Oil Consumption - VC or HG?? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
1,484
Hey guys, long time lurker of the 80 forum here and have picked up quite a bit of valuable knowledge. I have to call on your guys' expertise here as I chase down some excessive oil consumption. Over the next 7 weeks I will be studying for a FINRA exam at work and won't have the time necessary to do the hours of research that I normally would perform... any help would be appreciated.

So to give a background on the vehicle, it's a 1997 Pink Panty LX450 with 151,XXX miles that I purchased with 143,XXX miles just over a year ago. Since I've had it, I've done the oil changes, I rebuilt the front end and put on 33" KM2s, OME 850/860, ARB Winch bar, and Metaltech sliders.

I've always kept a watchful eye on the oil but the consumption is quite a bit excessive. The block is pretty much coated with oil from the top down, front to back. The valve cover may not even be there any more for all I know, so I went to the local NTB to get a quote (remember my lack of time??). I talked with them for nearly 30 minutes on the vehicle and got a quote of 2 hours at $97 per hour... but if I bring OEM parts, they'll tack on an extra half hour labor. This seems "fair" since I don't really have the time to mess with it, even if it is two hours (girlfriend likes her time too).

In our discussion, we started talking about head gaskets on the vehicle. The mechanic was there and he said he's worked on these vehicles before, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. When we got into the discussion of HOW much oil the thing consumes, the mechanic said it was leaning toward a head gasket failure.

Now to preface this, and before I go any further, I'll talk about the oil consumption. I check the dip stick every time I fill up and I think I put in right around a quart the last time I filled up. This was 170 miles ago (still getting 11.67 mpg all city). I checked the dip stick tonight and there was about a 1/4 of a quart showing on the dip stick. This raised my eyebrows after a nice meal of Hardee's (had I known the news of NTB, I would have eaten Ramen Noodles).

Back to the mechanic. He said that excessive oil consumption can point to head gasket. All I've read about concerning HG failure was because of poor cooling in the motor - overheating, etc. He seemed to concur and unfortunately, I can't recall what his rational was. He said they don't like Bars stop leak, and prefer Blue Devil. He also said that a puff of blue smoke was HG and not just "blow by." I always though white was more a sign of coolant/HG...

In the last year I've owned it, the truck has never been excessively slow, I've only seen two puffs of smoke early on after it sat running for approximately 5 minutes before I put it in drive, and I don't show any signs of coolant leaks. The overflow tank hasn't budged since I've owned it.



So to turn to mud, what do you guys think? Is this plausible? What should I do from here? I'm going to call the dealerships here in town... if I'm paying someone $97 for labor, I'll gladly pay $105 at a dealership to get all their wonderful perks.

Oh and if all that news isn't bad enough, the hood latch cable is stretched out and is giving me fits... I guess I'll be researching that one next...

Thanks guys... Here's a pic because we all know threads are worthless without them.

10403024_1777917249937_965520024009309153_n.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
4,918
Location
SacTown!
Sounds like up selling to me. Blue smoke is associated with burning oil and like you said white smoke is associated with burning coolant.

Have you tried to simply tighten the valve cover bolts? Mine were turn by hand loose especially for the rear bolts. Also have you replaced the dizzy o-ring? That helped a lot with my oil leak. My valve cover still leaks a bit but almost no other leaks besides that.

I would replace the PCV valve and grommet first to trouble shoot you burning oil problem. Have you cleaned your TB? Is it caked? If so you need to replace the PCV valve.




...Misspelled via IH8MUD app
 

NLXTACY

Wits' End
Supporting Vendor
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
26,795
Location
West Hills, CA
Get a can of GUNK engine spray and spray the valve cover, head and front of engine down. Then hose it down. Repeat as needed. This takes mere minutes and will help you see where things are leaking. If you have bad rings then head gasket isn't going to solve your problem.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
794
Location
Canyon Lake, TX
What do you mean it is fair they tack another 1/2 hour labor if you bring your own parts? That's enough for me to go somewhere else. Qball is right on. Do those 2 things first, clean it up real nice with Simple Green. And re-access.

Have you reached down and made sure the oil filter is nice and snug???

By far the majority of HG blowouts on our Cruisers are shown by coolant loss. Not oil. You would be fogging the place up if you were burning a qt. every 170 miles. Plenty of blue smoke.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
3,555
Location
N. West CT.
Well you will need to clean eventually but if you need to find the source quick just add some florescent dye to your oil, drive then inspect with black light.
Buring oil with blueish smoke mainly on startup is valve stem seals. Mines been doing it for 15 k miles. Ill most likely redo this winter along with head gasket.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
4,918
Location
SacTown!
Ah forgot to mention valve stem seal, if you do replace the valve cover seal then might as well replace the valve stem seal along with PCV and grommet. Then if you haven't done so already, replace plugs, wire, cap rotor, dizzy o-ring, clean out your TB, erg ports..........


...Misspelled via IH8MUD app
 

LFD2037

TEXAS LEXUS!
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
3,922
Location
Wax., TEXAS
I was burning about 1-1.5qt in 600 miles. Just by changing PCV valve I now burn about 1qt every 1,200 miles. Significant difference. Clean it because its not leaking from all over. Figure out where its leaking then research the repair. It's not from a HG.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
1,484
What do you mean it is fair they tack another 1/2 hour labor if you bring your own parts? That's enough for me to go somewhere else. Qball is right on. Do those 2 things first, clean it up real nice with Simple Green. And re-access.

Have you reached down and made sure the oil filter is nice and snug???

By far the majority of HG blowouts on our Cruisers are shown by coolant loss. Not oil. You would be fogging the place up if you were burning a qt. every 170 miles. Plenty of blue smoke.

