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PabloCruise
03-30-2009, 05:29 PM
Do you guys ever fight demoralization on your Cruiser projects?

After this weekend I am havinng bitter feelings about my Cruiser hobby.

I am chasing gremlins on the 3FE swap into the Pig (codes say one thing, other's experience points towards something else) and the 40 needs TRE's as it now has slight shimmy in front end.

As I ran out of daylight this weekend trying to button things up and put away my tools I felt like all I do is wrench on my rigs, with no wheeling. Combine this with my son getting old enough to have fun with and I start to feel more possesive of my free time on the weekends...

I already pulled the plug on Cruise Moab to put off the stress of not being ready, and I just feel like I got nowhere over the weekend.

Anyone have experiences to share?

Nay
03-30-2009, 07:35 PM
Yea, I am working 70-80 hour weeks right now, and any free time wrenching is killing me. Except perhaps for the fact that it takes my mind off of other things.

I wrecked a brand new TRE and Slee heavy duty relay rod last weekend. Somehow I got it started on one end (TRE's already installed) and let it sit down at an angle where I thought it just had some resistance due to the stock relay rod having been already installed.

So what do I do? Crank it with a set of lock pliers and destroy the threads on both the TRE and the relay rod. $175 in the trash, because I am rushing to get ready for a trip, it's already dark, and I am not thinking straight because I am stressed and exhausted.

I also spent several hundred dollars to install caster plates only to have them sit 3* down so my DC shaft can vibrate like hell, so I reinstall a Slee blue bushing on the rear axle mount and now it's 2* up, so I am going to slot the frame mount and have some tabs welded on so it will be perfectly aligned. Days of work for nothing in the end, not to mention the spend.

Of course, I was able to take my four kids out wheeling this weekend on a perfect day, and I'm just saying fawk it and doing 37's, so outside of the occasional "I know better" mistakes, it's worth it :beer:

My youngest son (out of four kids), who is five and loves to wheel, wanted to stay in for China Wall. He says before the climb "Daddy, we have to hold onto our britches!", and after "I thought the Land Cruiser was going to tip over, but it was strong!" My two oldest spent a day bouldering and tackling each other in the snow, and my little girl talked all day about how she "Hates tipping!" but then told :Princess: to "Stop worrying so much" on the last obstacles even though they were icy.

So yea, it's worth it. Big time.

MDH33
03-30-2009, 07:42 PM
Well, at least you're not unemployed with 3 Toyota's all in need of serious repairs. Mods? Ha! :hill::hill:

Mendocino
03-30-2009, 07:51 PM
I can really identify with this. My simple rear spring flip has turned into a major project and is three times the original budget and I have not even cut fenders yet.:o

I have not given up on Moab (as I did last year), and do think I might actually make it. I made significant progress this last weekend and am pleased that my fab skills are significantly improving.:)

I kinda look at it like a marathon...its about the race, not the destination...

Do you guys ever fight demoralization on your Cruiser projects?

After this weekend I am havinng bitter feelings about my Cruiser hobby.

I am chasing gremlins on the 3FE swap into the Pig (codes say one thing, other's experience points towards something else) and the 40 needs TRE's as it now has slight shimmy in front end.

As I ran out of daylight this weekend trying to button things up and put away my tools I felt like all I do is wrench on my rigs, with no wheeling. Combine this with my son getting old enough to have fun with and I start to feel more possesive of my free time on the weekends...

I already pulled the plug on Cruise Moab to put off the stress of not being ready, and I just feel like I got nowhere over the weekend.

Anyone have experiences to share?

AxleIke
03-30-2009, 08:08 PM
Totally.

I have been fighting this with my truck.

It helps to have friends to egg you on. Its what keeps me going.

Just post up here, and get support. Or PM, or however you want. Positive reinforcement really helps to get the juices flowing again.

RockRunner
03-30-2009, 08:12 PM
I do know where you are coming from too. Not to the extend you are but some. For the last three years I always start major projects to late and then have to rush to get them done sometimes skipping things I really wanted to do or need to do.

This year it came before the Moab pre-run, I did not even finish before I had to put my truck on the trailer and take of. This year for Moab I plan on no major mods, just some simple changes if any.

You are in a different boat but remember when you start looking at the finish line don't rush it. It is worth the wait to do it right, I seem to rush some things and mess them up only to have to do them again later on. Soon you will be done and able to enjoy your work with your kid(s) and wife on the trail.

Since you're not going to Moab there is no rush anymore. Take a break for a while and spend it with the family, it will make you feel better and clear your mind to tackle the job with a new look and energy.

Hope this helps you get back to enjoying your pig again:thumb:

Uncle Ben
03-30-2009, 09:27 PM
I do know where you are coming from too. Not to the extend you are but some. For the last three years I always start major projects to late and then have to rush to get them done sometimes skipping things I really wanted to do or need to do.

