Big decision: engine broke- many options, one decision (1 Viewer)

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Good morning / afternoon ladies and gentleman!
I have a big decision to make by the end of this week, Friday Aug 12, 2022;
DOES SHE STAY, OR DOES SHE GO (and under what circumstances)…..?

I will announce the decision this coming weekend once I digest the responses.

Looks like I have a head gasket failure, and a leaky block …….and my own other “issues”……read on…….

(Appologies in advance- long read, hopefully to guide the decision making….)

BACKGROUND
- Long time 80 Series owner (since ‘99), over 600k on two ‘97s. I do all my own maintenance, modifications, and fabrication.

- Yesterday was a hot day (but normal this time of year, in the 90’s, and the engine temp was normal, as usual) I went up a few thousand feet to a friends place, when my ‘97 exhibited hydro-lock on trying to start. Risking fate (i.e. a bent con-rod), I bumped it a few times and she sputtered, started, and ran smoothly, however, with water vapor (steam) coming out of tailpipe for a couple minutes after starting.

>>>> With no further diagnosis, I pretty sure there was water in one or more cylinder (very interested hearing anyone’s counter-diagnosis…..) <<<<<<

-312k miles, new to me 4 years ago, around 40k miles ago.

-Unfortunately, this engine also has the cracked cylinder block syndrome, below the freeze plug, to the right of the oil filter. The coolant “leak” is so small, I only refill the overflow tank (from min. to max. every 12-18 months). But you can see a mineral deposit at the crack site, no liquid water, ever. It is troubling, however, leaks rarely fix themselves, and can get larger……I would never consider doing anything about this “leak” if it hadn’t been fior this headgasket problem, now I couldn‘t let the block go unfixed…….

- Never any overheating, needle always below horizontal even in 115 deg. Not sure about Previous Owner, however….the radiator was new when I bought the truck.

- I’ve have built and maintained this truck in really good condition, I.e.:
West coast truck, no rust, white color truck (they last the best) , paint and interior in good condition
Slee front bumper
Warn winch
Dual AGM batteries with Blue Sea ACR and in-cab voltage indication and control
ARB/OME 2-1/2” heavy lift
Slee Sliders
Slee expedition rear bumper (ladder & tire carrier)
interior nice- no cracks or tears, except for butt panel on drivers side.
Everything works, and all oil leaks fixed ( not a drop on the driveway!), everything “baselined” ( we use that work too much how about “over-maintained”)

SITUATION / ISSUES
A) 80 Series is in my DNA, obviously.

B) However, not sure if the LC fits my new needs: Recently bought a second home 1400 miles (one way) from home base, and we are doing 6 or so commutes between homes each year (hauling my hunting dogs). These commutes are sometimes winter driving across 5 mountain passes and some really desolate spots in between. Not sure if a 25 year old truck with 312k miles is a long term solution for a safe commute. Up to this point, all of my 600k miles of 80 Series driving experience has only been within 150 miles of home base. Incidentally, I have another truck but it’s pricey to drive and maintain (euro truck), so this commute thing is a softer consideration, but does play in the big decision mix.

C) Can’t fix the 80 series and buy another newer diesel pickup truck for the long commute. It’s one or the other, per wifeypoo. (That’s a period at the end of the sentence😆).

FOUR POSSIBLE DECISIONS, please pick one, or a combination, and support your case:
1) Buy a short block from the dealer, rebuild my head, viola, back in business. (Or buy a rebuild long block from a highly respected LC shop). I can do most of the engine swap work, except machining.
And then keep truck….
Questions
a) Can the truck be used for 2800 mile round-trip commutes, every other month ( what is your experience level with this?). This is a softer consideration, by the way.
b) Any recent $$ experience, for a dealer short block part cost (and cheapest source) + local machinist head rebuild (SoCal) or $$ to buy a long block from a experienced LC specialist?

