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Old 06-01-2021, 05:44 PM #16
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Originally Posted by 3bears View Post
so I would guess that May 2005 is not a "late" and could have the head gasket issue. The rig is so clean otherwise, guess I should pass and wait for either 2006 or newer....or a 99 or 2000 limited. Just have to stick to budget and im kind of running out of time. Short summers here, lots of miles I need to do over the next few months. ( like 4 trips that are each about 800 miles) Slim pickings up here.
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Yes, some of the early 06 had the issue too. November of 2005 I believe is the general timeframe everyone agreed that the change happened during. I strayed from a few 06s because they were early build dates.



I've never heard of a timing chain snapping on the 4.0. I wouldn't worry about this since it's a chain instead of a belt. If the chain snapped you'd be that one in a million type failure.



Early 06 builds were implicated. You can have an 06 built in September of 05 that has the issue. Late 06 builds are safe. I read that whole thread during my search...



Any 05 V6 would be suspect in my book. I think the head gasket failures are not as common as they are made out to be on the forum, but there is clearly a problem with those early V6 models.

I can imagine it is hard to find these in good shape in Alaska... They sell in about a day down here in good shape. I bought my 08 V6 4x4 Limited the day after it was posted the night before. I tried to buy an 07 sport the day before but it got sold before they could even post pictures of it and answer a few of my questions.

Basically if you see one you want come ready to make a deal right then. Especially if it's something that been resembles a decent price.

If you don't mind doing the timing belt on the V8, slightly worse MPG, and the exhaust manifold problem you can look at any year of V8 and be trouble free relatively. The exhaust manifold thing isn't a reliability concern, more of a nuisance. The only other thing to really look out for there is the air injection pump on the 05+ going out and causing damage. The V8 is an extremely reliable engine, as are the later V6 models, or an early V6 with new head gaskets.
The build date you need to look for on the V6 engine models is 12/05 or later, all of which will have the new designed head gaskets.

Also if you get a V6 model built before the 12/05 date and it ever needs the head gaskets replaced only buy OEM Toyota head gaskets as they will be the new designed head gaskets.
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:22 PM #17
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ok .....here is a new one.....so im trying to get a local cost on replacing headgaskets...just for an idea for future.and a bargaining chip.......so for fun I called the dealer...figured high price would be good.but prob would not use them...so I asked for price for headgaskets, timing chain and waterpump.
I was then asked/told whatever......that the timing chain and waterpump are good for the life of car and if at the time I do head gaskets the chain and waterpump are an additional 1200 in labor...PLUS parts.....what really ????.

I only have one dealer within 400 miles....so interesting
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:55 PM #18
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ok .....here is a new one.....so im trying to get a local cost on replacing headgaskets...just for an idea for future.and a bargaining chip.......so for fun I called the dealer...figured high price would be good.but prob would not use them...so I asked for price for headgaskets, timing chain and waterpump.
I was then asked/told whatever......that the timing chain and waterpump are good for the life of car and if at the time I do head gaskets the chain and waterpump are an additional 1200 in labor...PLUS parts.....what really ????.

I only have one dealer within 400 miles....so interesting
The general consensus on the forum is the timing chain on the V6 is good for at least 300,000 miles, there have been a couple who have replaced their chain with less than 300,000 miles but in most of those instances the previous owners didn't change the oil regularly and inside the engines/valve covers, etc. they had black sludge because of the neglect , there are also many V6s reportedly have way more than 300,000 miles without ever changing the chain, the best way to tell if the chain is stretched is to remove the inspection plate and see how much the timing chain tensioner is extended, if the chain is stretched the over extended tensioner will most always be obvious by the difference in discoloration on it.

The water pump is rather easy to replace on the V6 without touching the timing chain so I would worry too much about it, on the V8 it is highly recommended to change the water pump when replacing the timing belt because the timing belt has to removed to replace it and also if the water pump starts leaking after installing a new timing belt the coolant can cause the belt to deteriorate and break, none of that is an issue with the V6 and a chain.

Concerning the cost of replacing the timing chain that's about the average cost at a dealership for replacing the chain and water pump....but they have to remove and reinstall the chain to do the head gaskets, but that a dealership for you they charge the going book rate for each procedure even though they're have to do the timing chain steps to do the head gasket, that another reason they're called "stealership". LOL
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:24 PM #19
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I don't know how much I can add to what's already been said but.. I'm in the midst of doing head gaskets on my 05. Thankfully I can do it myself. But, in fairness to my runner, it's got 303K on it. And when I tore it down I realized it does need the timing chain as well. If not for the fact that I'll be in the mountains for the whole summer I would've waited on this. It literally had almost no symptom. I knew about the 03-05 issues so I've been paranoid about it since I got it. And I smelled coolant a couple of times upon startup. But it took three separate, different tests to confirm it. It passed a pressure test, a combustion gas test and the only way I actually figured it out was this: I ran a borescope down in the #6 cylinder and pressurized the cooling system to 25 PSI. Then, I was able to see a drop run down from between the head and the block and down the cylinder wall. I guess my point here is, there's always a possibility of head gasket failure on one of these but it took mine 303K miles and honestly I believe I could've driven another 20K or more without fixing it. But, since I was gonna be out of town all summer and not able to work on it, I went ahead with the repairs. The one you're looking at has 170K on it. It very well could go another 100-150K miles without this problem or it could never happen. And if it did happen, I'd certainly go somewhere besides the dealer that was gonna charge you full labor on the chain which they had to remove anyway. One last thing. Even with this known flaw it will still be more reliable than just about any other vehicle you could buy. Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:37 PM #20
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Originally Posted by importman View Post
I don't know how much I can add to what's already been said but.. I'm in the midst of doing head gaskets on my 05. Thankfully I can do it myself. But, in fairness to my runner, it's got 303K on it. And when I tore it down I realized it does need the timing chain as well. If not for the fact that I'll be in the mountains for the whole summer I would've waited on this. It literally had almost no symptom. I knew about the 03-05 issues so I've been paranoid about it since I got it. And I smelled coolant a couple of times upon startup. But it took three separate, different tests to confirm it. It passed a pressure test, a combustion gas test and the only way I actually figured it out was this: I ran a borescope down in the #6 cylinder and pressurized the cooling system to 25 PSI. Then, I was able to see a drop run down from between the head and the block and down the cylinder wall. I guess my point here is, there's always a possibility of head gasket failure on one of these but it took mine 303K miles and honestly I believe I could've driven another 20K or more without fixing it. But, since I was gonna be out of town all summer and not able to work on it, I went ahead with the repairs. The one you're looking at has 170K on it. It very well could go another 100-150K miles without this problem or it could never happen. And if it did happen, I'd certainly go somewhere besides the dealer that was gonna charge you full labor on the chain which they had to remove anyway. One last thing. Even with this known flaw it will still be more reliable than just about any other vehicle you could buy. Good luck whatever you decide.
wow...so for fun and baraining I called a shop to ask what headgaskets and chain would cost. They got back to me a few minutes ago.....she said between 6500 and 7k
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Old 06-02-2021, 01:16 PM #21
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I don't know how much I can add to what's already been said but.. I'm in the midst of doing head gaskets on my 05. Thankfully I can do it myself. But, in fairness to my runner, it's got 303K on it. And when I tore it down I realized it does need the timing chain as well. If not for the fact that I'll be in the mountains for the whole summer I would've waited on this. It literally had almost no symptom. I knew about the 03-05 issues so I've been paranoid about it since I got it. And I smelled coolant a couple of times upon startup. But it took three separate, different tests to confirm it. It passed a pressure test, a combustion gas test and the only way I actually figured it out was this: I ran a borescope down in the #6 cylinder and pressurized the cooling system to 25 PSI. Then, I was able to see a drop run down from between the head and the block and down the cylinder wall. I guess my point here is, there's always a possibility of head gasket failure on one of these but it took mine 303K miles and honestly I believe I could've driven another 20K or more without fixing it. But, since I was gonna be out of town all summer and not able to work on it, I went ahead with the repairs. The one you're looking at has 170K on it. It very well could go another 100-150K miles without this problem or it could never happen. And if it did happen, I'd certainly go somewhere besides the dealer that was gonna charge you full labor on the chain which they had to remove anyway. One last thing. Even with this known flaw it will still be more reliable than just about any other vehicle you could buy. Good luck whatever you decide.

so did you find good write ups on this job...or you tube....is it really a 20+ hour job ? While I dont own a 4th gen ( do a 3rd gen) I want to make an offer on a 2005 4th gen, and I want to plan or at least be knowledagable on head gasket repair, and reading or watching what is involved will help me make a decision, as I sure cant afford to buy and then worst case pay a shop shortly after to do head gaskets. So want to see if this is something I want to tackle myself if needed.
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Old 06-02-2021, 05:57 PM #22
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Wonder if this is too much rust for an 04, what do you guys think?!
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:13 PM #23
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Wonder if this is too much rust for an 04, what do you guys think?!
I would never buy a truck with that much rust. The brake shield looks like it is about gone and frame appears to be rusting out from the inside and nearly ready to break apart.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:16 PM #24
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so did you find good write ups on this job...or you tube....is it really a 20+ hour job ? While I dont own a 4th gen ( do a 3rd gen) I want to make an offer on a 2005 4th gen, and I want to plan or at least be knowledagable on head gasket repair, and reading or watching what is involved will help me make a decision, as I sure cant afford to buy and then worst case pay a shop shortly after to do head gaskets. So want to see if this is something I want to tackle myself if needed.
I think it likely is a 20 hour job. I think the labor guide said 14 just to do head gaskets but a complete valve regrind was over 20. I know I'll have 20 or more in mine and I'm a lifelong tech. Getting old now so I'm kinda slow though. I think most guys with some decent experience can handle it but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with little to no experience. There are some pretty good videos out there that will help but they tend to make it look easier than what it actually is, IMO. If I didn't have a lift and a fully equipped shop I'd be reluctant to take it on.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:20 PM #25
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wow...so for fun and baraining I called a shop to ask what headgaskets and chain would cost. They got back to me a few minutes ago.....she said between 6500 and 7k
WOW! I don't know if things are just that much higher in AK but that's ludicrous in my opinion. If we lived closer to each other I'd offer to do it for half of that, assuming you actually needed it.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:57 PM #26
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I think it likely is a 20 hour job. I think the labor guide said 14 just to do head gaskets but a complete valve regrind was over 20. I know I'll have 20 or more in mine and I'm a lifelong tech. Getting old now so I'm kinda slow though. I think most guys with some decent experience can handle it but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with little to no experience. There are some pretty good videos out there that will help but they tend to make it look easier than what it actually is, IMO. If I didn't have a lift and a fully equipped shop I'd be reluctant to take it on.

im an old guy too....68..been twisting wrenches since....well when rocks were soft ( as my grandkids like to joke me) .dont have a lift....why would i need a lift. this is likely my last rig...want a good one....old working stiff so no budget.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:09 PM #27
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well...current owner and i have been having trouble meeting up again. we are gonna meet tomorrow at 11am. he says has no fluids loss..no issues...but ive been there done that. I lloked into to arrange to take for a pre sale...but the few shops arund here cant get to it for at least a week. Im actually surprised its still for sale and that makes me wonder.
positive....it came from washington and has NO rust. has only been in alaska for 1 year. Maybe the current owner cant handle alaska and is moving back and does not want to drive car back....so he says he is moving and does not want to take.
might just bite the bullet and gamble..will take for as long as a test drive as he will allow. to get it up to temp and past that to see if it overheats etc......need a relaible rig like now...and my current 3rd gen is a rusted POS and dont trust it.
only other 4th gen for sale local is a 2005 for 14k. Anything newer or a 5th gen your into the 20's. This 2005 sport edition, 2nd owner is at 10 asking. Same owne ( and is 2nd owner)r for past 12 years.

Like I have posted ...I have a bunch of long trips I have to do...each about 800+ miles round trip....will a bad head gasket on these just leve me stranded in the middle of bum frick no place if it shows no signs now ? At least half the drive will have no cell reception and gas stations and homes few and far between. Ive had older rigs where I just threw in block seal and water to get me home.

the othr thing is my current 3rd gen that I have only owned for about 6 months, has 280k on it. ( this 4th gen is at 170k)..and this 3rd gen in need of a lot of work. I have the tools and knowledge to work on 3rd gens...can 4th gens be so much different ?
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:31 PM #28
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aside from potential head gasket...is there any other nightmares to the early 4th gens ? Yes it has XREAS ....but if nothing else pops up....it will get that gone and a slight lift eventually.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:21 PM #29
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My take on 4th gens coming from a 3rd gen. It is in every way, a step up IMO. I do wish I could have kept the 3rd gen along with the 4th gen though.

IMO if you are buying pre 2005, try to stick it out for a V8 and avoid the V6 head gaskets all together. The V8 is the silkiest smooth engine that I have ever owned, no more sluggish hill climbs like the 3rd gen. Although, I believe the 4th gen V6 can handle hills just fine.

I have had 3 4Runners, currently I have an 08 V8 4WD limited and don't think I will ever get rid of it. Just make sure to look for rust that is beyond surface rust.

Also, make sure the air conditioning works. My compressor went out and it was $1200 and I got a good deal. It is a full dash out job.

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Old 06-02-2021, 11:25 PM #30
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Very useful information, thank you. Currently looking at a 2007 for $13,500 with 159k on it.
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