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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
Off-Road Garage Snorkel

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===== Off-Road Garage Snorkel
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The (in?)famous through-the-fender snorkel from Kazakhstan. It's truly a marvelous time to be alive.

I wanted a snorkel for cooler and cleaner air. As part of the snorkel install, I cleaned my air filter and it wasn't that bad but I have had cooling troubles in the past. If nothing else, if the radiator skyrockets up to 259F again at least the engine will still be sucking down ambient air.

And then, the option to go into very deep water without immediately destroying the engine is there, if I ever want it down the road. The ORG snorkel was the only real choice for me because it runs inside the fender and just looks so clean!

THE SNORKEL

I was wondering about maximum airflow relative to the stock intake, so I measured the relevant holes with calipers:

Stock TRD airbox intake: 95.26 mm diameter.


There's a trick - the wider lip that will go over the actual snorkel intake was too deep for my calipers, so we need to use the ruler on the calipers to figure the width of that lip, then subtract double that (for each side). From the photo, you can see the lip is ~ 3.5mm, meaning the narrowest inner diamater inside the lip is 95.26mm, for an intake area of ~ 71.27 square centimeters.

Snorkel internal joint: 89 - 98 mm

Side-to-side:


Point-to-point:


It's a hexagon, so if we do rough, sloppy math and take the midpoint between the longest and shortest diameters and then assume it's a circle with that diameter (93.5mm), we get an intake area of 68.66 square centimeters.

Slightly less than the stock air intake - 3.75% less. I wouldn't worry too much about it - the rest of the snorkel is far wider than the hexagonal joint - including the real, external intake.

INSTALLATION

I relied heavily on the previous write-ups of this snorkel install for Ghost FJ by @Loganbeere and Desert Scrounger by @GypsyHighPants. I mostly followed in their footsteps, but I'll contribute the following tips:

Removing the Fender

The fender connects to the matte trim that runs the length of the doorjambs. It connects with two one-time-use clips (the orange one and a blue one). It is a short trim piece, just a few inches long. However, that trim piece has a foot that's hidden and layered under the trim piece that runs the length of the FJ. You can remove the fender without cutting any of the plastic trim, if you peel back the whole runs-the-length-of-the-FJ trim piece to free up the fender piece.



If you aren't careful while doing this, you might break some of the other clips that hold that trim piece on, and they are attached inside the body and you won't be fixing that easily. Also, there's (probably unnecessary) weather-sealing along the top of the trim piece that you may want to have a plan to replace, if you go that route. I just put some of the silicone RTV gasket-juice down where the adhesive stip had been.

Mounting the Brackets

Nutserts! There are holes a-plenty in the FJ body along the path of the snorkel; stick a nutsert in there and you can easily put the snorkel brackets anywhere you want. For example, near the back of the fender where the AM/FM antenna attaches, there was an un-threaded hole in nearly the perfect spot. Stuck a nutsert in there and bam! Easy support mount:



Here's where I ended up attaching the brackets to the snorkel, and how I ended up mounting it:




Hood Clearance

When the top snorkel piece is set on the bottom snorkel piece, there is a little play. You'll eventually be bolting the top piece to a bracket on the roof and screwing it into the bottom piece, so it won't move.

BE SURE YOU ROTATE THE LIP DOWN AS FAR AS IT CAN GO, BEFORE DRILLING & MOUNTING IT. I didn't do this (because I didn't know), and my hood caught a little bit and scratched on the snorkel: Originally, I thought all I needed to do was trim it a bit:



But after the maiden test-drive, the snorkel shifted and I didn't notice... and the next time I opened the hood it caught completely and bent the hood.



Had to get a body shop to bend it back, and I eventually had to take the snorkel off, scrape off all of the cured silicone RTV gasket juice, and... well, I couldn't re-drill the pilot holes for the mounting holes.

I ended up having to add a spacer on one of the screws so the top part of the snorkel would be held in the correct position. One of these days I should track down a slightly-longer screw than what came with the snorkel, so I'll still have the same amount of threads holding the snorkel on.



