Is a Troopy a good choice for a tug?

Submitted: Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 17:23
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Is it reasonable to expect that a 2005 Toyota LandCruiser 78 Series Troopcarrier 4.2l diesel with aftermarket turbo would be able to tow a 2 tonne van comfortably without overheating or are we asking too much of it? We’ve fitted a TM1 Engine Watchdog and it’s set for 100C. It seems to take so little to set it off, ambient temperature over 30C and a moderate hill will do it. We’re getting to a point where we’re beginning to wonder whether there’s anything we can do that will fix the problem or it’s just symptomatic of the vehicle. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Thanks, Pete
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:00

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:00

I just sold my non turbo 4.2 diesel troopy because I am going to buy a camper trailer , It would tow a camper but it would be painfully slow , I toyed with adding a turbo but didn't bother in the end .

Don't know much about the engine watchdog but maybe the turbo is not set up correctly .!

I would say some of the other forum members will have some ideas .

AnswerID: 608086

Reply By: RMD - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:17

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:17
What gear are you towing in? If too high a gear and therefore load, the tendency is to put foot down more, that means the turbo is boosting AND also you are putting in more fuel into the cylinder. It all = more heat for the water system to have to dissipate through the radiator.
Of course the viscous fan hub has to also be operating correctly, maybe have it checked.
Presuming, you haven't got the front blocked with lights screens, LED bars, big bull bar and the cooling system is working properly, ie, clean inside it all should be OK.
Is the thermostat opening fully? It could be tired. If it is open full before 90C then it isn't the flow problem.
Is the bottom radiator hose soft and sucking in when the engine is under normal revs?

Some larger vehicles ,ie trucks and buses can drive in higher gears but the overheat becomes and issue, so lower gear and a little higher revs makes the hot water pass through the radiator more often and the faster fan drags the heat away. That is the only way to limit overheating.
AnswerID: 608088

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:25

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:25
Thanks RMD. On a hill I generally try and get up some momentum in high gear on the approach but then, as you suggest, change down early to avoid having to put the foot down. Nonetheless, it still overheats on hot days and a bit longer hills.
I've had the fan, thermostat and hoses checked and found OK previously and I only have the standard Toyota driving lights and bull bar up front but have not yet had the radiator internals checked. I guess that's my next step.

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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:24

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:24
If you are measuring water temperature remember water under pressure boils at a much higher temp than static water Normally about 135C.
After turbo exhaust temps can get up to over 500C on a long hill and should not exceed that by much as cylinder temp will be up around 700C.
Thats what I would be monitoring via an EGT gauge.
That and changing down to keep revs in sweet spot will help

As said a Toyota temp gauge will NOT move till 10 secs after its too late
AnswerID: 608089

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:32

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:32
Thanks Tom H. Agreed. In all this what I have called overheating, the Toyota temperature gauge didn't move.

FollowupID: 877903

Reply By: Athol W1 - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:41

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 18:41
It could also be a matter of where the engine watchdog has been fitted to on the engine, is it near the exhaust manifold or the inlet manifold, is it on the water outlet or inlet, all of these locations normally operate at different temperatures so your setting of 100 deg c may just be too low.

As the Engine Watchdog is measuring the actual Metal temp, and not the coolant temp, then it becomes a matter of trial and error until you find that 'normal' operating temp and then allow some for a normal overtemp condition.

I would also recommend that you fit an accurate engine COOLANT temp gauge so that you know what is happening there. Fitment of the Watchdog to a location close to the exhaust manifold can result in vastly increased metal temps (measured via the watchdog) but little increase in the coolant temp. DO NOT rely on the original Toyota factory fitted temp gauge, as they (and those fitted by most other manufacturers) typically do not show any alteration in coolant temp whilst ever the temp is within what Toyota consider as normal or acceptable regardless of the operating conditions. (My Isuzu fitted gauge does not move for any temp variation between 70 and 105 or more, this also applied to my previous vehicle, a Toyota 200TTD).

If fitted to the exhaust side of the head then temps of 125 may be OK, but if on the inlet side then I would be concerned with temps much over the 100. An Engine Watchdog is intended to give notification of the sudden SPIKE in temperature when a loss of coolant is experienced, as any coolant temp gauge will LOOSE temp readings when that loss of coolant occurs.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 608090

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:49

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:49
Thanks Athol. The temperature sensor is fitted on the inlet manifold side where the top radiator hose connects into the block. This temperature normally sits at around 78-80C and under moderate load will vary up to 90C. If it's a hot day, with sustained load, this temperature will hit 100C and has gone as high as 112C. In all this the Toyota temperature gauge has indicated normal.

