Coolant loss help please

Paulsven

Active Member
I am in great_britain
Aug 11, 2014
82
0
16
Poole, Dorset
Hello all.

I picked up a '97 3.0GXTD Colorado yesterday which I knew it had "some" coolant issues but a later discovery by complete chance I found a post on a different forum by the previous owner "nice chap!" that the "some" loss was about 5ltrs every 50 miles driving! He has had the vehicle since January and has chucked some money at it i.e new head, new rad, new water pump but the coolant loss is still there, so.............

I need a plan of attack and thought I would run the ideas passed everyone and see if they make sense and any handy hints on how to go about it.

I'm hoping that this is actually going to be something quite simple to resolve and just something that has been overlooked.

I'm going to rule out a cracked head at this point as I think that as he had one fitted only 6 months ago this may have been sorted. It was a new head I believe, however i guess it could have a flaw or not been fitted correctly.

My first thinking is to drain/flush the system and replace the high grade "Dorset clear H20 coolant" with Toyota Red. I'm hoping that it may be a case of the water boiling due to lower boiling point than the red over hence the loss. He did mention in his post about bubbling in the expansion tank but could this possibly just be from the boiling effect I wonder? Is it possibly to lose so much coolant in this way?

How much Toyota Red do I need? I was reading 10ltrs. Is that about right? I assume there is a drain plug somewhere on the engine block. Is it easy to find?

However before I chuck £40 worth of Toyota Red into the rad and risk it disappearing fast I was hoping to find out first if there was a different cause. I might have made this up (I quite often do) or have invented an amazing new product, but is it possible to get some kind of UV dye kit that would safe to put in the rad with the current H20? I was thinking if I chucked some in and ran it up to temp any leaks may become quite obvious. I was also hoping that if it is a cracked head or something and the coolant was being "used"the UV dye may show up at the exhaust end? Is there such a product and if so can anyone recommend a kit/brand etc?

The other thing I was thinking and I am not sure if this is plausible is that the "nice chap" reckoned it only loses coolant whilst driving and not at idle. There is no evidence of coolant leaks/drips etc underneath. Is it possible that the is a split hose, gasket or core plug that only leaks when the water pressure is up? Again would a dye pick this up?

I read a reply to the previous sellers post that their is a possibility that the turbo seals may have gone or the housing cracked. Could anyone verify this?

I suppose after all this a coolant system pressure check and also compression checks may be the next route but I don't have access to the kits and so trying to find a work around.

So to sum up......is there a UV dye kit available or have I made it up/invented it? How much Toyota Red do I need? I assume there is a drain plug somewhere on the engine block. Is it easy to find? Does the turbo sound like a possible cause?

Any other ideas most greatly received.

Thanks all.
 

Trevor

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Jul 25, 2010
1,774
245
63
Brackley, Northants
To fully drain the coolant use the tap on the bottom of the radiator or pull the bottom hose. Once done there is an engine block drain bolt just to the left of the oil filter.

Capacities are 10.1 litres if you have no rear heater or 11 litres if you do.

Is your truck a manual or auto? If auto the rad may have corroded internally between the ATF cooler and water cooler and allowed coolant to mix with the ATF on the autobox (seems like the new rad will have dispelled that scenario) but check the ATF for contamination anyway.

I'd be inclined to use a sniffer kit to see if any hydrocarbons are present in the coolant vapour, not 100% accurate but if present may point to head gone or possibly the turbo as you say. TBH the bubbling seems a bit suspicious to me.

Bit of a silly one here but are the front carpets wet at all? Has the heater matrix behind the dash sprung a leak?

I'm not aware of any dye tracing product but never had to look for one. Regarding the replaced head, do you have any paperwork showing it was a new head and more importantly what brand? There are nasty cheap Chinese ones out there which seem to get a bad rep. Personally I'd go for AMC as supplied by Roughtrax. Did a new head gasket and head bolts go on? Or was it thrown together just to sell it on?

If you can't find an actual leak then I would have to deduce that water is being used by the engine, probably start with compression tests on each cylinder to rule out gasket/head and then pulling the turbo and checking seals etc.
 

grantw

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Jul 15, 2012
2,172
538
113
South London
Does it blow any smoke ... or most likely steam from the exhaust? When you check the engine oil is it still jet black?
 

stumog

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Oct 3, 2012
3,502
640
113
hi paul and welcome

The turbo is not water cooled on these engines so i dont know what the PO was on about. what you can get is the piston compressing the air and pushing air into the system if the head or head gasket is Finished or incorrectly fitted.

you really need to have the coolant system pressure checked and the compression done as i expect this will high light where you problems are.

for the moment i would stick to dorsets finest as it would just waste money putting anti freeze in the crusier at the moment. anti freeze will not lower the temperature. when you are fixed by all means chuck some in.

you say its lossing water and there is no sign of it??? if you run the engine then take the rad cap off what happens? have you looked to see if the raditor over flow is passing? ie to much pressure.

stu
 
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BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
I am in scotland
Mar 1, 2010
1,517
496
83
Kirkliston, Scotland
Paul,

It seems you have been playing "Pass the Parcel" :icon-rolleyes: . Sorry to hear that the music stopped while you were holding it!

