Reality Check for 1988 Landcruiser

My Landcruiser mostly sits idle these days, but occasionally I really need it. I leave the tank full and add “Stabil” type fuel treatment to avoid gummy deposits. Recently I found the filler cap cover pried open. It is an anti-siphon system but the gas gauge showed “empty,” so I thought they had found a way around that. I drove to the nearest gas station and added another generous dose of Stabil, but when I started to fill it the pump clicked off immediately. My tank was still full and but gas gauge has failed.

Since then it runs reasonably well, except that when I stop the engine dies and will not restart for about ten minutes. This makes me unpopular at intersections!

So what is the problem? It might be that I now have way too much fuel treatment for the volume of fuel, or perhaps overfilling the tank is somehow to blame. I tried removing the gas cap in case pressure in the tank was a problem, but nothing changed.

My intention now is to drain about half the fuel and then refill with fresh gas. And while I do not believe this is the problem, it seems like a great time for a fresh fuel filter and plugs.

As I write this it occurs to me that I cannot rule out the possibility that somebody ADDED something to my gas. I have driven it four miles since then and performance did not seem to change, but who knows? I don’t think I have any enemies but cannot rule out random vandalism.

Any thoughts? cheers, Flag Rich

Guessing you are not in the US so I don’t know if you can have codes read . But why not just have it repaired because that stalling might happen at the worst time. Like in front of train .

Frankly, it never occurred to me that an '88 Landcruiser might have a computer port - great advice if it does. I fired it up today to get it out of the path of a wildfire and it ran fine, though I only needed it to run two minutes with no stops. And surprise! the gas gauge is
working again. Yes, it is still full. There is one reasonable shop for an LC in this town but there are 8 major intersections on the route to it. I may indeed take it there, but would want to drive it over early on a Sunday morning - just in case.

I actually know a fellow whose Pontiac stalled on RR tracks and the crossbuck came down between his car and his trailer. This was on a blind curve for the RR so there would have been no chance to react, and he has a disability that could have made walking away problematic. One bystander held the crossbuck up while others pushed him off the tracks just in time. The kindness of strangers can be awesome, but unlike Blanche DuBois I try not to depend on it.

Thanks! Flag Rich

An 88 would be OBD1. On a GM vehicle, you can retrieve the codes yourself with a paperclip. Not sure if you can on a Toyota, but info is probably available on the web/Toyota forums.

If this vehicle uses a carb, that’d be my first suspect for the poor slow speed performance and stalling. It’s possible the carb problem was caused by someone contaminating the gas tank, who knows. Your shop could take a sample, let it sit overnight in a clear glass jar, any contamination problem might then be apparent. Many years ago when I lived in another state I had what I thought to be a good neighbor. He had a big flat-bed truck he parked across the street and let it sit there for months at a time. His truck sitting there never bothered me or anybody else as far as I could tell. One day I noticed the city code enforcement guy was marking his truck’s tires. So that evening I noticed him outside and told him about it. The next day my truck was acting up, needed the carb cleaned out … I can’t say for sure he was involved, but I’m guessing he believed I was the one that called the city on him. Which I didn’t of course. Could be further proof there’s no end to the punishment for the helpful … lol …

btw, some folks here say that a stuck fuel tank sender unit (use for the fuel gauge) can sometimes be free’d up by tapping on the tank near the sender with a rubber mallet.