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1998 Toyota 4runner Head Gasket Repair, help needed..

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My 1998 4runners head gasket went out last night. The head is burning lots of water and last night it lost the compression and wouldnt start so it had to be towed home. It'll barely start now, but its still burning water and the exhaust is cold. Im buying the parts to fix it and am wondering what I need. So far I have the upper gasket kit, and a timing chain kit, figured I do it when its off. I was going to get the head machined at a local shop. Should I do the valves too? How much does that cost? I dont understand why the head gasket blew, there is no overhaeting going on, it just decided to quit. Maybe the previous owner screwed it up.

On a side note, toyota can kiss my ass. Ive had three toyota trucks all with head gasket and water pump problems. They are all right trucks, but way overpriced and faAAAAR from bullet proof. endrant, thanks

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My 1998 4runners head gasket went out last night. The head is burning lots of water and last night it lost the compression and wouldnt start so it had to be towed home. It'll barely start now, but its still burning water and the exhaust is cold. Im buying the parts to fix it and am wondering what I need. So far I have the upper gasket kit, and a timing chain kit, figured I do it when its off. I was going to get the head machined at a local shop. Should I do the valves too? How much does that cost? I dont understand why the head gasket blew, there is no overhaeting going on, it just decided to quit. Maybe the previous owner screwed it up.

On a side note, toyota can kiss my ass. Ive had three toyota trucks all with head gasket and water pump problems. They are all right trucks, but way overpriced and faAAAAR from bullet proof. endrant, thanks

I have heard of Toyota taking care of the 3.0 motor head gasket job under a "customer service" warranty for no cost to the customer.

Maybe Toy MDT Tech can chime in on this.

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On a side note, toyota can kiss my ass. Ive had three toyota trucks all with head gasket and water pump problems. They are all right trucks, but way overpriced and faAAAAR from bullet proof. endrant, thanks

haha sounds like my post from 2 weeks ago..i just lost a 3rd head gasket on my 3rd toy. truck last monday

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Hey, a topic that I can actually contribute something useful!

On a '98 it's not a 3.0L, it'll be a 2.7L 4cyl, or 3.4L v6. Both engines are pretty reliable from all I've heard. 4 years, and 60K km on my '98 4runner, and other than maintenance stuff...I think I've spent $6 on new starter contacts! Check out Yotatech.com for all kinds of info on these trucks.

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my apologies, its a 2,7l 4 cyl motor which is good I guess, since I only have to pull one head instead of two. haha, just looking to see if any of you have done this motor. I wish it was under recall, but I checked and its not. Ohh well, time to bust out the wrenches.

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I've never seen a 2.7 blow a headgasket, we have parts t-100s with 400K on them. Send the head out have it checked for cracks and decked, and the valves for leaking, you'll at least want to put in new valve seals but should have the valves and seats ground. Good luck.

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I've never seen a 2.7 blow a headgasket, we have parts t-100s with 400K on them. Send the head out have it checked for cracks and decked, and the valves for leaking, you'll at least want to put in new valve seals but should have the valves and seats ground. Good luck.

Same here. We are a high volume dealer and we have never done a 2RZ-FE or a 3RZ-FE head gasket, EVER! (2RZ =2.4, 3RZ=2.7 Tacoma 4 cylinders since 1995, 1994 for the T-100) Did it get its coolant changed every couple of years to keep electrolysis at bay? If not, you might find the head has rotted away and coolant can now pass coolant into the combustion chamber. The 22R head would do the same. Most I see that are neglected have corrosion.

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Same here. We are a high volume dealer and we have never done a 2RZ-FE or a 3RZ-FE head gasket, EVER! (2RZ =2.4, 3RZ=2.7 Tacoma 4 cylinders since 1995, 1994 for the T-100) Did it get its coolant changed every couple of years to keep electrolysis at bay? If not, you might find the head has rotted away and coolant can now pass coolant into the combustion chamber. The 22R head would do the same. Most I see that are neglected have corrosion.

damn, thats not good. Im going to change the oil and run a compression test today. At one point it was burning a ton of water. I dont know what caused it to go. Ive only had the car for about 8 months. I bought it off some girl for a decent price. Guess that came back to bite me in the ass.

Anyone know how much it is to have new head cost?

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At the dealer I work at, I have done a 3RZ head gasket. The gasket split at the #2 hole from coolant jacket to the cylinder. Only one I have done. Definately send the head to a machine shop for surfacing and valve job. It only makes sense to do a V.job while the head is off. Especially with lots of miles.

