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cdt5058

New 1981 Sunrader Diesel Owner

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Hey everyone, been a lurker of these forums and the Yahoo forums for a handful of months now. I figured now is the time to introduce you all to my new purchase of a 1981 Sunrader diesel, 5-speed.

IMG_1575.JPG

I've been trying to find more resources for these diesels, but have come up pretty empty. This is the first ever diesel vehicle I've owned, as well as the first ever manual car I've ever owned. Here's a link to the auction with some photos and videos of it running.

The previous owner bought it from a guy out in Iowa and it had to be trailered to his place in Maryland. I purchased it from him and he drove it about 4 hours to me. So far, I've replaced the batteries and purchased new tires for the rig. The one battery under the hood was 18 years old. :o

So far I've replaced the two batteries with new ones, replaced the battery terminals, battery wires, and set up an appointment to get the tires and an inspection next week.

This weekend, I'm giving it an oil change and using Shell Rotella 15W-40 heavy duty oil, cleaning out the entire inside, repairing the fiberglass shower floor, testing the propane system, test the house battery system, and other small items.

Purchased this as a project vehicle and will be spending a good bit of time working on it and tuning it up over the next couple months. 

I have a few questions for you all
- Are there any useful posts/maintenance lists I should be aware of that is different for a diesel as opposed to a gasoline engine?
- How should I mitigate the engine block rust? Is there a way to do this without taking out the engine and bathing/blasting it?
- Is changing the transmission fluid something I can do on my own or should I leave it to the professionals?
- Anyone reinsulate their Toy and have any tips?
- Anything else that might be good to know or helpful?

I'm looking forward to being an active member of this community and sharing with you all the transformation of this beauty.

-Cory

And now for the good stuff, some photos - 

IMG_1576.JPGIMG_1581.JPGIMG_1582.JPGIMG_1588.JPGIMG_1589.JPGIMG_1591.JPGIMG_1592.JPG

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looks like you got the good rear axle. That's a plus.

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26 minutes ago, fred heath said:

looks like you got the good rear axle. That's a plus.

Yea, that was a HUGE reason why I snagged it. Read up a lot on these before buying and knew not to get a 5 lug unless it was heavily discounted. 

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21 hours ago, cdt5058 said:

Hey everyone, been a lurker of these forums and the Yahoo forums for a handful of months now. I figured now is the time to introduce you all to my new purchase of a 1981 Sunrader diesel, 5-speed.

IMG_1575.JPG

I've been trying to find more resources for these diesels, but have come up pretty empty. This is the first ever diesel vehicle I've owned, as well as the first ever manual car I've ever owned. Here's a link to the auction with some photos and videos of it running.

The previous owner bought it from a guy out in Iowa and it had to be trailered to his place in Maryland. I purchased it from him and he drove it about 4 hours to me. So far, I've replaced the batteries and purchased new tires for the rig. The one battery under the hood was 18 years old. :o

So far I've replaced the two batteries with new ones, replaced the battery terminals, battery wires, and set up an appointment to get the tires and an inspection next week.

This weekend, I'm giving it an oil change and using Shell Rotella 15W-40 heavy duty oil, cleaning out the entire inside, repairing the fiberglass shower floor, testing the propane system, test the house battery system, and other small items.

Purchased this as a project vehicle and will be spending a good bit of time working on it and tuning it up over the next couple months. 

I have a few questions for you all
- Are there any useful posts/maintenance lists I should be aware of that is different for a diesel as opposed to a gasoline engine?
- How should I mitigate the engine block rust? Is there a way to do this without taking out the engine and bathing/blasting it?
- Is changing the transmission fluid something I can do on my own or should I leave it to the professionals?
- Anyone reinsulate their Toy and have any tips?
- Anything else that might be good to know or helpful?

I'm looking forward to being an active member of this community and sharing with you all the transformation of this beauty.

-Cory

And now for the good stuff, some photos - 

IMG_1576.JPGIMG_1581.JPGIMG_1582.JPGIMG_1588.JPGIMG_1589.JPGIMG_1591.JPGIMG_1592.JPG

 

21 hours ago, cdt5058 said:

Hey everyone, been a lurker of these forums and the Yahoo forums for a handful of months now. I figured now is the time to introduce you all to my new purchase of a 1981 Sunrader diesel, 5-speed.


- Are there any useful posts/maintenance lists I should be aware of that is different for a diesel as opposed to a gasoline engine?
- How should I mitigate the engine block rust? Is there a way to do this without taking out the engine and bathing/blasting it?
 

