Prado Diesel

Submitted: Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:01
ThreadID: 91975 Views:21726 Replies:11 FollowUps:17
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Got the 2003 GX Prado T/D which, I think only puts out 98kWh or thereabouts. Any ideas on improving performance? It's gutless on hills, even without the C/T attached. On a moderately steep hill, starting from stop with the C/T attached, I tried 1st gear initially, but it stalled after about 10 feet. I needed low range until the gradient eased. Without the C/T, I needed to go back to 1st on a fairly steep hill. In my books, that seems pretty gutless. How will I ever go when I eventually upgrade to a caravan! I was told of a chip that'll take it from 98kWh to around 127kWh but how much will it cost, and will it be effective enough for the outlay? Any other ways in which to improve engine output? It has the turbo and a Safari snorkel on it for small percentage gains, but I guess they're a start...
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Reply By: Jim-Bob - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:34

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:34
G'day Lozza,

I have a 2001 GXL Prado T/D to which I added a Tunit chip, also a Turbo Smart boost controller and best of all is a 3 inch exhaust including a 3 inch dump pipe.

I'm running around 15lb boost and have been for around 4years now. I tow an Aussie Swag camper and also a 13 1/2 ft Viscount caravan which I've rebuilt for off road use. Power is no longer a problem.

The order of installation would be,
1) The exhaust.
2) Boost Controller.
3) The Chip.

Safe travells Jim-Bob.
AnswerID: 478198

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:54

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:54
Sounds a bit pricey, but also the way to go. Need more info on the boost controller please. 3" the same manifold? I'm assuming a whole new muffler, or does it bolt onto the existing? Pardon my ignorance, but I need to know so I can avoid any expensive and unforseen pitfalls.
FollowupID: 753717

Follow Up By: Jim-Bob - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 21:51

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 21:51
Hi Lozza, I've had these mods on my 2001 Prado for the last 7 years and approximately 180,000 Klms, it's not so much what mods you do it's more to do with your right foot and how you drive it.
The bigger the exhaust the better with a turbo, the least amount of back pressure the quicker they build boost. To add a larger exhaust you remove the original cast dump pipe behind the turbo and replace it with a larger bore one, you also replace the standard muffler with a straight through big bore (3") one, approx $800.00 for exhaust.

Standard boost for a KZTE motor is 7 to 9Lb, engine light comes on at about 14Lb boost. A boost contoler allows you to dial up what amount of boost you want, in my case I often run to 19Lb boost, and when I purchased mine it was about $70.00.

The Tunit chip cost around $1,100.00 and was least power gain for the dollars spent.

My Prado has a little more power than a D4D Prado. Fuel ecconomy suffers, (11.7Ltr/100Klm), depending again on your right foot.

FollowupID: 753773

Reply By: Gossy - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:24

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:24
being a diesel I'd concentrate on the torque rather than the kw. If you compare yourself to petrols kw you'll always be disapointed!

larger exhaust is a great start and you will feel a difference with daily driving. Bigger isn't always better though. Most engines prefer a 2.5 inch rather than a 3 inch.

I'm in the old days with my GQ so I'm limited with what I can do with mine. As your is a CRD the chip is the other option as you have mentioned. I have no experience with the chips but going by the graphs I've seen and comments on this forum that might be a bigger bang for your bucks if you didn't want to do the chip and exhause together.
AnswerID: 478217

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:10

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:10
Not too sure of mine is the common rail or the older indirect type. There's conflicting news on which it actually is! The engine on mine is the 1KZ-TE, although the manual also refers to the 1KZ-T engine. Dunno what the difference actually is though. Sounds like the larger exhaust and chip as per the previous post. Turbo to look at, depending on cost.
FollowupID: 753718

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:04

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:04
Lozza, your 1KZ-TE is an indirect injection, EFI motor.
The 1KZ-T was a mechanically injected motor that never came to Australia (except as grey import Surfs).
Common rail came in with 1KD-FTV (D4D motor)
FollowupID: 753810

Reply By: Gossy - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:23

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:23
I'm no expert but I'd steer clear of playing around with the turbo boost if you plan on having your vehicle a long time. There is much better ways to improve performance that doesn't affect the longevity of the engine.
AnswerID: 478222

Reply By: rags - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:52

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 16:52
I also have the same model as yours and have found it adequate for our uses and which includes towing 1100kg camper and a double axle trailer load with 1.5t plus of fire wood up one of the steepest roads in our district to our home. I would wonder how many kms your car has got on it,is the clutch in a good working condition. It maybe also related to a fuel pump ,or injectors or fuel filter that may require some attention/service.
I have thought about some of the mods suggested above,with my preference being ,1 exhaust ,then 2 a chip.
To clarify a couple of points above the 1KZ T E the motor that we share it is not a CRD motor but does have electronic injection [the E in motor designation with T being turbo]
Also mention above the torque is the important figure in any diesel.
For good info on the Prado i suggest you look over at
cheers Russ
AnswerID: 478223

Reply By: Cruisevessel - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 19:02

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 19:02
I have a 2004 3 Ltr diesel Prado with 4 speed auto.

