1997 LC has high rev at cold start...

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Oct 20, 2014
Los Angeles
Hi all, my 1997 revs up to about 1800 RPM with a loud roar when I first start it. Sometimes it feels like it is charged up and ready to climb straight up my garage wall ahead. I know it IS a capable 4x4, but I can't let it do that for many reasons. It drops down to 1100 RPM, like a well behaved kid, in about 3 minutes. So, my question is, is it okay for the LC to be so headstrong at start up? Is that normal or should I worry and send it to an anger management class at the local dealership?

#2 The local dealer says the OEM fan clutch is a Denso and not Aisin. Does he know what he is talking about? Or should he be sent to a Toyota parts familiarity class? Does the fan clutch need to be Landtank modified for Southern California use? Mostly intended to be driven in Death Valley in the dead of summer and the high altitude of Eastern Sierras in the dead of winter. The price difference for a Landtank mod is quite hefty as you know. I am trying to save money.........for beer.

#3 The vet.....er the service manager at the local dealership seems to think that the radiator has a slight leak at the top, near the radiator cap, although I haven't had to put a single drop of the Red one yet to replenish in 4 months, and never found it wet even with the engine running. Are these just over enthused service managers or should I pay heed? Dealer said they would be happy to take 500 of the green ones from my hand for a replacement radiator. I would be happier to part with 300 of them and get the same thing somewhere else that lasts me 17 years, as did this original one. Is that even plausible? Planning an excursion to Death Valley from New Years day on, and do not want to be stranded.

I am happy to pay for the fodder and vet costs for this 17 year old mule. Just need to know how to give it the TLC it needs, so it can roam wild. So, all the help, suggestions and advise will be very much appreciated.

Thanks and Happy Holidays...........
Go to new dealer, should rev up and hear it roar sign of good fan clutch, don't change unless you are running high temps when stopped
Get an Ultragauge or Scangauge (Google or search on here for info)

They are very inexpensive and will give you accurate measurements on your coolant temp, as the factory gauge is just a dummy gauge and will not tell you something's wrong until it's too late.

Like said above, revving up and roaring on startup are normal...is your idle once warm 650-750?
sounds normal. Like others have said, unless you're running hot, or, idle doesn't drop back down, keep driving....
Ah the 80 start up roar! Good thing :)
Way high. Hard on motor and throwing a neutral drop to the trans if u have to drive away. I'd do that o ring fix and double check vac leaks and throttle cable letting throttle fully close egr closing etc
Thank you everyone for the replies to my post. Today, I kept an eye on what really happens and it seems like it got to a little over the 1600 RPM mark (but not quite touching 1800) for about 5 seconds and started to drop down. Took about 2 minutes to touch 1000 RPM and when I shifted to a gear, it dropped to about 800 and hovered there till I throttled. In any case, as a habit, I always warm up engines before driving off. Come to think of it, the very loud roar of the initial start is why I had chosen this particular vehicle over other examples at the lot when I bought it. It sounded healthy and VIGOROUS! Truck is not running hot at all. The needle remains steady at the midway mark like a sticker. Did not see any movement even in the hot months of Aug/Sept in Southern California. So, I think I am good there. But as Medtro suggested, I will look into the cold start adjustment of the ISC valve. Thank you for the awesome link.

I do have a Scangauge. The very next thing I had bought after buying the 80. So, I will check the readings and post it here to see what you all think in case I can't decipher. I wish I could leave the gauge there permanently, but the LC design is such that it would be an inconvenience. Could this port be relocated somewhere else as a mod? Probably not, is my guess.

I embarrassingly admit that my mechanical inclination is about zero to be a DIYer. Zero would actually be giving me some kudos. Ok, I can check the oil and pour in a replenishment when needed, but that doesn't really qualify me to work on anything on this truck. A catastrophic failure would be sure to follow that could put people in harm's way, so I refrain. If there is a kind soul in the San Fernando Valley area that can help me maintain or work on my truck for some extra cash, I would be highly obliged. Going to a dealer or mechanic shop all the time would eat into what I would rather spend on infinite mods. And perhaps, in time, I would learn how to turn a wrench by being the helper. Hoping so.....

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