What to expect after cylinder head replacement and H55f swap and a bunch of other things

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Aug 8, 2013
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San Juan Capistrano California
1988 FJ62

Just buttoned up two major overhauls yesterday and have the rig started for the first time since Easter when my tranny (a440f) took its final crap. I decided to garage it and replace the tranny with the H55f and tackle the blown head gasket that I recently diagnosed...and add a snorkel and swap the front support with a round headlight 60 and a million other things along the way while I waited for parts.

So new tranny and all the goodies along the way from trail tamer rebuild kit for the split case to a new oil pan and rear main seal etc etc. All oem down to the orange and the black toyota sealant.

Sent my cylinder head out to be re-done with new valves and guides, plugs etc etc. The whole shibang. She was so pretty.

So everything is back in place with fresh fluids, firm brake pedal and working clutch and fired her up yesterday. Runs and shifts and drives but!

Symptoms I don't like at first glance:

• Toyota tick is just as loud if not louder than before.
• After warm up the idle increases instead of decreasing.
• Engine seems a bit shaky. Doesn't stall or hesitate but is just a little shaky.
• Engine in general seems a lot louder.

Questions based on the above:

• Do I need to mess with timing if I didn't move the distributor? I did change the rotor and cap but never loosened the distributor.

• I realize I need to warm it up and do another valve adjustment since I only did it cold. But Im wondering if what Im experiencing is normal and she just needs some time to adapt to the new parts?

• Any other advise on breaking her new parts in would be greatly appreciated.




List of everything Ive replaced/fixed/spent money on since garaged:

Mishimoto aluminum radiator (grounded to frame)
spark plugs and wires
OEM rotor and distributor cap
OEM belt set
Aisin fan clutch and water pump
OEM lower thermostat housing and Aisin thermostat
hoses where needed and they were needed everywhere
OEM heater pipe set
seats and o-rings on all injectors - did not send out to be cleaned by witch hunter (was lazy...will surly regret)
Cleaned the heck out of the smog and air parts where needed and it was very needed.
bosch O2 sensors.
OEM fuel damper
used cold start injector
New OEM PCV valve and all new gaskets on the cover
OEM gaskets everywhere
OEM Rear main seal
OEM oil pan
Aisin clutch kit
pallet of parts from cruiserparts for the swap
New H55f
New Aisin clutch master cylinder and slave
New allen head drain and fill plugs everywhere
New remanufactured starter
New aftermarket ebrake cable
Trail Tamer rebuilt split case - followed Georg and Otramm's videos to the letter along with so many others posts. @Paul DiNapoli @pismo62 @orangefj45 @OTRAMM many thanks!
 

OTRAMM

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I'd check timing just as a sanity check. Then go back over vac lines just to be sure. I have seen injectors decide to quit after having been out of the truck not running for a while. After we start up bigger jobs we'll heat cycle them a few times and then go back over everything again.
 

SteveH

 
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I'd sure look around for vacuum leaks, with your description of shaky idle, varying engine speed, etc. Concentrate on the tubes between the air cleaner and intake, and any small vacuum lines.
 

mattressking

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Oh boy. Let's see.

First startup with new top end.

1. Set base timing again to 7*
2. Set idle mixture and base idle according to FSM
3. Warm up and drive smoothly and no need to race the motor, just drive it sanely.
4. After a few heat cycles (unless valves seem noisy) check valve clearances while hot. If certain valves quiet down with feeler gauge, those need adjusting. If feeler doesn't fit, adjust as well. Specs in FSM.
5. Check vacuum. With a fresh top end and tuned correctly, you should see at least 20", but ideally 21-22 based on sea level.
6. Report back.
7. Also I've heard throwout bearing chatter that could be confused with valve noise. Make sure pedal is adjusted correctly since you just serviced clutch and installed 5spd. Again, pedal adjustment is covered in Chassis FSM.
 

John McVicker

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Ticking...’could‘ be the donut gasket and/or the connections to the exhaust down pipe below the manifolds.

Verify that the donut gasket is in good shape AND the 3 nuts to the down pipe are: A) there, B) tight, and C) that the studs for the nuts are not stripped.
 
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Just to update. I found a major exhaust leak where the header flanges into the exhaust. It looked like the weld that holds the flange on broke. Maybe due to having the engine tweaked at an angle when the old tranny came out and the new one went in. So thats being fixed right now and will see if that improves things.
 
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Ok my muffler guy sealed my cracked flange and we are no longer puffing smoke at the manifold and the fluctuating idle has stopped. Got a few miles on her today. Still louder than I remember the engine being. Idle no loner fluctuates but rests in neutral at a high 1100-ish. Makes the car rattle. Random large clouds of exhaust every once in while as well as the exhaust smelling very strong. Im gonna mess with timing soon. I checked my magic golden screw and it is all the way tightened in. I will back it off a half turn tomorrow and see how it idles. If no change then I will tackle the TPS and mess with timing.
 