It was me that posted on "the other side". It is a strange one with 5 litres of coolant loss in 50 miles yet no sign of where it is going.

My suspicion is that the head gasket is leaking as that is what happened to mine when I put a new 'Roughtrax' head on it with a pattern gasket and didn't use jointing compound (the gasket has a thin black coating that I thought was a sealant).

The head gasket is made of thin sheets of steel (?) riveted together. There is a tab sticking out at the rear N/S with punched holes in it - the number of holes = the number of sheets. Different thicknesses are available and one is supposed to check the piston height above the block face before selecting the correct gasket. We usually just put in a new one that has the same thickness as the old one.

I found that the combustion pressure was escaping between the sheets and pressurising the cooling system. In my case it caused the overflow bottle to overflow all over the engine bay. The motor then overheated.

I removed the head and put a genuine Toyota gasket in with a thin coating of sealant both sides (be careful not to block the oil hole at the rear that feeds the camshaft). I have had no trouble since and I tow a couple of large horses with it.

In your case there is no obvious sign of fluid loss so I guess its going out with the exhaust (?). Depending on where its leaking that could still be caused by a faulty head gasket.

One thing I didn't mention is the thermostat. On the 1KZ-TE it is at the bottom of the block just inboard of the lower radiator hose. This means that the top of the motor can get very hot before the thermostat knows about it. If the motor is getting hot and you are running plain water then it could easily boil - hence the bubbles in the overflow tank. I would expect fluid to be expelled as well however.

My suggestion; drain the cooling system (remove the lower radiator hose over a bucket) and refill with a 50/50% mix of 'Toyota Red'. Be aware that you may lose it! Then see what happens. Note: Toyota dealers usually sell coolant that is already a 50/50% mix!

One thing bothers me. Its had a new radiator fitted but it seems that 'Steel Seal' and other stuff has been tried - that could block the radiator if a cheap one has been fitted. There are loads of posts about fitting "three-core" radiators as the cheap ones don't cool efficiently. It would be interesting to hear where the rad' came from. It doesn't sound like the cause because the new rad was fitted as a hopeful cure.

I don't know of any 'magic stuff' that will show you where the leak is. Its usually obvious as coolant all over something or a cloud of steam from the exhaust.

My suggestion about a coolant leak via the turbo was pure guesswork. I have never heard of that happening it just seemed like an idea that fitted the description of the problem. I would start by replacing the head gasket with a genuine Toyota one with sealant as, after all the miles its done, the face of the block won't be perfectly flat.

Good luck and keep us posted, we are here to help (but mostly to learn :icon-cool: ).

Bob.
 

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
I am in scotland
Mar 1, 2010
1,517
496
83
Kirkliston, Scotland
The turbo is not water cooled on these engines so i dont know what the PO was on about.
That was me :whistle:.

I thought the hoses leading from the block to the turbo were coolant, maybe they are the oil pipes.

The hoses were identified as cooling pipes in an earlier thread about "Cooling the 1KZ-TE motor" and no-one commented so I assumed I was right.

Apologies if it was a 'bum steer' :oops:.

Bob.
 

stumog

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Oct 3, 2012
3,502
640
113
ha ha bob you have oil feed pipes going to the turbo and air charge pipe. you do get water cooled turbos but are very rare on a low output engine.

stu
 

Trevor

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Jul 25, 2010
1,774
245
63
Brackley, Northants
The turbo on the 1KZT is water cooled, the coolant pipe (twin pipes) bolt onto the topside of the turbo between the two impeller halves. Primary cooling is done via the engine oil but the water provides secondary cooling. If the gasket is leaking at this point then it could be steaming off. But 5 litres in 50 miles, I'd expect to smell that from the drivers seat.

AF475361-7B6F-42F6-A543-8EED55CF6750_zpsxh25xm1d.jpg

It's the twin silver pipes running horizontally in the pic.
 
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stumog

Well-Known Member
I am in england
Oct 3, 2012
3,502
640
113
I stand corrected that is odd for a turbo on a this type of engine.
stu
 

Jmacd

New Member
I am in uk
Apr 8, 2014
36
4
8
If you have a rear heater behind drivers seat may be worth checking the supply and return pipes to the heater.
Handbrake on chock wheels remove covers. Run engine. Inspect pipes from top right hand rear of engine down to chassis and underneath to the heater. Possible you have a pin hole in the pipe. Total cost to check zero pounds only time.
 

frank rabbets

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
4,879
1,142
113
Stourbridge
Get the water checked for exhaust contamination. 5 minute job. If contamination shows then it could be a cracked block, faulty gasket or head.
 

steve allard

New Member
May 29, 2013
30
1
16
I agree with JMACD, it could be the rear heater pipes under the car. Take a rad pressure kit and pump up the system to 0.8 bar and then quietly look and watch for leaks (park on a clean dry floor)
 

Paulsven

Active Member
I am in great_britain
Aug 11, 2014
82
0
16
Poole, Dorset
Thanks for all the replies guys.

No oil in water, no mayonnaise so am assuming oil is water free too.

