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Old 06-06-2020, 12:12 AM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newton22 View Post
I recommend dumping in head gasket sealer (Blue Devil) as you save up the money to replace the head gasket. That stuff is a bandaid for a few months. I would only get a new engine if you don't already know the history of your current engine. I like maintaining my stuff so after a while I'd rather keep my engine and replace the HG.

Definitely budget to have the heads machined too if the engine has been overheated.
Blue devil works well if you follow instructions and it seals most leaks. You literally could drive it for thousands of miles and not have any more issues. Eventually it will need to be repaired but if you are smart you would have sold it or traded it in on something else.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:29 AM #17
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Here's what I would do in your shoes:

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Originally Posted by firefoxed View Post
Engine $2650 with 100k miles and it's a 2008
No head gasket issue to worry about with that one. You should still get another 200k+ out of it, and it's nor much more than having somebody else do the HG repair on your current engine.
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Old 06-07-2020, 02:35 AM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambone View Post
Here's what I would do in your shoes:



No head gasket issue to worry about with that one. You should still get another 200k+ out of it, and it's nor much more than having somebody else do the HG repair on your current engine.
The engine for $2650 was local and with taxes on top it was closer to $2850 with a 90 day warranty.

I ended up searching the web like crazy and found a 2008 Tacoma engine with 130k miles for $2000 shipped Fedex from California to North Carolina. Shipping was included in the price and no taxes because it was going out of state. The engine also comes with a one year warranty. It should arrive at my mechanic next Thursday or Friday. I am expecting a bill of around $15-$1600 to have it fitted.

The $3500 is a bitter pill to swallow after all my other issues with the car. But after talking with my wife we decided to be positive and look at it as if we were buying a 130k mile 4runner for just $3500. Honestly when you look at what that gets you on the second hand market the engine swap made sense.
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:18 AM #19
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Sorry to hear about your HG. I have a 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles and the HG is fine. In my research about 1% of 4runners run into the HG issue.

I'd try Blue Devil if mine blew.

I'm wondering if a stuck thermostat is what causes HG failures. Anyone know? Just wear and tear?
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:04 AM #20
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I wouldn't think so. If its stuck closed you should notice soon after start that the engine temp keeps getting warmer, you wouldn't drive long....
Stuck open the engine will take longer to warm up but water will be constantly circulating through the engine block and heads.
Did the coolant ever get changed?
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Old 06-07-2020, 11:36 AM #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captsolo View Post
Sorry to hear about your HG. I have a 2005 SR5 with 150,000 miles and the HG is fine. In my research about 1% of 4runners run into the HG issue.

I'd try Blue Devil if mine blew.

I'm wondering if a stuck thermostat is what causes HG failures. Anyone know? Just wear and tear?

With mileage like yours and no history of overheating I would definitely have got the head gasket done. But I had a car with 230k miles, it had overheated previously and initially I changed the thermostat but it made no difference. When the mechanic got it he said my radiator was all blocked up and he couldn't clear it out, I wonder if someone before knew of a leak and put something in it.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:37 PM #22
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Update

So four weeks later and my 4runner is back on the road, took a little longer than expected.

So I ended up getting an engine from a 4wd 2008 Tacoma that looked like it got wrecked on both sides and the back. I was told the engine had just under 130k (mileage verified through Carfax) and was confirmed as a runner with no issues and would come with one years warranty. The price was 2000 shipped from California to North Carolina delivered to my mechanic. I was initially told it would take a week but when I got no tracking number after a few days I phoned and was told there was some confusion because the engine was still in the Tacoma but was told that would be done by the next day. In total it took two weeks from payment to arrival at my mechanic.

During those two weeks my mechanic had also taken on a lot of extra work so it wasn't going to be a quick turnaround but it worked out at about 10 days. I was told to expect about 15-16 hours but it took 22 hours and cost $2140. More than I expected but hey at least I would have my 4runner back, I had a loaner old Ford Ranger stick shift from my father in law and I was delighted knowing mine was coming home.

So I hopped in and started it up, found it odd that the green light for the center diff was flashing. I tried engaging the 4wd and nothing happened, so it was put back up on the ramp and they found a broken connector. I came back and hour later with a new connector fitted and even more odd the green center diff light was no longer flashing but now I had the normal green 4wd light flashing and it would just not pop into 4wd. The mechanic was closing so I decided that maybe it was just a sticky actuator so I took it home to put some miles on it.

It drove really nice heading home with no issues other than the flashing 4wd light, no check engine light that I had been looking at since I originally bought the car. The next day we decided to take it out for a run to see if the light would reset and I was on the slip road to the highway doing about 45mph. I accelerated hard to get up to the 70 mph limit but just around 3500-4000 rpm and 60mph the car started shaking and lurching like crazy and the dreaded check engine light came on, my code reader gave code P0355 for the crankshaft position sensor so we turned around and came home.

On Monday we went back to my mechanic and they swapped the sensor from my old engine onto the newer one and it fixed the misfiring. They also had a look again at my flashing green light and deemed it to be an issue with the previous connector that was broken. Apparently the pin guide they used was listed as being for my car but it was incorrect and they moved a few pins and my 4wd is now working perfect.

I have had the car back a few days and it has thrown a couple of codes but they disappear and don't come back. I was told this was possibly part of the engine and the ECU getting to know each other. I have to replace the engine oil after 1000 miles, my mechanic says this is a good thing to do after an engine swap.

So it cost $4140 to get my 4runner back on the road and question is was it worth it? I reckon it was a good result because I needed a car and I didn't like what 4k - 6k would get me. Any 4runners under 6k seemed to have mileage around 250,000, so I see it as getting a 4Runner with under 130,000 miles for the $4140.

Hopefully now all my problems from the past will stay there and I can finally get some true enjoyment from my 4runner.
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Old 07-03-2020, 01:57 AM #23
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Good luck firefoxed. Hope to hear an update many miles from now with good results.
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:41 PM #24
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Twenty hours to R/R an engine? That's way off.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:58 PM #25
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[QUOTE=ahobbes;3499391]My head gasket is also leaking, 2004 V6. I'm about 1/3 of the way through on the replacement trying to decide if I want to replace the timing belt. There is this awesome YouTube video that is making it way easier!

YouTube[/QUOTE

May want to pass on that one.... The V6 has no timing belt, only chain.
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:05 PM #26
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I know this thread has been dead since last year but figured Id try instead of creating a new one.
Looking at a 03 4Runner, 4WD, V6 with 187,000 miles on it for $6,700.
The guy said the previous owner told him he replaced the timing chain but he wasnt sure if the head gasket was done. Is it safe to assume both were done at that time or should I keep looking?
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Old 08-29-2021, 12:09 AM #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingerly View Post
I know this thread has been dead since last year but figured I’d try instead of creating a new one.
Looking at a 03 4Runner, 4WD, V6 with 187,000 miles on it for $6,700.
The guy said the previous owner told him he replaced the timing chain but he wasn’t sure if the head gasket was done. Is it safe to assume both were done at that time or should I keep looking?


As far as the head gaskets, if the timing chain "was" replaced I doubt they also did the head gaskets, it takes about twice the amount of work to do both, I would never assume work was done that going to cost at least $3000 if it ends up needing to be done after I buy a vehicle, always make sure you see receipts and documentation for any work claimed to have been done, don't take anyone word for that and especially second hand word, i.e. "seller said previous owner said...", etc.!!!

Keep looking if the seller can't document the work being done, unless you're willing to pay to have the work done if needed!!
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Last edited by AuSeeker; 08-29-2021 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Typing a response too late at night
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Old 08-29-2021, 01:43 AM #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
First things first, the V6 doesn't have a timing chain, it has a timing belt which is usually good up to around 300,000 miles, the V8 on the other hand has a timing chain that needs/recommended to be replaced every 90,000 miles.
!
Pretty sure the V6 has the timing chain even in the earlier 03-05 models? And the V8 has the belt.
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Old 08-29-2021, 09:36 AM #29
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As far as the head gaskets, if the timing chain "was" replaced I doubt they also did the head gaskets, it takes about twice the amount of work to do both, I would never assume work was done that going to cost at least $3000 if it ends up needing to be done after I buy a vehicle, always make sure you see receipts and documentation for any work claimed to have been done, don't take anyone word for that and especially second hand word, i.e. "seller said previous owner said...", etc.!!!

Keep looking if the seller can't document the work being done, unless you're willing to pay to have the work done if needed!!
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Originally Posted by Yotascape View Post
Pretty sure the V6 has the timing chain even in the earlier 03-05 models? And the V8 has the belt.
@Yotascape , yes you're correct and I know that the V6 has a timing chain and the V8 has a timing belt...I initially misread the post and it being late and my being tired responded with incorrect info without rereading his post, thanks for the correction, I have edited my response to remove that incorrect part!

Edit:Luckily the poster I responded incorrectly too hasn't visited the forum since posting the question, Thank again for the correcting me!
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Old 08-30-2021, 11:15 AM #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingerly View Post
I know this thread has been dead since last year but figured Id try instead of creating a new one.
Looking at a 03 4Runner, 4WD, V6 with 187,000 miles on it for $6,700.
The guy said the previous owner told him he replaced the timing chain but he wasnt sure if the head gasket was done. Is it safe to assume both were done at that time or should I keep looking?
Definitely can't make that assumption. As someone else mentioned, getting to the HGs is significantly more work than the timing chain. It's not something you'd do while you're at it.

I would tread carefully with a purchase like this on an '03. That's fairly typical mileage for leaking HG symptoms to start showing up. Plenty of people have been burned picking up one of these with a HG going out the door.

That's not to say this isn't a good purchase. If I were you I would check the coolant for oil, the oil for coolant, crank the engine when it's cold and make sure there's no rough idle, and get a shop or DIY leak down test on the cylinders. That way you're giving yourself the best chance of getting one of these early 4th gens with a solid HG.

Good luck! I love my '03, just replaced the HGs at 260k miles.
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