This year it came before the Moab pre-run, I did not even finish before I had to put my truck on the trailer and take of. This year for Moab I plan on no major mods, just some simple changes if any.

You are in a different boat but remember when you start looking at the finish line don't rush it. It is worth the wait to do it right, I seem to rush some things and mess them up only to have to do them again later on. Soon you will be done and able to enjoy your work with your kid(s) and wife on the trail.

Since you're not going to Moab there is no rush anymore. Take a break for a while and spend it with the family, it will make you feel better and clear your mind to tackle the job with a new look and energy.

Hope this helps you get back to enjoying your pig again:thumb:


Excellent advice! Keep your eye on the pie to get the project done. If your stressing too much it's time to let the project sit for a while because never forget you do this for "self" time and stress relief!

Wild Rice is killing me on available time. I never planned on it taking this much time consecutively thus the reason I broke it into differant phases. Unfortunately, I only have a little time here and there to work on it so it makes the project drag on. What keeps me going is I'm dieing to drive it! I could button it up in a few hours and go for a test drive but I know I won't wanna disable it again so I'm working on the body now to get it ready for paint before I start wheeling it. Fortunately the body doesn't need much (what body is left :rolleyes:) so it's just a matter of cleaning up stuff and finishing the armor.

Take a break for a couple weekends and enjoy Colorado and the family.....the Cruiser will be happy to see you when you come back!

Hulk
03-30-2009, 10:16 PM
Back in 1999, I bought my 1981 FJ40 and a 1964 VW Beetle. I loved both vehicles and started modifications on both -- the 40 got a 4" lift, lockers, 33"s, etc. The Bug got a 1914 motor with dual carbs, rare German NOS headlight lenses, etc.

Two years later, I finally decided that I only had the time and money to work on one vehicle as my "hobby." I couldn't do justice to either project. I didn't have the time and I really didn't have the funds either. I sold the Bug and bought a used daily driver, and poured all my efforts into the 40. (That was the same year our first kid was born too.)

The last few years, I have kind of switched my allegiance to the FZJ80, but it's been OK because my 40 was pretty well set up by that point. Also, the 80 is a very reliable daily driver, so I spend my time and money making modifications (fun) rather than chasing down problems (work).

What I'm getting at is that you may have too many projects for this time in your life. Maybe when the kids are grown, you'll have a fleet of Cruisers, but right now perhaps it would be best to have only one major project. It's worth considering.

I know, I know, this is heresy, but it could be a huge weight off your shoulders. I still miss my old white Bug, but selling it was a relief. It was the right thing to do at the time, and I don't regret it.

jacdaw
03-30-2009, 10:43 PM
I have been in this situation as well and I've been stewing on a response thinking I would sound too harsh, but thanks to Matt for going a step further than I would, I think I can say this now. :D

It sounds like a too-full plate. Maybe if you picked one rig to finish, and mothballed the other (rather than sell it) for the time being? That could take some of the pressure off and when you're ready, the project is still waiting.

The other thing to consider is that some folks (like me, for instance) have time to offer -- if having an extra set of hands could make light work of a particular task. I'm retired and bored and I can do amazing things with a schematic, soldering iron, shrink tube and spools and spools of wire. Not that this is what you need, but I can turn wrenches too.

Don't lose heart. Family is a fine priority to put first.

Mendocino
03-31-2009, 06:25 AM
...The other thing to consider is that some folks (like me, for instance) have time to offer -- if having an extra set of hands could make light work of a particular task. I'm retired and bored and I can do amazing things with a schematic, soldering iron, shrink tube and spools and spools of wire. Not that this is what you need, but I can turn wrenches too.

Don't lose heart. Family is a fine priority to put first.

Hmmm...nice to know John; the electrical is my least favorite part of the entire process.;)

RicardoJM
03-31-2009, 07:04 AM
Yes, it has been demoralizing from time to time. At these moments, I have found that stepping back and looking at things from a different perspective really helps. I remind myself this is a hobby, not a profession. When I do something stupid, I try not to dwell on it too long - just learn my lesson and get on with making it right. I spend what feels like a bunch of time wrenching when I'm doing a project but still will knock off in the late afteroon/evening and try avoid wrenching at the end of the day. The net effect is my projects take longer to complete. On both of my major projects so far (disc brakes and power steering) I have had some pretty low moments on the moral/progress end of things and each had my rig down for a month.

It also helps me to remember one of the first things I learned from Jeff Zepp - plan on everything taking twice as long as you think it will because inevitably something will come up. Of course in my case, it often is three to four times as long.

Finally, bouncing things off of others; whether directly or through researching all the information on this site and MUD really helps. Fact is, relative to my 40, everything I have done or will do - including mistakes - has already been done by 30-100 others. It does not take long to find someone with a story whose situation was darker than yours/mine. They figured out how to get it right and you/I will too.

SteveH
03-31-2009, 07:56 AM
Put simply: owning two collector vehicles is like having two girlfriends at the same time.

MDH33
03-31-2009, 08:26 AM
Put simply: owning two collector vehicles is like having two girlfriends at the same time.

:grinpimp: :thumb:

bh4rnnr
03-31-2009, 09:35 AM
I just let other people work on my rig. Leaves more time for the important stuff, like throwing out my back while doing dishes:hill:

:beer::beer:

WyoCruiser
03-31-2009, 09:53 AM
So this is my first post, but speaking as a 63 year old, when you look back, you'll be happy you put family time and people first. Enjoy the child while he's young. The machine hobby can wait or be integrated into time with your son as he gets older or be worked on when he is out with his friends.

Being less than mechanically inclined, but enjoying it anyway(sometimes), I feel your pain.

leiniesred
03-31-2009, 12:16 PM
Jeremy and I have found it is much more fun to work on trucks with a friend. Sure, only 1 person's truck gets work done that weekend, but next time you can work on the other truck.

Set a simple goal, like "I want to drive it at Cruise Moab."
Make a prioritized list of what NEEDS to happen to make that goal. This will automatically push the optional projects down the list, but maybe you'll get enough done on the list to "drive it at Cruise Moab" and you will be happy and still have fun even without that modification or repair you WANT to do, but haven't been able to finish (or even start in many cases!)

My truck is far from "finished." Just about everything is either "wrong" "worn out" or "bent" on my rig, but it does work well enough to get me out on the trails and get me home. I can live with that because getting out and wheelin' it is my goal.

Red_Chili
03-31-2009, 12:27 PM
Put simply: owning two collector vehicles is like having two wives at the same time.
Fixed it for ya.

I have an axle housing, shafts, complete brakes, elocker, and front diff to regear my DD to 4.88. They are all gathering dust. I can't even seem to get around to finishing the front fender armor on the Chili. Work is kicking my butt.

Sitting around in pain with a new knee oughta get me remotivated after CM.

Uncle Ben
03-31-2009, 12:30 PM
I just let other people work on my rig. Leaves more time for the important stuff, like throwing out my back while doing dishes:hill:

:beer::beer:

That makes it someone elses rig! You simply drive it and throw money! :rolleyes: :p:

subzali
03-31-2009, 12:45 PM
Put simply: owning two collector vehicles is like having two girlfriends at the same time.

if you're not married...then it's a wife and two girlfriends :p:

...or three wives. I'm glad I'm not polygamic...:brick:

nuclearlemon
03-31-2009, 01:10 PM
The other thing to consider is that some folks (like me, for instance) have time to offer -...I'm retired and bored and I can do amazing things with a schematic, soldering iron, shrink tube and spools and spools of wire.
.

hhhhmmmmm.....have i told you lately that i love you:lmao:

ih8electrical

corsair23
03-31-2009, 01:35 PM
I feel your pain TJ - And this is coming from someone that can manage to turn a simple oil change into a 4 hour + job :D - Heck, the oil change on the 40 ended up taking me several days due to something as simple as a leaking drain plug...

My 40 has mostly sat because I don't have the time to spend on it. I've been working on a hard top hoist for 2 yrs :( - I barely have the time to keep a 2 12-yr old vehicles in top shape, and they don't take much work, relatively speaking.

I think what is probably the most demoralizing is that even if you think you have a good handle on what needs to be done, if it takes you 10x as long to do something as others you wonder what is up with that? Or after a lot of work the issue is still not resolved or you've made it worse, well that can really put a nail in the 'ole ego. My approach lately is to work as little, or much, on a project as I have whether it is just 15 minutes or 4 hours, and realize that the work will get done when it gets done...