I have a fair bit of gear on it and weighs 2700kg. Only mods to the drive train is a straight through muffler and a snorkel and I tow a 1600 kg caravan no worries at all.
Will comfortably sit on 100kmh all day on the flats.

I regularly travel up Cunningham's Gap to Warwick and have no dramas sitting on 45-50 kmh on the climb up.

May I suggest putting the vehicle on a reputable dyno to see whats doing because your Prado being a manual Trans should do it easier than mine.

Cheers Steve
AnswerID: 478240

Reply By: HGMonaro - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 20:35

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 20:35
I agree with Steve. Father-In-Law had a 90/95 series with that motor and towed a tandem axle van around Oz without too much difficulty. Pretty sure he took it over the Great Alpine Road (Mt Hotham) down to Lakes Entrance. He did say it slowed up going up steep hills but never stopped! He's got a D4D now.
AnswerID: 478255

Reply By: Kimba10 - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 21:58

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 21:58
I have owned both the 90 series in diesel form and petrol, both autos and both grande's. Personally (no offence intended to anyone) but I reckon the 1kz turbo diesel motor in the prado's are quit gutless, and personally think they perform a whole heap better in manual form (better gearing). I always use Hawksbury hill and Mooney for my testing/comparing grounds. The prado was gutless from day one pulling up these hills, with out towing would see it drop back to under 100k on both these hills and foot buried to the floor before it would kick out of O/D then jump to 3 1/2grand and slowly drop off from there there till I got over the hill (way out of the torque band) pulling my camper my old V6 3.4 90 would kill the diesel turbo and the fuel usage for a diesel I thought was pathetic (same as V6 some times more) V6 without towing would be around the 12L per 100k the diesel around 11.4L if kept under 110, push 110/120 and you would see 14's. Now my vehicles are serviced as if the things need to last me 100 years, oil n filter (genuine) every 5k (without fail) run 38/40psi in tyres (for freeway/round town) , both vehicles were set up exactly the same, same steel arb bar, barrier,BFG A/T's, the only difference was the snorkel which Im convinced dropped 5 to 8k OFF the speed of the diesel and used more fuel, if I had seen the way Safari had so many bends in the thing was ridiculous, restricted big time, I wouldnt have had it fitted. Now at 103k I copped the dreaded head syndrome (remembering I ran everything genuine down to wiper blades) so it wasnt due to lack of servicing or neglect thats for sure and never ever over heated even when the head went. I now have a 120 V6 with the 5 speed auto, last two trips up the coast loaded (vehicle standard except bullbar) and I achieved 11.6 and 11.8L per 100 and the last trip (11.8) I wasnt hanging around either and did an emergency dash to the hospital for one of the elderly ladies who ripped her leg open on a patrol side step (needed skin graft). The 1kz has an electronic pump but is not like the new D4D which will eat a 1kz in the power department even with a chip and exhaust. I never went down this track as after the head went I wasnt game to put any more stress on the engine but in saying this I havnt heard of the 1kz in the 120 cracking heads ?? My mate has a 120 with 1kz and had a chip fitted and exhaust (he's on Pradopoint) and all it did was blow excess black soot and crap all over his camper so he had to back it down to 3 (range was 1 to 9) he had it on 6 to start with, he did it all at different stages and reckons the exhaust was a total waste of money (wasnt a taipan or beaudesert brand I dont know what brand it was, i do know the brand of the chip but wont say on here which one it was but is very popular) He is in the process of updating to D4D 150 series, he has obviously tested the D4D and said the difference between the two vehicles is like chalk and cheese but the 150 also has 5 speed auto his current 120 is 4 speed. I have driven the 1kz in manual form and is totally different to drive to auto, seems to have more pull, and holds gears better with out the need of jumping around like the auto does. I still think the gearing in the auto is the issue in regards to getting the power to work for you.....I think you may have other issues but as you shouldnt need to go to low range 1st on a sealed rd with a moderately steep hill and especailly with out trailer....Might be time to get injectors checked out and pump, ............
AnswerID: 478270

Reply By: Polaris - Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:30

Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 22:30
Before you jump in and add a chip and exhaust system, make sure the engine is performing in standard form how it should.
We had a Hilux Surf with the 1KZ-TE engine and were also feeling that it was down in power. So took it to a local tuning shop with a dyno.
Sure enough - they diagnosed what my seat of the pants had already told me. It was a slug!
They found that the MAP sensor was not getting the correct information due to a blocked MAP filter.
The small filter was replaced and the dyno showed an amazing 71% increase in power.

