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Isuzu 4BD1T Lexus LX450 (Land Cruiser) Build

Discussion in 'Diesel Tech and 24 volts Systems' started by Wheelingnoob, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    So this thread is going to follow the swap of a 4BD1T into an 80 series Land Cruiser (Lexus LX450 in my case).

    Truck: The Toyota Land Cruiser/LX450 is in my case a 1997, I got it 3 years ago from a young lady that had owned it for 10 years and driven it into the ground. I spent 5 months going over every system of the truck and rebuilding most of it from engine to axles. The truck comes standard with a 4.5L I6 DOHC engine producing 214hp and 265ft/lbs, although it has good power its offset by the regular 8-10mpg fill ups. My truck came with the factory diff lockers and 4.10 gears. The truck has proved to be extremely reliable and has taken us on some great trips so far.
    As she sits now:
    [​IMG]

    Engine: I had got this truck planning on doing a diesel swap, once I got it I started researching all sorts of options from Cummins to Toyota 1HD-t’s. I ruled out the Cummins as I worked at a Cummins performance shop and had done a few 3000mile road trips in them. Great power but just a too noisy for me. The Toyota 1HD-T was the obvious choice but given there extremely high cost for an engine and trans ($9k) I had to give that up that as well. I had read threads on Mud by Doug720, Longbow and one other that did a Mitsu 4B34? swap. That got me looking at the 3.9L 4cyl Diesels both Isuzu and Mitsubishi, I liked that the Mitsubishi as it kept the exhaust and intake on the same sides as the stock engine. In the end Longbows thread on a simple adapter to the older A440F trans (stock in the 91-92 80 series) got me into the 4BD and specifically the 4BD1T. As well as the simplicity of the 4BD with its fully mechanical injection system. After lots of research on the 4BD I knew it was the way I wanted to go. I was looking for a 4BD1T for about 5 months on and off, found a few trucks in the $2000 range. I then got a PM on Mud with someone selling a 4BD1T with no history or other information. It was Proffit cruisers clearing out there inventory. I got the 4BD1T one week after buying it and to my surprise it looked to be in very good shape.
    Unloading:
    [​IMG]
    Data plate:
    [​IMG]
    First run:
    http://s1048.photobucket.com/user/W...9-384CC03E3642-7685-00000FED2E5FB7AC.mp4.html

    Transmission: After deciding that the 4BD1T was the engine I wanted I got on the hunt for a 91-92 80 Series A440F with the AWD t case. I wanted to go with this transmission as it’s an all hydraulic controlled trans mission so I does not need any ECU or wires connected to operate. After a short hunt I found what I needed in LA, it was an A440F with t case and converter for $100 with 200k miles on it and out of a truck that was driving before it was parted. I got the transmission shipped up for $100 by a cruiser guy headed home from LA for the holidays. The guy I got the trans from was good enough to ship my converter off to Road Runner converters in Phoenix AZ for a full rebuild and stall down to 1600 RPM. Thanks to Longbow (Don) for their information and all the information and help along the way.

    So that gets me to about present with my journey. The following pages and posts will follow my swap and its components.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

    Messages:
    20,631
    Location:
    Panamá
    are you concerned by the A440 shifting points .. been sightly hi for an gasser engine like 3FE compared to the izusu .?
  3. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Yes its of concern, I have not gotten into all the details of the transmission yet with this thread (I'm still typing up some more details).

    The transmission was also bought as a core, I had planed to rebuild it and at that time put extra clutches on 1st and OD packs. I'm also going to have the valve body worked over to increase line pressure, more cooling circuit flow and possibly 3rd lock up. I also have a Diesel (2H) A440 that I am going to take the governor out of to put in this 80 series A440 transmission. With those mods I hope to have a strong setup that will shift well for the diesel.
  4. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    So as with any build of this nature I want to make sure that what I am putting in will be as reliable as or more so than what I am replacing. I got the engine with the assumption it was a core that I could use as a starting point. One benefit to the Isuzu 4BD is that they are a sleeved block meaning as long as the block and crank stay in good shape (no holes) they can be rebuilt infinitely. I was pleasantly surprised at the exterior condition of the engine when I got it, it was not a rust ball or grease ball like some I had seen. So I started with turning it over with the large ratchet and breaker bar to make sure it was not seized, it turned well and felt like there was lots of compression. From there I drained out the oil (no metal bits good sign) and replaced the filters and oil. I then took a small bottle of Diesel and purged the system of air. After that I hooked up a battery to see if it would fire…….it fired with in ¼ of a turn and startled me and everyone else gathered around the see the attempt. Remember this engine was in unknown condition and had sat in a container for god knows how long.

