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Preventative Head Gasket Replacement?

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by Cman, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Cman

    Cman

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    Hi,

    I have my timing belt off and I was curious if anyone has ever considered a preventative head gasket replacement. I'm replacing the valve cover gaskets, so I figure why not continue onto the head gaskets and get the heads machined and gaskets replaced? I'd need bolts/gaskets etc. etc.

    I'm at 235K miles and I want 400K +
    I've Replaced head gaskets twice (once successfully!)
    I have a nice torque wrench!
    I could replace the starter while i'm at it?

    Anyone ever done something like this? The engine would be practically new at that point.

    Thanks!
    Cman
     
  2. camino70

    camino70

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    Nope. Replace the valve cover gaskets in 30 minutes, check the heater t's, then find something else preventative, like replace the coolant.
     
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  3. Cman

    Cman

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    Well I drained all the coolant (spilled out from water pump) for the the timing belt replacement. Id have to remove the timing belt for any head gasket fun in the future. Eh.
     
  4. Julian Stead

    Julian Stead

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    Why ask? When you have the head off, you might aswell put new piston rings in, when the sump is off, you might aswell do the main bearings, because the truck is on stands, you might aswell rebuild the rear axle. Sorry, just messing. Only you can answer that, as long as you use genuine OEM parts I can't see any harm, why rebuild something with inferior parts for no reason so don't cheap out on it.
     
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  5. Cman

    Cman

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    Haha. Fair enough. I realized I'd have to peel off the exhaust manifolds an it's deeper than I thought. I'll stick to the basics until I see issues. Maybe the next time I do the timing belt...
     
  6. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    I wouldn't do head gaskets on a 2UZ-FE (as preventative maint.) but the starter is a good candidate.
     
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  7. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine

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    maybe you should own an 80 since your into doing the hg as maintenance.

    for what its worth i havent seen the hgs go on a 2uz, not saying it cant happen, just highly unlikely.
     
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  8. mmaakk

    mmaakk

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    For what it’s worth, I’m a one owner of a 1999 landcruiser. Over maintenance my Cruiser and suffered a blown head gasket at 278k miles ( oil change every 3k miles conventional toyota oil all its life. Extensive radiator service etc. ) Still scratch my head what might have gone wrong. So I’m thinking 200+ miles is probably a good maintenance item to take care of. I know I know... what went wrong because I ONLY got 278k miles is ridiculous! Lol!
     
  9. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    IMHO to answer OP: So should we replace head gaskets as a PM? Absolutely not.

    We do need to follow factory PM and check coolant level frequently while cold and flush coolant and replace heater Tees & thermostat as PM.

    @mmaakk this "may" shed some light on your head gaskets. In a word "electrolysis". I presume you used Toyota Red LL 50/50 or 100% with distilled water only. But that your are not first owner, so don't know for sure what was used in the pasted. I've seen even Toyota Dealers/Lexus Dealerships put other than this or mess up on procedure. Typically evidence can be found on metal, rubber and or gaskets of electrolysis.

    I've been investigating a blown engine (head gasket). This is on my 07 Unicorn w/127K which spent it's life in relatively mild climate(s) and one of the cleanest well keep rigs I've ever seen (until The Black Knight). I feel it was always very well kept because it is a Unicorn and arguably one for the rarest in the lower 48 of the USA, beings it's and 07. The up stream heater tee is blown for sure. The parts of of the tees that are in the hoses discolored to a light brown when removed and dried. IMHO what happens is as the plastic ages it starts to be saturated with coolant replacing the plasticizer. The plastic then begins it's failure stages, it's just part of aging of rubber & plastic's.

    But why did this up stream heater Tee blow so early in it's life. I've replaced Tess with near twice the mileage and 7 years older that looked better.

    Three alternate reasons I can think of, somewhat supported by things I've seen working on low to high mileage rigs. Why this rig overheated other than a fluke Heater Tee going so early, but then why both looked age beyond their what would be normal for age???.

