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Firetacoma
05-07-2013, 08:27 AM
I'm halfway through disassembly on a laundry list of projects on my '77 FJ40 and have a couple of questions/want to bounce ideas of people who have done this before!

Here is what I'm doing:
Timing Cover Gasket
Front Seal
Thermostat
Coolant System flush

I pulled it all apart to where my next step is opening up the timing cover (that harmonic balancer nut is a PAIN!). I had a pretty good oil leak and things are pretty oily.
Question: Should I use some type of engine cleaner/degreaser before I open things up? Can I use carb or break cleaner inside this area after it's open?

My next step will then be to put it all together and hope it doesn't leak anymore. I'm not doing the plate Gasket.
Question: Is it a mistake not to do the plate gasket when I have it torn down this far? I can't say for sure if it's leaking or not, it was too messy to tell where the leak was coming from.

Question: I got some Toyota FIPG, should I coat the cork gasket with this or only the lower two bolts? Or get something else completely for both tasks?

Everything else I think I can stumble through. This is by far the biggest wrenching job I've ever done. I have the Haynes manual but I'm definitely a single :wrench: mechanic.

PS, if anyone has the hose from the smog pump to air cleaner, I'm in need! Thanks!

RicardoJM
05-07-2013, 08:55 AM
I'm halfway through disassembly on a laundry list of projects on my '77 FJ40 and have a couple of questions/want to bounce ideas of people who have done this before!

Here is what I'm doing:
Timing Cover Gasket
Front Seal
Thermostat
Coolant System flush

I pulled it all apart to where my next step is opening up the timing cover (that harmonic balancer nut is a PAIN!). I had a pretty good oil leak and things are pretty oily.
Question: Should I use some type of engine cleaner/degreaser before I open things up? Can I use carb or break cleaner inside this area after it's open?
Befor or after, either way will work. It is probably easiest to clean it up as much as you can before removing the cover. If it is typical cruiser gunga, a scraper will peel most of it right off. Then hit it up with brake clean and a rag should get you back to clean.

I know you already have it torn down a ways, and this may not apply for you... but ... if you clean it down and then run it, you should be able to confirm it is your front seal, or timing cover gasket, or two lower bolts, or oil making its way down from the filter or oil making its way down from the valve cover or oil from the oil pan gasket. Of course, it yours is like mine - a combination of all the above. :D

My next step will then be to put it all together and hope it doesn't leak anymore. I'm not doing the plate Gasket.
Question: Is it a mistake not to do the plate gasket when I have it torn down this far? I can't say for sure if it's leaking or not, it was too messy to tell where the leak was coming from.

It could be the plate, once you have the cover off, you need to check the oil squirter to insure it is not tightened up to the point the plate is bowing out. If the squirter is not too tight, you should not be leaking from the plate.


Question: I got some Toyota FIPG, should I coat the cork gasket with this or only the lower two bolts? Or get something else completely for both tasks?

FIPG is a good call. Use it on the gasket as well as the lower bolts. The gasket is thin and you will need to be careful as you tighten the cover. You want to get a good seal and it is fine line between where you need to be and what it takes to split that gasket. DAMHIK.

Also, keep track of which bolts come out of which holes. They are not all the same length. The FSM has a diagram of which goes where if you happen to lose track of them.

Everything else I think I can stumble through. This is by far the biggest wrenching job I've ever done. I have the Haynes manual but I'm definitely a single :wrench: mechanic.

PS, if anyone has the hose from the smog pump to air cleaner, I'm in need! Thanks!

Sounds like you are on the right track. You will be happy when you are no longer leaking oil from the front.

Firetacoma
05-07-2013, 09:14 AM
Good to hear. I guess I was mainly looking for reassurance as I feel I'm in a bit over my skill level.

Will I be able to see if the oil squirter is in too far and thus pushing the plate from the block? That is, will this be pretty obvious once the timing cover is off and the gunky oily mess is all cleaned up?

RicardoJM
05-07-2013, 09:29 AM
Good to hear. I guess I was mainly looking for reassurance as I feel I'm in a bit over my skill level.

Will I be able to see if the oil squirter is in too far and thus pushing the plate from the block? That is, will this be pretty obvious once the timing cover is off and the gunky oily mess is all cleaned up?

I wouldn't characterize it as pretty obvious, i.e. you wouldn't necessarily see a definative bow. The oil squirter screws in and the bow is caused when it gets screwed in too far. When you get in there, take a close look. Do you know if the plate has ever been removed? If it has never been off, you are probably just fine. IIRC to get plate off, you will have to remove the timing gears.

