another member of the Head Gasket club-with a long

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Aug 26, 2005
So I just returned from Mammoth for some snow and fishing in the Owens river.

Fishing wasn't too good and the only fish that was caught-a nice one at maybe 3 lbs got away as our friend was trying to land it to shore. The section of the Owens that my friend was fishing had about a 4 foot drop from the shore to the water. Upon trying to get it out of the water the Thomas Bouyant ripped out of the trout's mouth-Yeah I know we didn't have a net!

The rest of the trip was great with good friends. We played in the snow with the kids.

On our return home, after eating at Schat's Bakery, our family decided to fish one last time. Well I threw out a Kastmaster and was trying to avoid some weeds as I was reeling it back in-I FELL into the Owens! The shore was a downward slope with a 2-3 foot drop off with slick grass. I lost my glasses and ruined my cell phone. After my wife and kids realized I was O.K. they were rolling on the floor laughing.

Well, the head gasket part. We travled the entire 300 plus miles back to the Inland Empire, my wife at the wheel, with no problems. My mother-in-law calls for us to come over b/c they got a new puppy.

Upon driving up the driveway I notice the cruiser is idling rough. I check it is not over heating, temp is at dead center. I turn the truck off. I restart and it is still idling rough with puffs of white from the tail pipe, but it smells like gasoline as if it is running too rich. Check the coolant reservoir and it is empty. I am so suspicious at this point. Turn the truck off.

We are now ready to leave for home and I try to start the car but get a metallic clunk and no start. Now I am upset walking into my in-laws house rambling about the headgasket. My father-in-law says maybe it is just the battery, so we jump the cruiser and it starts but again with a rough idle. This time I look at the tail pipe and it is sputtering water. My wife moves the car-b/c I can't see, no glasses remember-the truck moves out of the driveway to the street like it is having seizures.

The tech part:

What else should be done when doing the headgasket? I have read machining the surfaces, adjust valves, check timing chain, clean injectors. Should I replace the water pump? Starter brushes? What is a grind kit for?

What else? Anything else that should be done?

Just bought Doug's dvd.

Funny on the way down my wife was commenting the cruiser felt sluggish. We talked about trading it in for a newer 4runner or a 100 series. Oh well after this repair we are keeping the fzj80.
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oh yeah, my rig is a 94 with 173,000 miles

just two weeks ago I had the valve cover gasket replaced.
I had a combustion leak done to check the hg at that time and the mech said all was fine. They also checked the cooling/coolant system for leaks with a pressure test-b/c my replaced heater hoses tend to leak-and it passed that test too.

any possilble connection?
It is kind of funny-I was dreading having to do this as a pm repair, but now I am looking forward to it. I always had thoughts of the head gasket with every trip we take with the cruiser. Now it will be one less thing to worry about.
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It is kind of funny-I was dreading having to do this as a pm repair, but know I am looking forward to it. I always had thoughts of the head gasket with every trip we take with the cruiser. Now it will be one less thing to worry about.

Look at the amount of trucks dropping HG recently and we haven't even got to the hot weather yet. I did mine years ago but I'd be all over this as a PM for sure right now.
It is interesting. There does seem to be an uptick lately - too early for hot weather which hasn't arrived yet.

Ronin -

Do you already have the DVD in hand? If not, since you're in a pickle I could email you the list to give you a fast start on parts, tools and such. Let me know as I didn't see an order from you in the last few days unless that's you at 4437.

Yup 4437 that's me.
I'll pm you.

Thanks for the extra info.
I'm in southern california and no it hasn't been hot yet.
Sent tips, DVD will go with morning mail.

Mass? I live at a latitude that is north of the northernmost tip of Maine, and about 2500 miles west....

Doug thanks for your help!
Got your email.
Must say if I hadn't read all those headgasket threads I would have no clue what to think.

Thanks for the mudship.
The info on this site has already paid for my silver star!

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