Sluggish landcruiser

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:17
ThreadID: 29441 Views:4772 Replies:12 FollowUps:4
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Well, we are well on our way around australia, having completed the leg from Perth to Sydney via Ayers Rock over 9 weeks prior to Christmas, and are now spending some weeks with family.

At times we found our car, a 2002 landcruiser standard 4.2 diesel, rather sluggish and assumed it's because we are towing a lot of weight (6 people in the car, camper with lots of gear). Now we have unloaded the gear for a few weeks while we stay in a house, so the car is empty, and yet it is still sluggish up hills especially. (OK, I'm not expecting to run the orange lights in Sydney or drag people off at the green light.)

We have had advice to avoid putting on an aftermarket turbo, and basically we can live with it as is, just modify some aspects of our trip and adjust our expectations of tracks we can safely do. but it is a bit frustrating to think we might have to limit some of the country we can see - eg Snowy Mountains -

Any thoughts?

Liz and Dave and 4 kids, on route from Fremantle
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Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:36

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:36
Whoever told you to avoid an aftermarket turbo is talking a load of BS. I have fitted onr to my 80 series 4.2 diesel and the difference is staggering, and I mean staggering. From 96 kw to 135 kw, from 295 nm to 390 nm. The motors in you car and in mine are exactly the same and are bulletproof. I had mine fitted by a specialist down near Bowral and can really recommend them. Fuel consumption did not change at about 11-12 l/199 kms but the driveability sure did. If you would like to drive mine before deciding I am in Sydney. Just email me on
AnswerID: 147032

Follow Up By: tonysmc - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:54

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:54
Ian, Just thought I would say that I have read in here a number of times that if you are going to post you email address disguise it as they say that some sort of scanning thingo will pick it up and you will start to receive all sorts of stuff. So just type it as, whoever at bigpond dot net dot ay you, or some such thing.
Cheers Tony.
FollowupID: 400502

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:43

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:43
the 1HZ was no powerhouse but they will go anywhere. If the slugishness is intermitent you may have picked up some dirty fuel. Check or relace your fuel filter and also make sure your air filter is clean. I have turbo charged 2 1HZ motors and the best money I have ever spent on any engine for performance gained, neither gave any problems. I can certainly recommend a turbo secially if towing. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 147033

Reply By: Original Banjo (SA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:45

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 18:45
I have heard others cover the virtues of the AM turbo ..... as Ian has said - seems a good way to go.... low boost from a reliable unit is said to have little potential for harm. Re the power - IMO, 96KW should find the car feeling very, very sluggish with 6 people and a loaded trailer.... its a heavy machine for starters. Will leave others to explain the same performance when empty - but some of these diesels seem not to have flexibility in how they apply power - some do what they do, loaded or not.
AnswerID: 147034

Reply By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 19:17

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 19:17
I fully endorse Ian H's comments. I had mine done and Ian is dead right, the difference is staggering.

AnswerID: 147040

Reply By: Member - Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 21:14

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 21:14
Liz and Dave,

Your cruiser may be slow but if you can live with it I can't see many places that will stop you from going there because it is a bit slower. The gearing in your truck is pretty spot on and you will be able to crawl to just about any spot on the map.
From experience I would tell you to avoid 5th gear when towing apart from that it's all good news about the vehicle (just slow)

Cheers Trevor.
AnswerID: 147057

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:12

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 22:12

As you've found out, the 1HZ can give rather ordinary performance, but your's is working hard with that load. The vehicle will go anywhere in Oz, albeit sometimes sedately.

Would endorse the value of a good turbo kit.

Re fuel filter/dodgy fuel mentoned above, another way to destroy the performance of 1HZ, is the practice of running each tank dry, ie. till motor coughs, then switching to 2nd tank. As the injector pump needs full fuel flow, to aid in both cooling, and lubrication of pump, this practice will accelerate wear, hence sluggish behaviour.

