Gotta get 'er dun...

Joined
May 15, 2006
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60
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Chicago and CA
I looks like I might take in the 80 for a leaky headgasket. Its been leaking for a long time, and am not sure if its "okay" or if I will end up like a bunch of you guys with blown gaskets. Here are some stats:

THE GOOD
1. original owner (96)
2. 109K miles
3. no mods
4. oil level is good and clean

THE BAD
1. Last major service 75K (general)
2. The leaky gasket (which is leaking oil all around the lower block, but nothing on the ground).
3. low and rough idle when car is warmed up
4. low oil pressure reading when car is warmed up (10-40%)



I got some quotes from the dealer and they said they could do the headgasket for $1000+ and some local shop said they could do it for a couple of hundred. So does this shop not know what its getting into with this job? Should I go with the dealer?


I am unfamiliar with how serious of an issue this leak really is and I don't want it to blow on me. If its an easy job, should I just let the oil/lube shop do it along with a tune up??

I really would like any advice. THANKS!!
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
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Can you show us some pictures of where it's leaking? Most HG failures here that I have read about involve it blowing inside cylinder 6 and allowing coolant into the combustion chamber (obviously bad), as well as other symptoms. Are you sure it's not the valve cover gasket leaking?
 
Joined
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it sounds like you may simply have a leaking valve cover gasket, oil pump seal or other fairly minor gasket leak. your rough idle may be something else other than the HG... maybe need new plugs and or dist. wires?

I do not think you have a HG from what you describe. do you have oil mixed in your coolant
I think there are other things to rule out before jumping into the HG.
 
Joined
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I do not think you have a HG from what you describe. do you have oil mixed in your coolant

I think there are other things to rule out before jumping into the HG.


^^ The above sounds very reassuring. I will try and post some pics tomorrow. It would be great if it were just a minor leak. One of the shop guys said it looked very minor.

My plan is to have toyota do a tuneup and replace all the plugs and wires. They will also check out the cause of the leak. I was just unsure whether I should be looking at some huge expenses in the near future.

I am in med school right now (no time, no money). And the goal is to keep the landcruiser running as long as possible and postpone the proper maintenance until I am done (only more 18ms).

As far as the oil/coolant mixing.. is that something that will be visible in the resevoir? I checked that earlier today and it had what looked like specs of debris in it. I didn't think much of it, it couldn't be oil as that would change the color of the fluid in the resevoir.

THANKS ALOT GUYS!
 
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Here are some pics I took today. The coolant resevoir does look dark. Not sure if that's oil or just blue coolant. Does this look okay?

102_4760.jpg


102_4759.jpg


102_4761.jpg


102_4762.jpg


102_4763.jpg
 
Joined
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SE Iowa
Valve cover gasket looks bad to me. That's not to say the head gasket is perfect, but the oil you are seeing in the pics is coming from the valve cover gasket. Cheap and easy to do yourself.

Tony
 
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Valve cover gasket looks bad to me. That's not to say the head gasket is perfect, but the oil you are seeing in the pics is coming from the valve cover gasket. Cheap and easy to do yourself.

Tony

Thanks Tony. Does it look like there is oil in the coolant tank (I know its a bad pic)? Could that happen with a valve cover gasket leak?
 
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Here are some pics I took today.

I wouldn't bother with that minor valve cover leak unless you are in doing something else. Take 10 minutes and tighten each bolt a bit. They take VERY LITTLE torque. I can't recall the number but it is basically hand tight with a metric nut driver or similar. Don't crank them down.

I cannot tell anything on the coolant from that picture. I cannot even tell what you took a picture of.

FYI, a valve cover gasket is a 1 hour job just about anyone should be able to do. A head gasket is yet another matter and experienced 1FZ-FE wrenches will need 12+ hours for the job.

-B-
 
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is your coolant res. empty? looks like the valve cover gasket, and i wouldn't worry to much. I would be more concerned with the statement "postpone the proper maintenance" these are expensive vehicles to maintain, but if done can run a long time. I try to keep mine up to date, and just got back from a weekend camping trip where it carried 4 men, and a full load 200+ miles and i wasn't concerned with the 300+k on the vehicle.
 
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I wouldn't bother with that minor valve cover leak unless you are in doing something else. Take 10 minutes and tighten each bolt a bit. They take VERY LITTLE torque. I can't recall the number but it is basically hand tight with a metric nut driver or similar. Don't crank them down.

I cannot tell anything on the coolant from that picture. I cannot even tell what you took a picture of.

FYI, a valve cover gasket is a 1 hour job just about anyone should be able to do. A head gasket is yet another matter and experienced 1FZ-FE wrenches will need 12+ hours for the job.

-B-

Thanks, I am not well inclined mechanically. I don't even know the diff between a valve and head gasket. But I am picking up this stuff based the opinions of you guys.

