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Old 12-15-2020, 07:43 PM #16
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Great to know. I don't know block heaters were even an option in 3rd gens. Thank you for the update and glad to know your drain plugs were good.

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Old 12-15-2020, 09:04 PM #17
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Block heaters are common place/manditory on some vehicles up here (any vehicle will accept the right sized block heater in the correct location on the block) that's why I suggested it, you can install one or a frost plug with skid plates off easy if you don't knock the frost plug inside the block by accident trying to remove it. I never installed one on the 99 just the 97 plow truck, 5w30 syn and see -35*, the 99 5vz-Fe starts every time, and I rarely plug in the 97. Those block heaters have a oring of unknown materials or lifespan so they can degrade and cause leaks and a blowout.

Glad you caught it before you got into the red, I lost a lower rad hose wheeling and developed a minor head gasket leak in one cylinder, replaced the motor..
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:54 AM #18
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Thanks for the post. Glad you didn't have to end up dealing with a freeze plug issue like I currently am.

Since we started on the topic I was hoping we can bring it back up - I cant seem to find any help with it anywhere online.

I noticed my engine began to run hot one day and pulled over to find no coolant in the radiator reservoir. After the engine cooled there was nothing in the radiator as well.
I refilled the coolant and began to check for slow leaks under the car over the next week. Found a few puddles here and there and decided to bring my car in for a pressure test.

Coolant started leaking right out of the block! on either side, out of the "freeze plugs" something I had never heard of before.

It seems like the freeze plugs are NOT part of regular maintenance because there are 16 of them and the engine needs to be taken out to get to the things.

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on this, I'm heartbroken over this job and looking for clarity.

Is it okay to replace the easily accessible freeze plugs? or would that cause the others to leak more?
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:22 AM #19
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Thanks for the post. Glad you didn't have to end up dealing with a freeze plug issue like I currently am.

Since we started on the topic I was hoping we can bring it back up - I cant seem to find any help with it anywhere online.

I noticed my engine began to run hot one day and pulled over to find no coolant in the radiator reservoir. After the engine cooled there was nothing in the radiator as well.
I refilled the coolant and began to check for slow leaks under the car over the next week. Found a few puddles here and there and decided to bring my car in for a pressure test.

Coolant started leaking right out of the block! on either side, out of the "freeze plugs" something I had never heard of before.

It seems like the freeze plugs are NOT part of regular maintenance because there are 16 of them and the engine needs to be taken out to get to the things.

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on this, I'm heartbroken over this job and looking for clarity.

Is it okay to replace the easily accessible freeze plugs? or would that cause the others to leak more?
If the freeze plugs have started leaking then you need to replace all of them. There is no way to tell what condition the non-leaking ones are in, and considering all the freeze plugs see similar conditions it's very likely that the other ones will start leaking soon. Since you have to remove the engine to replace the freeze plugs I would check your engine compression to verify you didn't cause any damage when it overheated. It would be a bummer to pull the engine to replace the freeze plugs only to discover that you cracked/warped a head or have a bad head gasket from overheating. If the compression checks out and you decide to pull the engine that would be a good time to reseal the engine and replace all the oil cooler seals/hoses as well.
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Old 07-16-2021, 02:42 PM #20
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Thanks for the post. Glad you didn't have to end up dealing with a freeze plug issue like I currently am.

Since we started on the topic I was hoping we can bring it back up - I cant seem to find any help with it anywhere online.

I noticed my engine began to run hot one day and pulled over to find no coolant in the radiator reservoir. After the engine cooled there was nothing in the radiator as well.
I refilled the coolant and began to check for slow leaks under the car over the next week. Found a few puddles here and there and decided to bring my car in for a pressure test.

Coolant started leaking right out of the block! on either side, out of the "freeze plugs" something I had never heard of before.

It seems like the freeze plugs are NOT part of regular maintenance because there are 16 of them and the engine needs to be taken out to get to the things.

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on this, I'm heartbroken over this job and looking for clarity.

Is it okay to replace the easily accessible freeze plugs? or would that cause the others to leak more?
Well they're not a regular maintenance item because they act as a sort of failsafe to keep your block from freezing and cracking. Did the vehicle sit for a while through freezing weather? As said, unfortunately they'd all have to be replaced and it's definitely not a quick job or easy one for most. In theory you could just replace the popped ones, though it would make little sense as you'd already have the others ones accessible by then and you'd run the chance of doing this again in the future
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:21 PM #21
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Well they're not a regular maintenance item because they act as a sort of failsafe to keep your block from freezing and cracking. Did the vehicle sit for a while through freezing weather? As said, unfortunately they'd all have to be replaced and it's definitely not a quick job or easy one for most. In theory you could just replace the popped ones, though it would make little sense as you'd already have the others ones accessible by then and you'd run the chance of doing this again in the future
Yeah that was my thought too. If one freeze plug was leaking, ok it's a fluke just change it. But 2? Sounds like that 4Runner's coolant did actually freeze. Maybe too much water in it.
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:42 PM #22
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Yeah that was my thought too. If one freeze plug was leaking, ok it's a fluke just change it. But 2? Sounds like that 4Runner's coolant did actually freeze. Maybe too much water in it.
That, or possibly internal corrosion from coolant that was in service for too long. That should be easy to rule out once the plugs are out. Good luck, Devbo.
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:50 PM #23
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Appreciate all the responses guys, thank you.

I'm definitely willing to put in the money and time to this car - cosmetically it's in such great condition - I'm just at a loss for how this happened as it seems fairly rare.

Truck's never been exposed to freezing conditions. My theory is that the engine ran hot and warped the plugs.

It passed the block test, no white smoke from exhaust, but I'll keep this thread updated after compression test.
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:59 PM #24
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Appreciate all the responses guys, thank you.

I'm definitely willing to put in the money and time to this car - cosmetically it's in such great condition - I'm just at a loss for how this happened as it seems fairly rare.

Truck's never been exposed to freezing conditions. My theory is that the engine ran hot and warped the plugs.

It passed the block test, no white smoke from exhaust, but I'll keep this thread updated after compression test.
I could see that happening if the coolant started to boil and if your radiator cap failed. Normally if it overheats and builds too much pressure the valve in the radiator cap opens and starts spewing coolant at the cap. Not supposed to pop a freeze plug.
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:00 PM #25
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Truck's never been exposed to freezing conditions. My theory is that the engine ran hot and warped the plugs.
It would have to get ungodly hot for that to happen and you'd most likely have warped heads by then (if not a cracked block) but I suppose it IS possible, and if you're located in Santa Monica I guess the chances of you seeing freezing weather is all but zero. And then again, the car would've had to been parked in the cold without moving/starting for quite some time for them to pop - unless it was somewhere horrifically cold it wouldn't happen overnight. Engine's aren't THAT fragile, not by a long shot
Just out of curiosity, did you know the PO or how the vehicle was cared for previously, as in here they might have taken it or why they listed it for sale?
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Old 07-21-2021, 03:35 AM #26
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did you know the PO or how the vehicle was cared for previously, as in here they might have taken it or why they listed it for sale?
There were a few PO'S before me, didn't know them all. All I do know is that it was regularly maintained and kept indoors for most of it's life - never left California. It looked cared for, but there's no way of knowing. I've had it for 15k miles and no problem.

My radiator cracked on me 3 months back mid-drive. I didn't notice the temp gauge until it was already just below red. When I pulled over the radiator had a massive crack along the top like it split right open. I'm guess ing this is where all the trouble began.

Here's a video of it: 4runner cracked radiator - YouTube
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:12 PM #27
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