Another Blown Head Gasket - repair in progress

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Nov 13, 2002
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I blew the head gasket on my ’97 FZJ80 on Wednesday.

The family was on our way back home from a few days skiing up at Squaw Valley. During our stay in Tahoe, I noticed a couple times when the heater wasn’t working well and the engine temperature began to rise slightly above normal. I attributed this symptom to a thermostat that was slow to open due to the freezing temps, but something didn’t seem normal to me so I double-checked the coolant level. It was normal. On the way home, everything was normal for first 100 miles or so. We stopped briefly and when I started the truck again I noticed a slight rough idle for a few seconds. I shut it down again and checked the engine bay, water and oil levels.
Everything seemed normal so off we went… started fine this time. Drove another 40 miles or so and my wife noticed a slight puff of steam from under the hood. I immediately looked at the temp gauge which was climbing rapidly toward the red. I pulled over, and limped down the shoulder to a safe spot and shut her down. I let it cool for a while, then checked the coolant level again. It was low. I added another gallon of water. Upon start up, I noticed condensation on my glasses when I checked the tailpipe and bubbles in the overflow bottle. Time to call AAA. I pulled the #5 and 6 plugs while we waited for the tow. Both were normal. Next call was to CDan to order parts. I wanted to get moving on the head gasket as soon as possible because my other ride, the FJ40 was down also.
 

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Fast forward to Saturday morning. My workspace in the garage is filled with my FJ40 which is beginning a Vortec swap due to a broken crankshaft in the 2F.



We are expecting rain everyday for the next week and I needed a dry spot to work if I was to get this thing fixed soon. I maneuvered the 80 along the side of the house and pulled into our covered patio in front of the kitchen window. My wife is thrilled.  She has been whistling the theme song to Sanford and Son for the last two days.



After cleaning up the cruiser, getting organized and reading a few pages of the FSM, I began to dig in. I was at a bit of a disadvantage because while skiing on Monday I blew out my knee again. This is the third time I’ve torn the medial collateral ligament. Despite the bum knee I was able to get to this point after about 7 hours:



After pulling the exhaust manifolds, I noticed evidence of dried coolant/oil below the #6 exhaust runner. This has been described in other threads too.

 

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Today I put in another half a day and was able to finish pulling the head. Unhooking the wiring harness and pulling it through the intake manifold is by far the most frustrating part of this job. Plenty of carbon build up on the heads, but the cylinder walls look OK.





Here’s the gasket. Classic failure at the #6 cylinder:



Tomorrow I’ll make a call to a couple machine shops to see if I can get the head checked for warpage, cracks and have the valves done. I hope to have it back before next weekend. Parts should be here in the next couple days so in the mean time I’ll be scraping and cleaning the block.

I also plan to fix the leaky pan arches while I’ve got everything apart so that should keep me occupied until the head returns from the shop. I’ll try to update as I get a chance…
 

VanGo

 
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Keep up the positive momentum! You'll have this knocked out soon! I just finished mine about 2K miles ago with no issues. Just wanted to mention the pesky heater hose (PHH) replacement, also consider the dizzy cap, rotor, alt. brushes, new plugs/wires if appropriate to replacement, and all radiator hoses. I did not do the "blue" clutch fan replacement, but would consider this if your buget allows. My total was 1400.00 after machine shop visit for head and valve work, CDan for parts, IdahoDoug's DVD, and shop supplies, etc... Good luck- Keep the pics coming....


Van
 

VanGo

 
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Important- Trust the FSM specs. completely!!!! I had a buddy of mine assist me with the bolt torque pattern once I had the head re-installed. Have the shop mic the bolts per FSM spec and install if they are within tolerance. My personal fear was to sheer one of the head bolts off once I started the "90-degree" turns once torque spec. had been achieved, with the final pass taking the paint mark to the fire wall this is a moment of truth.....

Van
 
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vansterdam, BC
bummer deal man. how many miles on her? and have you had egr problems before? reason i ask is ive also got a 97. the thought of blowing the HG always looms over my head, i just dont want it to happen on a 1000+ mile round trip im planning next month...well id rather it not happen at all but thats up to the toyota gods...
 
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Bentonville, AR
Best of Luck and keep us posted. I have this strange feeling my LX is going to need a new HG pretty soon. I started her up this morning and it idled pretty rough for about 30 seconds (second time this has happen in the last month). I did not notice any smoke and the coolant level looked fine. I will prolly do the ole bubble test again this eveing.

In a sick way, I am kind of stoked to dig into that engine and "get some learning".
 

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Mileage and history, please.
~148K
I bought it with 103K on the ticker about 4 years ago. The previous owner bought it as a Toyota certified used vehicle with complete service records. He had it for a short time before selling to me. It had a couple red flags. The engine showed evidence of an oil leak front and rear. The advice here on Mud was seeping oil pan arches.
The other issue was green coolant in the radiator. It didn't seem like too big of a deal so I bought the truck. The green coolant however has turned out to be a big problem.
The overflow reservoir had a small layer of sludge which typically results from silicates dropping out of solution when red and green coolant are mixed. I flushed the system several times and switched to red coolant. Flushed again 6 months later just to be sure.
The truck ran hot on a road trip about a year and a half ago, so I replaced the radiator, hoses, thermostat and changed oil in the fan clutch. I cut the old radiator in half and found more sludge in the bottom two inches. I'm convinced that this previous cooling system problem accelerated the failure of the head gasket.
 

