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Old 07-07-2018, 12:25 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Diagnosing om617 Toyota Swap Problem

Hey folks,
First time posting but used this forum countless times during my swap...thanks for the help.
1986 Toyota 4Runner with a 1985 om617.952 swap.
I値l cut to the chase. Swap is done, but I知 having overheating and white exhaust smoke issues. White smoke at start which gradually decreases as motor warms up. Idles fine for as long as I want with no cooling issues. However inclines are a huge issue at low and high speeds, white smoke gets bad and engine will rapidly start to heat up. I always lay off before it gets out of control. Smoke gets bad before the engine temp ever gets to 200*f
Overheating issues aside, the white smoke concerns me the most. All the research I致e done seems to point to a head gasket but there is no noticeable oil in the coolant or milkshake in the oil pan. Again, I知 not as concerned about the overheating since if it is a simple cooling issue I will upgrade the radiator and fan. I知 more worried that the overheating is a product of a head gasket problem.
I知 admittedly not very well versed in diesel motors, so I am wondering what sort of things I can do to narrow down the problem. I love this truck but this has been an absolute nightmare. Basically a paper weight right now since I don稚 want to get stranded in the woods with no cell service.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:36 PM
WTB: 94/95 E320 Wagon
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,441
If you didn't swap over the MB radiator to go with the diesel engine, I'd say you need to probably take a hard look at that, you need to make sure what ever radiator you have is up to the task. Easiest way is to use the MB radiator, just a matter of fitting that into the truck.

Replace the thermostat and the gasket, they cost about $20 or so. Be sure to check the old and new thermostats in a pan of water on the stove to make sure they open at correct temperature and reach full stroke by correct temperature.

Did you change the injection pump timing at all? Getting the timing off can lead to the white smoke and may also be related to the over heating.

What does the white smoke smell like? Sweet smell = coolant, unburnt diesel smell = injection problem (timing or bad injector(s)).
M. Dillon
'87 124.193 (300TD) "White Whale", ~380k miles, 3.5l IP fitted
'95 124.131 (E300) "Sapphire", 379k miles
'73 Balboa 20 "Sanctification"
Charleston SC
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:55 PM
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White smoke + overheating strongly suggests timing problems. Late/retarded injection will cause white acrid smoke (it'll sting your eyes) and have a foul smell. It will also cause excessively high EGT's and overheating from lugging the engine.
'11 Honda Accord EX - "The Daily" 60K
'83 500SL Euro - "The Money Pit" 116K
'86 300SDL - "The Diseasel" 184K
The Diseasel Thread - Everything You Didn't Know You Wanted To Know
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:43 PM
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Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 23,557
If the smoke smells like raw fuel that is an indication of late timing or for some other reason the fuel is being atomized but not burning.

Put a piece of cardboards or board near the exhaust and remove it so you can smell it.

Note that it has happened before that people have acquired Engines that were not in good shape for transplants.
84 300D, 82 Volvo 244Gl Diesel
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:47 PM
Mad Scientist
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,337
No input beyond what's already been added, smell the smoke to help narrow things down.

Good luck. Went through quite a hassle getting my swap ironed out myself - it was well worth it in the end.
1990 617 swapped Toyota Pickup 4x4, 22-24 MPG, 44k miles on swap
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Sounds like a coolant leak into the intake. Smoke on start as it seeps in and puddles overnight. White smoke and overheating as it gets under load and the system pressurizes. Put a cooling system pressure check on it.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:23 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Oregon
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Please explain the path the coolant takes to get into the intake on a 617.
1990 617 swapped Toyota Pickup 4x4, 22-24 MPG, 44k miles on swap
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:35 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,601
Originally Posted by OM617YOTA View Post
Please explain the path the coolant takes to get into the intake on a 617.
The only possible way I can think of is through the head gasket, or a crack in the head. It is not possible to get coolant in the "intake" side of the valves, only the combustion side.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 215
Yup, cracked head, bad gasket or even the block. Not necessarily in the intake manifold per se, but getting in the comvustion chamber. Have seen a Honda with a vertical crack in a cylinder wall years ago. Crack was low enough that the piston still sealed off during high compression and combustion, but picked up coolant on the intake stroke.
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