Blown Head Gasket 2.5 Years Ago...

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by 450LX, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. 450LX

    450LX

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    I just bough a 1997 Land Cruiser with 140k miles. The head gasket blew 2.5 years ago and has been sitting ever since. I drained the oil the other day and the oil wasn't all that brown and milkshakey, however there was coolant in the oil. I got about 12 quarts of oil/coolant out when I pulled the drain plug. Im on the fence about just fixing the head gasket and running it or going further and pulling the motor and have it all gone through. I know coolant can cause rust and eat the bearings, so I pulled the valve cover and I think it looked fine. The lobes arent pitted and where they look a little brown I am able to polish them like a mirror with a paper towel.

    If I pull the LOWER oil pan would I be able to get to a main bearing and remove it to inspect a bearing? I really dont want to remove the motor quite yet or do I have the funds for a rebuild.

    Any opinions on how this looks?

    20170202_141319.jpg

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  2. Rivman1243

    Rivman1243 SILVER Star

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    Those pictures look exactly like my top end did when I pulled my valve cover off to replace gaskets. I would suggest pulling the head to look at the cylinder walls. If you don't want to go that far find a bore scope and pull the plugs.
     
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  3. cme4lyt

    cme4lyt SILVER Star

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  4. 450LX

    450LX

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    So from my pictures would you say your top end looked like mine does?
     
  5. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    The top end of my running and driving 96 LC looked exactly like that when I pulled the VC to change gaskets 2 years ago. It did NOT have a blown HG when I was working on it (it was replaced 45K before I got it)

    So yeah.....normal there.

    But, you're going to pull the head and replace the HG anyway, so you'll need to dig deeper for that.......
     
  6. Mighty690

    Mighty690

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    Doesn't look bad to me.
     
  7. Kentex Rick

    Kentex Rick

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    Looks like mine did when HG blew @ 276,000. You can't get to the bearings through the lower pan gasket. You aren't supposed to be able to access them without removing the upper. which means engine removal. But I didn't read that first; so I removed the motor mount bolts and jacked up the engine and took the upper pan off anyway. Total PIA:worms:But it can be done!:beer:
     
  8. Mighty690

    Mighty690

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    Again, just my $0.02: if oil analysis doesn't indicate main bearing metal (and that shows up pretty readily) I wouldn't worry about all that work to inspect the main bearings. If you search Mud and see all the things we find that go wrong with our engines, and it's not many things, main bearings are relatively rare. Do the head and run it.
     
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  9. Kentex Rick

    Kentex Rick

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    This! Yea, I did all that extra work for nothing! Bearings were fine. But I did get some more experience with the 80! Sometimes I just want to take s*** apart and clean it and put it back together, just because I can!
     
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  10. 450LX

    450LX

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    I appreciate the encouragement and all the information. I still have the old oil so I will send a sample to blackstone and see what they say. I will keep you guys posted. I like the idea of doing the oil sample as opposed to removing the entire oil pan! I wonder if I should shake the oil up before I give them a sample. I dont know if oil/coolant/bearing material would settle at the bottom of my container.

    So the plan of attack is to get the oil to Blackstone for analysis of bearing material. If it comes back negative then I will pull the head and check the cylinders. If the cylinders look good I will get the head to the machine shop and proceed with fixing the headgasket and crossing my fingers.
     
  11. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    I disagree.

    We all know oil floats on water(coolant) - and by your guess you got 12qts of fluid out the drainplug, correct?

    So by that number you got a gallon of coolant sitting down low & it was there for 2.5 yrs.

    I bet you got your 140K DOA 80 for a song, at a minimum you need to at least pop the pans (yes, I know you have to support the motor) - but if you want Landcruiser reliability like a 140K 80 should deliver, you need at least put in due dilligence on the main bearings. You probably are in the rig for the right money even if this needs doing, yes?

