Advice needed on high altitude driving Atitude

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Sep 27, 2017
Aalborg, Denmark
Hey fellas!

I'm driving through Southamerica at the moment, and there is a mountain I want to climb. However the trailhead starts at 4600 metres. This means I have to drive up there in my 1988, FJ62, with a 3FE engine. Engine is in pretty good condition and we've had no breakdowns in the past 6k miles.

Does anyone have experience on driving to high altitudes or does anyone have a good tip for me? Or even warnings?

Thanks a lot!
With the EFI you should not have any issues and the system should compensate air/fuel mixture ratio as you climb.
Are you sure that is right that it STARTS at 4600m (or 15K feet?!)?!!!!!
@Skniper @gregnash @Trapper50cal thanks for your input guys!

Yes I was pretty sure as I read it on summitpost, but I was disappointed. The post was pretty old and the circumstances had changed a fair bit. You weren't allowed to drive up there by yourself anymore due to the area being an ecological somewhat area. So we drove as far up as possible, slept there for the night, was told that we had to pay 30usd for the guided drive, turned around and drove down again.
Oh yeah and on the top we realised that the valves in two of our tires were worn and needed replacement. How did we find out? We woke up with two deflated tires. Yay!


Drove into a garage where they offered to change all valves for free. Couldn't say no to that!

Cheers guys!
The valves are easy to change and any shop will likely have mountains of them laying around from years and years of tire changing. If they changed the entire valve stem then that for free is a good deal. Keeping some spare valve stem cores around isnt a bad idea because they do from time to time cause issues.

The air is thinner and while EFI will compensate you may get a feeling of loss of power.
But it will push through.
At slower speeds you will not notice it, but if you are driving 70-90KPH you will feel that drag.
I drove over the Hoosier Pass twice a day from Fair Play Colorado to Breckenridge to go snowboarding did that for 7 days no issue wasn't driving fast
We are setting our goal for Cotopaxi in a week's time. We will drive to Basecamp which is at 5000 metres and climbing the rest from there. I'm very excited for the drive and the climb!

@Seth S he actually changed the entire valve stem for free on five tires and gave me a handfull extras on top for free. Good guy! I looked for the tool you're showing, but everything I need is very hard to find down here. You wouldn't believe the things I've gone through to find stuff.

@Willard and @tmxmotorsports thanks guys!
Low octane gas works best at high altitude. If you have a choice that is.
RE Tire valve stems and valve cores:

Always keep a valve cap on the stem. Reason being without a cap, dirt, sand etc will build up inside the stem on top of the valve core. When you air up the tire the crud inside the stem will be forced thru the valve itself. Some of it will end up trapped in the rubber seat. When this happens you have leak. Might be slow but it will leak.

Good idea to spend a few dollars on high quality metal valve caps. These have a rubber gasket and will provide a better dirt seal than the plastic versions. Some of the metal ones have a valve core "wrench" built into the cap.

I have found loose valve cores after tire shop work and in a few brand new valve stems.

This is a little thing that can cause a big headache.

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