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Oil leak from timing chain cover plate on 1GR-FE: DIY fix at home

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  • Oil leak from timing chain cover plate on 1GR-FE: DIY fix at home

    Hey all,

    I recently found an oil leak on the front of my 1GR-FE, and it initially looked like it was the power steering pump. I rebuilt the power steering pump with new seals and it all looked good for a couple of days, and then the leak returned.

    After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the leak I had was a relatively common occurrence on the 1GR-FE. It occurs enough that Toyota issued a service bulletin in the USA for vehicles with 1GR-FE motors; T-SB-0326-08 for Tacomas, EG049-07 for 4Runners, EG050-07 for FJ Cruisers, and EG052-07 for Tundras. Vehicle years covered are 04-08.

    These leaks have been showing up for a few years now. Mine has occurred after 147,000km.

    This leak occurs at the intersection point of the base of the head, the block and the timing cover plate on the driver side, and as such it is not easy to diagnose where the oil is leaking from if you didnít know about the service bulletins.

    This is what the leak looks like close to the intersection point;



    If you leave it and donít degrease the area, the entire drivers side of the block and underneath the oil pan can get covered in oil.

    The fix for this leak is unfortunately a big job, and the timing cover must be removed and resealed. This means stripping down the inlet manifold and pulling off all accessories on the front of the motor. Repair times quoted in the various TSB quote 6.8-12.8 hours, but I have seen from various forums that actual repair times run well out past 20 hours of labour. Repair bills up to $3000.

    Fortunately this is a job that the DIY mechanic can definitely do at home, and save a bunch of bucks!

    Here are a few photos of my repair job;



    Manifold off, electrical harnesses pulled out of way, inlet taped up. Radiator, fan and serpentine belt removed.



    Rocker covers off, oil filter and thermostat housing removed, idler pulleys and crankshaft pulley removed, alternator removed.



    Timing cover removed. Thereís no need to disconnect the power steering lines or air conditioner lines, I just pulled both pumps out of the way slightly.



    Here you can see where the oil leak has occurred at the intersection of the head and block. The silicon bead on the inside was not continuous across this gap, and you can see why in the photos below.



    Timing cover with water pump removed. I replaced the water pump with a new OEM unit, as I could see both a coolant leak and an oil leak on two different bolts.



    There are numerous different diameter and length bolts in the cover and the water pump. This is a good trick I learnt from a forum to keep track of all the bolts.



    From here itís just a matter of cleaning down the mating surfaces very carefully. I used a razor blade and a bit of fine wet and dry.



    In this photo you can see why this leak occurs. Just above the bolt hole above the water gallery hole, you can see a long depression in the casting of the mating surface. Itís almost 1mm deep. There is also another slightly less deep depression above the next bolt hole up.

    I suspect Toyota have fixed these casting errors from 2008 models onward.



    On the way to being back together!

    In the Toyota manual, it says to drop the oil pan to remove the timing cover. This requires dropping the front diff and power steering assembly. Thereís no need to do this, and I left the oil pan on, and just dropped the 4 front bolts which go into the timing cover.

    The only thing to be careful of is making sure the o-ring for the oil pump (which sits in-between the pan and timing cover) goes correctly into place when you slide the timing cover back on. If this o-ring is out of place, no oil pressure! It can be tricky getting the cover over the crankshaft, and I did a few dry practice runs before I put on the silicon. I also doubled up the silicon bead where the 2 depressions in the timing cover mating surface are. Unlike the rest of the cover which is metal-metal, these depressed areas require a good build up of silicon to seal properly.

    Since my rebuild, Iíve done 100km and everything is bone dry still!

    Good luck to anyone who does this at home!

    Best

    Mark
    2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

  • #2
    Nice work Mark.
    Very nice write up also.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Anth,

      Thanks mate! Be interesting to see if you come across this oil leak in your southern adventures. I know of at least one more in Sydney, I'm guessing the numbers aren't too big here in Oz.

      Best

      Mark
      2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the great write up and pictures. I have the same problem on my 2003, found it around 180k. So far degreaser has been the cheap fix, but after seeking you pictures I might set aside a good weekend or so and get it done.
        [FONT=Comic Sans MS][B][COLOR=#000080][COLOR=#FF0000]2003 V6 Parado Grande.[/COLOR][/COLOR]
        Custom rear drawer system, Custom 6mm alloy bash plate and Custom rear steel bar, Dual battery and ARB duel compressor. SPC upper control arms. So far....[COLOR=#0000CD]See my build[/COLOR] [URL]http://www.pradopoint.com/showthread.php?31855-Kevdebbi-s-120-V6-Grande[/URL][/B][/FONT]
        [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kevdebbi View Post
          Thanks for the great write up and pictures. I have the same problem on my 2003, found it around 180k. So far degreaser has been the cheap fix, but after seeking you pictures I might set aside a good weekend or so and get it done.
          Hey,

          It is a big job, but you could definitely do it in a weekend with some long hours put in!

          Your Prado looks very similar to mine accessory wise, so you'll need to pull your bar off as well. It makes it much easier to work on the front of the motor.

