86 HJ61 automatic - dying while driving, now struggling to idle/run

Joined
Aug 23, 2021
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PNW - USA
Hoping you guys can point me in the right direction here..

I was driving my 86' HJ61 to work the other morning (short drive) and as I started going up a hill near the end of the drive my Landcruiser started to slowly lose power as I went up, even after giving a little more throttle. It died near the top and I coasted over the crest of the hill. I stopped there, restarted the truck and went down a hill and arrived at work. 8 hours later I drove home with no issues.

The next morning it started stuttering as I was in a drive-thru line (had only driven about 5 minutes). I gave it some throttle in park and it seemed to correct itself. 5 minutes later I am on my way home, and it dies as I am slowing down to pull in to a parking lot. At that point I couldn't get it started without it dying within a few seconds usually. Extra throttle just makes it run even more rough before it dies. It is very stuttery.

I gave it a few hours, came back and got it to start and idle right away, but as soon as I drove about 80 feet it stuttered, then hit a very small incline and it died again and i coasted to the flat. It wouldn't start without throttle and it would instantly putter out and die.

I am no mechanic, but can turn wrenches and do basic repairs etc. This is outside my wheelhouse and I'm not sure if there's anything I can/should check before taking it to a mechanic? I towed it home so I can do some basic inspection etc, but don't have a shop so am limited to the driveway.

Looking for some guidance on where to start, or if I should just call a shop.

Cheers!
 
Joined
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Adelaide, South Australia
This very much smacks of a fuel flow issue and the most likely cause is that the factory sedimenter is full of gunk.. I would temporarily bypass it with a bit of steel tube to join the two hoses together and see if the problem reoccurs. If you have time then you can also remove it from the vehicle, disassemble, clean and reinstall. I have a few images of the sedimenter here that will give you some idea of what you're dealing with: 2H/12HT Sedimenter images

Other possible causes are:

  • a lift pump that's failing, see my video here: Lift Pump failure, 2H
  • the fuel system is sucking air from a banjo fitting, hose or the primer pump (screwed into the top of the lift pump)
  • the brass mesh screen inside the banjo at the Injection Pump inlet is fouled, also sometimes found at the inlet to the lift pump (Image)
  • the fuel pickup in the tank has issues.. there's a small filter on it (Image)


There may be some other causes.. but its almost certainly fuel flow or air in your fuel.
 
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Joined
Jan 8, 2013
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Salmon Arm, B.C.
I had a similar issue with my HJ 61. It turned out to be a small rust hole in the fuel pick up tube attached to the fuel tank. Dirt and debris collects where the pick up tube enters the fuel tank and can cause it to rust out and make small pin holes. This will cause air to enter the fuel system.

To see if air is entering your fuel system before the fuel pump, disconnect the flexible fuel line between the pump and the last piece of hard line coming from your tank. In its place attach a piece of clear tubing.

Start your truck and watch to see if there are air bubbles in the clear plastic tubing. If there are bubbles present then there is an air leak between the pump and the tank.

If you do have an air leak you can lightly pressurize the hardline with compressed air to help find the leak. This will push a bit of fuel out and you look for signs of any fuel leaking.



Good luck.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
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PNW - USA
Thanks for the responses you guys!

I will be working on it this Sunday, so I'll start by pulling the water/sedimenter as I'm sure it could use a cleaning. I have a new fuel filter coming so I'll get that replaced as well.

At that point if the rig is still having symptoms I'll see if I can get some clear tubing and see if there is air finding its way into the lines.

*We had heavy snow a few weeks back which turned in to giant chunks of slush/ice hanging off the cruiser all over. I am wondering if the ice broke a fuel line loose and is allowing air in. I will start with the sedimenter and go from there though.

Thanks again for all the tips. I'll follow up with what I find out!
 
Joined
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PNW - USA
Napa stocks a fuel filter for the 12HT. Used them for years and readily available at my local store. Glad to shoot a pic of the part # if you need it
That'd be great. I have one on order but if I can grab one locally I'll just keep the other as a spare. Let me know if you come up with the part #.

Cheers
 

CenTXFJ60

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Spring Branch TX (Hill Country)
That'd be great. I have one on order but if I can grab one locally I'll just keep the other as a spare. Let me know if you come up with the part #.

Cheers
Cool. Just got home from a work trip to FL. I can slide into the barn manana and snap a pic of the NAPA filter. Someone else lurking here may already know the part # as well.
 
Joined
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PNW - USA
Cool. Just got home from a work trip to FL. I can slide into the barn manana and snap a pic of the NAPA filter. Someone else lurking here may already know the part # as well.
Any chance you pulled up that part number? My shipped filter hasn't shown up. Opened up the sedimenter and it was easily as nasty as the pictures you linked. Figuring the fuel filter is probably full of junk as well.
 
Joined
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Adelaide, South Australia
Any chance you pulled up that part number?

I know you're not asking me.. but Ryco Z169A is my goto filter in Australia for 2H/12HT.. so any of these will suit, can you find a cross ref to any of these, or a local supplier of one of these? :


 
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PNW - USA
Update: A big f'ing thanks to everyone who pitched in on this! The diesel is back at it and running as strong as ever.

