2F Nightmare Saga- Looking For Advice (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 30, 2018
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New Jersey
Hey everyone, I have a long story here that I will try to make short but also as detailed as I can. I am looking for some advice regarding a truck I bought two years ago and has been nothing but problems.

I bought what was supposed to be a well-sorted, rust-free quality 60 with ~150,000 miles and a Jasper motor from a user here on mud. The plan was to take her on a cross country road/surf trip. I paid a premium for a good truck and have had incomprehensible motor trouble.

I flew out and drove the truck home, about 900 miles. I got home and spent the week going through the truck and getting ready to leave on my trip. The day I left I didn't make it 200 miles before I had significant power loss. I was able to limp home to find I had a blown head gasket and two scored cylinders (5 and 6). I also found head gasket sealer in the anti-freeze. I am mechanically inclined and did the disassembly myself short of pulling the block. Once I saw the scored cylinders, I fell down the slippery slope and decided to just have the whole engine rebuilt. I brought the truck and parts to my local guy who I *had* a good relationship with. He pulled the motor and dropped it at the machine shop.

The machine shop did a full rebuild which included a .060 overbore, decked block, valve job, and head resurfacing. The machine shop did not want to assemble the whole motor so my mechanic reluctantly agreed to do the top end while the machine shop did the bottom. In the process, my mechanic lost some parts which created a disagreement between us.

I picked up the truck and put under 400 miles on it before experiencing another power loss. I brought the truck back to my mechanic, he found that the head gasket had again blown (New, genuine Toyota, all the parts I used were quality and mostly OEM via Beno).

The mechanic and machine shop both refused to warranty their work as there was no way for me to prove who was at fault. I was now thousands of dollars poorer and still without a truck. I have a friend who really knows his stuff when it comes to motor rebuilds and he is also a Toyota guy. He took pity on me and offered to help me get the truck going. We removed the head and found we had another bad head gasket (I forget what cylinders). I had a valve job and head resurfacing done again, we checked the block and everything seemed good so we began reassembly. We found that two of the rocker arms were "seized". They were not totally locked up but were not moving as freely as necessary. I got a second rocker assembly and we reassembled the motor.

Gasket #3... Another three hundred some-odd miles and I am left stranded again with my *beloved* 60. (We are no longer friends). I had the truck towed to another mechanic close to my family's vacation home which was where I was headed. I had seen other 60's on the lot so I thought they would be my best bet. The mechanic told me it was probably the gasket again, but was somewhat dumbfounded as he was getting compressed air coming from adjacent cylinders. (I don't know if that makes sense, but come to find out the gasket blew in three different places. This enabled air to pass through the gasket on each cylinder). I was not surprised by any of this at this point as nothing seemed to ever go right on this truck, but am now completely fed up with it.

My buddy who has been helping me out is of the opinion that the combination of .060 overbore, decking of the block and resurfacing of the head twice is creating way too much compression and this is the only way the gasket could blow out the way it did with such low mileage. The machine shop chose the bore size and did not contact me to approve (I wouldn't have known any better anyway, but I feel that they should have).

I am thinking my best bet is to just pull this nightmare motor out and find another used 2f. I am so far into the hole on this truck financially I really can't afford to do that but I also can't afford the downtime and saga of blowing another gasket. My buddy wants to get a custom gasket that is extra thick to make up for all the material removal. This sounds a little cockamamie to me and would obviously not be a stock Toyota gasket, which I know is sacrilege. I would rather spend a couple hundred on a gasket and throw the head back on but I don't see this as a promising course of action...

Anybody have any ideas? What would you do? For the record, the truck never overheated, smoked or backfired. Each time the truck would just lose power on the highway over about 3-5 miles or so. Thanks in advance and sorry for the novel.

TLDNR

Blew three head gaskets, junk the motor or keep trying?
 

ntdb

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No new advice from me, just sympathy for the agony you've been through with that engine. I hope you and your truck can be friends again soon.
 
Joined
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Dallas, OR
Unfortunately, sounds like it would need a full disassembly and inspection of the engine to find what is most likely an underlying problem. Odds are that head wasn't installed wrong 3 times. Sounds very odd to me that the machine shop wouldn't assemble the whole engine.
 
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down in a hole.

Seth S

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x^n find another engine. Something strange going on to have 3 blown head gaskets especially if all mating surfaces have been milled flat properly. Maybe a crack somewhere thats been overlooked or a casting defect in the head? Many ifs.

Unfortunately your best option like everyone else said is to source another engine. 3FE or 2F should be fine...you might like the 3FE as its a little better highway engine.
 
Joined
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Ontario - Canada
Much sympathy for your situation.

I’d carefully review your cooling system and heater hose plumbing. I know you said it didn’t overheat, but if you’re basing that on the factory gauge, I’m not certain I’d rely on it.

I’m wondering if something like the heater valve bypass loop has been eliminated or plumbed incorrectly.
 

Seth S

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Much sympathy for your situation.

I’d carefully review your cooling system and heater hose plumbing. I know you said it didn’t overheat, but if you’re basing that on the factory gauge, I’m not certain I’d rely on it.

I’m wondering if something like the heater valve bypass loop has been eliminated or plumbed incorrectly.

@FJACS I wonder if the head gasket got put in backwards? Seems like thats a problem that comes up now and then. I don't know what the outcome would be but maybe one problem driver.
 

cruisermatt

Un-manufacturable
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If new Toyota head bolts weren't used and the block threads not chased with a tap and head bolts not retorqued after first start, 50 miles, 100 miles and 200 miles - it's possible to keep on blowing 2F head gaskets until kingdom come.

Couldn't disagree more. There's something big time wrong with his engine/ machine work
 

FJ40Jim

The Cruiser Whisperer
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The root cause of the multiple failures is the block has been decked and the head has been milled several times. This causes 2 problems.
First, the head bolts are bottoming out in their holes & the head alignment dowels are holding the head off the block.
Second, the CR is now 9.5 so the engine is mildly detonating, further stressing a HG that isn't fully clamped.

TLDR, find another block & head, this one is ruined.
 

tmxmotorsports

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I would just get a good running used engine and swap out. Waa mentioned before everything being decked so yes bolts maybe to long now and dowel pins maybe to tall also did one for a customer then took it to my buddys shop and had the holes for the dowel pins cut deaper just in case.
 
Joined
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The root cause of the multiple failures is the block has been decked and the head has been milled several times. This causes 2 problems.
First, the head bolts are bottoming out in their holes & the head alignment dowels are holding the head off the block.
Second, the CR is now 9.5 so the engine is mildly detonating, further stressing a HG that isn't fully clamped.

TLDR, find another block & head, this one is ruined.

Was just about to ask if the head bolts are too long now.
 

Seth S

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I talked to this guy earlier this year right when the pandemic was revving up and then my job security got iffy. He had a 3FE...he might still have it.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
So sorry to hear this news. FYI, I have had excellent outcomes with a rebuilt 2F from Voodoo Cruisers here on the forum. He shipped the engine to me across several states and I installed myself with minimal issues. The engine is great, as well as the Sniper EFI that I purchased from Mosley Motors. Mosley Motors also rebuilds motors and he's a great fellow -- extremely helpful. I would, if you could handle the expense, purchase a quality rebuilt 2F from either of these folks.

Much luck to you, R
 

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