PERFORMANCE GAINS

Previously, cruising at highway speeds, the OBDII-reported "intake air temperature" would stay a steady 30F above the ambient air temperature. Now, it stays ~15F above. No real noticeable difference at idle, or in stop-and-go city traffic.

They say every 1 degree you can cool your intake air in these engines, you gain 1 horsepower. Would I see 15 HP gains? Well...





Surprisingly-better than I expected, bringing decent torque gains and bringing torque and power on much sooner.

Disclaimer: I had my throttle-body cleaned between this dyno run and the last one; it was sticking closed at low RPM. Who knows how much of the graphs are due to that? I wouldn't imagine much, but I don't know enough to be certain.

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Discussion Starter #63 (Edited)
Refrigerator & Rear Auxiliary Battery

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===== Refrigerator & Rear Auxiliary Battery
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Longer road-trips revealed a logistical issue: Having to find places to buy ice to restock the cooler(s), and having to drain the water out of the coolers. Once, I even tried to keep some stuff frozen with dry ice - meaning the coolers had to stay cracked open to ventilate (or they'd explode), and I had to leave the rear window open (or else the car would fill with poisonous carbon dioxide gas).

The solution, of course, is to put an electric refrigerator / freezer in the back. I planned ahead and ordered my rear storage drawer system with a flush refrigerator slide.

Now, I'd previously put a massive 100 amp-hour deep-cycle battery in as part of the electric upgrade, and had installed a higher-capacity (130 amp) alternator, so I could probably have just wired the fridge up to the main electrical system and been ok. Experiments after having installed this refrigerator suggest that even in the hot Texas sun, where temperatures in the car might reach 120F or higher, that 100 amp-hours would let the cooler stay frozen for at least 30 hours before the battery started getting dangerously low.

But who wants to have to worry about that? A proper rear refrigerator install needs a proper, isolated auxiliary battery. That way you can park, shut the car off, and be confident that your cooler will stay cold and that the car will start the next morning.

THE PLAN



There would be an "Aux Battery" switch in the main center console which, when disabled, would isolate the rear electrical system from the rest of the car. When enabled, the main electric system - the main battery and/or the alternator - would be allowed to power and charge the rear electrical system.

This powering and charging would be handled by a "solar" battery charge controller. The rear battery would have two big, thick cables leading to a new, rear fusebox that I would mount to the back of the drawers. From that fusebox I would power the refrigerator and any other "always on / camping" peripherals I might want to add later.

Additionally, I would attach a power plug for my external, plug-into-the-house-mains battery charger to the leads for the big, thick cables between the battery and fusebox. This way, I could plug the FJ into my house to recharge the rear battery without having to run the engine.

Power coming into the battery from the charger and power leaving the battery to the fusebox would each pass through a relay. Those relays would be powered by the battery, so they'd always be switched on, and everything would work. Why have the relays at all, then? Because between everything that connected to the positive terminal of the battery and the battery itself, I would have a circuit-breaker. If this breaker tripped, the relays would lose power and would cut off the charge controller and all rear electronics.

Why not just a fuse? Well, if I installed a circuit-breaker that I could also trip by hand, I could then completely disconnect the rear battery for storage at the push of a button, leaving it fully-charged and waiting for the next time I need to run the cooler.

Why two relays? At some point, the charge controller's positive cable and the fusebox's positive cable would eventually be connected to each other (since the charge controller wants to reach the battery's positive terminal, and the fusebox wants to draw power from the positive terminal). With only one relay, the relay has to be between the battery and the fusebox and between the battery and the charge controller in order to be able to cut them off. This means that the charge controller will connect to the fusebox's positive circuit in front of the relay. So even with the battery disconnected, the charge controller could be powered and try to figure out how to charge the refrigerator and everything else connected to the fusebox. Since the refrigerator isn't a battery, I'd like to avoid this.

With two relays, the charge controller's positive cable and the fusebox's positive cable join behind the relays. This way, even if I push the "Aux Battery" button up front to power the charge controller, it will not connect to any of the rear electronics unless the battery is also connected.

THE COOLER

A Dometic CFX40. The CFX65DZ is what I really wanted but it was 2 inches too long to fit in the FJ. I bought one and ended up returning it. Look how close the fit on the CFX40 is:



PROTOTYPING

I ordered a small Odyssey AGM battery and set it up with the solar charge controller I'd ordered (Renogy Voyager 20A), the refrigerator, and a desktop power supply inside my house. I wanted to be sure everything worked correctly before I went to the trouble of installing it!



It did.

I ran experiments at different temperatures for weeks, empirically confirming how long the cooler would run off battery in various configurations:


  • The coldest setting that would keep part of the cooler frozen, and the other part above freezing ("Coldest Fridge/Freezer")
  • The warmest setting that would keep one part of the cooler frozen, and the other part above freezing ("Warmest Fridge/Freezer")
  • The coldest setting that would keep both compartments above freezing ("Coldest Cooler")
With that information, I would be able to intelligently shop for and plan the actual battery that would get installed.

THE BATTERY

Not as much capacity as I would have really liked (in the Texas heat in later experiments, I found myself needing to cool nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the cooler frozen!), but the largest battery I was confident I could fit unobtrusively: An Odyssey Extreme series PC950. An "Advanced Glass Mat" dry, sealed, non-spillable deep-cycle lead-acid battery.

Its capacity is 34 amp-hours and it is ~10 inches wide by ~4 inches deep, and 6 inches tall. Crucially, the Odyssey PC1150 is the same footprint but 8 inches tall, so if I absolutely had to move to a larger battery, there was a much better chance of being able to fit an upgraded battery in whatever mounting scheme I came up with.



CABLES

Somebody somewhere said to use welding cables for your high-current automobile electrics, as they tend to be way overbuilt compared to regular automotive or audio cables. Tougher insulation & much more copper, capable of handling higher currents better. I bought 50 feet each of black and red 4-gauge welding cable and ended up using maybe 40 feet of it!

AUX BATTERY SWITCH

First, I ran some new 4-gauge cables from my main battery's handy-dandy second set of terminals:



There's a big fat inline fuse conveniently-accessible right up front.

They ran back towards the firewall, across the vehicle, and over to the passenger side. There, the positive cable passed through a 40A weatherproof relay before joining the negative cable in passing through the rubber grommet in the firewall.



This relay was actuated by an "Aux Battery" switch from CH4x4 who make very nice, laser-etched off-road themed push switches in the Toyota FJ Cruiser form factor. Installing the switch correctly was a breeze thanks to my forward-thinking cabin switch illumination harness. I just soldered molex connectors onto the switch in the comfort of my house, then popped open the dashboard and clicked those connectors into the connectors that were already in there, waiting for me!

I ran the switched power supply - the one that would toggle the relay - off of an "only on when the car is on" circuit from the cabin fuse box. This way when the FJ is off, the relay cannot be activated and the rear electrical system cannot draw power from my primary battery.



CABLE RUN

When I first got ARCA9, there was a janky DIY'd 7-pin towing hitch connector in the back, and in the process of tracing its power supply from the engine fusebox to the trailer hitch, I learned that there's a ton of space under the inside running board trim for running cables!

So when those 4-gauge welding cables passed through the engine bay firewall's grommet and came out behind and to the right of the glovebox, they just went down and under the trim, all the way to the back until they popped out between the rear seats and the drawers. Beautiful, clean, and secure!



SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER

The solar charge controller wasn't something I'd ever really have to touch, but it would display the current voltage of the rear battery, which I could use to get some idea of how much power was left - so I wanted it to be visible.

I ended up screwing it into the interior plastic (the fourth time I have made permanent changes to the interior plastic trim) in front of the tiny rear window on the passenger side. This positions it above the top of the refrigerator, but angled away from the front so that the backlit screen won't catch my eye while driving or looking in the rearview mirror.



BATTERY MOUNT

I'm very proud of this. The PC950 just barely fit in the little alcove of the FJ's rear window. I bolted some brackets onto the back of my Rago MSP and made a secure holder for the battery:



Not pictured is another bracket that bolted onto the two holes in the crossbar, over the top of the battery. Installed, it is held on all six sides.

Further leveraging the MSP, I mounted the circuit-breaker and both relays to it, as well. Rago says their MSP can hold "at least 30-ish pounds," and this battery is 20 pounds.



REAR FUSEBOX

There is a small channel between the (angled) rear seats and the Drifta storage drawers. In this channel, the power cables from the solar charge controller run across and up to the battery terminals. From the battery, two cables run down into this channel, to the rear fusebox: a Blue Sea Systems 6-circuit box with negative rail & cover. I cut a thin plate of steel to bolt the fusebox to, and then drilled two holes in that plate that lined up with the holes used by the Drifta drawers' mounting bracket. This gave me a big, flat, vertical mounting plate for the fusebox that would be held securely behind the rear seats:



The power supply cables from the rear battery should be obvious. Coming off those same lugs are leads for a connector that works with my BatteryMinder battery charger - I can toss it in the trunk, plug it in, and recharge the rear battery off the mains without having to unscrew anything or fold the seats down.

FRIDGE TIE-DOWNS & CABLING

"Lashing Straps" was the magic keyword to search for to find lightweight, light-duty straps like ratchet straps. The lighter-duty hardware was important in order for the rear door to be able to close without contacting it! The holes on the fridge where the handles had been attached were 1.25" apart and I couldn't find a d-ring tie-down point online or in physical stores in my area with that hole spacing. So, I bought soft strips of steel, took the D-rings from an incorrectly-sized set of tie-downs, molded the steel around the d-rings, and drilled holes with the right spacing. Nice and flush, though!



Another consideration is allowing the fridge's power cable to stay connected when the fridge slides out without bunching up and getting in the way of the slide on the way back in. I screwed a small cable clamp into my subwoofer (we'll see how that works out long-term), and clipped the power cable onto the upper corner of the fridge's insulating jacket.



The power cable bunches up on the side, between the subwoofer and the fridge and above the floor of the slide. The fridge can slide in and out without the cable getting caught on anything.

Boom! Now I've got a fridge and freezer!

It looks like I get ~12 hours of freezing in sunny Texas heat (freezer has to cool ~90F), and ~18 hours of freezing in shady Texas heat (freezer has to cool ~60F). The intended use is to hold cold or frozen items overnight between "parked outside the motel on a road trip" and "hit the road the next morning." Its real test will come during "Moab before the Summit" this July...

(archive link)
 

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Dang, nice job! You'll have no problems with that setup this summer.

I don't use mine as a freezer, just fridge instead. Never had an issue overnight, say from 5 pm to 8 am in the morning on a single Northstar 31M.

I accidentally left the fridge on with the lid up at least 24 hours, FJ still started just fine. But it could have hit the low voltage detection that time now that I think about it....
 

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Thanks for your great post on the fridge. I'm wanting to install one in my FJ, but also with the back seat in use. Great to know the 40 size fits whith the handles removed.
Do you have a model number or something for the slide you used?
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Thanks for your great post on the fridge. I'm wanting to install one in my FJ, but also with the back seat in use. Great to know the 40 size fits whith the handles removed.
Do you have a model number or something for the slide you used?
The slide was part of the drawer system from Drifta; it's integrated into the drawer cabinetry. The "Drifta Slide System" is what they call it.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Oil Catch Can

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===== Oil Catch Can
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BACKGROUND - THE STALLING GREMLIN

As I mentioned a while back, I developed a stalling gremlin: At low RPM, the engine would shut off!

No warning lights, no error codes, and if you were quick about it and shifted to Neutral and turned the key, you could restart the engine and keep driving... which I got good at!

I couldn't figure anything out. My local mechanic couldn't figure anything out. Eventually after a half-day at the Toyota dealership, they said "the throttle body was dirty and was sticking. We cleaned it. We are 100% sure that was the issue."

That was ~11,000 miles after my supercharger install. Toyota's service interval for the throttle body is 30,000 miles. Had the supercharger really lowered the service interval to 10,000 miles?

No. Because ~3,400 miles later, on the way back from the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree 2019, the gremlin came back with a vengeance and the engine shut off on the highway, at cruising speed. That one actually caused a Check Engine Light. I got towed to the only garage that was open on a Sunday & answered the phone to confirm that they could, indeed, work with a throttle body.

