Good News! ( I think). I have bought a replacement for the van that's less complex to maintain, on account of the fact that its otherwise very familiar looking but bigger- and with a turbo - engine and in fact everything else bar the body are similar to those bits as found in the HiAce 4x4 forward control vans
, but as to the question of why, well that's where it gets complicated.
I found a great (as in; willing to fork out my asking price) buyer for the taller of the Toyotas and have had some money for that but, as part of a complex and ultimately slightly confusing (as in; what the f*** have I done) deal, I've not only had some money for Yoda but now also own the "SUV" of my dreams and no, I couldn't find another sufficiently well preserved Discovery so it's not one of those.
It is, in fact, a 1997 P plate Hilux Surf that was imported in 2003 and hasn't seen a welding torch in its entire life thanks to its original UK keeper's belief in the benefits of Shell Ensis V from when it came off the boat and XCP Rust Blocker more recently.
It's the Range topping 3 litre Diesel model, which in mine has had its cylinder head sorted many years ago by replacing that with an upgraded, aftermarket head and a similarly uprated radiator as well as an accurate coolant temperature gauge, fresh, SVO compatible pump seals and even some wood on the dashboard. It's typical Toyota wood in that it does its best to look like plastic but did come from a tree.
It arrived on Friday morning but hasn't been out yet as I made the classic error of deciding to wind down the tailgate window. Initially, I was just chuffed to have found one with functioning tailgate electrics and was glad of the cooler air flowing through the thing when I was giving it its first run in my ownership but then, I parked it on the drive in the campervan-sized space, pressed the button on the remote and marvelled at the way in which every opening pane of glass in the entire vehicle closed as the door locks all, er, locked. Every piece apart, that is, from the one in the tailgate, which rose magnificently about three quarters of the way up and caught on something at the left edge, which left the glass at a jaunty angle. It would happily drop, but wouldn't then go beyond that position described above.
So that was Friday night entirely trashed as I'd been standing for about an hour under the open tailgate having removed the internal trim so was quite literally screaming with pain thanks to the nasty leg cramps and muscle spasms that this ill advised activity had triggered. So this morning, more stable and able to put some weight on my feet again, I went out with the intention of removing the carefully placed bin bags used to keep the moths away during the night and Saturday.
I had however failed to find a volunteer to grab the glass and give it the slight tweak needed to get it past the sticking point so I gave up and sitting in the boot, a Volvo estate equalling seven feet long, replaced just enough parts to prevent losing stuff.
I'm certain that the chipped tooth on the right quadrant isn't helping but as the damage is to the part of the quadrant that, once window raised, continues to make the earth for the rear wiper, a simple but effective way to prevent wiping the window unless it's fully closed, I'm now thinking that some form of distortion in the pivot point of the left quadrant is much more likely to be not only responsible for the "teething problem" but is also going to be dead simple to fix, however that won't happen for some time to come as I've now been medicated properly thanks to the local (they're only about forty miles away) emergency GP service and am not in pain, but had lost a big toenail at some point and was bleeding from the remains of its toe. Just the job when the carpets right through the house are very light beige and I had been unable to get my by then quite badly distorted feet into any form of footware, ideally blood resistant.
I'll get some piccies once I can get down from the house to the ground outside but ho-hum, at least that engine and (almost
) every other thing on the truck works, there's quite literally no chassis or body rust and it came with five very recently fitted tyres, some value there methinks as they're all year-round, mud and snow rated 275/70%x16" ones which are, according to the chap who delivered it and went home - to the south coast - in the tall van, really quiet on tarmac yet amazingly capable when on steep slopes covered in wet grass. We shall see
Its very complex four wheel drive setup is all fine, so that provides rear only, four with centre diff locked, four with centre diff open, high and low range in all 4x4 modes and something else operated by one of the many switches whose function I have yet to identify. Edited, it's the firmness control for the dampers. Ooh-er.
It's a low mileage old thing too, with a mere 263,000 KMs showing from new, history to prove it and it came with side steps that are not only set at a great level for my needs - once lower limbs are all working properly again - but have no rust where their brackets attach to the chassis rails so can handle my weight without a murmur, though having dropped from 17st 3Lb on the 16th of March last year to my current 12st 8Lb, I'm so light that a good stiff breeze would have me away if I weren't holding onto something.
The only underbonnet thing that I have to attend to in the shorter term is the air compressor clutch. The belt for the compressor has been removed as it has no other function, but I knew about that when I agreed to take on the vehicle and its pipework is all present and connected, the condenser and the rest of that system is all fine and bizarrely, both air gauges are showing the sort of residual pressure that ought to see the aircon working properly once the compressor is fixed, a thing that should be possible without removing the body from the engine as it's right at the top and there's plenty of room to get in about with a puller to remove the clutch hub, though the broken springs are all long gone so I may do the sensible thing and just buy a new compressor from Rock Auto in Wisconsin. At a mere £104, this would work out cheaper than trying to rivet new springs to the clutch hub, especially as the pulley has been sitting loosely attached to the unit for some time, but isn't doing any harm as it's not currently belted. I'd then take it to the place I usually use to drain the whole system, freshen it and refill it for me. Being a modern unit from 1997, it can be charged with 134A so I don't even have to search for remaining supplies of reclaimed R22 in place of NLA R12.