Nice find.  You asked about diesel differences, as opposed to a gas engine.  #1 - any diesel is going to make less horsepower and torque then a same-size, same bore&stroke gas engine.  Sometimes people new to diesels have trouble accepting that.  So keep in mind that your 2.2 liter diesel makes substantially less horsepower and torque then a 2.2 Toyota gas engine.  And when you get mad at it and push the pedal to floor, a diesel will often just make black smoke and overheat the cylinder-heads.  The key is to try to keep it within it's useful RPM band that is MUCH narrower then a gas engine.  That is why big diesel trucks have gear boxes with a lot more then 4 or 5 speeds.

Your diesel L (2.2) is rated 72 horsepower @ 4200 RPM, and 93 lbs. torque @ 2400 RPM.  A Toyota 20R (2.2) is rated 96 horsepower @ 4800 RPM, and 120 lbs. torque @ 2800 RPM.

A few suggestions:

#1 Your diesel is "indirect injected."  That means it MUST have working glow plugs to start at near any normal air temp - even when it's 90 degrees F outside.  The original glow plugs it came with were junk when compared to what is out there now IF you buy new self-limiting plugs.  Like Bosch Duratherm.  They eliminate the old problem of glow-plugs expanding, splitting, and getting stuck in the engine. So if you wind up needing new glow-plugs, get some self-limiting plugs like Bosch Duratherm # 80019.  Do NOT buy anything made or sold by Champion.

#2 Your fuel injection pump is a rotary-distributor type (as far as I know).  That means it is very prone to wear or damage if the fuel is not near perfect.  It relies on all its lubrication from the diesel fuel you use. When ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel became the norm, that lube was greatly lowered to unsafe levels for older injection pumps.  The Feds stepped in and mandate that all fuel sellers put a lube additive back into the fuel before selling it.  Do you trust all fuel sellers? I don't.  Keep in mind that nobody had made a diesel with a pump like your's for highway use since 1995 (approx).  So protecting a pump like your's is not a high-priority.  What to do for your own insurance?  I strongly recommend you use a diesel fuel lube-additive.  The best protection for the least  bucks is to buy 2 stroke oil in gallon jugs at Walmart. Tech brand.  Add at a 1 to 200 ratio to your diesel tank and you then know you have all the lube you need.  Cheap investment.  A gallon of that Tech oil is around $12 and you add 10 ounces ever tank fill. That comes to a buck or a little less per 17 gallon tank fill for that added protection.  Keep in mind that if you trash your pump, a replacement can cost a fortune.  Sometimes over $1000 and that does not include any labor charges.

As far as engine oil goes - I cannot say anything bad about Shell Rotella T 15W-40. It is all I've used in my diesels and many gas engines for the past 30 years.

Can't comment on your engine "rust."  Are you talking externally? Why worry?   Internally - I WOULD worry.  Diesels can suffer from cylinder-wall cavitation and it can ruin an engine.  Oddly, it is caused by a lack of rust, and NOT the presence of rust.  An engine needs the side of the cylinder-walls that touch engine coolant to get a nice thin layer of rust and then become inert.  In diesels, extra vibration tends to keep knocking specs of that rust off, and then it rusts over again, and again, and again - until there are holds all the way through.  Using the proper diesel  SCA coolant-additive is the way to protect.  Donaldson makes it. If you go to a Ford dealer, they sell Donaldson SCA with the Motorcraft name stuck on it.    If you go to a real diesel shop - they sell a test-strip kit from Donaldson for around $15.  That is the accurate way to determine how much SCA your cooling system needs. If you don't want to test - just put in 1 pint and you'll likely be fine. I just tested my 7.3 liter Ford diesel that has a huge cooling system and it needed 2 pints.

 

 

Donaldson SCA.jpg

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as far as the engine rust, I assume you are referring to the rust on the exterior of the engine.  I would not be too concerned.  You could spray ospho on it - it will cook off the hot parts.  I put in a master cylinder which immediately started rusting.  Sprayed ospho on it and that took care of it.  Doubt it would have been a structural issue but I did not like seeing that much rust that quick.

 

http://www.ospho.com/

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I can't say I've ever had a problem with external rust except for thin-steel oil-pans rusting out.  Pretty much any engine I have, that gets driven, has little problem.  Besides, rust is often inert.  I've had new (bare) master cylinders rust right up and then stabilize.  Also seen engines that were steam-cleaned rust right up and then stabilize.  Never regard it as an issue except the oil-pan that gets exposed to a lot of dinging and road-salt.  Here in northern MI, the roads by me get salted winter and summer.

