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Old 05-04-2020, 02:12 PM #1
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Unhappy Please help! - do I really need to replace my 06 V6 engine with 90k miles on it??

I need help figuring out to do in this weird, difficult, and kind of unbelievable situation.

The gist of it is, there are some theorized issues with the camshaft journals in the engine on my 2006 SR5, V6 4Runner that have led a dealership mechanic to recommend replacing the engine. My 4runner has just under 90k miles on it and the suggestion is to pay $7300 to replace with a used engine with 130k miles I've had regular oil changes and I don't think this damage is from neglect on my end. I'm going to outline the timeline below and hopefully give you all a better picture of what's going on. I'm so torn right now and I don't know what to do. I f*ing love this car and from what I see it's totally irreplaceable in terms of condition AND mileage.

Oct 2017 - bought the vehicle from consignment dealer, 62k miles. A few previous owners that didn't drive it much, last owner was older retiree who had it sit in garage but kept it in meticulous condition. No problems.

May 2019 - first real issue with Check engine light coming on, reading ABS sensor. Ebrake light also on. Had a local smaller mechanic shop remove and look at sensors, they cleaned them and put them back on, which made the lights go off, but they eventually came back on. They said it might be a computer problem and may be very expensive to diagnose and fix so I started mentally and financially preparing for that. Lights would cycle on and off over every few days, the speedometer would not work if the ground was very wet so, at this point, I'm thinking it's the wiring but overall seemed to run fine.

December 2019 - drive home for the holidays (900 miles away) and let my dad do some general maintenance. He replaced spark plugs and saw oil on one of the plugs in the cylinders and freaked out and immediately figured it was super bad. I took it to the trusted mechanic in my hometown and they guessed it was a value seal, which they replaced, and that seemed to fix that problem. I, unfortunately, I didn't have the time to wait for them to try to diagnose the wiring issue since they were booked for a week.

April 1 2020 - drove home to AZ due to COVID-19 and figured this is a great chance to get this figured out (stimulus money / more free time / labor is cheaper in my hometown versus Denver). Half-way thru the trip, as I was pulling out of a rest stop, my car shuddered and flickered the oil light at only 10 mph when I pressed gas, so I quickly pulled over. Checked oil, which seemed low, so I added a half quart I had with me. Drove back and forth on side of the road slowly, couldn't reproduce it so I got back on the road and didn't take it above 2k rpm the whole way back, no issues. When I got back, took it to my ex since he knows the vehicle well and we did an engine flush with SeaFoam in case there was buildup affecting how the engine ran. Changed oil after that and oil was definitely cloudy. The engine did sound smoother during driving and idling.

Took it to my trusted mechanic in AZ, they figured out it was squirrel damage so replaced the abs wiring harness, and the crankshaft sensor was not sensing so replaced that too. They test drove and gave it the go-ahead. I drove around for another 150 miles to see if the lights would come back on, and changed the oil right before leaving and the oil looked clean. Lights were off for 4 days after about 150 miles of random driving so I decided I'd be fine and started the 900 miles back home. 100 miles into the trip, CEL comes back on. I stop at an AutoZone to read the code - crankshaft sensor again. Ok, I'm not turning around at this point I'll just take it to the Toyota Dealership because I live close when I get back home. Included below is the report from the dealership. Spoke directly to the mechanic and he said there were tons of metal shavings on both camshaft sensor and crankshaft sensor. They used a scope and located the rattling sound to the camshaft journals and values, and he said he doesn't think the valves are making that sound.

*****Dealership Write-up******

C/S THE CRANKSHAFT SENSOR WAS JUST REPLACED OUT OF STATE. CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON
TECH FOUND CODES P0335 AND P0340 FOR CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR AND CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR. THIS ENGINES ARE KNOWN FOR CAM GEARS RECTOR WHEELS BRAKING OFF AND CAUSING CODES TO TRIP DUE TO SENSORS NOT BEEN ABLE TO READ CAMS POSITION.
* NEED TO START BY REMOVING VALVE COVERS AND INSPECT ALL FOUR CAMS FOR ANY DAMAGE. MAY NEED OTHER REPAIRS


Additional Service Repair

REMOVED BOTH VALVE COVERS TO INSPECTED VEHICLE FOR CAMSHAFT/CRANKSHAFT CORRELATION CODES. INSPECTED TIMING AND IT WAS WITHIN SPEC. INSPECTED CAMSHAFT GEARS AND THEY ARE IN GOOD SHAPE. FOUND A LOT OF METAL AROUND THE TIMING CHAIN AREA. TIMING CHAIN HAS A LOT OF WEAR. WENT AHEAD AND REINSTALLED VALVE COVERS AND TEST DROVE VEHICLE. NOTICED THAT WHEN UNDER A HEAVY LOAD OR REVVING ENGINE IN PARK, THERE IS A LOUD RATTLE FROM THE VALVE TRAIN. SUSPECT THIS IS WHY THERE WAS A LOT OF METAL IN THE TIMING CHAIN AREA. WILL NEED TO REPLACE THE ENGINE ASSEMBLY (CAN DO CYLINDER HEADS AND RELATED PARTS BUT WILL BE WAY MORE EXPENSIVE THEN JUST DOING A USED ENGINE).
* REPLACE ENGINE ASSEMBLY


I'm sorry this is so long, but I desperately need help. I have $3400 left to pay off on this before I own it outright. I don't have 7k to drop but I can take out equity on the loan to cover the repairs, but I'm a baby adult and don't know if financially this is a good call.

I have thought about rebuilding but the dealership mechanic's argument was with metal shavings everywhere something else could be damaged and cause problems down the road. I don't really understand all the details but for rebuilding wouldn't each individual piece be inspected for damage? A replacement engine also comes with unknowns. I also found basically my exact 4Runner for sale in my state with 17k more miles but looks to be in great condition. Not sure if I should consider selling mine and just cutting my losses, or pour money into it and keep it forever.

I am going to try and attach some links of videos of the rattling sound they mention when I rev the engine in idle so there's some kind of reference. Otherwise, everything runs smoothly unless I really lay into it. I was told it's safe to drive it's just obviously not good.

I feel like my only options are rebuild, replace, or just sell and try to find something similar?
THANK YOU for reading and any advice would be super appreciated. If anyone has suggestions for good Toyota mechanics in Denver, please let me know, I don't have much of a support community up here for help!

Idle - 20064runner-idle.mov - Google Drive

Rev to 5000 rpm - 20064runner-revto5k.mov - Google Drive

Last edited by SpecialJ; 05-04-2020 at 02:17 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:09 PM #2
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From what you've written here, my first reaction is that your mechanic screwed something up when they reassembled the engine after the valve seal replacement.

Replacing a valve seal properly requires disassembling the heads to the point of removing the cams and timing assemblies. If you had that sort of work done recently, and now have a catastrophic failure of the valve train or timing system, that's where I'd start looking.

I would go with your mechanics recommendation. A new engine is a safer bet than a partial rebuild at this point.

-Rob
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:21 PM #3
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Originally Posted by RivMan View Post
From what you've written here, my first reaction is that your mechanic screwed something up when they reassembled the engine after the valve seal replacement.

Replacing a valve seal properly requires disassembling the heads to the point of removing the cams and timing assemblies. If you had that sort of work done recently, and now have a catastrophic failure of the valve train or timing system, that's where I'd start looking.

I would go with your mechanics recommendation. A new engine is a safer bet than a partial rebuild at this point.

-Rob
Thanks Rob! I've been in contact with the original mechanic about this too so I'm curious what they may say regarding this.

Seriously, thanks for reading and thanks for your opinion. Going to start keeping an eye out for engines.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:40 PM #4
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Thanks Rob! I've been in contact with the original mechanic about this too so I'm curious what they may say regarding this.

Seriously, thanks for reading and thanks for your opinion. Going to start keeping an eye out for engines.
U can easily replace that motor with labor and motor for 2700.00. My best friend blew his motor on his 09 4 runner and my mechanic replaced it with a good used motor for 2700.00. That was 1 year ago. The dealer will easily charge 2.5 half times that much.


