Builds OL'BETSY ZX: Rust-o-mod (1991 HZJ77)

Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
I didn't take a pic of my hands afterward. Let's just say I was wearing part of the kit. Thankfully I only needed one "off". 😂

I've noticed a little oil underneath lately. A tiny drip from where the driveshaft meets the rear diff. But more difficult to pin down, a pretty good leak from the transfer case/Transmission.

Today I decided to do some poking around underneath, to see if I could narrow it down. This was what I started with.
IMG_20210828_133555583.jpg


I was pretty sure the source was one of the two sending unit/switchy things on the top. I checked the oil levels, and was getting ready to clean everything off and figure out which unit to order, when I happened to nudge one of the wires with my rag. The sender rotated! WTF? It was of course the back one, but with some creative application of my 17mm wrench, I was able to tighten it back up again, and then I did a very thorough degreasing of the whole area. We'll see if this was THE problem, but I'm guessing it was?

In other news I still feel like this rig is loud. I went so far as to examine stem to stern with my mechanics stethoscope today. Kind of a high clatter sound. Yes, yes, I know. Diesels clatter. It might just be normal to the 1HZ, but I have no reference point? I've had many 4 banger turbo diesels, but none sounded like this. Almost seemed to be higher pitched at the transmission? But I don't know. There is an exhaust leak at the after end of the muffler, but that doesn't seem to be the noise I'm hearing.

All this examination was at idle, in my garage. Possibly normal. But I like to be thorough.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
I think my paranoia is getting the better of me... TOB is making no noise, regardless of clutch pisition. It's likely the old tired exhaust is just transmitting a symphony of discord to my overly sensitive ears. Three inch pipeline is hopefully "down the pipe".

But I did win some other small battles. Convinced my wife to do some reps on the clutch pedal, and it appears the last stubborn air bubbles have been excised (maybe exorcised is more apt at this point? They were pretty demonic!) from the clutch's hydraulics. The tried and true two person bleed method did the trick. Better clutch feel, better shifting in 1st and reverse.

Also, in the theme of little victories, I turned my relay rod a few threads to align my "not quite centered" steering wheel. We'll see this morning if it's closer to perfect.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Been driving OLBETSY to work this fall until the weather turns. First tank of fuel for the commute yielded surprising results. 71.5L to 633kms or 11.3L/100km. This was mostly highway, with some idling in the garage while I bled the clutch, etc. And one REALLY windy commute. Also, big saggy 33x1250s on OEM wheels, a roofrack, and a bullbar. Pretty impressed. I can't imagine it can get much better than that, even when I do finally get sensible tires for it?
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
I've been doing a bit of work on OLBets the last few days...

Trying to get some more of that pesky baselining done. Today I finally measured the valve clearances. Everything is pretty tight, but just at or below the minimum specs.
Screen Shot 2021-09-12 at 7.33.32 PM.png


Not sure how much affect, if any, these clearances will have on performance? I am planning to get the SST and then I can measure the shims onboard. Yes, this is a tedious way to go about it, but I wanted to at least know if it was worth the effort first...
IMG_20210911_185719208.jpg

I have been wrestling for a while with whether or not the engine was louder than it should be. The exhaust has some pinholes sure, but the noise is engine noise. Its a very loud clattery diesel, but until the other night I had nothing to compare it to (my experience has been with small turbo/diesel 4 bangers up until now). But then I got a visit from @janyyc and his Dad, in their cherry HZJ78. Wow, what a beauty! Yes, theirs is low mileage, and 10 years newer, but there was absolutely no comparison in the sounds of the engines. The Troopy positively purred, while mine sounded harsh, esp as you revved it up. Harsh, loud and clattery.

After they left I got to thinking about timing, and had a look at the pump reference marks. Hard to tell but it did "look" advanced, which would in theory make it clatterier (is that a word?) so I ordered the timing SST and a dial indicator, and will be able to check it for sure soon. I did attempt to retard it a tiny bit today, after marking where it was. No change in the sound (at idle) and when I revved it (after slightly retarding it) it sort of sputtered a little and puffed white smoke.

