Rookie Question: Hilux '04 - Petrol 3.4L, Manual - Feels underpowered

Submitted: Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 11:52
ThreadID: 141082 Views:789 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
Hi all,

I have a 2004 - 3.4L manual petrol Hilux that to me just "feels" under powered compared to what I assume a 3.4L v6 hilux should feel like.

It runs smooth and operates without any fault I can work out, but when driving up the Toowoomba range (long incline, steep but nothing too crazy) I have to keep swapping between first and second and I feel like its just lacking in torque and/or power. And also while pulling a trailer with a boat on it (nothing too heavy though) it feels like it struggles.

My previous car (2004 XR6) had no problem with either task.

Looking to make this a DIY project but I'm lost where to start with this. Do i need to go to a mechanic to try get some kind of baseline?

Any pointers / starting point would be great.

Thanks in advance.

Jono
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 13:51

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 13:51
Hi Joni
I don’t think any 3.4 litre petrol vehicle should need to go as low as 1st gear on any of our major roads.
Could be any number of things but If the motor has around 300000 kms then it may need the head reconditioned as the valves may be leaking which sometimes isn’t noticeable until under load.
AnswerID: 635082

Follow Up By: JonoB - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:31

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:31
Awesome, I'll start there. Thanks for the quick reply, really appreciate it.
0
FollowupID: 912561

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:47

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:47
Might be like many earlier cruisers, often diesel, which wouldn't pull the skin off a rice custard. Toyota tech servicing, in their infinite wisdom, check valve clearances by "listening" and stating all is well. They NEVER look. Seeing, or rather listening, to something which you cannot hear when it doesn't make a noise. ie, like closed up valve clearances don't make, means nearly all higher km vehicles are out of whack. If the valves are not opening at the correct times or as cruiser 3 suggested, the valves may not be sealing much at all. A simple valve clearance check once in 300,000km or 400,000km might be a very sensible idea.
0
FollowupID: 912564

Follow Up By: Rob J8 - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 20:47

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 20:47
I'm inclined to agree with Cruiser 3, Jono. At 20,000 kms per year, a 2004 petrol vehicle would have done in excess of 300,000 kms. Most diesels if they are properly maintained and not thrashed can easily exceed that, but petrol motors are not known for their longevity, used privately. In saying that, I owned taxis in Perth for over 20years and had an XE Falcon that exceeded 800,000 kms. It ran on LPG , properly maintained and never cooled down, that motor had never been touched except plugs etc. Sold it for an EA Falcon ; what a heap of crap that was.
0
FollowupID: 912589

Reply By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:34

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 16:34
Check by having the compression tested
AnswerID: 635084

Follow Up By: lindsay - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 17:16

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 17:16
An hour late in a 2.8 even more in a 3.4.
1
FollowupID: 912566

Reply By: tonysmc - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 18:15

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 18:15
As a starting point before doing anything, I would get it checked on a dyno tuner. They'll test it under load and should be able to tell you if it isn't meeting the correct specifications and would give you the best baseline.
If as mentioned in one of the posts your looking at valves or head work, I would go to All head services in Melbourne. I been through the process on a couple of cars and it was cheaper to use them and get a brand new head and valves than have someone recondition the old one.
I remember people use to drop Holden V8's and V6's into those older hilux's, might be another option with a kit from Marks adaptors?
AnswerID: 635086

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 20:01

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 20:01
If you really wish to have it dyno'd AFTER all repairs to confirm output if you must, BUT FIRST find the fault/s and have it properly rectified. The dyno will prove nothing at the outset, only what is already known - no go.
0
FollowupID: 912568

Follow Up By: tonysmc - Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 23:56

Monday, Feb 15, 2021 at 23:56
It will prove if the car is running within normal power limits while also forming a baseline to measure any gain if work is done. The poster says; Quote " just "feels" under powered compared to what I assume a 3.4L v6 hilux should feel like". Well you know what they say about assuming! The car is a 2004 hilux which aren't know for their neck breaking power
Also putting it on a dyno may help narrow down where the issue is, or at least where to start looking. A dyno tune is a cheap place to start.
0
FollowupID: 912572

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:08

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:08
Being a mechanic + other related qualifications for many years I would never start a rectification at a dyno place. After a time/km period there are predictable situations which will be present. No dyno tuning is going to cure the obvious, just cost to prove it is there. Always begin with the easily discovered problems of engines long before more expensive action which do not fix the issues. The dyno doesn't show where to start. A good mechanics intuition and ability is the key.
However, I do agree the fitting of a 6L V8 may increase hill climbing ability to some degree.
2
FollowupID: 912573

Follow Up By: Member - John - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:34

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:34
RMD, "may increase hill climbing ability to some degree", tad of an understatement, LOL.
0
FollowupID: 912574

Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:39

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 08:39
I had an auto one. They aren't as strong as say the holden/magna v6's of the day by a fair way.
To fit in the hilux they had to make a more squat intake plenum than the Prado got which dropped the KW slightly.
I have heard of people body lifting the ute and swapping out plenums but im not sure that it would nett you a whole lot.
AnswerID: 635088

Reply By: Member - rocco2010 - Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 11:08

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 11:08
Is car standard? Bigger wheels and types, body lift, bullbar, tray full of gear?

My Prado feels different even when I fill the tank (150l) from near empty.

Hope you find a solution.,
AnswerID: 635090

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (12)