Squash

SILVER Star
 
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Sudbury, Ont. CA
Bummer...

If you have to drive and do not have time or want to do the HG do what Subaru does...add coolant conditioner every 48000kms in Canada or as Subaru USA has done by giving you an eight year 100,000 mile head gasket warranty.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=488157

Many auto makers add conditioners because of our very problem, they know that their gaskets will fail.

I know some of you dislike Bars Stop Leak but this s***e works and will get you home. Added two containers to my rad in order to buy time before the HG job and neither the rad or heater core suffered.

Had a look at the Sube Conditioner and bet that this will work quite well, mind you I'd be adding at least three of the little containers because our systems are huge by comparison.
 

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Not too much accomplished tonight. I finished tearing down the head before it goes to the machine shop tomorrow. Removed the lower intake, engine hoist brackets, wiring harness supports and several sensors.

Notice the discoloration of the valves in the #6 cylinder compared to the other valves. I think this cylinder has been leaking for awhile.



I don't understand all the fuss about the PHH. It's easy to replace! :p





I went ahead and mic'd all the head bolts. They were all within spec. Factory service manual says minimum thickness of 10.6 mm at a specified point along the threads. Most of the bolts were about 10.8 mm with the smallest measurement of ~10.76 mm. New, unused bolt should be 10.85 - 11 mm range.
At ~$14 bucks apiece, I'm glad I don't need to replace them all.



It's off to the machine shop tomorrow morning.
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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Hope it all goes well. You going to have them replace the valve stem seals and do a valve job? Money well spent if you see yourself still owning this vehicle 100,000 miles from now.

DougM
 

Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Hope it all goes well. You going to have them replace the valve stem seals and do a valve job? Money well spent if you see yourself still owning this vehicle 100,000 miles from now.

DougM
That's the plan. Even if I have to eat Top Raman for the next two months. It's not really in my budget, but as long as I'm in this deep I'm going to have the head reworked.
I'm still debating on taking 0.010" off.
 

VanGo

 
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".....I don't understand all the fuss about the PHH. It's easy to replace! "

Yeah! Funny thing is I had my silcone PHH on order during the HG repair, and did not receive it until 2 days after the install was completed. Fortunately, I had CDan blessing on my order and installed the OEM PHH- I am G2G for the next 100K!!

Side note- I did replace my hose clamps with breeze liner clamps: Amazon.com: 10 Pack Breeze 9410 Liner Clamp Effective Diameter Range: 9/16''-1-1/16'' (14mm-27mm): Home Improvement

Van

Good work!
 

Beowulf

 
 
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Somewhere in the foothills...
I don't understand all the fuss about the PHH. It's easy to replace!
Your PHH has already been replaced at least once!

Remove the A/F canister so you have some room to sit in the engine bay. I think you're OK with the fan clutch since it has new fluid. Consider pulling the oil cooler on the side of the block since you have already had problems with sludge in the cooling system. One member had a hole in that cover due to PO neglect and it was nasty once he pulled the thing off.

Were you able to get this far with the 2nd battery in the truck?

-B-
 
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Shipwreck

 
 
 
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Your PHH has already been replaced at least once!

Remove the A/F canister so you have some room to sit in the engine bay. I think you're OK with the fan clutch since it has new fluid. Consider pulling the oil cooler on the side of the block since you have already had problems with sludge in the cooling system. One member had a hole in that cover due to PO neglect and it was nasty once he pulled the thing off.

Were you able to get this far with the 2nd battery in the truck?

-B-
PHH was one of the first baselining projects I did after I got the truck. I'll replace it again now since I can get to it easily.

Funny you mention the oil cooler. I was just reading the pages in the FSM. It's on my agenda for tonight. I remember some pretty nasty photos floating around here a couple years ago. I expect mine to be pretty gummed up.

I've ordered a blue hub clutch and a new water pump from Dan just for peace of mind. I also plan to replace the oil pump seal and crankshaft seal while I can get to them easily.

I haven't moved the second battery or removed the hood and I don't plan too. Neither one has been a hindrance so far. I've got a board mounted between the ARB bumper and the radiator support. I've been sitting on that and accessing most everything from the front. I've just been very cautious around that bypass nipple on the radiator.
 
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Hope the project goes well. Just had to add, the pic of easy PHH cracks me up. I just did mine!

Send the Pics of the PHH to Slee or the FAQ nice and easy to see what your up against if the engine is still in the truck! :)

Specifically Pics in:

Post #4:pic 2
Post #14:pic 1
Post #14:pic 2

And those clamps don't look like what I sawed off :flipoff2:for the PHH.
 
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