My first DIY - '89 FJ62 head replacement (1 Viewer)

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Apr 30, 2013
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Atlanta, GA
I've had this thing for almost a year. 282K miles, most of the engine has been re-done, all original hoses replaced, belts, etc. All new brakes, calipers, brake lines, and master cylinder. Everything done by ACC here in Atlanta. The only bad thing left, which I knew about, was low compression in one cylinder, under 90. I didn't want to eat the $1500+ to have the valves re-done with labor cost, but my rig is really sluggish and has trouble going up hills at anything over 45 MPH. Which makes it pretty miserable driving up to north GA for wheeling. And I'm averaging under 10 MPG, I would think on the highway I could do a little better than that. So as we do, it's time to drop some coin and get this fixed up. She doesn't run bad, she's just not humming. I have no experience with other 62s but I'm told by friends that they can run a lot better.

After talking to a lot of folks about what I should do to remedy the issue, I bought a rebuilt 3F head (which turned out to be a 2F head, long story), so they sent out another 3F head for rebuild for me. Thanks to some handy friends with a garage and skills, we're going to undertake replacing the head ourselves.

Any particular things I should know before we start? I'll be honest, mostly I'm trusting these guys and their experience, but I do want to participate and learn.
 
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X2 on the FSM - you can download it for free from links on Mud.

2F/3FE heads are heavy. Remove the hood, get a hoist (or practice with your buddies), and do it right - you don't want to drop the head when trying to install it. Also, as always, use a genuine Toyota head gasket - nothing else. No matter what it costs, it's the only gasket to use. Consider replacing all the little putzy cooling system hoses while you're in there, too. Think 'big picture' and 'what should I really do while I have this torn apart?'. The time to fix many small issues is now, while the head is off. Prepare to heat the exhaust nuts with a torch, and spray down other fasteners in advance with WD-40. Please update this thread as you go... thanks!
 
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Atlanta, GA
Got the FSM. Wouldn't even try without it. We have a hoist. Good tip on the Toyota gasket. I have a whole set (came with the truck) but I'll go get the real deal.

The head can be off for a while, we're working in a garage and this isn't my DD. I'll do anything and everything that needs it while we have it apart. Once we remove the old gasket material and clean the block, should it be oiled to keep from rusting?
 

RockDoc

I'll take Bruce Vilanch for the block.
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Re torque the head bolts a couple times after you get it together and fired up. You can look around and see what intervals, off the top of my head I'm thinking around 50 miles and 1000 miles.
 
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The head can be off for a while, we're working in a garage and this isn't my DD. I'll do anything and everything that needs it while we have it apart. Once we remove the old gasket material and clean the block, should it be oiled to keep from rusting?

I would lightly oil it if you are going to have it off for a while. If you will have a spare 3F head ready to bolt back on, then there is no need. If you have all the parts ready to go I don't see why you shouldn't have everything apart and back together again over a long weekend. If you decide to go the slow route, lightly oil it and cover the cylinders. Before reassembling clean everything real well so that your two mating surfaces are clean and free of pitting and corrosion if possible.
 

Spike Strip

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Use a TOYOTA (or OEM) headgasket, ONLY!

You're putting a 3F-E head on, right? Late USA 2F engines use a 2/3F head.

Make sure the head has not been cut too much, or the little alignment rings (dowels) on the corners of the block, can sit too high and not let the head torque correctly.

Search for a thread started by FJ40Jim about rebuilding a 2F - EVERYthing you might want to consider for F-series engines is in there.

https://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/how-not-to-restore-the-fj40.618090/page-7
 

NCFJ

Supporting Vendor
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First off, make sure that you have the right head. If you can have the head ready to go, wait until then to take it apart. It will go much smoother putting it back together if it is fresh in your mind. BAG & TAG all hardware as you remove it. NO YOU WON'T remember where it all goes. Take lots of cell phone pictures from different angles as you go. I'd replace all vacuum lines and water hoses as a matter of procedure.

Consider this a one time job on this particular truck, do it right once :)
 
Joined
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Atlanta, GA
I'll definitely make sure it's a 3FE head before I walk out of the shop with it. :) Water and vacuum hoses were probably done 10 months ago during the first big part of the rebuild but I'll check the service records to be sure. I'm stoked!
 
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Mar 22, 2005
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everything said already. i had the same symptoms you mentioned (could hardly go up a hill)...about 7-years ago now...had to address it. took my head to the local machine shop for about $400 - three of the exhaust valves were burned badly; had the head shaved/spanked/valves/valve seats/the-works. I did the lower block in the vehicle; new rings/oil pump, etc. FYI - I had an engine lift/crane and was able to remove/install the head with the hood in place. Also plugged the air injector ports and repaired/replaced any other necessary items. Sent the carb and dist to fj40jim for some love - just do it! Result was amazing and the 2f got its mojo back and no problems since. toyota head gasket - yes.
 
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Atlanta, GA
Updates: we got everything off with about 4 - 5 hours of work. It was easier than I thought it would be, but I would advise anyone who wants to undertake this to make sure and have an air wrench and lots of socket extenders and knuckles. I think it would have taken a full day more with just a hand ratchet set.

All the pictures below are from my current engine and head. We didn't put the donor head on yet as we think there are going to be some issues. Cylinder 5 has a pretty serious score, I think you can see it in the pics. We haven't turned the engine yet so we can examine the other cylinders.

We kind of went forward thinking that low compression in cyl 4 was due to valves, now I'm not so sure. My original compression readings were:

1: 165
2: 140
3: 148
4: 115
5: 145
6: 170

So right now I'm not sure if we're going to continue. I guess I need to decide whether to put it on a truck and take it to the shop and let them look at it. I'm not at all thrilled with the idea of having the motor with 282K miles rebuilt, and I'm not thrilled about putting a bunch more money into this. But I suspect I will as everything else is pretty righteous on my truck and it's not rusty.

Picture dump below.
 
Joined
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Atlanta, GA
Thread resurrection. I sent the truck back to ACC after we had some issues and wanted to get an opinion on the weird score in cylinder 5. Turns out the block is cracked. So I'm pretty much FUBARed. :-(

So it looks like I'm going to do an LS swap. Which is cool but I am not looking forward to the hit in my wallet. Not sure what the cost is going to be yet.
 
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Atlanta, GA
I'm told it's cracked at the scored area. You can see the score in one of the pics above. Beyond that, I have no more info. I'll try to get more pics next time I'm over at ACC.

EDIT: I may be wrong about the location of the crack they found.
 
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gregnash

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Ouch that sucks dude but the LS swap will be nice.... General consensus around here is for a shop Vortec swap you are looking at around $10k depending on type of engine and what other stuff you add.
 
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I'll be staring my research into the V8 swap today. I want to make sure I know what my options are, for sure. Cost may not be as high as $10K, now that there are kits available to do all the plumbing and mounts, it's not as difficult a job as it once was. If I have to cough up 10 grand, I honestly don't know if I'll go through with it. :(
 
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Atlanta, GA
Swapping a re-gasketed 3fe in might be your cheapest and fastest option.
This is definitely on the table as well. Either me or ACC would obviously have to find another motor and hope it's everything that it should be. But as far as I'm concerned, if the cost difference between this and an LS swap is $3K or less, I'll probably opt for the LS.
 

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