subzali
03-31-2009, 01:55 PM
i end up having to redo projects on my 40, the same issues keep coming back. just a few:
-put new mirrors on, they get blown to facing down by the wind. had to try and secure them several times, then i broke the mirror glass a couple times. round and round i have gone with them.
-turn signals. spent a lot of time chasing wires and looking at the diagram, and made a splice to bypass my emergency flasher switch, which i think is causing the problem. fixed it for a few months, then they stopped working again. now they work when i have my emergency flasher switch pulled out, but my emergency flashers don't work.
-put new emblems on the aprons. they're both gone now, broken and torn off by the wind.
-i've tried to fix my heater several times (starting the day i bought the truck), new core, flushed the core several times, replaced thermostat. now my truck doesn't even reach operating temperature with a brand new thermostat in it, so i don't have great heat anyway.
-i could go into my gas tank, which i replaced with a brand new one last year but now it vents really bad to the cab when i fill it full at the pump
-randomly all my instrument lights stopped working (it's not that the dimmer switch is off), so it feels like i'm taking steps backward all the time. plus my truck is just rusting away slowly.
-windshield wipers is a similar story.
Red pickup:
-alternator went bad as soon as i finished my timing chain project. tried to fix it with a new unit several times, you have to pull the distributor and power steering pump to get to it BTW. many squealing belts, alternators, and a battery later, i was able to get a decent alternator. but this week my diode warning light has been flashing on and off, and it's only been less than a year with this current alternator.
-changed the timing chain only to be freaked out about my head gasket because i was losing coolant over time and couldn't see any leaks anywhere. So a year later i changed the head gasket (which required pulling the timing chain apart all over again anyway), but now i'm burning a ton of oil, some coolant (even though i also have a small new leak somewhere that I can't see but i can see coolant dripping under my truck sometimes). it could be that i have bad valve seals, even though they're new, or maybe the increased compression from milling the head is causing blowby in the rings. i don't know which. almost seems like 165,000 miles = need new timing chain = need new head gasket (to do the job right) = need engine re-ringed/bored because the increased compression will cause blowby.
-there are a bunch of other issues that need to be addressed just because it's getting older and has a bunch of miles on it.

NOW - a lot of this is probably my fault, and I can and am taking the blame for that. Most of this has been a learning process for me, so i can expect to redo things here and there. but yes it frustrates me to the point of thinking about just giving up on both of these trucks and buying something new. but people i've been talking to have had all kinds of problems with brand new vehicles too, which is completely stupid to me that car manufacturers can't get it right out of the box these days. plus after the warranty or extended service package ends, then it starts all over again as the miles rack up. And more than likely i'll be making payments on the stupid thing.

basically i hate cars. sorry i'm not in a very good mood today.

jacdaw
03-31-2009, 02:15 PM
hhhhmmmmm.....have i told you lately that i love you:lmao:

ih8electrical

Heh heh, no, but at my age, I'll take every offer that comes my way.:lmao:Sparky at yer service...:grinpimp:

PabloCruise
03-31-2009, 02:52 PM
Wow! I am a little surprised that this is such a popular topic. Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate all the encouragement. I was a little hesitant to post this for fear of sounding wimpy, or unappreciative. Believe me, I am truly grateful for health, employment, wonderful wife, child and Cruisers!

I definitely love to work on al my vehicles, not just the Cruisers. When things go well, it is relaxing and takes my mind off other things. I can focus on one thing, kind of like when you go shooting. When I pull off my plan, I get a great sense of accomplishment and take pride in the fact that I did it myself and have expanded my skill set.

I also (up until recently!) love the challenge of diagnosing problems. We provide diagnostic analyzers to veterinarians at work, and I love the advanced training we put on regarding the diagnosis that is possible. I want to teach my son solid problem-solving skills that he can use as he grows... Funny what having kid(s) does to your perspective.

All that said, I can get pretty impatient sometimes. Sometimes I want that destination over the journey! Sometimes I can only get about half a day on on the Cruisers and if you have to chase parts or spend half that time getting tools out and then putting them all away, it feels pretty inefficient.

I think one thing that really blew me out on Sunday was the fact that I did sloppy work. In hindsight, I would have been better off post-poning any work. Instead, I hurried to replace the distributor in the Pig because the ECU was giving me a code 12. I found a replacement dizzy and wanted to get it in so I could cross that code off the list of causes of my problems. I couldn't get the old distributor out, and it was frustrating me, so I grab a long screwdriver and try to pry it out and end up busting off a portion of the distributor body where the cap mounts. :mad: Definitely would have been better off waiting until later. I threw the replacement distributor in, found one of the threads for the cap had been cross-threaded - :mad: again, fire it up, set timing, check codes and still have code 12 :( I just feel disappointed that I did sloppy work, replacing parts without thorough understanding and then hurry and breaking things unnecessarily. Not the way I like to work.

I never really thought about the challenge of owning two Cruisers (or about mixing girlfriends and wives! :D), but the comments definitely got me thinking. I've always kind of viewed the 40 as "finished goods" except for the bodywork which I will outsource. The Catch-22 is I would like to have the Pig up and running before I send the 40 out for body work. And if I spend time and $ on TRE's for the 40, then the Pig doesn't get the attention that weekend. So maybe I am trying for too much...

Thank you all for the encouragement and perspective. My want for the next few months is to have my issues resolved on the Pig so that we can hit the Black Hills Cruiser Classic in July and I can take the fam to the drive-in movies in the back of the Pig!

