Buy an 80 with a Blown Timing Cover Gasket?

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Jan 15, 2005
Alexandria, VA
I've only ever had a 40, but I've been thinking about adding an 80 to the fleet for a while now.

I have a line on a '95 80 with 150K miles, lockers, and a massive oil leak from the timing cover. The owner took it to a shop, and when he got the estimate he decided to sell it instead. I've spoken to the mechanic. Based on his description, it sounds a lot like the oil galley plug issue that Cdan chronicled in this '03 thread - a sudden leak that now throws oil all over the place.

If I do this, I'd buy the truck cheap and do the work in my driveway. I have no garage. In Dan's thread his thought was that if a guy was doing this job on his back, then pulling the engine would be easier. Has the conventional MUD wisdom changed any since then?

Also, it seems to me that at 150K, one might as well pull the head and do the HG and all the other assorted replacements. True? If so, does the pulling the head make getting the timing cover off a lot easier?
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Oil galley plug failure is specific to the 2f and 3f motor passenger side near/above the #5 cylinder...not front of motor or/on the 1fz in the 95. I would research look further the oil leakage.
There has been at least 1 other and maybe 2 other owners that reported the oil galley leak behind the timing chain cover of the 1FZ-FE. DTAYLOR is one of those but his doesn't really count since that plug was omitted when he had a shop reassemble the engine (a different shop than the one that disassembled the engine.)

Anyway, your description sounds like another with that same failure. If you have the time and equipment then pulling the engine might be easier. Some suggest pulling engine and transmission but Alia176 pulled engine only. I think that is what I would do if faced with that job.

Several have done the same job (HG, both pans, then timing chain) so look for threads by Shipwreck and Landtank. Maybe a couple of others. Those guys left the engine in situ and flat-backed the repair. It can be done.

You should definitely plan on doing the HG with the timing chain. I think you can go that route and not drop the pans but you run the risk of a leak where the upper pan meets the timing chain. Check with Landtank or Cruiserdan or powderpig to be sure.

Good Luck and keep us posted on your repair. Thread with pics would be nice.

Thanks, Beowulf, I'll check out those threads. I didn't realize how rare the oil plug thing is. The shop thinks it's just the timing cover gasket, but it seemed odd to me for an oil gasket to fail so suddenly and dramatically.
If it is the oil galley plug you will know it. There is a lot of oil that pumps out under pressure and the oil will come out the 2 pry slots in the timing chain cover. It will leak a LOT of oil; not just a small puddle on the garage floor.

If you are getting 10 or 20 drops each night then it might be the oil pump cover which is a much easier job (though not a 1-banana job)

It may just be the oil pump cover gasket if your lucky becuz crank case cover is a silicone gasket that requires dropping upper oil pan which you must lift engine off mounts or pull out. Another culprit is possibly front crank seal. Either of the latter two are quite a job but 1st is pretty easy & someone already did a write up w/ pics. oh yeah valve cover gasket or o-ring on dizzy might be bad too and leaking down front of block. It may be more than one so maybe you can clean it up then try to reassess where leak is. Good Luck, use it's condition as leverage to drive price way down it always feels good to get a real steal.
I wasn't aware the 1FZ had oil galley plugs. My '94 has a stainless steel bearing pressed into the galley at each end.
I wasn't aware the 1FZ had oil galley plugs. My '94 has a stainless steel bearing pressed into the galley at each end.

There is at least 1 oil galley plug that is behind the timing chain cover.

Count on ~27 hours to do this job if it's the galley plug. That assumes you do not pull the head. If I had to do it again I would do the head gasket at the same time. That would add another ~10 hours to the total.

The only ones I have certain knowledge of are mine and Dan Taylor's. Mine was a failure, his was a failure to put a plug back in the hole by the machine shop after the block was cleaned. That shop also destroyed the non-replaceable oil pump idler bushing in the cleaning process.
The only ones I have certain knowledge of are mine and Dan Taylor's.

Thanks, Dan. That said, do you think it's more likely that it was another failure behind the timing cover that caused the sudden loss of oil? I know there's no way to know until someone gets in there, but I'd like to know what y'all think the law of averages is on this.

Also, if I could get this thing for as cheap as a grand, you think that's a screaming enough deal to make this worth my while? Stock '95 with 150K and lockers...
In order to comment I would need to know the specific origin of the leak.
Felix, can you post pics?

Does the truck drive? Would you be able to take it for a road test to check everything out including lockers?

How anal are you about preventative maintenance items? Let me know if you want to talk 80's, I have done lots of PM and I can share what the REAL costs of owning an 80 really are.

A $1000 80 series can really add up to a lot more $$$.
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If the leak is indeed the galley plug driving the truck is not advisable. It's like cutting a major artery. The truck could bleed-out quickly.

The first thing I would do is check the oil level. If it's way low there could be engine damage. If it's OK then I would start it and see if it makes any nasty rattling noises.

Look on the right side of the timing cover in the area where the screw driver tip is illustrated. That is where the oil will come flowing out.
If the vehicle is driven any distance with a loose galley plug you will have this:
That shop also destroyed the non-replaceable oil pump idler bushing in the cleaning process.

Mine did the same thing last week when it was hot tanked. The shop that did mine didn't bother to remove it and didn't seem too concerned. They said many OTR diesels (90% of what they work on) have similar bushings that disintegrate in the hot tank. They simply machine a new one.
With Dan's caveats, if you could get this rig for a grand, I would do it in a heartbeat. The axles alone could net you $1000 if you decided to part it.

I went to take a look at it. The oil level didn't look too low, but I think they added some at the shop where the owner took it. We got it started, and I drove it around the lot. Engine sounded good, and it shifted smoothly. I'm a little concerned about the amount of rust. Not on the body, but the bolts under the hood, suspension, hubs, etc. I think it sat in water at least up to the hubs.

Here are some pics.

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