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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
THIS IS NOT A LIGHT READ:

It's not my most elegant post, and it contains a tonne of info. If you want to comment or argue, please have a look at what I've dug up first. That being said, many of you know this engine better than I do, and I look forward to your opinion.

Here is my opinion.

I have had this issue for some time now. Here are the results of my research:

This has been going on for a while, but seeing as my clutch exploded last night and the truck is a massive paperweight, I might as well try to fix this issue at the same time.

When the truck sits for about 4 hours or more, the start up sounds bad. Likes valves flapping or something. I think it is due to poor oil pressure.

Maybe I need a new pump? Engine is losing prime? Any ideas?

The longer it sits, the longer it makes the nasty sound when starting. Always goes away after 1-2 seconds. I think this is how long it takes to build oil pressure...

I have tried new filters. Thought maybe bad anti drain back valves. Nope.

I really don't know... but I'm tempted just to tear the motor out and have a good look at everything. Can't drive the damn thing now anyway... :lol:

My labor is free to me. A new clutch and bell housing... not so much.

:cheers:

So I give you... NAME THAT SOUND: FJ EDITION!

FJ Cruiser Hard Start Up Sound - YouTube

FJ Cruiser Hard Start Up Sound - YouTube

The original thread: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/problems-dealer-service/154477-who-wants-play-name-sound-my-fj-likes-rumble-4.html

FJ's are not the only vehicles with this problem:

Rav 4's have it: VVT Cold Start Video - Toyota RAV4 Forums : RAV4World.com

Rav 4's have a TSB for it: TSB 0146-10 up date/watch out! - Toyota RAV4 Forums : RAV4World.com

Camrys, Highlanders, and Venza's also have it: Toyota Technical Service Bulletin Index

Brief Engine Knock/Rattle Noise at Cold Startup (1AR/2AR) Brief Engine Knock/Rattle Noise at Cold Startup (TSB-0146-10)

Immediately following a cold soak startup, some 2010 – 2011 Camry, 2009 – 2010 Highlander, 2009 – 2010 RAV4, 2009 – 2010 Venza model year vehicles equipped with the 1AR-FE and 2AR-FE engines may exhibit a brief knock/rattle noise from the engine compartment for approximately one second.
Toyota put a "lock pin" on 2010 plus Fj's to prevent this on the new 1GR-FE engines, which also have this system on the exhaust now (2009 FJ's and older only have it on intake): http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDAQFjAB&url=http://www.panavi.kz/4runner/215/NCF/1gr-fe_vvtisystem.pdf&ei=OtnJUpPUJczroAS71YGoCw&usg=AFQjCNGralVU9PGuF1CWNEWlRebfANpCHw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU

36 FJ CRUISER - NEW FEATURES
3) Construction
a. VVT-i Controller
The VVT-i controller consists of an outer housing that is driven by the timing chain sprocket, and
a vane sub-assembly that is coupled to each camshaft.
The intake side uses a VVT-i controller with 3 vanes, and the exhaust side has used one with 4 vanes.
When the engine stops, the VVT-i controller (intake) is locked at the most retarded angle by its lock
pin, and the VVT-i controller (exhaust) is locked at the most advanced angle. This ensures excellent
engine startability.

The oil pressure sent from the advance or retard side passages of the intake and exhaust camshafts
causes rotation of the VVT-i controller vane sub-assembly relative to the timing chain sprocket, to
vary the valve timing continuously.
An advance assist spring is provided on the VVT-i controller (exhaust). This helps to apply torque
in the advanced angle direction so that the vane lock pin securely engages with the housing when
the engine stops.
Full article detailing all changes between the 2009 and 2010 FJ motor:

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDYQFjAC&url=http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/attachments/maintenance-tech/43740d1307062526-2011-fj-cruiser-oil-viscosity-australia-1gr-fe_engine.pdf&ei=OtnJUpPUJczroAS71YGoCw&usg=AFQjCNGVG_Y3eSZ5oOYHPjhuVnlTFuuArw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU

Some have suggested a 0W20 oil will get there faster in cold weather:

When cold, a 0W20 will pump up to the bearing surfaces faster than a 5W30.

DEWFPO
My FJ is not the only FJ to do this:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/misc-technical-discussion/89232-funky-cold-start-noise-2.html


So basically, I want my VVT-i cam gears/VVT-i controller replaced under a TSB. Does this TSB exist? Toyota has acknowledged a design issue on other platforms with VVT-i, and have revised this 5 times based on some of the sources above.