Unfortunately the cleaning/replacement of the small filter is not part of the normal serviceing proceedure.
The filter is easily removed and cleaned with carby cleaner.
The EGR system on the engine is responsible for the fouling and blocking of the filter. Fortunately Toyota have designed the filter into the system - between the inlet manifold and the MAP sensor. At least the MAP sensor is protected from contamination by the small filter. Many other brands - eg Ford Ranger/ Mazda BT50, Nissan Patrol have the MAP sensor directly into the inlet manifold and they do gunge up causing poor performance.

There is a CRC product - MAP/MAF sensor cleaner, that is available from auto parts shops - like Repco - specifically for the job.
AnswerID: 478276

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:25

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:25
That's the most hopeful reply yet! I certainly hope it's something that simple. I'm pretty cash strapped, and the thought of spending $$$ on chips, exhausts and the like simply can't happen. I've replaced the Coopers AT tyres with the wider 265 profile BFG TA's that the models above the GX have which seems to have reasonably affected fuel economy (not as good) but I was able to pull the C/T up the steepish hill (Leaving Ferndale Park which is near Chichester Dam out the back of Dungog) in 1st or 2nd gear without any real difficulty until about a year ago or so. To narrow it down, I need to find and possibly replace the MAP filter, wherever it is and then I'll be able to see if that was the problem, or if I need to did deeper as the other posts suggest. At least Toyota build strong and reliable, I guess. I do like my Prado!
FollowupID: 753804

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:24

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:24
I think you'll find the Australian delivered 2003 Prado TD doesn't have a MAP sensor.
FollowupID: 753813

Follow Up By: Polaris - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 14:04

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 14:04
Try - Filter, Gas, NO 1 - Part number 90917-11038

I think you will find that is the filter that I mentioned. As stated before - it is easily cleaned with either carby cleaner or CRC MAP/MAF cleaner. But if it is cracked then you will need to replace it.
If the sensor can't read the correct boost pressure, then the computer won't send the correct signals to the injectors - no power!

Check the part yourself at Toyo DIY

or here

It is only a small filter about 30mm long and 30mm diameter. Has a rubber hose each end about 6mm - one side to manifold and other side to MAP sensor. Filter clips into a circular catch on the manifold.
FollowupID: 753820

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 19:46

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 19:46
Sorry Polaris, you're right. I had too quick a read at work and got MAP and MAF mixed up.

FollowupID: 753848

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:42

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:42
Ta for that extremely helpful idea! I haven't had the time to check it yet (shiftwork) but now I will! Hopefully, it's easily seen if there's a problem with it. Once I do it, I'll always remember how. Just need to work out how often it needs checking. Better than waiting for the vehicle to again become gutless. Might even improve fuel economy.
FollowupID: 753889

Follow Up By: Polaris - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:17

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:17
Lozza - given that it is so easy to remove, I usually cleaned it every service. I don't know why it isn't a required item in the service schedule. Local Toyota dealer didn't even hold one in stock - had to order it! As well as being blocked - my original was also cracked - hence had to buy a new one.

After you remove it - try blowing through it. It should blow easily - but if it is blocked, then give it a clean up.

Amazing the difference it made to the Surf.

This is just one item that may be holding your Prado back.

By all means, if and when you have the $$$ - then do the chip and exhaust - BUT you need to make sure the standard engine is performing properly first. Otherwise the dollars spent on the chip and exhaust are wasted - just trying to get back to the factory spec.
FollowupID: 753893

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 13:58

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 13:58
hi lozza nsw
in addition to the map filter been blocked
have you looked at the engines air cleaner element it may also be dirty and restricting air flow to the intake and will also cause the gutless power a diesel needs plenty of free flowing air through the intake in order to produce its grunt
so look at that as well in the big picture
replace it if you have any doubt could be part of the over-all problem
FollowupID: 753903

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 13:07

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 13:07
I now have to hang my head and display my supreme ignorance! I checked the workshop manual which didn't mention the MAP filter. I looked under the bonnet and concentrated on the right side of the engine and found two different items that could potentially be the MAP filter. Sorry, I need accurate pinpoint info on what I'm looking at/for and how does it come apart and go back together? I'm assuming R/H/S for the intake manifold, even though the Turbo is L/H/S. If you need, I can take a few photos in which you can direct me to the filter. Dunno how you post a photo here anyway! Sorry. I've never had to do it before, no help from the vague manual. As I said, once I've done it, I'll forever remember how. And I'll also check the air filter. I sometimes blow it out using my compressor, but I guess it really needs a new one. Thanks again!
FollowupID: 754072

Follow Up By: Polaris - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 14:24

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 14:24
Confusion, confusion!