That last pic above is actually a view inside the side coolant resevoir. Its on the passenger side right next to the radiator.

I can clean up the block a little and tighten (lightly) and see if the leak goes away.

I am content if it doesn't look bad.
 
Joined
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is your coolant res. empty? looks like the valve cover gasket, and i wouldn't worry to much. I would be more concerned with the statement "postpone the proper maintenance" these are expensive vehicles to maintain, but if done can run a long time. I try to keep mine up to date, and just got back from a weekend camping trip where it carried 4 men, and a full load 200+ miles and i wasn't concerned with the 300+k on the vehicle.

Yeah I know.. "postpone" maintenance is really not something you wanna do with an 80. Most likely I will have a tune up done at toyota and they will tell me where it all stands.

The coolant resevoir is actually kinda at the full level (see third pic). It just looks empty in the last one because I literally stuck my camera lens into the resevoir and took the pic.
 
Joined
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Thanks Tony. Does it look like there is oil in the coolant tank (I know its a bad pic)? Could that happen with a valve cover gasket leak?

Can't tell much by the pic. You could be missing the valve cover gasket entirely and still not get oil in the coolant because of it. Short answer - no.

Tony
 
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Have you started using synthetic oil last oil change? Alot of times when a person changes to synthetic oil on an older engine, gaskets will start leaking just like your pictures look. If you haven't changed over to synthetic lately, go buy yourself some "Simply Green" cleaner (Walmart) and clean up the dirty areas. Watch to see if it leaks anymore after tighten up the valve cover bolts. If it leaks, then get the valve cover gasket changed. Or just keep cleaning it until you get out of school. It oil only seeps out slowly (dirty every oil change), there is no harm being done and you can make it for 18 months.

If you only have a little money to spend, make sure the cooling system is maintained. Flush, new thermostat, and new rad. cap to start with. Fan clutch after that. Toyota parts only. This is the best way to gaurd against Head Gasket failures. :hillbilly:
 
Joined
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Have you started using synthetic oil last oil change? Alot of times when a person changes to synthetic oil on an older engine, gaskets will start leaking just like your pictures look. If you haven't changed over to synthetic lately, go buy yourself some "Simply Green" cleaner (Walmart) and clean up the dirty areas. Watch to see if it leaks anymore after tighten up the valve cover bolts. If it leaks, then get the valve cover gasket changed. Or just keep cleaning it until you get out of school. It oil only seeps out slowly (dirty every oil change), there is no harm being done and you can make it for 18 months.

If you only have a little money to spend, make sure the cooling system is maintained. Flush, new thermostat, and new rad. cap to start with. Fan clutch after that. Toyota parts only. This is the best way to gaurd against Head Gasket failures. :hillbilly:

Thanks Hombre,

I need to clean it up and tighten it down. A coolant flush and some small parts here and there are no biggie and will get that done in a couple days.

The plan is to do a complete clean up of everything once I am done with school. Right know its my only car and with rotations I can't afford the time (moreso than the money) to drop it off. Hopefully it keeps going.

Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions.
 
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your LC sounds like it's in good shape and just needs a little scheduled maintence.

the owner needs to stay off Mud and let the paranoia die down ;)

good luck w/ it. i think the lc is fine tho
 
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your LC sounds like it's in good shape and just needs a little scheduled maintence.

the owner needs to stay off Mud and let the paranoia die down ;)

good luck w/ it. i think the lc is fine tho

LOL, you're telling me! I love this forum, but yeah.. I am going shizoid/paranoid with all these headgasket failures lately.

Plus, knowing it doesn't look too bad is enough for me.. I have boards in just about two months to worry about.. :D
 

Romer

fatherofdaughterofromer
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Valve cover gasket and you should replace the 6 spark plu grommets while your doing it. It's also real easy to replace the PCV valve when the valve cover is off. Parts are not to expensive.

Craeful on those bolts when tightening. They are a soft metal and will snap easy as B said.
 
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your LC sounds like it's in good shape and just needs a little scheduled maintence.

the owner needs to stay off Mud and let the paranoia die down ;)

good luck w/ it. i think the lc is fine tho


X 10

Looking at your coolant.........I would almost put 10 bucks on the table and say its original, original toyota red mixed with "anything available" and you are over due for a good flush.

Do your PHH while you are at it (search for that one).

Have a cold one:beer:..........you have a nice low mile rig.
 
Joined
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I am way, way more at ease now. I have an appt soon at toyota to get all the basics covered and it'll be good.

Its just nice to get the opinions of other owner's before taking it in to the dealer esp since I was thinking it was a HG, that would have been really bad.

I've been driving it and its a great truck, I plan on keeping long after med school, residency.... and hopefully I can spruce it up when I am done.
 

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