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Reply By: Member - Faydaway - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 20:40

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 20:40
Hi Pete
What does the Toyota Temp gauge go up to when the Engine Watchdog bark at you? If its slightly higher turn the Watchdog setting slightly higher
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AnswerID: 608094

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:50

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:50
Thanks Bill. The Toyota temp gauge indicates normal.

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 21:10

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 21:10
A good place to start is the radiator, if it is not new, bugs stuck in the radiator or A/C condenser, excrete matter that corrodes the aluminum fins and reduce the cooling capacity of the radiator. Many vehicles have a condenser, power steer cooler, and radiator all sandwiched together so you will find bugs in between all coolers, this will reduce the cooling efficiency! Michael
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Follow Up By: Evan 1 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 07:42

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 07:42
Yes i had a Patrol 4.2td with the same issue. Larger radiator fixed it for me.
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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:54
Thanks Michael. Yep, will check the radiator next.
FollowupID: 877906

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 21:35

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 21:35
To answer the question in your title, I'd suggest no.
The 1Hz was an immensely reliable motor but gutless. When you add an aftermarket turbo to a vehicle that was not made for it you can get lots of problems including overheating.
Add to that, they were fitted with the small R151F gearbox which can't take the extra torque of the added turbo.
The engine watchdog is doing its job - its telling you the motor is getting too hot. I've used the TM1 on these motors and they sit about 76-85 degrees normally and maybe up to 95 up a hill.

In the same year you could buy a Toyota factory TD (IHD-FTE) - was a great motor, and had no overheating problems and had the stronger H series gearbox behind it.
I'd sell the Troopie and get something else to tow with.
AnswerID: 608097

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 00:27

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 00:27
As a 1HZ Troopy owner, I agree with Phil.
It finds it tough enough going uphill alone so I would not tow.
And there is no way that I would fit an after-market turbo to it.

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Follow Up By: Dusty D - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 07:27

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 07:27
I'm also a 1HZ Troopy owner, had it for just on 20 years and used it to tow a 2 tonne caravan all over the country. It never was a good tow vehicle, I only had to spot a line of hills in the distance and it would start slowing down.

After a recent trip away with it to the hilly country around the Lithgow, Mudgee area, I decided no more towing apart from a trailer. It was never enjoyable travelling, knowing that the lack of power in the 1HZ was not only holding me back, but also every bugger sitting behind me. I could have done like a lot of others and fitted an after market turbo, but the engine was never designed to take one.

As a gear carrier vehicle and a proven tough 4wd, they are great, but as a tow vehicle, they are lacking.

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:31

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:31
Totally agree with Dusty and Allan, mine's as gutless as buggery but I solved the problem marginally by fitting extractors and a larger exhaust and it went from a snail to a tortoise. The car still hates hills and like Dusty says those following me are no doubt cursing me all the way.

As for towing well if the road is as flat as a runway then ok but otherwise.........



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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:03

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:03
Thanks Guys. Yep, maybe I just have to face up to reality. Only problem is I'm now retired and have no income or surplus funds to lash out on a new tug. I guess I'll just exhaust the other fix options first before finally giving up and trying to find another option.
FollowupID: 877907

Reply By: splits - Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 22:14

Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 22:14

I agree with Phil. I worked for three Toyota dealers during my time in the motor industry. One of them sold three other makes as well. I have seen a lot of problems with aftermarket turbo conversions. Damaged pistons and overheating were the most common.

One of those dealers refused to work on a modified engine because you rarely know exactly what has been done to it and what you are getting yourself into.

If a car manufacturer decides to put a turbo on one of their non turbo engines, they completely redesign the whole thing from the ground up. They never just bolt one on. They may even go as far as casting a few more stiffening webs into the block.

While the engine design engineers are doing this, others are going through the rest of the car because the additional power can have a detrimental effect on many other parts.
AnswerID: 608098

Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 06:36

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 06:36
Here's the "should I turbo my 1HZ?" thread on LCOOL
AnswerID: 608101

Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 10:26

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 10:26
That direct link will only work for LCool members unfortunately.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 12:20

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 12:20
So sign up then, its free!
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Reply By: Rob K (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 09:27

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 09:27
G'day Pete,

I used to have a Toyota GXL (100 series) with the 1HZ motor and fitted the after market turbo kit to it at about 80,000 kms. I traded it recently with 235,000 kms on speedometer and had no issues with the motor. It towed our 1.6 tonne C/T at different times without overheating problems although I did have to drive the tug differently when the C/T was added. The tug weighed close to its GVM (3.2 tonne) because of all the added 'accessories' and with the C/T in tow the motor was pulling a fair bit of weight around (4.8 tonne).

