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Diagnosing Toyota 2RZ-E engine problems 
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:20 am
Posts: 107
Hello dear friends,

this is a vehicle I'm very attached to, but it's next to impossible to find documentation for.
It's a Toyota Hi-Ace from 1991, originally a 9-seater, nowadays pure transporter. (see pic3)
It's a rare car these days, since most of them have been shipped to Africa. I also know exactly why - because it's the most practical, reliable and fun to drive bus one can own. :-)

The engine is a 2RZ-E, which means it's a 2400cc with 8-valve head, has EFI and 120hp. Afaik, the only other car that was equipped with the same block was a Toyota Hi-Lux, aka Tacoma, sooo... ToxicGumbo, you got some time? :)

Now here are the problems I need to fix, in order of their urgency:

  • Documentation!
    Except for toyodiy.com, I have none. This is bad. If you are able to help, you will be my hero! ;)
  • Diagnosis port
    How is this accessible and what information might it contain? Can I make anything blink me error codes by bridging some pins or something? (see pic2)
  • Knocking sound in idle
    When in idle (<900rpm), there's a mechanical sound from the engine. Sounds like a rod bearing, so I suspect low oil pressure. When the engine's reving a little higher (>1000rpm), the noise goes away completely.
    What to check first? Where can I attach a pressure gauge? The engine bay is not so spacious (see pic1), I'd rather know beforehand where to look... :)
  • Economy light always red
    I'm not sure you guys from all around the globe know these lights in the dashboard, but Toyota has shipped their cars in Europe with them. A long time ago, when it still worked right, it sometimes even went green when the gas pedal wasn't on the floor. :)
    I suspect this is a symptom from another fault, which causes the engine to run rich, but does anybody know what the green/red light relates to? For at least 20000km, the light has always shown red.
  • Only starts on second turn
    When the engine hasn't run for 6-10 hours, it won't start on the first key turn. Once you can hear the fuel pump relais click off, give it another go and it starts just fine. I suspect the fuel filter, which has possibly been in place for 181.000km... I'll replace it anyway, but if you think it could be something else, please speak up.
  • Once all runs well again - will RavAGE be right for this engine? :)
  • Oh and I just remember... some years ago, my father gave the car into repair since it regularly drank its cooling fluid (and I simply didn't have the knowledge or time). The head gasket was replaced and in the process the head diagnosed with having small cracks (never seen it, annoyingly). The head was used again anyways, and the cooling fluid problem has stopped too, so I guess it's still OK, but not good.
    So I'm on the lookout for a replacement, maybe even a 16V head then, but they're hard to come by here in Germany (rare cars, the Hi-Aces and Tacomas). Anybody with spare parts here, and possibly the knowledge what the differences are between 8v and 16v?

This might not be a fun race box, but it's our familys best bitch and there can be no replacement. I have to admit I've neglected it the past years, because I was expecting my brother to look after it - which he didn't.

Any help is very appreciated! Now that you've read it all - Fred, is it ok to post this kind of stuff here? :) I haven't forgotten your wine, just haven't found the right packaging yet :/

Greets,
Stefan


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Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:47 pm
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Quote:
[*]Documentation!
Except for toyodiy.com, I have none. This is bad. If you are able to help, you will be my hero! ;)

These are VERY far from rare in NZ. They're THE courier van of choice. They have high resale, too, probably due to that. I bet some kiwis would know. I'm not particularly up on Toyota stuff myself, sadly.

Quote:
[*]Diagnosis port
How is this accessible and what information might it contain? Can I make anything blink me error codes by bridging some pins or something? (see pic2)

Other than being in sad condition, it looks very standard. I forget the connector pins to bridge, but I bet you can. It's likely googleable too. http://pinouts.ru/CarElectronics/toyota ... nout.shtml just for example, from a quick search. I bet you can do better. My terms were: http://duckduckgo.com/?q=toyota+diagnos ... t&kl=wt-wt

Quote:
[*]Knocking sound in idle
When in idle (<900rpm), there's a mechanical sound from the engine. Sounds like a rod bearing, so I suspect low oil pressure. When the engine's reving a little higher (>1000rpm), the noise goes away completely.
What to check first? Where can I attach a pressure gauge? The engine bay is not so spacious (see pic1), I'd rather know beforehand where to look... :)

Why is this not number one? It could be HLAs if it uses them, I'm unsure what it has, though. If it's rod knock, it's not going to be around for long if you're still driving it. Dip the oil, and put the stick in sunlight, it will shine with ultra fine glitter if you have a bearing on the way out. If it's not using HLAs, it could need its lifters adjusting.

Quote:
[*]Economy light always red

No idea. I've never had good economy from any car, entirely my fault :-)

Quote:
[*]Only starts on second turn
When the engine hasn't run for 6-10 hours, it won't start on the first key turn. Once you can hear the fuel pump relais click off, give it another go and it starts just fine. I suspect the fuel filter, which has possibly been in place for 181.000km... I'll replace it anyway, but if you think it could be something else, please speak up.

Could be heaps of things. And if it's a bit neglected a bunch of things could combine to have that effect (plugs, leads, coil, rotor, leaking air hoses, dirty MAF, etc)

Quote:
[*]Once all runs well again - will RavAGE be right for this engine? :)

Almost certainly. That's probably a very easy engine to run. We need to know the crank/cam position sensor details and other accessory info to properly answer, though.

Quote:
[*]Oh and I just remember... some years ago, my father gave the car into repair since it regularly drank its cooling fluid (and I simply didn't have the knowledge or time). The head gasket was replaced and in the process the head diagnosed with having small cracks (never seen it, annoyingly). The head was used again anyways, and the cooling fluid problem has stopped too, so I guess it's still OK, but not good.

If the head was really cracked, you'd not be driving around happily. They don't tend to "just crack" usually. You can soften the metal by overheating it, and you can have it crack by overheating it. Don't worry about this provided it keeps functioning correctly.

Quote:
So I'm on the lookout for a replacement, maybe even a 16V head then, but they're hard to come by here in Germany

Sweet! No info, but always one to endorse 16v swaps :-)

Quote:
This might not be a fun race box, but it's our familys best bitch and there can be no replacement.

LOL @ use of 'bitch'. I love vans and utes, especially utes. I'd love to see a hiace in a particular forum section.

Quote:
I have to admit I've neglected it the past years, because I was expecting my brother to look after it - which he didn't.

You should have seen what my truck went through before I got hold of it...

Quote:
Now that you've read it all - Fred, is it ok to post this kind of stuff here?

I hope you're joking! OF COURSE it is! :-) That's exactly what this part of the forum is for.

Quote:
:) I haven't forgotten your wine, just haven't found the right packaging yet :/

I told you, no rush at all. I've not found a little jug yet either :-)

Hope some of that helps! I linked Jeff to it too, expect some noise from him :-)

Fred.

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Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:59 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:20 am
Posts: 107
Fred, thanks, you shouldn't have typed so much! ;)

Great to hear these cars are still in use elsewhere [except Africa], so there should be replacement parts available. I don't like going to our local Toyota dealer anymore, simply because he's always trying to sell us a new van and makes a big fuzz about how hard it is to get parts (I know this is BS).

"pin out"!!! Stupid me, those were the magic missing words. Thanks!
I couldn't find the exact connector, but this is more like it: http://www.evoscan.com/technical-vehicle-manuals/139
There's also a link on what and how to bridge (pins TE1 and E1). I don't really expect it to give me anything, because the check engine light never went on. Will check tomorrow though. Right now, I don't even know where the ECU sits, to be honest. A little embarassing, but that's why I like having documentation ;) I can read it at night and immediately get to work in the morning.

Quote:
[*]Knocking sound in idle
Why is this not number one?

Because I still have hope it's not a rod bearing ;) Good idea to check the oil for glitter.. didn't see much (now at 10pm), but oil on the rag I used to wipe the oil dip stick with had some glitter in there. Crap. Will check again tomorrow, hopefully I'm haluscinating right now. If not, yes, this should be #1.

Quote:
[*]Economy light always red
No idea. I've never had good economy from any car, entirely my fault :-)

Hehe, I second that. However, when rolling down a hill without any throttle, it SHOULD get descent economy - but the light says differently :)

Quote:
I'd love to see a hiace in a particular forum section.

Me too :) Seriously! But first it should be running well again.

