My first 4WD (Hilux LN106R)

OneHilux

Member
My first 4WD and in fact, my first car. I have been told more than once that I made a good choice with this 1991 2.8D Hilux. It’s not the tidiest example of an LN106, but they are getting hard to come by in any condition. Bought it from McKinlay, which is about 75k from Julia Creek (QLD). Had suffered a bit at the hands of a farmer who didn’t care as long as it started and went. Drove it 700k home on a permit and parked it up, where it has sat for about a year while I slowly bring it into roadworthy condition. I’m also working to make it into a more capable car for the odd adventure, but mostly a dependable rig for life and work. So much work has gone into it that I haven’t documented, you guys will only get half the story. I have a very thick pile of invoices for parts - let’s just say that. But I’ll try and keep everyone updated from here on out.

1991 Ln106R Toyota Hilux - 2.8D - cab chassis - White

Why I got it:
Very simple electrical system, no computers at this point - reliable and dependable.
Great entry level 4x4
Leaf sprung
Last of the solid front axle hilux models
Great for setting up on a smaller budget but still keeping up with heavier, more powerful vehicles on the tracks.
3L engine - Gutless but unstoppable - engine conversion or turbo upgrade planned.
Nice big tray for fitting in a great toolbox setup
Very simple car overall for an idiot like myself to learn both mechanics and 4wd skills on.

What’s not so great:
Leaf springs give a rough ride, even on the best of roads.
3L engine - don’t rely on a heavy right foot for power. They are truly gutless.
Seats are not the comfiest
Stock headlights are not great for night driving
Just needs a lot of customisation and upgrades overall to get it where I want it.

Upgrades planned
A good driving light setup, most likely a set of spotlights and some neat x-ray light bars.
Ledautolamps Maxilamp 3 tail lights
A really good toolbox setup for work, hopefully I will custom fab something myself with plenty of advice from a friend who owns a welding shop.
Various brake upgrades (braided extended lines, slotted dba discs e.t.c)
New exhaust with extractors (Beaudesert)
Stainless Steel snorkel
Front and rear end rebuild, new axle seals, hub wipers and wheel bearings.
Engine conversion in time
front locker - probably a Lokka, I have only heard good things about them
Water tank
Long range tank
A better UHF setup
Sandblast and powder coat Bull-bar and tray
Respray cab with original Toyota white

Stay tuned!
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typhoeus

Well-Known Member
A good start mate. I'd suggest something other than an LS OR even a v8 for it tho. Unless you can afford diff and axle ugrades, transmission upgrades, engineering certification costs. . . You are better starting with a heavier vehicle. As for the hilux, there are other engine options more suitable. But. . . . Use it as it is first, get used to it, learn from it, cause it will teach you many valuable lessons,
 
My first and only 4WD bought in 2000 is a 93 LN107R. As you say, gutless up hills on the bitumen, but off road, it shits all over my colleagues brand new BT50.
I use it for fishing guiding, and it's been great. Keep thinking I should upgrade to something more modern & comfy, but I just love the old girl too much.
 

Petunia

Well-Known Member
Hi, Welcome, a good choice to begin with.

3L engine - Gutless but unstoppable
At least you know it's a slug, from the go outset, but that slug will slug it all day.

Leaf springs give a rough ride, even on the best of roads.
This can be cured quite simply. If you look at the front springs, I assume they are standard? All the leaves are not much shorter than the main 'eye' leaf, compared to the rear with the leaves progressively shorter in length than each other. Cutting back the front springs will greatly improve the ride. I had a LN106 Dual Cab, I found a full set of 4 springs in the wreckers, it had gone belly up, but they were good springs [400$ for 4 was a bargain too] needed a bit of work to put them back together [sprung retainers and broken center bolts] It was like chalk and cheese, Rode like half decent Slug after that.
Arguments probably still ensue that you will break springs if they are cut back? Well I say the gearbox mount broke before the spring even looked like it, and they Do Not break gearbox mounts!

The rears had hellish big helpers [2] in them that would take one ton of fire wood in a dual cab no worries, They were really nice springs.


3L engine - don’t rely on a heavy right foot for power. They are truly gutless.
And will be noticeable when you start to roll those nice new tyres round. But service regularly, they keep going and going and going.

