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Turbo gone - how to know engine is ok?


Well-Known Member
May 28, 2014
Country Flag
So, I'm considering buying a 120 cruiser that has a blown turbo and 300k miles on it. It's one of the early models with the 5speed gear box, etc..

I haven't looked at the vehicle yet but just looking for some pointers to determine the health of the engine, I don't want to buy it if the engine is blown too.
He says it's smokey when driving, not too bad when idleing and low power.

I can do the trubo work myself, my plan would be to replace turbo obviously and cremove and clean the EGR and Manifold too.
And remove the sump and clean the pick up too.
I don't know why the trubo failed yet so there could be an under-lying fault I don't know of other than wear and tear.

Any tips for checking the engine, I don't want to drive it too much with the turbo gone, if I remove the oil cap will that reveal anything, if it's pumping out fumes / gases under pressure I believe this can indicate a cracked piston on landcruisers. What should removing the cap on a healthy engine do?

Obviously I can listen for any unhealthy sounding noises coming from the engine etc.,,, but can anyone suggest anything else I can check when looking it over?

Also, would 300k miles put most people off this vehicle regardless of a blown turbo?
I'll let the experts answer but...

I doubt there's anyway to be 100% sure if you can't drive it properly due to a blown turbo.

I wonder what caused the turbo to go? Lack of oil changes?

If it were me I'd at least get a camera/scope around the top half of the engine through the oil filler cap - at least to get some reassurance that it's not 100% sludged up like some of the ones we've seen on here.

Preferably drop the oil and check the pickup as well. If you buy it that's your first oil change if you don't you can stick the old stuff back in
I'm no expert but i think the 120 only came to this end of the world with a variable vane turbo which basically means digitally managed .

In which case i'd expect blown to mean seals have gone letting oil into the intake . If its digitally thrown its toys out of the pram i suppose that could make for a lot of smoke and low power because it will be over fuelling .
Cheers for the tips, I bought it anyway, have the turbo off yesterday evening.

I had actually heard of diesel4x4 from the forum before, had looked at a few of their vids.

Have they one of removing the cam cover, i must check.

My oil was a little thick-ish around the oil filler. Oil feed/return pipes to the turbo aren't sludged so I'm going to remove the oil sump and check the pic-up etc,,, and then I'll aim to make a start on maybe removing the cam cover to check for sludge there.
The oil pick-up gauge, well the little bit of it I can see with the sump plug removed looks ok I think, but I might take the sump off anyway to be sure. The sump looks tiny by the way.
Can someone tell me is the sump gasket just a silicon sealant or is there an actual gasket?

The turbo is well gone, about 10mm of end float, shaft isn't broke but no sign of carboned or glunged oil, hopefully just failed from wear and tear.

Also, see pic of my throttle body butterfly valve, it seems ok, bit of sludge at the back of the pipe behind it but doesn't seem too bad. Do ye think it's still worth removing the EGR and inlet manifold to check what condition they are in?

Here's some pics:
Turbo removed


Butterfly throttle body
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Theres two sumps - a small one and a big one - the small one is the one with the drain plug. With all the other work you're doing Id think its at least worth taking the EGR off to clean that and have a proper look at the inlet manifold to make a decision if you wanna go further...
If there's break up of the turbo turbine wheels then the particles will follow into the intercooler which is a sieve and will stop the broken parts into the cylinders.
If it's the oil seals that have gone in the turbo then change it over to another and go for a drive.
If the turbine's have broken up then change the intercooler at the same time as the turbo.
So I dropped the sump this morning for peace of mind really, the pick up was clean. One thing I did find was some what I think were a few crusty oil deposits gathered around the sump hole, they couldn't drain due to the sump hole design sitting proud into the sump. Wasn't much but at least they're gone now.


After a slight spray of brake cleaner and a wipe
Got the turbo and all the parts associated with it's removal back together today.

