BREATH­ING NEW LIFE INTO THE TOY­OTA FJ

In­stalling new Edel­brock carbs and man­i­fold for wheel­ing into a Chevy 307

4WDrive - - Contents - Sum­mit Rac­ing Equipment – www.sum­mi­trac­ing.com Edel­brock USA – www.edel­brock.com

If you have been fol­low­ing 4WDrive, you know that our lat­est ac­qui­si­tion, Tim Toy­ota, a 1976 time cap­sule of an FJ40 Land Cruiser, has gar­nered squat­ter’s rights in Ed­i­tor Irons' drive­way… Much to the cha­grin of his lovely wife. While Tim not only runs and drives, it has even made a few road trips dur­ing its short ten­ure, and given us some bla­tantly ob­vi­ous ar­eas to at­tend to. It runs like crap, drives like crap, and road trips like, well, it’s ac­tu­ally pretty fun for road trips… once you get it go­ing. Ba­si­cally, it needs some lovin’, and not the “Barry White in the back­ground” kind.

Un­der the hood of our su­per­man­coloured dirt tank is a lowly Chevro­let 307 V8. Never heard of one? You’re not miss­ing much as it was the base V8 engine in many late 60’s GM ve­hi­cles and has a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing un­ex­em­plary. Lo­cal folk­lore has it that many moons ago, Tim was blessed with a rip-snortin’ 350 CI Chevy vari­ant that would eas­ily turn the 38” tires that the rig wore. At some point, the cur­rent smol­der­ing turd was swapped in. The old Toy­ota was driven for a few years in its cur­rent dis­ap­point­ing state be­fore be­ing stashed un­der a pon­derosa pine for a decade be­fore our grubby paws ac­quired it, tree sap and all.

Cold start­ing was a feat of pa­tience re­quir­ing a keen feel­ing for bat­tery life, throttle con­trol, and enough ether to cook a bi­son... medium well. Once warm, the mo­tor would run okay, but black smoke out of the tailpipe dur­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion and some surg­ing while try­ing to keep a steady speed told us some­thing was awry. Off road per­for­mance was abysmal, as a quad­ri­plegic tor­toise with ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome could make its way up a mild trail in bet­ter time, and less mess.

Rid­ing atop the Chevro­let engine was a vin­tage Edel­brock 700CFM car­bu­re­tor and a match­ing Edel­brock Torque in­take man­i­fold. This com­bi­na­tion was not only too large for the ve­hi­cle, but de­signed for a much higher RPM range then the mo­tor was ca­pa­ble of. Al­though we could have worked on the tune of the carb, we had to face re­al­ity - be­cause the Toy­ota was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously moth­balled in the past, who knew what was rot­ting within the orig­i­nal carb. On top of that, we knew some med­dling had hap­pened with the car­bu­re­tor as the me­ter­ing rods were mis­matched, the elec­tric choke was dis­con­nected and out of ad­just­ment. The carb had been man­gled so badly that the back bar­rels were jammed closed. It had reached the prover­bial point of no re­turn.

We hit Sum­mit Rac­ing’s web­site and went shop­ping. A plethora of Edel­brock

items were checked off our shop­ping list; Per­former EPS in­take man­i­fold (EDL-2701), a 500 CFM Per­former elec­tric choke car­bu­re­tor (EDL-1403), off road nee­dles and seats (EDL-1465), a cal­i­bra­tion kit for the carb (EDL1486) and we splurged on a fancy air cleaner (EDL-41153). Gas­kets and other pieces were picked up as well since the Sum­mit brand gas­kets we had used in the past were good qual­ity and a fair price. While ap­proach­ing our shop­ping limit we de­cided to up­grade some shop equipment, as we knew tun­ing was go­ing to be re­quired. We scooped an OTC vac­uum gauge kit (OTC-5613) and a new Sum­mit tim­ing light (SUM-G1059) with ad­justable ad­vance.

We could have honed our grov­el­ling skills and pos­si­bly got­ten the green light for an EFI setup, but this would have killed the mojo and sim­plic­ity of Tim the Toy­ota. With a plethora of af­ter­mar­ket car­bu­re­tors avail­able, we reached for the Edel­brock for its ease of tun­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Sum­mit Rac­ings Carb Cal­cu­la­tor, even if we man­aged to get the old mill to 6000 RPM (HA!) we would have re­quired less then 500 CFM. Un­for­tu­nately, Edel­brock does not of­fer an off-road ver­sion un­der 600 CFM that keeps fuel from slosh­ing around and flood­ing while at odd an­gles or bounc­ing down a washboard road, so we scooped the parts and pieces needed to retro­fit our new one. A few other tricks and mods were made to en­sure the old Toy­ota lasts another mil­len­nium.

With parts in hand we slipped away for another week­end in the shop. We knew the process of swap­ping the in­take man­i­fold and car­bu­re­tor were sim­ple ones, but the tun­ing process could take some time. Edel­brock sup­plies a handy chart to uti­lize the parts and pieces in­cluded in the tun­ing kit to get a good base­line. These are the results of our time well spent in our con­crete happy place.

1. Lurk­ing un­der the oily veil seen here is a sad ex­am­ple of late 60’s hot rod cul­ture. This sad 307 Chevro­let has been suf­fer­ing the au­to­mo­tive equiv­a­lent of wa­ter­board­ing with high per­for­mance parts on a low per­for­mance engine.2. We called our buddy Dar­ren over for some im­promptu slave labour. With an engine sit­ting this long, take your time re­mov­ing hoses as they likely have a good hold on the fit­tings. We brought our engine to Top Dead Cen­ter (TDC) be­fore re­mov­ing the dis­trib­u­tor so that it could be re­placed more eas­ily.3. The first hour was sim­ply nuts and bolts and no spe­cial tricks were re­quired. Once the in­take hard­ware was re­moved, gen­tle pry­ing was all that was needed to re­move it com­pletely.4. One wheeler's junk is another wheeler's trea­sure. There’s no way we will re­coup our costs with this pile of “useds” but I’m sure we can re­stock the shop fridge.

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