Unless you drive backwards everywhere then the RHS is the drivers side - as in Right Hand Drive. Our steering wheels are on the Right side of the vehicle - in the USA the steering wheel is on the Left side of the vehicle.

The Turbo is on the drivers side - RHS.

The inlet manifold is on the passenger side - LHS.

If you look at the diagram on the link that I provided at Toyodiy - there is a picture of the manifold, hose, filter, bracket and MAP sensor.

Here is the Link again

The item on the diagram 23265 (P/N 90917-11038) is the filter in question.

If it is too hard to follow from that , I suggest you may need to take it to someone who can read the Toyota EPC.
FollowupID: 754078

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Saturday, Feb 25, 2012 at 12:55

Saturday, Feb 25, 2012 at 12:55
Apologies abound! I was looking at it from the perspective from the front of the vehicle as normally viewed with the bonnet open, not from the drivers seat! I missed the link, but now have it. It's that circular tan coloured device held by a clip that is attached to the side of the intercooler. Strangely, I looked at that the other day and wondered if that was it! It's got black, sooty surface grime on it. I'll remove it and the hoses attached and try and blow through it. It looks to be a sealed unit, so you can't access the actual filter bit inside. If it won't blow through, I'll try the carby cleaner then blow through it again. Else, I'll replace the unit. Thankfully, you provided the part number for easy identification and parts ordering. I'll keep you informed as to whether this was the direct cause of power loss. Sorry about the ignorance/confusion.
FollowupID: 754147

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Saturday, Feb 25, 2012 at 13:13

Saturday, Feb 25, 2012 at 13:13
I should bave included this in my last post. I have the MAP filter in front of me. The body is a tan colour and has a white top. Blowing through the top white connector seems to blow through freely. Sucking doesn't work well. Trying the same idea on the tan lower outlet: blowing is hard, sucking is easy. Either air is meant to flow one way (top to bottom) only, therefore the unit is fine, or is blocked for the opposing direction. Since logic holds that if it can blow through one way, it's clear and ergo you should be able to do the same just as easily the other way, or there's a one way valve. The opposing way isn't totally obstructed, just heaps harder, but there is an output in that direction as well. I hope this overdetailed description is a help!
FollowupID: 754150

Reply By: Holiday Maker - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 07:28

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 07:28
We had a 120 series Prado 3lt diesel and I agree with the "gutless" statement.

Towing a full size 2200kg caravan at any reasonable speed, so as not to be road block, it was also fuel hungry.

A very disappointing experience.

Sold it after only two years and 20,000km's.

Toyota in the main, nearly always underpower there vehicles.

Boring but reliable, that's Toyota.

AnswerID: 478294

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:11

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:11
What size tyres are you running? I had a 2002 TD Prado and it became a slug when I upsized the tyres and they were the heavy MTRs too.
AnswerID: 478311

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:26

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:26
Forgot to add, I also had a gutless 2000 Prado TD (same motor) and when it was 12 months old found the turbo fins were broken off by a dealer mechanic accidentally dropping a rubber grommet into the intake.
FollowupID: 753814

Follow Up By: Lozza - NSW - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:36

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:36
265/70/17 at present. A bit of a saga. As you'd know, unlike the 3 models above which run 265/65/17, the GX run 225/70/17. I was running Cooper Discoverer ATRs which were 235/65/17 (I think) and wanted BFG 265/65/17s, buit they put on the 265/70/17s which are illegal, especially since I upgraded the suspension (2" lift with Lovells springs, Bilstein shocks and polyairs) Basically, the 265 profile are more common than the 225 and the extra rubber equals that much extra grip. It shouldn't make THAT much of a difference to the engine, I would think. Also, the 265 rims are alloy, so they're lighter than the 225 steel rims.
FollowupID: 753887

Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 15:31

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 15:31
I added a Tunit Chip ($600 for refurbished unit on E Bay) , took it into the Dyno Guys and picked up low down torgue and 15Kw of power. No rocket ship but it feels much better off the mark and will happily pull the 1400 Kg Camper Van at 100kmh.


AnswerID: 478324

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