Blown Head Gasket, or Worse?

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***LONG POST WARNING***

Hi guys, could really use your help on this one. Truck is a '97 80 with Kazuma SC since December--less than five months--and has not really been "used" yet. Just driving around; no towing. 90K on the odo. Otherwise stock.

My wife was driving the truck yesterday and noticed that it started to "shudder", as she puts it, when at about 50mph. Bad enough that it scares her to drive. Less than a mile later, she pulls over and calls me. When she restarts the truck, she gets a "bang" and a puff of smoke from the exhaust pipe. Fortunately, she's just across from the Toyota dealer, so they play frogger across the highway and bring the truck back to the shop.

When I arrive at the shop, the service manager starts asking me about the SC. The tone seems to be that he suspects it of having been at fault (hey, if so, then TRD should pay for the repair, right?). At lenght, he tells me that the puff of smoke was antifreeze in the exhaust. So I immediately suspect a head gasket--at least hopeful of one since the other alternatives are likely worse. Others signs/symptoms: no water in the oil (had just recently been changed--have been using full snythetic since about 45K).

The manager is suggesting that since I have the SC installed, that I might consider taking it off (not likely--I bought it for a reason, not cosmetics), or consider doing some work on the bottom end, should they have to fix the top end. One of his comments was that when they have the head off, they'll check out the cylinder walls to see if the cross-hatching is still there--if so, he things the bottom end should be okay, but otherwise would suggest rebuild. Not sure if I buy this logic with 90K on the engine. I suggested to him that since he'll have the head off, that he should check/repair the valves and guides etc.

They have to do a tear-down today to really know what's wrong. Even though I consider them to be a good dealer, they are after all a dealer and I don't entirely trust them. I am hoping that the combined wisdom of this board can give me a better idea of what to expect going forward, both in terms of likely diagnosis, and cost to repair. Also, any other work you think I should have done while they're mucking about in there.

TIA,

Tom
 

Photoman

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Tom,
There have been issues with head gaskets blowing that were discussed at length on the SOR board usually to the rear of the block. Also, there have been problems with SC's causing overheating (myself included) which could blow the head gasket or worse. As far as the cross hatching is concerned when I rebuild an engine I run a hone in the cylinders up and down to create the cross hatch pattern. This is just to allow the rings to "seat" better. Once the rings have worn in the pattern is irrelevant in my opinion. Sounds like they are trying to use this to determine the amount of wear on the engine. It would probably be a good idea once they get it torn down to get the head decked or milled flat again. Since there was no anti-freeze in the oil your bearings should not have been affected other than from overheating.
Bill
 
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Landtank: they haven't yet done anything other than pull it into the bay. The truck runs, without knocking, but spews acrid burnt antifreeze from the exhaust.

Bill: I personally suspect/hope it's a head gasket (and am praying that the gasket is all that's wrong). I should have added to the first post, that about a year ago (pre SC), the water pump went (slow leak type) while I was towing my trailer up and down the hills of PA. The temp gauge showed high temps, but never into the red zone on the gauge, so I just nursed it back to port while feeding it water and had the pump replaced. But I now wonder if even that bit of mild overheating could have slightly warped the head, setting it up for a future gasket blow-out, which may have been exacerbated by the SC.

Tom
 

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Tom,
While it is possible that your mild overheating contributed to the current failure, it also can just happen. I think -B- is actually keeping a list of people and histories that have had head gasket failure and will probably jump in later. I too think yours will be a head gasket that went between the water jacket and a cylinder but, until they get it apart you never know. A figure I remember from the SOR was $1100.00 that someone had a head gasket done by a friend so a dealer will probably be more.
Bill
 
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You might try asking the dealer if you can supply the parts. South Bay Toyota (next to toyota USA headquarters in Torrance, CA) will install anything you bring in, even Earl's brake hoses. :) Reason is, I bought an entire upper block rebuild kit for my 4 cyl 4Runner from Sterling McCall Toyota in Houston (internet dept., ask for jesse sierra) for $92 early in 2002. Their price on the HG alone was $60, otherwise. The kit came w/ the HG, intake/exhaust manifold gaskets, gaskets for the bolts that hold the valve cover down, some misc gaskets. It didn't include the fuel injector o-ring gaskets anymore. While I was at a local toyota dealer (parts dept), one guy there paid $300 for a HG kit for his camry! You could probably get a kit for the cruiser for maybe $150 or so.

I had the HG replaced on my 4 cyl 4runner engine while the timing chain was being replaced. The indep. toyota mechanic (had the model engine in his vehicle) charged me $550 for labor, $50 for machine shop fees to pressure test and check the head for flatness. An option for $235 more was to disassemble the valve train, which I had done to add a new cam, valve guides/seals, rocker arms. Toyota dealer quoted about $1200 for the HG only, then $1300 for the timing chain, claiming there was no overlapping labor. That guy was pulling my leg!
 