The most essential piece of equipment fitted to the vehicle when the turbo was added was my EGT gauge. My driving technique was governed by this gauge. I never let the gauge go over 550 degrees for any length of time going up hills (changed down a gear when it did), always started a hill climb in 4th gear to get some moment up before the incline and maintained the EGT below 500 degrees by backing off the accelerator until I needed to change down again. Never had an issue towing following these principles.

Some areas to investigate your water temperature problem have already been suggested by others. The only one I would add to these is to have the settings for the turbo rechecked. Many aftermarket turbo installers aim for maximum power (interpret this to mean maximum boost and maximum fuel). I had the turbo tuned by a reputable turbo company after the injectors were replaced and this is what they did with the turbo tune. The boost was set for 20 psi and the air:fuel ratio set accordingly. I had improved performance which was great but found my fuel economy went up 2 litres/100kms and EGT temps spiking very quickly to well over 600 degrees when I started to climb hills. My original turbo installer reset the maximum boost to 12 psi with the intercooler added (8 psi without the intercooler) and adjusted the fuel load to the appropriate air:fuel ratio to make sure my EGT temps stayed around the 500 degree mark under load. Lost a bit of performance but gained my original fuel economy and some piece of mind about the EGT temperatures under load. Worth considering I think?

A couple of other suggested areas to consider include tyre pressures and the total amount of weight you are trying to mobilise with the old motor. Maybe you are asking too much from the old girl?

Don't expect the same performance from the 1HZ + turbo as the factory fitted turbo variant but the turbo upgrade suitably tuned + the adjusted driving technique I described above should give you a reliable tug for towing the van and not have water temperature issues provided all other aspects of the vehicle's mechanical setup are maintained.

Good luck with solving your problem.


Rob K
AnswerID: 608103

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:35

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:35
Thanks Rob. Unfortunately I don't have an EGT gauge but I do try and drive similarly to what you are saying, changing down early to keep the block temperature rise as slow as possible. My mechanic (not a diesel specialist but I can't find one on the NSW Central Coast) tells me he has already backed off the turbo to help with the overheating issue. What that means in terms of boost pressure etc I'm not real sure. Unless on dirt, I run the tyres at recommended pressures, but on dirt the overheating is not an issue, probably because I'm driving at much lower speeds.
Anyhow I think first I'll try and follow some of the members suggestions on the cooling system and, if that still doesn't work, I'll have to consider other options.
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Reply By: braincell - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:52

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:52
hi Pete,
we have had troop carriers at work for many years towing our boats , they are not the best. My own Pajero is great in comparison ,the old troopys were gutless without a turbo but have improved but still an uncomfortable noisy vehicle in my opinion .Great for out in the bush though .

AnswerID: 608106

Reply By: Mikee5 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 15:34

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 15:34
Water boils at 100c at sea level and 1 atmosphere of pressure, a radiator cap pressurises the cooling system and therefore raises the boiling point (physics). A cooling system can happily function at quite a bit over 100c without problems, it is designed in. Depends where you are measuring the temperature, if it is a problem or not.
AnswerID: 608117

Reply By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:05

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 16:05
Sincere thanks to all for the excellent feedback to my Troopy tug dilemma. There's a lot to absorb but I'll certainly be acting on the good advice offered.
Thanks again,
AnswerID: 608118

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:01

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:01
Pete, most things have been covered but here are a couple of others.
The factory turbo 1HZ engines had a larger radiator from standard, the only thing is, this would cost is a lot of $s to replace, I would think around $1000 and you would have to get the part number from Toyota spare parts with no way of knowing it would fixit.

Anther would be to get an accurate reading with a gauge that sources it's temp from where the standard sender is fitted, as this will compare apples with apples. The Toyota gauges are that heavily dampened, they don't show much of a rise until the temp is very high.

Just a punt, but when the temp rises to that degree you should hear the fan really start to roar if the hub is working correctly. I have always liked genuine fan hubs as I have seen many aftermarket ones not do their job.

If you are near Berrima diesel it might pay to have them check the fuel settings. I know dollars, dollars, dollars.

Hope you find a solution and don't have to buy another vehicle.
AnswerID: 608122

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:32

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:32

I think you will find that there is no such thing as a 1HZ factory turbo diesel.

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Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:41

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:41
Thanks Eagle. I'm interested in your comment on Berrima diesel because I don't seem to be able to find a light diesel specialist here on the NSW Central Coast. I know it would be a journey for me but if these guys are good it might be worth the trip.
FollowupID: 877910

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:46

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 17:46
I should have been more specific, and aid the factory turbo based on the 1HZ
It was just was easier than putting the variants of the 1HD-T factory engines. Then again I have had to anyway.
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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 18:18

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 18:18

The factory multi valve turbo is not based in any way with the 1hz.