    1) A fluke, where head gasket was bad or contaminate on it from factory. Not likely, as it made 10yrs & 127K miles. In this case head gasket blew before heater tee.

    2) Containment in coolant system, introduce during it's life, which can lead to electrolysis (acidic condition). I've seen electrolysis in coolant systems that have eaten gaskets. Protecting gaskets is just one of the reason proper care of our coolant systems is so important. IMHO coolant is the most important fluid we must care for. Electrolysis also happens if coolant not flushed on SMG time table (old coolant). In this case I'm seen records indicate coolant was flush within proper period by Dealership. In this engine I've not yet torn down, so do not yet know if any sign of electrolysis. However I did find improper procedure (FIPG use on large O-ring) use while installing water inlet, was presumably during T-belt job. T-belt done at 7yr 78K miles. To do at 7 years gives one idea how how well this was maintained, who does that!

    3) This is most likely alternate cause. Low coolant level. Just low enough that it boarder temp Sending Unit at first perhaps, running a bit hot so that coolant filled expansion tank blowing a bit out over follow until below SU. Or perhaps below temp sending unit form the start of last flush. Once below temp sending unit we get a false cool running reading on temp gauge as it doesn't read air temp well. In colder climates we get a clue when cabin heater doesn't blow hot as it should. This is because coolant is not circulating into heater core as designed. In this case the coolant was flushed at Nalley Toyota in Roswell (I've seen & had issue with this shop in the pasted). Typically this kind of work is done by a junior mechanic, getting lite service jobs as part of his schooling. After flushing the system it was not burped properly, this very common. In fact, I've never seen when coolant level did not drop after first time engine brought up to operating temp, then cooled down for 8 hours, where it didn't need more coolant added after a DIY flush job. Even when one squeezes radiator hose to get out air. Most times it take two or even three cycles. If machined flushed air may have been introduced, this has same effect.

    In this case I've yet to tear down engine, but plan to. I do have evidence engine was running hot for some time. Possible running low overheating ageing the heater Tees earlier than normal. 50/50 either head(s) warped then blew combustion gases into coolant system taking out Tees or premature aged Tees from coolant system running low & hot blew then took out head gasket.

    106.JPG 120.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  10. Cman

    Cman

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    Thanks for the detailed replay @2001LC ! I just got in new metal heater T's yesterday and plan to install soon.

    I'm dealing with broken bolts from the timing belt replacement. Very annoying to source them.

    I'll be sure to top off with new coolant when I'm done. I'm not doing a "flush" at this time.
     
  11. mmaakk

    mmaakk

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    Interesting view on the possible electrolysis cause of failing head gaskets. I am the original owner for my Cruiser. Only used toyota 50/50 all it’s life. Flushed every 30k miles. I did replace heater T’s way early thanks to our forum! The only thing I could think of I did wrong was had lunch in my Cruiser with AC on often during the week. I’m in California so climate is always mild. Engine running idle for 20min to 1 hour at a time... is that a possible cause the head gasket blew? I don’t know.....
     
  12. Julian Stead

    Julian Stead

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    Normally head gaskets go because of external influences like thermostat or coolant leak etc. That is why a thorough check after repair is required, it isn't always the case but fairly common.
     
  13. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I prefer OEM plastic Tee's at each T-belt change. Have you tried the Dealer for bolts, they're pricey but fitment is always spot on!
    Now this is very interesting you being the original owner. It's rare to be able to get/have accurate history with your mileage and age.

    Although Toyota recommends we not idle for prolonged periods, the 2UZ-fe seems well-suited for it without overheating. Additionally your 99 should have the extra fan in front of radiator that is nice for slow speed or idling in keeping temp stable. I think the "don't idle" is more to do with carbon build up and fouling spark plugs then overheating.

    Please can I ask some questions:

    How often did you flush (in years or months)?

    Did you flush with distilled water before adding the Toyota LL 50/50?

    Have you replaced the thermostat, if so when and why?

    Did you see any signs of electrolysis. That is pitting in metal of block or head(s), in head gasket(S), on face of block under water pump or any hoses or gaskets at any time?

    Here's a few pictures of electrolysis at work:

    041.JPG 062.JPG 052.JPG 055.JPG

    Behind water pump on block at ~200K
    Timing Belt 200K T-P-SLL.jpg


    I totally agree!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  14. jhanley

    jhanley

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    The 2UZ is the Ironman of head gaskets. As much trolling as I've done on this forum, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they had a head gasket fail!

    If you want leaks, blue smoke, and head gasket failure, slide over to the 80 section!
     
  15. Patineto

    Patineto "Clueless" fourwheel rabbit

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    I used to take the four valve heads of my motorcycle boxer engines just to practice porting, made a difference..?? Sure but is so much work specially on the truck..

    I get the impression this engines don't suffer from head wArp or gasket leaks that much, my self I will leave it alone and when they fail do a five valve grinding job and port and polish the heads..

    Again not like this engines are high performance high reving, but hey Foredoms are fun and you learn a new skill..

    I use it so much I end up making a adjustable stable crane for it..??
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  16. suprarx7nut

    suprarx7nut The YotaMD Guy Supporting Vendor

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  17. mmaakk

    mmaakk

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    I always did the flush at Toyota dealer at 30k miles. My thermostat and water pump was done at every 100k miles at time of the timing belt ( makes sense when tearing down that far, dealer only charged for parts no additional labor) along with any other items that may have needed to be replaced. When my gasket blew I had my entire engine rebuilt top to bottom. Unfortunately I was on a business trip and couldn’t get pics of the internals of the engine, something I lament now.... so I don’t know what pitting or wear may have been caused by the electrolysis although with my maintenance history I suspect was minimal.
     
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  18. sean2202

    sean2202

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    IMHO the thermostat should be replaced at time of coolant flush. Why skip over such a simple an inexpensive step.
     
  19. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    Interesting your rig was Dealer maintained. All my examples where also dealer maintained, coolant flushed at proper interval or in some cases earlier.

    I suppose you could have had a fluke defective head gasket or factory install issue like contaminate on surface of gasket seal. But, to not reveal itself for so long, still makes me think "external factory".

    I see you used Toyota 50/50 coolant. Was that always Toyota LL 50/50 (red) or did Shop switch up to the newer SLL (pink)?

    Did you happen to check coolant level on a regular basis?
    {engine cold for 8 hours reservoirs on low line and radiator topped to neck, and when hot a glance to see reservoir near high.}
    9-21-16 top ambient temp 70 deg.JPG


    Here a picture of Dealer Timing belt job from my Unicorn with blown engine. Notice the black FIPG around water inlet to water bypass. That is improper procedure as only the O-ring is used at that spot. So right there, I know I've got a coolant issue. I see this kind of stuff all-to-often from Dealer shops.
    007 (2).JPG
    A member came to me recently where I saw the same FIPG at same spot, he had coolant leaks there that I repaired. While fixing, I then found electrolysis which caused secondary leaks. Coolant leak at water inlet and..

    Had you found (Dealer reported) electrolysis. Additional we (mud) found at least one more example of same where head gasket blew with signs of electrolysis was reported. I'd then say head gaskets replacement as PM where signs of electrolysis, made some sense. But until them I'll stick with head gasket is never a PM.
     
  20. mmaakk

    mmaakk

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    2001LC, the coolant in my cruiser was always red 50/50. I always kept an eye on all The fluids and I’m certain it wasn’t for lack of coolant so I’m leaning towards a weakend or worn head gasket. I came to the realization 278k miles is about what can be expected of these gaskets. I’ve seen some go 300 and 400k miles but every cruiser is different and in its own environment. Hope I get another 200k on this rebuilt! I’d say more but I don’t think any rebuilt compares to original OEM built engines!
     
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