Friday, November 19, 2010

DOA cam installed. Survey says!!!...

Let's summarize where we're at.

We spent beaucoup $$$ getting an engine rebuilt so it would run the same or worse than it did when I bought it with a huge exhaust leak, 212K miles, a nearly non-working turbo (very, very little boost), and stock exhaust. The shop I'd been using is telling me this is how these turbos run. Repeatedly.

At lower RPMs at 4.5 PSI boost (more than when I bought it), it ran worse than when I bought it. It really had not run better, and would hardly do 80, just a smidge better than before I brought it in.

Some sleuthing around and learning had me convinced the cam was retarded. The shop had "checked" and said it wasn't off a tooth. Errr, but was it retarded?

I'd sent off the dyno chart to a slew of shops in the San Diego area, with the offer to bring them my problem if they could tell me what it was. I got a lot of interesting responses, but only a couple diagnosed it as likely a cam retardation problem or possibly an overly aggressive cam (all focused on peak power). Most others wanted to throw more ignition timing at it. Errr, the dyno shop already did that folks!

Convinced it was the cam, I ordered one from DOA Racing. It had a lot of great reviews all over the place.

Since I was tired of spending $$, and it was just a cam, I decided to do it myself. Sure, I'd likely get it reimbursed by "The Shop", but "likely" might involved court this time, and I really wanted to tear into this thing myself.

Scott, my ultra-cool mechanically inclined neighbor came over. He has a 350hp VW-motored buggy and used to rebuild and maintain 16 cylinder methane-powered engines. Not a bad guy to have in your camp. I'm no slouch, having rebuilt a couple motors and trannies, etc., but it's not something I do every day. :)

Before installing the cam, I degree'd the existing cam. It showed about 7 degrees retarded. Yeouch!
The Crane Stage II cam is not a turbo cam. And, as I'd mentioned, I found enough complaints about lack of power and running rich for the Crane Stage II cam in normally aspirated applications, I was just happy to get it out. I really, really resist spending money chasing problems without having confidence the $$ being spent will solve the issue. I really did my homework on this one, and I was feeling good. Not always a good sign! LOL

Input from folks was that a 105 degree centerline cam in an automatic wasn't exactly a good match. Now, granted, the AT is not intended to be in there for too much longer, but whatever - once the truck is running down the road, AT or MT doesn't matter. And saying this one didn't run down the road none too good was being generous.

The new cam from DOA Racing is a 110 degree centerline.

When I held both cams up (Crane Stage II, supposedly, and the DOA 270) with the dowel pins at 12:00 the Crane's lobes were further counterclockwise than the DOA's. There's that 5 degree difference... Maybe more.

Old Cam specs from my invoice:                  New Cam specs                

Cam specs Int Exh                                       (SWAG from the writing on the box)
Valve lift: .429 .442                                     .432
Cam lift: .275 .283                                      .271
Duration (SAE)
Valve lash .012 .012
Centerline 105 105                                      110
Spread 110
Timing events @ 0.050
Duration 224 234                                        226
Rocker ratio: 1.56                                       Same (same rockers)

Nice cam comparison site (does not include the DOA cam):

This was probably the easiest cam I've ever done. The only reason it took as long as it did is that I was messing around with the degree wheel and finding where the original cam was phased. I loosely followed these directions. I was worried about the head gasket, but I had quite a few people, including some really respected names in Toyotas, tell me as long as I didn't break the seal, I was good.

Years ago, I replaced a head on my mom's 22RE, and I remember that sucker was sealed pretty well to the block, so I got over it and bit the bullet!.
I installed the new cam, slathered in cam lube, and degree'd it. It came out to 3 degrees retarded. None of the degree wheel stuff was touched in between cams. I'm wondering if the Cranes are being misdrilled...

After the initial valve adjustment, it was... The Moment of Truth!

I'm used to Chevy's where the distributor spins 360 while you get it started, then you adjust it as needed so the wires and/or vacuum advance (for oldies) points where you want 'em to AFTER you break in the cam/motor. On the Toy, the distributor has a limited swing and you need to stop, pull the cap (2 small bolts), pull the retaining bolt, rotate it, replace the cap, replace the bolt, and see how you did.