Completely different motor .

Sorry , not trying to be a smart ass , but have been trying to convince a mate of mine that the 1hz in his 78 series ute is not factory turbo .( he wont have a bar of it ) Must be a sore point with me

FollowupID: 877913

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 05:51

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 05:51
Yes they took the 1hz base motor and totally redesigned it to be a turbo motor with a lot of internals changed, but the motor was designed off the original 1hz.

Now can we get back to trying to help the person who asked the question.

FollowupID: 877931

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 05:56

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 05:56
Peter, I have had dealings with Berrima and they were very helpful. Might pay to have a chat on the phone and see if they think they can help or advise you.

I know they have a wealth of knowledge on modified 1hz engines in 75 series vehicles.
FollowupID: 877932

Reply By: splits - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 22:04

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 at 22:04

If you decide to stay with this car try and make it work then an idea that I used twenty years ago on a straight LPG powered Holden Gemini might make a difference.

I converted it myself and did not worry about altering the distributor advance curve or a few other things that could have made it better. It ran very well but started getting too hot in some conditions. I tried a different thermostat but it made no difference. It needed a new radiator so I tried a new triple core. Still no difference. It had a fan shroud but I thought I could make a better one out of fiberglass.

I started by measuring the distance between the fan and the radiator. I then removed it and covered the fan side of the core with a sheet of cardboard stuck on with masking tape. I put the radiator back into the car and accurately marked a circle the exact diameter of the fan on the cardboard.

I cut a plywood disc slightly larger in diameter than the fan. Using wood spacers glued to the cardboard, I positioned it directly above the circle on the cardboard.

The next step was to shape the shroud using masking tape only. I carefully placed multiple overlapping layers from the wood disc down to and over the sides of the radiator.

I now had a cone shaped thing that looked like a completed shroud sitting on the radiator.

The layers of tape were slightly flexible but were more than firm enough to gently place a single layer of thin 225 glass mat over it. When it was firm enough for more layers I added two or maybe it was three layers of 450 chopped strand mat.

When it had dried it was easy enough but a fairly slow process to gently lever the whole thing off the radiator. The masking tape had not only given me the shape of the shroud but it doubled as a release agent.

I then trimmed the excess glass off the edges.

The shroud now fitted the the edges of the radiator like a glove and was held in position with the screws and mounting points for the original, but not so close fitting, steel shroud.

It worked perfectly. The car then went on to do 180,000 ks, mainly commuting to work for the next three years, without any overheating. That included Sydney traffic and the freeway hills that you would be familiar with..

Unfortunately if you can't do this yourself and you had to pay someone to do it, it could end up being an expensive exercise that may not work.

If you can then it would be worth trying.

AnswerID: 608139

Reply By: Member - ColnJulia - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 22:14

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 22:14
I have read your post and may have missed a bit but my comment would be to firstly make sure you are getting a reliable reading on the Watchdog, I had the same engine in a 100 series with the sender near where you have yours and was fine. Secondly the viscous fan may not be operating correctly. Thirdly with an aftermarket turbo you should have a plug immediately post turbo where you can fit an EGT sender. I had one of these and found that when going up a long hill the car was coping well towing a camper but the EGT's were getting very high. I had the fuel
mixture adjusted to help also Slowing down and using a lower gear was the fix.

Good luck with your vehicle and you may finish up just going slower and letting others past when possible.

Kind regards

AnswerID: 608179

Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 23:44

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2017 at 23:44
I have a 1999 HZJ105 diesel. I put a turbo on at 295,000. I tow a 3.2t caravan. It has been everywhere, and has now done 500,000k. I tow in 4th gear, about 2800 rpm. My overheating problem was solved when I replaced the fan assembly. That was in 2010.
Essentially, don't boost higher than is necessary - boost for towing, not for drag racing. Serviced regularly, there is no reason why you should have any hassles with the engine.

If in WA, speak to United Fuel Injection services. I found them brilliant. They checked the engine out thoroughly before doing the fitting.

AnswerID: 608183

Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 04, 2017 at 05:26

Saturday, Feb 04, 2017 at 05:26
Pete, try Sheppard diesel in Gosford. He does work for the main Toyota dealership.

Also, on the same cul de sac as the main dealer is Natrad. Always found this guy helpful and he specialises in cooling systems.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 608257

Follow Up By: Itchyfeet Pete (Erina NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017 at 14:52

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017 at 14:52
Thanks Steve. From your reply I'm guessing you're a coastie. I had seen the Sheppard diesel web site but it didn't read to me like they did light 4x4 diesels like the Toyota Landcruiser. I'll give them a call.
Thanks again,
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