Dove into the sedimenter and it was loaded with rusty sludge. Cleaned that out, then pulled and replaced the fuel filter. My hand priming pump is shot, but I was able to use a hand pump and suck the air out of the fitting near the fuel filter. (Not ideal as it was pulling air in from the threads of the fitting, but in the end I got it all out).

Pics attached. Thanks again everyone!


processed-cecd6520-3c7f-4e58-9a12-bdf64eb20187_6NK1m0Fj.jpeg
 
Joined
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PNW - USA
Well boys, the same problem cropped up again.

I pulled the sedimenter and there was a bit of rusty sediment in the bottom, but not much compared to last time. I swapped the fuel filter as well.

The rig is running again but I am concerned this is a much larger problem starting at the tank.

I lifted the back carpet and opened the cap for what I believe is the fuel sensor. Sure enough there seems to be patchy surface rust in the bottom of the tank, but it's hard to see much from that opening.

*I would like to take a look at the filter where the fuel is drawn from the tank, but I don't know how to access it. Can anyone point me to a diagram or explain how I can access that part of the tank? Am I at the point I need to drop the tank completely?

**With the surface rust in the tank, what are my options? Can the tank be cleaned/repaired or does it need to be replaced? Should I not even worry about the filter in the tank and just plan to tackle the entire thing?

I appreciate any help here! Thanks mudders!
 
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If anyone is curious I dropped the tank. Not a bad solo job, but I wish I had less fuel in that thing before I started.. It just kept coming!

I pulled the suction line and all I can say is it's amazing this thing was running at all.

I am not sure of the source of all this rusty / crusty / sludge, but the bottom of the tank was caked in it. A lot came loose and it doesn't look like the bottom of the tank is actually what is rusting, it looks like it just all settled down there.. Some pretty nasty stuff though!

I have a new filter and suction tube coming (though the metal line seems to only have minor surface rust). Going to give the tank the vinegar treatment and hope for the best.

Anyone know if I can use the POR Tank sealer after de-rusting with vinegar (and drying the tank) or do I need to clean it with something else first?



IMG_20220529_162109.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
4,847
Good work.

I don't have a response to your POR question, but perhaps someone else here may, or contact POR and see what they recommend. Any shops local to you that work on fuel tanks?

I've never had to deal with diesel algae (its not algae but microbes) before so can't say this is or is not, but perhaps do a google search, look at photos and read lots to see if this also might be what you are dealing with. The word sludge and that the bottom the tank does not look rusty may point to eliminating this as a problem as well. I do not have any recommendations for a biocide. That said, the sedimenter photo sure looks like rust to me too.

Good idea to put a new fuel pickup on, as you'll know its new and shouldn't pinhole for years.

hth's
gb
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
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Virginia
Well boys, the same problem cropped up again.

I pulled the sedimenter and there was a bit of rusty sediment in the bottom, but not much compared to last time. I swapped the fuel filter as well.

The rig is running again but I am concerned this is a much larger problem starting at the tank.

I lifted the back carpet and opened the cap for what I believe is the fuel sensor. Sure enough there seems to be patchy surface rust in the bottom of the tank, but it's hard to see much from that opening.

*I would like to take a look at the filter where the fuel is drawn from the tank, but I don't know how to access it. Can anyone point me to a diagram or explain how I can access that part of the tank? Am I at the point I need to drop the tank completely?

**With the surface rust in the tank, what are my options? Can the tank be cleaned/repaired or does it need to be replaced? Should I not even worry about the filter in the tank and just plan to tackle the entire thing?

I appreciate any help here! Thanks mudders!
Any update on this? You get her running smooth again? I don't seem to have a sedimenter anywhere under my hj61...
 
Joined
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PNW - USA
Any update on this? You get her running smooth again? I don't seem to have a sedimenter anywhere under my hj61...

The 61 is running smooth again, and the fuel tank is pretty much "like new".

There was a lot of rust on the bottom of the fuel tank. The "sludge" I could see in the bottom was actually just a big collection of rust possibly with a little aussie red mud mixed in. I couldn't find any local shops that we're willing to do it so I dove in myself.

Vinegar was nowhere near strong enough.. I wouldn't waste your time. In the end I used muriatic acid to etch the entire inside of the fuel tank. 2 sessions of about 3/4 gallons acid, plugging/sealing all the openings and slowly rolling/sloshing the liquid in the tank. After the 2nd session I ran a bunch of water through it to get all the acid out. Then a quick rinse with acetone for a final clean, and then immediately put the tank in the sun with a fan blowing air through the fill tube to dry it out and avoid it flash rusting.
I used the POR-15 fuel tank sealer the same day once it was totally dry. I removed the galvanized coating with the acid so I figured I better seal it or else the rust would just pop up again. 4 days to cure and I had pretty much a new tank.

Ordered a new OEM suction tube w/ mesh filter. Mine was beyond repair.

Been driving it for the last 2 months with absolutely no problems!

I'll probably pop the sedimenter out soon just to see if anything has collected from within the fuel lines but my guess is its pretty clean.
 

kevin in okinawa

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Waldorf, MD
Any update on this? You get her running smooth again? I don't seem to have a sedimenter anywhere under my hj61...
mine doesn't either but it's an '88. I think ''87 and older have the sedimenter.
 

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