HZJ80 performance at altitude - Good PAH expedition rig?

Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Netherlands
Hi all,

New to the forum, so short introduction: I have been doing car based exploration and camping since I have a drivers license, with multiple trips in Europe and Central Asia. I purchased my first dedicated 'Overlanding' rig 3 years ago: a Cherokee XJ, which I built out over the past few years. My girlfriend and I love the overlanding style trips and are planning a trip to Morocco for next year and a 6-12 month trip to South America (Pan American Highway) or possibly Africa for 2023/2024.

I am about to pull the trigger and sell my fully equipped Cherokee XJ for my dream rig: an 80 series Land Cruiser. Current prices are crazy in Europe, with asking prices of about 20-30k for a neat HDJ80 with ~250k km on the odometer. I found quite a good deal on a 1997 HZJ80 with only 240k km on the clock (poverty pack, with barn doors). I don't mind that it's slow (I cruise at 100-110 kph max anyways), and love the simplicity of the 1HZ engine. Also, for South America, or possibly Africa, this seems to be the perfect rig in terms of parts availablity/road side repairs.

One thing that does worry me is the performance at altitude: of course it will be even slower, but I'd like to hear a bit more about the reality of driving this rig at altitudes of 3000+ meters. Is it worth retrofitting a HAC to the injection pump? Does the 1HZ require adjustments at these altitudes? Should I just bite the bullet and spend 10k more on a 1HD-T?

Curious to hear your ideas and opinions about this!
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Europe
Hey there. Funny to come across this, I'm basically having similar plans and considerations. Also based in Europe and looking at European markets. From what I've gathered both on this forum and elsewhere the 1HZ performs poorly at high altitude. As a fix people tend to suggest fitting a turbo, but in doing it properly you'll end up with an extra load of complications as well as spending quite a bit. As a solution I've personally primarily considered retrofitting a HAC as you also mentioned, made some inquiries with suppliers and they seem to go for 300-400 EUR in case you can't find a 2nd hand one off of someone. Also comes down to preference, I have some experience driving an old Merc NA diesel at altitude and it was slow alright, at times frustratingly so. The HAC reduces fuel intake which won't help the matter, but should help the engine run smoother and prevent overheating and black smoke clouds. If you don't mind frequently gearing down and rolling slow you'll be fine with the 1HZ. Might have the added benefit of easier repairs/spare parts as well, although I question easier to which degree really. At the moment I'm actually tending towards going with an HDJ80, but not quite sure yet.

On a related note, I don't know if you're specifically looking for ~250tkm vehicles, but I'm quite convinced of the reliability of these toyo diesel engines and wouldn't discount ones with higher mileage if price is in any way a concern - I guess most on the market are higher mileage anyways. Mileage isn't quite the ultimate unit of vehicle quality measurement anyhow, and while I recognize this will mostly not be the case, I do believe that even a 500tkm driven vehicle could still be in better condition than a 250tkm one depending on use/maintenance/work done/other factors.

Likewise curious to hear input from others here.

Groetjes ;)
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Netherlands
Hi, thanks for you reply, appreciate it!

Nice to compare notes with someone in the same area and with similar plans. I am indeed also leaning towards the HDJ80. Turbocharging a 1HZ does not seem worth it, IMO. The HAC retrofit almost seems a must to me when regularly travelling at altitude. Power will still suffer quite badly, of course.

I totally agree with your view on the mileage (my Cherokee also has 350tkm on the clock). In reality though, most higher mileage vehicles I find have had a hard life, hence my comment.

Still curious to hear other views on the topic!
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
552
Location
Sydney, Australia
I drive a HZJ80, but all my experience driving it is in Australia, which isn't exactly the most... vertical place. Pretty darn flat. So no experience at significant altitude. Runs great here, but the highest I've gone is around 1100m above sea level. I like a naturally aspirated diesel, but altitude driving is the one thing that'd make me seriously consider a turbo. I don't care about more power, but forced induction is basically the perfect logical solution to air delivery at higher altitudes.

If you want a turbo, getting the HDJ80 is a good choice if you can. It was built for it and it's a complete package ready to go. On the other hand, I do think you could fit a turbo to the 1HZ, just keep in mind why you're doing it - to assist at higher altitudes, not turn it into a racecar. People often ruin a perfectly good 1HZ engine by going stupid with boost. Keep it low and simple. If you can't even notice a difference at sea level, but it helps at higher altitudes, it's doing what you got it for.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom