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I am new to this group and have just finished a trip from UK to my home in
mid Portugal in my '91 Jap import 2.4 diesel FJ80 towing a horsebox trailer,
we broke down due to overheating no less than 4 times!, a new head gasket in
UK, then a new fan unit in Spain, finally got the rig brought home on a
The vehicle has only 100K ,Kms and has full service history, we had it fully
serviced prior to setting off and all appeared well, my local garage is now
changing the radiator.
Has anyone else had similar experience?,


Morning Chris, welcome to the list.
When you say you have a 2.4l diesel 80 series, is it actually a 4.2?
One of the common and difficult to diagnose problems with overheating
in the 80 series is the viscous fan - if the fluid leaks out (or is
old) the fan never spins fast enough to cool the engine. This can be
easily fixed by stripping down the fan and replacing the oil.
Apart from that, the usual things are to check for leaks, try to flush
the cooling system, check the thermostat isn't sticking and also if you
have the time try to do a thorough flush on the Radiator, although 80
series diesels do have a habit of running very cool and some in the UK
actually run with the radiator curtain down all year round.
The next step is to see if you actually have a head gasket problem that
could be pressurising the cooling system causing the overheating. From
cold run the engine with the radiator cap off - if the water level
rises and falls with the engine, it could be a head gasket problem -
this would also lead to an oily film in the cooling system water.
If you have either of the above, it would be sensible to get the
cylinders compression tested just to confirm the diagnosis.
When you put it all back together make sure you use Toyota's red
antifreeze - this comes highly recommended over other non specific
brands. When you do fill up make sure that you squeeze all the
flexible hoses to force any air out of the system - it usually helps to
do this when the engine is running hot and with the cabin heating is
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift