For the last 2 days JC Diesel in Narellan NSW has had our 80 series Landcruiser in their workshop for some maintenance tasks. The truck was overdue for basic oil changes (engine and transmission) and it had an unknown history in regards to the big end bearings (BEB).
I had purchased the appropriate ACL bearings and genuine Toyota rod bolts in anticipation of doing the bearing replacement myself, however a herniated disc (as of this day requiring surgery) means I can’t work on the truck.
My younger brothers (with 40 series and 100 series) have used JC Diesel in the past, and have had good experiences. Throughout the last week I have dealt with Cameron at JC Diesel, and he was at all times friendly and happy to explain the work they would be doing.
Cameron had the truck for 2 days. The brief I gave them was:
- Replace big end bearings
- Change engine oil and filter
- Change transmission oils
- Flush and bleed brake and clutch lines
- Check leaking power steering hose
- Give the truck a general look over
On the first day (yesterday) that JC had the truck they called me to say that the power steering reservoir was the source of the power steering fluid leaks, not a hose. This is apparently a common problem on the 80 series power steering reservoirs whereby the folded seal at the top of the reservoir cracks and opens up. The fix was to sandblast the original paint off and re-weld the cracks. Cameron called me before starting the work to ask if I was ok with them fixing the reservoir.
During that call Cameron also mentioned that the gearbox filler plug was not sealing against the top of the gearbox properly. It looked from an initial inspection as though there had been a previous liquid metal repair to the top of the gearbox and the machined surface that the plug washers sealed against was not perpendicular to the thread. Cameron fixed that as best as he could with some fibre washers, however I think that the gearbox will have to come out before we leave on our trip to address the issue properly. We certainly don’t want any more water than usual getting into the gearbox after river crossings.
When I picked the truck up today Cameron ran through all of the things they had done. They found and fixed a number of issues including:
- Left rear handbrake drum had something loose and rattling around. Opened up the handbrake drums and cleaned them out.
- Adjusted the handbrake.
- Adjusted wheel bearings (front was a bit loose)
- Replaced A/C pulley belt
- Fixed power steering reservoir and bleed power steering
- Degreased engine bay
- Flush and bleed brake and clutch (as instructed)
- Replaced big end bearings (as instructed)
- Replaced transmission oils (as instructed)
Driving the truck home tonight was great. It was substantially improved over when it went in. The steering felt a lot tighter and more accurate, the gearbox shifted nicely, and the engine generally felt smooth. There was no damage to the car, no grease marks on the seat or steering wheel, and the general impression I got of Cameron was that he was a knowledgeable, friendly, and genuine person - exactly the type of person we want along with us in our preparation of our lap around Australia.
Disclaimer: I got no discount from JC for writing this article. I don’t know Cameron personally. I will tell him about this article when the car goes in next, but as of this moment this article has been written simply because Cameron and JC Diesel provided a great experience in doing the servicing of our 80 series.