The throttle body was a little gunky, but it didn't look so bad that it wouldn't operate:



More concerning, though, we discovered a small pool of oil in the bottom of the intake, behind the throttle body. We cleaned that out, cleaned the throttle body thoroughly, cleaned the MAF for good measure, and... it got worse. This time the ECU was throwing "rough idle" and "stalled" and "not enough air" codes, but still wasn't making a Check Engine Light.

13 hours later, all intakes had been checked, all connectors & wiring harnesses related to air sensing had been checked, the throttle body and intake had been cleaned, hoses had been checked for loose connections, and... nothing worked.

Finally, we replaced the (original, filthy, full-of-bugs & debris) TRD air filter with a FRAM from Wal-Mart and... the gremlin went away.

WHAT IS AN OIL CATCH CAN?



There's pressure in your engine cylinders. Sometimes, some of the stuff in the cylinder squeezes by and gets into the rest of the crankcase. Some engines (including the FJ's) have a vent to let pressure out and send it back into the air intake. Small amounts of petroleum products in this air will generally just get burnt up in the second go-round. This is called a Positive Crankcase Ventilation system, or PCV.

If an engine is, for some reason, pushing more petroleum products out through that ventilation system than can be burned up, they'll accumulate... somewhere between the intake and the cylinders.

WAIT WASN'T THE PROBLEM THE AIR FILTER?

Maybe. But there definitely was a suspicious amount of oil pooled inside the intake manifold. 370 miles after the stranded Sunday, I took the throttle body off again and inspected it and the intake manifold. There was another pool of oil, about the same size as before. So, it's coming from somewhere and it's coming too fast.

This is probably bad in general. Installing an oil catch can will eliminate this. If it was the cause of the stalling, then great! No more stalling! If not... My Toyota dealership was 100% certain that was it and they guaranteed their work, so with proof that dirty throttle body is not to blame, I should have to spend only time for them to track down the issue.

CATCH CAN

Luckily, the Magnuson supercharger came with a special bracket between the brake fluid reservoir and the fender. Originally intended to support the supercharger's intercooler's coolant reservoir, it only took a single hole and a single bolt to attach an off-the-shelf steel T-bracket to that bracket to make a mount for the catch can.

For the can, I found a well-reviewed Chinese knockoff of the much-more-expensive Mishimoto catch can. I had to purchase my own 3/8" fuel line hose and 3/8" NPTM hose fittings for the can.

The FJ only has one PCV hose. I wanted to run it behind the brake fluid reservoir, and then run the filtered air straight towards the engine and along the original (well, original-to-the-supercharger) PCV line route. The 2-port can had its inlet and oulet ports on the wrong side, when rotated to face the engine, so I ordered a 3-port can which had an inlet on either side of the outlet. I plugged the unneeded inlet and then had the arrangement I wanted.



In 500 miles or so, I'll crack it open and see if it's caught anything.

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This is strange because it looks like my problem
 

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Discussion Starter #70
First full-length oil change after the catch can went in! 5,877 miles produced 44 grams of bean dip:
Fresh Bean Dip.jpg


The engine oil itself looked fine (left). I had to mix up the bean dip to get it out of the catch can and into a bottle:
Complete Oil Change Results.jpg


That maths out to 0.0075 grams per mile of bean dip coming out the PCV system and going into the intake, if I didn't have a catch can.
This looks like a lot at the end of an oil change, but I think in reality it's probably nowhere near enough to matter.
Also, I spaced out and dated the bottles 2019-01-01 when they should've read 2019-12-01...
 

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I do not think this comes from this problem, I had exactly the same problem, problem solved by an electronic specialist.
as an injection cutoff, the engine stops without any fault code.
They have redone parameter settings, "information break"
They have even redone the settings of the ECU without going through Magnuson
 

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Discussion Starter #74
Did you change the alternator fuse when you added the 4Runner alternator?
No, I did not. I would've (if I were being diligent) also changed out some wiring around that fuse, too, if I were planning to run the alternator consistently at full 130A tilt. Upgrading just a fuse is riskier than leaving a lower-rated fuse. The next time I have a reason to go into the fusebox, maybe I'll knock that out.
 
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