Where's the Lexus Trailer Brake Controller?
Reader: I just read the articles written by Douglas McColloch on his testdrive of the '08 Land Cruiser and LX 570. Great info on off-road and heavy towing experience. I have been reading and searching other sites, trying to get more info on LC and 570, and all they give are specs-a copycat of each other's writing. Douglas is right about the low-speed Crawl Control rattling noise. I first thought this was a malfunction, but seeing some You Tube broadcast and finally reading Douglas's articles, it is just a new Toyota's 4x4 technology.
Anyway, I am having trouble trying to locate the "factory-installed" brake controller receptacle in my LC. I have already tried under the dash and the driver's left kick panel. You noted "while there's no integrated trailer-brake controller offered, the LX comes already prewired for one." Since the LX is similar to the LC, where did you plug in your brake controller to tow that 8,000 flatbed? Also, did you notice the hydraulic noise from the brake system every other time you stepped on the brake? I can hear it inside the cabin. Toyota told me it is not a defect. I think it is just a bad first-generation product glitch which needs improvement. Quite annoying.
Editor: Douglas McColloch replies: The Lexus I test-drove was a preproduction unit with an aftermarket trailer-brake controller that was installed via a bracket beneath the dash, to the right of the steering column. It was not an optimal placement-readout visibility was impaired by the steering wheel, and my right knee banged it a time or two while driving-but it did work, so at least the prewiring is sound from the factory. So, to answer your question, there's no dedicated receptacle for the controller at present. Hopefully Lexus will make some accommodations for it in upcoming model years. My test unit didn't emit any unusual brake noises, so I can't comment on the issues you're experiencing in that regard.
Big Truck Classifieds Source
Reader: For the reader who wrote in looking for "Big-Truck Classifieds" (Oct. '08), check out Socaltrucks.com. They usually have mildly lifted all the way to sky-high trucks for sale. Give them a try-hopefully they have what you are looking for.
Somewhere in the 815
Dept. Of Corrections
Reader: Your August '08 "Readers' Rigs" lists me as the owner of a '63 Willys. The info on the Willys is correct-but the picture is wrong. The Willys in the photo belongs to someone else. My Willys is painted intense blue and is not two-toned. I know there were photos taken of the blue Willys on the same day, but the photos must have been inadvertently mixed up.
Editor: Yep, you're right. Our apologies for the mix-up.
Propane for Diesels: Pros and Cons
Reader: Hey guys, I was wondering if you all could get me more info on the propane injection for the diesels. I was told it would make it go to 30 mpg and 100 hp more, but I was also told that it is bad because the propane makes the diesel run hot and can cause more problems in the long run. Is that true?
Dripping Springs, TX
Editor: Propane pro Robin Stover replies: Many diesel experts out there will tell you not to run "aggressive" propane injection on a diesel because it causes pre-combustion, thus increasing cylinder head temperature. Others claim propane is safe as long as you don't use too much.
We tested the Torque Pro propane injection kit from ATS (www.atsdiesel.com) on a '99 Dodge Ram Cummins and found that if you only use a mild orifice plate (metering device) and keep the additional power gain under 60 hp, you typically will not run into any problems. So, to answer your question, yes, if you run too much propane you can create issues. If you simply want to increase mpg and are not looking for a lot of additional power, propane injection is a good choice. Better yet however, look into water/methanol injection. Water/meth injection provides all the benefits found in propane injection, plus it cleans the intake and combustion side of the engine, removing gunk and deposits that can eventually lead to problems down the road. We also like the fact that water/methanol is cheaper to use than propane, it doesn't require a pressurized and potentially flammable holding tank, and in most cases is a lot easier to find around town. Water and methanol are the basic ingredients in most types of windshield washer fluid. ATS also offer a water/methanol kit (Water Boy) for diesel vehicles. Good luck with whatever you decide to install on your rig.
Wants Top Truck Video Game
Reader: I was wondering if you guys ever thought about making a Top Truck Challenge video game? I think that you would make a lot of profit off of this. Having anyone be able to build their own customized rig and then being able to compete in Top Truck would be really cool!
Highlands Ranch, CO
Editor: Yes indeed, we've discussed it many times. The only problem is, we're not pro software writers, nor do we have a budget to hire anyone, so for the time being, TTC will remain a non-virtual (i.e., real) experience. But if you'd like to donate your time and know-how to write up a game for us, hey, let us know.
Sizing Up Our Ads
Reader: I am the librarian at an elementary school. I started subscribing to your magazine last year. After many issues had been looked at by children ages 7 to 11, it was brought to my attention of your ad, "Size Does Matter." I cannot express my disgust in this ad being placed into a magazine that children look at daily-not just at my school, but in many places. I now have to look through your magazine every month and find this terrible ad to rip it out before placing it on my shelf for children to see. I think your magazine should think again and make a conscious decision to no longer include this ad in your magazine. I hope you will make the right decision.
Editor: We appreciate your concern-and if we editors had any say in the matter, you likely wouldn't see ads such as that one in our magazine. We've relayed your concerns to our publishing staff, and thanks for sharing them with us.
Letter Of The Month
Reader: Do not worry about me getting on your website again. I had to get off the Internet to get you off my system.
Benny in GA
Editor: Hey, no hard feelings. We have the same problems with our website.