80 has a drinking problem.

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Supporting Vendor
Mar 6, 2005
Mauldin, SC
So blew the PHH about 2 months ago in my 93. It did overheat but never in the red just really close for probably 5 min. When the A/C stopped blowing cold air was my sign. That's when I looked at the gauge.

Fixed that and didn't have a problem with anything until this week. Went to start it up Mon after sitting all weekend and it didn't want to turn over. At first I thought it was the shifter switch was not telling the ecu it was in park. So tried the key again. It started but sounded really weird the first revolution. Very slow and after that it started no problem. Drive about 100 yards and see some white smoke coming from the back. Give it some more gas and it just billows out a lot. Have to get the kids to day care. So I drive it while constantly looking at the temp. Everything was fine until I got to daycare and left it idling while I went inside for maybe a min. Came out and temp was on the rise. Crap. White smoke had pretty much stopped at this point. As long as I kept it over idle the temps would stay down. Not normal but down.

Got to work. Have driven maybe 10 miles by this time and let her cool down. Go out and check the radiator fluid. It's low. Pour 2 gallons of water in it to top it off. Start it up and no issues. I'm thinking the head gasket is blown. Call the wrecker and have it towed to Ralph Hayes Toyota and tell them to replace it. Get a call and they ask me how I know it's blown. Tell them the story. They say they did a leak down test and compression test and everything is fine. Cannot find any sign the head gasket is leaking. I tell them to replace it anyway since the cruiser has 260k on the original.

So the question is if it isn't the headgasket what else could be drinking my fluid?
No wet passenger floor from the heater core going out?

What about a bad clamp leaking coolant on to exhaust manifold. or leaking rear heater line?
---not the case if the smoke was from inside the pipe... can you smell coolant in the exhaust pipe?

Might try the dye and black light trick to see if its a small leak that evaporates fast and leaves no puddle but sounds like it was a fast leak.

The Oil cooler has gone on a few. Its the oval on the pass side of block. Any leaking?

Also the Throttle Body has a coolant passage and if it is somehow fubar or line cracked might allow coolant into the system. Kinda a wild guess but maybe worth looking into.

All things the RHT crew should probably see and note to you except maybe the TB.

there are a couple coolant loss threads youve probably already found....


Best of luck Marshall... have the guys at RHT inspect the head as well if its off for cracks :(
It could easily be the head gasket, first it is pretty much common knowledge that the temperature gauge is designed NOT to move from central position unless there is anything very serious going on, by then it is too late and the engine damage is done, see https://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/64252-93-97-coolant-temperature-gauge-modification.html Add to this that the leakdown tests are invariably carried out when the engine is cold, a 'weak' gasket may not show until the engine is hot. Another thing that I have seen happen is the head gasket lets just enough combustion pressure in to the cooling system to create an air lock, then as the engine gets hotter than normal (something you would not notice as per the above link) water is pushed into the expansion tank, then as the engine coolant cools the vacuum is supposed to 'pull' that water back, if there is a small leak the vacuum will not be there to create the suction needed.

Eventually as the process is repeated you lose all your water and the overheat situation is then discovered albeit too late! Whilst it may a simple leak from a hose clip this normally stains the floor, because plain water would simply evaporate coolant does not, instead an oily stain is left indicating a problem, as you have not noticed this it may be an internal issue ans the water is simply going out the exhaust.

Hope you find the problem if it was not the gasket and besides you will not need to look at the gasket for another few years,


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