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9 hours ago, jdemaris said:

I can't say I've ever had a problem with external rust except for thin-steel oil-pans rusting out.  Pretty much any engine I have, that gets driven, has little problem.  Besides, rust is often inert.  I've had new (bare) master cylinders rust right up and then stabilize.  Also seen engines that were steam-cleaned rust right up and then stabilize.  Never regard it as an issue except the oil-pan that gets exposed to a lot of dinging and road-salt.  Here in northern MI, the roads by me get salted winter and summer.

 

Holy cow. Thanks for all that helpful information in your two posts, @jdemaris. It's sincerely appreciated.

As far as an oil pan rusting out, I think mine is near the end of it's life. I got the Sunrader up on ramps yesterday and tried to get the oil pan plug out and it was simply stuck. Broke my ratchet in the process. There were a couple small stalactites of oil hanging from the pan, but no drops on the ground (been parked in the same spot for a couple days). The transmission was also super grimy and covered in crap. I wiped them both down a good bit and am going to get back under the vehicle tomorrow or the day after to check for leaks. @DanAatTheCape and @jdemaris As far as engine rust, I was just a bit concerned about it, but thinking back to my first car - Pontiac Sunfire GT - this rust is nothing.

IMG_1597.JPG

From what I can tell from inside of the camper, I think it might've been a rental at one point in time. There are small guides that were left in the rear cabinets about 'Signs of a heart attack', 'how to operate the stove', a 'Flush' arrow for the toilet, and other small signs. It's only got 67,000 miles - I just need to make sure it's tuned up properly before I set out to visit all 48 continental states.

For the glow plugs, I think I'll go ahead and replace them out. Engine seems to be starting up just fine in the 50* and 85* days we've had recently, but, I'd rather not end up with a chunk of a glow plug in the engine. Rather spend the bucks than have a disaster down the road. Any reason why I should stay away from Champion plugs? Is this just in general as well? 

I'm headed out to Walmart in the next week or so, I'll be sure to grab some cheap additive. I picked up some Seafoam, but not 100% sure where all to put it.

As far as replacing the coolant, anything to keep in mind here? 

Anything else underneath the beast that I should worry about? I've included a couple photos for references. (Yes, the previous owner sprayed a bunch of black underbelly protection stuff.)

IMG_1598.JPGIMG_1600.JPG

Thanks again for helping out a novice.

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15 minutes ago, cdt5058 said:

 

For the glow plugs, I think I'll go ahead and replace them out. Engine seems to be starting up just fine in the 50* and 85* days we've had recently, but, I'd rather not end up with a chunk of a glow plug in the engine. Rather spend the bucks than have a disaster down the road. Any reason why I should stay away from Champion plugs? Is this just in general as well? 

 

Champion has never caught up with modern glow-plug technology and perhaps doesn't care too.  Unless something has changed very recently, the only glow-plugs they sell are the original design from the late 70s, early 80s.  The kind that overheats easily and blows-up and gets stuck in the cylinder-head.  AC Delco has not either, except at least with AC Delco - for some applications they stopped using their own and use Beru plugs from Germany.  Beru and Bosch have been making these burnout-proof, self-limiting glow-plugs for 15 years now, so it is NOT really a "new" technology anymore. Well, "new" to Champion, I guess.  Beru is as good as Bosch Duratherm.  The Bosch versions are just easier to find.  I have had to repair many a diesel with stuck blown-up glow-plugs and they are just about always Champions or the older single-coil AC Delcos that are the same crap. 

One added note on your Toyota. It probably has a "load sensing" glow-plug controller.  The way that works is - when all four glow plugs are working - the glow-plugs come on for quite a while at first cold-start. Maybe 10-14 seconds?   Now, if even one plug burns out, then there is less load on the circuit and the controller responds with a shorter cycle time.  So if you start having trouble starting when cold and the plugs do not seem to stay on as long as needed - it likely means one or more is not working.

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looking at your pic's, I am guessing it is an illusion, but looks like that tailpipe runs below the driveshaft.  Quite the setup.

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12 hours ago, DanAatTheCape said:

looking at your pic's, I am guessing it is an illusion, but looks like that tailpipe runs below the driveshaft.  Quite the setup.

I don't think it's an illusion, it certainly runs underneath the driveshaft. 

I was adding a coat of plasti-dip to the pull-out step yesterday and pulled on a piece of wire hanging from the underbelly. Lo and behold, it was another set of keys to the vehicle. 