:cheers: and :thumb:

PabloCruise
03-31-2009, 03:08 PM
basically i hate cars. sorry i'm not in a very good mood today.

Dang Matt, I did not know you were fighting so many battles with your rigs.

I think there is hope - I LOVE my Civic w/ the B18 swap, and the :Princess:'s Mamry is a great ride. I remember the Civic engine swap had me just about over the edge with issues at one time, but now I love it.

So maybe I am at that point of the curve w/ the 3E Pig?

I think I need to hit a RS meeting - you guys are good mojo! I wonder if Cash can last that late into the night...

Uncle Ben
03-31-2009, 03:12 PM
I think there is hope - I LOVE my :Princess:'s Mamry is a great ride.

Got it..... :lmao::lmao:

PabloCruise
03-31-2009, 03:37 PM
Got it..... :lmao::lmao:

That is some creative quoting!

And I see it is sig worthy too!!!

:lmao:

J Kimmel
03-31-2009, 04:10 PM
you aren't alone...

I finally got all the parts I need to swap EFI, and even got an EFI head all re-worked...ready to go...right. My 85 must've been an early model, with an 84 leftover motor put in to it, cause nothing I have will work. I took a perfectly running carburated engine and dismantled it and now all I can do is go get a whole new 22RE to put in instead, and figure out what to do with all the leftovers I have now :mad:

PabloCruise
03-31-2009, 05:06 PM
I have been in this situation as well and I've been stewing on a response thinking I would sound too harsh, but thanks to Matt for going a step further than I would, I think I can say this now. :D

It sounds like a too-full plate. Maybe if you picked one rig to finish, and mothballed the other (rather than sell it) for the time being? That could take some of the pressure off and when you're ready, the project is still waiting.

The other thing to consider is that some folks (like me, for instance) have time to offer -- if having an extra set of hands could make light work of a particular task. I'm retired and bored and I can do amazing things with a schematic, soldering iron, shrink tube and spools and spools of wire. Not that this is what you need, but I can turn wrenches too.

Don't lose heart. Family is a fine priority to put first.

Thanks! So where are you located?

jacdaw
03-31-2009, 05:07 PM
Thanks! So where are you located?

Sending PM

Shark Bait
03-31-2009, 05:46 PM
I'm seeing this a little late, but I know exactly how you feel, TJ. It took me forever to finish my FJ40 for last year's excursions. I still haven't fixed it yet, either, after all my Rubithon carnage. I'm gone so much for work now that I don't really want to tear it apart and let it sit for weeks on end in pieces. Sometimes I worry that I may have lost interest all together. And occasionally I get beat up about "that orange thing!". :rolleyes:

I might be home next week, all week. Maybe I should get back on the horse. I guess if it's going to sit, being in pieces won't be that bad... :eek:

DaveInDenver
03-31-2009, 05:55 PM
I still haven't fixed it yet, either, after all my Rubithon carnage.
Word! Same on my end and I even drive my truck every day to work, crooked steering wheel, rattling skid plates and tire scrub and all. Each month or so I buy another piece of the repair puzzle to get it fixed, but at this rate it'll be 2010 before I get everything fixed. Meh, whatever. This is exactly why Treeroot owns that FJ40, just not in my blood to be a classic car guy.

Shark Bait
03-31-2009, 06:12 PM
Meh, whatever. This is exactly why Treeroot owns that FJ40, just not in my blood to be a classic car guy.

That's funny, Dave. Maybe that's part of it for me. I'm not sure I have the same "fire in the belly" for working on cruisers like I did 15+ years ago. I've built several FJ40's and the FJ55 and I've regretted giving up every one of them. If this one goes most likely it will have been my last. I do enjoy wheeling. Just not working on them. Not like I used to at least.

Red_Chili
04-01-2009, 08:38 AM
If this one goes most likely it will have been my last. I do enjoy wheeling. Just not working on them. Not like I used to at least.
Not to mention cost. With a younger fixin' to go to a private art school and us trying to figure out how to pay for it (after Wall Street gutted things) if anything happens to the Chili I am down and out. :(

isotel
04-01-2009, 03:06 PM
its never Ending.. I Recently Put a Transmission in my 1st Gen 4runner, just to find out that the new Tranny makes Way More Noise than the last one..

The 40 needs a bunch of work before moab
i need to build a Bumper this weekend out at the shop, Fix a bunch of little things, Wire and mount my winch. and Get my Tow rig on the road to see if its Moab worthy.. if not i will have to fix some of those issues..

Oh and im Closing on a house and moving this month too ;)

Maddmatt
04-02-2009, 03:29 PM
For what it's worth, I feel your pain. Not so long ago I had a 40 and a 62. One of them always needed something, but it was allright because typically the other would be running that day - but it was a definite split of resources, both time and money, and neither ever got fixed "right" because I needed the time or money that doing it right would have cost to fix something on the other one half way.

