Mechanic Says Blown Motor

Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Peoria, Az
Took my 1996 80 to mechanic for rough idle, super stinky start up and a bit of white smoke at start up.
I've owned this now for 8 months in Phoenix Az. To my knowledge I don't think I have overheated it as my gauge never spiked up. There is no oil in coolant, no missing coolant, oil is not frothy. Maintenance has been superb. If I drive for a few errands then go to start it, it will start before a full rotation of the starter, seems super quick. While driving it will take a minute to shift to the next gear.

Question is, what can I do to prolong the life of the motor to get home for Christmas? It would be a 775 mile drive over the Tetons and my first Christmas in 10 years with my mom and brothers and grandparents. Any advise is appreciated.

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Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
27
Location
Fayetteville, North Carolina
When the mechanic says the motor is blown, what exactly do they mean? If head gasket is a concern, you can check by starting truck and removing the radiator cap. With the cap removed put a balloon over the hole. If the head gasket is going out the balloon will fill with exhaust gas that is coming in to the cooling system. What do you mean by stinky start up? More info please. As far as rough idle, could be vacuum leak somewhere.

EDIT: how many miles are on the truck?
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Northeast PA
How many miles on the engine?

A blown motor is generally unlikely under a zillion miles assuming nothing foolish has been done (overheated, no oil, never changing the oil, ect).

It could be a blown head gasket, which is what your symptoms seem to point toward (assuming stinky means an antifreeze odor).

If that's the case there really is no temporary remedy, other than replacing the gasket.
 

Proven

RTFM, STEP 6, POST
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
781
Location
Atlanta
Mine is stinky at startup because I have some leaking valve stems so it burns some oil each start up.

I would suggest a second opinion from someone familiar with FZJ80's.

Rough Idle - Every one I have driven has had a stumble ,at least, at idle that just makes the needle move slightly. How rough is your idle?

Smoke on startup - Condensation in the exhaust pipe will burn off and should go away, especially in the winter. How long does the smoke last and how much of a plume are you seeing?

The condition of that engine bay and evidence of a new radiator makes me believe someone took decent care of this before you got it, so I would hope the motor wasn't blown.

I would recommend only using toyota oil filters in the future though.
 

Mark W

 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,241
Location
The Greatland
Took my 1996 80 to mechanic for rough idle, super stinky start up and a bit of white smoke at start up.
I've owned this now for 8 months in Phoenix Az. To my knowledge I don't think I have overheated it as my gauge never spiked up. There is no oil in coolant, no missing coolant, oil is not frothy. Maintenance has been superb. If I drive for a few errands then go to start it, it will start before a full rotation of the starter, seems super quick. While driving it will take a minute to shift to the next gear.

Question is, what can I do to prolong the life of the motor to get home for Christmas? It would be a 775 mile drive over the Tetons and my first Christmas in 10 years with my mom and brothers and grandparents. Any advise is appreciated.

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The pictures of the engine bay really do not provide any info. Just shows an absolutely normal engine. While it might have shown a particularly dirty or oily one, that would not have really given any info to offer opinion either.
And "mechanic says blown motor"... that really tells nothing as well. :(

Details? What did he tell you was wrong with the rig? What sort of symptoms of possible problems does it exhibit... knocks, vibration lack of power... anything? The symptoms you do mention sound more like minor tune-up and service type stuff if I was to make a guess.

A 1996 FZJ80 is not an exotic animal. It really *should* not take a specialist to work on it. Any competent and experience mechanic *should* be able to maintain and repair it with no issues. That said, AS a Land Cruiser specialist, I see an awful lot of rigs that come to me because other non-specialist can not maintain and service them properly. :(

Generally speaking, I reserve the term "blown engine" for a catastrophic failure, or at least one which renders the engine inoperable. If you drove it in with what sound like minor complaints, I have trouble calling that a "blown engine". Beyond that many many shops do not actually do major repairs on engines, much less rebuild and overhaul. They simply replace the engine when it needs major work. As a business model. for most vehicles and most shops that makes the most sense.

Ask your mechanic for full details. Both facts and opinions/impressions. Make sure you understand which is which as he provides them. If you don't understand what he is telling you... tell him so and ask him to explain so that you do.

