Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

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Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

Postby awdmofo » Tue May 24, 2016 6:41 pm

Long story short, I had purchased a 90 alltrac 13 years ago (I was 19 at the time) and loved it. Worked on it a little just maintained it, but learned more later because I also owned 2 mr2 turbos, 1 NA and 1 spyder. So no newbie to Toyota, or the 3s-gte in general, but need help on a project car I just picked up. 1990 ST-185, 212K miles, purchased dirt cheap for a young kid, don't think he knew how to work on cars by the look of things. He states that the head gasket is bad, the car was "leaking coolant and he limped it home, once home wouldn't run again." I need help with diag, and any other suggestions to get her running again until I can save for a 205 swap :D .

First thing I did was open the radiator cap, I see no coolant, and it smells like gas pretty bad. Next, removed the IC, removed the wires and plugs. Interestingly I find cyl 2,3 and 4 have oil all over the wires and the top of the plugs. cyl 1 was 99% bone dry of oil. I look into the plug holes only to see a valve cover gasket sticking in like its blown inwards which would cause the oil contamination I see. So I ordered a VC gasket either way, new copper NGK plugs, and I'm thinking I can clean off the wires and re use them??? They look physically fine, no exposed wires or cracks. Removed the cap and rotor too, look warn but going to clean them up and reuse them to for the time being. VC gasket arrives today, cant get to Toyota to pick it up until this Friday, but was wondering if anyone has run into this issue before and what the out come was. Thanks for any feedback. :notworthy: :notworthy:
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1990 All-trac current money pit (being rebuilt) :roll:
2013 Camaro LS 6-sp (daily)

2005 Yamaha R6 (sold)
2001 Spider (sold)
1990 alltrac (sold)
1991 MR2 turbo x2 (Sold)
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Re: Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

Postby underscore » Tue May 24, 2016 8:11 pm

First things first I'd run a compression test and a leakdown test while you have the IC off, plug wires I'd normally replace but if the connectors on the old ones look okay you may as well use them til you have all the diagnostics sorted. Hard to diagnose over the internet but in my experience a lot of people panic and assume everything is a blown headgasket, when most of the time it isn't (could be a leaking hose, bad rad cap, bad thermostat, etc).
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Re: Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

Postby awdmofo » Tue May 24, 2016 8:41 pm

underscore wrote:First things first I'd run a compression test and a leakdown test while you have the IC off, plug wires I'd normally replace but if the connectors on the old ones look okay you may as well use them til you have all the diagnostics sorted. Hard to diagnose over the internet but in my experience a lot of people panic and assume everything is a blown headgasket, when most of the time it isn't (could be a leaking hose, bad rad cap, bad thermostat, etc).


Yea, That's why I decided to try a few things before jumping to the idea the HG is blown. Just bought this guy 2 weeks ago and trailered it home, apparently it passed smog no issues less than 4 months ago, and the car fax came out clean with no accidents or issues 8). Plan is to replace the VC gasket, plugs, clean the wires, change the oil and the coolant and try to fire it up.

One problem I see now even though the motor hasn't run since it's been sitting in my garage is that its leaking. Looks like oil, gonna have to crawl up in the motor area and check where other than the VC could it be leaking oil from.
1990 All-trac current money pit (being rebuilt) :roll:
2013 Camaro LS 6-sp (daily)

2005 Yamaha R6 (sold)
2001 Spider (sold)
1990 alltrac (sold)
1991 MR2 turbo x2 (Sold)
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Re: Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

Postby yyonline » Wed May 25, 2016 4:33 am

Oil leak spots: Valve cover gasket, distributor o-ring, camshaft seals, oil cooler o-rings, oil pump o-ring and seal, crankshaft seals (front and rear main seals), turbo oil supply and return lines, and oil pan. That's all of them. Start at the top and work down, as it's sometimes hard to tell a leak from oil that has drifted down and pooled in a location.
1992 Toyota Celica all-trac (the dream car)
1993 Toyota Celica ST (the efficient daily driver)
2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track (the fun daily driver)
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Re: Need help to get a 90 running agian HG or VCG?

Postby awdmofo » Thu May 26, 2016 6:30 pm

yyonline wrote:Oil leak spots: Valve cover gasket, distributor o-ring, camshaft seals, oil cooler o-rings, oil pump o-ring and seal, crankshaft seals (front and rear main seals), turbo oil supply and return lines, and oil pan. That's all of them. Start at the top and work down, as it's sometimes hard to tell a leak from oil that has drifted down and pooled in a location.


going to do the VC gasket this weekend, I guess I could pull the distributor pretty easy as I already have the cap off and wires pulled.

Camshaft seals = something I seal with FIPG when putting the VC gasket back on?
oil cooler O-rings = the oil cooler attached to the housing the oil filter sits on?
Crank seals (Im scared that's where it looks like on the back of the motor most of the oil might be coming from :roll:)
Turbo lines, Need to look closer but I think the lines look good from the top (however there is a ton of blow by oil in the turbo that I can see, luckly the turbo has almost no play at all)
Oil pan needs a good looking at, forgot if there is a paper gasket or just use FIPG to re-seal it?

Thanks! How do I post pics on this thread? I tried to use links but nothing showed up, is it due to my low post count?? :shrug:
1990 All-trac current money pit (being rebuilt) :roll:
2013 Camaro LS 6-sp (daily)

2005 Yamaha R6 (sold)
2001 Spider (sold)
1990 alltrac (sold)
1991 MR2 turbo x2 (Sold)
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awdmofo
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