Got to the point that I shed myself of both of them for a clean, problem and drip free 3rd gen 4runner. I also quit going to RS meetings, rarely cruise the site anymore (in fact I'm only here right now because I'm waiting for a report to compile), etc... The driving factor for me was not the monetary suckage that both older vehicles provided, although that was a factor, the real issue was that my kids were getting older and I found that I enjoyed taking training wheels off of bikes, flying kites, etc... more than I enjoyed turning an oil change into a 4 hour, $200 adventure (why do they so often turn out that way?).

To be fair, I don't wrench or wheel on the level of most of you guys, but I know enough on both ends to get myself into and out of trouble. I just realized that I would rather spend this time with my family. Soon enough they will be old enough to think I'm a loser and this time will be gone. Gotta make hay while the sun shines, as the saying goes.

Doesn't mean I don't miss my old trucks, but for the last 3 years all I've had to do was the occasional oil change (and I only do every other one of those, just to keep abreast of things). For the two or three times a year that we go up to Caribou for a picnic the runner is more than capable (and a couple years ago I had one of those priceless moments: gave my wife a day off and took the kids up there, got home and my then 3yr old said to my wife "it was fun until Daddy tipped the truck over")

So work, marriage and kids have succeeded in taking most of my hobbies away. But I've found that I don't miss them as much as I thought I would, and the kid stuff is so much more fun. Plus I still cruise Craig's list frequently. That perfect 76 or newer 40, 77 Bronco or 77 SSII will be there when the time is right.

That's my opinion, anyway.
-Matt

Rezarf
04-02-2009, 10:42 PM
I would have sold my 40 on Tuesday morning for about 500 bucks! I sometimes get a bad case of hot rod fever and think of selling the cruiser/trailer and just jump into the deep end and start a Speedstar project, that will take 10 years...

Sorry bud, we've been there, I keep thinking of the fun and adventures I have yet to had in my old 40... which has been with me 10 years this spring! :eek:

corsair23
04-02-2009, 11:32 PM
I sometimes get a bad case of hot rod fever and think of selling the cruiser/trailer...

NOOOOOOO :(

But, if you ever do, please look me up :thumb: - that thing ROCKS (even if it is blue)

Beater
04-03-2009, 07:08 AM
I am currently taking this break... I can get in 1 to 2 trips a year to the back country, some wheeled, some on foot. Put some effort back into the bikes, as at least I can pull wheelies (ahem, IF I wanted to, you know, not that I would) on the way to a soccer game/practice.

I am also finding that my son lost interest in the whole rock climbing thing about 2.5 years ago... hard to be a family when 2 of the 3 don't want to hit the rocks..

At first I was bummed that I was giving up the modification/tinkering/wheeling thing, but as time goes on, I am going with it. Especially since my son's soccer is going well. So now I have a mildly competent truck, that's ready for a moderate trail if I get the chance...

Time is on my side, and honestly, I don't know that I will go back to the heavily modified world, but man, do I miss those week long adventure trips and expeditions... but I can do them later...

Maddmatt
04-03-2009, 07:27 AM
I would have sold my 40 on Tuesday morning for about 500 bucks! :

Next time you feel that way, I can help you out. I could be at your house in about 10 minutes with cash :D

PabloCruise
04-03-2009, 05:45 PM
I think there is hope - I LOVE my Civic w/ the B18 swap, and the :Princess:'s Mamry is a great ride. I remember the Civic engine swap had me just about over the edge with issues at one time, but now I love it.

I think I need to hit a RS meeting - you guys are good mojo! I wonder if Cash can last that late into the night...

Back to the ORIGINAL quote (ahem UB...)

Civic turned 200k this week! :thumb:

Wish I could have made it to the meeting this week...

PabloCruise
05-29-2009, 11:06 AM
Time for happy news update! :)

The Pig seems to be feeling better!!!

I got a new TPS from Toyota and put that on the Pig. I also swapped in a loaner 3FE distributor.

But I still got codes for TPS and RPM signal... :confused:

With the help of a friend who is more versed in the world of automotive electrical, we dug into the harness and discovered an open in the harness to the TPS, as well as a disconnect that prevented voltage being supplied to the TPS. :rant:

So, long story short - :blah: - the Pig is running much better now!!!

I need to go in and reset idle RPM and timing, but the Piggy runs like a Piggy should! I will also go back and check for diagnostic codes after driving it this morning.

I had my foot in the mighty 3FE and drove it like a rented mule this morning, it was very gratifiying.

