Which Diesel for RTW w/ FJ47?

spectre6000

Observer
I'm in the preliminary research phase of building up an FJ47 for RTW. It's very likely I'll be pulling a small trailer, and I want to be able to move when necessary. One of the reservations with the FJ47 is purely the age of the vehicle. As such, I want to completely refresh everything and I'm strongly considering installing a diesel (if not getting one to begin with). My question is which engine(s) has the best parts availability abroad, is rugged enough to not let me down unless generally abused or something is just terribly wrong (no electronic sensors and junk like that to go wrong and require weird market specific replacements), and will handle the weight and load?

I would naturally prefer a Toyota diesel if I were able to ensure parts availability, etc. I'm not afraid to rebuild an engine, I just want to make sure that if it's as old as it is I can get parts when and where needed and it can handle a full load. Getting parts here is also a concern (makes later Toyota diesels a bit of a non-starter)... I also don't want to mess with various electronics and sensors and such that will be a major pain conversion-wise in an older vehicle like the FJ47. The original diesel seems like it might be a bit underpowered for the required load, but I have no experience to back that up.

I've read a little about a Perkins diesel with mechanical injection and "one wire that makes it go" (I haven't been able to figure out exactly what that's all about, but it sounds appealing). I have read that they're available internationally, but it seems like they might be in odd places (boats and tractors?). It's probably just that I haven't found enough info yet to know the best search terms, but this one has my interest piqued with reservation.

I see Cummins 4BTs suggested frequently, but I'm not sure about parts availability, reliability (anything related to GM and reliability don't really go well together in my experience), performance, etc.

Any information/suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.
 

Hj61 12ht

New member
I think the ultimate engines are either the Toyota 12HT or 1HDT, both of these are pretty costly and probably difficult to get hold of, but they have great power, economy, reliability.

The Nissan patrol / safari TD42 is pretty good too, Nissan FD33 & 35 are popular transplants in landrovers, have driven a few and they go quite well, I once owned a landrover with a FD46T? It was enlarged to 5.5L and with a big turbo probably had 220HP!

Your next best bet is probably an Isuzu engine, out of a NPS / ELF, there is a 4BD1T which is 4 cylinder and about as powerful as the Toyota engines, they should be cheaper and easier to get hold of...
The other Isuzu 4BD engines are good but a bit lower powered.
 

MuleShoer

Adventurer
I'm in processor of installing a cummins 3.9 4BT In my FJ40. This is not a GM product. It is a non electronic engine simple to work on with parts available in north America. These engines are known for reliability. The downside is you will need good fabrication skills to avoid a tall lift. I am modifying the pan to avoid this also unless you insulate the engine bay the can be a bit noisy

I suggest you look at the international 2.8 this is used through out south America not cheap though
 

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spectre6000

Observer
You're right, it's not a GM product (or Chrysler, which is what I meant to say), it's just a close enough association for the one to overshadow the other.

What markets was the 4BT sold in? It might be worth it if I can get parts in South America or Africa or something...
 

MuleShoer

Adventurer
Cummins in Central America has distributors in Mexico Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama
Cummins in South America has a manufacturing plant in Sao Paulo Brasil, with distrbutors in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay
Cummins in Africa is headquartered in Kelvin, Johannesburg with branch locations in Alrode, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth. Also there are dealers in Ndola and Zimbabwe,Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.

The ability to get parts should not be a problem, they have been in south africa since the early 50's and latin america since the early 70's

I assume you are in Colorado? If you can find a 3.3 BT that is a very nice compact package, they were never used in the US vehicle market but were heavily used in the industrial market world wide including the US they are hard to find. it is a sweet 85hp motor with tons of torque, it was my first choice but the bigger 4bt was half the engine cost
 

spectre6000

Observer
That sounds pretty low on the pony count (this coming from someone who daily drove a car with all of 75 for a few years recently). Diesels are all about torque, so that's the important spec, but being able to keep up with modern traffic in a heavily laden truck pulling a trailer is paramount. I'll have to see how they do in heavy vehicles. I did some research on them and their potential for swapping in an FJ, and it sounds like it's a pretty easy swap if everything else checks out...
 

spectre6000

Observer
How does the Toyota 12HT engine stack up? Mayhap the best bet is to swap a rebuilt drivetrain out of an HJ61 into the FJ47. Does anyone have any experience with these engines? Reliability? Parts availability (obviously not great in the states)? Overall complexity?