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Looks like you got a neat little rig there. Looks like some new brake parts if your are concerned about fuel lubricity put a few qt's of bio diesel in with standard diesel. I have never seen an engine block rust out even left in the woods for 50 years!

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I realize you've already got a set of replacements tires, but the currently installed ones look to have quite aggressive tread pattern. This is something others look for sometimes (for venturing of asphalt). Could you tell us the make, model and size? It looks like they have more than adequate clearance between them.

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18 minutes ago, Derek up North said:

I realize you've already got a set of replacements tires, but the currently installed ones look to have quite aggressive tread pattern. This is something others look for sometimes (for venturing of asphalt). Could you tell us the make, model and size? It looks like they have more than adequate clearance between them.

 
 
 

The current tires are as follows - 
Front - Hercules TerraTrac (2-ply) 195/75R14
Back - Cooper Trendsetter SE 195/75R14

Both the front and the back are dry-rotted, something I wish that I would've noticed earlier. Ended up going with the Thunderer Ranger R101 185R14C tires for the front, back & spare.
 

2 hours ago, Maineah said:

Looks like you got a neat little rig there. Looks like some new brake parts if your are concerned about fuel lubricity put a few qt's of bio diesel in with standard diesel. I have never seen an engine block rust out even left in the woods for 50 years!

 
 
 

Thanks! I'm taking the advice of @jdemaris and going to get some 2-stroke oil and add a little to each fill-up.

Going to be ordering some glow plugs this evening and replacing those myself in the next couple days. Is it super important to bore out the glow plug holes when replacing them?

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18 hours ago, cdt5058 said:

The current tires are as follows - 
Front - Hercules TerraTrac (2-ply) 195/75R14
Back - Cooper Trendsetter SE 195/75R14

Both the front and the back are dry-rotted, something I wish that I would've noticed earlier. Ended up going with the Thunderer Ranger R101 185R14C tires for the front, back & spare.
 

Thanks! I'm taking the advice of @jdemaris and going to get some 2-stroke oil and add a little to each fill-up.

Going to be ordering some glow plugs this evening and replacing those myself in the next couple days. Is it super important to bore out the glow plug holes when replacing them?

I drove my VW diesel 360K with low sulfur diesel before I sold it and all my tractors burn it so I don't think it will be an issue rotary  pumps have been around for many decades that's how they got the RPM up on diesels. The pencil glow plugs do have a tendency to expand if they go bad and left alone but it will be a bit hard to start with even one dead one. In your case it would be a good ideal to concern your self with the timing belt  before you start to worry about other things.

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11 hours ago, Maineah said:

I drove my VW diesel 360K with low sulfur diesel before I sold it and all my tractors burn it so I don't think it will be an issue rotary  pumps have been around for many decades that's how they got the RPM up on diesels. The pencil glow plugs do have a tendency to expand if they go bad and left alone but it will be a bit hard to start with even one dead one. In your case it would be a good ideal to concern your self with the timing belt  before you start to worry about other things.

 
 
 

That's reassuring.

Do you have any links or places where I can read up on timing belt basics, how to check for a bad timing belt, etc? I tried searching around here, but can't seem to find a good reference point. The vehicle has about 75k miles on it at the moment, so I'd assume it's past due to get it replaced. Thanks for the help.

Edit - It should also be noted that the diesel exhaust is white when I first start up the engine. It stops coming out white after 15 seconds tho. Is there where something like Seafoam comes in?

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18 hours ago, Maineah said:

my VW diesel 360K with low sulfur diesel before I sold it and all my tractors burn it so I don't think it will be an issue rotary  pumps have been around for many decades that's how they got the RPM up on diesels. The pencil glow plugs do have a tendency to expand if they go bad and left alone but it will be a bit hard to start with even one dead one. In your case it would be a good ideal to concern your self with the timing belt  before you start to worry about other things.

Ultralow sulfur diesel became the rule at the highway pump only 6 years ago.   So I guess you are claiming you had a new VW diesel in 2010 AND it had a rotary-mechanical injection pump built with the same lube-requirements as a 1981 Toyota diesel?  NO, I don't think so.  

The plain fact is this.  Most rotary-mechanical injection pumps have troubles by 120-150,000 miles.  That's when the automatic timing advances tend to wear out and that is 100% due to metal-parts wear.  Many diesel owners don't know it when the timing-advance wears out, and often their mechanic has no way to check it either.  The US military had such a high failure rate with GM diesels with rotary pumps - they were special ordering Arctic-rated pumps with special extra-hard metals in high-wear areas of the rotary Stanadyne pumps.