It took me three tries to get the distributor where I wanted it. :)

The first time, I had the ignition timing way off and when I cranked it over, it fired as one of the pistons tried to come up, nearly stalling the poor starter. D'oh!

Off with the cap, pull and rotate the distributor a bit, try again. It started. Checked the timing and it was still way off. I had to pull the distributor one more time to get it where I wanted and so it would time well. I set it to factory specs (jumper the check pins!), 5 degrees BTDC, for now. It's going to a shop to get tuned on the dyno, so I'm not too worried about that part right now.

After 20 minutes for breakin, I let it cool down a bit while I cleaned up and put most of the tools away. If you put them all away, you'll need to get them out again. It's just the way it works. ;-)

The first thing I noticed was that it fired RIGHT up. That was an improvement.
It idled much more smoothly. That was an improvement. Especially given the solid motor mounts
At idle, it no longer felt like it wanted to die. That was an improvement
I got in it and went to back up. When it leapt backwards, I started giggling like a schoolgirl. That was a huge improvement.
On the road, it made boost before I reached the STOP sign. That's 3 houses in suburbia. That was a definite improvement, especially considering I wasn't trying. After all, it had a new cam for cripes sake!

On the main road, I realized I was effectively driving a new truck. Holeee Carp! I've never had a single, relatively cheap performance mod make such a tangible difference. And this was with the cam 3 degrees retarded still!

The old truck was a danger to pull out into traffic.
  This one throws itself out there in comparison. It's not scary anymore, that's for sure.
The old truck would absolutely NOT spin a tire in dirt from a dead stop (with puny stock 225s no less!).
  The new one throws dirt merrily. Then the turbo kicks in and it gets a little angry as it throws dirt. LOL

You all saw the dyno chart I posted earlier. The original behaviour makes perfect sense with that graph. I'm excited to see what the chart looks like now!

Several days later, I got to drive it 50 miles to Temecula. There are some hills between here and there on the highway where even SWMBO's 283hp Suburban wants to shift out of OD. Not the 4Runner, nopers. OD the whole way (Econo mode).

Before, 80 had the poor thing working its guts out (at 4.5psi boost). At 9psi, it still wasn't exactly happy at 80. Now 80 is just some number on the way to a higher number. >:) Time to replace those 10 year old rear tires!!!

In summation, this is the best money I ever spent on a performance mod. It probably wouldn't have been so phenomenal a difference if the Crane cam hadn't been such the wrong choice for this application. But I'm definitely high on DOA camshafts right now!

Next up, taking it to the new shop to get tuned and see what else is Not Quite Right...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cam is due this week!

My cam is due later this week, but I need to be out of town.

It''s 2AM on Sunday morning and I've been on a work call since around 10AM. I think this is going to dent another week.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New cam is on order

I've decided to stop whining about the shop I used.

I have a DOA 270 cam on order, hunting down a degree wheel later today. Found a local shop which came recommended by a national vendor which is locally based.

He feels they know what to do with the power curve on the dyno, and the info he provided made me very confident he does in fact know. I'll be swapping the cam myself, then taking it to them for final tuning.

I'm excited to be getting the new cam and learning how to use a degree wheel! Cam should be here in a week or so, but then I'm racing the Elsinore GP on my dual sport, so it'll be a bit until I get back to this.

See you soon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

We have a dyno chart!

And the news is not what I'd like to see, but it totally matches the butt-o-meter.

Very low power down low, peaking up high.  Compare to the dyno charts of other 22RETs here

Cruise at 80 in OD is 2900rpm, maybe 45rwhp, tops. That's around 80-85ft/lbs of torque. No wonder I hate it on the road and it's getting poor mileage (for best efficiency, running at torque peak is generally recomended).
There was no boost controller, so no way to alter boost, and it was only boosting 4.5-4.75psi. No idea WTF the original shop thought they were adjusting or measuring. I'm finally pretty angry with them, especially because the tech very specifically told me and the owner that he had set the boost to 7PSI. The chart has 7PSI on it. I needed to buy a boost controller to allow that to happen. The baseline is the best this truck has run since the new engine and turbo have been installed. I'd have noticed 7PSI...

