1985 Toyota Pickup DLX Turbo - 2LT - Restoration Project

Sep 12, 2018
Santa Cruz, CA
Hi Everyone,
This is my first post, and I'm new to the forum. Been lurking and reading for a long time, but finally decided to post. A little about me, my daily driver is a 1985 Toyota Pickup SR5. I live on a gnarly mountain road, and this billygoat gets me around no matter what the weather, mudslides, tree falls, and all.

It has been a long time dream of mine to have a diesel version. I finally got my hands on one with only about 160,000 miles on it. It needs a bunch of work externally and electrically, but the engine itself is clean, especially on the inside.

One of the first issues that I had with the truck was that it was overheating. I spent countless hours tracking down and tracing down the problem. There were a few issues that were going on:

1. There was an undersized and wrong fan clutch installed. I replaced it with the Aisin FCT-025.

This was a huge improvement, and saw temperatures coming under much better control, but not sufficient to prevent overheating all together. An important and needed upgrade, but not the final cure.

2. I flushed the radiator and coolant system with Irontite. It took a couple of flushes to clean it out, the previous owner probably neglected this, or only ran water, but after three flushes, it started running clean.

This was also an additional improvement, and drastically reduced temperatures, but as with the fan clutch upgrade, it reduced normal engine temperatures, but anytime that I would start to climb a hill I would watch the temperature gauge rapidly rise.

Upon further investigation, we determined that the issue was the injection pump timing. The previous owner had done a timing belt and water pump change, but didn't calibrate the timing. I don't have the SST necessary to dial this in perfectly, so we eyeballed it and made slight adjustments to the orientation of the pump over the course of several days, and suddenly this thing was performing absolutely amazing. Tons more power, no more overheating, and much better gas mileage. I never realized what an effect timing had on engine temperatures, but now I know, and hopefully anyone out there searching for answers in their own projects can use this data that I've gathered. I'm waiting on the SST which I had to source from Japan so I can more accurately dial in the timing and improve the performance.


So one of the other issues with the truck is that the Amber turbo light stays on all the time. I just swapped in a new turbo, and it sounds and feels like it is working, but I can't figure out what the problem is.

The Toyota Shop Manual is asking me to check the high and low pressure switches for the turbo, but there is no diagram in the official shop manual, or in the Bentley or Haynes manuals that I have that points out where these switches are? I've looked over the engine many times with the help of some of my friends, and none of us can figure this one out. I've done quite a few searches online trying to find information about these switches, but I can't find anything. The shop manual only refers to them as "high pressure switch" and "low pressure switch."

Anyone on here have any information about where these switches are located, or have part numbers for these?

I'll post some pictures of the truck later tonight or tomorrow. She ain't pretty, yet. Lots of unnecessary chome accents, I personally like it to look as stock as possible, and she could use a fresh coat of paint, but I love her and have waited for her to fall into my lap for a long time. I'm excited to delve into this build and make her truly shine.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate any help, and look forward to sharing more of this story as it develops.

Sep 26, 2017
Midway, ky
Awesome! I just acquired a 1985 (originally 22re) with an L diesel in it. It too looks immaculate inside the block!
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