    So knowing it ran and ran well I had a surge of optimism. I did find that under a steady RPM over idle it would miss and pump out white smoke (unburnt diesel). I started by checking the injection timing, there are two small covers on the cam and injection pump gear, they line up with the crank damper when at TDC. I got my crank damper lined up with the mark on the case and popped off the injection pump inspection hole and there was nothing lined up with the arrow. I slowly turned the crank till the marker came into the sight, I had rotated the crank about 40* by the time it lined up. I was a bit blown away by this but it ran so well (other than the miss) that I could not believe it was that far off. I them looked at the cam mark and it was lined up with the injection pump mark. I then shifted my attention to the crank damper, knowing there is a possibility of it slipping.
    Video of the miss:

    http://s1048.photobucket.com/user/W...90-EA82F38D579C-982-000001CCAC0A024C.mp4.html

    Injection pump timing mark:
    [​IMG]

    Cam timing mark:
    [​IMG]
    Damper timing mark:
    [​IMG]

    So with the cam and injection pump lining up I had to assume it was the damper having slipped. I had read some info and used a Diesel Purge in the past with a few diesels with limited success, mainly just a better idle and less knock. So I thought I would give it a shot with this, I could only assume after searching on 4BTswaps that I was dealing with a pump issue. So I got two cans of the diesel purge and ran the engine on it straight not mixed. It was amazing with in 2min of running on this stuff it was totally gone, no more miss or white smoke my father and I where both shocked. I was not complaining it saved me a $700 rebuild for nothing.
    Video after 2min of running on the purge:

    http://s1048.photobucket.com/user/W...E2-F6ED68BF31BB-982-000001CCC428455E.mp4.html

    So with it running better I went on line and found a Isuzu dealer selling NOS damper for $75 and got it. I could have ran the old one but wanted to make sure if I needed to check timing I would not have issues in the future plus I knew it was wrong.

    While I was waiting for the damper to arrive I ordered a Fel-Pro engine overhaul gasket kit, it’s got every seal and gasket and the head gasket is a nice OE style malty layer metal gasket. The crank rear and front seals look great OE quality as well. So I think at $160 from Rock Auto it was a good deal.

    Since I was waiting on all of that I figured I should take off the Valve cover and take a peak and set the valve adjustment. When I took off the cover I found a surprise. It looked as though it had just been redone, I could see where the rocker shaft brackets had been scrubbed in a solvent tank. It was also about the cleanest diesel I had ever seen under the valve cover.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In this picture you can see how it was cleaned up.
    [​IMG]

    I was optimistic it was going to prove to be a good rebuilt engine (note I said was).

    Within a few days both my crank damper and gasket kit got here and I got a 4:1 torque multiplier to get the crank nut off………even still I almost had a hernia getting it off. Once it was off I decided to take a look under the timing cover and make sure everything was good, also make sure it was done right.
    So with the Isuzu 4BD it’s a very easy engine to set the timing on you line up the crank, cam and injection pump to the idler gear. The idler gear has an A,B and C stamped on it. All you do is line up A-A, B-B and C-C. A being the crank, B the cam and C the injection pump. When I got the timing cover off I found who ever had rebuilt this engine had forgone that small detail……
    Crank:
    [​IMG]

    Cam:
    [​IMG]

    Injection pump:
    [​IMG]


    Needless to say I was surprised and a bit shocked it had ran so well, I have a feeling they got it timed almost right, the cam was one tooth off when I reset the idler gear. Feeling a bit worried about the quality of work in the rest of the engine I was going to take a close look at everything else. First issue was the bussing/bearing on the idler gear.
    Idler bushing/bearing:
    [​IMG]

    It had a few grooves I could catch a fingernail in two small what looked like FOD. This is not a serviceable item and is replaced with the entire gear. Ugh, only $175 from a local dealer though with no discount.