When I got it back from the original shop this time, it was the best it had run to-date.

Today, after the dyno shop tweaked it and added a boost controller, it's running even better, but the screwiness in the power delivery is even more evident now that there's such a big valley-to-peak difference, and over such a short RPM range.
It runs a LOT better higher in the rev band, and I can actually hear the turbo now.

It's still running quite rich on the top end, as evidenced on the chart below.
I've decided to source a DOA 270 cam, ARP head studs, and a cam degree wheel. I'm convinced this cam is significantly retarded. I'm wondering if the head deck height and/or block aren't out of spec, causing this behaviour. It's supposed to be a new head.  OTOH, it was supposed to get a new thermostat, it was supposed to be pushing 7PSI...

Time to do some more Googling.

Cam specs from my original invoice

From my invoice:
Cam specs Int    Exh
Valve lift:   .429 .442
Cam lift:    .275 .283
Duration (SAE)
Valve lash .012 .012
Centerline  105 105
Spread         110
Timing events @ 0.050
Duration     224 234
Rocker ratio: 1.56

Click here for bigger picture
All #s RWHP

The aftermath...

While I'd asked for the owner to wait until I was back, I got a call from him. He was very eager to take care of this.

While wiring the truck to be flat-towed behind a motorhome, I flipped up the seat behind the driver to find the bottom was scorched badly, burned through the carpet, and into the pad. I was so angry by now.

The factory heat shield for the muffler had not been reinstalled after they did the cat-back.
On top of that, the muffler was getting hotter than the catalytic convertor. And it was a Flowmaster, which I really didn't like as it was too loud.

The truck had quite a few loose ends the PO had let go (not the original owner who appeared to be meticulous in their care). The aftermarket radio was slapping around, high beams didn't work, a headlight was out, the passenger seat didn't fold forward - lots of little stuff like that.

When I got the truck back, it had a new muffler, the scorched part was repaired (so-so, but I was done by now), and it was finally running better. Not good, but better.  The shop insisted all they changed was the muffler, and that the Flowmaster didn't flow well (errr... what?! A Flowmaster is worth about 5-7hp on my BMW M3 which arguably has the best performing stock exhaust in the world).

The truck was washed and vacuumed. The shop also fabbed mounts for my tow bar and safety cables, at no charge. All the little things I mentioned above were resolved at no charge, without telling me.

Wow. Now that's trying to get back on my good side. A previous time I brought it in, it was delivered back to me dirty with greasy prints on the door, fender and hood. It was nice to see them taking this seriously for once.

But there were little things. The tow bar required a hammer to get in, and couldn't left attached and driven around (as I had requested), instead needing to be removed. I brought it back to be tweaked at the owner's request. They fixed that, but now some the pins were missing from my tow bar. It's easy to keep that from happening - PUT THEM BACK IN THE BAR when you're done with them. Gaaaaah!

The day I went to pick it up, someone apparently backed into the driver's rear quarter, breaking the tail lamp and adding dents above and below the tail lamp. It WAS a pretty clean little truck.

We finally squared up, getting me back a check for $750 for the work the shop in Arizona had performed. It wasn't signed, which I found out at the bank because I'm a trusting fool.

This place couldn't do anything well.

Today, I found out the turbo is leaking. Again. I'm sure they'll take care of it if I ask. But do I really want to bring my truck back to them? Absolutely, posti-freakingly no way.

And if anyone ever asks me if they should go there, I'm telling them all about the fun I've had.

The letter...

Hi Shop-Owner,

I’m writing this letter from my office in San Francisco and don’t have access to my notes or the interim quotes/invoices, so please pardon the rough nature of the numbers and timeframes I’ve included below.  

I wanted to roughly recap my experiences so far, in limited detail, so we’re on the same page with respect to my experiences with “The Shop”. 

While I find that you’re supportive and pleasant to deal with, my experiences with “The Shop” had left me somewhat dissatisfied overall, but I also felt that, in some ways, like welding in a new O2 sensor bung at no charge, “The Shop” was going over and above and decided to give the shop the benefit of the doubt.

