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New engine or new valves?

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:54 AM   #1
rmcbear08 [OP] rmcbear08 is offline
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New engine or new valves?

Hey 'yall,
First time, long time. I love the forum and have been getting some great advice on my Taco from just reading all the posts. Now, a recent situation with my truck has me at a crossroads and I was hoping for some help/input from all you good folks out there. Here goes;

CEL came on a few weeks back, so took it to Auto Zone and of course the notorious 'misfire' code showed up (p0302 to be exact). It had been a while since I changed the plugs, so I figured that would do the trick. No rough idling or any other discernible issues with the engine. Even now the truck runs fine.

About a week later, CEL comes back on, same code. Came onto the forums seeking advice and it sounded like switching the coils around might work. Nope. Still p0302.

Took it into the shop and turns out the #2 cylinder has low compression (70psi dry, 90psi wet). Had them check the ignitors and fuel injector, both looked fine. Both places I took it to recommended new valves and head repair. Around $1700 was the estimate. Both places said this might fix the problem, but it sounds like this isn't an uncommon problem with these engines and could easily happen to another cylinder(s).

My question is, do I pay the $1700 for the new valves and head? Or should I be looking at a reman/used engine for my truck? Looking at about $5000 total for an engine swap. Has anybody been through this process before? Any recommendations or tips? Can I sell my old engine to a junkyard or somewhere else to help offset the cost of dropping another one in? I love my Taco and other than this problem, the truck is in fantastic shape. I would like to keep it and run it for another 300K+

Specs: '99 SR5 manual, 2.7L, 4 cylinder, 164K miles

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:12 PM   #2
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Feel free to look at my engine replacement build thread:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ine-paint.html

I go into detail on the problem I had similar to yours. Don't get into a panic when reading it. There is no guarantee that the problem you have is the same I had. I mention my build because the ONLY way a reputable shop can guarantee the correct diagnosis in a case like yours is to remove the cylinder head and do a proper inspection. Many things can cause the low compression you mentioned. (including what they told you) The problem comes when they order the parts, remove the cylinder head, then find another problem. At that point you COULD be out some extra cash. (Not saying you will be, just that you COULD be)

There is one, and ONLY one way to confirm the fault, and that is to removed the head and inspect. Since you would be planning to be without your truck for the time it takes them to rebuild the head in the first place, perhaps discuss with them how much they would charge to remove the head and inspect the cylinder walls.

ANY decent shop will be willing to do this, and if they find a problem with the valves (As they originally suspect) then they should roll the cost of the inspection into your repair, as they would have to remove the head in the first place to do the job they recommend, and it would still only cost what you were originally quoted.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
rmcbear08 [OP] rmcbear08 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverSound View Post
Where'd you get the $5K price from? I've seen those engines go for under $1K.
$5000 was the price I was quoted for the reman engine, S/H from CA and labor.

Any recommendations on places to look for engines? Anybody know anything about Woodfins Automotive? They quoted me a price of $1800 for a used engine with a 1 year warranty. I've called around town and nobody seems to have anything local. I get a lot of, "hmm, those are hard to come by..."
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
rmcbear08 [OP] rmcbear08 is offline
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Thanks BT, I appreciate the info. Got another question; so if they do a head replacement, couldn't problems start down in the bottom? I've had some people tell me that could happen, in which case I'd be out even more $, versus just taking the whole darn thing out and replacing it
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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at 164K, I would top and bottom and end. Used or rebuilt engine would probably the cheapest way to go. Have you looked in Ebay? Could be a risk but so is the $5K engine from over here. Look for a seller with good feedback.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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If you shop around you can get a pretty decent price for the engine. I bought a reman block from Cali, and a head from another supplier and built it myself. Of course that DOES require some higher level experience with cars, and I am not sure your experience level. Perhaps someone local to you on TW may be able to help if it comes to that. As for cost, I built the entire new engine for somewhere around $1000. Again that depends on if you need it all to be done....
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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I was told Seafoam might be able to help with low compression. Any truth to this?
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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No truth at all. Snake oil as far as trying to help an engine with low compression.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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Good advice bama
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