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What you are hearing is the cam phasers rattling back and forth until they refill with oil. Toyota addressed this issue with the locking pins for the newer dual VVT-i motors. They hold the phasers in a fixed position until there is enough oil pressure to release the pins. When the engine is running those empty areas between the lobes are full of oil. The question is why are they not holding oil like they used to? Unless they find a way to retrofit the auto locking phasers into the single VVT-i motors, the issue will just return IMO. Good luck, and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
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..
Excellent theory, and I had the same idea. I've tried many different types of filters, and they all did the same thing. They were also all full of oil when I removed them, proving that it wasn't a drain back valve issue.

What you are hearing is the cam phasers rattling back and forth until they refill with oil. Toyota addressed this issue with the locking pins for the newer dual VVT-i motors. They hold the phasers in a fixed position until there is enough oil pressure to release the pins. When the engine is running those empty areas between the lobes are full of oil. The question is why are they not holding oil like they used to? Unless they find a way to retrofit the auto locking phasers into the single VVT-i motors, the issue will just return IMO. Good luck, and keep us posted!
Bingo!!!

I am wondering if the newer intake cam gears will bolt up to the 1st gen 1GR-FE with single VVT-i.

The easy fix for me seems to be a hydraulic accumulator with solenoid for instant oil pressure when I hit the ignition. I will try that when I have a spare $200-$300 to blow on the FJ again.
 

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My 2 cents. You could try a Royal Purple Oil filter for it has a silicone anti drain back valve in it. Better then the Nitrile based ones. I have ran Royal Purple and there filters for around 20,000 miles in my 2007 with 111,000 on it, and have had no problems. The FJ ran a little weird for a hundred miles when i first changed to synthetic, but that's what happens when you switch from dyno to synthetic at such high miles. The only noise i get is from my starter when it's less then 20 degrees outside.
 

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you know my 2013 engine makes this piston slap sound when its not fully warmed up. it only happens around idle rpm (below 1500rpm). once warmed up the sound is not there. wonder what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
My 2 cents. You could try a Royal Purple Oil filter for it has a silicone anti drain back valve in it. Better then the Nitrile based ones. I have ran Royal Purple and there filters for around 20,000 miles in my 2007 with 111,000 on it, and have had no problems. The FJ ran a little weird for a hundred miles when i first changed to synthetic, but that's what happens when you switch from dyno to synthetic at such high miles. The only noise i get is from my starter when it's less then 20 degrees outside.
I have not tried one of those, but can't hurt. Thank you for the suggestion!

you know my 2013 engine makes this piston slap sound when its not fully warmed up. it only happens around idle rpm (below 1500rpm). once warmed up the sound is not there. wonder what it is.
Your 2013 has twice as many VVT-i actuators as my 2007, but this problem will only be audible for a second after start-up.

It is very unlikely your 2013 has piston slap... is it possible it is the very common vacuum ticking sound?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
What you are hearing is the cam phasers rattling back and forth until they refill with oil. Toyota addressed this issue with the locking pins for the newer dual VVT-i motors. They hold the phasers in a fixed position until there is enough oil pressure to release the pins. When the engine is running those empty areas between the lobes are full of oil. The question is why are they not holding oil like they used to? Unless they find a way to retrofit the auto locking phasers into the single VVT-i motors, the issue will just return IMO. Good luck, and keep us posted!
$208 dollars is the best deal I can find on a new actuator, plus all my labor and efforts to install it.

The hydraulic accumulator may be a more realistic fix... that will surely extend the engine life as well as there will be no dry starts for any components that need lubrication in addition to priming the VVT-i actuator.

:ninja:
 

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Joel,

Do you get any codes with the sound as well? I have been trying to bird dog the P0016 code for quite some time now and can't get a concrete answer this side of throwing parts at the engine until it's fixed. I don't have the loud sounds, but I do have (when the light is on, as it's intermittent) a stumbling idle and even had it stall just sitting at a drive through window one time. There may be some information that you can cross reference in this thread that I have been following:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/engine-performance/156249-my-timings-off.html

Keep us posted.
 