White smoke seemed to indicate trapped air, so I put it back to its previous timing mark, tightened it all up, and cracked each injector to watch the bubbles precede the spray. (yes, safety glasses and rags). So... It's likely I didn't get all the air out when I replaced the injectors, but whether the timing will have any effect on the noise once I can measure it properly is anyone's guess? And why didn't I see white smoke up until now? I've done a few thousand k's since I swapped injectors... hmmm.

Took it for a little test drive after cracking the injectors a couple times each (running, gasp!), and it seemed maybe a LITTLE quieter at idle, but as soon as I get my foot into it and the rpm's get up into the 2k's, it still sounds harsh...

So, to sum up, I don't know what I'm doing, and haven't got the special tools to make myself more (or less) effective. And I can't seem to wash off the smell of diesel... at least, that's what my gal-pal is telling me:
IMG_20210911_160009641.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
199
Location
Vernon, BC, Canada
I've been doing a bit of work on OLBets the last few days...

Trying to get some more of that pesky baselining done. Today I finally measured the valve clearances. Everything is pretty tight, but just at or below the minimum specs.
View attachment 2784792

Not sure how much affect, if any, these clearances will have on performance? I am planning to get the SST and then I can measure the shims onboard. Yes, this is a tedious way to go about it, but I wanted to at least know if it was worth the effort first...
View attachment 2784801
I have been wrestling for a while with whether or not the engine was louder than it should be. The exhaust has some pinholes sure, but the noise is engine noise. Its a very loud clattery diesel, but until the other night I had nothing to compare it to (my experience has been with small turbo/diesel 4 bangers up until now). But then I got a visit from @janyyc and his Dad, in their cherry HZJ78. Wow, what a beauty! Yes, theirs is low mileage, and 10 years newer, but there was absolutely no comparison in the sounds of the engines. The Troopy positively purred, while mine sounded harsh, esp as you revved it up. Harsh, loud and clattery.

After they left I got to thinking about timing, and had a look at the pump reference marks. Hard to tell but it did "look" advanced, which would in theory make it clatterier (is that a word?) so I ordered the timing SST and a dial indicator, and will be able to check it for sure soon. I did attempt to retard it a tiny bit today, after marking where it was. No change in the sound (at idle) and when I revved it (after slightly retarding it) it sort of sputtered a little and puffed white smoke.

White smoke seemed to indicate trapped air, so I put it back to its previous timing mark, tightened it all up, and cracked each injector to watch the bubbles precede the spray. (yes, safety glasses and rags). So... It's likely I didn't get all the air out when I replaced the injectors, but whether the timing will have any effect on the noise once I can measure it properly is anyone's guess? And why didn't I see white smoke up until now? I've done a few thousand k's since I swapped injectors... hmmm.

Took it for a little test drive after cracking the injectors a couple times each (running, gasp!), and it seemed maybe a LITTLE quieter at idle, but as soon as I get my foot into it and the rpm's get up into the 2k's, it still sounds harsh...

So, to sum up, I don't know what I'm doing, and haven't got the special tools to make myself more (or less) effective. And I can't seem to wash off the smell of diesel... at least, that's what my gal-pal is telling me:
View attachment 2784800
Hey Phil!

Glad you finally got together with @janyyc, sorry I missed the party!

Great numbers on the mileage!! 🤯 I just got back from my trip, will be posting about that and some pics over the next few days. I am still working out mileage, but on the trip outwards, pulling around 2750lbs through twisty mountainous terrain I was seeing around 13mpg US, 15mpg imp. on my 35 inch tires. Not bad at all considering how hard it was working. Some hills were 12% grade so I was down to around 45-50 km/hr in 2nd gear.

You will definitely see an advancement in your timing with new injectors because the springs are new, and all calibrated for an equal PSI on the nozzle. The new springs and higher nozzle release PSI delay the point of injection when compared with the old ones. Mine smokes more at startup and is clattery/noisier when cold, but after driving and heating up, it is back to the quiet smooth runner. You are not finding that yours quietens down after it has been driven for a while?

