Blown HG worth replacing or just sell it as is?

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Aug 30, 2019
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My dad has a '99 land cruiser with 240k miles. He took it in for regular service and when he got it back it was idling rough/breaking up. Took it back to the toyota dealership and they said the head gasket is failing. They quoted 4-5k for the repair and offered him $1000 to buy the vehicle as is. We've had the car since 40k miles and it's seen regular service. A few years ago we did the clutch fan and one of the cv boots. Suspension is stock though and a little bit squishy. It also has a chipped headlight and they're relatively fogged up from sun exposure. Otherwise the interior is in good condition and I would assume it has most of the options if not all (leather seats/interior, power windows/locks/seats, sunroof etc.).

The catch is my dad was planning on getting a new car soon anyways so he's tempted to just sell it to the dealership. I feel like $1000 is a lowball considering 2 weeks ago the car would have been worth 5k+ (???). I don't know the market for land cruisers so what would yall recommend as the best solution financially?

I would do it myself if it were <$1000 but based off posts here it seems with the necessary tools and "while I'm in there" things it would end up costing $2000+
 
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How did the head gasket fail? Did you guys overheat and kept driving like that? Just because it's idling rough doesn't mean HG failed, check for codes, check your spark plugs, fuel delivery, cam sensor, vacuum leak...

Unless the dealership used a tester to test for combustion gas in the radiator, they're just guessing and trying to lowball you on giving them that truck.
 
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I showed this to my dad so I think he believes me now that its not a good idea to sell it to the dealership.

Unfortunately the car is still at the dealership so I can't inspect it myself and I haven't spoken with the mechanics directly yet (only know what my dad has relayed to me). According to my dad they could see that the head gasket was cracking (makes no sense as I don't think they've taken the heads off so either they're bullshitting or my dad misunderstood them saying the heads are cracked). They are also saying the radiator needs replacing and clutch fan needs to be replaced, except we just did the clutch fan 2 years ago.

That all said I wouldn't be super surprised if the head gasket DID blow and my dad just isn't relaying the symptoms to me accurately. The reason is that the car has sat in a remote garage for the last 4 months or so and was only driven once or twice during that time so I wouldn't be too surprised if the radiator clogged up and then when my dad drove it the 100 miles to the dealership it could have over heated. However, we had it at the house for a few days before he took it into the dealership and I took it to run some errands and did not notice anything unusual and I probably would have noticed a CEL or high temps since my old Subaru frequently overheats.

I will try to get some more information out of my dad and maybe call the dealership myself to ask some questions. The dealership is Beaverton Toyota (Portland) so I would be kind of surprised if they were acting shady.
 
Joined
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Very suspicious story. It sounds very much like someone in the service department wants to buy a Land Cruiser on the cheap. You should have nothing more to do with Beaverton Toyota. Have it towed to a reputable shop for more diagnosis, or better yet, do the diagnosis yourself.
 
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Total low ball offer, even if a head gasket did fail
that's actually a reasonable price from the dealer for the miles and condition, they would just send the truck out to wholesale.

unless your dad authorized tare down time theres no way that they would be looking at the head gaskets. get it taken somewhere else and get a second opinion or do the compression test yourself.
 

2001LC

 
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Toyota/Lexus Dealership will not usually miss diagnose a head gasket. Most of these mechanics know what to look for. Call or go in and speak to the mechanic Monday.

First letting set for 4 months will not damage or clog any parts of a properly maintained cooling system. Which means flushing every 30k miles or two years in a 99. With Toyota LL and distilled water. Never adding tap water is the key. Using different coolants or going longer is of less importance.

A head gasket that has not leaked early in it's life, will not likely leak later in life. Unless not properly maintained or overheated. Low coolant, clogged radiator fins, stuck thermostat, running lean (fuel to air mixture), etc. can lead to overheating.

Head gasket that is blown, will usually (but not always) show signs around outside of head gasket where coolant leaks from. By looking at gasket around where it's sandwiched between head and block. A leak will be obvious. If overheated and leaking, head is likely wrapped. If leaking internally, there are signs and other test that would have shown this.

To say regular maintained means different things. Too some, regular maintained means oil & filter, then having towed to shop when they can't drive it. To others, it's following the Toyota PM schedule to a "T" and doing even more than recommend and doing by the book.

If this a truly clean (body, paint, interior, rust free) well maintained 99 with rear lockers. It has value in a privet sale greater than $1k, but not much unless supper clean. Swapping engine may be best route for a DIY. Finding a good used 100 series engine is key.

If just doing a head job, it best to do both heads. Just replacing one head gasket, save time and money. Have head milled or at minimum check to see not wrapped by a machine shop. But tends to give a rough idle, if only one side done, this especially true if head milled.
 
Joined
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I have worked at dealerships. It may be an honest mistake but erring towards benefit for the dealer.
As has already been said, there are a lot of reasons that the engine would be idling rough.
Way too coincidental that it happened after it was serviced! That's the first clue.
I have never seen a Lexus V8 have head gasket problems. Slipped timing belt, electrical disconnections, that kind of stuff.I bought a Texas 2000 LS400 for $800 a couple of years ago because a master mechanic at the dealership had claimed that the engine was a total loss. It would idle rough and had no power. Spent $30 for a new VVTI Solenoid and the car ran like new. Man I loved that car, but sold it for much more.
This forum and others like lexls.com, lexusownersclub.com, etc. are platinum mines of treasure and knowledge.
I would buy that car in a heartbeat for $2000 as is!
 

2001LC

 
Joined
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I too have purchased great deals from Dealership and/or INDY shops that missed diagnosed. The most common is ABS issue.

Agree, just after service, is a little to coincidental. Speaking with mechanic not just service manager, is first step. Bad head gasket is very specific, he should be able to show very specific evidence.

I've seen a number of blown head gaskets.
98 LX 300K 040.JPG


98 LX 300K cyl #6.JPG
98 LX 300K cyl 6.JPG

VVT Wrapped head, at 137K.
07LC head gaskets (1)a.jpg


98 LX 300K cyl #6.JPG
 

LandCruiserPDX

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I can generally vouch for Beaverton Toyota. I’ve been taking my Land Cruisers there for 10 years and always been treated incredibly well, never upsold service, transparent on costs and diagnosis, but they can tell I’m an LC geek so YMMV.
 
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