2F SNIPER 101 – WHERE TO START?
Are you looking to add the convenience of the Holley Sniper Electronic Fuel Injection 2300-Series Double-Barrel System to your carbureted Toyota 2F powered FJ40?
Where to start? BEFORE you start HITTING THE BUY IT NOW buttons on all of the Red Line Land Cruisers Sniper Conversion Parts!
This is our SNIPER 101 TEST FLIGHT Inspection list (initial) prior to strapping on the fun stuff! Technically, this is all FUN STUFF TOO! You want to give your EFI conversion the best possible start! You seriously want to do ALL of the following (listed below) PRIOR to installing the Holley Sniper EFI system to your 2F powered 40-Series Toyota Land Cruiser. You do not want any issues that potentially could have you unbolting everything, kicking the beer cooler past the mailbox and calling blame to everything you just purchased! EVEN if you are not doing a SNIPER conversion, this list of items are simply great 2F tune up items. Believe us when we tell ya,’ we do LOVE carbureted FJ40’s too and we can “argue” all day – both sides of the fuel delivery equation! (But that is another story all together!)
Let’s start with the 2F engine itself as this is the heart of your whole Toyota 4X4 propulsion system! We will address the areas of fuel – spark – air as these are the three elements of combustion.
ENGINE: Compression Test / Leak Down Test / Valve Lash / Vacuum Leaks
Why spend $2,500+ on bolt-on parts when the motor is tired and not up for the fun you are expecting to have. Bake the cake before you whip up your batch of sprinkles covered frosting. (Must be holiday season around here…)
1] Compression Test – Do this first & easiest as this will lead you to the “T” in the road of OK Avenue & Leak Down Lane. Get to this intersection as quickly as you can! Do not procrastinate! Do not skip this step and start doing all the “stuff” in this list just because you like to shop for parts! You seriously need to come to terms of reality of what you engine is whispering to you already. A compression test uses the rotation of the engine to generate the compression in the cylinder for the compression stroke, in which both intake and exhaust valves are closed.
2] Leak Down Test – So your Compression Test sent you to Leak Down Lane… We’re sorry, but the news has to be dealt with. A leak down test uses a set of gauges and pressurizes the cylinder with air and measures how much of that air is escaping.
3] Valve Lash – Valve lash is the available clearance (or gap) between the rocker arm and the tip of the valve stem when the lifter for that valve is sitting on the base circle of the cam lobe.
4] Vacuum Leaks – Check for vacuum leaks where the intake manifold mates to the cylinder head. You are about to move into the computer era and vacuum leaks will send the Holley Sniper EFI… ANY EFI system into “freak-out” mode. Give your engine the best possible scenario to perform as expected and yourself less hassle of blaming the EFI system only to find out that it is not the “shiny new parts” but a neglected 45-year old part, ie the *intake manifold.
FUEL TANK: Check for rust, prepare for the next 30-years or until they take our dead dinosaurs.
First and foremost, we holy support and advise the use of in-tank fuel pumps! Yes, it is more work up-front, in your garage, in your “controlled” environment vs on the side of the road or in a mud-hole on the side of the mountain at 2am, changing the external fuel pump, because we told you to buy two and you have your spare in the glove box or in your on-board trail-tool storage container. With all this, you first need to check the fuel tank to see if you have a worthy tank to start with!
1] Inspect for rust / damage
2] Upon modification to the in-tank fuel pump, check for and clean out all debris from your work.
LET THERE BE SPARK!
Tired of your basic points that are likely overdue or need to replace the whole ignition system? OK, here is something we’ve been doing for years on all of our in-house customer’s Land Cruisers. Our Red Line Land Cruisers 1 & 2F Hot Performance Distributor starts with an OEM reliable NON-US Distributor that features the NON-US Smog curve. Then we upgrade the electronics to a proven performance Pertronix system. After the conversion is done we test each unit’s vacuum advance system and electronics to make sure each unit ships ready to install. Not only will this give you the performance you are looking for with OEM reliability but it will not require rerouting heater houses like some of the aftermarket distributors. AND will give you the “SPARK READY” for the Sniper conversion.