    I then at a glance of the crank gear something caught my eye, I looked closer and found this.

    [​IMG]

    Double ugh, looks like the hardening of this gear is breaking down so replacement time. $105 from local dealer.

    I’m now at the point where I do not trust anything that was done on this motor when it was rebuilt. So it was time to really dig in. It’s almost impossible to remove the crank gear from the crank in the block, the manual shows a puller but I could not find one that move it at all. I tried heat as well with no luck. So removing the crank to have the gear taken off may have/be my only option.
    The rest of the gears in the timing case are good and have no damage at all. So that was looked upon as a victory :D
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  5. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Since I knew I was going to be tearing an engine down I spent a day clearing out some shelving and getting everything cleaned up and ready.

    Once I have that all done it was time to pop the pan off, I found once it was off that the bottom of the pan was full of gray silicone, the kind you get when you use to much (my engine had everything sealed with gray silicone). There was also some ground metal in the bottom that looked to be from maybe the crank gear, there was also some aluminum dust. I got that all cleaned out without taking a picture for whatever reason. I did get a picture of the oil pump pick up screen though.

    Oil pump Mohawk!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Oil pump looks new, so may have been replaced when it was rebuilt?
    [​IMG]

    I cannot describe how massive every part is in this bottom end. The main bolts are huge!

    [​IMG]

    So leading up to this my main worry now was if the crank had been machined down, they are nitride treated like Toyota cranks and should not be machined. They just do not last once they are. Anyway moment of truth…..

    Awww yeah!
    [​IMG]

    Crank looks good:
    [​IMG]

    Bearings looked new but showed signs of a hasty rebuild:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have not checked the mains but if the crank was to need machining anywhere it would be the rod bearings. I’ll get those out this week.
    So with that out of the way it was time to move on, let’s take off the head!
    From there I started taking off all the bits to get the head off. First was the thermostate housing……ummm this is why you need to run coolant even in warm locations…..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So even you guys living in warm climates that do not think they need coolant……let this be your lesson.

    The head came off easily, all the head bolts where tight and gave a good snap when loosened. We lifted the head out of the way and the gasket was in good shape.

    Cylinders all looked good……no wait I know you still think you are ok running straight water.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Ok so you are going to ad coolant now right?
  6. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    So onto the cylinders, the wall look good no bad scoring or anything, I can see a crosshatch still on all of it but the very top where the piston changed direction. Pistons look good as well, no cracks or damage from high EGT’s or FOD.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One issue I did find is this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It looks like when the engine was being rebuilt they slid something across the deck on this cylinder and put a nice gouge through it and the sleeve. You could even see on the head gasket where this section had not made contact. It would have for sure caused a head gasket failer if not fixed. So the gouge on the block is not a worry, it does not bridge any oil or coolant passages. The gouge on the cylinder liner means it’s time for a new sleeve and what the hell since I am doing one why not do them all ;). Also note the last picture of the gouge to coolant passage getting plugged up with rust…….anyone still not want to run coolant? Oh well then here…. :)
    Oil cooler:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So this gets me up to date so far.

    Plan now is to totally strip the block and head so they can be put in a hot tank for a week to try and get rid of the rust…..any other suggestion?
  7. gerg

    gerg

    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
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    Holy crap man those pics speak volumes. Thats it, from now on im never runing water in my coolant again! Everything looked not too bad until I saw that groove across the deck. I guess you already know that needs machining. At least you know now and not next year when the HG blows and your driving it in the winter.
  8. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Yeah I was so amazed at the amount of rust in there, when I took the oil cooler off rust fell out there was so much in the bottom of it. The rubber rad hoses I had crackled when I squished them as bits of rust build up broke off in side.

