Toyota Tundra Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try to keep it short. I'm only posting as a warning to other gen-1 owners.

About a year ago my lower trans cooler fittings on the denso radiator corroded and gave me the classic strawberry milkshake syndrome. I replaced the radiator with a lifetime warrant Silla brand. I did not use the cooler fittings but rather installed a separate trans oil cooler. A few months ago my transmission failed and I bought a Toyota remanufactured unit. All was well until last week.

Driving to work on the interstate the truck began downshifting to maintain speed on a long up grade. At the top I disconnected the cruise and it seemed to be normal again. I about a mile a began losing power and the engine was not responding. I looked down to see the temp gauge pegged full hot and I immediate shut it down and coasted to a stop. Then the steam started coming out of the grill. Opening the hood I saw a jet of steam and coolant gushing out of a 4" long crack in the top plastic radiator tank.

After it cooled down as I was waiting for a tow, I tried cranking the engine. It sounded like an engine being cranked with all the plugs out.

I later confirmed compression on the left bank was 135, 35, 0, 45. I didn't bother to check the other side.

1. Don't buy a cheap lifetime Chinese radiator. Denso may not last more than 15 years but if you don't get the radiator trans cooler option it may last a lot longer.

2. Your truck has not got a warning system for overheating or low oil pressure that I can find. Unlike old American cast iron engines if you overheat it you lose it. What we once derided as "Idiot Lights" would have saved my engine. I didn't see that tiny needle drifting into the "Destroy" zone, and efficient air flows in the engine compartment force the steam under the vehicle. Even the owners manual mentions that if you overheat to the point of steam discharge it's probably too late.

3. Check your other vehicles warning systems. I've got a Lexus LS and SC 430. Neither gives an overheat warning other than a gauge needle. I consider this to be totally inadequate and will add a temp warning system.

Trying not to rant but I'm depressed and feel I was robbed by some thoughtless engineering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Is it possible the head gasket went and then pressurized the cooling system which then overwhelmed the POS chinese radiator?
 

·
Supportive Supporter
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
That sucks........sorry.
What year and how many miles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,328 Posts
I always watch my scan gauge noting the engine temp but how easy would it be to be able to make a tone sound when the temp reached a high level like 205F then you could catch something like this before it goes over
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
[quote="oldkystudebaker] Your truck has not got a warning system for overheating or low oil pressure that I can find.[/quote]

Let me help you with that:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Possible but unlikely. It was likely the other way around, a cooling issue that then compromised the head gasket.
i agree. The radiator cap is designed to relieve at 13 psi i think. the radiator is constantly exposed to that pressure or close to it.

i had a Denso split like that in my 1995 SC400 around 2013. The Silla was new just a few years ago. Pathetic quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a 2000 Tundra with 257.000 miles on her, I'm constantly checking my gauges when I drive her
mine had 153,000. if you still have your original Denso radiator you are on borrowed time. The lower fittings will fail, and then you have transmission failure looming. Replace the radiator now. Don't buy junk, and strongly consider adding a separate transmission cooler instead of the internal radiator cooler.

I drive a lot and my mind wanders. i need a warning light! or buzzer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always watch my scan gauge noting the engine temp but how easy would it be to be able to make a tone sound when the temp reached a high level like 205F then you could catch something like this before it goes over
Very easy! Amazon sells some cheesy looking warning lite kits. Im considering buying the kit but substituting a buzzer under the dash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had a mechanic friend tell me that when my engine overheated the timing belt may have slipped enough to cause low compression. Tomorrow I'll check the timing marks. He said if it only slipped 2 or 3 teeth it would not be damaged from interference but would not develop full compression with some cylinders showing zero. Watch for update.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I had a mechanic friend tell me that when my engine overheated the timing belt may have slipped enough to cause low compression. Tomorrow I'll check the timing marks. He said if it only slipped 2 or 3 teeth it would not be damaged from interference but would not develop full compression with some cylinders showing zero. Watch for update.
Here is possibly the last update. The timing belt did NOT slip. Timing marks perfect in three spots. I've listed it on Craigslist. If it sells fine. If not maybe I'll get another engine. I'm not going to give it away. Thanks for your comments everyone. Get an idiot light. Cheaper than an engine.��

If you want a very nice truck with a sick engine here it is with detailed photos:

2000 Toyota Tundra 4WD SR5
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
mine had 153,000. if you still have your original Denso radiator you are on borrowed time. The lower fittings will fail, and then you have transmission failure looming. Replace the radiator now. Don't buy junk, and strongly consider adding a separate transmission cooler instead of the internal radiator cooler.

I drive a lot and my mind wanders. i need a warning light! or buzzer.
Already did the pink milkshake thing, caught it very early but boy what a mess, cleaning the cooling system of trans fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I use the APP "Torque." When paired with an OBDII Bluetooth adapter it lets you view temps an set alarms to warn you well before any problems arise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I finally sold it. Only got $1900 or about what the transmission cost a few months ago. The guy will replace the engine and hopefully make a few bucks selling it.

Shopping for an 05 or 06 regular cab. Send any my way please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I use the APP "Torque." When paired with an OBDII Bluetooth adapter it lets you view temps an set alarms to warn you well before any problems arise.
Lots of apps came up when I searched torque. Who developed it?

If I can permanently set up an old iPhone in my next truck to warn me of abnormal temps I'm in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Today I bought my replacement Tundra! A one-owner 05 Double Cab Limited with 145,000 miles. Got it locally for $12k. Has the beginning of bed rust and the frame needs touched up but it's still very good. I'm getting a new timing belt next week, disconnecting the trans lines to the radiator and adding a second oil cooler instead. I was told that the check engine light should come on if the engine overheats but can't verify that nor at what temp it would trip the light so I ordered this:

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=221925974821&globalID=EBAY-US

3" Automatic OBD2 II Car HUD Head Up Display Speed Temperature Warning System US

It has programable warning levels for several items including water temperature. I think it's an audible alert. The thing is not very big. It plugs into the obd2 port for power and data. I like the concept!

It just shipped from China. When I get it I'll follow up here with a report. It's less than $30.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I'll be interested to hear how this works for you. I've bought 2 similar things lately but they don't project on the windshield. One works well and one doesn't. I'll post a review of them soon.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top