Stock headlights are pathetic for night driving
Yes they are ..... newer models are not much better either. Toyota should have fixed this in 10 years?
Lockers if I really get into the 4wd scene.
LN106"R" ... The "R" denoted a Limited Slip Diff model, I would not be in a rush to change it, also be aware you need LSD oil in the rear diff.

I notice the gearbox on the ground, these had a predisposition to chuck a spigot bearing at 130,000, easy cured with a bigger spigot bearing or a Phosphor Bronze bush [my choice as the input shaft was worn as well]. Toyota gearboxes do not like 80/90 oil at all, Toyota recommend 70 or 75/90 a bugger when you need 3 differing grades for g/box diff and lsd.

As mentioned I had a LN106 Dual Cab, that had done the Wyns Safari it also had a fair bet of wear in the towbar eye and pin, I say it towed a horse float? It served me well for quite a few years, so I again say good choice.:cool:
 

OneHilux

Member
Hi Petunia, Thanks for your insight - told me a fair bit I didn’t know there. I’m pretty sure my front leaf springs are not standard, the leaves underneath the eye leaf are progressively smaller. One question - when you say the gearbox doesn’t like 80/90 oil at all... could you elaborate please? Would such a slight change like 80/90 to 75/90 make that much difference?
Cheers
 

OneHilux

Member
I’ve had 80/90 in it, but only for about 700kms. Sounds like I’ll change that very soon! I didn’t realise it made a difference.
Cheers:)
 

OneHilux

Member
Sorry about posting again so soon, but I thought I’d put up some photos of work me and my old man did on the car some months ago. It’s very much a father and son thing, this car.

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When we had the tappet cover off to repaint it and check the clearances on the camshaft. It seems in good shape.
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New genuine rear main seal while the box was off.
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Underneath with one main bearing off. She seems pretty clean internally. Cleaned up the surfaces and refitted sump after this.
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One of the mains. Also checked big ends. They seem alright, a little worn but nothing to worry about just now. Really coming across to me why this engine lasts. It is really made well.

Okay, that’s all of our photo documented work. Update in a few weeks time hopefully.
 

2002GU3

Well-Known Member
Don't appologise for posting too much mate, post and ask questions as often as you like, it's the only way you'll learn and the guys on here will be glad to help you where they can !
 

Petunia

Well-Known Member
Hi Petunia, Thanks for your insight - told me a fair bit I didn’t know there. I’m pretty sure my front leaf springs are not standard, the leaves underneath the eye leaf are progressively smaller. One question - when you say the gearbox doesn’t like 80/90 oil at all... could you elaborate please? Would such a slight change like 80/90 to 75/90 make that much difference?
Cheers

ah, Yes, after posting all that rubbish, I blew up your picture and could then see the springs are infact progressively shorter.

Experience 101, mistake 101, I dropped the gearbox oil, removed the gear stick tipped the approved quantity of 80/90 in it, I had 80/90, only ever used 80/90, it is the done thing. In time, not detrimental immediately, but 3rd cog started to play up, then 2nd, 1st followed, and by the end 5th was rattling so much, no one else could drive it like a non sychro box, I had learnt to drive non synchro boxes with work. I had purchased an LN167R by the time it was time to either spend money on it, or sell it off. I had lent it to a person who I could not vouch for their driving habits, but they definitely could not drive with no sychros, they [synchros] were really shot.

Another thing from your pictures ......
engine hook.JPG
..... this engine hook was the subject of a Recall, allegedly one [or more?] fell off, lodged on the diesel pump linkages locked the pump open, and ended badly. I knew a bloke [I Q of a toaster] that had Toyota fix it, then crapped on about it for months, Just undo the bolt if it worries you? simples.

Chose a good oil, keep the servicing up changing regularly, I still do every 5000klm, and from what you see in your pics they do keep going.
Don't apologise ..... I learn from asking questions, or observation, and hands on pull it apart, I have time for people who wish to learn ..... toasters, ah, not so much.:cool:
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
Good to see you put 31" tyres on don't go any bigger you'll lose more power, put more stress on the drive line, bearings effecting reliability. Power wise it still has more than a 2.4ltr also depends how it was driven do you know if it spent a lot of time idling, driving around paddocks not getting into the higher rev range a lot.
 

