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  1. #1
    Senior Member fridayman's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    New head questions

    Last week I think my head let go - check engine light on, temp off the chart, pull over, plenty of steam, overflow cap blown off, rad cap overflow blown off and loads of steam spewing out... I haven't topped her up to check for bubbles yet, and I haven't pulled the head off yet, but all the signs are there. The motor has done 320k though, so I'm not complaining.

    I'm thinking about doing the job myself, and starting to research options. I need advice on the following:
    1. I can get a bare head or one with valves and cam already fitted - what are the reasons why I wouldn't go with the bare head i.e. why spend more money on the complete head?
    2. Apart from the rad and water pump, what else should I replace while I'm in there?
    3. As the car isn't a daily driver i.e. it can be off the road for a bit, what else should I do/replace/refresh while I'm in there e.g. rings, etc?
    4. Apart from AMC (which seems the most expensive option) what other decent (preferably Ozzie made) heads should l I look at?
    5. Are there any good how to blog style posts on doing this job that I should read through?

    Any other tip or things to think about will be appreciated as well.
    95 3.0 TD LWB, Bilstein/Kings 2", Alien snorkel, Tunit, K&N filter, SuperPro bushes, GG AT2 265/75, Goodridge stainless brake hoses, Nitrac 8 grooved discs, K4 rock sliders

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2016
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    queensland
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    1. I'd go for a complete head. Don't have to get the old valves ground and sourcing the various thickness shims is hassle when setting valve clearances. (You wouldn't be the first to snap a cam either)
    2. Cam belt kit. As she's old I'd suggest a new hydraulic tensioner too.
    3. I'd check the thermostat. As for rings/bearings, that's engine out.
    4. The poor history of other brands means you only have one choice, if you intend keeping the car.
    5. Can't help there.
    When you boil an engine all that scale and gunk is deposited in the various water galleries, pipes, heater, oil cooler, turbo etc. After the rebuild and she gets warm it will move straight to your nice new radiator. I'd get her going with the old radiator and speak to a radiator shop regarding fitting the new core and having a system flush.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fridayman's Avatar
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    Thanks. Having looked into it a bit more I think you're right about the complete head vs bare head, and I'll add the cam belt kit & tensioner to my shopping list.

    Regarding the rad, I would like to do the flush myself with a garden hose - I did it myself when I installed this rad. The only bit I can't remember was how I got all the water out again and being sure that there was only Toyota coolant in there when I was done.
    95 3.0 TD LWB, Bilstein/Kings 2", Alien snorkel, Tunit, K&N filter, SuperPro bushes, GG AT2 265/75, Goodridge stainless brake hoses, Nitrac 8 grooved discs, K4 rock sliders

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2016
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    queensland
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    72
    By all means give her a flush at home, but you won't get all the snot and gunk out as she's not hot enough.
    That will take chemicals and the radiator shop would be the right people to talk to.
    I'd hate to see your new core become partially blocked as soon as she gets working.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Nov 2013
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    Geraldton WA
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    185
    I had a 90 with 300,000 on clock with a stuffed head.
    Go for a complete head as your valves maybe worn and then you have to add that on top plus labour.
    I went for the AMC head as they reportedly are a thicker casting.
    Original toyota one may crack again when it gets old.
    Apparently ebay ones maybe rejects?unknown so i dodged them.
    I priced a new complete head from toyota and it was $2000.
    Went with AMC from SMS diesel Spares and trade price including gaskets,timing belt,water pump etc came in at $2100

  6. #6

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