After the problems the truck experienced late last week, however, I find myself extremely dissatisfied, especially since they seem to be related to the root cause of the issues being chased recently. And, the outcome from installing a factory O2 sensor clearly indicates the O2 sensor was not the cause.

My truck, a 1987 Toyota 4Runner Turbo, was returned to me in early December after a prolonged period of time (3 months comes to mind) for an engine rebuild.  I had been told it would be “$2400 drive in, drive out” for a performance engine rebuild, which included minor porting and larger valves. This did not include unexpected issues, like a cracked head, nor did it include rebuilding the turbo or add-ons, like Total Chaos motor mounts, cat-back exhaust, etc.

Before getting the truck back in December, you had contacted me with price adjustments, indicating the $2400 did not include an oil pump or a timing chain and those were extra. This was unexpected, as was the new price, which included extras I had asked for as well as many other rebuild-related parts I was not expecting after our conversations around rebuilding the engine. In retrospect and my discussions with other shops, these seem to be common things that would be replaced as part of the rebuild of an engine with 212K miles on them and should have been brought up before any work was started.

My expectation remained that any necessary items would be brought to my attention for review on how to proceed.

The truck was returned to me in early December and needed to be returned to the shop after 600 miles. At 600 miles, I brought it in and indicated there were two issues – the truck was puffing blue smoke on deceleration, and the thermostat appeared to have stuck on the way into your shop that morning, resulting in the temperature gauge reading much higher than normal, but not in the danger zone.

When I got the truck back, the temperature was back to normal and I assumed the thermostat had been swapped out . While I was in AZ, I found that the thermostat was in fact not changed at any time by “The Shop”. The shop in AZ indicated that, given the use of red RTV on the thermostat housing, they did not believe the thermostat had been changed at the time of the engine being rebuilt, and strongly suggested it be changed given the engine was newly rebuilt. Once removed, the old thermostat had rust around the edges. I’ve retained the thermostat.

When I brought the truck back to “The Shop” to have a catalytic convertor installed, I needed an emissions test for the DMV paperwork. I was quite surprised to find that the truck more than doubled the limits for each tested factor. I was informed the truck needed to be brought back in later to resolve the issue, which I did.

Your shop insisted I did not need the VCV valve (I’ve been erroneously calling it a VSV valve) on the valve cover for EGR functions and instead routed the vacuum line so that it was taken out of the system. I indicated several times that I had the old valve, which was damaged, but was told it wasn’t needed. It is pictured in the vacuum diagram under the hood. Later, I was told the valve was very difficult to find and that alternatives were being explored since it managed EGR functions. I’ve since found that the part number for the original valve is 90925-03117 and any of the local Toyota dealers can have it in stock within a day or so.

After getting the truck back this time, it had started to miss at very light throttle openings. You indicated it was likely the O2 sensor, so I brought it back for another O2 sensor, apparently a GM one. The problem, which is very easy to replicate, and annoying, persisted after the change, but your shop indicated it should be fixed when I picked up the truck.

The next time into the shop, the turbo was sent back to the rebuilder under warranty to fix an oil leak, and the O2 sensor was replaced with a stock sensor to resolve the light-throttle miss. The truck continued to exhibit the light-throttle miss after this work, leading me to believe that “The Shop” did not test drive the truck at all. I also found that the O2 leads had been cut off and spade connectors installed. The TPS was also adjusted during this service. The TPS currently only has one screw holding it in.

After this latest repair effort, I needed to go to Tucson, Arizona.

As you know, the fuel gauge doesn’t work well on the truck. Given this, I was using the odometer to track when it was time to fill up. When I bought the truck, with about 212,000 miles on it and with a poorly running engine, I drove it from Sacramento to San Diego and averaged 20mpg.

Fuel mileage on this trip was dismal and I ran out of gas on the highway near Winterhaven, CA with around 175 miles on that tank, which holds more than 17 gallons. A CHP officer pushed me and the truck to the nearest gas station. Fuel mileage continued to be poor for the duration of the trip out, hovering in the 11mpg range. 

