P1251. The Journey. The Epic. The Fix.

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JohanW
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Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:45 pm

I posted a reply on the other forum because someone else seems to have the same problem. Error code P1251 stepper motor intermittent.

The reply was supposed to be short, but instead I became the below. I was planning on doing a full writeup on the issue here but didn't get around to doing so. So here goes: :siffler:

It took me 5 months and a fair bit of frustration and cash to solve. I was very near to replacing a perfectly working turbo due to a inherent software issue on the 2009-2011 models.

I drive a late 2009 3.0 d4d AT Hilux 4x4. The first error was logged at about 197k km (will need to go look in the freeze frame data). I'm now on 204k km.

P1251 means that the turbo driver ( a small ecu and stepper motor driver in a box located in the glovebox ) is unable to reduce the boost pressure in the intake manifold quickly enough. It does so by telling the stepper motor on the turbo to reduce the pitch of the VNT vanes.

I did the following before I finally found a solution:
1. Replaced the stepper motor/actuator unit on the side of the turbo with one from a accident damaged 2014 d4d. No improvement. ~R1400
2. Replaced the MAP sensor on the intake manifold with a new unit from toyota ~R2500
3. Cleaned the intake manifold and EGR valve. ~R90 (Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner)
4. Made a blanking plate for the EGR valve pipe that fits against the block. ~R80 for oem gaskets
5. Swapped out the turbo driver unit in the glovebox with one from a 2007 fortuner (my dads)
6. Removed the turbo, cleaned the inside with oven cleaner and diesel. ~R450 for new oem gaskets,nuts and cir-clips

All of the above had little to no improvement and the issue steadily got worse. I have a dedicated laptop with techstream which I used to diagnose and reset DLC errors. I have in excess of a 100 freeze frames for this error. This I managed to get due to the vehicle going limp on every single drive towards the end. I was about to replace the turbo before chatting to Kosie Swanepoel from KSD.

7. The solution. A chip with a boost clamp.

Now for the Why:

I have a short exhaust that is very free flowing, makes a fantastic sound and causes the turbo to spool up rapidly. This however causes increased wear on the turbo actuator ring. This ring sits inside the turbo body and controls the VNT vanes. The turbo stepper motor moves this ring about with a little lever. This lever is a close running fit in the actuator ring. With time and use this fit becomes either too loose or too tight due to carbon or wear. This leads to a delayed reaction in boost reduction and ultimately a P1251.
I had this exhaust fitted in May 2016 and did a 12000km trip through Botswana, Nam, Zim and back without issue. Its only in the last 5000km since the trip that the issues have started.

P1251 gets triggered when the boost pressure in the intake manifold is in excess of 225 kpa for more than 3sec after a signal to the stepper has been sent to reduce the pitch. 225kpa being the gauge pressure and is also what gets recorded in the freeze frame data.

The boost clamp simply hijacks the signal that tells the ecu the boost pressure and tells it that the pressure is 224kpa (thumb suck figure since I don't know at what level KSD set this) instead. The signal to lower the boost pressure went to the stepper motor driver/ecu before we even got to the 224kpa level (its threshold is lower than 224 kpa ) so its already busy lowering the boost. This negates the risk of overboost damaging the engine or the turbo by telling the ecu the boost is lower than it actually is.

I have done a ton of reading on P1251 on numerous forums all over the world. It seems to be a common issue on AT models with different exhausts. But there are reported cases where it happens on vehicles with stock standard everything. It also seems to only affect pre 2012 models. The ecu and turbo driver have different part numbers post 2011.

My conclusion is the following: A free flow exhaust can lead to increased wear on the turbo actuator ring leading to delayed boost control. This delay and a too low error condition trigger level leads to a P1251 error and limp mode.

Also something to note. Once a p1251 and limp mode has been logged the next drive will be in a detuned safemode. I would purposely trigger a p1251 in the morning within a few minutes of starting up to get into this safemode on my way to work. This prevents a second error from happening until I reach my office. But on the following drive this detuned safemode would be cleared and a P1251 would be waiting to happen in the most inconvenient place. Interestingly enough even on this third restart after the vehicle would still not be back up to full power. So if you have a P1251 fault code logged your vehicle wont be running on a optimum power level. A techstream needs to clear this error before power levels (and economy) would be back to normal.

