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SA4x4 Clinic got a technical query

Hot Headed Hilux


Qusetion by: Frikkie van Aardt Answer by: Arnold VenterI own a ‘01 Hilux KZ-TE 3.0 DC. I bought the vehicle second-hand, fully kitted and with approximately 170 000 km on the clock. The vehicle had never given me a day’s trouble until December ‘09 when it showed its first signs of overheating – particularly when pushed hard up steep gradients. I took the vehicle to Silverton Radiators and they confirmed that it had a cylinder head leak.
A new head was fitted and the Hilux was fine for a while; however, on a recent trip to Cape Town I noticed the temperature gauge climbing again. At our overnight stop in Hanover I relocated the licence plate to allow more air to reach the radiator; this helped to stabilise the heat gauge but I’m still concerned about the problem. I’d like to know: will an intercooler prevent future damage to my Hilux’s cylinder head, will it increase the bakkie’s performance, and can it reduce fuel consumption? The Hilux now has 260 000 km on the clock.
Frikkie van Aardt

Your Hilux’s turbocharger is driven by exhaust gases, which make it run incredibly hot. Plus, as air enters the intake system it gathers heat from the turbocharger. An intercooler counteracts this effect by cooling the charged air and allowing a greater volume of air to enter the combustion chamber.
So, yes, an intercooler will increase your Hilux’s performance, but we recommend a Unichip conversion to fine-tune the air / fuel mixture for optimum combustion and improved engine life.
Arnold Venter
CRD (4×4 fitment & repairs)
(011) 907 0580 /