Yeah, I thought it was a bit ridiculous at first too. He said it was to cover themselves if something were to happen. Later in the convo, I found out they can order OEM parts... I think at $97/hour I'll stick with the dealership or find a local mud member to help out since I'm pressed for time and knowledge.

I checked a few of the bolts and they were at the very least finger tight and I couldn't loosen them. I have read there isn't really a "torque" for those bolts? Is that correct or am I thinking of something else?? I'll have to check some of the threads to find out.

Good call on the oil filter. I will check but won't hold my breath - lots of oil on the passenger side of the block haha.

You guys give me some hope that it's not the HG. I purchased an Ultragauge today to watch my temps before all this saga happened so I'm eager to see where I sit. Hopefully provide me a sign of relief.

I'll get around to cleaning it this week sometime and then when I do my rear brakes (hopefully Saturday) I'll have a better opportunity to look at it further.

Along the same note, I should add that I do a "splash and dash" with the oil. What I mean by that is, I put it in knowing approximately what it SHOULD take to bring it to the top of the dipstick, never adding more than a quart. However, tonight when I checked after adding roughly half a quart, I didn't see a noticeable jump on the dipstick.. could be that the car isn't level. I'll do more investigating on that one tomorrow when I'm at work or when I get home.

Pictures will come when there's light too.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

And, if you guys want a laugh... they wanted to charge $150 to do a leak down test on the motor... that's an hour and a half of labor. Inquiring minds wanted to know just what that would be (I like to know these things)
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
3,555
Location
N. West CT.
Ah forgot to mention valve stem seal, if you do replace the valve cover seal then might as well replace the valve stem seal along with PCV and grommet. Then if you haven't done so already, replace plugs, wire, cap rotor, dizzy o-ring, clean out your TB, erg ports..........


...Misspelled via IH8MUD app
Valve stem seals can only be done with the head off. Usually at headgasket time.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
1,484
So, the motor is covered in oil. Why would one not conclude that there's an oil leak?
Valid point. Sounds like they were just trying to up sell for a HG job since there's a concern of these things on 80s.

I'm going to start with chasing it down and cleaning it to see how it looks first
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
1,484
Now, the motor was fairly well covered in oil when I bought it so it's not something that just "popped" up. It just seems to have gotten a little worse over the last year.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
544
Location
Big Rock IL
No change in coolant, no engine smoke to mention. It would appear your using about 1 Qt of oil every 200 miles. Thats about 177 drops per mile, a little less if you figure In down time drops. Your engine would be raining oil from leaks. That much oil leaking would be a big neon sign flashing somewhere on your engine. My ft main seal and oil pump cover were leaking to the point where the bottom of my rig was covered from the engine to the spare tire and I lost maybe a half Qt. In 3000 mi. oil change. 80 series mechanic is the smart choice. Good Luck.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
4,374
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
HG can cause oil consumption but it would be very unusual. The more common symptom is coolant getting into the oil and causing the oil level to rise. Unless there's another symptom, your mechanic is feeding you some BS. I agree with the others, address the oil leaks and go from there.

BTW, FINRA exams aren't rocket science. Don't obsess about it. Study enough to pass, no more, no less.
 

Howard705

TLCA 5505
SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
1,443
Location
Central Illinois
You can't know how much it burns-through the cylinders-until you know how much it leaks. POWER WASH the motor to get it clean enough to monitor them or fix them. SMELL the puff-it will stink like burned oil if it is.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
794
Location
Canyon Lake, TX
The valve cover "gasket" is basically a really big O-ring. It fits in a grove. The valve cover itself has little shoulders or bumps on it that stop the valve cover from smushing the o-ring when you tightnen it down. Which means it is not like old school gaskets where you could tighten the bolts down a half turn and stop a leak. They only need to be tight enough that they won't work themselves loose over time. The o-ring does shrink over time and develope leaks.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
1,484
You can't know how much it burns-through the cylinders-until you know how much it leaks. POWER WASH the motor to get it clean enough to monitor them or fix them. SMELL the puff-it will stink like burned oil if it is.
Smell the puff? From the exhaust?

The oil cap certainly smells of it
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,575
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Actually, blue smoke under start-up is typically valve guide seals. I believe there is a method to change the valve seals without removing the head, using the compressed air system and pressurizing the cylinder with it at TDC, then removing the valve springs and replacing the seals. I do not have personal experience on the Toyota engine, but have done it this way on other brands. Scrowley may know more than I here.

Losing this much oil would cause it to be either dripping oil all the time or blowing blue smoke a lot. That being said, the CAT's are designed to reduce and eliminate as much of that as possible, so you MIGHT be burning more than you think.

Here's a way to check it:
1) Stand behind the truck at cold start-up and observe the amount of blue smoke.
2) Does the smoke go away after 1-2 minutes of operation?
3) Have someone drive the truck and you follow behind and observe the exhaust under heavy acceleration and under deceleration. Blue smoke under acceleration is piston rings. Blue smoke under start-up and deceleration is valve guide seals and/or PCV valve.
Have the driver on a mobile phone with you to describe what they are doing at the time you are observing. Heavy accel uphill, or back out of the gas with the overdrive OFF (otherwise it coasts too much) from highway speeds down to a stop light/sign. Then what do you see when they pull away from the light again?

Are there oil drips on the rear lift gate? If so, it is leaks, not burning. Is the entire bottom of the truck coated in oil? If yes, = leaks. If the entire bottom of the truck is dry,= burning it.

Place a clean piece of cardboard under the front half of the truck after it has beeen up to temperature and driving for a while. Then shut it off with the cardboard underneath and observe the drip patterns. This may help diagnose where the majority of the leaks are from, realizing that the wind blws the oil back and it will always drip off the accumulation points such as sway bars, bolt heads, and other protrusions.

Good luck!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom