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Old 04-30-2023, 01:02 PM #1
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'08 Limited V8 Engine Locked

Background Info:
'08 Limited V8, 227K miles. Timing belt installed 53K miles ago.

I tried starting my T4R yesterday. Started normally, then after 3-4 seconds, the engine dies and the dash lit up like a Christmas tree. Tried restarting it, kind of a weird whirring noise and a metallic clanking noise that sounded like metal on metal. Engine wouldn't turn over at all.

I have a bore-scope coming today. I'll pull the spark plugs to check for bent valves. I'll check the driver side bank first because it's the easiest to work on.

I'll report back what I find out. Any ideas?
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Old 04-30-2023, 05:21 PM #2
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Timing belt broke maybe. But I'm betting the starter has broken. 3-4 seconds run time wouldn't or shouldn't have bent valves. Pull the driver side plastic timing cover to check the belt.
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Old 04-30-2023, 05:28 PM #3
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Timing belt broke maybe. But I'm betting the starter has broken. 3-4 seconds run time wouldn't or shouldn't have bent valves. Pull the driver side plastic timing cover to check the belt.
If the timing belt broke while the engine was turning/running it would indeed bend the valves as any opened valve/s will hit the pistons, the V8 is a interference engine.

That being said I agree, just pull the plastic timing belt cover to see if the timing belt is intact, before going to the trouble of pulling plugs, etc.
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:13 PM #4
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Thanks for the advise, guys. I didn't know there was an inspection cover. I'll do that first thing in the morning.

From what I've read in the service manual, is the starter under the intake?
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Old 04-30-2023, 06:39 PM #5
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Thanks for the advise, guys. I didn't know there was an inspection cover. I'll do that first thing in the morning.

From what I've read in the service manual, is the starter under the intake?
Yes unfortunately the starter is under the intake manifold....but they rarely fail because Toyota installed a very robust starter on the V8s and it's very well protected from the environment where it is, but I have read of a couple that did fail on very high mileage V8s and most likely it was only the solenoid contacts that were bad and not the starter motor itself, but I don't know of a starter failure that would cause the noises you describe unless it's the gear that engages the flywheel stuck out and grinding on the flywheel teeth, but again that's a failure I have never heard of on the V8.
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Old 04-30-2023, 08:57 PM #6
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Isn't there a small inspection cover on trans housing to engine underneath the Vehicle? Take a look and see if so, if there is, take it off and see what you can. Should see the ring gear on converter which the starter motor engages to turn engine. See if any "chunks", i.e. gear teeth, gear loose, etc.
If starter was bad but initially started your engine, that wouldn't cause the engine to die, once it starts, starter is out of the picture. So what caused it to die and what is "whirring" noise?
Best confirm timing belt integrity first.
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Old 05-01-2023, 02:54 PM #7
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I was able to check the timing belt today. It appears to be in good condition; tight and clean.

I dropped the front skid plate to try manually turning the engine with a socket on the crank. The engine would only turn a small amount in either direction before locking up.

I looked to see if there was an inspection plated on the bell housing. There wasn't one on either side of the bell housing. I wasn't able to check the front without dropping the skid plate.
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Old 05-01-2023, 04:43 PM #8
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As mentioned, a failed starter won't kill a running engine. Sounds like the timing belt is toast to me. Every timing belt I've seen go bad had the teeth sheer off but the belt was still tight. Have someone watch the belt as the crank is rocked back and forth. No movement is a bad sign.
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Old 05-05-2023, 01:41 AM #9
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The shop I took my T4R to basically didn't want to do the job.

They said the oil pan could only be removed by dropping the front axle. True?

They also said the labor alone to do this job would be ~$5k.

Any idea what a long block would cost to install?
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Old 05-05-2023, 05:38 AM #10
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The shop I took my T4R to basically didn't want to do the job.

They said the oil pan could only be removed by dropping the front axle. True?

They also said the labor alone to do this job would be ~$5k.

Any idea what a long block would cost to install?
Why would they want to remove the oil pan, if the cause of the lockup is timing related the crankshaft/rods wouldn't be a issue and I think it would be the least likely cause unless a rod came loose or broke??

My next step would be to remove the timing belt cover to confirm the belt has slipped/broke teeth etc. to cause the valves to contact the pistons, I guess you instead could try a borescope to inspect the valves/pistons via the spark plugs holes.
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Old 05-05-2023, 08:40 AM #11
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Don't go back to the shop you went to, they obviously know little. First you need to do as AU SEEKER suggests, see what's going on with timing belt, then you can go from there. There have been timing belt problems reported on here regarding the V8 that did not result in engine damage. Belt was replaced and no problems.
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Old 05-06-2023, 06:42 PM #12
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Thanks for all of the informative responses. That's why I posted here.

My main problem is time. My T4R broke in southern Colorado. I live and work in northern New Mexico. I had no way to get my T4R back to NM. Even if I did, I would have no transport while the problem is solved.

My bosses were patient while I tried to work through this issue, but they're screaming for me to get back to work.

So, I had to start looking for another car to substitute for the injured T4R. I pulled the trigger on a very nice '08 Sienna Limited AWD that I could afford. Unfortunately, T4Rs will be out of my future for a while.

Fortunately, the dealer I bought my Sienna from is a auto repair shop/car dealer. They buy cars at auction, fix them, then sell them. The really good news is they're interested in my T4R for a future fix/sale which will help me offset the cost of the Sienna.

Thanks again, guys. I'll be back.
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Old 05-07-2023, 04:27 AM #13
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How much are they offering you for your 4R? You willing to sell it on here? Iíd imagine the dealer wonít pay much for a non running 4R??
No offense, but when a dealer buys a non running car, they rarely if ever pay anything remotely close to whatís itís worth.
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Old 05-15-2023, 08:48 PM #14
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I wasn't asking very much. They asked for photos. After taking the photos, I decided to keep my T4R and fix the engine.
I let the folks at Accurate Japanese Repair I would like to have them take a look at my 4Runner. They didn't get a 4Runner, but they did get a customer.
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