Here at Red Line Land Cruisers we get to see a lot of cooling issues along with all the neglected engine maintenance issues. While we are in the “coolest” of states – COLORADO, our air actually is lacking.. of AIR! Yes, elevation plays a critical roll that we take for granted. Just for some elevation-comparatives; Big Bear Lake, California sits at 6,752’ and if you get up and drive the dirt roads up behind the ski lifts you can catch 8,805’. Folks traveling across Donner Pass sneak across the 80FWY at 7,057’ and Lake Tahoe sits at a cool 6,225’. If you are tip-toeing across the Rubicon Trail, you’re only tipping the elevation meter at 6,600-feet. Our shop here in Colorado Springs sits at 6,035-feet and spreads out over 6,000 – 7,000 ft of elevation – IN TOWN! Just for mental comparatives, for all you adventurist driving up and down California’s HWY395, you know Mt. Witney is sitting at 14k. You can hike it, but you can’t drive up to the top… But you can check off a 9,945-feet crossing over the Tioga Pass. Here in Colorado, Pikes Peak’s entrance road is only 18-miles away from our shop! Yes, we said road! The road to Pikes Peak will carry you to the peak’s park sitting at 14,115 feet (think Mt. Witney!) And if that is not enough, Colorado holds the honor of highest drivable road in North America with Mount Evans Road rising up to a height of 14,130 feet above sea level! The POINT OF ALL THIS is that we all love driving our Land Cruisers in the mountains! Mountains have “thin air” and air is what mixes with our fuel to create the combustion in the chamber. BUT, AIR is also what passes through the radiator to cool that combustion! We love driving in the mountains even though driving in the mountains is actually working against us! Your cooling system needs to be in tip-top condition!
Here is a good analogy for us all to think about as both our bodies and our vehicles require air, water and fuel, with an emphasis on “air.” At elevation the percentage of oxygen is the same at sea level, which is roughly 21 percent. However, because air molecules at high altitudes are more dispersed, each human breath delivers less oxygen to the body. A breath at 12,000 feet delivers 40 percent less oxygen to the body than it does at sea level. So, we are not stating that oxygen is the key to cooling or that O2, O3 is “THE” missing element at elevation, but we all know that air is “thinner” at elevation and air is what passes through our radiators! Thus, less air less cooling and we are sticking to it. That is unless you prove to us otherwise…
If we didn’t lose you with all tthe “high elevation,” then carry on with these procedures:
1] Check Fan Clutch Spin – Resistance is good and free-spin is bad!
2] Check Fan Clutch Bearing / Water Pump Bearing by holding the fan blade and applying pressure front to back and feeling for play in either the fan clutch itself or the water pump.
3] Does the water pump need replacing?
4] Have you replaced the radiator cap within the last 5-years.
5] Radiator Hoses – do these need replacing?
6] Belts – Older than 2-years? REPLACE THEM! Remove the old one’s put them in your on-board tool kit (only if they are “ok” or new ones), just in case your buddy needs one on-trail!
Last but not least, this is where all the pre-magic happens so it’s important to keep all the “secret sauce” concealed! The biggest issue regarding the intake manifold are “air leaks” due to heavily pitted or corroded gasket between the cylinder head and intake manifold and/or the mating surface warped due to heat exchange from the cast iron cylinder head over the past 35+ years!
If the mating surface of the manifold warped you can fix it by using a sealant such as Permatex® High Tack™ Gasket Sealant or Permatex® Copper Spray-A-Gasket® Hi-Temp Sealant. We prefer High Tack but better yet, we much rather do it “the right way” by machining the surfaces.
Lets just start with reality. Is your manifold cracked?
AIR LEAK = LIGHT LEAK
Note how we have a light underneath the intake manifold so we can see if light is coming up between the mounting surface on the intake manifold and our Precision Straight Edge. In this example you can see light passing through. In our shop, this calls for having the surfaces re-decked.
If you are going to have a machine shop re-deck the surfaces of the 2F Toyota air intake manifold, pay special attention and better yet, make sure your machine shop understands that the angle in which the carburetor / Sniper manifold adapter sits – is intentional. DO NOT FLATTEN HORIZONTALLY! Change this angle and you will not be using your factory Toyota 2F air cleaner as intended as it will not line up properly as you will “tilt” the Holley Sniper headunit away from the intended location. The machine shop’s operator needs to set the machine to the surface of the manifold, not to the manifold horizontally as a whole. Yes, we’ve heard of this happening to a few folks hence of heavy emphasis!
HIT THE START NOW BUTTON!
Upon turning the ignition on, is the engine slow to roll over? Maybe you didn’t install a Back To The Future push-button start-button, but you might want to think adding a High Torque Starter, fresh ground and power cables and maybe a new battery. Contrary to popular belief, but our 2F Toyota engine’s posses a lot of mass to turn over. You want to give your engine the best FIGHTING CHANCE to come to life!
In our next installment of RLLC TIMES we will walk you through more process!