I also repeat.  After low-sulfur diesel became the only legal highway diesel - fuel sellers became mandated to add their own lube-additives  before selling IF to be use for motor-fuel.   They are allowed to leave it out IF for use for heating fuel.  The additive put in can and will  vary with where the fuel is bought.  Adding your own lube is - as I stated before - cheap insurance if you'd like to avoid a $1000 plug pump replacement.

On the subject of tractors - which model tractors?   Do they all have rotary pumps?  Have all been run only on low-sulfur? If so, why?   Lower cost off-road diesel was not mandated to be low-sulfur until just a few years ago.

As to "pencil plugs" expanding? Not all do it.  Older pencil plugs were single-coil, with no burn-out protection, and they all could swell and even burst.  Newer, better designed "pencil plugs" are dual-coil, self-limiting, and do not swell or burst. 

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17 hours ago, cdt5058 said:

 

Edit - It should also be noted that the diesel exhaust is white when I first start up the engine. It stops coming out white after 15 seconds tho. Is there where something like Seafoam comes in?

An IDI diesel like your's is supposed to smoke when you first start it.   Even worse if the glow-plugs are not all working or they are not getting hot enough. Most slightly newer diesels, late 80s, early 90s, keep turning the glow plugs on for a minute or so even after the engines starts to prevent that smoke.

How long do your plugs turn on the first time when the engine is cold? If less then 13-14 seconds, you likely have a one or two not working.  If even one is burnt out, the cycle time gets shortened by around 25%. so then the three left that DO work cannot get as hot as they should.

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8 minutes ago, jdemaris said:

An IDI diesel like your's is supposed to smoke when you first start it.   Even worse if the glow-plugs are not all working or they are not getting hot enough. Most slightly newer diesels, late 80s, early 90s, keep turning the glow plugs on for a minute or so even after the engines starts to prevent that smoke.

How long do your plugs turn on the first time when the engine is cold? If less then 13-14 seconds, you likely have a one or two not working.  If even one is burnt out, the cycle time gets shortened by around 25%. so then the three left that DO work cannot get as hot as they should.

3

Good to know that.

The glow plugs when I first turn the key on a colder day is definitely less than 13-14 seconds. On these hotter days we've been having recently (85* F), they're on only for a split second.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to adjust the timing belt. Is this something I should do (pretty inexperienced) or leave it to the pros? What's the cost to get the timing belt replaced and up to snuff?

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If the plugs only come on for a second when it is 85 degree F - assuming it  is first start and the engine is cold - there is a problem.  Most likely a few burnt out glow-plugs.  That is the way the system works.  That is .. . when all four plugs work - at first start - they will cycle 10-14 seconds (approx.).  But if only three are working and one is burnt out - it will only cycle for around 8 seconds and smoke a lot when it starts. If two plugs are burnt out - it will cycle maybe 5-6 seconds, start hard, skip, and REALLY smoke until it warms up.   

I would not be surprised if the glow-plug controller is no longer available for your truck (but can't say I've checked).   They have become unavailable for many of the older non-mainstream diesels.  I tell you this so you have some background knowledge.  The electronic controller senses total glow-plug amp draw which is probably around 35-40 amps.  When working as it should, and it gets that kind of amp-draw, it cycles the appropriate time depending on engine-block temperature.  It is usually set to stop working if the engine block is warmer then 160 degrees F.  It does not measure air-temps.    If plugs do not cycle as long as needed, it is usually because a few are burnt out and amp-draw is too low.   A bad block-temp sensor can also cause this - but that is rare.  Checking glow-plugs to see if working is easy. If burnt out - changing them can sometimes turn into a big project. It depends if any have burst inside the head (common with the old style plugs).

Within the field of old diesel owners, many have given up using controllers and have converted to a manual push-button.  That can work fine IF done right.  Having modern dual-coil plugs is a must for a push-button setup.  Also - if I was doing it to your Toyota, I'd use  a different application plug.  The glow-plugs meant to be used with your controller are 7 volt plugs. If you ever decide to put in a manual push-button setup - I suggest you change to 12 volt plugs.  When your diesel engine was used in Europe - it came two ways.  Standard and "super" glow-plugs.  You have the "super" that are 7 volts and heat faster (and burn out easier).  When the 2.2 diesel L was used in the 1982 Toyota Corona, is came with "standard" that are 12 volt plugs.  So they are a direct fit into your engine.  THAT is what you'd want IF you eliminated your electronic controller.   NGK # Y-118T1.  Or a Bosch equiv.   