Then you will have a better idea what to pass on here, what to inquire about from other sources and what your options are with him. This will also tell you what you can expect from the rig and give you data to consider if you do not repair it right away.

Mark...
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
3,975
Location
Colorado
Sounds to me like:

1) Mechanic either does not want to do any work, or wants to take you to the cleaners, take your pick.
2) Best case you have minor tune-up issues and you're good to go for Christmas
3) Worst case, you need a head gasket and should find a different mechanic to diagnose and repair--and better hurry to be done by Christmas.

Smoke and smell could be leaking valve seals--allows oil into the combustion chamber, which burns off when you start the car. Basically not a big concern, just check the oil when you fill up and add more as needed.

OR, smoke and smell could be a symptom of the head gasket going. If it's the head gasket, get it fixed before your road trip.

If the motor isn't making any knocking or ticking noises and runs more or less normally aside from rough idle, it's not blown, and should be repairable.
 
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Peoria, Az
When the mechanic says the motor is blown, what exactly do they mean? If head gasket is a concern, you can check by starting truck and removing the radiator cap. With the cap removed put a balloon over the hole. If the head gasket is going out the balloon will fill with exhaust gas that is coming in to the cooling system. What do you mean by stinky start up? More info please. As far as rough idle, could be vacuum leak somewhere.

EDIT: how many miles are on the truck?
Like the idea, never knew that about the balloon! Going try right now. Theee are 257,000 mi
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
6,877
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Like the idea, never knew that about the balloon! Going try right now. Theee are 257,000 mi
Do you have any maintenance history on the truck? Look through the glove box for past receipts and/or plug in your VIN on the Toyota Website to check the maintenance history. (Someone else, I need reminded of that website)

If your HG has been replaced in its history, odds are, it's fine.

I personally think the shop is trying to take you to the cleaners.

The "smoke" is likely water vapor from the exhaust after cool morning start-up with high relative humidity.

Check the radiator (make sure it's cool to tart with!) and that will be the first, cheapest round of tests.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
6,877
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Ooh yuck! I opened the oil cap to replenish some oil, and it smells like fuel.

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If it smells like fuel, you may need an oil change.

You also need to buy a new oil cap gasket (or oil cap) because the seal is cracked and will allow in some air and may cause a slight stumble at idle.

While you're at it, buy a new gas cap and power steering reservoir cap. Those will help stem other leaks as well.

You can buy parts here:
Toyota Parts | Toyota Online Parts | Genuine Toyota Parts | Toyota Parts Online
www.partsouq.com

Keep posting what you see. We can walk you through it.

Please post your exact concerns and we can offer armchair opinions based on real-life experience.

Welcome!:flipoff2::flipoff2::flipoff2:
 
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Peoria, Az
Balloon test proved no air. Whew. I did not let it get up to operating temps though.

Changed oil at 247,600 miles, now has 248,251 miles.

Recently after a 15 mile trip it seemed to get warm and smelled a good amount of oil burning in engine bay compartment.

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Last edited:

Mark W

 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,241
Location
The Greatland
Smells like fuel? Or smells like exhaust/burnt fuel. Exhaust/burnt fuel smell is normal. Just combustion gases that get by the rings.

Mark...
 

Mark W

 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,241
Location
The Greatland
Seat of the pants tests are not bad. Often good for revealing significant problems But a real cooling system pressure test, a compression test and a leak down test will tell a lot more, find faults a simple test might miss and often contradict the homegrown quickie checks.

Mark...
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
72
I would get another mechanic to take a look at your cruiser, I would do an oil change, a radiator flush, pcv valve, spark plugs/wire replacedd and make sure your cat converters are not clogged up!
By looking at your beautiful stock 4.5 liter 1fzfe engine, it looks very healthy from pics!!!
Your rough idle could be as simple as your spark plugs and wires to the distributor!
Those items I’ve mentioned are common maintenance alongs with driveshaft u joints lubrication.
The pics of coolant and oil cap are normal, fuel smell in the oil cap is normal as well don’t be disturbed my those things, your Fj80 is built like a tank!!!!
 
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