meant to be. The TCU display and controls are within easy reach, and there are some handy 12V accessory/USB sockets for both rows of seats, plus 2 cup holders for both rows as well.
The huge centre storage compartment works great as an armrest, you don’t get many luxuries in the 70 Series, even in GXL, so this really makes it!
If you want Automatic in a Landcruiser V8 diesel Single Cab, Dual Cab, Troopie or Wagon, there are a couple of options. Buy a 200 Series and cut it down to a Ute and pay the extra to toughen up the transmission with an upgraded valve body. Or, fit the Crusiematic Conversion to the Landcruiser 70 Series manual using the Toyota AB60 transmission and upgrades.
Another way of approaching the cost of an auto conversion is to consider the fuel savings, rather than one of convenience in city driving, 4WD capability off-road or noise reduction on highway.
On vehicles up to late 2016, there is around 1000rpm drop at highway speeds. Yes, 1000rpm!!!
Hence there is a significant reduction in fuel usage and engine noise! If you know your fuel figures, you can compare to vehicles already converted – that are closest to your setup and use.
Fuel economy figures reported from real customers with 70 Series Automatic Conversion fitted:
As good as 10.8L/100 from a VDJ78 Troopy (completely empty) doing the Melbourne to Perth run.
Average around 12-14L/100 on average from various customers depending on vehicle config.
Around 14-15L/100 from a VDJ79 Dual Cab fully loaded, lifted, 35” tyres, big canopy
Around 16-17L/100 from a VDJ79 Dual Cab, fairly standard, but towing a Kedron 3200kg caravan and fully loaded.
Consider your savings over a 100,000km, and set against the cost of conversion. Use our Fuel Savings Calculator below to estimate your fuel savings.
Automatic Fuel Saving Calculator
Enter mileage values for your vehicle below (there are examples of real world, after conversion, fuel numbers below as a guide) to see an estimate of potential savings from the 70 Series Auto Conversion.
Real World Fuel Mileage Examples
- 10.8Li/100km – Empty VDJ78 Troopy
- 12-14Li/100km – various customers depending on vehicle config.
- 14-15Li/100km – Loaded VDJ79 Dual Cab, lifted, 35” tyres, big canopy
- 16-17Li/100km – Loaded VDJ79 Dual Cab, towing a Kedron 3200kg caravan.
And if all of the above doesn’t convince you, consider the ease of driving aspect for drivers with less experience or confidence. Many of today’s drivers license holders are taught, and can only drive, automatic vehicles. See the positive reaction from previous customers on our website videos.
- 6Spd 200 Series AB60 Auto Trans
- Upgraded Performance Valve Body
- Transmission Rated to 900nm Torque
- 1550 RPM at 100kms/hr, with standard tyres
- Genuine Shifter, Custom Console
- Genuine HD Transcooler – 2 times the size of 200 Series
- No Alteration to Chassis or any Driveline components
- Torque converter Lock-up Switch for Manual Control for Low Range
- Torque Converter Lock-Up Switch for
- Heavy Towing
- Improved Fuel Economy
- Results in a Driver Friendly 4×4 for ALL license holders and at all skill levels