Note I am not trying to confuse you with diesel trivia, but you DID ask about your diesel.  It is likely your controller is fine and all you need is four working glow-plugs.  The "super" 7 volt plugs that your engine came with are Bosch # 80019 or NGK # Y118-R.

Back on the subject of adding lube to your fuel.  Go check what a replacement injection-pump might cost you and then tell me using some extra lube is not good insurance.  Diesel fuel today has much less lube then it did in 1982 when it leaves the refinery.  Your local fuel seller is supposed to be dumping in a lube-additive to make up for it. Are you that trusting? I am not. I am sure that most do it.  I also suspect some do not, or add less then needed for these older pumps.

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I should of added this disclaimer. I do NOT know specifically what your Toyota has for a glow-plug controller nor do I know what the plug cycle time is supposed to be. I worked as a diesel mechanic for a long time and I am guessing on your system based on what all the others had.  In the 80s, VW, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Ford, GMC, Chevy, etc. all used the same basic systems with their IDI diesels. I have no reason to think your's is any different..  I will note that Chevy also used 7 volt "fast heat" plugs in the late 70s, early 80s.  The replacements for them now if you go to GM will be 11-12 volt plugs.

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On 6/1/2016 at 5:54 PM, jdemaris said:

If the plugs only come on for a second when it is 85 degree F - assuming it  is first start and the engine is cold - there is a problem.

Figured I would put together a video showing you how quickly the glow plug light turns off on the dash. This was from a cold start during an 85-degree day.

Breaking out the multimeter tomorrow to test the glow plugs and figure out if they're at cause.

As far as adding more lube to the fuel, I'm 100% with you there. 

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How are you  going to test with a multimeter?  Only way I can think of is if your meter has an DC amp mode that can read at least 10 amps and better yet, 20 amps.  Unhook one glow-plug wire one at time and then connect your probe in series - between the wire-lead and the terminal on the glow-plug.  Each plug should be drawing 7-10 amps each when you first turn the key on. I'm not sure of the figure - but either it will draw amperage, or will draw nothing.   Easier yet - just unhook the lead from the glow-plug you are testing.  Then run one probe of your meter to the POS post of the battery and the other to the terminal on the glow-plug and read amp-draw. Do NOT do it long.  If you have the old OEM plugs and they are 7 volts - any test longer then 7 seconds may blow up the plug.

Do you have a Toyota owner's manual with the diesel supplement? If so, it should give you the proper cycle time.  I know the diesel Land Cruiser and the diesel Corona both have a 15-16 second cycle time at first start.  But they use 12 volt glow-plugs.  Since your's has the 7 volt plugs - it is likely it is supposed to cycle faster.  My guess would be 7-10 seconds at first cold start (just a guess though).   My 1985 Isuzu diesel mintruck with a 2.2 has 6 volt plugs and cycles around 10 seconds at first cold-start.

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9 hours ago, cdt5058 said:

There appear to be several ways to test glow plugs with a multimeter. Even without taking them out.

I'll post an update tomorrow on how it goes.

If you believe every "how to do it" article on the Net, you are going to get into trouble.  You can NOT do a 100% accurate test on a glow-plug with a resistance reading unless you have an exact ohmage figure from the manufacturer to work with.  It will work sometimes on some plugs and that is it. The only way to be sure a plug actually works is by measuring amp-draw.   Most mulitmeters (that I know of) have at least a 10 amp scale that should be OK.  If not?  You'll blow the fuse in the multimeter.  Most plugs I know of are 8 amps @ 11 volts (88 watts).   Your's are probably 7 volts @ 13 amps.  If you test @ 12.5 volts like I already described, they will draw approx. 7 amps for the first second or so.  The $5 mulitmeter from Harbor Freight even has a 10 amp scale.   But hey, it is your truck; do things how ever you please. 

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Here is some info from the German Beru glow-plug tech book.  It gives a pictorial on testing with an ohm-meter and like I said, warns it does NOT work with all glow-plugs.  Shows you what a self-regulating sheathed glow-plug is (what you want).  When your Toyota was new - they were not invented yet.  As I recall, Beru was the first and then Bosch copied them. If you go to a Chevy or Ford dealership and buy new glow-plugs in an AC Delco or Motorcraft box - you get re-packaged Berus.  Best plug on earth (in my opinion). But in looking in their catalog it does not look like they make the updated plug for your Toyota (they do not make it clear).  Thus why I'd stick with the Bosch Duratherm. 