As suggested limit towing in 5th, and keep above 80clicks in that gear too, for longevity,

Enjoy your trip,


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AnswerID: 147069

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 01:07

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 01:07
I remember reading in an issue of 4x4 Australia in about 1993 (when they did up a new GQ from base model)......" there isn't a diesel motor that doesn't deserve to have a turbo bolted to it".
I could not imagine owning a natually aspirated diesel (unless it was a big Chev 6.5; but even then a turbo would be preferable).
If you can't bring yourself to spend the $$$$ on the turbo, the next best thing would be a set of genie headers (extractors). These have been known to improve a N/A diesel motor quite a bit. Also, depending on how old your truck is, have you ever had the injectors "done" and the timing checked? I believe that most diesels are just bolted together and not too much done at the factory to get the tuning correct. The factory claim of 96kw, despite being quite low by today's standards, is probably not being achieved by a factory-stock vehicle. I had my GU tuned at Berrima before it had done 20,000klm and the difference with just the injectors and timing having been set, was quite noticeable.
But, turbo is THE way to go.
AnswerID: 147093

Reply By: whitehilux - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 08:48

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 08:48
A mate of mine had a Cruiser that was sluggish and always emitted a lot of black smoke. He fitted a turbo (which helped) but found he had a blown head gasket (from new). Now that has been remedied he has now removed the turbo and is using it quite happily in its normally aspitated mode.

May be worth a quality compression check.

AnswerID: 147330

Reply By: DamoHJ61 - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 18:41

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 18:41
Hi Liz & Dave, your vehicle would certainly be doing it tough but whoever told you to avoid an aftermarket turbo needs to gain a little more experience in the field.
As stated, go back to basics, change all your fuel filters, air filter, check compression & possible blown head gasket, cam timing, fuel in your tank for contaminants and then go down the path of injector & pump service.
if your vehicle used to perform a little better when empty prior to your trip then I would hazard a guess that either you have picked up some bad fuel or you have algea in your tank. Algea is easily indentified at a primary fuel filter change as a speckly blackish contaminant.
If all checks out then bolt on a hair dryer, you will never regret it.
AnswerID: 147453

Follow Up By: Member - Bill S (NSW) - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 19:23

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 19:23
DamoHJ61, Mate you have been told,but it is very tiring to see the remarks to your problem relative to crook fuel around this country.Why do you think we put this add for ?????? on the right hand collum of this foram it is there for all to take notice off. It is not a snake oil as some state, but a product that actually works and works extremley well,and with a 120% full refund if not satisfied ,what do you think that says.The advice given is very pertinent in relation to the condition of an engine and must be in good condition prior to fitting.I have driven all over this country with this product fitted and never experianced bad fuel.SO if you want improved performance and better econamy have one fitted and tell all my knockers the truth, then they will all have EGG on their faces

FollowupID: 400814

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 20:33

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 20:33
the solution to crook fuel also??????? Bah.....maybe I should eat a fitch incase i eat a crook prawn.....

FollowupID: 400821

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 20:21

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 20:21
You give no indication to what servicing you have done....if you havnt already, change the filter and catch the fuel from the old filter and cut it open if need be to see if a blackish sludge is present....if it is, start using fuel treatment in your tanks that kills algai (nissan diesel fuel treatment is one that is good) and buy a packet of 12 filters....u will need them....the 1hz is succeptable to algai infestation as the fuel gets hot as it circulates round.
If you fit a turbo, go for a good brand from a largish installer, and have it set on the conservitive side and you will have no problems....take a comverted one for a drive and you wont like driving yours anymore....
AnswerID: 147468

Follow Up By: Member - Bill S (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 09:45

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 09:45
TO Leyroy, Offer a statment in reguard to this, when you are educated in what is occuring in the technical world.
Until then keep your remarks to something you know a thing or two about????????.
In other words state nothing, when you know nothing of what you say.

FollowupID: 400896

Reply By: brd - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 16:04

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 16:04

While turbocharging the 1HZ is well proven, there is some merit in the advice you were give, in as much as (if i understand correctly) your engine has lost power, rather than you just wanting more. As such there is a problem which should be addressed first, since it could also be adding stress to the engine, which a turbo will magnify.

Another common power problem is caused by piston ring fouling when the oil condition deteriorates. That is, looks filthy, stains your fingers. If so, there would not be any detergency left to keep rings clean. They are a high soot engine, and it may need a proper flush.
AnswerID: 147812

Reply By: DamoHJ61 - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:07

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:07
To Bill, your expensive inert perfume has no further merit than breasts on a bull.
If by some miraculous long shot it ever had a chance of making any impact on an engine, the basics mentioned on this thread by the other good sane folk would still be required to ensure a mechanically sound engine - something that your advertising states as a requirement for your product to work, or as everyone else calls it, "the get out clause".
Your travels have more likely been incident free due to regular service and upkeep rather than the non working pour in mechanic in a tin you are keen on promoting.
I can read and have observed and dismissed your advertising, if I wanted your input on my thoughts I would have contacted you for your opinion.
Up until now I have respected yours, I suggest you respect others as well.
AnswerID: 148450

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