Builds BUILD THREAD - KZJ78 - Lenny

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Nov 10, 2018
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Conifer, Co
once upon a time there was a 48 year old guy whose life was just too darn complication free. He was married with 2 kids and a beautiful wife and drove a nicely set up 2010 4Runner that was very dependable and a pretty sweet truck. He had always longingly looked at Defenders and G-Wagons, and old Cruisers and loved their character. In the past he had Scouts, Jeeps, LR Discoverys, and a 4Runner (not much of a speed guy). As every other vehicle seen in Colorado became a lifted 4Runner, he looked more and more at old Cruisers. Then, one day, he saw it - the add....
I looked in my garage and had to start saying my goodbyes. 😢

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Many here may be familiar with the company Yota Imports. They were previously based out of LA and are now in Oregon. Instead of sidetracking this thread, please feel feee to PM me for any feedback if you are interested in buying a vehicle from them. Below is one of the first pics sent to me before I bought.

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After a LOT of back and forth by text and email and a LOT of delays, it was finally decided that the seller would drive about 14 hours from LA to Denver to deliver the truck to a shop to be inspected and then I would take ownership. I wasn’t crazy about putting that many miles on it, but I figured that if it would make that drive, that would certainly be saying something!
Upon arrival in Denver, the truck checked out with a few minor little issues and I bought it that day.

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In the first week of ownership I was surprised at how much black smoke there was and how hot the temp gauge got when going up a hill. Found out later that the seller had the temp gauge get up to around 3/4 on “several passes”. Knowing what I know now, I am somewhat shocked that the head wasn’t cracked during the trip.
I began to see the need for aftermarket temp, pyro, and boost gauges so that I could monitor the truck and monitor improvements made.
Obviously, my first emissions test was a huge fail!
 
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After setting timing back to factory specs and backing off the spill control valve, it smoked less and I passed emissions....... but BARELY.
I still had no gauges and no way of knowing what effect there had been on EGTs. The truck ran slightly cooler by the factory gauge, but I had to seriously baby it to get it up the hill to my home (Denver suburbs at roughly 5280 ft above sea level and my hoMe is at about 8600 ft).
Progress had been made, but still a long way to go!
 
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Flashback - the day it arrived home with super shiny tires, rain guards on the windows, and brush guard.

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Changed out the wider 32” tires for skinny 33’s and took off the rain deflector things off the windows. Also removed the “damage multiplier” from the front.
(On a related note, if you know of anyone interested in purchasing a brush guard or window thingies, let me know)

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Started work on the fan clutch mod to keep temps down .... seemed to work somewhat but fan still didn’t seem to be engaging correctly. Ordered a new fan clutch and after installation, my temps (still only according to factory gauges) seemed mostly u see control if I drive like an old man up the hill.
 
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I decided it was time to finally work on gauges so I knew where I was at with things and how my to tinkering was affecting the vehicle. Went with a Glowshift gauge (I know - not always great feedback on these, but mine has worked well) that measured water temp (put in top water pipe leaving engine to measure hottest temp), pyro (post turbo), and boost.
I did this project at work and eagerly waited to drive home and see how the gauges worked...
In a blink of an eye, going up the hill, EGTs shot to 1300F!! Wow, didn’t expect that. Water temp stayed mostly stable at about 180F and boost topped out at 12. Drove like a 100 year old man with glaucoma on the remainder of the trip to keep temps under 1200F.
It occurs to me - what have I done to this truck before I had gauges to tell me what I was doing to the truck?!?!
First lesson learned - INSTALL AT LEAST A PYRO almost immediately when getting into one of these vehicles!
 
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Nov 27, 2017
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Seattle, WA
What was the fascination with brush guards in Japan? Seems like every JDM truck or van from that era HAD to have a big old brush guard on the front.
 
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Installed 3” dump pipe and 3” exhaust all the way back - that should help!

It did, but not enough. Found myself still backing off the gas and driving up the hill watching an EGT gauge the whole way.
(Probably always will)
 
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Nov 20, 2018
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New Zealand
If your not going to add an intercooler any time soon, a ram head snorkel may help with temps a little also (so long as your happy to drill into the guard and have a snorkel on the truck). When i installed mine i found it helped as the factory intake is pretty restrictive inside the guard. I definitely notice the egt and motor temps drop more on cold mornings after installing the snorkel which i just put down to the fact its driving clean cold air into the system now, so with all that winter/ crisp air you have it would probably make a difference? - wont be huge but all things that help make the system bullet proof.

My 2lte used to be pretty sensitive with temps when i got it, done the low temp thermostat, fan rebuild, snorkel, new radiator (old one was in poor shape), large front mount intercooler, 12 psi boost (soon to be more), new dump pipe and muffler changed to a straight through hot dog style (still 2' pipes) and im now very confident in the truck to a point i would say its fairly bullet proof. I used to worry when going through the waitakere ranges near hour place as it would be all over the show and would watch the temps like a hawk, now i can happily boot it through them and just glance every now and then at the gauges to make sure everything's doing as it should. not as high above sea level as you, but each item made small differences to help in the long run, wouldnt expect huge changes on just one mod.
 
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Funny you should mention that! I started another thread debating this whole snorkel/cold air intake question. I will do an intercooler eventually, but a snorkel feels like a much easier and cheaper mod right now. Kind of debating my next step....
Maybe I should continue my build story to catch us up to current time.
 
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Maybe now would be the time to tell you my knowledge base.
I grew up having a big brother that was a mechanic. He pretty much never did any repairs for me - he would tell me what to do and then come to check on me to see if I did things right. This was a great way for me to learn the basics of wrenching. I have always been somewhat mechanically inclined and willing to tackle a project, but I have never been a mechanic and had never owned a diesel vehicle before this one.
Soooo - when Lomoski was telling me that I really needed to delete my EGR system and clean my intake manifold while I was at it, it felt like a project that I could get in over my head with. Nonetheless- I pushed ahead.
The project consisted of putting a blanking plate on the manifold side of my EGR system (used a license plate trimmed to fit and wonder if this will continue to hold up), removing the throttle butterfly, and removing the intake manifold to clean it. What a mess!!

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This project probably dropped EGTs by 150 to 200F.
 
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Nov 20, 2018
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i think the snorkel is a minor mod but ive seen improvements from it. I have read that people think it will give them more hp... that id say is a myth. I always used to have a running temp of 77-82c after doing the radiator, fan and lot temp thermostat, but with the snorkel it dropped to 72 consistently... not huge. but its all extra head room and has taken some of the random spikes out. now days its very rare for the truck to get over 82-85c running temp, that includes the hills. if i get over that i start to wonder whats going on with the system, which is good as i still have heaps of time to monitor it till its really at a dangerous temp.

oh mines also had egr delete so that also goes into the fold for mods (but by last owner)
 
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Another bump in the road - one night my instrument panel lit up like a Christmas tree - immediately suspected alternator. This suspicion was confirmed with some testing at home.

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Removed alternator and had it rebuilt at a shop in Denver. That whole thing went much better than I expected it to go! I had visions of shipping an alternator from Japan for hundreds of dollars.
 
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Conifer, Co
High flow thermostat from Tridon (170F Instead of 180) installed along with Toyota red.
This leveled out my temp spikes and it now rarely sees over 200F.
 
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