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Old 06-07-2016, 01:54 PM #1
Mtnman009 Mtnman009 is offline
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3rd gen T4R dilemma

If I am posting out of line my apologies...

I have a dilemma so I am reaching out to the 4runner community for a little sound advise...

I am a proud owner of 3rd gen T4R 1998 to be exact...305k of pretty hard miles. I live in the SF Bay area so stop and go freeway traffic...Long highway drives to camp spots that often involved fire roads and off road driving.

Recently it started overheating and sending off white smoke signals... Took it to my guy and he said it could be a few things. It is paid for so I went and bought a 4th gen 2004.

My dilemma Is

Do I repair the existing engine?

Drop a new engine in?

What should I expect from the transmission? 4 wheel drive?

I can do a majority of the maintenance and repairs but engine and transmission repair are beyond my scope.

Would it be worth it for me to have a Mechanic investigate the depth of the engine repair?

Pay the Mechanic to just drop a new engine in the truck?

Or sell the truck to someone who's interested in a project?

Any advise would be much appreciated...

Thank you!
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:06 PM #2
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Um,

you need more details man. if its just a simple radiator, why get rid of it. What could those few things be? Do you have an scan gauge? what temperatures does it get too? what color does the coolant look like? is it dirty? when was the last time you did radiator, water pump or tstat?

how does the fluid look in the car? do you have any shifting or engine problems, rough idle before the car over heats?
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:11 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shahsmerdis View Post
um,

you need more details man. If its just a simple radiator, why get rid of it. What could those few things be? Do you have an scan gauge? What temperatures does it get too? What color does the coolant look like? Is it dirty? When was the last time you did radiator, water pump or tstat?

How does the fluid look in the car? Do you have any shifting or engine problems, rough idle before the car over heats?
x2..
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:34 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shahsmerdis View Post
Um,

you need more details man. if its just a simple radiator, why get rid of it. What could those few things be? Do you have an scan gauge? what temperatures does it get too? what color does the coolant look like? is it dirty? when was the last time you did radiator, water pump or tstat?

how does the fluid look in the car? do you have any shifting or engine problems, rough idle before the car over heats?
Great questions!

No unfortunately, I don't have a scan gauge.

The coolant does not have a color it's evaporating and creating steam out the exhaust pipe hence the white smoke. So if I drive the truck it leaves a heavy trail of white smoke.

A water pump timing belt was done at 204K miles. Radiator was at 189K

Yes it was idling rough before the white smoke started but no shifting problems.

A local mechanic said it could be a head gasket but didn't want to take on the project.
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:44 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman009 View Post
Great questions!

No unfortunately, I don't have a scan gauge.

The coolant does not have a color it's evaporating and creating steam out the exhaust pipe hence the white smoke. So if I drive the truck it leaves a heavy trail of white smoke.

A water pump timing belt was done at 204K miles. Radiator was at 189K

Yes it was idling rough before the white smoke started but no shifting problems.

A local mechanic said it could be a head gasket but didn't want to take on the project.
If it's just a head gasket it should only be a one Saturday project, in the driveway.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:03 PM #6
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If it's just a head gasket it should only be a one Saturday project, in the driveway.
Maybe. Depending if he needs any machine work. I know in the 7M MK3 Supra world not machining the head at least when doing a head gasket is just asking to do it again. Not sure for the 5VZ.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:27 PM #7
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With that many miles on it, I'd consider installing a used engine.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:33 PM #8
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If it's just a head gasket it should only be a one Saturday project, in the driveway.
That's a very quick repair! Realistically, for someone who has not done it before and doesn't know what parts need replacing, I'd say more like a 3-4 day job.

If you have the tools and the patience, you can fix it. If not, ask a shop to do a leakdown test to determine which head has blown and where the leak is. Then get a quote or two and go from there.

A 4Runner with 300k+ miles and a blown head gasket is not work more than $1500. I've been looking for a 4Runner to buy and fix up (fixed up one already) and I've been watching the SF area, but even I would not buy it due to mileage.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:37 PM #9
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It's a headgasket!! It's pretty easy to tell by white smoke..
If the block is good you can do your own headgasket job. It's very easy if you can follow simple instructions.
JDM engine could be possible or look for a donor with a lot less mile with some history of mainatnce. Most important water pump and tbelt maintance, most expensive maintance.


Had to puzzle this for a guy that quit halfway thru HG job.
We found a replacement engine for 800, I did full maintance on it before dropping it in.

He got a heck of a deal from me versus shop!





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Old 06-07-2016, 11:44 PM #10
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99% it's a head gasket. With the miles I would look for used (and maybe even eat the cost of the core charge potentially just to have a spare engine. Could be fully rebuilt over time and ready to go whenever the 2nd one pops. Depending on price I might even be willing to purchase your old engine.)

I can see tmrw how much I can get you the engine for and if it works out we could knock that job out in a weekend easy. Remember, I have access to fully equipped shop. Just gotta tow it an hour to me.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:55 PM #11
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Head gasket. Even if you get that job done, you need to make sure the head isn't cracked or warped. If it is then you are better off getting a JDM unit.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:50 AM #12
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Head gasket. Even if you get that job done, you need to make sure the head isn't cracked or warped. If it is then you are better off getting a JDM unit.
Where is a good source for a JDM engine? All I've seen is problems with them and they require a bit more work to swap.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:06 AM #13
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Where is a good source for a JDM engine? All I've seen is problems with them and they require a bit more work to swap.
Local shops in my area get them from JDM Engine Zone. Rarely any problems, and they sell a TON of 5VZs and Nissan VG33s. Rarely any issues. The extra work thing is a joke. It's no worse than swapping an 04 engine into a 96 vehicle. A harness swap, some pullies(which is no big deal since you do the timing belt on them before installing), and the manifolds. Actually, the oil filter location needs to be moved, but again, no big deal since you have the engine out and the parts in front of you.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:18 AM #14
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Local shops in my area get them from JDM Engine Zone. Rarely any problems, and they sell a TON of 5VZs and Nissan VG33s. Rarely any issues. The extra work thing is a joke. It's no worse than swapping an 04 engine into a 96 vehicle. A harness swap, some pullies(which is no big deal since you do the timing belt on them before installing), and the manifolds. Actually, the oil filter location needs to be moved, but again, no big deal since you have the engine out and the parts in front of you.
How many more hours to swap a JDM vs used junkyard? Sounds like a few at least. Benefit is getting a used engine with between 30-60k miles? Hmmmm
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:01 AM #15
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How many more hours to swap a JDM vs used junkyard? Sounds like a few at least. Benefit is getting a used engine with between 30-60k miles? Hmmmm
It was a year ago, but I remember knocking that stuff out in like.. 2 or 3 hours max? Like I said, if you're swapping a newer year 5VZ into an older vehicle or vice versa, then you need to swap a bunch of things too anyway. The engine is out of the vehicle so these things can be done way quicker. I love my JDM engine.
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