I can band-aid this with a $200 pre-lube system, which will store oil pressure in an accumulator until I hit the starter, providing instant oil pressure (see my original thread if you want more info on the oil pressure light, cranking with the EFI relay pulled, etc).

Engine Pre Lube System Insta-Lube Kit Description

I am happy to be at the bottom of this, and the 2nd gen 1GR-FE now makes more sense and is more appealing, even if I don't like the oil filter. :p

I could be wrong, but I've researched this to death, with more info I found and couldn't bother to document. There are youtube videos of this happening to Toyota diesels as well!

Who else has this? Obviously not 2010+ FJ's...

Happy to be driving my FJ again (finished the new clutch, flywheel, and PDM Tranquil throwout bearing kit last week), but I want quieter starts!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"TOYOTA ANNOUNCES VOLUNTARY RECALLS

In the involved Lexus IS 350, IS 350C and GS 350 vehicles, bolts used to secure the variable valve timing control device can become loose, causing the vehicle to stop while being driven. Early warning for this condition can be identified as a brief rattle noise for approximately 1 second upon a cold start-up.
Owners of vehicles subject to these recalls will receive a notification by first class mail."

Read more: Engine cranking/startup noise (merged threads) - Page 65 - Club Lexus Forums
This is also re-assuring... from here: Club Lexus Forums - View Single Post - Engine cranking/startup noise (merged threads)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't read the attached threads, but I listened to your video... I used to hear this a car with hydraulic lifters. Have you tried a different weight oil?


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Would you suggest lighter or heavier, and why?

I just did an oil change, and almost tried a new oil, but I have had experienced mechanics and friends argue for both a lighter and heavier oil. So I stuck with what it calls for on the stock oil cap: 5W-30.

I am using Amsoil synthetic.
 

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I think I would first suggest a different brand. Not that the one you are using is right or wrong, bad or good, but something cheap to try. Your oil could be leaving some sort of sticky residue on the lifters? So cheapest option, to me, is to try a different oil and see if there is a change....

If you are running 10-30, that should be heavy enough....


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Heavier weight oil made mine worse. It is a Lexus LX-470 w/270K on it. Hydraulic lifters seem to be the issue from my reading. I imagine it being somewhat innocuous, but still makes me cringe for the first couple of minutes of driving a cold truck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I think I would first suggest a different brand. Not that the one you are using is right or wrong, bad or good, but something cheap to try. Your oil could be leaving some sort of sticky residue on the lifters? So cheapest option, to me, is to try a different oil and see if there is a change....

If you are running 10-30, that should be heavy enough....


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
Heavier weight oil made mine worse. It is a Lexus LX-470 w/270K on it. Hydraulic lifters seem to be the issue from my reading. I imagine it being somewhat innocuous, but still makes me cringe for the first couple of minutes of driving a cold truck!
Where are you guys reading that it is hydraulic lifters?

The '10 FJ has hydraulic lash adjusters on the roller rockers, but the '09 and older is a bucket and shim driven directly by the cams, unless I'm mistaken.

See page 11, it compares them side by side.

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDYQFjAC&url=http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/attachments/maintenance-tech/43740d1307062526-2011-fj-cruiser-oil-viscosity-australia-1gr-fe_engine.pdf&ei=OtnJUpPUJczroAS71YGoCw&usg=AFQjCNGVG_Y3eSZ5oOYHPjhuVnlTFuuArw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU

Here is a pic:
 

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I'm saying it sounds just like hydraulic lifters. I have not torn into the FJ engine. But there are only so many parts that would be moving at that speed on start-up. Valves are the only thing, in my mind, that are gonna make that noise on start-up. So, to me, there is some oil starvation in the valve train....

Just my guess. I am not an expert.


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Discussion Starter #11
I'm saying it sounds just like hydraulic lifters. I have not torn into the FJ engine. But there are only so many parts that would be moving at that speed on start-up. Valves are the only thing, in my mind, that are gonna make that noise on start-up. So, to me, there is some oil starvation in the valve train....

Just my guess. I am not an expert.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App

Neither am I, that's why I researched the crap out of this and came up with the VVT-i controller theory.

It is in the valve train, and it is oil related, but those would be the noisiest non-existing hydraulic lifters ever, since my 2007 FJ doesn't have hydraulic lifters! :lol:
 

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g'day Joel.

1. HAPPY NEW YEAR MATE.
2. Glad you have your FJ back up n running.
3. Bummed that you are still have start up challenges.
4. Solution ..... :lol: time to trade it in for a new 2014TT .... but only after you have warmed it up ..when going for the trade in.