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Thanks for the notes @jdemaris. Had some friends come into town this past weekend, so I was only able to work for an hour on the coach electrical issues I was having. Which after some quick diagnosis with my new best friend, Mike Multimeter, I was relieved to find out it was only a fuse. Hopefully, I'll get to the glow plugs this weekend before Father's Day.

For some reason or another, the previous owner had completely different fuses installed - one of which was blown. So, I figured for $10 I would just replace the fuses with what is labeled next to where they belong.

Earlier today, I was looking around the cab and was starting to get concerned with some wood inside. I've read about the sagging floor (which I believe I have - see photos) as well as dry rot. But, I want people to confirm my beliefs before I start to figure out the best methods to treat this.

The photo with the little black dots were these tiny bugs. I'm not sure what the heck they are! Definitely worries me that they were underneath the over-cab cushion.

Thanks for any and all advice!

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Another day, another electrical problem (I think).

About a month or so ago, I made the mistake of leaving the lights on for nearly a week. So, as you can imagine, this drained both of the batteries down to about 4 Volts (remember, I have a diesel engine). So, I was able to jump the Toyota to start after about 30 minutes. I let her run for another 30-45 minutes thinking that the alternator would then recharge the batteries to full. When I turned the car off to turn it back on, it wouldn't turn over - but I could hear the solenoid click.

The batteries were reading at <11V, so, I took them into Advanced Auto Parts to get charged overnight (recently bought a battery tender to do this on my own). When I picked them back up, they were around 12.5 V.

I re-installed the batteries and the car fired right up.

Nowadays, with the car off, both batteries read 12.5 Volts
When I put the key in the ignition and turn it a click to turn on the radio, the cluster has all the lights on and the batteries read a little lower.

Then, when I start the vehicle, the batteries drop to about 12.2 Volts and then slowly climb up to around 12.4 Volts
When I turn it off, it still continues to climb up towards the 12.5 Volts range.

Should I be concerned about the alternator, the battery isolator, the batteries, or all three?

I've attached a few photos to this post so you can see the wiring to the isolator and the dash cluster when the car is not running vs when it is running.

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Yes, the voltage would certainly concern me.   The voltage at the center-post of the isolator ought to be around 14 volts when the engine is running and alternator charging.  THAT assuming the center-post is the one hooked to the alternator.  The two other posts (one to cranking batteries and one to house battery) ought to be around 13.8 volts, more-or-less.  12.5 volts is way too low.  Same when a battery maintainer is hooked to any of the batteries. Maintainers are usually set to stay around 13.2 to 13.8 volts.

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@jdemaris I just went to check how the connections are wired up. The middle wire on the isolator has a ~10" wire to the alternator post. Then the left post in the photo goes to the batteries under the hood and the right post goes back to the house battery. I took a reading with the multimeter and from the top post of the alternator to the left post of the isolator is reading at 19 Volts or so and jump around pretty wildly by roughly a 4V range. Measuring from the alternator post to the middle post on the isolator read ~0.0V which is expected since it's the same wire. Then from the alternator post to the right post on the isolator, it read around 0.5V. I do not have the house battery hooked up in the back, so I assume that this is a proper reading. Finally, when I measure from the alternator casing to the middle of left post (I forget which one), I get the same reading as the batteries 12.3-12.45 Volts.

Here's a quick video showing the wiring and the chirping noise (apologies for the vertical video).

It's gotta either be the belt, bad alternator bearing, or a pulley... Going to see if spraying water on the belt will eliminate the noise tomorrow.

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17 minutes ago, cdt5058 said:

It's gotta either be the belt, bad alternator bearing, or a pulley

The old guy trick for isolating bearings is using a really long tool to transmit the sound to your ear.  I have a couple of crazy long screw drivers I used for this.  I'm talking, put a screw in from across the room long. (a bit of an exaggeration)

Place the tip of the screw driver as close as possible to where the suspect bearing is (being very very careful, there is a running motor down there) and press your ear to the other end of the tool.  You should be able to better isolate the sound of the bearing against all the rest of the noise being made.  They make mechanics stethoscopes but I'm cheap and it is not something I need that often to require a dedicated tool. Sometimes you hear something under the hood your pretty sure is a bearing.  With the fan blade turning, how are you going to get in close enough to isolate it.  Don't try this though if you don't have a steady hand and a clear path for the tool and don't try it with a tool that is too short.