Near Green Valley, the truck started making a tapping sound and running rough/poorly. I pulled over and called a local shop for service.

While the shop had my truck, I borrowed a friend’s truck to get around, or there would be a rental charge as well.

The intake boot had gritty, thick oil in it, as did the intake itself (where the butterfly valve is). It seems like it had been there a while since the metal turbo tube going into that boot (which was cut and extended by welding by “The Shop” during the initial rebuild) did not have this residue buildup. Since the intake appears not to have been cleaned externally either, it appears this is a remnant from before the rebuild. As such, it would be completely unacceptable and would contribute to undesirable wear and tear on the engine if ingested, which may have already been occurring.

I had requested that the engine be built to support at least 250hp, which I was told was readily achievable. The intake seems to not have been split, nor was it cleaned. The injectors were siliconed into the intake, and both front injectors were very loose in their sockets. Also, it does not appear the intake side of the head or intake manifold were ported, as discussed as part of the $2400 drive in/drive out performance rebuild.

It feels to me that “The Shop” has had my truck more over the last 7 months than I have, and the recent repeat issues with the miss being readily apparent each time I picked it up, when claimed to be solved, are contributing to my reticence to bring it back in for any work. Since I live about 25-30 miles from “The Shop”, each time I need to bring the truck in for repairs creates logistical challenges for me and my family.

Given the amount of churn and extensive shop time chasing easy-to-replicate issues which are stated as resolved when the truck is returned to me, but are not, and the number of issues this other shop found, I have lost confidence in the engine and the work completed. 

I am convinced I’ll be chasing problems with this truck for quite some time, especially as I begin to increase the power output with an intercooler and turning up the turbo as originally planned and as we have discussed. My overriding concern that a significant engine failure is imminent, even if not tuned up any more, and will occur after the warranty expires.

The warranty from “The Shop” is also being eroded by the continuous trips to the shop where service durations have ranged from 1-3 weeks per event.

Attached is the work the truck needed in Arizona. This incident with my truck affected both my business and my personal commitments on my trip.

I support mistakes, but the extent of the issues, such as loose bolts on both sides of the engine, and the critical, visibly damaged parts not replaced (injector pigtails) clearly demonstrates that whomever worked on my truck did not apply normal and reasonable care or even basic automotive practices (Using a torque wrench to tighten the intake bolts). 

The truck is now running better than it has since I got it back from “The Shop”. Even so, on the return trip, I only averaged around 15mpg, well under the 20mpg the truck achieved before the rebuild. I’m concerned that there are other issues contributing to the poor mileage, especially as the articles I’ve read after owners installed a TEC turbo had the truck getting significantly better gas mileage as well as power (going from 20 to 26mpg, for example). 

I am highly concerned that the engine will suffer a major mechanical issue in or out of warranty, especially given the issues experienced so far.

I’ll be back in San Diego next week and look forward to your suggestions on resolving these issues. At this point, I almost want another shop to tear down the engine to verify the work, at “The Shop”’s expense, as well as reimbursing me for current applicable expenses (not the injectors).

The next day...

I went to work the next day.

Just after 9am, I got a call from the shop. The #1 injector lead had come off the fuel injector. Wait, repeat that again? You see, injector leads have fancy clips that make this impossible.

Oh, it's broken and doesn't have the clip? Yes, please make it right.
The turbo just appears to be loose, we'll tighten it up for you.
The thermostat doesnt' look like it's been replaced (red RTV had last been used, that stuff hasn't been around for years). Ok, check it please.

A little while later, my phone rang again.
- 2 of your other injector leads are also missing the retaining clip and they are all very brittle. Ok, replace them all.
- Your injector's o-rings are completely shot (he gave them to me, they were uselessly hard and the injectors were RTV'd in, badly, by a previous repair). And they appear to be original, you should replace them. Since they were that far in, go ahead and install new injectors.
- Your thermostat was not changed, it's showing rust. Ok, new one please!

I love this shop. They kept me apprised, they told me how much things were going to cost BEFORE they did them, and then they delivered on that price. And they were timely and fast. They also showed me all my old parts (at my request - I brought some home in case I needed them for my impending discussion).

