3L Hilux vs 1hdt hdj81 drivability

Joined
Aug 3, 2015
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200
Location
Nova Scotia
Nah. I wanted a truck. But thanks!

I owned a 1990 2L-TII Hilux Surf 5 speed for 5 years and recently spent a month living out of an auto HDJ81. Surf was stock on 31's, HDJ was lifted on 33's and pretty heavy.

Surf had 3" exhaust and emissions delete/boost compensator tweak. It was noticeably slow, but if I drove it hard it kept up with traffic fine. Aforementioned tweaks made a big difference. Used it for 900km round-trip highway journeys when I was in college, would cruise 120kph++ pretty easy on the flatter sections, down to 100 or so on some of the grades, mostly due to EGTs rather than power. An intercooler would have helped a lot, you could tell it was heat-soaking. No matter how I drove it I struggled to get less than 23mpg US. Highway stuff was usually 25-28mpg.

The HDJ81 accelerated and maintained speed in "normal" driving almost like a "normal" car, I found (I.E. the slowness wasn't noticeable). But on hard acceleration I found the HDJ not particularly impressive and it really didn't seem to like rpms over 2800. Low end torque was miles ahead of the 2L-T, which is where most time is spent during "normal" driving. You had to wring the Surf out to get it going.

If you stuck a turbo setup from a 2L Surf on a 3L Hilux, intercooled it and gave it an educated tickle I'm sure it would do your 70mph highway duties just fine. You'd have to go down the cylinder head rabbit hole, though.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Messages
114
Location
Nanaimo BC
I daily drive an LN106 with the 3L. Stock with a recently rebuilt injection pump. It is fast enough, I would say it accelerates as well as any other 3rd Gen pickup, maybe faster. I can pass no problem. But it did come with a mechanical chime built into the cluster that would activate over 100 km/hr(60 mph). I removed the chime, but gives you an idea of what Toyota consider a reasonable top end.

I agree that with a turbo setup 70 mph probably wouldn’t be an issue. Although it’s a pretty light rig with leafs all around so high speed handling is not its strength. Standard practice these days for turboing the 3L seems to be the TD04 turbos. The Australian sources seem to have the consensus that the 2LT setup runs hot compared to a TD04.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
140
Location
San Diego, CA
My buddy has an LN106 that I drive often and also primarily work on for him.

If you're at altitude at all, a turbo is pretty much a must. We're up in Utah and the thing struggled to go over 60, and any decent grade sometimes required even dropping down to 3rd gear and hazards on.

Threw a 2LT turbo (standard 3L pump, non-boost compensated), 2.5" exhaust, and the truck completely changed. (Appx 11psi boost max, coolant temp 180, EGT 850 max). Not race car level, but pretty much on par with well tuned 22RE with a lot more bottom end torque. Having said that, we blew 5th gear eventually (5th gear on the G series transmissions are pretty weak) and replaced it with a W56C heavy duty from Marlin Crawler to handle the added power.

Having said all that, we blew cylinder 3's compression. Still tbd on why, since I haven't pulled the engine out yet, but it has over 450km's on the engine so the piston ring probably gave way. We lived in CA once upon a time, and I can't imagine driving any highway without a boosted 3L though. Would be border line dangerous with short on ramps etc.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
1,399
Location
Arlington, Wa
My buddy has an LN106 that I drive often and also primarily work on for him.

If you're at altitude at all, a turbo is pretty much a must. We're up in Utah and the thing struggled to go over 60, and any decent grade sometimes required even dropping down to 3rd gear and hazards on.

Threw a 2LT turbo (standard 3L pump, non-boost compensated), 2.5" exhaust, and the truck completely changed. (Appx 11psi boost max, coolant temp 180, EGT 850 max). Not race car level, but pretty much on par with well tuned 22RE with a lot more bottom end torque. Having said that, we blew 5th gear eventually (5th gear on the G series transmissions are pretty weak) and replaced it with a W56C heavy duty from Marlin Crawler to handle the added power.

Having said all that, we blew cylinder 3's compression. Still tbd on why, since I haven't pulled the engine out yet, but it has over 450km's on the engine so the piston ring probably gave way. We lived in CA once upon a time, and I can't imagine driving any highway without a boosted 3L though. Would be border line dangerous with short on ramps etc.

Thankfully I am not at elevation on the daily. I live only a few hundred feet above sea level.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
Messages
5,518
Location
Kiwiland
Imagine 30 seconds to 100km/h. That's the ballpark for the old 3L (2.8 litre) hilux.

Also. You can't wind them up much safely with a turbo. They're not strong enough. Single digits of boost is where you're at. Which can give you about 30% more power and torque than stock.

1HD-T is a completely different beast.
 

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