Firetacoma
05-07-2013, 09:32 AM
I would guess that it hasn't been off, but I no nothing of the history of the engine.

I guess I'll take a close look, if I can't tell I'll assume it's ok. If it still leaks I'll dig back into it in the future!

Firetacoma
05-08-2013, 08:05 AM
Ok, slowly getting things back together. I was frustrated by the fact that I had to remove the water pump to get the top timing cover bolt off. I tried a screw driver but it was stripping. argh.

But I got it off, all looked ok underneath, there was a LOT of an RTV like substance around the plate. I decided not to dig into it at this time. I know that's probably where the leak is and that it's still going to leak, I just don't have the know-how to tear in that deep.

So, I started to button it all back up. 2 things:
1. Why do I have to put the pully back on before torquing down the cover bolts? I did it because it's recommended, but I don't understand the need.

2. I don't have a torque wrench that could possibly fit behind the pulley. So I got them "snug" but not too tight. Good enough?

Now to get a new water pump gasket and probably some new hoses and see if this project at least REDUCED the leaking.

RicardoJM
05-08-2013, 08:39 AM
Ok, slowly getting things back together. I was frustrated by the fact that I had to remove the water pump to get the top timing cover bolt off. I tried a screw driver but it was stripping. argh.

But I got it off, all looked ok underneath, there was a LOT of an RTV like substance around the plate. I decided not to dig into it at this time. I know that's probably where the leak is and that it's still going to leak, I just don't have the know-how to tear in that deep.

So, I started to button it all back up. 2 things:
1. Why do I have to put the pully back on before torquing down the cover bolts? I did it because it's recommended, but I don't understand the need.

They recommend this sequence so that the seal can center around the harmonic balancer shaft. With the cover bolts loose, there is some float for the seal and cover as you install the harmonic balancer. If you were to tighten up the cover bolts and the seal was just a tad off center - it would result in pre-mature wearing of the seal and a leak.

2. I don't have a torque wrench that could possibly fit behind the pulley. So I got them "snug" but not too tight. Good enough?

The tourque spec for these is inch pounds, you can always tighten it up a bit if needed. Using FIPG, you are likely just where you need to be with "snug".

Now to get a new water pump gasket and probably some new hoses and see if this project at least REDUCED the leaking.

Get it buttoned up, run it and then monitor it closely. All the new parts you put in should be leak free.

Firetacoma
05-08-2013, 09:49 AM
Thanks again for your input! I'm having a blast playing grease monkey but there are some times when I just stare at it going, "okay, now what?"

I often fall back to what my dad would do in a given situation as he is pretty much the smartest guy I know.

Firetacoma
05-08-2013, 03:40 PM
Water pump re-install: try to find a gasket (nobody local carries it) or install with a nice coat of FIPG?

Rzeppa
05-16-2013, 12:18 AM
I'm halfway through disassembly on a laundry list of projects on my '77 FJ40 and have a couple of questions/want to bounce ideas of people who have done this before!

Here is what I'm doing:
Timing Cover Gasket
Front Seal
Thermostat
Coolant System flush

I pulled it all apart to where my next step is opening up the timing cover (that harmonic balancer nut is a PAIN!). I had a pretty good oil leak and things are pretty oily.
Question: Should I use some type of engine cleaner/degreaser before I open things up? Can I use carb or break cleaner inside this area after it's open?

My next step will then be to put it all together and hope it doesn't leak anymore. I'm not doing the plate Gasket.
Question: Is it a mistake not to do the plate gasket when I have it torn down this far? I can't say for sure if it's leaking or not, it was too messy to tell where the leak was coming from.

Question: I got some Toyota FIPG, should I coat the cork gasket with this or only the lower two bolts? Or get something else completely for both tasks?

Everything else I think I can stumble through. This is by far the biggest wrenching job I've ever done. I have the Haynes manual but I'm definitely a single :wrench: mechanic.

PS, if anyone has the hose from the smog pump to air cleaner, I'm in need! Thanks!

Yes, clean things up as much as possible before opening the internals to the world. Always. Once it is open, do NOT use spray on carb or brake cleaner. Use rags or shop towels and be patient. Mineral spirits or kerosene on your rags or shop towels is acceptable and called for in the manuals.