The other option is to purchase a 3rd party warranty for your vehicles. Most have a waiting period of 3 months that once it is over the warranty company will pay for your repair. Most will not warranty a vehicle beyond 100,000 miles. Get the warranty and continue light driving until your 3 months is up and then get the motor replaced or fixed. Unlike health insurance preexisting conditions will be covered after your waiting period. Most likely the electrical issues will not be covered.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:47 PM #5
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Honestly - is probably start looking for a new vehicle. They anticipate the used Car market to start to drop prices

You can definitely get a second opinion as noted above, but youíve been through everything and who knows if any repair will still resolve the issue

I think when replacing the whole engine Is about the price of the vehicles worth itís time to let it go. Call and ask around. There may be some speciality shops that do engines or if you can source your own engine through car-parts.com or something
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:14 PM #6
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Originally Posted by Syr4RinNC View Post
Honestly - is probably start looking for a new vehicle. They anticipate the used Car market to start to drop prices

You can definitely get a second opinion as noted above, but youíve been through everything and who knows if any repair will still resolve the issue

I think when replacing the whole engine Is about the price of the vehicles worth itís time to let it go. Call and ask around. There may be some speciality shops that do engines or if you can source your own engine through car-parts.com or something
Thank you, this is sound advice. I called my local mechanic in AZ and they said they could find an engine with 110k miles but everything included would still run around 7000 to replace. That mechanic told me to try and dump it on a dealer for trade. With the car market dropping, does that maybe mean sell mine ASAP, then buy another a little later?
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:26 PM #7
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After reading all your posts and the comments, I definitely would not put/buy a used junk yard engine with 130,000 miles for $7,000. Maybe $3,000 if there was someone that could guarantee the installation.

You can find a good 2008 for that kind of money, maybe a little more.

Sorry to hear yours had engine problems at under $90,000 miles.

I bought a 2005 SR5 V6 new off the T dealer lot, and it has 150,000 miles on it now, and the check engine lite has never come on in 15 years. I'm in the Bahamas. Longest trip probably 50 miles at under 50 mph.

Having said that, I bought a new 2015 Camry for my daughter - as I promised her one for graduation at Florida State. The Camry is in Denver now, and we went to visit her (she works for a big stock broker) several times out West. The 4 banger Camry still starts and runs like new. The perfect car for a girl. Up and down in the National Parks and that "Rock climbers park", and those mountain roads are the toughest anywhere. Saw a heard of Elk and one big male alone 15 yards off the highway. Stopped to gawk and watch him eat leaves off a tree, but was ready to run back to the car if he made a move towards us. Pretty Cool to see.
Of course I have paid for things I shouldn't have. Maybe an oil change. Snow tires. Still my only child. 3.3GPA at Florida State - she deserves it IMO.

I wonder if driving up and down in the "Rockies" had something to do with the destruction of your 4runner V6. Those mountains can take a toll on a car or truck IMO.

Many 4runners get to 500,000 miles on original tranny and engine.

My 4runner fails:
PS wheel bearing. Local shop with 6 lifts beat it out and replaced.
AC Compressor after 12 years.
4 starters (1 OEM, 1 rebuilt by dealer lasted one year; 2 AM from Amazon - including the one in there now that came with a lifetime warrantee / Quality Built.
brakes + caliper or two (front wheels only) AM. I'm cheap.
two lower control arms with 3 bushings + two sway bars ($25 for both)
paint on body like new. Color still great. one scratch I caused, but no rust.
Underbelly almost rust free.
Original radiator, WP, alternator
I replace batteries every 4 years - even if it starts the car. I purchased a tool Scotty Kilmer raged about on YouTube for $50 that checks the alternator and battery.

If you find a mechanic with 50 years experience like Scotty Kilmer, and get advice from the beginning on that engine purchase, you could do it.

I was a 4 time gold medalist in swimming from the state of New York. Uncle Sam gave me my break in life! Mrs. Linda Veri-Azzara posted on LinkedIn

Last edited by Captsolo; 05-04-2020 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:27 PM #8
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My advice is that your engine is toast, sorry, I also think if not done at a Toyota dealer you should be able to get a used engine for around $1200 to $2000 and then labor on top of that would run about the same, so anyone quoting you more than say $4500 max is just trying to make money off of your misfortune.

That being said even if you get the engine replaced for a reasonable amount or any amount for that matter, you could still end up with other issues soon after or over time if the job is not done properly, so IMHO I would try and sell your T4R and get another one with a good history.

Also before any blame is placed on your mechanic, I want to try and get you to clarify about the "oil on the spark plug", did the plug have oil on the tip of the plug where the spark occurs or on the threaded portion of the plug as in the following photo??

If the oil was only on the threads as in the photo, then it wasn't due to a "valve seal" but instead it was due to the spark plug tube gasket and not a major issue, the spark plug gasket is a part of the valve cover gasket set, which is a BIG difference than a "valve seal", to replace the spark plug tube gasket which would be done while replacing the valve cover gasket is not a major nor costly job and shouldn't have caused the issue you now have, now a valve seal replacement would be a more complicated and costly job, which would require removal of the engine head to do and if not done properly as mentioned could of caused your issues.

How much did your mechanic charge you to replace the "valve seal" this would be very telling on what he actually did?
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Please help! - do I really need to replace my 06 V6 engine with 90k miles on it??-oil-plug-jpg 
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:19 PM #9
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Check Jasper engines, they specialize in remanufactured engines. I think they do Toyota as well. They have certified shops that do the install and are backed with a warranty. Basically, they take your old engine out and keep it as a core exchange, and replace it with a remanufactured engine.

I had this done with an old Jeep TJ 4.0 which broke a piston skirt and proceeded to destroy the cylinder wall. The Jasper remanufactured engine never gave me any problems. I don't recall exactly, but I think it was a little over $5k installed (back in 2010) and had either 2yr 24,000 mile, or 3 yr 36,000 mile warranty on it. The majority of the cost will be labor for removing/installing the engine.

For the money you've been quoted I would definitely suggest considering a remanufactured engine with a warranty over some rando piece from a junkyard.

I think the website is jasperengines. It's not the best site, but you can see if there are shops in the area and contact them for a quote. At least it'll give you another option / pricepoint to maybe help decide what you want to do.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:13 AM #10
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Sorry for your hard ship.2006 with 90k miles bummer. You can get a used engine from one of the salvage yards. Toyota pros in commerce city, Jims Yoda yard, yota yard in denver is great also. Have your mechanic go over it and you'll be fine. You can also browse Craigslist for folks parting out 4th gens. There are a few salvage yards around Denver so make some calls. you can also sell it to some one who may want to fix it up and buy a 3rd Gen 4runner instead with a bullet proof 3.4l motor.
There are quiet few Toyota independent shops get a second opinion like toy doctor in denver, toyexus auto repair denver, toy auto masters in englewood.etc look at their reviews call them get a price better then the dealer. The vsv valve is pretty loud on these trucks and that's what I heard on the video. I cant tell if it's what they say it is.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:35 AM #11
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Maybe I'm missing something here but a replacement engine recommendation based on the dealer report of timing is good, valves/cams seem good timing chain is sloppy and metal shavings from timing chain(?). I think a little more investigation needed, why not replace timing chain and tensioner while you're there and see what happens, That's what I'd be doing before I condemned an engine at 90K miles.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:55 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captsolo View Post
After reading all your posts and the comments, I definitely would not put/buy a used junk yard engine with 130,000 miles for $7,000. Maybe $3,000 if there was someone that could guarantee the installation.

You can find a good 2008 for that kind of money, maybe a little more.

Sorry to hear yours had engine problems at under $90,000 miles.

I bought a 2005 SR5 V6 new off the T dealer lot, and it has 150,000 miles on it now, and the check engine lite has never come on in 15 years. I'm in the Bahamas. Longest trip probably 50 miles at under 50 mph.

Having said that, I bought a new 2015 Camry for my daughter - as I promised her one for graduation at Florida State. The Camry is in Denver now, and we went to visit her (she works for a big stock broker) several times out West. The 4 banger Camry still starts and runs like new. The perfect car for a girl. Up and down in the National Parks and that "Rock climbers park", and those mountain roads are the toughest anywhere. Saw a heard of Elk and one big male alone 15 yards off the highway. Stopped to gawk and watch him eat leaves off a tree, but was ready to run back to the car if he made a move towards us. Pretty Cool to see.
Of course I have paid for things I shouldn't have. Maybe an oil change. Snow tires. Still my only child. 3.3GPA at Florida State - she deserves it IMO.

