80 series engine swap or sell and buy something else?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:45
ThreadID: 91720 Views:3030 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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hey everyone i have an 80 series full time 4wd rv model 4.5 litre petrol/lpg manual done 260k..it has the usual backlash from a full time 4wd and has a serious drinking problem 32 litres per hundred on gas and approx 24 litres of unleaded per hundred..

i suspect the fuel usage could be a head issue as ive done plugs, leads, air filter, fuel filter with no improvment..i have also just done a rear main seal, front and rear diff pinion seals, uni joints on both tail shafts, rocker cover gasket, new fluid in diffs, gbox and transfer case, new handbrake shoes.

should i go through the expensive process($3000 to $6000) of having the head done to see if it improves the ecconomy and a part time 4wd kit ($500) to remove the backlash?? or should i just suck it up sell my rig and buy something like a gq that is already part time and have better ecconomy..there is always the path of engine swaps eg 5litre commodore?? any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as im kind of scratching my head and writing pro and con lists arnt helping me!!
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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:36

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:36

You don't mention the age or condition except the problems, you also don't mention what you do with your 4by, touring, weekends etc...

A recon 4.5 engine might be cheaper than getting just the heads done. Holden LS1 v8 5.7 can be found quite cheaply... :)

The drive train is a concern, it seems that you have a lot of work to bring it back to a decent ride.

If you sell you won't get much for it, a trade might be better, but without age and condition for the rest of the vehicle its will be difficult to say much more....

AnswerID: 477234

Follow Up By: Adamc1600 - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:53

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:53
hey tony,

it is a 1993 and is in good condition overall. i have it setup with draw system, and roof rack, bull bar, spotties so far, previous owner installed a 2inch lift with poly air bags in the rear. i plan to use it for a combination of weekend fun, and family holidays as well as a daily drive..i only drive 10kms to work..i have a lot on my to do list such as dual batteries, snorkel, part time 4wd kit and 33's or 35's.. i think selling would not be practical as the value of these vehicles is low at the moment..
FollowupID: 752416

Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:14

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:14
Hi Adam,
Just my 2 bobs worth.
If you are thinking of spending a bit of coin on a head rebuild and then you may find you need to go deeper, I'd be seriously thinking about throwing a LS1 v8 5.7 in her.
Then she will be a nice rig, it sounds like you have a lot of other gear already on or in her, might as well, if you can afford to.
Easier said when it's not my cash.
Good luck with your decision.

FollowupID: 752419

Reply By: Adamc1600 - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:21

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:21
funny you say that im currently surfing the net looking for prices on replacement motors eg gen 3...i think i will get my final piece of mechanical advice when it goes in on thursday to investigate the fuel usage (good local mechanic no bull kinds guy) id like to avoid the expense of doing the conversion but i would love to have a larger km range when out 4wding and travelling..
AnswerID: 477239

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:22

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:22
Hello Adam,

I, too, have an #80, and with 272k on the clock and I drink petrol at about the same rate that you do.

I'm intrigued by your reference to "... the usual backlash..." - help me out here please, what do you mean by this: is this a problem that I may already have that I haven't recognised, or a problem I may shortly have ?????


AnswerID: 477251

Follow Up By: Adamc1600 - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:27

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:27
manual or auto?? as mine is a manual when changing gears or backing off the car jerks a little bit due to some worn drive line components..all gone now my front tail shaft is at the driveshaft plac getting new uni's fitted..i am fitting a part time 4wd kit soon to change it from constant 4wd to part time..this will totally eliminate the problem until you engage 4wd when needed, but i can definatley deal with this..
FollowupID: 752434

Follow Up By: Member - DickyBeach - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:32

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:32

I'm an auto and, touch wood, don't have the symptoms you describe.

Good Luck with your issues, I'll be watching your other replies!