While they were at it, I asked them to fix and convert my truck's AC from R12 to R134A for the AC, but to bill that seperately. I was going to share some of my pain with the original shop, but the AC wasn't part of it.

When I got the truck back, it was running better. On the way home, it was managing about 15mpg on average, but still wasn't running as well as I had wanted.

The trip (saga) to Tucson

It's been a while since I've written, mostly because the truck has been in limbo as the it has gone back to the shop more than a few times since the last posting and I am really trying to keep this positive!

In June, I drove the 4Runner my home in San Diego, CA to Tucson, AZ. I'd driven it around town, and needed to run out to Tucson on business. I figured it'd be nice to get it on the highway to see how it performed on the open road. By now it had a couple thousand miles on the motor, and some highway miles would help seat things.

My last road trip was down I5 from Sacramento to San Diego, when I originally bought it. With about 212K on the clock and an original motor, an exhaust leak, and a turbo that didn't boost much. It got 20mpg for most of that trip, 16mpg for the tank over Grapevine and through LA, and would do just a smidge over 80, but didn't like it. It would tool along comfortably at 75 though. Grapevine had it struggling to eke out 50-55mph. That would not do!

Working with the shop, emissions were finally in line with where they should be on a new motor, and mpg had increased to the mid-teens. It seems that many folks are getting closer to the 20s, but I figured the engine was still new.

The fuel gauge doesn't work yet, the sender is a little off. At 10 gallons, the idiot light comes on, leaving about 7 in the tank. I'm only about 170 miles from Yuma. 16 miles*17 gallons= 270 miles/tank. So I filled up and promptly trundled off to Yuma.

The first thing I noticed is the truck was not happy on the open road. 80 was doable, but any more was too much to ask of it. Ok, note to self to discuss with the shop.

About 8 miles outside of Winterhaven (East of Yuma), the engine sputtered and died. It restarted, then repeated.  I was able to coast to within a couple miles of an exit where I could see a Chevron sign. While I was calling AAA, a nice Highway Patrol officer pushed me into a gas station. 

With a full tank it restarted. Let's see... 170/17 gallons... 10mpg?!? Note to self... (This happens a lot for a while).

From there, it was on towards Casa Grande. Another 170 miles, but there are some fuel stations before then. I reset the odometer and started keeping track of my mileage to avoid another issue.

As I was approaching Casa Grande, the sunset was beautiful. I missed a lot of it, because the truck started to miss. Once on the side of the road, I found the #2 and #3 spark plug leads had come off the spark plugs. Thank goodness it was easy, it was getting dark. Note to self...

My next stop was a town called Sahuarita, south of Tucson, AZ. Just South of Tucson, the truck started to miss very badly

As I left Phoenix, the truck started requiring more pedal to keep going. It was dark now, of course. As I passed Tucson headed south, the truck started running very weakly. Then it started to miss again. I pulled over, but the ignition leads were on tight. The turbo, however, was hanging loose.

It was late, but I called shop I knew in the area to save me.

Notes to self were piling up....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Turbo getting re-sealed, emissions part deux

The truck's been at the shop about 2 weeks getting the turbo re-sealed. Emissions continue to be sketchy, turns out it's a valve that keeps pressure from getting routed to the EGR valve.

At the same time, they're swapping out the stock O2 bung for a smaller one so they can install a stock O2 sensor.

Fingers are crossed, but service continues to be slow. Any bets on how much this will all cost and whether the turbo will be fully covered?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Truck status, hanging starter

Work has had me absolutely slammed. 17 hours on Sunday, probably because it's getting hard to think straight and I'm just getting slow. I'd rather be slinging code for that amount of time.

Saga not quite over yet, but waiting until it's solved and I can objectively review the situation. I will post an update.

The truck's not quite running right. It finally passed emissions with flying colors, but needs a "VSV" valve to do it again (how is this passing? Well it at least let me satisfy DMV and get the title finished over to my name.). I'm told Toyota don't make it anymore, but the dealer I called could get both VSV valves in a couple of days, so I need to follow up and find out what valve it really needs.

