After the leaks were contained and a few highway runs done I discovered she uses about 2 litres per 400km. That's too much.
Initial investigations into rebuilds and whatnot revealed:
- Jap import motors go for between $2k and $3k. For 3k you can have a low mileage 2LT which is the equivalent of my engine but with the factory turbo.
- Rebuild kit which includs pistons and exchange ground crank for $1000 from Repco
- Exchange rebuilds around $2k.
- Conversion to Commodore VN V6.
- Conversion to a 2 litre hilux petrol.
The low down I got on the Jap imports are that they can be a bit of a hit'n'miss. In Japan where it might take 2 hours to travel 20kms a diesel engine may have only done low kms but they have done high run hours. In addition my previous experience with Jap imports shows that you should consider putting in something like a 2LT as a "conversion"
A commodore V6 converstion is pretty expensive - $3k just for the conversion kit before you even source a motor. A 2 litre petrol engine is really cheap, but why would anyone want a 2 litre petrol engine in a hilux? ;)
I pulled down the motor and pretty much found that everything that could be wrong was wrong. I ended up giving all the parts to a friend of a friend and he rebuilt it for me. Rebuilt everything. A different head (mine was cracked from inlet to exhaust in the combustion chamber on all 4 pots - a sure fire way of letting a valve seat drop and grenade the engine) $1000; a rebuild on the injector pump $600, rebuilt injectors $200, bored out for new 20thou over pistons, crankgrind, etc etc. Nastier things too like ally welding the timing cover where corrosion had destroyed a radiator hose neck.
$3,500 later and it's as good as new. Seemed like a lot of money at the time; but seeing as I just did the first 100,000km timing belt change and the engine still purrs like a kitten, I think it was money well spent.