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Bubbling Radiator - Head Gasket?

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  • Bubbling Radiator - Head Gasket?

    Yes, I was hoping that it was just the radiator cap, but the bottle was filling up, so I stuck a large funnel to the top of the radiator and watched it as the engine ran, and it is continuously getting bubbles coming through. I guess this can only be one thing and that is the head gasket? I am really finding this hard to believe after treating my vehicle like a family pet for the past 8 years. It is now just at 294K on the clock.

    Is this a common issue? is the car being on LPG for the last 130K increased the chance of the issue?

    If anyone has had any quotes on getting this fixed please let me know. I am seriously strapped for cash and may have to take this on myself as I have done this before even though it is seriously painful.

    Any thoughts or help is much appreciated before I tackle it.


    2005 GRJ120 V6 VVTI

  • #2
    if you need time to save the coin , try adding some Liquid Intelligence additive
    look them up listen to the blurb ( i am pretty sure they still off a refund if it doesn't stop it leaking)

    i had a friend with a KZ prado that locked like it cracked the head, he added it to let him save the coin
    well 4yrs later still going, no coolant loss
    he's even fitted a bigger turbo now and goes a lot better than before

    this isnt a complete fix, but for $100 it does work ( dont use the cheaper bars leak or any of those as they are a get home only fix)
    2008 Dune D4D manual GXL update - with lots of fruit !! + Roma Razorback Off Road Van


    • #3
      Thanks mate, yeah I have looked at those, but not the Liquid Intelligence, it looks like the way I will have to go while I save to change the head gasket. My only issue is that I go bush a lot and need the reliability, but I guess that is only going to happen if I change the gaskets.


      • #4
        Most unusual... Maybe the first owner didn't treat it like the family pet?
        Last edited by stevensr34; 09-11-2018, 05:37 PM.
        '08 GXL V6 Manual with: O/L Bar, Cibie Oscars, Safari Snorkel, Revalved Ironman 45710 Struts & 45682 Shocks, Dobinsons & King springs, MickeyT STZs, Eaton E-locker on rear, ScanGaugeII, InaWise TPMS, and a Tvan controlled via TowPro.


        • #5
          Has anyone on this site actually changed a head gasket on a 1GR-FE before??? There doesn't seem to be much response.

          I have spent the whole weekend pulling everything apart and have finally now just got to taking the head bolts off. I will continue with it next weekend, but I now know why they quoted $4000 to fix it. The labour is certainly intense but without the money I had no choice.

          If anyone can answer the following questions I would appreciate it...

          Do I need to change the head bolts? Sometimes this is required when changing removing the head.

          Is it worth changing the timing chains, tensioners and guides? note engine has done 295K.

          Do I need to add a bead of Toyota seal packing to the cylinder head gasket before putting in place?

          The Permaseal Brand VRS kit is $475 The genuine Toyota one is $500, happy with price of either but which is better?

          Hope there is some help out there...



          • #6
            I can only help you with a couple of your questions. Change the head bolts. A lot of head bolts are made to stretch when tightening. Not sure on Prados.

            Timing chain, tensioners etc in my opinion should be done if you intend on keeping the car for awhile.



            • #7
              Thanks Addy, yeah I can't afford another vehicle so I want to try and get another 200K out of this one.
              it all looks pretty clean inside (see pic).
              it's amazing that some things are actually around the same price or cheaper going genuine. All except the timing gear, Toyota only sell the parts separately and it comes to over $1000. To buy a Nanson kit from repco is $457 but I have not heard of that brand.
              I am going to change it anyway. The Thermostat, head bolts, 3 timing chains ad all tensioners, radiator hoses, water pump still looks fine so not sure if I should change that, and also some of the Pulley belt tensioners. I think that should do it.


              • #8
                Check the timing chain cover as well
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                • #9
                  thanks for that. This is definitely the stuff I need to know at the moment. As it said in the thread, it is a massive job to get to this point and there is no way I plan on doing this again for a little oil leak.


                  • #10
                    Just an update for anyone watching this thread.

                    it took me ten days including the time it took to get the heads done. End result perrs like a kitten. Hardly touch the accelerator and it takes off and getting more klms out of a tank. Definitely glad I changed the Timing chains, it runs so much smoother. Very happy with the result .
                    The oil light comes on when the car is on steep inclines? Also when I start the car in the morning it stays on for about 4 seconds before going off. I changed all the seals in the timing chain cover which has the oil pump in it. If anyone has any ideas of what may be causing this that would be great?


                    • #11
                      I assume the oil level hasn't dropped at all?
                      Greg - 08 D4D Prado,
                      Some trips done - Cape York, Fraser Island, Simpson Desert / Central Aust, Vic High Country.


                      • #12
                        Na the oil level looks the same. I have towed the campervan 2000 klms and have now done 4000 since the rebuild so if it was serious I'm guessing the engine would of blown already? I am wondering if I have put too much sealer on the timing cover somewhere and it is blocking some of the flow, or most probably the seal at bottom of the timing cover which seals the oil pump suction is kinked?


                        • #13
                          Just an update for anyone interested, I finally got the time to take off the sump to check out that lower oil pump seal and yes it was kinked, this in itself was a big job as both shafts and the the front diff had to be removed.
                          Anyway my engine is now as new so I'm a very happy camper.

                          for anyone planing on doing the head gaskets on these engines I would suggest to just pull the engine out and work on it or change it with another engine all together. save a lot of time.
                          hope this helps someone in the future.