It's a manual so don't think I have the issue described above as found in autos.

I don't think the guy has done it up to sell, I think he just got fed up at chucking money at it and told a few porky pies to get rid of it. (Can't believe I'm actually defending him!) Trouble is I would rather he was just honest I would have still taken it but at a slightly lower rate. The head bolts aren't new and unsure about the gasket. The new head was fitted in January from what I can gather as he only got it 50 miles from the dealer before the cap on the expansion tank blew and coated the underside of the bonnet in hot water. From the post he made on another site the dealer wouldn't return his calls so I guess he felt he was stuck with it and either sold it for scrap or tried to fix it up for his family ski trip to the alps.

I don't think the new head sorted the issue and I would be surprised if he hadn't seen some sort of improvement after the new head went in if it was that.

He hasn't driven it much from what I can tell and it's been sat there for ages. There is a good puff of dark grey smoke on start up then cleared but had a mate stood watching and he said there was no white smoke after that. I'm assuming that could just be to do with how long it's been sat there and perhaps some new plugs? Needs a damn good service water loss or not.

I'm wondering if perhaps he has been topping up the water and not bleeding through the heater matrix, then when he turns heater on (he bought it in January) it bleeds through, drops the levels and overheats making him think it has lost more than it has? Plausible?

I'm going to try and get hold of a coolant pressure test kit and give that a whirl. I don't want to have to remove the head unless i have to.

I like a challenge so looking forward to getting stuck in! Never give up either so you may see a post from me asking how to put the whole engine back together after I have taken it apart bolt by bolt!
 

fbnss

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I am in england
Oct 14, 2013
2,795
1,929
113
Watford, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
I had a hilux surf with the 1kzte in it. After a couple of months I noticed the bubbling in the expansion tank, after reading up on the hilux surf forum have it to my usual mechanic to sort out, he faffed with it for ages. New head ( don't know where from) new water pump, new thermostat, new everything else that is advised. After putting it all back together same thing, bubbling in the expansion tank so he said it must be the block that was knackered. ( I was getting fed up by now, he'd had it months)
i ended up speaking to to tony. N ( surf guru) who said if I can get it trailered down to him he could have a look and no doubt fix it but suggested that first I buy a new head gasket and tell my mechanic to refit the head as apparently even the most experienced person can faff it up. Didn't enjoy telling him/asking him to refit the head again cos what do I know but he did it and it was fine for the two years I had it after. Good luck!
 

tim falce

Member
Oct 22, 2011
133
3
18
Hello all.


My first thinking is to drain/flush the system and replace the high grade "Dorset clear H20 coolant" with Toyota Red. I'm hoping that it may be a case of the water boiling due to lower boiling point than the red over hence the loss. He did mention in his post about bubbling in the expansion tank but could this possibly just be from the boiling effect I wonder? Is it possibly to lose so much coolant in this way?

How much Toyota Red do I need? I was reading 10ltrs. Is that about right? I assume there is a drain plug somewhere on the engine block. Is it easy to find?


Thanks all.
I doubt the fact you have only got water in it is making it boil but before you put expensive Toyota stuff in you could just put some ordinary red antifreeze in, just to prevent any corrosion. One thing you could try is checking or changing the rad cap, I bought a brand new rad last year and after I fitted it the top rad hose would collapse as the engine cooled, the return on the new cap was faulty and fitting the old cap cured the problem, your cap may not be sealing or working at the correct pressure. This is just one of many things you could try but start with the cheapest first. A sniff test wont go amiss but if it's still losing 5lt/50miles you'd see where it was going so I doubt It's a cracked head, is there water in the oil or vice versa?
 
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Paulsven

Active Member
I am in great_britain
Aug 11, 2014
82
0
16
Poole, Dorset
Ok so I have chucked in some clean fuel, run it up and this is the result from the exhaust. Definitely some white smoke I would have thought if it was using as much water as the "nice chap" was saying I was expecting a steam train.

Rad cap was not sealing 100% as I heard some hissing when I shut down. Was air being sucked in though as no "coolant" escaping. Heaters set to max heat but blowing cold. Water in expansion tank was cold although I'm not sure if that means anything. My understanding was that the rad cap released pressure in to expansion tank so was at least expecting it to be warm.

Am I right in thinking the turbo is easier to remove than the head. I'm tempted to check turbo seals first before opening up head. More thoughts?


http://s1100.photobucket.com/user/Paulsven/library/Landcruiser

Anyone recommend a decent workshop manual or should I stick with Haynes?

Also these Toyota engine codes are confusing! I thought I was doing well searching for parts for a KZJ95 but someone earlier mentioned 1KZT. Is one the model and the other then engine?
 

tim falce

Member
Oct 22, 2011
133
3
18
From the video I'd say that was normal for a car that you are just randomly revving. How hot did you let the engine get when you checked the expansion tank? Buy a new cap from Toyotas for a start and check the expansion pipe actually sits in water in the bottom of the expansion bottle and check the pipe doesn't have any holes in it. Also when you fill it up with water let the engine heat up with no rad cap on and run like this for a while to get all the air out and make sure the rad is always full to the top of the neck until you put the cap back on.
 
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