Now I know why people swap 3FE heads onto 2F blocks. :cool:

I hope you all have a great weekend. :camping:

I appreciate everyone's support and offers of help while I struggled through this...

:thumb:

:risingsun:

Crash
05-29-2009, 11:25 AM
Good news TJ!!

PabloCruise
07-20-2009, 04:50 PM
So back in early June I had this revelation on the Pig: I have some significant updates about my 3FE Pig since the last time I made a posting.

I hooked up a Check Engine Light (CEL) and checked for diagnostic codes. I got codes 12 (RPM Signal) and 41 (TPS). I replaced the TPS with a Toyota piece and swapped in a used distributor. While I had the throttle body off, I replaced the PCV valve, grommet, hoses, valve cover gasket and the “donuts” that seal the valve cover at the mounting bolts/studs. After this work, I still got codes 12 & 41 :mad:

I sought the help of a friend who is more skilled in automotive electronics than myself. We started out tackling the Code 41 (TPS) first. Using the troubleshooting protocols outlined in the FSM, we discovered an open in the line between the computer and the VTA terminal on the ECU. We replaced this wire and then discovered no voltage at the VC terminal at the TPS – this means the TPS was not getting any power to issue a signal. We determined the line providing power to the VC terminal at the TPS was disconnected under the dashboard – wow!

I re-checked for codes and found that both code 41 and 12 were gone. I am not sure why code 12 went away now that the TPS was happy, but that is what happened. Now that the TPS was live and I had my timing set with some advance in the dizzy, my Pig had some pep in her step.

Fast forward to re-setting idle speed (golden screw) and re-checking timing… When I had the 3FE nice and warm and tried to set idle to 650, I noticed my idle was “hunting” or wandering up and down :mad: again.  When I was driving home from work on a nice warm day, I noticed the idle was stumbling while I was sitting at a traffic light. And, I was getting a code 12 again. So, back to the drawing board…

I went back to the friend with the automotive electrical background. He also has a smoke machine which is really cool, because you can use it pressurize a system and see where smoke pops out. Using the smoke machine, we found the gasket around the EGR valve at the intake was leaking. We fixed that and “smoked” the intake again, and found a very slight puff of smoke at the ISC where the plastic meets the metal. I pulled the ISC apart, flipped the o-ring and dabbed a little silicon in there. We buttoned everything up and fired the 3FE up. After it warmed up, the idle was stumbling. Wow…

We broke out the fuel pressure gauge and hooked it up at the cold start injector. Fuel pressure in the rail: 71 PSI!!! We pulled the fuel pressure regulator and tested it with compressed air, it would open to pressure. We then found we were unable to blow any air into the fuel return line. We traced the blockage back to the soft line between the gas tank and the hard line under the floor. After clearing the soft line, we blew out the hard line, blowing from the tank to the engine compartment. When we lowered the Pig (nice to have access to a lift) the engine compartment was nasty with the debris that blew out of the return line. I had it disconnected where the soft line met the return line on the engine, just behind the thermostat.

We fired the Pig up again and checked fuel pressure on the rail – all was good!!! We checked pressure with the vacuum line hooked up to the FPR, as well as with it disconnected. We then set the idle and let it idle for a good 20 minutes and the 3FE purred like a ***** cat!

The bottom line is that I believe my problems were caused by a clogged return fuel line. I think the ECU was doing all it could to manage idle when there was almost double the specified fuel pressure in the rail. I am guessing the ECU had injector pulse width pulled all the way in. But along the way I discovered issues with the fuel tank, and that I needed to pre-filter my external pump. I found my o2 and TPS to be dead. I found timing incorrectly set. I found problems in the wire harness related to the engine swap. I found a leaking EGR gasket that probably made for a good vacuum leak. I am amazed this engine ran at all!!! I am also amazed I drove it from Colorado’s Front Range to Moab, UT (and almost made it back home!) So I am glad I found these issues before finding the obstructed fuel return line.

I had tanked up just before fixing the return fuel line and noted 11 MPG. I cannot wait to see what mileage is now that the system is running 38 PSI vs. 71 PSI!

My only other observation at this point is that I think the 3FE may be missing some of that extra pressure in the fuel rail when I accelerate. I have in excess of 7 degrees advance in the engine (the BB is no longer visible in the window) and it felt nice when accelerating. Now that the fuel pressure is restored to spec, the 3FE idles flawlessly, but I think I am missing a little power. My plan is to drive it for a while and note any issues that may arise. I cleared codes on Saturday, I will check codes again next weekend.

I hope this info is helpful to other 3FE converts. This is truly how I learned to stop worrying and love the 3FE!

So the Pig was up and running - I was soooo happy!