          PM me if you need any details when you have a crack at it.

          Best

          Mark
          2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great write up whitey.

            Just noticed some oil on the little plate above the power steering pump as well as low oil level on mine which is worrying.

            Glad that yours turned out fine
            [B]CANYONEROOOOO *whipping in the distance*
            [URL="http://youtu.be/7ZeFDe44Ddo"]
            http://youtu.be/7ZeFDe44Ddo[/URL]

            Toyota LandCruiser Prado GXL V6 [COLOR=#800000]Red[/COLOR][/B] (APRIL 2006 BUILD)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wtrxprs007 View Post
              Great write up whitey.

              Just noticed some oil on the little plate above the power steering pump as well as low oil level on mine which is worrying.

              Glad that yours turned out fine
              Hey,

              That's a bugga! How many km have you done?

              Hope you can get it sorted out, you can definitely do it at home if you're good with the spanners!

              Best

              Mark
              2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Whitey View Post
                Hey,

                That's a bugga! How many km have you done?

                Hope you can get it sorted out, you can definitely do it at home if you're good with the spanners!

                Best

                Mark
                Yeah :/ she's only got 145,XXXkm on her now so about the same time as when you did yours.

                Thing is the car is our only car and it's always being needed so yeah :/

                thanks anyway mark
                [B]CANYONEROOOOO *whipping in the distance*
                [URL="http://youtu.be/7ZeFDe44Ddo"]
                http://youtu.be/7ZeFDe44Ddo[/URL]

                Toyota LandCruiser Prado GXL V6 [COLOR=#800000]Red[/COLOR][/B] (APRIL 2006 BUILD)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Mark,

                  Please could you let me know where you found a free workshop/repair manual for the 2005 Toyota V6 4.0L 1GR-FE.

                  I am deep into removing everything to change the head gasket, DIY.

                  Thanks,

                  Alex

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Alex,

                    There isn't really any free manuals.

                    If you have internet explorer, then this link to the workshop CD may still work;

                    http://www.moranbahweather.com/toyota/

                    There is the Gregory's manual, "Prado 1996-2009 95, 120 series Petrol & Diesel Engines", might even be a later version of this now including 150.

                    There is also Max Ellery's manual, "TOYOTA PRADO 1996-2006 Petrol/Gasoline & Diesel incl Turbo".

                    You can also find Toyota Workshop CD on ebay;

                    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TOYOTA-PR...QAAOSw~gRV6BRF

                    Unfortunately none of these will get to you quickly if you already have the engine stripped down.

                    If you send me a PM with your email, I can send you a pdf with all of the engine disassembly sections.

                    Best

                    Mark
                    2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey,

                      Just an update for Alex, the mornbahweather link works for me in Internet Explorer, so hopefully you have taken advantage of this and it has helped you sort your heads out!

                      Best

                      Mark
                      2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like for it's 200k birthday, my little GRJ120 sprung this leak Just spent a couple of weekends repairing a cracked sump on the little Alfa hatchback after it hit a rock (in Parramatta of all places!)... Now it's time to repair the timing cover seal on the beast! Very grateful for this post with all the pictures.

                        So, two questions...

                        1. If I DON'T repair it, or leave it for months, then other than a minor oil leak and a mess in the engine bay, is there anything that can go wrong? So far the oil loss hasn't even registered on the dipstick.
                        2. Can I temporarily patch this from the outside with RTV sealant? Or is the pressure within the timing chain cover such that any patch I try and put on will just blow out? I could use some high-temp putty but that could be a b*tch to get off later when I do a proper repair.

                        I'm not spending $3k on labour so I just need to find a weekend to move the family of 5 into my 3-door hatch Will be a fun weekend.

                        Thanks all

                        Brett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mine has had the leak for over 70,000 kms now. It's no biggie. Just keep an eye on your oil levels. Mine loses about a litre total over 10,000 kms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey all,

                            1 year, 8 months, and 10,400km later and my seal job on the timing cover has held bone dry tight!

                            As Piggy has discussed, the leak is more of an annoyance than anything else and won't be a major hassle other than making a mess underneath your engine.

                            Let's hope I get more than 200,000km out of my seal job!!

                            Best

                            Mark
                            2006 GXL petrol auto. ARB deluxe bar x3 HID IPF's, ARB alloy roofrack, ARB awning, BFG A/T, Safari snorkel, Piranha breathers, Pacemaker extractors, custom Ironman 45710FE 436-569mm with Dobinsons 350, custom Ironman 45682FE 383-618mm with Dobinsons 487, Firestone kevlar 60psi airbags, 30mm extended Roadsafe links, AMTS bashplate and recovery points, ABR Flyer with Powersonic AGM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks Piggy! Good to know it should last awhile longer.

                              Mark... Only 10k after 20 months?! Do you even drive that thing??

                              Good work with the new seal. Mine isn't even dripping onto the driveway yet, maybe that will be my threshold for pulling the sockets out one weekend Although I just cracked an RTV sealant last weekend for the Alfa sump, if I'm really cheap and don't want it to dry out entirely then maybe I should just fix it now...

                              Comment

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