LX450 engine rebuild or upgrade to V8

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by tmsimonson, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. tmsimonson

    tmsimonson

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    Year: 1997
    Miles: 145,000

    The engine is leaking at least a quart of oil every 500 miles from the lower portion of the engine. From what the previousl owner told me that basically to get to that seal you might as well rebuild the engine at the same time. I have tried leak-stops without much luck. Is it better to rebuild the engine or can I put something else in there? I was thinking maybe the V8 that comes in the newer versions? Looking for some general guidance on estimated cost to do each project.

    Thanks....
     
  2. SeanAndHis80

    SeanAndHis80

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    Which seal? The rear main or the oil pan gasket? Big difference.


    Basically changing the engine will be way more money and time.
     
  3. gisham

    gisham

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    145K is just getting broken in- get the leaks fixed and drive it for another 100K
     
  4. aclos3

    aclos3

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    I vote fix it. Even if you have to decouple the engine from the tranny, support them and remove a few mounts to replace the seal, this option will still be less involved than a full blown rebuild. 145k on a decently maintained is about the half life!
     
  5. mainemike

    mainemike

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    First you need to figure out exactly what is leaking where. Until you know the answer to that you can't make any decisions...
     
  6. lt1fire

    lt1fire

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    Figure out what is wrong
    find out how much option one and two will be
    find out which one you really want to do
    factor all that in and you will have your answer
     
  7. tmsimonson

    tmsimonson

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    To be honest I really don't know. I don't believe it's either of those. It seems to be coming from the front middle of the engine. I will try to wipe all the oil off and see if I can isolate the exact location.
     
  8. Waggoner5

    Waggoner5 SILVER Star

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    It is possible and although it hasn't been priced out yet, to do a later model Toyota V8 into an 80/450 truck. Motor mounts have been designed and built, and the harness integration has been done and documented. It will be a great upgrade for a tired 1FZ, but at 140k your a long way from that. My vote is to fix what you have. Everything leaks on a 1FZ. Valve cover gasket, front oil leak, rear seal leaks etc.
     
  9. beno

    beno Gihee Arakawa Moderator Supporting Vendor GOLD Star

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    ...eventually....

    ;)
     
  10. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Another leak detection option is to buy some dye at NAPA (~$5) and a good 110v black light (UV light). Clean everything up as good as you can first, then mix the dye with a quart of oil and add when you are 1 qt down.

    * If oil is gushing from behind the timing chain cover then you have a relatively expensive repair; ~$1,200 labour but the parts will be cheap.
    * If the oil is seeping from the oil pump cover then you have a fairly minor repair that you can attempt yourself or ~$400 labour and some O-rings. Add the front crank seal while you are in there.
    * The leak could also be coming from the front crank seal which would still be the ~$400 labour.
    * It is possible that you have a failed distributor O-ring but we haven't seen them leak that bad. You would be able to see oil coming from underneath the dizzy. ~$60 labor
    * The other place toward the front of the engine is the front pan arch. It will be hard to isolate a leak here from the front main seal. There is a picture around here somewhere, that Cruiserdan posted to show how to put some RTV in the leak area and determine if it is from a main seal or a pan arch. A front pan arch would probably be around $1,000 labour because they have to raise the engine a few inches to get the pans off. There are 2 oil pans on your engine.

    The above are all guesses on the labour and depend on your mechanic's hourly rate. As others have said, you need to find the leak, then post back here with pictures and someone will point you to a thread with instructions and pictures.

    Unless that engine as been abused, you should fix the leak and forget about an engine swap. Those get spendy and take a lot of time and skill.

    -B-
     
  11. Nay

    Nay

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    I figure that if a V8 conversion is even an option financially, why the hell not? What a great upgrade to a forever underpowered pig. But of course that would mean for me "dropping it off at a really competent shop, paying a huge check, and picking it back up when completed, with a good warranty on the work".

    If I had to do any of this myself, quite honestly I'd sell it dirt cheap to somebody who thinks that kind of work makes your rig a deal, and I'd buy another one. They just don't cost enough to spend your life on one that's failing. This would be the "forklift upgrade" approach.
     
  12. gnx7

    gnx7

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    Even if you do an engine conversion by yourself in your own garage it isn't going to be "cheap." New exhaust, wiring integration, engine/trans adapter etc. Many many hours of fabwork and frustration.