KSD fitted my Dastek chip with boost clamp on the 5th of April 2017 since then I have not logged a single P1251 or limp mode. Did a 1600km trip before and over easter up the West Coast and back without a issue.

It seems like toyota solved this issue in the post 2012 models since I'm yet to find one with this issue. Or it could simply be that models post 2012 are yet to get to a age where wear leads to this issue.

I will add more detail in time and some photos. And also post if the error returns...

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Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:11 pm

Interesting .... makes sense as well. Don't drive diesel, but I'm sure that other members will find this to be useful. Thanks for the input. :thumbup:
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Mars
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Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:30 am

Thanks Johan. As usual a nice and detailed post that will undoubtedly help someone in future. What is a boost clamp and does that come as an additional item to the dastek chip?

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Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:22 pm

Mars, the boost clamp is simply a setting on the Chip itself. It intercepts the signal from the MAP sensor and tells the ECU its something lower from a certain threshold level upwards. Its currently set at 205kPa. So even though the actual boost level is 225kPa the ECU is told its only 205kPa. But its only sent a lower value when the actual boost level is above 205kPa. So for any value below 205kPa the actual level get sent to the ECU. A tad low but I intend to go visit KSD again soon for a tweak or two.

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Tue May 02, 2017 6:46 am

Lekker lag ek nou vir myself! Dankie

Renart
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Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:21 am

My Car : Fortuner /Hilux 2007 3.0D4D AT
Engine 1KD-FTV
KM 190000
Problem Repetive Error P1251/34 and Limp Mode


Hey Johan,
I am just registered to the Forum Hilux 4X4 and I read with great interest your differents posts ( April 2017 ) about Error code P1251.
I Have similar problem :.and Limp mode .suddenly happen at normal drive without special effort , some time, in down town at 1500//1600 rpm = 40/50 km/h Or on road at 70/80 km.

I did make similar checks, as you, and no change .

I inform you that I leave in Madagascar and I am obliged to searchand do everything by myself because a lak of local service .

You say that a good solution is to fit :’’A chip with a boost clamp ‘’.
As in Madagascar we do not have dealer in this accessory , could you give me more details about this Chip/Clamp :
Specifications Data
Brand Name with reference
How to fit it
Dealer where I can purchase it by Internet
Average cost of this Chip/Clamp

Thanks and congratulation again for your good work to find a reply to our problem .

Regards
Real Name Bernard

PS Sorry for my Poor English Writing because I am French and not so familiar with Lhakespeare language !!
BG

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JohanW
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:04 pm

Hi Renart

I replied on your separate thread.

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JohanW
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:09 pm

Just to update anyone with this issue.

Even with the boost clamp the turbo eventually failed spectacularly. The turbine shaft snapped due to cyclic overloading.

The vanes of the broken turbo were sooted up and sticky. This I think was due to the racechip fitted by the previous owner. This caused slight overfuelling and higher soot levels.

I bought a new turbo from Toyota and fitted it. Expensive yes, but now everything is working as it should again.

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Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:38 am

Hey Johan

Many thanks for your usefull reply I am also thinking to change The Turbone ..
Please let me know if the new Toyota turbo is supply with the Actuator and of course VNT van?

On the other I am fitting since one year , like you , to found à solution and you are the only one who make a deep analysi s of the problem.
If you like I can make you a long report of my personnal experience in this .
Could you allow me to send it to you personal e.mail and of course I shall keep informed fo the follow .
My Personal mail : b.gorde@moov.mg

Bernard

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Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:54 am

Toyota supply the complete turbo with the stepper motor.

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Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:06 am

OK Thanks as I will be abroad for three weeks I shall revert to you at this times
Have à good day
Bernard

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Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:54 pm

Johan I see you say
" Made a blanking plate for the EGR valve pipe that fits against the block"

Did you blank off your EGR?
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Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:56 am

Eish, so my model is prone to this issues even though i don't have freeflow on.

WOuld it be a good idea to do a decarbon on these motors as preventative maintenance.

Looks like members have already done it a bit...
viewtopic.php?t=38537

But i don't think to the extent like this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBAwmXMAEQs

I would like to one time go for the full monty like the guy in the video, but is that wise.
Won't that loosen up bits of gunk that could foul up engine even further.