Looking at the Cummins 4BT, I'd likely need to build up or swap out most of the drivetrain (one of the downsides to this sort of project), and if I'm going to do it a turnkey axle to axle setup isn't a bad idea. That said, the 12HT isn't TOO MUCH bigger/more powerful than the largest diesel that was available in an FJ47 and only slightly less than the Cummins...
 

MuleShoer

Adventurer
For 4bt you can mate to a 5 speed Toyota transmission and keep everything else. I am using a 700r4 behind mine built for diesels
 

Hj61 12ht

New member
How does the Toyota 12HT engine stack up? Mayhap the best bet is to swap a rebuilt drivetrain out of an HJ61 into the FJ47. Does anyone have any experience with these engines? Reliability? Parts availability (obviously not great in the states)? Overall complexity?
I'm a big fan of the 12HT so I'm a bit biased, I've had one for a few years and get a big grin on my face every time I drive it!
You really need to try one to get an idea of what they are like, just looking at the HP number and comparing to say a 1HZ doesn't really tell you the true story.

12HTs are slightly agricultural, a bit rough and wild, but when you get it under load and revving at about 2200 it is quite wonderful.

I've tried 1HZs in troopies and 80 series, and they are a good and popular motor, but they just don't quite do it for me.

12HT are very reliable, the first thing to usually fail is the piston rings, as they wear through the piston, happens from about 500k km on average, as far as I can tell. I've seen and driven some in Australia that have done over 750k km apparently without any sort of engine work.

Every part is available here in NZ from the local Toyota parts place, but at huge cost! You probably won't get that service over there...
 

spectre6000

Observer
Agricultural is generally a good thing in my experience provided it can perform the duties required of it. It tends to be tangentially synonymous with simple, and that's a very good thing in a rig like this. The fact that some HJ47s came with 12HTs to begin with is also a positive, though the fact that it wasn't at all common and finding one will likely be a pain in the *** is a downside. Nevermind general lack of parts availability domestically...

So far:

Cummins 4BT, slightly more powerful, parts available domestically and abroad, I think it can be built to where there are practically zero electrical components, fairly inexpensive/potentially high conversion cost

Toyota 12HT, powerful enough, parts available abroad and scarce domestically, platform built for it, quite expensive engine/next to nothing conversion cost

The Cummins is currently "in the lead" insofar as there is a lead to be in due to parts availability...
 

cruiser guy

Explorer
In my opinion as someone living overseas. Go with a 1HZ engine. Very common overseas and good parts availability. The "B" series engines, which are older, are also widely available though as years go on they will decrease. There will be pockets of the world where these may not be easily found like the states or Mexico but for the most part you won't go far wrong with either one.

I love turbo's, I have one on my truck but I will tell you they are not well liked in the developing world, mostly because they abuse their vehicles. That still leaves parts availability more difficult.

Toyota is king in Latin America and here in West Africa. As for the rest of the developing world I really can't say.
 

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MuleShoer

Adventurer
Not sure why you believe you need to swap your whole drive train. Engine, bell housing, clutch, radiator (maybe), crossmember, You could keep everything from transmission /transfercase back. though I would upgrade to a toyota 5 speed trans for the overdrive.
These engines run most economical at about 1800-1900 rpm so you need to figure out the right combo of gearing, tire size and overdrive
Also the manufactures recomendation for a refresh is at about 400,000 miles.
 

spectre6000

Observer
It's simple, I don't want to put in a stronger engine and make the transmission a weak point. If it's not strong enough to handle double (a non-specific number for the sake of illustration, though I don't think it's far from reality) the torque the drivetrain back needs to be upgraded to handle the load. It's just like putting a Chevy 350 in a Porsche 914 without upgrading the brakes (a friend of mine did this and wrapped it up around the bumper of some idiot in an SUV that stopped on an entrance ramp). I would hate to blow a 40 year old diff in central Mexico... A car is a system, not a series. It may very well not be necessary, and it that's the case I'll not bother with the extra effort. I just want to make sure I have everything covered if I'm going to have everything torn down that far.
 
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