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I'm thinking that it may be a worn oil pump allowing the oil up to the filter to drain back into the oil pan. The oil from the filter isn't going to move until the cavity fills up and pressure from the oil pump pushes it.The reason I suggest this is the location of the oil filter so high up on the engine. Just a guess.
 

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Given that this thread has been revived I will chime in with my $0.02 ...

I have owned many cars, some with and some without hydraulic valve lifters.

If your car is equipped with hydraulic valve lifters, a brief valve rattle during cold start-up is perfectly NORMAL. Not all engines with hydraulic valve lifters do it, but most do. Toyota, BMW, VW, Renault, ... you name it. As long as the rattle meets these criteria:

- only happens on cold start-up (the engine has been stopped for several hours)
- lasts 1 second or less
- NEVER happens on hot start-up (the engine has been off for an hour or less)
- NEVER lasts more than 1 second
- it doesn't sound like the engine is going to disintegrate or explode
- there are no other symptoms like the engine is hard to start, shakes and vibrates a lot immediately after start-up for several second, etc.

... it's NORMAL and nothing to worry about.

And it has nothing to do with VVT.

Now, if the rattle happens on hot start-up (even if only occasionally), lasts for several seconds, the engine runs rough or shakes right after start up for a few seconds - then you DO have a problem and VVT may be the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
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:
I'm thinking that it may be a worn oil pump allowing the oil up to the filter to drain back into the oil pan. The oil from the filter isn't going to move until the cavity fills up and pressure from the oil pump pushes it.The reason I suggest this is the location of the oil filter so high up on the engine. Just a guess.
That is a possibility, but the sound is coming from the VVT actuators, and is getting worse.

Even if that is the root cause, I think it will be necessary to replace the actuators.

A worn oil pump would be surprising at 100,000km, but worth looking into.

I have a tendency to replace everything that is convenient to replace at a tear down, so when I do the work I may just do the pump to be safe.

Given that this thread has been revived I will chime in with my $0.02 ...

I have owned many cars, some with and some without hydraulic valve lifters.

If your car is equipped with hydraulic valve lifters, a brief valve rattle during cold start-up is perfectly NORMAL. Not all engines with hydraulic valve lifters do it, but most do. Toyota, BMW, VW, Renault, ... you name it. As long as the rattle meets these criteria:

- only happens on cold start-up (the engine has been stopped for several hours)
- lasts 1 second or less
- NEVER happens on hot start-up (the engine has been off for an hour or less)
- NEVER lasts more than 1 second
- it doesn't sound like the engine is going to disintegrate or explode
- there are no other symptoms like the engine is hard to start, shakes and vibrates a lot immediately after start-up for several second, etc.

... it's NORMAL and nothing to worry about.

And it has nothing to do with VVT.

Now, if the rattle happens on hot start-up (even if only occasionally), lasts for several seconds, the engine runs rough or shakes right after start up for a few seconds - then you DO have a problem and VVT may be the culprit.
Please see the pic above.

This sound is not NORMAL.

Even my 1948 Continental aircraft engine has hydraulic lash adjusters, but the 2007 FJ motor DOES NOT.

The camshaft lobes drive the bucket on top of the valves. That's it.

If you have a 2010 plus, and a sound that isn't nearly as nasty, sure... that may be it. That is not the case here.

I don't have a spare $208 for an actuator to try replacing it, and seeing as it is a V configured engine I would need 2. It'll have to wait.
 

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That is a possibility, but the sound is coming from the VVT actuators, and is getting worse.

Even if that is the root cause, I think it will be necessary to replace the actuators.

A worn oil pump would be surprising at 100,000km, but worth looking into.

I have a tendency to replace everything that is convenient to replace at a tear down, so when I do the work I may just do the pump to be safe.



Please see the pic above.

This sound is not NORMAL.

Even my 1948 Continental aircraft engine has hydraulic lash adjusters, but the 2007 FJ motor DOES NOT.

The camshaft lobes drive the bucket on top of the valves. That's it.

If you have a 2010 plus, and a sound that isn't nearly as nasty, sure... that may be it. That is not the case here.

I don't have a spare $208 for an actuator to try replacing it, and seeing as it is a V configured engine I would need 2. It'll have to wait.
My post clearly states if your vehicle is equipped with hydraulic valve lifters ... If your car has valve rattle but does not have hydraulic valve lifters it's obvious that there is a different problem.