Going to make a start on removing the Egr and Intake manifold tomorrow. Is there any point in removing the cam cover as well? When these engines sludge does the top of the engine under the cam cover be affected, I don't want to remove it if there's nothing to check for in there.
It's not a lot of work to remove the cam cover, however you will need to remove the injector pipes, so will need a crowfoots socket. In theory these are use once pipes, but I removed and refitted mine at least 3 times
I would say definately yes, we have seen a few of these engines with serious problems sludged at the top end, and will give you a good idea how 'clean' the engine is in that respect.

TonyC on the other side, a well respected real expert on these engines has always recommended that, to check if the injector seals are letting any blow by in that area, although your bottom end looks clear.
While you're there, you may also consider pulling the injectors to check general condition, usually mileage dependant.
Thanks for the replies, I'll probably go ahead and remove the cam cover then so. It's not the work in removing it I was trying to avoid, I just didn't want to disturb it if there is no possibility of sludge being in there to check for. No point making work for myself, there's enough to do already, haha. :)

I removed the throttle body and EGR valve this morning, see pics, and also the Intake manifold is the next thing I'll be removing as it needs cleaning too, looks pretty bad.
Lot's of dismantling to look forward to, have to start taking fuel lines off, the Egr cooler, etc.. etc... I'll probably leave that until the evenings during the week..

Can anyone tell me things I'll need to order for reassembly:
Erg valve gasket
Intake manifold gasket (Can this be typically reused or should I just get new?)
I see in FourbyFour videos there's a banjo bolt fuel washer to replace too.
One time use injector pipes (I'll be reusing as another member said. I have reused these on other cars too and no problem)
Anything else I need I'd appreciate the heads up in advance.




Its all about saving the planet so take that gunk to the wildlife park and feed it to a panda .

I would reuse gaskets unless i could see a reason not to .
If you want to re use and be sure, use a smear of blue Hylomar on both mating surfaces.
I'll judge the gaskets as I go then so. Thanks for the tip on the hylomar.

I cleaned my Egr valve, when I test it with 2 different vacuum pumps it's not working, the diaphram inside must have failed. I can move the plunger by manual force so it's not seized. I'll probably just re-fit it, or fit a blank kit? I'm not buying a new one anyway that's for sure. My question here though is what does the 2nd vacuum nipple on the EGR valve do? There's 2 nipples on it and I'm wondering if my plan to refit it broken will affect whatever the other vacuum nipple operates? I'd appreciate any suggestions of what to do here, I don't want to map it out (cost reasons) I'm guessing the EML doesn't remain on on this era cruiser with the Egr blanked? Well it wasn't on with it broken anyway.
Be worth asking that to TonyCY on the other side if you haven't already - sounds right up his street!
Agree with Karl.
If your egr is goosed, and you dont want to renew, just leave it in place to satisfy jobsworth mot inspectors, and contact Tony.
He will probably recommend a full or part delete, as he detailed on here before he was offed, some while ago, and explain his own sytem/s and mot.
As you have had the benefit of his advice on the other forum already, ask him.
His knowledge is immense and all modifications are engineered, tried and tested by himself.
Had other car work on yesterday evening so only got back to removing the intake manifold / fuel pipes this evening.
Here's pics; what's the verdict? :?

To clean the carbon from the engine ports should I by right turn it to TDC and then to 180 degrees to close the ports. Which way does the engine rotate again, clockwise or anti?



In the pic below, is that the timing mark for the fuel pump, the tiny little triangle cut-out on the pulley and the arrow on the casting behind it? It's hard to see, I only noticed the cut out on the pulley when I looked at the photo on my fone when I went to post it here, I couldn't find it when looking at the actual engine.

The cam mark is the little notch in the pulley and the arrow on the block at the 12 o clock position, yeah?
I have the cam aligned when I took this pic, does the fuel timing mark look a tad out? I'll have a better look when I go back to the engine tomorrow.

The tab, they're are actually 2 of them, I only circled one in the green box in my pic, what are these 2 tabs for?

Silly question, but when I set it to TDC, which two intake ports are closed that I can clean? As I look directly in at the intake side of the engine and we assume cyl 1 - 4 is from left to right which two will be closed?

And then if I rotate 180 degrees which other 2 are closed then?

And when I look into the closed ports, what should I see or not see that will also indicate to me I definitely have them closed? Eg: If I see the valves does that mean they're closed?