FollowupID: 752436

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 10:52

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 10:52

This might sound a bit obvious but are you sure the centre diff lock is disengaging? The reason I ask is that my son had an 80 manual and now has a 100 series manual (both diesel but so what) and the only time it ever made a noise like something was wrong with the driveline was when he forgot to unlock the centre diff coming of the beach one day and onto bitumen road. Otherwise you could hardly tell the difference between his and mine which is part time.

As far as better economy and touring distance I don't suppose you are interested in repowering with a 1HD-FT or FTE diesel. A V8 petrol would be a good swap but I don't think your milage would be a lot better.
I still think the 80 series is one of the best models Toyota made, appart from the mighty 70 series that is.....lol

AnswerID: 477279

Follow Up By: Adamc1600 - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 11:05

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 11:05
hey pop,

i am fairly sure that it is disengaging, i am hoping the new rear and front uni's will make a large differance, and when my part time kit arrives that will make more of a differance!

i would be very keen to put a diesel into it but the work and $$ involved much outweighs any petrol conversion..eg change fuel lines, fuel tank, diff ratios, engine mounts, wiring, etc etc plus the purchase price of the tojo diesel motors is very high...other than that the diesel donks would be great..im waiting on a proce from a wrecker on the v8 petrol motor..but thinking as my motor is still strong in all other ways i mite get the mechanic to check compression and do a good check over and fix the head...but all will be revealed once i get my report from mechanic..
FollowupID: 752468

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 11:27

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 11:27
Yeah fair enough Adam, but keep in mind with all the stuff you have to change over like wiring, and such you will have to factor in engine mounts and an adaptor kit to fit your gearbox bell housing. I agree the diesel engines to suit are bringing a fancy dollar.
All the best with whatever you decide.

FollowupID: 752470

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:31

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 19:31
You have already spent LOTS of money on upkeep, spend some on tuning the gas....also think about where you get the gas...as some gas mixtures are more butane than propane to keep prices down.....try filling first thing in the morning (first at the bowser) to get more propane than butane, as it settles over night.....but bottom line here is your motor is probably running rich...which is better than lean and backfiring because your flow meter is an expensive repair. my gas 4.5 returns 450kms per 110 litres, so 4.3kms/litre as a comparison.
FollowupID: 752833

Follow Up By: Adamc1600 - Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 22:34

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 at 22:34
yep im thinking ill wait till the part time kit and snorkel are installed then go for the gas tune up..cheers for your comprehensive advice ill give that a go!!
FollowupID: 752852

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:43

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:43
Dont fit the snorkel, as they change the pressure in the inlet when at speed, which changes tune.
FollowupID: 752903

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 14:07

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 14:07
Hi Adam,
the driveline backlash is often caused by the splines in the flanges in the front hubs. There used to be an extensive write up about it and I think it was on Marks Adapters web page or Ebay page , I think.

Because of constant tension in the constant 4 wheel drive the splines wear more.

For those that have not experienced it, it is a sudden jerkiness when the gearbox changes down or up and is caused by excessive backlash in the afore said splines.

Easily enough repaired and does not require a major strip down.

Your fuel consumption figures are what I used to get out of my 80 1FZ FE on gas pulling my 2 tonne van. I would suggest that there is something radically wrong with the tune on the vehicle or some other similar problem. Have you used the correct spark plugs for gas.??

Of course, if you get the head done up make sure they put hardened valve seats and guides in at that time. Should be the end of the problems then I would think.

In all respects they are a brilliant vehicle, are they not.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 477281

Reply By: Adamc1600 - Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 17:36

Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 17:36
bruce you couldnt be more correct they are a top notch vehicle..i just got it back from mechanic who adjusted my valve clearances and gave it a healthy check, says compression is good, not blowing smoke, head is in ok condition (after quite a few adjustments and parts changed today) and to fix my exhaust restriction and i should see some much better fuel figures, especially once the part time 4wd kit is fitted..

the backlash has eased up a huge amount since i have had the uni's done on both shafts.. its now booked in for exhaust replacement next week so ill post my new fuel figures once i have them..thanks all for your advice this is a very good forum unlike many others!!

by the way mechanic only charged $150 for all that work..
AnswerID: 477370

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