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Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Auto Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 947
Experience:  16 years of experience
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I have a 1985 toyota truck 22r, it is lifted with 35" tires.

Customer Question

I have a 1985 toyota truck 22r, it is lifted with 35" tires. I was told 5.29 gears but I rotated tires and counted revolutions on driveshaft seems more like 410.
My problem is I bought the vehicle and it has trouble going over 50mph and on a hill it is much worse. Lack of power after 45-50 mpg revs good in neutral pulls good 1-3 gear but lacks power over 45ish. I tested vacuum advance on distributor and it was bad so I replaced distributor and set timimg. Also replaced fuel filter no luck. What are your thoughts on this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for trusting us with your question. I'm DJ.

The three most popular differentials in Toyota trucks are 4.11, 4.30 and 4.88. So you're probably right on with your count at 4.10.

I've had 31" tires with 4.30 gears and it wasn't a screamer, but I could do much better than 50 without a problem. What transmission do you have? Can you tell me what your RPM is at any given speed? Like 1500 RPM at 60 in 4th gear? We can calculate what the exact ratio is if we know what gear it's in, what the RPM is and what the speed is.

Have you tried advancing the timing to see if it pings? It's not common, but it happens where the ring on the front crankshaft pulley turns. So if you set the timing to factory specs, the timing is actually retarded. It happened on my 1987 truck. I had to set the timing to 18 degrees to get it to run good and it didn't ping.

Easy enough to test, try it and see what happens. If this in fuel injected, make sure you have a jumper between TE1 and E1 in the DIAGNOSIS box when setting the timing.

Next I would check the cam timing to make certain that the cam isn't retarded. This will really kill power.

Check these out in this order. We may have to do more testing, but we have to start someplace and these are the most common culprits.

Please let me know what you find.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The truck is carburated. I set the timing at 0 degrees btdc with vacuum advance disconnected per the label on the hood. Are you suggesting i advance the timing? Also how can I check the cam Timing.i do not have a rpm gauge but I will try to get one hooked up.
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

Let's start at 5 degrees BTDC, if it doesn't ping, go to 10 degrees. Then if it doesn't ping, go to 15.

If it pings, back it off until the pinging stops.

I've had two trucks where the ring slipped on the crank pulley. So that's always where I start when I get a truck with no power. It makes a world of difference.

The only way to check the cam timing is to pull the valve cover. But let's sort out the ignition timing first.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also failed to mention When I initially installed the new distributor the timing was set by ear it was around 12 but my power was the same. I didn't have a timing light till later.
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

That's good to know. But let's get the timing set and go from there.


Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

One more thing I would like you to try is to bang on the bottom of the muffler with a rubber hammer or a rag or piece of carpeting around a regular hammer.

Hit it straight up a few times. If the catalytic converter has gone bad, it will blow apart and fill the muffler. This will restrict the exhaust gases and make the truck gutless.

If the muffler if filled with converter debris, it will sound like it's got sand in it when you bang it with the hammer. Lot's of sand.

If it sounds like it's full, disconnect the exhaust and drive the truck to confirm that this is the problem.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I set the timing to 8 with vacuum disconnected, tried 15 as well but seemed to have better acceleration at 8. It helped with power a little more. I hit the exhaust and it sounded like something rattling but not alot. The cat sounds like it has a bolt in there rattling around when I hit it. Cat was replaced 2 years ago according to service record.
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

The cat should sound solid. So it makes sense to pull it off and at least take a look.

Leave the timing at 8 if that's where it runs best and doesn't ping.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Removed cat, there was debris inside. I test drove it with cat removed. Still lacked power. Cleaned out the cat and re installed. Still lacking power. Low end ok. Top end still lacking power.
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

You should still at least tip up the muffler so the exhaust tip is up and the pipe is down and try to knock out the debris.

When you first checked the timing, was it way off or was it right on or very close? If it was way off, the next thing to check is the cam timing.

Take out the number one spark plug.

Turn the engine so the timing marks show TDC.

Stick a screwdriver into the spark plug hole, turn the engine back and forth a little bit to make sure that the engine is at TDC and that the marks are correct.

Then pull the cam cover and see where the cam timing is.

If you don't see any marks at all, turn the engine one full turn and check again.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks will do. I removed muffler tipped the muffler back and forth but couldn't get all debris out.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The timing was way off before I replaced the distributor. Advanced to prob around 15
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Vacuum advance wasn't working either
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

Have you already fixed the vacuum advance?

How much stuff came out of the muffler?

When you find that the ignition timing is off, it's a good sign that the cam timing is off since the timing chain drives the camshaft which drives the distributor.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I knocked everything out of cat it was all broken up it sounds like there is still some debris in muffler but doesn't sound like a lot it did not come out I removed and tried getting it all out. I replaced the distributor which had a new vacuum advance after diagnosing the other vacuum advance bad with my vacuum gauge and re connected vacuum lines the guy had them disconnected and timing way advanced to get it to run smooth I'm assuming.
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

Can you drive it with the muffler off and see if it's got power?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I disconnected cat back this morning didn't feel any change actually felt like a little less power
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

That's odd.

Time to check the cam timing.

Do you have a compression tester?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No but I will rent one after Xmas
Expert:  Dj replied 1 year ago.

Autozone has a deal where you can put down a deposit, borrow a tool and get your deposit back when you return the tool. So in the end, it doesn't cost you.