2) Do the above, but then sell the truck. I won’t take a short-cuts on fixing the engine, and then foist the result on the new owner, so if I go this route, it will be done with quality, I.e. $$…….. Since I can do most of the work, will I be able to sell the truck at a higher price to offset the engine costs to make all the work worthwhile (Sweat equity worthwhile??)

3) Sell the truck as-is. It would make the perfect base for someone to do a Diesel or LS conversion, or OEM engine…..

4) Do a Diesel or LS conversion and keep the truck;
a) With this new power plant, can the truck be used for 2800 mile commutes 6 times a year (again, this is a softer consideration).
b) Anyone with recent costs (and source) for a turn-key Diesel conversion (this is actually my preference, even above a gas engine rebuild, if I keep the truck).

5) Get rid of wifeypoo , fix and keep the LC, buy another newer truck……This is not a viable option….😝

Thanks everyone!
Handy Al
 
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I'd get a solid 1FZ-FE back into that 80, keep enjoying it and rethink that 2800 mile drive. If the 2800 mile drive every other month isn't optional then I'd probably sell the 80 and get a modern rig.

Really though I'd be looking to fly, sell the 2nd house, move to the 2nd house permanently or similar as I'm not into long drives like that on a regular basis. My prediction is that the long drive gets old pretty fast and you find an alternative. At that point, if you have sold the 80 I'm guessing you'll really regret it.
 
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COYS

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(Or buy a rebuild long block from a highly respected LC shop). $$ to buy a long block from a experienced LC specialist?
A long block new from one of the few "respected" LC shops is at least one year+ out on the books last I checked. You're probably staring at a $20-25K bill engine dropped off and picked up.

A quality off the shelf 1FZ-FE long block doesn't exist in my books. You either spend the money to source all the factory parts to build or commission a new 1FZ-FE yourself (I did) or you simply don't because the other options are half-baked.

Gl!
 
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Ls swap all day long, especially if the 2nd home is located in an unrestricrive state with no emissions where you can register the 80. With the v8 and different tranny the rig should get slightly better fuel efficiency and have more power and comfort for the long drive if done right.

Plus there will not be a shortage of engines, transmissions, parts, aftermarket products, and support/knowledge for the engine and tranny in the foreseeable future.

The only problem with this is the saftey factor. A newer more modern car might be slightly safer with better air bags, better brakes, traction control, etc....
 
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Oregon
I have a 1fz I am completely rebuilding and will be selling bored out .50 over rebuild head blah blah blah, but I am not a engine shop so there is that! Why not just do the head for under 2k yourself and look past the weeping of the block. This rarely gets so bad you need a new block. I just picked up a head from the machine shop and it was about $700 with 2 thousand shaved of to get rid of the old HG imprint 3 way valve grind and cleaned a box full of parts for me. You can get the 105 series head gasket kit of partsouq shipped to your door for under $250. New timing kit from Witt’s end shipped under $300. 500-1000 in new belts hoses water pump rebuild starter/alternator and new radiator. It is not a hard job if you have the tools and a dry place to work in And have mechanical experience. A new block is around 4K but you need some other stuff to go along with it. Read @COYS engine build up he list all part numbers and cost associated. If you have a hoist and a garage pulling the engine with tranny and t case can be done in a Day by yourself ask me how I know. It can all de done over a month chipping away at it weekends and a few hours a night. Just make sure you have all seals and parts lined up before you go crazy. Truck i Am doing now lost cylinder 6 at 320k miles and new head should go on this weekend fingers crossed.

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Njck22

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I've done more than enough road trips in an 80 to know that the 100 series or a 200 is a better option for long trips. I vote sell the 80. If you're mechanically inclined, fix the 80 before sale. You will recoup the cost of a new block versus selling non-running if you can avoid any labor costs at a shop.
If you were keeping it I would go the @COYS route and build an pristine 1fz-fe with all new or clean used parts. But if you're selling it, just do it right. Acquire a new engine block, re-use your head.
 
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mudgudgeon

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If you're contemplating rebuilding it replacing the head, do a full tear down and inspect.i had a head gasket failure similar to you. Hydro-locked on restart, the started and ran poorly.