OneHilux

Member
Hi Batts88,
Yeah, I did at first want to do what all my mates did and put huge tyres on it, but I got a lot of advice against it from some of my more experienced friends and settled for the smaller size. I’m glad for sure, I’ve already fixed signs of stress on the driveline, just from the existing lift kit in the car, have had to replace unis and centre bearing. so I figured great big muddies weren’t the go. I will mostly do highway miles in it anyway, hence the atz’s. I think it’s had a pretty easy life as far as revving and bad engine treatment. According to the owner it had a new head in 2012 and minimal use since then.
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
Make sure you check what size the alternator is as it may be fine depending on how much electrical gear you add over time.
 

Mitchmate

Well-Known Member
Hi Batts88,
Yeah, I did at first want to do what all my mates did and put huge tyres on it, but I got a lot of advice against it from some of my more experienced friends and settled for the smaller size. I’m glad for sure, I’ve already fixed signs of stress on the driveline, just from the existing lift kit in the car, have had to replace unis and centre bearing. so I figured great big muddies weren’t the go. I will mostly do highway miles in it anyway, hence the atz’s. I think it’s had a pretty easy life as far as revving and bad engine treatment. According to the owner it had a new head in 2012 and minimal use since then.
Like already said good choice on tyre size, I’m running 32’s on mine but I’ve got slightly lower diff gears all works out about the same as factory with 31’s. If you can find yourself a rear drive shaft out of an LN167 (1998-2004 model Hilux) they bolt straight in. My dual cab has a 2” lift and it destroyed 2 centre bearings before I put the single piece shaft in! Genuine Toyota bearings too grr! Keep us up to date with the build and most importantly have fun with it!
 

OneHilux

Member
Like already said good choice on tyre size, I’m running 32’s on mine but I’ve got slightly lower diff gears all works out about the same as factory with 31’s. If you can find yourself a rear drive shaft out of an LN167 (1998-2004 model Hilux) they bolt straight in. My dual cab has a 2” lift and it destroyed 2 centre bearings before I put the single piece shaft in! Genuine Toyota bearings too grr! Keep us up to date with the build and most importantly have fun with it!
Thanks mate - love your LN106 as well very tidy Ute indeed. I would really like to do that single unit tail shaft mod - many people told me it works a treat. I’ll have to look around for one.
Cheers,
Morgan
 

boris mikilchuck

Active Member
Hello OneHilux. Great to see you got yourself an ln106, you won’t regret buying one of these as they are great trucks. I have had mine for a bit over three years now and I absolutely love it. Yours actually looks pretty good considering it was flogged by a farmer for who knows how long. Also good to see your engine is in good condition as well. If your complaining about lack of power this is likely due to the injectors and pump, I would highly recommend getting fresh injectors and your pump pressure tested. This was one of the first things that I did when I got my hilux and it made a huge difference. Most of them are slugs because of lack of maintenance. Good choice of tyre size as well, I am running 32’s and I didn’t really notice any difference compared to 31’s.

I would highly recommend a good turbo setup instead of an engine conversion, these engines make good power very easily while also being very reliable. Welcome to the forum and looking forward to following your build thread. I hope you have lots of fun and adventures with your hilux :)
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
Like already said good choice on tyre size, I’m running 32’s on mine but I’ve got slightly lower diff gears all works out about the same as factory with 31’s. If you can find yourself a rear drive shaft out of an LN167 (1998-2004 model Hilux) they bolt straight in. My dual cab has a 2” lift and it destroyed 2 centre bearings before I put the single piece shaft in! Genuine Toyota bearings too grr! Keep us up to date with the build and most importantly have fun with it!
My GQ has a centre bearing when the chassis ext was done in 2006 by previous owner. I had it replaced 12yrs later while it was out of the vehicle it was still fine but the uni's needed replacing and the shaft rebalanced. I went to Hardy Splicer as they done the original job in 2006 so if you get a decent bearing it should last.
 

Mitchmate

Well-Known Member
My GQ has a centre bearing when the chassis ext was done in 2006 by previous owner. I had it replaced 12yrs later while it was out of the vehicle it was still fine but the uni's needed replacing and the shaft rebalanced. I went to Hardy Splicer as they done the original job in 2006 so if you get a decent bearing it should last.
Is what it is the drive shaft place said it was because of the steeper angle it was running at. And both were genuine toyota bearings and carriers. Ah well no longer an issue now :)
 
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