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SA4x4 Clinic got a technical query

Oil Hungry Hilux

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Qusetion by: Bradley Edwards Answer by: Arnold VenterI own a ’99 Hilux DC 2.7 named Bossies, which is my absolute joy. Unfortunately, Bossies has an oildrinking problem. How bad is it? Well, every time I fill up the fuel tank I need to top up with oil. However, there’s more to the story…
About 15 months ago I was about to leave on a trip through Botswana and Namibia when I noticed the Hilux’s valve stem seals were leaking. Wanting peace of mind, I decided to have the problem fixed before going on tour.
The vehicle went in for repairs but after leaving the mechanic’s workshop I found that the oil light stayed on. Thinking this was a bit strange I informed the mechanic, but he told me it was nothing. I insisted that they take a closer look, and the mechanic eventually came to my house and found a rag inside the engine.
The motor was stripped and flushed clean of all clothy remnants. While the engine was in pieces it was decided that the pistons, rings and a few other bits and pieces should be replaced with new parts.
I got the Hilux back and took it on tour without any hassles but it was still using way too much oil. For six months no-one could tell me why my Hilux was burning oil, despite the fact that I’d taken it to several workshops. Then it happened…
The motor seized, forcing me to take the vehicle to an approved Toyota workshop, thinking that would be the answer. They proceeded to rebuild the engine saying it would only take three weeks to complete the job. It took 12.
I finally got the bakkie back but it sounded terrible. Hoping it would sort itself out, I paid for the work, received my guarantee and left feeling unhappy about the engine’s tune.
The motor lasted 750 km before a timing chain pin came loose – it had been installed the wrong way and had found its way into the crankcase. Need I say more?
Thee engine was again stripped, the crankshaft rebuilt and new bearings fitted; thankfully, all under guarantee. This time it lasted a little bit longer but eventually popped again. As you can imagine, by this stage I was starting to get very upset.
The Hilux has since been fixed and has now lasted five months, but it’s still using oil. I’ve been told that the oil pump is faulty but that seems unlikely considering I’ve replaced it four times!
I’m now at the point where I’m too scared to cross the border and I fear a simple off-road outing with my mates. This has gotten out of hand, please help!
Bradley Edwards

THE EXPERT’S OPINION:
Sheez, this sounds like a horror story. Unfortunately, this is a textbook case of the current incompetence within the motor trade. You’re probably not going to like my advice but I suggest stripping this motor down to the last piece and starting afresh. Somebody has overlooked a crucial aspect.
But before doing that, you may want to check the breather valve on top of the tappet cover; it controls the positive crankcase vacuum and is connected to the engine’s intake system. The breather is a one-way valve and sometimes the ball inside the unit seizes in the open position, creating a free-flow effect that allows the engine to breathe excessively and burn oil at a higher rate.
Arnold Venter
CRD (4×4 fitment & repairs)
(011) 907 0580 / arnold@crd.co.za

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