Engine work time very soon (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 26, 2017
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133
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Albuquerque, NM
So my 97 LX450 has 230k miles on it right now. At about 150k the PO changed the head gasket, but did not do any head work. Due to such, right now I am burning through a quart of oil about every 700-900 miles. I know the gasket is still fine since my coolant looks great, dipstick looks great and I dont have any performance issues that would show up normally with coolant in the cylinders. So this now brings me to 3-4 options. Before I talk about the options lets me preface with the truck itself...it if lifted on OME's, 37's, Nitro 5.29 gears, and armor all the way around. Its a heavy pig. Granted I dont have a RTT and dont do overnights in it so I dont have all the kitchen or sleeping gear (I come back to base camp at the RV every night). I do have my standard tools though and spare water and food for emergencies. I DD the thing and pickup my kids from school, work, etc as well as off road with normally between 5-7 total humans in it. 2 adult and 5 kids or 1 adult and 6 kids normally, but off road it is normally 2 adults and 3 kids or 4 adults and a kid or two. Did I say it was a heavy pig going down the road? The 5.29 gears for sure help it out, but it still has a hard time pulling a grade. In no world would I ever consider buying a pulling an overlanding trailer with this.

So now back to the three options. With what weight I am trying to get around, I am starting to come to head with what direction I need to take this thing...

Option 1 - Rebuild engine. This would fix my oil burn and more than likely give me some performance gain back. This would be the cheapest option.

Option 2 - Rebuild engine and then supercharge it (if I can still find a supercharger somewhere). Take option 1 add $4500 and gain a good amount of power.

Option 3 - 5.3/6.0/6.2 chevy swap - Great power gain, good MPG increase, but if I understand correctly, I have to change the trans out with it, but can get an adapter for the transfer case? I will have to either also have to have a trans with a really low overdrive or change the gears down to maybe 4.88 so I am not driving at 3000 RPM's at 75 MPH like I am now.

Option 4 - Cummins swap - My friend Walt owns TAV LLC in Albuquerque NM. He has put the new 2.8 cumming repower in both an FJ40 and late 80's SAS'ed taco. Now the taco is light, but the FJ40, not so much. Granted, I am heavier than the 40, but not sure how much. He was pretty confident that the 2.8 cummins could handle an FZJ80, but the rumors are out there that they could be coming out with something in the 3.5-4.0 liter diesel repower very soon. If this is the case, I would lean in that direction instead of the 2.8. In any case, this would require a trans swap out as well as for sure a gear replacement. This option would cost a crap ton of money I am sure, but I have a hunch that if I ever had to sell it, I could post it up here and get call after call for it.


Now due to the fact that the insurance company would not give me jack squat for it if totaled or damaged, option 4 may not be that smart of an option...but would be VERY VERY cool.

For those of you that have done 2 and 3, what is the approximate cost of doing it. I am pretty handy so I would be able to pull the existing motor out and could do a standard rebuild on my own, so option 2 I can do with my own labor. However option 3 would be hard since I dont have a welder nor know how to do it correctly. Because of this, I would have to have a 3rd party shop go in and do the frame work, motor mounts, cross members, etc. I also would prefer to have the original gauge cluster work so it would require some wiring harnesses and I am sure some controllers to have the chevy output signal get converted to the proper signal for the toyota/lexus tach, oil pressure, coolant temp, etc.

Ok....discuss...
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
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Twin Ports of Superior, WI and Duluth, MN
More than likely, it's just the valve stem seals which would be cheaper and easier than all of the options you've listed. I think someone said you could even do that without having to pull the head entirely, but that could be wrong. At any rate, going back in to pull the head again could be done over the course of a weekend, then have the head in schedule of the machine shop of your choice and then re-install everything the next weekend.

It's your time and money, but if it were me and the motor ran fine other than the oil consumption, that would be the route I would go. Kind of a bummer that they didn't just do it when they pulled the head the last time as it would have only added another $600-1000 bucks to surface the head, install new valve stem guide seals and adjust the lash.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
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Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
Yes, you can replace the valve seals without pulling the head. Most people force compressed air into the cylinder to keep the valve up. In the old days, people stuck a rope into the cylinder and wound up the crank to do the same thing.

I won't debate the V8, or diesel, swap idea.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
133
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I just wanna do it right...with that many miles, it would not hurt to have the head done. I think I can get some performance back by replacing the springs and having all the carbon and what not cleaned off the valves.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
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696
Location
Chattanooga, TN
My experience with these engines is limited, as I'm working on my first one now, but given how things looked on my 1fzfe when I pulled the head off of it at 230k I'd personally just reseal the valves in place and drive it for a while before getting into any bigger work. It seems typical for cylinders to show nice cross-hatching marks and no top ridge or other wear patterns of concern at this mileage and for heads to be good except for valve seals also.

Unless you just have time and $$ to kill I'd consider just doing the following:

-compression test primarily to confirm consistent #s across all cylinders
-buy a cheap bore scope and look around in the cylinders to get a sense of current wear (just an example, there are tons of these to be had for cheap: https://www.amazon.com/MiluoTech-En...UTF8&qid=1507581462&sr=8-5&keywords=borescope)
-if no problems found replace the valve seals and any other hoses/seals/tune-up items etc. that are easy to get to or that you encounter on the way in/out of the job.

Unless you have issues with your engine I don't think you'll get much out of a full rebuild at this point. Performance upgrades could be a good idea without a rebuild as you could get them settled/tuned in without risking blowing up a new rebuild and then in another 100k or so you could plan to go through the full rebuild/etc.

My .02, probably worth what you paid for it...

Let us know what you do and learn along the way.
 

Proven

RTFM, STEP 6, POST
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
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915
Location
Atlanta
I don't know why but a 230k vehicle thats using a quart of oil every 900 miles doesn't sound too crazy to me.

Are you sure it's being burned? mine bleeds, if I use to thin of an oil, from the distributor and "somewhere else". I got some drips. I keep her topped off and I drive it.

I am 64 miles from 200k myself.
 

PDoyle

SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 5, 2003
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Saratoga Lake, NY
Here's an idea. Do the seals on the current engine. Find a used motor, rebuild it, install it. Rebuild that one... sell it rebuilt. Depending how much energy / $ you have of course.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
133
Location
Albuquerque, NM
White smoke at startup, but then goes away when warmed up. I may have a small amount of bleed, but like really small. Valve cover gasket may let a little out, but it doesnt put a single drop on the ground. This tells me burned not bleed.
 

ppc

M Go Blue
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
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Nashville, TN
White smoke at startup, but then goes away when warmed up. I may have a small amount of bleed, but like really small. Valve cover gasket may let a little out, but it doesnt put a single drop on the ground. This tells me burned not bleed.

White "smoke" would be water vapor, blue smoke would be oil. If it is oil then being only at startup points to oil that has leaked pass the valve seals/guides after shutdown and not rings.
 

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