Overall, it is not anything to worry about. Having the fuel advanced will help with power, fuel mileage and slightly lower EGT's overall. But you have to be willing to have a little more smoke on startup. Mine smokes as much as my tractors from my trucking days when I first start it up, so I may be retarding my fuel timing a bit to find a happy medium. :clap:
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Annnnnd things continue to evolve for the old girl. GONE is the military trailer. GONE is the rooftop tent and annex! Sold em both on the weekend. New plans are afoot! More to come, but the idea is simpler, faster to set up, and lighter/more compact...
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Some more progress tonight...

Unbolted the pintle/ball hitch that was on the rear crossmember, had to do some tapping of the holes, and then installed the CURT 13091 receiver in its place. It hangs down a bit, but in my experience with low hanging receivers, its like a mini fuel tank protector. LOL we'll see how it does.
IMG_20210914_193708568.jpg


Not a travel trailer type attachment obviously - just for my mountain bike carrier.

Also, figuring I had some air in the system, I pulled all six glowplugs, gave them a good cleaning up, and then cranked over the engine with the plugs out, in case any air remained in the lines or injectors themselves.

IMG_20210914_201400856.jpg

(obviously the one on the end was the first one to see some scotch brite attention... overall they cleaned up pretty good. 24v starting is the bomb!)

Anyways, after reinstalling the glows, and starting her up, after the obligatory black puff from the excess fuel I had just finished blowing out, there was no sign of white smoke, so I decided to take her for a test drive.

Sadly, its exactly as noisy as it has been. Power seems okay, black smoke isn't bad, but as soon as I breach 2000rpm or so under load it gets really loud, sort of a combo of a rattle and a tap? It doesn't seem to be exhaust, but I'm not convinced that my tight valve clearances (above) are enough to be the cause? Kind of rattly and loud at idle too... maybe its normal, but certainly not as quiet as other 1hz's I've heard. So... I dunno. Maybe I just turn up the radio?

I'd record it and post, but I'm not sure it would be very evident on video?
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Hey Phil!

Glad you finally got together with @janyyc, sorry I missed the party!

Great numbers on the mileage!! 🤯 I just got back from my trip, will be posting about that and some pics over the next few days. I am still working out mileage, but on the trip outwards, pulling around 2750lbs through twisty mountainous terrain I was seeing around 13mpg US, 15mpg imp. on my 35 inch tires. Not bad at all considering how hard it was working. Some hills were 12% grade so I was down to around 45-50 km/hr in 2nd gear.

You will definitely see an advancement in your timing with new injectors because the springs are new, and all calibrated for an equal PSI on the nozzle. The new springs and higher nozzle release PSI delay the point of injection when compared with the old ones. Mine smokes more at startup and is clattery/noisier when cold, but after driving and heating up, it is back to the quiet smooth runner. You are not finding that yours quietens down after it has been driven for a while?

Overall, it is not anything to worry about. Having the fuel advanced will help with power, fuel mileage and slightly lower EGT's overall. But you have to be willing to have a little more smoke on startup. Mine smokes as much as my tractors from my trucking days when I first start it up, so I may be retarding my fuel timing a bit to find a happy medium. :clap:
Looking forward to your pics @Rigster !

It's noisy on startup, quiets a little when warmer, but is really loud accelerating in the +2k rpm range. Suppose it could still be exhaust but seems to be an upfront noise...

I now have the two SST's to do timing and valves on the way, so I'll soon be able to check those off the list.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Today I was able to get the new setup set up!

My new tent is a wedge style, very similar to the Roofnest Falcon, but Canadian branded by a place in BC and Alberta called "Cap-It". Aluminum top and bottom, under 7 inch profile, deploys in under 30 seconds (for those more astute among you, yes, it STILL takes me 30 seconds to pitch a tent... bahahah).

As an aside this is my fifth RTT over the years, but this is the one I've been waiting for. I'm happy to report that I can actually drive in and out of my 84 1/4" door height garage!
IMG_20210918_181906143.jpg

No airing down needed, no unlatching the overhead door, no mounting it on a trailer... (all things I've had to do in the past). Its REALLY REALLY close, but it fits! It's barely above my platform roof rack's raised front section, and it comes with roofbars that slot into a keyway on the edges, so I can still carry things on top of the tent if I really want to. (They won't fit in the garage on top, so if you look carefully you can see them inverted at the back, UNDER the tent...)

IMG_20210918_191502885.jpg


IMG_20210918_191447429.jpg


IMG_20210918_191454234.jpg


Yes, it adds a little to the wind resistance, but won't have as much of an impact as towing my trailer with the RTT on top... And now I can go on those trips where there are switchbacks, and trailers aren't welcome...

The ladder I alluded to above turned out to be the wrong one, despite me being very specific. I ended up with the troopy ladder, which obviously is too long, so the right one has been (re)ordered, and will be here in 3 weeks (or so). Once I have it on the back door, I won't even have to use the ladder that came with the tent.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Tried out new setup last weekend. Excellent so far. Pic in the pinned "what did you do" thread, above. Doubtless I'll have more pics soon...

Meanwhile, some parts arrived. So, in the interest of details getting taken care of, here's another one: back door bumper!
IMG_20210927_200146841.jpg


Then it was on to bigger things.

I feel I need to preface this next modification by saying I'm neither for nor against spacers. If they are necessary, and done properly, they have their place, IMHO. Eventually I plan to source some FJC steelies, so I figured spacers were an eventuality, and had resigned myself to my fate. But in the meantime, I have a set of wheels/tires here that I'm not using (they came on my Prado 90 but I've switched back to stock wheels for better fuel econ on the daily drive). The tires have maybe 20k on them, and are in excellent shape. The wheels are AR767's or something to that effect. Period correct I suppose, but not my first pick. They almost fit the 70, but for one obstacle. They are 9 inches wide. Yes, I know. Practically spherical! So at full lock, they came very close to TRE contact (on the OEM TRE's they actually did contact, but with the Terrain Tamer version, they didn't quite touch). Tires are BFG-AT's in 275-70-17 (32x10.8). Not quite my pick either, but getting close...

So, I got spacers. Little fellers, at 1 inch thick. Then I debated the loc-tite versus none, and the red vs blue, etc etc. Finally settled on loc-tite (RED), torqued, and then used my paint pen to mark an index on each bolt to check for movement, which I expect none of.

IMG_20210927_210934600.jpg


Fronts are now installed, torqued inside and out, and waiting for tomorrow for the rears. If I had a choice between spacers or the correct wheel spacing, then obviously I'd take the latter, but for what's easily available, nothing beats what is sitting on your garage floor. And if I settle for spacers, then 1 inch is only half as offensive as 2 inch, isn't it? 😂

IMG_20210927_211608734.jpg


They're dirty right now, but are actually a very nice polished finish, and only 2 years old, with 2 seasons on them.

Tomorrow I tackle the rears, and then reveal the two new fancy SST (tools) that came with my door bumper!

Oh, one more update: Advanced my timing a little (again) while I was waiting for the goods to do it properly (that's a hint btw) and the thing ran like a scalded cat on the highway this weekend. An old unmotivated cat, with arthritis, but still: Big improvement over the sloth like performance I'm used to! Lower EGT, almost no black smoke. Hmmm... I could get used to this!
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
199
Location
Vernon, BC, Canada
Nice work, and glad you used loctite for the spacers. Still double check the torque after 500km anyways just to be sure, especially if they are Aluminum. Those are nice wheels!

I also have been wrestling with the spacer idea, as my rear wheels are 3/4 inch in from the edge of the flare compared with the fronts. I would only do it with loctite if I do, and if I decide to at some point, then I will need to decide to just add them on the rears at 3/4 in thick, or go 1in on the front and 1 3/4 on the back to give it a slightly wider stance with my 4" lift. I might also wait until these tires wear out and I go with 10" wide tires next time (unless I get another crazy deal on 12.5's) :rolleyes:

Let me know how it goes with the spacers! And I love the tent, if I was ever to go with one, that would be my choice too. The low profile and durability of the hard shell is hard to beat. Definitely a great feature if you are on a continuous journey with nightly stopovers... 👍
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Thanks Darren. They actually suit the rig pretty well.

