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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 84 mkii p has 290k miles and has starting leaking oil from the headgasket -- right side rear, near the exhaust manifold.

How hard is it to replace the head gasket? I'm thinking that if I lock myself in the garage for a couple of days I can do it. I've rebuild a number of engines before, but that was a while ago and I'm not as young and stupid as I used to be. :) Well, at least not as young...

Also, what parts will I need?

I have the factory manual, so if there's a procedure in there that's fine too.

Thanks!

Fred
 

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lamboguy said:
My 84 mkii p has 290k miles and has starting leaking oil from the headgasket -- right side rear, near the exhaust manifold.

Fred

Headgaskets don't normally leak oil :)

What you're describing leads me to believe you have cam tower leakage (which is very common).

I have written up a tech article (with pictures) that you can view here:
http://www.freewebs.com/supragoddess/technicalarticles.htm

or here:
http://www.celicasupra.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20159

good luck!
 

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Tanya is right (as she usually is) your problem is with the cam towers. As this gets worse, oil will pool in the valleys between the towers as well. Be sure to keep an eye on your oil level too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everybody. That's what I thought too, cam towers. I took it to a shop and they did the phosphorescent dye in the oil trick and then proclaimed that the oild was leaking out the right rear (passenger-side) head gasket, and not the cam tower.

Do you think I should investigate that further?

I had the cam tower probably way back around 100k miles and had the dealer replace them. Course, I suppose they could be leaking again.

And yes, I do have oil down around the spark plug holes.

Now I also had 2 other oil leaks which the shop fixed -- valve covers and rear cam cover seals. Before I had so much oil leaking that it was kind of crazy, with oil pouring on to the exhaust, etc. I'd pull up to a stoplight and smoke was coming out the right side of the engine compartment. People around me were concerned. :lock:

I do keep close tabs on the oil level so that's not a problem. (but it is expensive these days!)

How can I tell for sure it's the cam towers and not the headgasket? The exhaust is right there and king of in the way. Seems to me I should be able to clean the area up well and verify the oil is coming from one or the other...si?

Thanks!

Fred
 

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Blah, just so you know, some shops are complete MORONS. The 5MGE is kinda unique in the head/cam tower department, so what they *thought* might have been the sealing surface of the head, could have been the cam tower.

Here's a cut away view of the head:
http://www.cygnusx1.net/supra/library/TSRM_MKII/em/EM_018.html

Things to look for with a BHG;
white smoke out of the exhaust
oil in coolant, coolant in oil (will look like chocolate milk)
engine sputtering, faltering, missing.

Take your spark plugs out and note the condition, whether they're covered in oil, or coolant, etc.

I say take it to an import specialist shop, or perhaps even Toyota for a correct diagnosis. Have a head leak down test and compression test performed.
 

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Tanya, too bad you are married..im in love with your MKII knowledge
 

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hah :)

I've owned 7 mkIIs since March of 2001, one car in particular had head gasket issues (sucked a bolt in the engine, smashed piston and combustion chamber, and apparently ovaled the cylinder as it blew the headgasket twice after we replaced the piston and head)

And now my current car is having cam tower issues. Replaced them a few months ago, but we forgot to retorque the bolts after driving and now they leak again.

Experience = knowledge
 

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That is certainly the truth. How did you seal yours? I never heard of retorquing after driving a while. What I read was to prep the head & tower to a smooth finish then coat the gasket with spray on copper sealant, let it tack, and assemble. But that was years ago, what is the best way now? My 6mgte is going to be assembled this summer and the last thing I want is it leaking again.
 

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MS85SUPRA said:
That is certainly the truth. How did you seal yours? I never heard of retorquing after driving a while. What I read was to prep the head & tower to a smooth finish then coat the gasket with spray on copper sealant, let it tack, and assemble. But that was years ago, what is the best way now? My 6mgte is going to be assembled this summer and the last thing I want is it leaking again.

Well, I've never heard of retorquing the cam towers either, BUT it makes sense. Think about it, when replacing the head gasket, you want to retorque the head bolts a few times after driving as well. Since the cam towers are also aluminum, it would make sense that after removing, they'd also need retorquing.

Suggest using a copper spray, or even some ultra grey RTV (spread thin) on the gaskets, torque down in sequence, drive around for a while, retorque, wait another day or so of driving, retorque again.
 

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MS85SUPRA said:
Good idea, I had never thought of that. Are you planning on re-sealing them?

Yeah, eventually, lol. Right now I have a much more massive leak coming from the bottom end (can't imagine why as all the seals are new, oil pan freshly gasketed, blah!)

Oddly enough, only the back of my cam tower(s) are leaking. The last 3 cylinders (on top of the head) are full of oil, but the 1st three are dry :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Again, thanks for the info. I agree about shops...this one did seem good tho, and one of the mechanics there owns an 84 mk ii and says (like me) that it's the best car ever made! :sadance:

So they could be right, they could be wrong. I'll dig into it a bit more when we get settled into our new place next week. Right now I'm in an apt and just don't feel like doing anything out on the busy street!

What I'll do is clean things up and try to post a photo of the leak...if I can

Thanks!!

Fred
 

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I lucked out, my hg is leaking coolant straight to combustion, project for this week. Can't wait to get it fixed so it can roll to paint. But cam towers, yep bought mine with a healthy leak there. Wish I would have waited on that though, get to do it again anyway. Good luck
 
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