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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fresh head gasket still blowing white smoke

I recently bought a 88 Pickup with a 22RE (130k miles) that had a blown head gasket. When I disassembled it, cylinder 1 was steam cleaned which lead me to believe my problem was only the HG. I had water in the oil, white smoke at the tail pipe and rough idle. Here's my thread on that: http://www.yotatech.com/f120/why-cyl...-dirty-261186/

I just finished reassembly after replacing the following:
Head gasket
Oil pump
Water pump
Timing set (chain, sprockets, tensioner, guides)
Timing cover and gasket
Head pressure checked and surfaced. (I asked him to rebuild if necessary and he said it didn't need it.)
PCV valve
Thermostat
Fresh vac lines
Radiator with hoses and cap
Belts
Fuel filter
Plugs, wires, cap and rotor
All 5 injectors serviced
Coolant temp sender

It was my first time doing a head gasket, so I am to be considered a suspect for sure. It starts fine (after I corrected the mis-installed distributor), idles rough and stalls when it heats up. Blows white, sweet smoke from the exhaust constantly, not just at startup.

I did a dry compression test and got:
Cylinder 1-3: 170 pounds
Cylinder 4: 160 pounds

No visible leaks.
Heat works great but the upper radiator hose stays cold even after the temp gauge shows that the engine is at operating temp.
No bubbles in the coolant - since the reinstall, I guess there is still air in the system.

So my question is, did I mess up the HG install somehow - maybe got some bench debris on the bottom that ended up between the head and the gasket thereby creating a leak between the head and gasket.
or
Do I have a bigger problem like a cracked block?
or
Maybe my machinist didn't fully flatten the head and it's still warped a bit. He said he took off 15 thousands, not sure if thats a lot or a little.

Any suggested diagnostics from here? Leak down test? Tear it down and look for leaks at the head/block?

Thanks!
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Last edited by nctom; 11-24-2012 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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josh westjohn
15 thousands is a good bit for machine work, did he check to see if its cracked? it sounds like a crack between the water jacket and the combustion chamber, that can be in the block or the head, its odd it blew at 130k miles....
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It might just be leftover coolant in the exhaust system, once you get it running right drive it for a bit and see if it clears up, I've seen this before after repairing blown head gaskets, may not be the problem, but it's easy to eliminate this as a possibility.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just drove it around the block a few times. White smoke got much worse and the temp gauge went to the high end. Looks like I might still have a problem.

The upper rad hose is warm now, so I'm going to take that to mean the thermostat is working.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you put a straight edge on the block to see if it needed to be decked? .015 is quite a bit to be surfaced from the head but not unheard of.

The last two heads I had done got put in an oven with the cam bolted in and pressed flat before surfacing. Only need a couple thousand'th off after that.

Sometimes it is only coolant left in exhaust and needs a few miles to burn off like Pat8942 said. Sounds like you still have a problem.

Pull your sparkplugs and crank it over to see if any coolant blows out.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What about comparing your plugs to each other and seeing if there is something different. Possibly pull the exhaust manifold off as well and see if anything looks different from the other ports.

Being the first head gasket job you have done. I am sure you were more careful then maybe an experinced builder would be. So dont go to hard on yourself. How long did you actually let it run and drive? It can take a good 20 to 30 minutes or better for all of the grease,fluids,sealants, and such to burn off.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All of the plugs look basically the same. I'll get some pictures tomorrow. I didn't straight edge the block. I ran it for probably 30 total - 15 around the neighborhood and 15 or so idling in the driveway.

I'm thinking my machine shop did a quick and dirty job. They took about an hour and charged me $30. He said the valves held pressure so he just surfaced it. Doesn't sound like he did any integrity checks.

I'm thinking my options are:
Run it longer, see if it clears up. I'm doubtful since its overheating when I drive it
or
Take the head to a different shop and ask for a rebuild. Is it bad to rebuild the head without doing the bottom of the engine?
or
Buy a new head from engnbldr.

All that and I'm afraid of a cracked water jacket in the block and ill end up where I started.

Thanks for all of your help. It's nice not to try this alone!
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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my only 2 cents would be this:

did you clean out the head bolt holes to be certain you were clean and were not going to get a false torque reading?

are you losing coolant?

can you take the thremostat out to eliminate that as a possible suspect. I did, and many have bought the dual thermostat. the part # escapes me but it's on my threads and 4crawlers site. i will search and post that up. even if, that would not explain losing coolant via the tailpipe.

I totally agree with Terry. I, myself as a 1st timer was so nervous and meticulous, I sucked the fun right out of my rebuild and made it a chore. but almost 2 years later....still good. so, I doubt that it's anything you did or forgot.....


EDIT: 4crawler's thermostat article is way down on this page http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...#MODIFICATION$
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Last edited by 92 TOY; 11-24-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I went ahead and pulled the cylinder head again yesterday. I was really hopeful to find something obvious that was causing the leak but since I don't know what I am looking at...

Sorry these pictures are so big, looks like I used an electron microscope to take them..
Here are the plugs (cyl 1 at the top):
Click the image to open in full size.

Cylinder 1-4 in order:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Exhaust ports:
Click the image to open in full size.

Top of the block - I forgot to drain the block, so the coolant you see in the cylinders is probably what drained out of the head when I lifted it off:
Click the image to open in full size.

I took the head to a different machine shop in town, the guy said the previous machinist had used a belt sander to surface it - this shop uses a lathe. He was going to pressure test it and if it doesn't have any cracks, surface it and replace the valve guides. I should know the results of the pressure test in a few days. Here's hoping he finds something!

Last edited by nctom; 11-26-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I pulled the gasket off the head tonight. It was stuck on there pretty good but I noticed that it was wet underneath. Does that indicate anything?
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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2nd try

I got the head back from the second machine shop, what a difference! These guys looked at what I delivered and said 'who did this to your cylinder head?' It has been surfaced on a belt sander, there were grooves and scrachesk - clearly a fail job.

Anyway, they used a mill to surface it, replaced the valve guides and cleaned everything. It came back looking great. I put it all back together over the weekend and I think we are good to go.

I still have some smoke out of the tailpipe but it's not coolant burning. Maybe some residual gunk in the exhaust system, maybe some break in on the new valve guides. I'll drive it a bit and see if it clears up.

Thanks all for your help! Never would have attempted this big a job without faithful yotatechers behind me.
Tom
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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wow. that's awesome!

good deal man.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey guys I'm new to the forum, I have a 1994 toyota 4x4 with a 22re. I recently rebuilt the engine, new rings, bearings, pistons, gaskets,timing chain, oil pump, had the head reworked. The machine shop found a broken valve guide so it was replaced. Put it all back together and it ran fine for 1400 miles then started blowing white smoke again. I pulled the engine and put a new head on it and got it back running yesterday. It is still blowing white smoke, no water in the oil or oil in the water. No loss of power and trying to turn the motor over by hand is tuff so I think compression would be good. Along with all the new engine parts, it has a new fuel filter, fuel pump, starter, and exhaust. I am using only toyota filters and toyota plugs. I can't figure out the white smoke. Have not replaced the distributor or AFM. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:29 AM
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22r, 22re, blow, blowing, change, gasket, head, idle, oil, rough, smoke, smokes, sumtimes, water, white

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