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The good news is that the block is intact and the lower end looks good. After they tore it apart they did find coolant in the oil, but it was in the sump and had not circulated significantly (how they know this I don't know since oil floats on water...). No scoring on the cam/valve train, so that looks good too. Head gasket definitely blown.

They've sent the head out to be checked and milled as needed, and I've asked them to replace the valve guides and do valve adjustment--just figured as long as they're in there, they may as well do these things, even if it does only have 90K. I'll probably have them do a few other items while in there (e.g., that hose under the EGR that's a *^#&% to replace without lifting the intake manifold).

Should have her back on the road in a couple/few days I hope...

Tom
 

cruiserdan

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Tom,

I realise that I am chiming in a bit late here, but I have been out of town. Toyota does not endorse surfacing of the cylinder head on a 1FZ in any case.
The book states:
Maximum warpage cylinder block side .15mm, manifold side .10mm

"If warpage is greater than maximum, replace the cylinder head"

Dan
 
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Hi Dan,

I hear ya, but this is Toyota that's doing the work. Perhaps it's less than the minimum warpage... I'll know tonight when I pick it up. I should also have a detailed invoice for all the stuff they've done (and parts). I'll specifically ask them for the info on the warpage. Thanks.

Tom

PS: so what recourse do I have if they've milled it, and it was warped more than the maximum recommended? Would the dealer be responsible for putting a new head on at their cost? I take it that this is in the BGB?
 
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Tom,
Someone posted recently that there is a process that is used on aluminum heads where they heat the head and basically press it back to shape, flattening the head. This process can be used for minimum warpage. Perhaps this is the process your dealer is talking about?

Please let us know what you find out about what they did and the process they use to do it.
-B-
 
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Tom,
While the valve train is apart, you might consider getting new valve seals installed. It would reduce the amount of oil you burn, if any. They are pricey little buggers, though...$4-5 ea on discount, probably twice that at the dealer. Is there a thicker HG made for the 1FZ-FE like the ones made for the Supra engines by HKS (for running high turbo boost)?

I presume the HG problems with the 1FZ-FE are more the exception than the norm? Or does this imply the V8 series 100 is a superior engine? Any way to swap in the V8 into an 80 in case one has an 80 w/ a shot engine?
 
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Thanks Jim/Dan. I wasn't able to pick up the truck this evening...seems the dealer was having some sort of social event (balloons and chairs all over when I walked in) in the garage and was quite concerned about starting up the truck in the bay knowing the exhaust was full of antifreeze (and worried about the acrid smell it would produce). I guess they were more worried about whoever the party was for (probably their own mechanics) than pissing off their customer after telling him the truck would be ready tonight....but I rant...

So after some discussion, the dealer agreed to absorb the cost of the rental for another day whilst I cool my heals and long for my truck.

Jim: too late for me to request any changes. They did replace the valve guides at my request, but I don't know which guides they would have replaced them with. Probably stock.

Dan: Geeze...$125 for a friggin gasket! What's it made of? Gold? Guess I shouldn't be too surprised since I'm always a bit in awe of what they charge for these parts.

Thanks muchly,

Tom
 

cruiserdan

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Tom,

  You hurt my feelers :tear:  How am I supposed to feed my dog? ::)

 I bet that if you got new guides you got new seals. Doing one without the other is like taking a shower and putting your dirty shorts back on. If the dealer used an 04112-66035, it has seals in it.......................

    Cheers, Dan :beer:

PS, Sounds like the dealer was having a new owner event. We do those too. I like to warp tune an old Corolla with a can of Leopard sweat right before we kick-off....... :G
 
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B -

>> Nice can though.

  I don't know why that struck me so funny, but I think the tears from the laughter are more from the truth of it...

D -

>> "If you switch to Keystone, You can afford the 80"

  Even the Keystone had to go. Ever hear of "33"?  Contained a different kind of "widget"...


 Thread content: I now watch my temp gauge like a hawk...

 R -
 
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Ron,

>> but I think the tears from the laughter <<

I had tears for weeks though I can't recall much laughter. The good news (and my glass is always half full...) is that C-Dan correctly diagnosed the problem while we were out on the trail. He ordered me the charcoal canister and the constant and irritating smell of gasoline was gone!

Don't tell Dan but my wife would have paid 10x the price to get it fixed because she couldn't rest at night knowing the truck was spewing gas fumes right under the bed. (Our bedroom is right over the garage and the furnace is in the garage.)

She still refers to my truck as "Big Stinky." :G

-B-
 

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