Then about two weeks later, the clutch fork broke!!! :rant: It was in the middle of a work day, and I wasn't going to have time to deal with it, so I had the Pig towed to my friend's shop. He called while we were out at BHCC to say that they can't get a new fork in w/o pulling tranny and t-case. :( Hmm... Might as well rebuild the t-case while it is out (more $).

Fast forward to Sunday and we are getting ready to go home from Black Hills Cruiser Classic in the Camry. The radiator is a little low. :confused: I top it off and we drive for an hour. When we stop I see a little drip of coolant - :mad: So we drive to Lusk, Wyo where we find an awesome old school pool - perfect for taking a plunge on a hot summer day. So we piled in the pool and let the Camry cool off so I could refill the radiator. We made it home without blowing the cooling system open - yippee!

Today's news is that the water pump is toast. My timing belt on that engine is about 10k miles from being due, but it has been getting coolant and oil leaked on it. So it is time to do pump, belt, tensioner, idler pulley, seals, etc. It's only $ I guess.

I am glad we got home from our trip without blowing up the water pump, but now the Pig has to wait while we fix the Mamry.

Thanks for letting me vent!

subzali
07-20-2009, 04:59 PM
hey TJ, if it's any consolation my red truck is back together but don't really want to drive it until I change the oil. And even then not sure how much I want to drive it from now on. But the Tundra needs a timing belt as well (2K overdue) plus water pump. And I would like to get new wheels and tires and get the exhaust toned down a bit. And in the mean time the 40 sits with multiple issues, some of which is items to button up from the p/s conversion, other items are just from, it seems, the 40 trying to always stay one step ahead of me in the "not quite working right" department. But right now it's about 5 steps ahead of me, mostly electrical issues. Argh. And I don't have time or $$ to do any of this right now. Or even later because my wedding is coming up in Sept., and I don't really expect there to be much extra for time or $$ even after we get back from the honeymoon. But that's a tradeoff that I wouldn't trade back for anything. It just adds one more dimension.

So you're not alone.

corsair23
07-20-2009, 05:08 PM
So you're not alone.

Ditto!! And feel free to vent anytime :D - As you can tell I like to vent a lot...Share the frustration so to speak. I've been trying to think back whether or not there has been a period of a solid 3 months or more where I have had nothing to do or go wrong on any of my vehicles and I can't think of a time :rolleyes:. Sometimes they are small things, sometimes big things, sometimes fun things (mods), and sometimes not so fun things (PHH on the 80 series), but there always seems to be something that needs to be done or get fixed. I'm hoping that sooner or later I'll have replaced/fix so much stuff that the trucks will be like new and just run with only oil changes etc. required...Until then they just seem to be huge money black holes :(

Hey, we all need a dream right? So, my dream is to own 3 Toyotas that require nothing more than an oil change every 3-6 months for 3 years straight :hill:

The GREAT thing is having this club to fall back on, whether you are looking for help/advice, or just need a sanity check :)

PabloCruise
07-20-2009, 05:23 PM
Maybe we need to organize a generic wrenching party?

I wish I had a big shop with a keg fridge. Leanne does not share these same wishes!!!

PabloCruise
07-20-2009, 05:24 PM
The GREAT thing is having this club to fall back on, whether you are looking for help/advice, or just need a sanity check :)

Exactly!!! :thumb:

Have a great night you all - we made it through Monday!

:beer:

Hulk
07-21-2009, 12:44 AM
TJ, if you need to borrow a vehicle, you can drive the Hulk for a week or two.

Gad, just saw your new sig line quotes. Good thing Romer and I are such staunch heterosexuals. :hill:

Squishy!
07-21-2009, 08:02 AM
I can totally relate. I work on Toyotas up to sixty hours a week, barely making that many hours in pay and then I have to work on my Crawler to get it up to speed just in maint, and not even in mods that it needs... It's way hard to work on other people's cars and turn around and work on your own.

I can hardly imagine how hard it would be to have to give up time with your son to have to wrench on your rigs. Keep chugging though. The best times I've had with my Dad have either been under the truck or in the truck with him. Just ask the Mighty Red Chili.

Squishy!
07-21-2009, 08:05 AM
Today's news is that the water pump is toast. My timing belt on that engine is about 10k miles from being due, but it has been getting coolant and oil leaked on it. So it is time to do pump, belt, tensioner, idler pulley, seals, etc. It's only $ I guess.

I can do your w/p T-belt if you want. I charge half of dealer parts included.

PabloCruise
07-22-2009, 08:23 AM
I can do your w/p T-belt if you want. I charge half of dealer parts included.

Thanks Squishy - I appreciate it.

I was leary of driving it any further on a failing pump. We got lucky enough driving back from Black Hills.

I brought it over to my friend's shop Monday, picked it up last night.

The :Princess: is happy again!