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White exhaust smoke...and lots of it. As of yesterday when getting up to operating temp I blow a non-stop toxic smelling white cloud of smoke out the tailpipe. I ran it last night in the driveway for 30 minutes on then a 30 minute rest then 30 minutes on again. All the while no improvement in white smoke....just heaps of it. I was hoping or still am hoping its a byproduct of the bad head gasket I replaced and all the coolant that is burning off of the exhaust but its almost worse this morning. Just smells bad and burns your lungs a bit. Not sweet smelling like coolant. Any thoughts everybody?
 

OSS

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Depending on the outside air temperature (cold) and humidity, a properly running engine can billow white steam out the tail pipe for 15 minutes or so until everything heats up, but if after driving it for 30 minutes and there's still steam blowing out the exhaust pipe--- that water vapor is coolant being burned.
Head has to come off.
 
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So even though I just did the head job with OEM everything and followed everything by the book you are thinking it’s the gasket still? No oil contamination thus far and no spike in temp even after idling for close to an hour. What am I looking for if I do have to go back in and pull the head again? Gonna cry like a baby
 

OSS

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If it's blowing steam when the engine & exhaust are hot, the water has to be getting into the exhaust from somewhere. Unless you've got a hose dribbling into the carburetor, the only source of water is the cooling system. Likely a crack in the head (but not guaranteed).

Try this:
Get another radiator cap and gut it so that the coolant can free flow to the overflow tank without there being a spring check valve. You can mod it with some vice grips.
Once the cap has been altered, install it on the radiator and warm up the engine. The cooling system won't be pressurized. After the engine warms up, (if there's a crack in the head) the exhaust shouldn't blow white steam because there won't be pressurized coolant leaking by the crack into the combustion chamber.

If there's no steam, take it for an easy test drive (no it won't overheat or boil over). If there's no steam out the exhaust pipe after the drive, you've pinpointed the cause (but not location) of burning coolant - a crack or leaking head gasket.
 
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@OSS thanks for the tip and I will see about doing it tomorrow. Feeling quite defeated and might just take it in at this point and let someone else tackle it. Ill reply with an update either way. @Michael Hanson - none that Ive seen no. Also with my handy radiator funnel thing I ran it last night for some time with it full of coolant and havent seen many bubbles in there at all. Not sure if that just means its finally full and done passing gas. Still seams so stange that I drove it around for 10+ miles and no smoke then just all of a sudden a freaking locomotive plume. Im leaning toward OSS and the fact that the new gasket just didnt take. Oh well. I tried.
 
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@OSS thanks for the tip and I will see about doing it tomorrow. Feeling quite defeated and might just take it in at this point and let someone else tackle it. Ill reply with an update either way. @Michael Hanson - none that Ive seen no. Also with my handy radiator funnel thing I ran it last night for some time with it full of coolant and havent seen many bubbles in there at all. Not sure if that just means its finally full and done passing gas. Still seams so stange that I drove it around for 10+ miles and no smoke then just all of a sudden a freaking locomotive plume. Im leaning toward OSS and the fact that the new gasket just didnt take. Oh well. I tried.
also I should note that when I started all of this last easter, that the head did have a crack but it was weld-able. The crack was at one of the freezeplug holes so was an easy weld Im told. Decked, new guides, valves cleaned or replaced as needed...even galley plug mod. So again Im just gonna roll with bad gasket mating. Maybe my torque wrench sucks and wasnt quite the 30 60 90 foot pounds the bolts needed. So many maybes. Gonna go drink vodka now.
 

87CRUSR

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🥃🥃 There have been numerous posts over the years about failed head weld repairs not holding up over the years.
 

Seth_O

 
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Have you run a cylinder leak-down test? Not hard to do and it can help confirm or eliminate a head gasket leak. It's not hard to munge a new HG during installation. That would be my next step....after crying quietly in a corner for a bit, tbh.
 
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So started tackling this thing again. Got the top end off and noticed a few things. The 4th cylinder was the obvious area of coolant leak/burn. My images below show all but that one with burn marks around it. It almost looks like that cylinder wasn't even firing? If that was the case hypothetically...would that area of the new OEM gasket not have sealed properly during the first few warm ups? thus letting coolant under and burning? double thus explaining the heavy vibrations and noise and higher idle speed?????

To add to that areas problems...it also looks like some milkshake sitting on that piston head. Any thoughts on this?

Also. There was a very large amount of the copper metal crap the PO must have poured in there to bandaid it. There was a significant amount of it in clumps on the gasket itself near and around that area of that cylinder opening on the gasket. Seems like that crap got under that one area and kept in from sealing. Ive been sticking a shop magnet down each coolant port to retrieve any metal crap, using a modified shop vac with small hose attached to reach down and clear out the coolant and try to get more of the copper stuff out. The new mishimoto radiator also caught a huge amount of it on the magnetic drain plug I should also mention. So Im cleaning the top end up of the practically new gasket areas.

I will be slamming it shut soon with all new bolts this time as well. Any other tips before i do?

Thanks

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