About the cracked head (not crack head :) ): Yeah as I said, it's probably still ok and nothing to worry about, but it's still a decent way to justify the 16v swap :D IF it fits without too much modifications (intake/exhaust ports?)... I wouldn't want to have too much downtime on this vehicle. We could manage without it for a while, but it's really needed regularly.

Hopefully someone Toyota specialized chimes in, thanks for forwarding to Jeff! And of course for your help so far :)

EDIT: Oh and I forgot: I don't think the connector is in bad condition, it's just the factory protective grease because it's never been used :)


Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:21 pm
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Gutted about the glitter :-( You'll see it properly in sunlight, it looks very pretty in a big container swilling around making patterns. I've seen it enough times now from diffs and bearings and so on, I should know :-)

"But first it should be running well again." - yes, of course :-)

If you're going 16V, it might pay to just get a 16V long block and fit your accessories. The intake manifold won't be OK, though, unless you can source a van one or fab something. If your bottom end is shot, you're going to need down time and a whole new engine anyway. You MAY be able to get away with a flush, and new bearings, but that's never a long term fix once metal particles are circulating.

Good news re the connector.

Fred.

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Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:46 pm
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ehb wrote:
The engine is a 2RZ-E, which means it's a 2400cc with 8-valve head, has EFI and 120hp. Afaik, the only other car that was equipped with the same block was a Toyota Hi-Lux, aka Tacoma, sooo... ToxicGumbo, you got some time? :)

There are some pretty significant differences between your 2RZ-E and the 2RZ-FE that's popular here in the US, but I'm game to compare notes and hit the yards for any parts you might need. I also didn't see any engine schematics on the ToyoDIY site, so perhaps you can reference against the DOHC 2RZ-FE schematics found at http://www.utoyot8.com.

ehb wrote:
Good idea to check the oil for glitter.. didn't see much (now at 10pm), but oil on the rag I used to wipe the oil dip stick with had some glitter in there

Do you have a magnet that you can run over the soaked dipstick? Or maybe strike a flathead screwdriver or piece of steel against concrete a few times and run it over the glittery oil..? When was the last oil change?

ehb wrote:
When in idle (<900rpm), there's a mechanical sound from the engine. When the engine's reving a little higher (>1000rpm), the noise goes away completely.

If it's a steady ticking noise that legitimately goes away (and doesn't just get drowned out by the increased loudness of the engine), my first thought would have been a sticky lifter. Given the presence of "glitter" and the fact that I get my hopes up over less severe problems first, chances are I'm wrong. :cry: Can you record the sound from crank attempts onward to >1000rpm?

ehb wrote:
I suspect this is a symptom from another fault, which causes the engine to run rich, but does anybody know what the green/red light relates to? For at least 20000km, the light has always shown red.

Economy lights are the sort of folklorish stuff we in the US only hear about in the drunk ramblings of foreigners (it's written somewhere in our Constitution that, by law, each resident is required to use up as much of the world's crude oil supply as possible). According to the web, these are known to easily trip in Toyotas when reaching max vacuum. Is it red immediately once the car's turned on?

ehb wrote:
I suspect the fuel filter, which has possibly been in place for 181.000km... I'll replace it anyway

Good move as these should be replaced as part of a normal service and only cost ~$15US. Does this happen only with a cold engine or every time after the car's been off for a while? Whenever I've run into someone with a suspected fuel filter issue, I' have them stomp HARD on the gas while trying to crank. That usually turns over a "dead" car by forcing more fuel through. Try that on the first crank just to see if anything behaves differently.

ehb wrote:
simply didn't have the knowledge or time). The head gasket was replaced and in the process the head diagnosed with having small cracks (never seen it, annoyingly). The head was used again anyways, and the cooling fluid problem has stopped too, so I guess it's still OK, but not good.

I'm pretty amazed that the engine wasn't flooded with coolant. Impressive that it's still chugging away!


-Jeff

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Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:35 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

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Good morning guys,

sorry, been busy yesterday trying out our self-built CNC machine. Yay, it speaks Gcode now! :)
First thing yesterday morning, I checked the oil dip stick for glitter again. I couldn't see any in the oil this time, neither on the rag, neither with a magnet. BUT I will do an oil change asap (hopefully this weekend) and see what's up.

Quote:
If it's a steady ticking noise that legitimately goes away (and doesn't just get drowned out by the increased loudness of the engine), my first thought would have been a sticky lifter.