Here they are in dusty trim...
IMG_20210926_180909833.jpg
So obviously I took them to work today, and my students watched me torque the wheels at recess time (guess they were bored? :) ) So far all good. No new vibes (actually less vibes than on those 33-12.50s on R15's). Actual size measured out to be exactly the same in diameter, and a little narrower, with a much flatter sidewall. But the combo is heavier. Probably a wash when you consider the friction generated by 1250s, esp on those too-small wheels.
In any event, handling seems a little crisper, and the ride is about the same, since I could run them a little softer than the ones I took off, (less sidewall + less pressure = zero sum gain/loss? Probably).

I stopped at the carwash on the way home, to give them a needed cleaning.

Going camping again this weekend, so the tent's convenience factor is already making a difference.

Did an oil change Saturday past, before I went on a little overnight. Actually did it a few hundred BEFORE 5000kms. Must really like this thing? I got a jug of 10w and had a jug of 15w so ended up somewhere in between since they were fresh out of 12.5W30. ;) .

IMG_20210925_120716360.jpg



EXHAUST SHOP TOMORROW! I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Exhaust is done! The shop was a good one, recommended by my local LCA chapter. I only ended up getting the downpipe replaced, and the muffler can itself. The difference in noise level is quite pronounced, especially on the highway. Really happy with how it sounds now. Pics to come on the weekend, since you are all tired of seeing the inside of my garage. ;)
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
304
Location
Calgary, AB
Well, I got out for another little trip this weekend into the mountains west of Calgary. Before that though, I finally got to put some fancy tools to work.

My injection pump SST came recently, so it was time to set the pump to factory spec...
09275-54011 was mated to my Mitutoyo dial indicator.
IMG_20210930_184710820.jpg


Found TDC. Backed it up to calibrate zero, then forwarded to TDC again. Reset to 1.09mm, then realized I hadn't defeated the ACSD. For that matter, I didn't realize I even had it. Not sure it works. More on that later...

Jammed the ACSD open as per the FSM (they didn't exactly use the word jammed, but that was the gist of it) then went through the whole process again to set it at 1.09mm.

Really is a pain figuring out how to get the contraption in there, so I can't imagine trying to do it without the SST!

Then it was off to K-country for the weekend.
IMG_0574-1.jpg


The drive up was not that pleasant, owing to a wicked wind gust that kept pushing me, mostly front on... But it was nicer down in the valley. Gave me a good chance to test the wheel/tire setup, as well as gauge the pump reset. Handling seems a touch more predictable with 17s, less sidewall, and better tire/wheel compatibility. Plus these tires are relatively new compared to the ones I took off. Fit the wheel wells nicely too, so overall I'd call this a win.
IMG_0576.jpg

IMG_0567.jpg


The pump settting? Hmmm. I felt like it was slightly down on power from my previous timing advancement (which I didn't measure properly before I changed it, due to the ACSD dabacle). If I had to judge the setting based on fun, my previous, advanced state felt a lot better. I may have to look into what is a safe level of advancement, (if there is one), since I'm at the factory upper end. Hmmm...
Finally, this morning brought with it a new issue. Smoky start. But not just for the first 5 seconds. Nope. A white heavy haze that followed me all the way out of the park, a good 7 minutes of easy driving. Quite embarrassing. Yes, I will check the glowplugs, and yes it was 5* celsius this morning, but I did do two glow cycles, and this smoke hung around and persisted for longer than necessary LOL. Once I got to the road proper, it was gone within a minute, and didn't return. Also, next to NO black smoke on the way home, whether I was climbing steep mountain grades, or accelerating. Virtually none.

So. Likely my ACSD is non-functional. Possibly glow plugs are past their sell by date. Easily sorted. Could timing adjustment have any play in this embarrassing mosquito fogging? No idea...

Oh, new RTT is a keeper. LOVE LOVE it. Its about 20 minutes faster to deploy than my previous one, which is to say it sets up in under a minute.
IMG_20211002_202826383.jpg
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom