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Old 06-03-2020, 03:07 PM #1
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Head gasket gone

Since I bought my 2005 V6 4runner I have had a check engine light from the moment I drove off the sales lot. 18 months chasing a check engine light that always glowed in my face. About 8 months ago my 4runner was over heating and my mechanic replaced the radiator. No more over heating but still that check engine light.

A couple of days ago the car over heated so straight to the mechanic who confirmed today the head gasket is gone. So now I'm not really sure what my next move is, I made a bad choice buying the vehicle and so far I am over $7500 into a 230,000 miler.

Mechanic is not recommending a gasket replacement due to the high miles. His recommendation is a replacement engine with just over 100k on it for $3000 and 20 hours labor so a bill of around 5k.

I think he said 3500 for the head gasket to be done.

The car is in decent condition no rust and drives well or used to anyway. Realistically what would it be worth to sell it as it sits?

Would you go with the head gasket or replacement engine?

Also any sources for a cheaper price on an engine?
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:28 PM #2
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New engine makes the most financial sense, but then again, how is THAT replacement motor like? Is the HG ok on that one? Sorry to hear of your woes, I hope it gets sorted out.

If mine goes, I may go another block or rebuilt motor. I have 180K on mine. Highly doubt I redo the HG with this many miles, but then again, these motors last.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:07 PM #3
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Ouch, that stinks. I think at this point I'd cut my losses unless you have a friend that can do it cheaper.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:10 PM #4
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The cheapest fix would be to do the headgaskets yourself, but even then you're in the $1000-$1500 range. And maybe more since the engine has overheated twice, the heads could be warped. So you could end up having to replace the heads or hopefully a machine shop could fix them.

The safest bet is the used engine. LKQ sells them, but the prices are about what your mechanic said. For some reason the V6 is a really expensive engine compared to the V8.
LKQOnline

Honestly if you're worried about both options, you could try to sell it as is and see what people are willing to pay. The price you get for it depends on how clean the rest of the car is. Either way this is going to be an expensive vehicle for you.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:21 PM #5
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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
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:25 PM #6
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Spent most of the afternoon on the phone and prices not getting any better.

Engine $2850 with 51k miles but it's a 2005 so same engine and potential gasket issue later.

Engine $2650 with 100k miles and it's a 2008

Head gasket quote from a different garage is $2400 plus potentially another $500 if it's cracked. He said it could be a can of worms.

In the past year it's had a new catalytic converter on bank 2 and a new radiator fitted also new plugs, Pioneer audio install plus back up camera.

Maybe Craigslist is an option just depends on what it's worth as it stands now. Interior is cloth seats and clean no rips in the fabric, cracked dash which is normal.



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Old 06-03-2020, 05:27 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahobbes View Post
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
Thanks for the link

No timing belt, on the V6 it's a timing chain
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:19 AM #8
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Replace HG and get another 100k trouble free miles. Or replace engine with low mileage 07+ and have even more trouble free miles. Other than the the HG issue on the earlier models these engines are quite bulletproof if you treat them right.

Or if cash is very tight you can try HG sealer that some people have had luck with. Its a temporary fix but some say its lasted them for a long time.
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:13 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcheeks View Post
Replace HG and get another 100k trouble free miles. Or replace engine with low mileage 07+ and have even more trouble free miles. Other than the the HG issue on the earlier models these engines are quite bulletproof if you treat them right.

Or if cash is very tight you can try HG sealer that some people have had luck with. Its a temporary fix but some say its lasted them for a long time.
The 07-09 V6 engines are compatible with a 2005 4R? If that's the case and I were in your shoes, I'd replace the engine with a newer, lower mileage engine.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:25 PM #10
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Quote:
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The 07-09 V6 engines are compatible with a 2005 4R? If that's the case and I were in your shoes, I'd replace the engine with a newer, lower mileage engine.
Mechanic said it only makes sense to do the head gasket if I don't have to pay for the labor by doing it myself or by a friend. Because of the over heating issues last year and again now, add in a high mileage engine and it's not favorable to pay near 3000 he said.

So an engine swap it will be, I have found a few 2007-8 engines for around 2-2200 with 110k-130k miles on them with 1 year warranty. Mechanic has said he would put one in for approx 1500 plus a little extra for fluids and misc bits. That would be around 3500 to have a 4runner with under 120k miles, seems like a no brainier.

Just going to have to wait a few weeks to get the cash together but will definitely be getting it fixed.
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Old 06-05-2020, 10:11 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefoxed View Post
Mechanic said it only makes sense to do the head gasket if I don't have to pay for the labor by doing it myself or by a friend. Because of the over heating issues last year and again now, add in a high mileage engine and it's not favorable to pay near 3000 he said.

So an engine swap it will be, I have found a few 2007-8 engines for around 2-2200 with 110k-130k miles on them with 1 year warranty. Mechanic has said he would put one in for approx 1500 plus a little extra for fluids and misc bits. That would be around 3500 to have a 4runner with under 120k miles, seems like a no brainier.

Just going to have to wait a few weeks to get the cash together but will definitely be getting it fixed.
Good deal. Shops here in California charge about 3500 to do HG
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Old 06-05-2020, 10:53 AM #12
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HG Sealer

Has anyone used the head gasket sealer that can give a first hand testimonial? I am considering it, looking at the ads for K-Seal, it looks legit.
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:40 PM #13
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subbed, as i have an 05 with almost 170k miles
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:22 PM #14
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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.
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:53 PM #15
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Quote:
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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.

I thought products like that were not great and can bung up your heater core, also I'm not sure I could let mine idle for 50 minutes without it overheating.

My engine was neglected by it's previous owner/s and when I did the valve covers recently the inside was filthy. I also found four different brand spark plugs fitted none of them on the recommended list of plugs.

So the history on my engine is really bad, if I had owned it any real length of time and knew its history I would be willing to risk getting the gasket done. But after speaking with a couple of different mechanics they say that given the history it's a real risk and most likely a waste of money.

I learned an expensive lesson with this 4runner and that is never trust an overly friendly car salesman.
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