No, it's not drowned out, it does go away, simply by raising maybe 50rpm. Also, it's not 100% steady, more like 98%. I still have hope it's a lifter. No wonder, judging by the gunk one can see on the dip stick and in the oil filler plug...

Quote:
There are some pretty significant differences between your 2RZ-E and the 2RZ-FE that's popular here in the US, but I'm game to compare notes and hit the yards for any parts you might need.

That is a really nice offer, thank you! Until now I was under the impression (well, told, actually, by untrustworthy people) they're identical from the head downwards, but this does not seem to be true. Comparing the images and part numbers on toyodiy.com between 2rz-e and 2rz-fe, the part numbers are close but differ by one digit mostly. The head gasket definitely looks different so "the blocks = equal" is ruled out.
How is it with Toyota, they wouldn't have the same part with different numbers, would they? Btw, our Hiace is a RZH103L-RGMDEW.
(I know, all that doesn't mean a 16V head won't fit, it's just a matter of a little more work :) )

Quote:
perhaps you can reference against the DOHC 2RZ-FE schematics found at http://www.utoyot8.com.

Thanks, that link is new to me. I couldn't find the 2rz-fe variant though (only 3rz-fe)? Will need to look later again.

Quote:
Economy lights are the sort of folklorish stuff we in the US only hear about in the drunk ramblings of foreigners (it's written somewhere in our Constitution that, by law, each resident is required to use up as much of the world's crude oil supply as possible).

LOL! That's what I thought, I really didn't know, but I was expecting these lights can't be found in US models :)
And yes, it's red from the start on. The behaviour did degrade over time though, if I remember correctly.

Quote:
I' have them stomp HARD on the gas while trying to crank

Yup, that seemed to do better. It coughed after a few turns, which it usually wouldn't. So yeah, fuel filter... Thanks.

Quote:
I'm pretty amazed that the engine wasn't flooded with coolant. Impressive that it's still chugging away!

So far so good, I'm glad it's still running :) The symptoms back then were white smoke out the exhaust, loss of power and of course empty coolant. Fortunately it didn't lock up.

Will keep you all posted, thanks for the help so far!


Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:46 am
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Quote:
No, it's not drowned out, it does go away, simply by raising maybe 50rpm. Also, it's not 100% steady, more like 98%.

Sounds more like a loose bracket LOL :-)

Quote:
Quote:
There are some pretty significant differences between your 2RZ-E and the 2RZ-FE that's popular here in the US, but I'm game to compare notes and hit the yards for any parts you might need.

That is a really nice offer, thank you! Until now I was under the impression (well, told, actually, by untrustworthy people) they're identical from the head downwards, but this does not seem to be true.

This may depend on perspective. If you told me "they're the same" I'd assume two things:

1) bolts up to engine mounts and gearbox
2) deck layout same can swap heads

I wouldn't assume anything about sensors, wiring, accessories (p/s, a/c, alternator, starter, etc)

Quote:
The head gasket definitely looks different so "the blocks = equal" is ruled out.

How different? Likely to be different anyway for coolant flow balancing reasons. Also OEM vs non-OEM are often very different looking. OEM headgaskets FTW usually.

Quote:
How is it with Toyota, they wouldn't have the same part with different numbers, would they?

If it's a single digit different it COULD be a revised part. Or it could be completely different. The opposite is true too, for the same part number you can sometimes get a revised part that's not exactly the same :-) Toyota, no idea.

Quote:
Quote:
I' have them stomp HARD on the gas while trying to crank

Yup, that seemed to do better. It coughed after a few turns, which it usually wouldn't. So yeah, fuel filter... Thanks.

Hmmmm, this diagnosis is, shall we say, not a sure thing? :-) In terms of an EFI system, you've got constant high flow of fuel from the high pressure always-on pump. From key on, to engine stop. You can verify this, or not, by pulling the hose off the outlet of the regulator (with the key off!) and sending that flow to a bucket, instead of back to the tank. Good flow should come from key on until the pump turns off again a second or two later. Keep in mind that the pump and filter are supplying enough fuel to drive around on, so the quantity required for starting is easy come by. What if you turn the key on and off 3 times for 3 pump cycles before trying to start it. If the filter/pump/state of fuel pressure in rail is dubious, that should cure it.