    The factory 4.5i will last a long time but is a little underpowered for a lifted and armour'd FZJ80 unless you drive the sh*t out of it or add 4:88's. It will however run forever with very few issues and others on the trail should have parts if you break down. Staying near stock is the best bet unless you like being a pioneer.

    FYI- I have a GT35R turbo'd 1FZ setup making 8psi (untuned) and a 2001 5.3 liter 2wd Silverado completely pulled away from me. It was stock... I am probably 1Klbs heavier and on 33" tires. 0-80mph walked me by a few truck lengths. I get 12mpg avg... .the 5.3 gets maybe 17mpg avg. You can pick up a complete 5.3 from car-part.com for under $1K all day long with wiring harness/computer with LOW miles. Then you need to decide if you run the stock trans or go with a 4L65E and then try to adapt the Tcase.

    Fix the leaks and don't look back. That motor will run for a very very long time.
     
  13. Mrs4x4

    Mrs4x4

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    i have a leak and thought about the same thing. i will know fix my leak.
     
  14. tmsimonson

    tmsimonson

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    The dye was a good idea. I tried it but still had difficulty tracking down the leak. I decided to take it into a reputable shop and what I heard back is they believe it's the oil pump? They said it is going to cost $590 to fix. Does this seem reasonable?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  15. SBFJ60FIG

    SBFJ60FIG

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    So tell us TM-simonson....what's your mechanical ability?

    If you've got the time and a car to drive while doing this it shouldn't be too bad.

    I'm sure someone else will chime in but I'm pretty confident that you could take the T-Cover off while leaving the head in place. The pan will for sure need to come out, which I'm sure it could use a fresh gasket anyway.

    It's a lot of work...but you can do it man....believe in yourself! Saying and thinking you can do it if the first step to actually making it happen!
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    You might ask them what they plan to replace when the do the "oil pump."

    The most common "oil pump" problem is the O-ring that seals the oil pump cover. I do not believe we have ever had an oil pump fail. The reason is that it is a big gear-looking thing that is driven by a gear that is driven by the crankshaft. There isn't much to fail with the pump itself. There is a pressure relief spring but it is also simple and I don't think we have ever had someone say theirs failed.

    The crank pulley/harmonic damper has to be removed to get to the oil pump cover. There are a couple of good write-ups on this procedure; one of the best was done by Zane. I think you can do a SEARCH using keywords: (Zane oil pump cover) or (oil pump cover bit) in the 80-Section and you should turn up his well-done thread.

    In post #10 above, you were given an estimate of $400 for the labour on this repair. I think that is reasonable. Zane says he did the job in less than 3 hours. It took me a LOT longer but I move like molasses.

    -B-
     
  17. SBFJ60FIG

    SBFJ60FIG

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    Ahh...indeed....if just the oil pump o-ring no need to pull timing cover....

    But as we all know oil leaks are like trying to plug holes in a sinking ship....they are probably ubiquitous, just a matter of which one is "flowing" and which ones are seeping.
     
  18. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Very true.

    I recently did the front crank seal and the oil pump cover O-ring. Everything under there got all sparkly clean and was nice and shiny. When I was putting it back together I noticed a tiny bit of old dirty oil weeping from the front pan arch. It was just a trace but I knew then that the oil leak wasn't fixed. So a future project will be to drop the pans and seal the pan arches. Yuck.

    Lucky for me that my leak is NOT 1qt every 500 miles. I am hoping that it is not even 10 drops every 500 miles.

    -B-
     
  19. reverie

    reverie

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    Before I read this I was goin to tell him he needs a turbo. What gears do you have? Maybe you need another turbo.:flipoff2:
     
  20. Jefmarty

    Jefmarty

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    I have a '97 LX450 with 208,000 miles on it. Replaced the rear seal (had to disconnect tranny, etc.), which was the main leak (still have valve cover gastket leak but no biggy) at around 192,000 for just under $1,000 at an independent shop. Dealership wanted about 1k more given all the labor. Despite the leaks, motor has continued to run like a top and has been turn-key its entire life. Still outperforms any other car on the road every winter we take the family to the snow (not speedy mind you, but as sure footed in ice and snow as anything on the road). Plan on keeping it forever. Fix the leak and keep on truckin!
     
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