I wonder if driving up and down in the "Rockies" had something to do with the destruction of your 4runner V6. Those mountains can take a toll on a car or truck IMO.

Many 4runners get to 500,000 miles on original tranny and engine.

My 4runner fails:
PS wheel bearing. Local shop with 6 lifts beat it out and replaced.
AC Compressor after 12 years.
4 starters (1 OEM, 1 rebuilt by dealer lasted one year; 2 AM from Amazon - including the one in there now that came with a lifetime warrantee / Quality Built.
brakes + caliper or two (front wheels only) AM. I'm cheap.
two lower control arms with 3 bushings + two sway bars ($25 for both)
paint on body like new. Color still great. one scratch I caused, but no rust.
Underbelly almost rust free.
Original radiator, WP, alternator
I replace batteries every 4 years - even if it starts the car. I purchased a tool Scotty Kilmer raged about on YouTube for $50 that checks the alternator and battery.

If you find a mechanic with 50 years experience like Scotty Kilmer, and get advice from the beginning on that engine purchase, you could do it.

I was a 4 time gold medalist in swimming from the state of New York. Uncle Sam gave me my break in life! Mrs. Linda Veri-Azzara posted on LinkedIn
I like your attitude, my parents also got me my first 'good' car after graduating and getting accepted into graduate school! She sounds like a good kid I have no idea if the driving here has effected it but I think I'm coming to terms with the fact that car ownership is just like this sometimes... it's not the end of the worl just sucks a lot sometimes! Thanks for your comment
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:56 AM #13
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Originally Posted by rdruss View Post
Maybe I'm missing something here but a replacement engine recommendation based on the dealer report of timing is good, valves/cams seem good timing chain is sloppy and metal shavings from timing chain(?). I think a little more investigation needed, why not replace timing chain and tensioner while you're there and see what happens, That's what I'd be doing before I condemned an engine at 90K miles.
Thanks, yeah I would rather go a more conservative route first too, due to the low mileage. Gonna call some shops today and get more opinions and quotes!
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:00 PM #14
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Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Sorry for your hard ship.2006 with 90k miles bummer. You can get a used engine from one of the salvage yards. Toyota pros in commerce city, Jims Yoda yard, yota yard in denver is great also. Have your mechanic go over it and you'll be fine. You can also browse Craigslist for folks parting out 4th gens. There are a few salvage yards around Denver so make some calls. you can also sell it to some one who may want to fix it up and buy a 3rd Gen 4runner instead with a bullet proof 3.4l motor.
There are quiet few Toyota independent shops get a second opinion like toy doctor in denver, toyexus auto repair denver, toy auto masters in englewood.etc look at their reviews call them get a price better then the dealer. The vsv valve is pretty loud on these trucks and that's what I heard on the video. I cant tell if it's what they say it is.
Thank you so much for all these recommendations, I'm going to call some of these places today!
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:02 PM #15
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Originally Posted by Jernik View Post
Check Jasper engines, they specialize in remanufactured engines. I think they do Toyota as well. They have certified shops that do the install and are backed with a warranty. Basically, they take your old engine out and keep it as a core exchange, and replace it with a remanufactured engine.

I had this done with an old Jeep TJ 4.0 which broke a piston skirt and proceeded to destroy the cylinder wall. The Jasper remanufactured engine never gave me any problems. I don't recall exactly, but I think it was a little over $5k installed (back in 2010) and had either 2yr 24,000 mile, or 3 yr 36,000 mile warranty on it. The majority of the cost will be labor for removing/installing the engine.

For the money you've been quoted I would definitely suggest considering a remanufactured engine with a warranty over some rando piece from a junkyard.

I think the website is jasperengines. It's not the best site, but you can see if there are shops in the area and contact them for a quote. At least it'll give you another option / pricepoint to maybe help decide what you want to do.
Thanks, Yeah I've heard of them and I'm definitely leaning more towards remanufactured for the price point rather than a rando higher mileage engine. Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it
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