The 3.0 head gasket campaign was a good deal for the techs! Except I had shoulder pain for a couple years from the 180 degree torque sequence. I was using too small a breaker bar for too long.:thumbsup:

The water pump issues seem to be fixed on the 3.0 and 3.4's. When they introduced the metal/rubber gaskets and went away from the FIPG(Formed In Place Gasket).

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ok, so I ran a compression test and checked the oil. It doesnt have bad compression and the oil is clean:excuseme: . Took the 4runner out for a drive and ran it through the paces and its running fine. One thing though is the check engine light came on after about 20 mins. I looked around the engine bay with a flash light and realized the passenger side freeze plug is leaking. Could this cause problems like being described? It was burning water earlier but since stopped....HMM...

Could it be I was over reacting when I towed the car home or is it still blown? decisions, decisons. Im active duty Navy and working up towards deploying, so finding time to pull a head, machine it, get valves done, and put it all back together is hard to do. Especially when me and the MRs only have one car between us now that this happend and I am riding the SM to work every day.

One thing I dont get is when I was driving friday night all the gauges lit up (battery, oil, and check engine) than the truck shut off and wouldnt start. It wasnt over heating though? When I got it home it started and was driveable.

Any toyota techs out their want to chime in and steer me in the right direction. Mahalo:thumbsup:

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ok, so I ran a compression test and checked the oil. It doesnt have bad compression and the oil is clean:excuseme: . Took the 4runner out for a drive and ran it through the paces and its running fine. One thing though is the check engine light came on after about 20 mins. I looked around the engine bay with a flash light and realized the passenger side freeze plug is leaking. Could this cause problems like being described? It was burning water earlier but since stopped....HMM...

Could it be I was over reacting when I towed the car home or is it still blown? decisions, decisons. Im active duty Navy and working up towards deploying, so finding time to pull a head, machine it, get valves done, and put it all back together is hard to do. Especially when me and the MRs only have one car between us now that this happend and I am riding the SM to work every day.

One thing I dont get is when I was driving friday night all the gauges lit up (battery, oil, and check engine) than the truck shut off and wouldnt start. It wasnt over heating though? When I got it home it started and was driveable.

Any toyota techs out their want to chime in and steer me in the right direction. Mahalo:thumbsup:

There are a couple Toyota techs here, me being one of them. When you say the freeze plug is leaking, is it dripping or is there some stains from coolant on the block? This may be where the coolant was going. Its not using coolant anymore(the reservoir bottle is not going empty)?

Its really difficult to say what the check engine light has been illuminated for without hooking up the techstream(diag. scan tool).

When the engine died on Friday, was it running normally? Then just died on you? You are not getting any white smoke from the tail pipe?

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ok, so I ran a compression test and checked the oil. It doesnt have bad compression and the oil is clean:excuseme: . Took the 4runner out for a drive and ran it through the paces and its running fine. One thing though is the check engine light came on after about 20 mins. I looked around the engine bay with a flash light and realized the passenger side freeze plug is leaking. Could this cause problems like being described? It was burning water earlier but since stopped....HMM...

Could it be I was over reacting when I towed the car home or is it still blown? decisions, decisons. Im active duty Navy and working up towards deploying, so finding time to pull a head, machine it, get valves done, and put it all back together is hard to do. Especially when me and the MRs only have one car between us now that this happend and I am riding the SM to work every day.

One thing I dont get is when I was driving friday night all the gauges lit up (battery, oil, and check engine) than the truck shut off and wouldnt start. It wasnt over heating though? When I got it home it started and was driveable.

Any toyota techs out their want to chime in and steer me in the right direction. Mahalo:thumbsup:

Well, the rotted out freezeplug is a sign of corrosion from within. Not good. I have only seen freezeplugs rot inside out from corrosion from coolant neglect. Now if the plug looks like it rotted from the outside, ie salt spray, might not apply. But in my area, we use no salt, never seen a core plug rot outside in. I'd guess you will have to just remove the head and inspect. Once the head is off, replacing the core plugs (do them all) will be easy, then look to see whats causing the leak.

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Well, the rotted out freezeplug is a sign of corrosion from within. Not good. I have only seen freezeplugs rot inside out from corrosion from coolant neglect. Now if the plug looks like it rotted from the outside, ie salt spray, might not apply. But in my area, we use no salt, never seen a core plug rot outside in. I'd guess you will have to just remove the head and inspect. Once the head is off, replacing the core plugs (do them all) will be easy, then look to see whats causing the leak.

+1...

We dont use salt either and have never seen a core plug fail that way either.