I do not know what you mean by "plate gasket". If you mean "Timing Gear Cover Gasket" then yes you MUST use a new cork gasket. They are dirt cheap and not using a new one is...wrong. If you are referring to the cover plate on the front of the engine, there is NEVER any reason to dick around with it unless you are rebuilding the entire motor.

There is NO PLACE for FIPG on our old FJ40s. That's fine on your mother's 2012 4Runner oil pan, but not our old iron. DO NOT USE FIPG on old FJ40s. Regular RTV (I like Permatex Ultra Seal) in a thin coat on either side of cork or paper gaskets on our old iron will help ease removal down the road. Except for the two lower bolt threads on the timing gear cover, and the four corners of the oil pan, no sealant whatsoever is needed for F or 2F engines.

Take that FIPG and give it to someone with a newer Toyota, you do not need it for our old iron. It is bad Juju.

Rzeppa
05-16-2013, 12:28 AM
Ok, slowly getting things back together. I was frustrated by the fact that I had to remove the water pump to get the top timing cover bolt off. I tried a screw driver but it was stripping. argh.

But I got it off, all looked ok underneath, there was a LOT of an RTV like substance around the plate. I decided not to dig into it at this time. I know that's probably where the leak is and that it's still going to leak, I just don't have the know-how to tear in that deep.

So, I started to button it all back up. 2 things:
1. Why do I have to put the pully back on before torquing down the cover bolts? I did it because it's recommended, but I don't understand the need.

2. I don't have a torque wrench that could possibly fit behind the pulley. So I got them "snug" but not too tight. Good enough?

Now to get a new water pump gasket and probably some new hoses and see if this project at least REDUCED the leaking.

There is some play in the placement of the timing gear cover before all the bolts are snugged down. Keep them loose, then put the crank pulley on to center the cover. Then tighten down the bolts on the cover. Everyone knows, or should know that the bottom two, the big ones, get some RTV on their threads. As I posted above, a little smear of RTV on each side of that cork gasket will make future removal easier. It is not needed for sealing. Do not over torque the bolts for the timing gear cover, like oil pans and side covers that will deform it and make it leak. The factory cork gasket works great and is very forgiving. As with all seals, smear some grease on the timing gear cover seal before putting the crank pulley on.

Firetacoma
05-16-2013, 08:14 AM
Hmm. The "no FIPG" ship has long sailed. haha. I used it on the cork gasket, and in place of a gasket for the water pump. Is the issue just that it's a pain to get off next time?

I still have a leak after getting it all buttoned up. I can't really tell where it's coming from but now I'm thinking it might be the cover plate.

I've decided to live with it for now, it's at least a bit better than it was!

RicardoJM
05-16-2013, 08:27 AM
...Take that FIPG and give it to someone with a newer Toyota, you do not need it for our old iron. It is bad Juju.

Oh-oh - I've got bad Juju on my old iron. :eek: I'm glad it is being offset by the drive old iron every day karma. :D


... I still have a leak after getting it all buttoned up. I can't really tell where it's coming from but now I'm thinking it might be the cover plate.

Bummer. If you clean it all up, you should be alble to find the source pretty easy.

Firetacoma
05-16-2013, 10:19 AM
The oil is high up on the the timing cover... it's either the top of the timing cover or the cover plate, I just can't see down in there well enough to tell for sure.

RicardoJM
05-16-2013, 10:33 AM
The oil is high up on the the timing cover... it's either the top of the timing cover or the cover plate, I just can't see down in there well enough to tell for sure.

Are you sure it is not coming from your timing cover? The engine cleaners (gunk) come with the nozzels that will let you spray all that area with cleaner. Rinse off with the hose and all that gunga will slide away which will make it easier to spot the source of the leak. :thumb:

Firetacoma
05-16-2013, 10:59 AM
Not 100% sure... there's so much crap in the way (radiator, fan, hoses, etc.) it's hard to tell for sure.

Rzeppa
05-18-2013, 03:20 PM
Hmm. The "no FIPG" ship has long sailed. haha. I used it on the cork gasket, and in place of a gasket for the water pump. Is the issue just that it's a pain to get off next time?

Not only is it a TOTAL PITA to remove parts that have been FIPG'd, but there are instances (timing gear cover comes to mind) where the thickness of the cork gasket is part of the calculus of where the seal mates to the thing it seals (pulley). But yeah, it can be really difficult to unmate parts that have been FIPG'd together. I remember using a hammer and chisel on my daughter's 4runner oil pan...:rant:

Using a little smear of RTV on either side of the factory cork or paper gaskets makes them a breeze to unmate down the road.

Rzeppa
05-18-2013, 03:24 PM
What year is this rig? Oil leaks from the older, stamped steel valve covers are quite common, especially if they have been over-torqued and deformed, or just that the cork has gotten old and hard. I have a couple of spare OEM factory cork valve cover gaskets I don't need any more since I put an aluminum 2F valve cover on my old F engine.

Firetacoma
05-18-2013, 04:08 PM
Oh well. If I ever feel ambitious I'll tear it open again and not use fipg. For now I'm living with the small leak.

It's a 77. It wasn't flat but I set it on the floor and beat on it until it was!

Firetacoma
01-27-2014, 08:47 PM
So, I'm about to tear into this again in the next few weeks to try to fix my leak issues for once and for all. I was thinking my cover was warped so I ordered a used one from SOR... New is no longer available. The new used one, when set on a flat surface still rocks. How flat should it be? Should I tap a tap it to try to eliminate that wobble?

This time, no FIPG and I'm using a torque wrench that can do inch feet!

Rzeppa
01-27-2014, 09:09 PM
So, I'm about to tear into this again in the next few weeks to try to fix my leak issues for once and for all. I was thinking my cover was warped so I ordered a used one from SOR... New is no longer available. The new used one, when set on a flat surface still rocks. How flat should it be? Should I tap a tap it to try to eliminate that wobble?

This time, no FIPG and I'm using a torque wrench that can do inch feet!

I have several used spares I'd have let you have your pick of for free. You should always post stuff like that up here first :-)

It should be really flat, and it is worth the time to make it so. You can work it with a ball pien hammer and a flat piece of wood underneath and the flat part of an anvil, alternately. This technique is also good for side covers and oil pans. I like to use either a 1x2 or a 1x4 as the "chisel" when doing this flattening.

You don't need a torque wrench, they are beyond useless on cork gasketed covers.

A technique that is really helpful on these gaskets is to smear some RTV (I like Permatex Ultra Blue) on the gaskets, and then let them get a little tacky, then stick the gasket to the cover (or oil pan as the case may be). This isn't so much to seal it but helps keep the gasket in position as you install the cover. Put some of the bolts through the cover while the RTV sets, to help keep it in place.

Speaking of RTV, make sure to smear some on the threads of the large bolts that go on the bottom.

One other thing about the timing cover install - I once installed a timing gear cover and it just didn't look right. A closer look showed that it wasn't exactly centered on the front of the crank, a leak (or worn out seal and then a leak) waiting to happen. I loosened up the bolts and wiggled the cover around until it was centered better, then retightened the bolts.

If you haven't already gotten them, I have extra spare seals and gaskets too. Good luck and happy cruisin'!

Firetacoma
01-27-2014, 09:31 PM
Well shoooooot! Lesson learned to ask first I guess!

I'm going to take my time on it this time to make sure it's leak free. Last time it was getting late at night and I just wanted it back together!

Gaskets and seal are on order from my buddy who works at the dealership. Should be in this week and I hope to start tearing it down this weekend. Now that I know what I'm doing, it should go much quicker.

Firetacoma
02-15-2014, 12:09 PM
I'm into it again this morning.

I'm thinking this oiler is too far in? The leak seems to be where the big gob of RTV is on the right there. Am I committed to replacing that gasket now?

I think that's within my scope, just a lot more work!

Pighead
02-15-2014, 04:39 PM
I'm thinking this oiler is too far in?


Could very well be. People do like to tighten those down. Unscrew it and see if it was touching bottom. It should not be bottomed out, makes it hard for the oil to get up into it...and causes oil leaks.

Firetacoma
02-15-2014, 08:18 PM
How will I be able to tell if it was touching bottom by unscrewing it? Will there be some indication on the end of the oiler?

Pighead
02-15-2014, 08:47 PM
Count how many turns to take it out, then count how many turns to go in and bottom out...

Firetacoma
02-15-2014, 09:12 PM
Makes sense, will do! Should I replace the gasket if it is too far in or will unscrewing it slightly fix the leak on its own?

It sure is a ton of work for a simple oil leak!

Pighead
02-16-2014, 10:22 AM
Should I replace the gasket

That's going to have to be your call...
Just maybe, if it was the oil squirter being in too far, turning it out a little just might fix the leak. But I would not count on it. But, being that that gasket is such a pain to change, I might put the timing cover back on and run it for a bit without the crank pulley just to see...