Questions or comments? Write to us at 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coils For 'Cruisers?
Q: I am building a '78 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser and I remember seeing a magazine article on Black Diamond coil spring suspension for these vehicles. Do you know when it will be available to us? Thank you.Michaelvia e-mail
A: Michael, although Black Diamond, (866) 680-6666, www.blackdiamondoffroad.com, has experimented with an FJ40 XCL coil kit, the company hasn't yet produced one that it felt would hold up to the Black Diamond name. It's still on the drawing board, but don't look for it anytime in the near future. The company does offer a 3-inch leaf spring suspension system, as do other suspension manufacturers. If you're still set on coils and have a bit of money to invest, a competent off road shop may be able to fabricate a system.
Q: I am interested in finding a company that sells in-dash air-conditioning kits for an '88 Jeep Cherokee. I know I saw one in your magazine, but I can't locate it now. Any help would be much appreciated. Love the magazine. Thanks.Kevin M. Wattiervia e-mail
A: Kevin, if you saw it anywhere, it certainly must have been here. The kit you speak of is available through J.C. Whitney, (800) JCWHITNEY (529-4486), (815) 677-7700, www.jcwhitney.com, and requires no modifications for installation. The complete system includes all in-dash and underhood components, including an ozone-friendly R-134a refrigerant, a dash-control package, an evaporator, a drier, hoses, a condenser, a compressor, a compressor mount, brackets, a drive pulley, belts, installation hardware, parts, and instructions. Another option would be to source a factory system from a salvage yard, but you'd want to be certain that you acquired all of the necessary parts and the system was in working order.
Running Upside Down
Q: I have been following the All American project with great interest. I have a question about the choice of engine. I also was considering using the GM 4.3L engine in my build. A friend told me it was a good thing I didn't. He claimed that the 4.3L would have problems during steep climbs because the oil gets up under the moving piston in the cylinder and can cause actual damage, and on descents the oil pump pickup sucks air. In the August issue, someone said "It'll run upside-down" referring to the 4.3L. So what is the real story? Let's assume fuel injection so that fuel delivery is not an issue. Looking at the oil system, where can I find incline/decline/side-slope data about different engines?Peter HopeSeattle, WA
A: Peter, the "It'll run upside-down" statement was referring to the fuel injection system rather than oiling system, which you are right in saying it would need to be addressed. Remote or dry-sump oiling systems are popular in automotive racing and can even be used in four-wheel drive applications. The system actually uses two (or more) oil pumps to operate; one to pull oil from the sump and send it to the tank, and another to send it to lubricate the engine. The advantages of running a dry-sump system are many, the first being that you'll increase your oil capacity. A dry-sump system also allows the use of a slimmer oil pan so the engine can be situated lower in the vehicle, eliminates oil slosh within the pan that's said to decrease horsepower, and, of course, the ability to run upside down if you so desire. The disadvantages deal mainly with the complexity and weight of the system, as well as cost. As for the 4.3L V-6, we haven't heard of any performance issues related to steep climbs and such. In fact, the 4.3L V-6 is probably one of the most popular swap candidates for Toyotas and Jeeps. Regarding your search for incline/decline data, the Internet will be your best friend. With so many engines and vehicles on the market, we just can't imagine anyone who would actually take the time to produce such data. Good luck, though. 'Wheel on.