Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Service hints



From. Dick Valentine
Over the years I have operated and run many vehicles including trucks,
so although my experience relates mainly to diesels some of the points
here apply to petrol engines as well. It is not uncommon in the
commercial world to find Lorries that have covered up to a 1,000,000 or
more miles. How is this? Usually by using common sense & good servicing.
Let's look at this in more detail.
1) Engine oil, It matters not what oil is used as long as it is of good
quality and appropreate to the climate and conditions where the vehicle
is being used, Its main job is to lubricate moving parts, but it also
forms part of the cooling system removing heat from some of hottest
parts of the engine. The action of heat on oil is that it can become
acidic over a period of time. As the engine gets older the oil is
required to work harder and as parts wear this allows soot and other
combustion residues to be suspended in the oil, particularly in diesels.
I have heard some people say as I top up the oil often I don't need to
change it so much "not good thinking" as all the nasty things in the oil
are still there in the sump.
The bottom line to the above is change the oil and oil filter at the
recommended intervals, a gallon of oil and a filter is much cheaper than
an engine rebuild.
2) Filters: Engine oil filters, use good quality some are fitted with
non return valves and other devices to suit a particular engine; some
cheap filters omit some of these devices which can be detrimental so be
Fuel filters are there to keep the fuel clean, in the UK most fuel is of
good quality so don=92t need to be changed at every service. Some also
double as water traps so need to be drained at regular intervals.
Some older vehicles use filters where only the element inside it are
changed these are normally supplied with new gaskets or O rings USE THEM
as the old ones can be deformed or cracked. A thin film of oil applied
to oil or fuel filters new gaskets, helps to seat them back when

A useful tip is to fill your fuel tank to the brim once in a while this
has the effect of cleaning all the crud off the sides and top of the
Some fuel pumps and diesel injector pumps are fitted with small gauze
filters that look like a small thimble, however it is not recommended
that these Items be removed unless you know exactly what to do, and is
best left to experts.
Once a new fuel filter is fitted the system needs to be bled through. On
petrol engines this is not a problem as long as everything has been
correctly fitted a couple turns of the engine and it should fire up.
Diesels however are little more difficult, a lot of filter housings have
a bleed screw on the top, slacken this screw and pump fuel through until
pure fuel shows with no air bubbles retighten the bleed screw, next undo
the bleed screw on the side of the injector pump if it has one and
repeat above. Finally crack an injector pipe if poss near the injector
and turn engine over on the starter once all the air is out the engine
should start. Remember that even a minute amount of air in the system
will cause problems the engine will run erratically or not at all. If
after having done all this you still have a problem seek expert advise.
Air filter: Probably the most neglected device on most engines, replace
or clean at recommended intervals, it is also a good idea to inspect the
cleaner housing as most are fitted with devices to assist cold starting,
some have winter and summer settings, make sure everything is correctly
set and working as it should. Just a thought a 2.5 liter engine at
2000rpm is using thousands of liters of air an hour; all of it is being
filtered by the air cleaner. An air cleaner that is blocked or even part
blocked is like running an engine on choke this applies to diesels as
well. This will cause higher running costs and possible engine damage.
Look after your air cleaner and it will look after you.
I am sure there are things I have forgotten to mention so please feel
free to make further comments, remember good servicing can save in the
long run.
Happy motoring and kind regards
Dick Valentine Rugby Warks
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.11.5/425 - Release Date:
Hi Dick,
Quoting 'It matters not what oil is used as long as it is of good
quality' what defines good quality? You are lucky being in europe you
are exposed to in general much better quality oils than some other parts
of the world. In NZ most oils, until quite recently, were dominantly
american based oils made to american specs which is fine for petrol
engines. In diesel engines there are three basic design philosphies
japanese, european, & american. oil specifically blended for an american
diesel will cause premature wear and engine failure if used in japanese
or to a lesser degree european diesel engines. The other way japanese
style oil will probably void warranties and will cause premature wear
and engine failure if used in american engines. In NZ during the 80 and
90's there were horrendous numbers of engine failures caused by
misapplication of oils. This was mainly due to the fact it was near
impossible to buy oil designed for use in japanese diesel engines.
For example nissan NZ reccomended service intervals of 10,000km for the
TD42 partol engine which is indirect injection at 10,000km if the oil
was analysed often soot levels were 5-6% (3-4% would be considered quite
excessive) as a result aluminium (pistons and rockers), iron (bores,
rings), & chrome (rings) were extremely high when routine oil analsis
was used yet this was being serviced as per factory reccomendations.
In contrast a 1HD-T or FT cruiser at the same mileage would often show
soot levels of 0.2-0.5% soot and all other wear metals would look OK.
The incorrect oil additive package had no short term effects (perfect if
you are the oil company selling it) the long term affects were that
piston cleanliness around the rings and from the top ring to the crown
was not well controlled and after some time deposits built up to the
point that they would intermitently touch the bore at which point the
pistons became high speed lapping machines (the piston crown of american
style diesel engines are quite different). The prevoiously great engine
that never burnt oil suddenly started drinking oil and failed soon
afterwards. Upon tear down bore wear would often be 10-20+ thou.
Contrast this with the rare engines that were using the correct type of
oil additive package and yeah they eventually wore out. Upon tear down
they often had most of the original cross hatching in the bores and the
rings would be completely worn out. Other engine wear would also be minimal.
There were two fleets of japanese diesel trucks that were not aware of
each other and one was using oil with the correct additive package (it
was nothing particularly special and it was mineral oil) and the other
fleet was not. One lot got 600-650,000km out of there trucks typically
and were quite happy the other got 900-950,000km and they were also
quite happy.