Is there a discoloration in the coolant? Reddish/brown would mean rust, and is possible as mdt tech says.

The unfortunate thing is, it sounds like a cyl. head removal is necessary to completely diag. this issue.

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There are a couple Toyota techs here, me being one of them. When you say the freeze plug is leaking, is it dripping or is there some stains from coolant on the block? This may be where the coolant was going. Its not using coolant anymore(the reservoir bottle is not going empty)?

Its really difficult to say what the check engine light has been illuminated for without hooking up the techstream(diag. scan tool).

When the engine died on Friday, was it running normally? Then just died on you? You are not getting any white smoke from the tail pipe?

Its just a slight, slight leak. Little drips. No white smoke in the exhaust. No stains from coolant on the block. The truck was running fine on friday when it just shut off and didnt want to start up again. The truck is running fine without any issues, no loss of power or rough idling. Really puzzling me. When I blew the head on my old ford ranger, the truck burned smoke everywhere and hardly ran. Im trying to avoid having to pull the head since I am tight on time but will if I absolutely have to. Thanks for the help.

Also, I dont know if this matters but I live right next to the ocean, so maybe the pulg corroded from the outside and caused it to leak. Im going to check it out right now and will report back

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well I guess its time to just face the music and pull the head off. Do you guys think the timing chain needs to be done too when the head is off? or can it wait. Right now I am looking at new gaskets, new freeze plug, head being machined and valves seats, and I think thats it. anything else?

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Ok first things first. Fill the cooling system, pressure test it for leaks. Maybe pay a dealer to do this so your not doing more work than needed. Pull the trouble codes from the ecu and see what they are.(autozone does it for free around here) Like mdt said only neglected cooling systems rust out. btw how many miles are on it? All cars will lite up the dash warning lites when a car stalls out when the key is not turned to off.

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Ok first things first. Fill the cooling system, pressure test it for leaks. Maybe pay a dealer to do this so your not doing more work than needed. Pull the trouble codes from the ecu and see what they are.(autozone does it for free around here) Like mdt said only neglected cooling systems rust out. btw how many miles are on it? All cars will lite up the dash warning lites when a car stalls out when the key is not turned to off.

126,ooo miles on it. How do you pressure test the cooling system? I ran a compression test and it was ok, guess Ill try and pressure test it.

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BlueMarlin, from your other post, it now seems you do not have a leaking headgasket, but maybe a slow coolant leak. As for the rig dash lights all coming on, then dying, I'd be willing to bet, the dash lights came on because it died. Now that is started back up, its tough to diagnose. If you didnt disconnect the battery, the code is still in the system. You might entertain the idea of getting a simple code reader and reporting back with your find. It might help us to help you out. Hold off on ripping that head off. You may have no problems there at all.

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ok, so I ran a compression test and checked the oil. It doesnt have bad compression and the oil is clean:excuseme: . Took the 4runner out for a drive and ran it through the paces and its running fine. One thing though is the check engine light came on after about 20 mins. I looked around the engine bay with a flash light and realized the passenger side freeze plug is leaking. Could this cause problems like being described? It was burning water earlier but since stopped....HMM...

Are you sure it was burning coolant, or maybe just losing it through the rotted frost plug?

After your test drive, was the coolant level low? That could throw a check engine light.

Have you fixed the frost plug yet?

And what were the compression readings?

Could it be I was over reacting when I towed the car home or is it still blown? decisions, decisons. Im active duty Navy and working up towards deploying, so finding time to pull a head, machine it, get valves done, and put it all back together is hard to do. Especially when me and the MRs only have one car between us now that this happend and I am riding the SM to work every day.

It could be very well that you just got low on coolant and it killed the motor as a "safety feature"....IDK about this era 'Yota's, but some vehicles have a fail-safe built into the system where if the oil or coolant falls below a predetermined point, it shuts it down so you can't do more damage.

One thing I dont get is when I was driving friday night all the gauges lit up (battery, oil, and check engine) than the truck shut off and wouldnt start. It wasnt over heating though? When I got it home it started and was driveable.

Did the gauges light up before, or after the motor died?

Any toyota techs out their want to chime in and steer me in the right direction. Mahalo:thumbsup:

Disclaimer: I'm not a Toyota tech, but I manage to keep my junkers alive......(knocks on wood).

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Ok, so I did some snooping and found a gaping hole in the radiator. :thumbsup: It was leaking water out of their. And for some strange reason, the frost plug stopped leaking? Ill probaly swap it out just in case though.

Im going to change the radiator and report back on what happens. May be a little while since I am going to Austrailia for 5 days. Thanks for the help.

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