    Yeah the gouge was surprising, my thought on it is (correct or not) is replacing the cylinder sleeve will remove the path for compression loss or blowing the HG. The rest of the gouge across the deck is in a non critical area, its not near any coolant or oil passageways so should be fine. Does that make any sense? I do plan on removing any kind of ridge it has with a polishing stone when the liner is out. I may also take some JB weld to fill the grove, again this area will not see any compression pressure/oil or coolant. If this was on a non sleeved block absolutely it would be getting surfaced.

    Just to be clear the cylinder sleeves are getting replaced along with the pistons and rings.
  9. ForealBoreal

    ForealBoreal Whats "fun" about stock? SILVER Star

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    Subscribed.

    Why the a440 vs the a442?
  10. Oh this is going to be great. Clearly you know what you are up to.

    Subscribed. :popcorn:
  11. gerg

    gerg

    Messages:
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    JB weld is an idea, but I would check into its expansion rate at operating temp. Im sure there are guys on here that would know more about that stuff. If you had the block machined you can get after market gaskets that come in thicknesses to make up for things like this. I was thinking about this company as a possibility for a one off gasket when I take the top off my engine again. Might be an option.

    http://www.headgasket.com/inventory.html

    Ohh, and I havent run water in my system for years now.

  12. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Well a few reasons, mainly availability. The A442 avaialbe here was only offered as a Computer controled trans amd i would rather not deal with that. The diesel 91-93 hydrolic A442 was on the top of my list but its impossible to find and when you do its got $8k 1HD-t attached. I can get 91-92 FJ80 A440's for less than $250 working so if I have an issue a replacement is not far. Im actually looking at getting a 2nd one that needs a rebuild to try the clutch mods on. Then I can use the one i have now to get it running with out having an experimental trans in it. I will be running a modded valve body and converter from the start though.

    Worst case if the A440 for watever reason does not work out i just get a hydro A442 and swap it in thw adapter should work for both.

    Thanks, yeah spent 100's of hours reserching and coming up with a direction and plan to implement. Been down the swap road a few times so have payed Murphy once or twice.
  13. mjosoba

    mjosoba

    Messages:
    68
    Well this is great! ESP since I just acquired my 4BD2TC. It is going to be great to have a detailed thread to get info off of. Thanks man!
  14. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Yes I will need to check it out, as I said this gouge does not pass through any water or oil passage ways so I "think" it maybe ok. I really do not want to have the deck surfaced if I can help it. I need to look at it again and see what I can do.

    Yep, there are no well documented 4BD swaps into 80 series. I have been cobbling together information for months on what I think will be needed to make it work. Ill go into. A bit more detail on those bits as I move along. This build will be slow but hopefully detailed. I will go through and put a list up of what I have learned so far in hopes they will help you.
  15. jb BJ73

    jb BJ73

    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Perth, West Oz
    You could try the copper gasket cement spray on the head gasket. I think permatex makes it. I've heard that it helps seal up minor surface scratches. I've used it a couple times myself.
    Great build BTW, those old 4bd1's are tough as nails
  16. jeetS

    jeetS

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Mission, BC
    a note on the rust...If you do not change your coolant it turns acidic and will start to corrode as well. even start eating aluminum at that point...
    only takes a couple years to get there.
  17. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Yes I have some of that from past engine builds. Its more made to fill the very fine machining groves than a gouge like this one. I will be using the copper gasket spray but I do need something more substantial for this gouge.

    I agree this engine is very very beefy, there are quite a few reports of guys getting 600k miles on there engine before first rebuild (well maintained).

    Yes you are right, cooling system maintained should be like oil changes, set time and mileage. I flush mine every 2nd winter, works out to about 30k kms.
  18. IanB

    IanB SILVER Star

    Messages:
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    That motor is GUNKED! I'll be watching this thread to see how it progresses, interested in the results!
  19. UCruiser

    UCruiser

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Nice... umm sorry bad...

    Subscribed...:D
  20. Wheelingnoob

    Wheelingnoob

    Messages:
    4,017
    Location:
    Langley BC
    I'm glad I followed my gut and took it all apart, it would have always been in the back of my mind. Then I would have never known about the compromised HG sealing surface or the chewed up crank gear.

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