Image

My gut feel says not filter, but it could really be anything else, and lots of combinations are possible. You have leads, plugs, rotor, dizzy cap, all of which are going to need to be replaced (or at least cleaned for: rotor/cap) if the car is old and has done many many miles. Even that, though, doesn't make me go "it's the ign parts". It's just an example. Leads do age, and are a wear and tear part.

Quote:
Quote:
I'm pretty amazed that the engine wasn't flooded with coolant. Impressive that it's still chugging away!

So far so good, I'm glad it's still running :) The symptoms back then were white smoke out the exhaust, loss of power and of course empty coolant. Fortunately it didn't lock up.

Classic head gasket failure :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M3nRMLVX_g

"Lots of smoke in this video where it has a bad water seal."

Fred.

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Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:11 am
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edy5-1YW8sc

It's WAY more obvious on my truck due to the loud Bosch 044 pump, but you should still be able to hear the pump come on when you key on, and go off after a few seconds. Do that a few times, then try to start it. You'll definitely have fuel pressure after a few of those, which will comprehensively rule out the fuel filter, if true.

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Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:16 am
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LQFP112 - Up with the play

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:20 am
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Quote:
Sounds more like a loose bracket LOL :-)

I'd be so glad if I made a fool of myself and it really IS just a bracket :D But the noise is coming from inside the engine, I swear. Now thinking about it, don't ask me why I haven't tried to locate the sound with a metal bar to my head yet. Will do as soon as I can get to the car again.

I've ordered filters and oil, but they haven't arrived yet, so I can't say anything else about wether there's glitter in the oil or not.

Re fuel pump: There's no relais click when turning on the ignition, only when the starter is (shortly) engaged. Could be the fuel pump relais is noiseless though, but I doubt it ;) I'll have someone turn on the ignition and put my head to the tank... :) Of course, turning on the ignition a couple of times before starting is what I usually would do in such case. Doesn't work with this car though. It's never a bad idea to change the fuel filter anyways.

And LOL your fuel pump is loud as fuck :)

Re 16v head: The gaskets look a _little_ different, the 16V has more holes.
EDIT: Oh crap, no, the 8v has more holes! That'd be neat though, hmm :)
Compare this (Tacoma) to this (Hiace) (scroll down on the left side).
Probably more oil return/coolant channels. Also, could be simplified drawings.

But maybe it's a good idea to hold off with the 16V-swap talk and make this another thread, once the engine is FreeEMSed (I see that as a requirement for a 16V swap :) )?


Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:51 am
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ehb wrote:
Re fuel pump: There's no relais click when turning on the ignition, only when the starter is (shortly) engaged. Could be the fuel pump relais is noiseless though, but I doubt it ;)

Brief English lesson: Relay singular, relays plural. The relay might be remotely mounted. Mine are :-)

Quote:
I'll have someone turn on the ignition and put my head to the tank... :)

This may be necessary, see below. Don't get run over! If you find it doesn't, but you think it does when you hit the starter, pull the trigger wire off the starter so that you can turn the key without the starter turning and try again. Some cars have weird wonderful ways of controlling the fuel pump that don't make a lot of sense.

Quote:
It's never a bad idea to change the fuel filter anyways.

Sure.

Quote:
And LOL your fuel pump is loud as fuck :)

And good for 900hp. And almost solid mounted to the deck frame. < the reason. Yours is dangling inside the tank on a bracket that isolates it, and which itself is isolated from the tank, in a tank that is isolated from the body/chassis. If those things have a chassis, that too is isolated from the body. And your pump is good for < 200hp :-)

Quote:
Probably more oil return/coolant channels. Also, could be simplified drawings.

Looks like it could be the same block to me, or at least so similar as to allow what you want. Consider other things, though, like cam chain length, hardware, pitch, etc. In the 4a series engines, and possibly earlier a series engines, you can swap various heads around. 4age blocks themselves vary with different characteristics depending on year and head. Lots of combos that people do with those.

Quote:
But maybe it's a good idea to hold off with the 16V-swap talk and make this another thread, once the engine is FreeEMSed

Sure.

Quote:
I see that as a requirement for a 16V swap

It'd be foolish to do it any other way.

Fred.

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Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:19 pm
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