    It seems a situation where you might get weird numbers on a blackstone test, so really laying hands on bearings might be the solution if you expect a quality outcome & reliability.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
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  12. Mighty690

    Mighty690

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    Like your reasoning, and in fact when I pulled the drain plug on my latest build pure green coolant flowed for a second or two. Back to your logic: oil floats on water, and even with 4 quarts of coolant in the sump I don't think that total level would reach the main bearings, and if it did it would be oil. The water would be way down there. Yes, if the engine was started at that point it would pump coolant through the bearings.
     
  13. 450LX

    450LX

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    Yeah I got a decent deal on the 80 in my opinion. However, when I bought it I wasnt under the impression I would need to do anything other than change the headgasket. If I would have researched it more and knew I might have to yank out and rebuild the motor I probably would have offered less or walked away.

    I guess what I want to hear is the bearings will be fine and all I need is a headgasket. Its like we post problems with the intention of hearing what we want to hear!
     
  14. baldilocks

    baldilocks GOLD Star

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    @450LX your analysis will not be completely accurate because you have already drained it. I assume you have drained it based on your stating "I still have the old oil". In order to collect a good sample the engine needs to have been shut down quite recently so all contaminants are still suspended and mixed well with oil. Otherwise you may end up with a sample that lacks or exaggerates the actual level of wear metals and contamination.

    As for an earlier comment on water/coolant
    In the oil: water is detected and measured as H2O. Coolant/anti-freeze shows up as sodium and sometimes potassium. It's entirely possible for an oil sample to have sodium in it with no sign of water.

    Here is my opinion. Like many decisions we make, the depth of our pockets is a major determining factor and rebuilding that engine with oem parts is far from cheap. If I removed the engine, it would be for a rebuild regardless.

    Last year I removed both my oil pans to fix a couple oil leaks but I had the front axle out anyway and oil pan access was very good. I can see where this task would be a bitch with the front axle in place. Perhaps disconnecting the sway bar, shocks, brake lines, breather and then jacking it sky high would give you plenty of room.

    If this issue were mine, I would remove the head, analyze and decide from there. If you do a HG job and then learn you have issues in the bottom end so be it, your head is done already. Life is fraught with risk, be a man.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
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  15. 450LX

    450LX

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    Im a gambling man for sure! If the cylinders check out when I do the head Ill run it. If I spin a bearing shortly after or grenade it then its a coulda shoulda woulda I told you so sort of lesson. However, I might sneak 200k more miles out of it!
     
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  16. 450LX

    450LX

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    I still have the old oil in a clean container. Maybe I can shake it up before I pour my sample for Blackstone?
     
  17. Kentex Rick

    Kentex Rick

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    Just diconnect the sway bar, motor mounts and transmission bolts and jack it up. It will come out, not easily, but it will!
     
  18. Kentex Rick

    Kentex Rick

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    The fun part is putting it back without getting FIPG everywhere!:doh:
     
  19. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    @baldilocks makes a very solid point.

    Reliability & cost-effectiveness intersect at some point - and frankly the oil may or may not give you a number as the antifreeze & water is where the "fly in the ointment" is.

    Up to you, I won't either enable you with a 'eff it, it's all good!' nor play Chicken Little - you're the boots on the ground & it's your 80.

    Proceed as baldilocks stated - either you have the paper to get into it & see the bearings, or you need to shave costs & can stand if at some nebulous time in the future you get a growl action or such in the bearings.

    I'd be super attentive to your oil & not cut any corners either on oil quality or viscosity when you get it up & running - I'd run cheap dino oil for 500-1000 miles & drain into a clean container, check that oil out with Blackstone & proceed accordingly. To me that would be the oil I want a detailed analysis on.

    Maybe a couple followups with Blackstone too - then you could expect whatever the outcome based on more than internet conjecture. We may be good, but you're the guy looking at your motor.

    That's what I would do if it was mine. --GL!--
     
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  20. 450LX

    450LX

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    That is all good advice Linus. I didnt even think about getting the oil analysis afterwards. That would definitely be great peice of mind to get the next couple of oil changes analyzed to determine what to expect for the future of the truck. Yeah I plan on a couple of oil changes right off the bat to make sure all the coolant is put of the oil passages. Of course Ill be cleaning the oil cooler out as well along with the cooling system. Thanks again!
     
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