I would clarify the above to 'the oil must be of an appropiate type'.
Synthetics can be used to extend drains in clean burning engines (common
rail and direct injection). If wishing to extend drain intervals routine
oil analysis must be used (it also allows you to 'see' what is happening
inside the engine) this should be done at the std service interval and
oil filters replaced at the same time. I have seen direct injection
cruisers running Amsoil 5W30 that are getting fresh oil filters every
10,000km push past 60,000km and you look at the oil analysis results
every 10,000km and shake your head in wonder thinking is the oil ever
going to get dirty. Whereas some idirect injection engines (which are
virtually a bygine technology now) some the oil is so filthy at 5000km
you think how often do I have to change the oil every 2500km and no even
that is too long you drop to 1000km and finally the oil looks OK. The
ones in that category make you prematurely grey they are generally
thrashed from cold in extreme short stop running.
If the oil is inappropiate no matter how reguarly it is changed you will
still have a premature wear failure.
In regards oil filters I will only use genuine Toyota filters on 1HD-T's
cut one open and a aftermarket one sometime and you will see why. The
Toyota one has stacked disc media in the bypass stage the aftermarket
ones in general only use 2 micron pleated paper which has a limited life
before blinding.
The rest of your post I agreed whole heartedly with.
It may or may not matter to you guy's but oil analysis and lifeing the
oil appropiately if the engine runs cleanly can reduce the amount of
waste oil to be disposed of during the vehicles life quite dramatically.
Valentine wrote:
On 8/24/06, Craig Vincent <[Email address removed]> wrote:
How does this work in priactice? If, e.g. toyota or ford design a
model to be sold in the three markets, do they design three different
engines? What about other markets, like the rest of Asia or Africa?
Which engines do they get? Does engine design follow local
availability of oils/fuels or is it the other way round?
Roman (London, UK)
'92 HDJ80
Hi Roman,
OK say the design engine is in germany he will tend to design along
european design ideas (relates to piston ring position on piston, amount
of oil jet piston cooling, combustion chamber design, piston crown to
bore clearance) so that engine will use a european type oil no matter
where it is sold in the world. The manufacurers are not generally afraid
to sate that.
The japanese design is very similar but runs more aggressive piston
crown oil cooling this adds thermal stress to the oil requiring a more
thermally stable oil (hence more exspensive) but culturally japanese
have issues with needing to say there engines need a
'particular/special' type of oil as that implies inferiority if they
won't run on anything so they have tended to not say use this style of
oil. In their domestic market the correct style of oil is the std
readily available oil.
I n reality due to the nature of common rail engines and emmissions laws
all engine are trending to a european/japanese combustion chamber crown
design as the open bowl high top ring large crwon to bore clearance
american style engine is struggling to meet emissions laws so they are
slowly drifting in that direction whether they want to or not. Oils for
the newer engine that run long drains are being made from ever higher
quality full synthetic very shear stable base stocks with quite
exspensive high quality long drain additive packages.
Think of the 2.7V6 twin turbo diesel puegot motor I think it is now used
in both puegot and citreons, discovery possibly a new hot hatch type
freelander and jag's. It is a euro design style engine that can be sold
anywhere and will use a euro style oil probably of a very high spec.
I hope that helps.
Roman wrote:
Craig did say "there are three basic design philosophies". A Toyota in
America is thought of as Japanese, even though it might not be made in
Ford are tricky to define in terms of country, the US and European models
vary so much - I think though at least some of the diesel engines used by
Ford in the US are the same as ours, possibly because the US is behind us in
the use of small diesels for cars and vans.
I don't think any manufacture varies engine design from country to country
to suit markets although they might not offer all engines in all markets.
In fact the reverse is becoming true and we are seeing engines from Japan in
American and European cars as well and engines from Europe in American cars,
although as Craig wrote petrol engines vary less and the diesels as
converging in design.
Many car manufactures use engines from a manufacturing group, sometimes part
of a parent company, sometimes just a joint venture. The Dodge Caliber in
the UK is available in two sizes of petrol and one diesel and the dealer
told me that all three engines are different suppliers! The new Freelander 2
is available with a 3.2 straight 6 which is a Volvo design as well as the
TD4 diesel, both Land Rover and Volvo being from the Ford stable.
Malcolm Bagley
Stafford, UK
1975 FJ45 Pickup (In Work)
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.11.5/425 - Release Date: 22/08/2006
Hi Guys
So am I right in saying that all landcruiser diesel engines are from Japan
regadless of where they are bought, or is that being too simplistic.
Ok are the uk cruisers all from Japan.
john 92HDJ 80 1HDT
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them
Hi John,
I would think so but when you look at hilux's for a long timea lot of
the diesel wer made in Japan but assembled in thailand and then shipped
here there and everywhere to be fitted into the ute itself as they are
John Byrne wrote:
Hey Craig
So how do we know where our cruisers were made in order to buy the best oil
to keep them healthy. Why dont they (Toyota) just put a sticker on the
engine saying something like MADE IN and then the country. It would be so
easy then or is that not the point.
john 92HDJ 80 1HDT
Hi John,
It has got nothing to do with where the truck is made it is to do with
the design of the engines pistons mainly. Yours are a japanese type
design as are all other cruisers. A Fiat multijet or puegot HDI pistons
are made in a european style, a dodge ram with a Cummins 5.9L six
cylinder has a american style piston. It is not country of manufacture
it is the design of the pistons that mainly determine the appropiate
oil style.
John Byrne wrote:
Toyota make smaller D4D diesels in Poland now but I think that stops at
below 2.5L.
Malcolm Bagley
Stafford, UK
1975 FJ45 Pickup (In Work)
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.11.6/427 - Release Date: 24/08/2006