I replaced the head gasket, and was good for a few thousand miles, then main bearings failed completely, and the crankshaft turned out to have a crack in it.
 
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If you have no way around that commute, and expect the vehicle to execute it, I would part ways with the truck. I personally would sell as-is and be done with it. Your time and energy has value and could be spent at work for $$$ or on a new vehicle....or working on one of your homes as I imagine there is a project or two between them.
 

Tachycardic

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You guys are jumping the gun. We can't possibly make an informed decision without first seeing what the OP's wife looks like.
 
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buy a clapped out dodge and put a 6bt and nv4500 in it lol. way more power, better fuel economy, sounds cool, can tow, barely weighs more than the factory Toyota diesel options, can be done relatively simply with the lack of computer control needed for the engine.
 

clx16

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Man I would like to have another 80 at my second house... I would like a second house also. I plan on having a second house and when i do. I plan to have vehicles that i like there.

Maybe consider having the 80 there so when you drive there in your boring but comfortable ride...you can switch to fun tractor mode.
 
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Thanks everyone for the great input so far on my upcoming decision:
(And just to mix it up, i have listed my reaction first, and then the associated quote second….😝)

jpoole: Unfortunately, I’ll have to keep driving because my hunting dogs can’t fly (they do nearly everything else perfectly, however……😆). The 1400 mile trip ain’t bad once you get out of SoCal and past ‘Vegas…..
Sourcing a solid 1FZ-FE is certainly one decision that has merit……anyone got one??? (I just put in a wanted classified in ‘Mud)
I'd get a solid 1FZ-FE back into that 80, keep enjoying it and rethink that 2800 mile drive.

COYS: And this one….holy moley …..what’s a person to do if they want a quality build In a reasonable time??
A long block new from one of the few "respected" LC shops is at least one year+ out on the books last I checked.

leonard_nemoy: Really good insight here……love the LS, and the reliability and parts availability
I especially like the remark with the safety of the LC. Our 80 series have bare minimum safety air bags, no side collision or roll-over protection.
And yes, the second home is far away from Commiefornia , so there aren‘t any inspections there, so I can modify everything.
Ls swap all day long, especially if the 2nd home is located in an unrestricrive state with no emissions where you can register the 80. With the v8 and different tranny the rig should get slightly better fuel efficiency and have more power and comfort for the long drive if done right.…………………
The only problem with this is the saftey factor. A newer more modern car might be slightly safer with better air bags, better brakes, traction control, etc....

mudgudgeo: If I rebuild, yes, agree, it’s a full tear down. And as far as I’m concerned the short block is toast anyway because of the cracked block. That’s why if I go with retaining a 1FZ-FE engine, it will be a long block, or a good donor short block that is rebuilt, along with my old head…..And yes, a hellacious sound came from the old 1FZ-FE when the starter tried to compress an incompressible fluid (coolant in cylinder)…..so who know what else is now lurking down under in the short block……
If you're contemplating rebuilding it replacing the head, do a full tear down and inspect.i had a head gasket failure similar to you. Hydro-locked on restart, the started and ran poorly. I replaced the head gasket, and was good for a few thousand miles, then main bearings failed completely, and the crankshaft turned out to have a crack in it.

KYLXFJ: I’d love to overlook the cracked block, but I’ve hated that little b’tard of a “leak” since I first found it.
And yes, the 2nd house is in need of……everything…..and the blessing and curse is I can do all the building trades work (but master of none)……
Your time and energy has value and could be spent at work for $$$ or on a new vehicle....or working on one of your homes as I imagine there is a project or two between them.

Matti mooseprime is like that little devil sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear……and it is so tempting to follow his lead…..
buy a clapped out dodge and put a 6bt and nv4500 in it

KYLXFJ: Oh, this way is sooooo tempting…..it really is…..and all I need to do it compose a for-sale ad….”For sale FZJ80, doesn’t run but looks mighty nice!” However, the capitalist in me says get it running again (in an ethical and quality like manner) and it will cover costs plus some more…..But then again, how much is my time worth?…..
If you have no way around that commute, and expect the vehicle to execute it, I would part ways with the truck. I personally would sell as-is and be done with it.

