'97 FZJ 80--110,000 mi... blown H.G.

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by valentine, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. valentine

    valentine

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    So, Saturday morning I'm going to a class in Tualatin, OR from my house in Vancouver, WA. About a 25 mile drive, takes around 1/2 hour or so, depends on traffic in downtown Portland.

    Cruising about 70 on a section of road that's concrete, which because of the expansion joints every 15-20 feet?, it's a little bumpy/noisy in the rig.

    About a mile before my exit, the check engine light all of a sudden flashes on and off about 5 times and stays on. Then about 1 min. later flashes about 10 times and still stays on. I thought it might be running rough, but because of the road surface, I can't really tell.

    I'm a little nervous to say the least, so I pull off on the exit ramp, and when I come to the stop, it's stumbling so bad it would hardly stay at an idle..

    It's only about 2 miles to my class, so I tiptoe my way there watching all the gauges the whole way, I'm also checking the rear view for any signs coming out the tail pipe. None.....yet.

    Make it to my class on time.... When it's time to leave I turned the key and it would only turn about 1/2 revolution. Did this a few times and it started, although very rough still.

    I figured I'd try to limp it home :doh: since I didn't see any signs of h.g. failure, (popped the hood, still full on in the rad overflow tank, no bubbles, no white smoke.....yet.)

    When I pull out of the parking lot, I made the biggest white cloud I've ever seen. I couldn't see the car behind me it was so thick!!!
    I promptly pulled into the next parking lot (napa) and waited for the flat bed tow truck to show up.

    Fast foreward to today. Toyota of Vancouver calls me and confirms my worst fear....H.G.

    Luckily I bought an extended warranty when I purchased the Cruiser. Best thing I've ever done!
    I have been talking to the lady adjustor at the warranty place, she said she wants Toyota to tear the head and oil pan off, and she's going to have an independant guy check it all out.
    She said he will check out the condition of the head to see if it needs reconditioned or needs a brand new one, and he'll also check out the bottom end. If the bottom end is wasted, I'll get a brand new engine installed for free!

    Bottom line is she said everything will be covered/taken care of. All I have to pay is a $50.00 deductible :grinpimp:

    Toyota also supplied me with a loaner car for the duration :bounce:

    If they end up just fixing the head, I'll make sure the phh gets changed out.

    Is there anything else I should have them check out/change while they are in there???

    Thanks,
    Nick
     
  2. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    well, so much for some of us saying that these extended warranties are a waste of money...! Good for you! :)

    is this a third party warranty or a Toy?
     
  3. valentine

    valentine

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    That's funny, I thought it was a waste too. It is a 3rd party warranty thru PRco out of Layfayette, CA.

    The only reason I bought it was if I didn't use it for anything for 3 years, I would get a 100% refund. The only stipulation was I only had a one month window to cancel at the end of the 3 yrs or I wouldn't get anything back. They must count on people forgetting (like mail in rebates...)



    The adjustor lady is really nice and seems like she is going to take care of me. That's something I didn't expect... So far, I'm extremely impressed!

    I guess in this case, money well spent...

    Nick
     
  4. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    Sorry to hear of your misfortune, good thing you had the warranty. Now would be a good time to have them remove the radiator cap and peer into the hole and see if you have any sludge. If your warranty is Toyota, they will almost always want to replace associated cooling system parts to prevent something cratering a rebuilt or replaced engine.
     
  5. valentine

    valentine

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    Good idea..I'll take note of that!

    Since this is third party I'm sure it would be my dime, but well worth it.

    Thanks,
    Nick
     
  6. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    It may not be on your dime. I have seen warranty companies replace radiators along with engines for this very reason. It never hurts to tell them to look.
     
  7. valentine

    valentine

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    I'll give it a shot next time I talk to her and see how it flies...

    I'll let you know how it goes..

    Nick
     
  8. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    Call me paranoid but I would not let this independent guy be the only source of information, I would also talk to the Toyota guy that does the disassembly also and get his opinion on what needs to be done.

    The independent guy likely has more ties to the adjuster than to you.

    They are most likely on the up and up but there is money at stake here, trust but verify.

    Most of HG jobs I have read about just needed a new gasket and the rest was salvageable, usually not much coolant makes it way into the oil if any.
     
  9. valentine

    valentine

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    I was definately going to talk to the mechanic who does the tear down.

    I'm sure the guy has ties to the warranty company, but she was the one that brought up looking at the bearings, neither the toyota service mgr or me talked to her about it.

    Maybe she wants someone to be liable if the bearings go out before my warranty is up???

    The way she put it to me was she has been doing this for a while. She has paid for too many h.g. to be fixed only to have the bottom end fail a little while later. She ends up paying money twice for what could have been solved in one visit.

    Makes sense to me. She wants to pay once to have it fixed right and never have to deal with it again.... good for the both of us...

    Nick
     
  10. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    Cool, yep she is right coolant in the oil can ruin bearings, sound like your interests are aligned, you don’t want to have fail again and she does not want to pay for a second failure, you don’t always see such forethought like that in business people.
     
  11. NovaFZJ80

    NovaFZJ80

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    now thats the way warranties should work, instead of giving you the runaround or find any negligence on your part and try to avoid paying for the work.
     
  12. valentine

    valentine

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    Well like I said, up to this point I'm extremely impressed at how well she is handling the situation. Not at all what I expected.

    Hopefully it keeps going smooth.

    Nick
     
  13. njfzj80

    njfzj80

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    Aside from constantly watching the cooling system, what are some other things to look out for in terms of heading off a blown HG? I did a search on the topic and now I'm a little paranoid. Valentine, sorry to hear about your HG issues.
     
  14. Grouseman

    Grouseman

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    Valentine,

    Good luck on the process. Any of you experts know of ways of preventing hg problems? Besides not driving.


    GM
     
  15. HZJ60 Guy

    HZJ60 Guy Tank Buster

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    Good for you. You're a lucky bugger.
     
  16. valentine

    valentine

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    njfzj80 & Grouseman, I don't know what the prev owner did in the 80,000 miles he drove it, but I was on mobile 1 synthetic changing every 5,000mi with toyota filter. Coolant tank was always full, and it ran like a dream. There was no warning whatsoever in this case. Just catastrophic failure all at once....


    My wife drives like a grandma, and when I'm at the wheel, I'm pretty reserved. That's not to say I don't get on it a little more than she does when passing cars on the freeway etc. but I don't hot rod it in the slightest.


    From now on I will consider it a p.m. item...one of those things to do when we can do without the family bus for a week or two :rolleyes:

    Nick
     
  17. Grouseman

    Grouseman

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    V,

    Scary scenario for all of us.

    GM
     
  18. FatDaddy218

    FatDaddy218

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    There are some scary HG threads around-alot of them indicate the OEM part was flawed or just unsatisfactory. The new gasket is far superior and if you are over 100K it should be on your mind. I know it is mine I started a new thread regarding it as major PM. Was it Christo who said this thing was like a time bomb? Sheesh- sleep on that.
     
  19. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    There are a billion things that could happen/break/fail at any given moment. And its not necessary to replace all of them as preventative maintence.


    I ain't sweating a head gasket- something that rarely fails at all, and could very well fail if a new one is installed.

    IMO theres enough s*** that could be done incorrectly replacing a headgasket that the possibility of one failing does not warrant it to be done as preventative maintence.


    My $.02.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2005
  20. valentine

    valentine

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    Although I completely agree with you, my luck lately has told me otherwise.

    '87 FJ60 blown h.g. 2.5 years ago 225,000 miles
    '87 Corolla blown h.g. 1.5 yrs ago 235,000 miles
    '97 FZJ 80 blown h.g. 1 week ago 110,000 miles

    My '84 mini is around 213,000 miles, and I'm seriously thinking about doing a h.g. pm just for peace of mind. It's my work truck so I rely on it heavily. No work, no $$$

    With my luck lately, I'll screw something up and make it worse this one time:doh:
    I did do the other two h.g. with no problems....


    Nick
     
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