Other front disc changed

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Both discs are now changed and this time everything came apart much easier. Also the caliper this side looks to be in much better condition, but both of them will be reconditioned anyway: I don’t like taking chances with brakes.

The cause of the slight play in the bearing also became quite clear when I found I didn’t need a socket to undo the hub nuts – they were quite literally finger-tight despite the lock tab still being in place, so I can only assume that whoever serviced them last didn’t check the bearing preload correctly. Incidentally, Julian Voelcker from Overland Cruisers has posted a very concise and comprehensive how-to on performing this operation on the TLOCUK forums.

Effing calipers…

Well, I swapped the first disc out last night only to be scuppered at the last step by a bloody seized piston in the caliber! Ho hum – recon kit ordered from Mr. T: hope it’ll be here in time for the weekend…

Brand fights – is it that important?

I’ve just been browsing through YouTube at some of the Yank diesel trucks, and one thing has struck me more than anything else: How on earth do people get so wound up over brand loyalty?

The amount of abuse people seem to get for proclaiming they prefer a Cummins to a Duramax or a PowerStroke is unbelievable, never mind the tirade of abuse the Jeep lovers appear to dish out to anyone who has the audacity to express a preference for anything else.

I guess as someone who’s owned three Land Rovers, a Nissan Patrol, a Dakar 4×4 and now a Land Cruiser, I appear to be baffled by this astonishing quantity of venom that’s released by particular brand proponents. Every marquee has its strengths as well as its weaknesses and at the end of the day it all boils down to personal preference. For goodness sake, people, grow up a little, won’t you?

Front brake inspection

I’d had a quick look at the front brakes a couple of weeks back, but as the weather’s so nice I decided to take a proper look. Turns out the front discs are not quite the shape that Toyota intended and a bit too thin for my liking, so a new set of discs was ordered from Milners.

Also while performing this inspection I found that the front wheel bearings had a bit of play in them. This isn’t usually a problem as they’re quite substantial taper bearings and usually just need the preload resetting. As such, a couple of new locktabs and nuts as well as a 54mm socket was ordered. You need the socket anyway as the hub has to come apart to get the disc off, so I’ll inspect, repack and reset the bearings at that point.

I’ll stuff another post up as soon as that’s done, and hopefully a video of the procedure too…

Cooling system flush, rear heater disconnect

While I was under the car a couple of days ago changing the ATF, I spotted that the cooler lines to the rear passenger heater matrix were basically two cylindrical rust formations. Given how effective the main heater is anway, I decided it would be a good stop-gap to just pull the rear heater out of circuit. Continue reading

Transmission fluid change

As part of the rolling maintenance I’m doing (there’s no way I could afford to do all of this in one go!) the next thing on the list was the tranny fluid.

The fluid that was in it didn’t smell burned at all, but it was a bit murky. 10L of Morris Dexron III ATF was purchased from Foreign Autoparts (it was a good £10 cheaper to buy from them than directly from Morris!) and the fun of warming the vehicle up (drive up a good hill for a bit!), draining the fluid, refilling and repeating was done. I did two drain / fill cycles with about 4.5 litres used each time, however I’ll probably do another in a couple of hundred miles to see how it’s holding up.

IPvSmug :-)

I’ve recently moved to Andrews and Arnold for my internet service provision needs and as well as being simply superb, they also provide native IPv6 connections.

In fiddling around, I found that my HTC Desire was quite happy to pick up an IPv6 address, as can be seen below. This makes me happy 🙂

HTC Desire browsing to RIPE via IPv6

Bringing the centre diff lock under manual control

The 80-series after around August 1992 introduced a viscous coupler over the centre differential. In order that this coupler doesn’t get stressed when in low range, Toyota deleted the manual centre diff lock switch and instead linked its operation to the transfer lever, locking the diff when in low range and opening it in neutral or high.

While this protects the transmission from erroneous usage, it does rather limit options, for example using low range when maneuvering trailers on hard surfaces etc. This needs to be rectified. Continue reading

Big-end bearing change

OK – first up a warning: If you own an 80-series Land Cruiser with a 12-valve 1HD-T diesel and you don’t know when the bearings were last changed, do them now. Seriously – right now. Go. RUN!

I’d been mooching around on the Toyota Landcruiser Owners’ Club UK forums for a few months before I actually bought my 80-series and found that one of the things that constantly came up in conversation was big-end bearings (or BEBs). For the non-mechanically minded, these are little semicircular soft-metal bearings that live between the big end of the connecting rod and the crank.

Their good condition is critical to a happy engine as failure of them can be mechanically catastrophic and cause major engine damage, the most spectacular of which is probably a connecting rod making a bid for freedom by bashing a hole through the side of the engine block. If that happens, it’s basically bye-bye engine and one of the few things that can be an uneconomical repair for an 80-series. Continue reading