I know this is off topic, but hey .... get wheelin Joel ....

Cheers ears
Baz
:cheers:
:blueblob::blueblob:
 

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=> FJoel
Man, I am sorry. I sorta figured that hydraulic lifters were ubiquitous across Toyota engine lines. I'll do more homework before my next post. :)
 

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Joel we used to get 100's of Suzuki's that had a similar upper end noise at the auction (due to thin aluminum heads) and found adding Lucas oil additive (1/2 bottle per engine after draining the equivalent) made a vast improvement. I swear that stuff is mechanic in a bottle.
 

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^^^^Joel this is the direction I was going, my thought is if this is a mechanical clearance issue then having a oil/additive with a higher viscosity will hang onto the surfaces better and longer between operation. It is hard to hear on the video with the hood closed, If I can make a suggestion get a friend to help you while your standing at the front of the motor open the oil fill cap on the valve cover then have the truck started , if it is the valve train slapping around it will be very audible through the oil fill opening. I have to say I have heard many motors cold start rattle with the absence of oil pressure and yours does sound different , mind you I have no experience the VVT motor but the sound is very rapid like a rattle more than knock.
This will sound way out there and likely not your issue but I feel should be checked .... Have you looked at the cooling fan blade and clutch assembly to make sure everything is tight, there are no cracks or breaks in the blades? How many miles on this motor? another thing to check off the list is the timing chain and tensioner, Some old motors used oil pressure to push the tensioner against the chain, I have no idea how this motor does it.
Just some thoughts tossed out there.:cheers:
 

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Who else has this? Obviously not 2010+ FJ's...
I have a 2010 and it does the same valve clatter when it's been sitting a day or two in the cold (-20C and below). It's just long enough to get me to feel bad for the truck...

My girlfriend's 2004 Echo does it also below -10C, but I don't care about her car... :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
g'day Joel.

1. HAPPY NEW YEAR MATE.
2. Glad you have your FJ back up n running.
3. Bummed that you are still have start up challenges.
4. Solution ..... :lol: time to trade it in for a new 2014TT .... but only after you have warmed it up ..when going for the trade in.

I know this is off topic, but hey .... get wheelin Joel ....

Cheers ears
Baz
:cheers:
:blueblob::blueblob:
Thanks Baz!

Mel suggested the trade in 2 nights ago. I'll lose all my mods and have to start over... and I don't think I want the FJ payments again now that we have a mortgage. So tempting... maybe. :blueblob:

Joel we used to get 100's of Suzuki's that had a similar upper end noise at the auction (due to thin aluminum heads) and found adding Lucas oil additive (1/2 bottle per engine after draining the equivalent) made a vast improvement. I swear that stuff is mechanic in a bottle.
I tried this, first with a half bottle, now with a full bottle. It doesn't seem to last as long, but still does it! Grrrr....

I used the synthetic version, as I am running Amsoil.

Thicker oil isn't going to help, the stuff is quite viscous.

^^^^Joel this is the direction I was going, my thought is if this is a mechanical clearance issue then having a oil/additive with a higher viscosity will hang onto the surfaces better and longer between operation. It is hard to hear on the video with the hood closed, If I can make a suggestion get a friend to help you while your standing at the front of the motor open the oil fill cap on the valve cover then have the truck started , if it is the valve train slapping around it will be very audible through the oil fill opening. I have to say I have heard many motors cold start rattle with the absence of oil pressure and yours does sound different , mind you I have no experience the VVT motor but the sound is very rapid like a rattle more than knock.
This will sound way out there and likely not your issue but I feel should be checked .... Have you looked at the cooling fan blade and clutch assembly to make sure everything is tight, there are no cracks or breaks in the blades? How many miles on this motor? another thing to check off the list is the timing chain and tensioner, Some old motors used oil pressure to push the tensioner against the chain, I have no idea how this motor does it.
Just some thoughts tossed out there.:cheers:
The fan is new and tight. I can hear the sound coming from the valve train, but I'll try the oil cap off trick. Thought about the tensioner, but I am quite sure it is the cam gears.

I have a 2010 and it does the same valve clatter when it's been sitting a day or two in the cold (-20C and below). It's just long enough to get me to feel bad for the truck...

My girlfriend's 2004 Echo does it also below -10C, but I don't care about her car... :rofl:
Our 2005 echo has no such issues! Thank goodness!
 

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I've experienced this on other DOHC engines when using oil filters that have inadequate anti-drain back valves. (fram) Switching to a quality filter(wix) alleviated the start up clacking..
 
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