The shop also felt my O2 sensor was slow, so they swapped in a new one. The TEC turbo comes with a larger-than-stock O2 bung, so they installed a GM unit they felt was compatible. At light cruise on the highway, in any gear, it now feels like it's experiencing a lean surge, and gets jerky. Give it a little throttle and it goes away.

Gas MPG went up from 14 to 18, but then dropped back to 15 the next tank. This tank seems to be doing better. Neither one is the mileage I was hoping for, especially with 225s, no lift, and no ability to light 'em up down the block (it's a total dog off the lights and I can't imagine it being able to do a brake-stand).

The truck is running better under power since they looked at it last, tho. By the time I cross the intersection, it's starting to pull. But, again, not the power I was hoping for. 2.4 liters, turbocharged should be not that far off from my M3 (3.0 I6 240hp in US dress, 321hp if it was the Euro version). I'll give BMW credit, their German horses seem to be a lot bigger than these Japanese horses, the car pulls 23mpg driving it assertively, dipping to 19 if I'm really blurring the scenery, or a high of 28 if it's all slab.  Almost 10mpg on a track day where the carpet is compressed all day long. I can't begin to imagine selling that car, it's such a great all-arounder.

The Toy's gearing and power band is great for cruising down the highway at 70-80+ though, which is important as there are big stretches of pavement between the dirt. However, hills and the OD are unhappy together. I need to shift out of overdrive several times on my way home, which I don't need to do in SWMBO's Yukon XL unless I'm in a hurry.

My goal was to build an engine that got good gas mpg, wasn't a twitchy monster offroad, but had decent power while getting out to the trails. We're not quite there yet...

OTOH, the Toy's stock turbo 2.4 was a meager 145hp... I'm looking forward to a dyno run, and I'll look for some online advice on what other changes I can make.

The turbo is leaking. Could be because the drain line was kinked, causing the truck to puff smoke coming to a stop, could just be a rebuild problem. Shop seems to be taking care of it (there was a question at one time), so that'll be cool (and one reason I paid instead of DIY. I hardly have time to drop the thing off again.)

The starter has started hanging (keeps trying to start after you release the key) so I'll be using these two links to see if I can sort out the problem. It's either a sticky contact or a sticky plunger.

It's off to the shop. Any bets how long they have it this time? :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More goodies for the 4Runner

We cracked 500 miles a week ago Friday, so it got its new catalytic converter. That quietened it up and seemed to give it more bottom end. Cool. I had them add a flex joint while they were at it. Cheap insurance for the exhaust manifold.

I'll post pics when I get a chance.

I've been out of town for a week, so some of the goodies I had ordered came in while I was out, all from the same seller.

-  sunroof shield
-  locks all around (so I only need one key)
-  driver's mirror
-  driver's power window switch (finally!!!)

The switch and driver's mirror were good buys. And I'm very happy to have the power window switch finally. That sucker was hard to hunt down. The sunroof visor will be nice to have in the hot sun here.

The seller did a good job packing the parts.

Sunroof shield
  • The shield was covered with that black mold you get in humid climates. I lived in Oregon for 10 years, so I'm well acquainted with the stuff.

    I took a pic and I'll post it when I get a chance. It's still stained after being cleaned, has 3 holes in the material, and had some tarry black goo in a couple places. At least the mechanism works. I doubt I'll send it back, not worth the shipping. Maybe I'll cover it in plush velour... gaaa! Perish the thought!
Tailgate lock
  • The lock for the tailgate came with the whole "Toyota" plastic assembly as the seller couldn't figure out how to pop the lock off. I'd never been in one, so had no suggestions. The deal was to send mine back to him because of that. I am disappointed at the condition of that part and will be sending it back to him instead of mine (I figured out how to pop the lock out). The parts are from back east, so all the metal bits are rusted - including the light bulb sockets. The plastic part was in overall medium condition at best. The "Toyota" is more faded than my California truck's, which surprised me given how hard the sun beats down here. Maybe I'm not giving the east coast it's due when it comes to that kind of thing! LOL
  • And, to boot, the lock for the tailgate didn't work with the key supplied. Whoops!
PM sent, we'll see what comes from it.