Some V6 Toyota Highlanders also have the VVT issue on startup. But it is usually accompanied by pretty violent shaking / vibration and lasts longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
My post clearly states if your vehicle is equipped with hydraulic valve lifters ... If your car has valve rattle but does not have hydraulic valve lifters it's obvious that there is a different problem.

Some V6 Toyota Highlanders also have the VVT issue on startup. But it is usually accompanied by pretty violent shaking / vibration and lasts longer.
I realize that, but I also realize that by letting this go, I risk further damage.

I just don't want someone to read this thread and blame a failing VVT-i actuator on some hydraulic lifter noise, especially if they don't have hydraulic lifters.

It will not be pretty when they finally jam or blow up.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
After some more digging, other VVT-i Toyota folk have experienced similar problems as a result of failing OCV's (oil control valves).

I am going to start by removing, inspecting, and testing those. These electronically actuated oil valves control the VVT-i actuators that actually adjust the cam timing.

Perhaps these are supposed to lock and keep oil in the actuator, but are blocked open or otherwise gummed up.

They look like this:



On my FJ, these are at an angle and slide into the heads from the center of the V, towards the front of the engine bay. A wiring harness each helps to give them away.

Apparently some other models with Toyota VVT-i also have screens that need periodic cleaning, designed to catch contaminants in an effort to aid the oil filter and prevent debris from getting into and wrecking the oil operated VVT-i system.

I'm looking forward to a little wrenching in the near future.
 

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FJoel, any updates? Like Landrover, I'm having a P0016 issue, and I'm seeing some similarity here. I removed my OCV today, they did not look dirty to me, but I cleaned them up none the less. I replaced them and still threw a code again. I'm kind of at a stand still. From what I've read, much like I think you mentioned earlier in this thread, I can replace the timing chain, tensioners, and a number of other parts, which will totally fix the problem... but also run like $4k.

Anyways, I just stumbled across your thread and thought I'd check to see where you're at with your problem. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
FJoel, any updates? Like Landrover, I'm having a P0016 issue, and I'm seeing some similarity here. I removed my OCV today, they did not look dirty to me, but I cleaned them up none the less. I replaced them and still threw a code again. I'm kind of at a stand still. From what I've read, much like I think you mentioned earlier in this thread, I can replace the timing chain, tensioners, and a number of other parts, which will totally fix the problem... but also run like $4k.

Anyways, I just stumbled across your thread and thought I'd check to see where you're at with your problem. Good luck.
Well I haven't done anything about it yet, but I think I will now have to:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154956283225594

Check out the video with sound on. Brutal.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Thanks FJtest,

But yes, my FJ is a 2007.

Everyone with an FJ likes to tell me it's my hydraulic lifters... mine doesn't have them.

Even my 1948 Continental A-75 aircraft engine has hydraulic lash adjusters. But not my FJ.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Joel -

Questions:
1. Have you had the FJ since new?
2. What oil change interval have you been following?
3. What oil viscosity have you been using?
4. Have you been using synthetic or petroleum-base oil?
5. Is your FJ an AT or manual trans? If manual, has the engine ever been grossly over-revved via an accidental downshift into the wrong gear?
6. As the engine warms, does the clacking gradually subside, or is some level of clacking always audible at itle?
1. Yep, been mine since mid-2006. Wife granny drives it once in a while.
2. 500km for break in, 5000km up to about 80,000km, am currently going 10,000km between changes because a couple analysis samples showed the Amsoil could take it (they claim 15,000km... I'm not that brave).
3. 5W-30 until it started making noise, then I switched to 10W-30. Didn't help.
4. Castrol GTX dino oil up to 10,000km, Amsoil synthetic since. In 2006 the FJ's came with Dino oil from the factory.
5. MT6. I've had it to the redline once or twice in the past on hard pulls. Might have pegged the limiter once, but never an over rev from a downshift.
6. The clacking is normally only on start up. If you read the post above where I pull the EFI relay and crank until the oil light goes out, there is no clacking at all. The clacking at idle (only has happened a few times now) is new.
 
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