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Dhowman
97 T100
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144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All - It's been a while since I last posted. Busy relocating to west coast from east coast (new job, packing, moving, etc). We arrived in San Diego Sunday after a 2.5K mile x-country trek from MD with the T towing a 2200 lb trailer with 2600 lbs of stuff in it (4800 lbs total). Accompanying me was my daughter driving the Prius with our 3 pups in the comfy AC of the car whilst I drove the beast (good sense of the word) w. the trailer and stuff in tow. It performed marvelously during the journey. Had to run the heater last couple of days coming across AZ and southwest CA (I-10 and I-8) where the temps were a notch above 110 deg (I actually lost about 10 lbs in the heat of the cab *ugh*). Relying on my ODBC phone app, engine coolant never got above 213 deg and was mostly below 200 deg but there were long stretches when it was 200-208.

Well, long story short, I was thrilled to have made it here without any issues but then driving home from my first day of work last night (w.o. trailer) engine started tapping suddenly. I slowed to 55 the rest of the way home (about an hour) thinking it was just a valve that maybe went bad or needed adjusting, but went out to the truck this a.m. and noticed oil coming down the left side of the engine and it looks like I'm a couple quarts low. There's also a film of oil all across the back of the truck, so it's a pretty good leak.

Wondering if I've cracked the driver's side head (given the tapping noise)?

Will need to take it to a shop to get the work done. Might be inclined to dig into this myself but crazy busy already. Thoughts about how to approach diagnosing/repairing this most welcome e.g. If one sides gone, should I just have 'em do both? What's a reasonable amount for this work? Anyone in the SD or LA area who can recommend a good shop?

Pics from the trip:


 

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1997 Toyota T100
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1,939 Posts
I would check to see if it is the oil cooler that may have failed (it's on the driver side). While this wouldn't explain the tapping (low oil may cause that), you might find the leak. It could also be the valve cover gaskets, the cam seals (a good candidate), or a few others. The pics aren't showing up, so I may be off base.
 

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Dhowman
97 T100
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144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, SC. Oil cooler issue certainly be preferable. I'll see if I can get a closer look at it. New valve cover gaskets, plug seals, etc. just done about 10k miles ago and they look dry. It's definitely coming from lower on the engine. Not sure how to diagnose cam seals.

If it is a blown oil cooler, are there ones larger than stock I can replace this one with? So Cal is likely to be a little warmer and I'm kind of partial to desert trips. Was thinking of a larger radiator too. Would be nice not to have to run the heater.

Pics are showing for me (?) I'll see if I have to do a "public share" on the google pics.
 

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Dhowman
97 T100
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144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Pics work now?

And now that I think about it, cam seals (those round Aluminum plugs that pop out when you do the valve cover gaskets?) were done when I did the VC gaskets.
 

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Dhowman
97 T100
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144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Looks like the oil cooler, no?

SC ... looks like you nailed it.

And I also suspect your right about the tapping ... just low oil level. Whew. This one I can probably do on Saturday (seems pretty straight forward in the FSM, though the "union bolt" in the center of the pic is either rusted or crudded up with dirt. Can't make out a "head" to get a wrench on, but will try.

So back to my question above ... any good aftermarket oil coolers I might want to replace this one with? Larger would be better, no?
 

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95 CAMRY & 2011 CAMR
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Dhowman

I hope that tapping is just low oil.!

But, But, But I'm scared for you fella.

The last time I had a tapping, like you talk about, it was a rod bearing.

It had given up the ghost, while towing, w sustained high RPM's.

Hope I'm wrong buddy!
 

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Moderator
1998 T100 SR5 2WD
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14,856 Posts
SC ... looks like you nailed it.

And I also suspect your right about the tapping ... just low oil level. Whew. This one I can probably do on Saturday (seems pretty straight forward in the FSM, though the "union bolt" in the center of the pic is either rusted or crudded up with dirt. Can't make out a "head" to get a wrench on, but will try.

So back to my question above ... any good aftermarket oil coolers I might want to replace this one with? Larger would be better, no?
As far as I know, there isn't an aftermarket cooler that fits on the stock position. So a bigger one that fits on there..not likely.

Don't fergit about gitting new O-rings/seals fer the cooler. ;)

BTW, yer piccie isn't showing up. :(
 
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Registered
1997 Toyota T100
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SC ... looks like you nailed it...

And I also suspect your right about the tapping ... just low oil level. Whew. This one I can probably do on Saturday (seems pretty straight forward in the FSM, though the "union bolt" in the center of the pic is either rusted or crudded up with dirt. Can't make out a "head" to get a wrench on, but will try.

So back to my question above ... any good aftermarket oil coolers I might want to replace this one with? Larger would be better, no?
Wow, that bolt is very rusted. Hopefully it's just oily crud. or it's easy to get off. New seals (there are two I believe, and I did a little write-up on it a while back) are definitely needed, but make sure to inspect the housing for cracks. Hopefully the tapping goes away once it's repaired and re-filled.

I don't know of any aftermarket units, unfortunately. But as long as the cooling system is in order you shouldn't have to run the heater. My guess is the heavy trailer had more to do with that.
 
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Dhowman
97 T100
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144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Joy!

Well, oil cooler seems to have been the cause of all my woes described above. Nothing left of the bolt head but vice grips got it off in pretty short order. Looks like the corroded bolt head was allowing oil to leak past the washer. New bolt, washer and O-ring, all snugged up to 43 ft-lbs and we're good to go. Engine only had about half a quart of oil left in it. Surprised nothing lit up on the dash. That tapping valve may have saved my engine. Tapping, by the way, is gone with 5 quarts of oil back in her.

Whew! Thought, after the x-country trip with 5k lb trailer in 100+ temps, I'd toasted the engine.

Thanks, SC and SD for the advice and instructions!
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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Wooo Hooo! Glad that fixed it! And I'm especially glad the tapping went away and it wasn't more serious. Man, these trucks are tough.
 

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Yes you are super lucky this didn't happen during your trip. Heres to hoping that it lost the oil just prior to you parking it! I have definitely head rod knocks surface after scenarios like this.

Seems like you're just about out of the woods though - chaulk it up to luck if thats the case. Nice to be in the west ey? What part of San DIego> /
 
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