Edited by Back East Don

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6 minutes ago, Back East Don said:

but I'm cheap

Thanks for the tips @Back East Don. You're cheap, yet own a Sunrader. :P

I'm taking it into the shop to get the exhaust all redone tomorrow morning, so I'll probably have one of their techs check it out as well.

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1 minute ago, cdt5058 said:

You're cheap, yet own a Sunrader

Nope, I have an Itasca.  Almost bought a Sunrader last year.  Half kind of, sort of looking but next is a bigger class A to be able to spend up to a few months in at a time.  We are a "weekends only in a small RV" kind of couple. 

After that is the Sunrader as a long term project.but if I find a great deal in the meantime, I'll jump on it. (Just don't tell the Mrs.  I mean she's on board in theory)

8 minutes ago, cdt5058 said:

I'll probably have one of their techs check it out as well

Even better. 

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On 2016-06-01 at 2:52 PM, jdemaris said:

Ultralow sulfur diesel became the rule at the highway pump only 6 years ago.   So I guess you are claiming you had a new VW diesel in 2010 AND it had a rotary-mechanical injection pump built with the same lube-requirements as a 1981 Toyota diesel?  NO, I don't think so.  

The plain fact is this.  Most rotary-mechanical injection pumps have troubles by 120-150,000 miles.  That's when the automatic timing advances tend to wear out and that is 100% due to metal-parts wear.  Many diesel owners don't know it when the timing-advance wears out, and often their mechanic has no way to check it either.  The US military had such a high failure rate with GM diesels with rotary pumps - they were special ordering Arctic-rated pumps with special extra-hard metals in high-wear areas of the rotary Stanadyne pumps.

I also repeat.  After low-sulfur diesel became the only legal highway diesel - fuel sellers became mandated to add their own lube-additives  before selling IF to be use for motor-fuel.   They are allowed to leave it out IF for use for heating fuel.  The additive put in can and will  vary with where the fuel is bought.  Adding your own lube is - as I stated before - cheap insurance if you'd like to avoid a $1000 plug pump replacement.

On the subject of tractors - which model tractors?   Do they all have rotary pumps?  Have all been run only on low-sulfur? If so, why?   Lower cost off-road diesel was not mandated to be low-sulfur until just a few years ago.

As to "pencil plugs" expanding? Not all do it.  Older pencil plugs were single-coil, with no burn-out protection, and they all could swell and even burst.  Newer, better designed "pencil plugs" are dual-coil, self-limiting, and do not swell or burst. 

2006, 10 years ago in the US. In Europe as far back as 1990 VW was well aware that it was coming and so were the Japanese and were way ahead of the game.. My 92 Cummings has a rotary pump and has been running on ULSD since 06. As it turns out diesels did not roll over a play dead with LSD http://www.worktruckonline.com/article/story/2007/11/one-year-later-the-impact-of-ulsd-on-diesel-engines.aspx  GM's early diesel engines did not last long enough for the pumps to go bad and that's saying something for the worlds worst injector pumps. John Deere uses rotary pumps on many of their engines.

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23 minutes ago, Maineah said:

As it turns out diesels did not roll over a play dead with LSD

I just thought I would point out that the article you reference kind of makes jdemaris's point. 

From the article:

With some older trucks, the transition to ULSD hasn’t been totally smooth.

Larry Forkum, fleet manager for the city of Portsmouth, N.H., said, with USLD, “some of the (1998 and older model) trucks were stumbling, almost like the (fuel) pumps were trying to bind. We chased down everything — didn’t get a good answer on all the checks we knew — and came to the point where we decided it must be a lubricity problem.”  The problem primarily surfaced in the winter — a particularly inopportune time because of crucial road salting and snowplowing operations Forkum’s municipality must deal with.  “The fuel (ULSD) is dry. But when it’s cold, it seems to get drier,” he said.  His maintenance people solved the problem by adding a half-quart of antigel with a lubricity package to every tank of fuel in wintertime.

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14 hours ago, Back East Don said:

Nope, I have an Itasca.

Whoops! Definitely missed that on your profile on the left. Your secret Sunrader purchase is safe with us. ;)

For what it's worth, I've been rotating between Seafoam and extra oil for the past couple 1/2 tanks I've filled up.

From what I described with the multimeter readings previously, does anyone think that this could be an isolator problem? It's just odd that the battery Voltage drops from 12.5V to 12.25V when I turn the car on and then it steadily climbs back up to 12.5V over a handful of minutes.

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