Tachycardic: Just too funny!
You guys are jumping the gun. We can't possibly make an informed decision without first seeing what the OP's wife looks like.
 
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I can relate. My 340k LX450 spun a bearing about a month ago. Your wife's 1-truck mandate is the only real challenge here. We got another truck (200) last year in a rare moment of spendy-ness (normally I'm a total cheap-ass, but I was making good money at the time). Didn't really *need* the 200, but it does some things the 80 does not, like gobble up highway as fast as I care to go and tow anything I want. Soooo glad I did it, because it took like 75% of the stress out of the death of the clunker.

I weighed all the options and decided V8 swap was the right choice for me. My 80 was NOT clean, pretty or in good shape. It had a salvage title and some rust. I.e. it was never going to hold it's value like the 80 does generally. I was all but ready to start off in this direction when another LX450 just fell in my lap for a price that rendered it essentially free to me (due to some other stuff I happened to be selling). So I'm sticking with the 1fz to keep things "proper" in a truck that actually warrants it.

I did think long and hard about ditching the 80 altogether and going all-in on the 200, but I just couldn't quite bring myself to do it. 200 is a great truck by almost any measure, but it lacks character and soul. It will also never do the type of wheeling I do in the 80. I could give up the harder stuff, as it's relatively infrequent, but I'd rather not have to. This would have been purely a "happy wife, happy life" decision, but I'm starting to place a higher value on my own happiness.

In your case, since your 80 is clean, good condition and has other desireable traits, I would go the rebuild route, or just fix the head gasket. It will keep the value in the truck.

2 more questions/comments:
-Why do you need to decide this week? This is not a good decision to rush. I would give it a few weeks at least to let it all play out in your head before making a final decision.

-If you're using the stock gauge to determine whether your truck has overheated in the past, you have no idea whether it overheated or not. Scangauge, OBD2 reader or manual gauge is the only acceptable method of determining your running temps.
 
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more questions/comments:
-Why do you need to decide this week? This is not a good decision to rush. I would give it a few weeks at least to let it all play out in your head before making a final decision.

-If you're using the stock gauge to determine whether your truck has overheated in the past, you have no idea whether it overheated or not. Scangauge, OBD2 reader or manual gauge is the only acceptable method of determining your running temps.
A “pretty soon“ decision is being driven by the fact that the truck is not operable, and It’s in the way - literally.
Additionally, I using my wife’s SUV to haul my hunting dogs- can’t even fit the dog crates in there……

Agree that the stock temp gauge is not a calibrated indication. But if it been running at the same location on the dial for 40k miles (since I’ve owned it) and my last ‘97 was running at the exact same place for 284k miles (owned since new), I’m pretty darn sure that my trucks have not been overheating…..at that indication on the dial.

A word on instrument calibration in our trucks: unless you perform an end to end calibration, meaning calibrate both the readout device ( Panel meter, ODB-II scanner, Scan Gauge) and the temperature sensor, you really are fooling yourself if you think the digital readout is more accurate than the dash board panel meter. You may have a digital readout, but that’s not accuracy).
The Total Loop Uncertainty (error) in a measurement loop is the square of the sum of the squares. In other words, every part of the instrument loop influences accuracy of measurement. Resistance temperature measurements (the temp sensors in engine) are notoriously inaccurate and not linear with response. The ODB-II and Scangauge all have built-in look-up tables (voltage vs. temp) that assume tge temperature sensor is providing a linear response.
Long story short - no instruments are accurate on our trucks, but the important thing is that, as operators of our trucks we are aware of the feedback we get (audible, visual, readings and indication) and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
 
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A “pretty soon“ decision is being driven by the fact that the truck is not operable, and It’s in the way - literally.
Additionally, I using my wife’s SUV to haul my hunting dogs- can’t even fit the dog crates in there……

Agree that the stock temp gauge is not a calibrated indication. But if it been running at the same location on the dial for 40k miles (since I’ve owned it) and my last ‘97 was running at the exact same place for 284k miles (owned since new), I’m pretty darn sure that my trucks have not been overheating…..at that indication on the dial.

A word on instrument calibration in our trucks: unless you perform an end to end calibration, meaning calibrate both the readout device ( Panel meter, ODB-II scanner, Scan Gauge) and the temperature sensor, you really are fooling yourself if you think the digital readout is more accurate than the dash board panel meter. You may have a digital readout, but that’s not accuracy).
The Total Loop Uncertainty (error) in a measurement loop is the square of the sum of the squares. In other words, every part of the instrument loop influences accuracy of measurement. Resistance temperature measurements (the temp sensors in engine) are notoriously inaccurate and not linear with response. The ODB-II and Scangauge all have built-in look-up tables (voltage vs. temp) that assume tge temperature sensor is providing a linear response.
Long story short - no instruments are accurate on our trucks, but the important thing is that, as operators of our trucks we are aware of the feedback we get (audible, visual, readings and indication) and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
Eh... not exactly.

You'll reach A/C cutoff temp before that needle moves on a stock gauge. I did the temp gauge mod on all three of my 80s. If I bought another one, it would be the first thing I did.
 
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Yep. AC cutoff is 226*. In my book, that is overheating. I know for a fact my clunker has done that at least a few times, the needle never moved. As verified by an analog gauge, any temp between ~150 and ~230 does not move the gauge. It is an idiot light, plain and simple, present only to foster a false sense of security. I'm not an anal person and I get a kick out of some of the over-the-top people on this forum (in a good way), but this is one area where it pays to be anal. Give in to the paranoia!!!
 

Njck22

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A “pretty soon“ decision is being driven by the fact that the truck is not operable, and It’s in the way - literally.
Additionally, I using my wife’s SUV to haul my hunting dogs- can’t even fit the dog crates in there……

Agree that the stock temp gauge is not a calibrated indication. But if it been running at the same location on the dial for 40k miles (since I’ve owned it) and my last ‘97 was running at the exact same place for 284k miles (owned since new), I’m pretty darn sure that my trucks have not been overheating…..at that indication on the dial.

A word on instrument calibration in our trucks: unless you perform an end to end calibration, meaning calibrate both the readout device ( Panel meter, ODB-II scanner, Scan Gauge) and the temperature sensor, you really are fooling yourself if you think the digital readout is more accurate than the dash board panel meter. You may have a digital readout, but that’s not accuracy).
The Total Loop Uncertainty (error) in a measurement loop is the square of the sum of the squares. In other words, every part of the instrument loop influences accuracy of measurement. Resistance temperature measurements (the temp sensors in engine) are notoriously inaccurate and not linear with response. The ODB-II and Scangauge all have built-in look-up tables (voltage vs. temp) that assume tge temperature sensor is providing a linear response.
Long story short - no instruments are accurate on our trucks, but the important thing is that, as operators of our trucks we are aware of the feedback we get (audible, visual, readings and indication) and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
Entirely right about the accuracy point. I would like to think the Japanese resistive temp gauge is accurate but after 25 years how could it be. But the temp dial can’t respond quick enough to a catastrophic scenario to prevent damage. The scan guage is entirely qualitative but it should be able to alert a driver before engine death
 

clx16

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I think the point made was valid; the temp sending unit isnt getting calibrated and is therefore not going to be a known accurate measurement. Which means everything that uses that for a reading...Gauge or OBDII reading will be off if the sending unit has resistance that isn't matched to the right temp.

So your ac and everything else reactionary will also be off. The only way to know for sure is to introduce something that is calibrated at secondary for comparison.
 
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not sure what number this falls into but i support the LS and 4l80 idea. there is something that is fun about riding in the land cruiser. this is in my opinion the last rugged land cruiser we have in the states. so holding onto it a good idea. The LS has a ton of support. s*** ton of tunes that can maximize performance or fuel econ. even e85 if you want.
 

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