Anybody got recommendation of local garage that has done this for a while, and quite experienced doing it, knowing all the pitfalls.
2007 d4d 3.0 D/C 4x4 (Mar 2016 - current) (Buraaq V)
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Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:07 am

pietpetoors wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:54 pm
Johan I see you say
" Made a blanking plate for the EGR valve pipe that fits against the block"

Did you blank off your EGR?
Toyota uses the EGR circuit as a sort of blowoff valve. This is documented in the form of a error code. Part of my fault finding process was to clean the EGR valve and see if this isn't part of the problem.

Cleaned up the EGR valve and installed a blanking plate with a 7mm hole in it. This limits the amount of muck that gets sucked in but still allows pressure to be vented if the blowoff function is used.

I bought two new gaskets from toyota and shaped a 3mm alu piece to fit.

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:12 am

dalkill wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:56 am
Eish, so my model is prone to this issues even though i don't have freeflow on.

WOuld it be a good idea to do a decarbon on these motors as preventative maintenance.

Looks like members have already done it a bit...
viewtopic.php?t=38537

But i don't think to the extent like this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBAwmXMAEQs

I would like to one time go for the full monty like the guy in the video, but is that wise.
Won't that loosen up bits of gunk that could foul up engine even further.

Anybody got recommendation of local garage that has done this for a while, and quite experienced doing it, knowing all the pitfalls.
The problem is that the cleaning is all on the intake side. The problem is the exhaust side and the soot buildup in the variable vanes in the turbo.

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:20 am

Some further reading and pickchas of someone that had the same issue and fixed it DIY. He attributes it to rust, but I beg to differ and say that is soot buildup. Most of the assembly is stainless steel so rust in there is hard to believe. Most of the buildup is on these stainless bits.

http://oilybits.blogspot.co.za/2014/02/ ... ntrol.html

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:25 am

O and the racechip that caused the soot and slight over-fuelling is lying in a box and a dastek chip has been fitted with a proper tune and AFR (Air Fuel Ratio).

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Wed May 02, 2018 11:16 am

New Turbo-charger on Hilux D DKD-FTV

Renart
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Wed May 02, 2018 11:16 am

On May 2nd 2018-05-02
Hi Johan

You said that you had change Turbo-charger by a new one , as I think of to do the same I need some more information :
Did you purchase a true Toyota origin from Toyota dealer and under which Reference ? 17201-??????
Or did you purchase one OEM Model Probably Made in China under which Brand Name and reference ?

Your New Turbo-charger, is it directly Fitted with electronic Actuator? or the actuator was separately delivered with” little lever/rod to link it to VNT vanes , and of course to avoid the loosing of it between both end ?

In the meantime did you change MAP sensor ( On Air Filter ) and ECU “ Turbo Driver “ located behind glove box .with original Toyota reference : 89878-71010 or 89878-71070 ?

Thanks in advance for your reply

Renart/Bernard from Madagascar

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Wed May 02, 2018 11:32 am

Renart wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:16 am
On May 2nd 2018-05-02
Hi Johan

You said that you had change Turbo-charger by a new one , as I think of to do the same I need some more information :
Did you purchase a true Toyota origin from Toyota dealer and under which Reference ? 17201-?????? Purchased from a Toyota dealer with a part number. Came in a toyota box.
Or did you purchase one OEM Model Probably Made in China under which Brand Name and reference ? Original Toyota from Japan

Your New Turbo-charger, is it directly Fitted with electronic Actuator? or the actuator was separately delivered with” little lever/rod to link it to VNT vanes , and of course to avoid the loosing of it between both end ? Completely assembled with actuator and rod. Bolt loose old turbo, bolt on new one.

In the meantime did you change MAP sensor ( On Air Filter ) and ECU “ Turbo Driver “ located behind glove box .with original Toyota reference : 89878-71010 or 89878-71070 ?
My father drives a Toyota fortuner with a identical 3.0 D4d. During the diagnosis period I swapped my turbo driver ecu (unit behind glove box) with his. They are identical down to the part number. My turbo driver ecu worked without issue in his and his in mine. Still got P1521 with his turbo driver. I did the same with the MAF. The MAP sensor I however replaced with a new unit from toyota. This was also unnecessary and I still got P1521. In hindsight I should have swapped it out and tested before buying a new one.

Thanks in advance for your reply

Renart/Bernard from Madagascar

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