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Engine Issues Update

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Old 04-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Engine Issues Update

Update to my thread of a few weeks back: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ght-comes.html

Began the engine breakdown in preparation for removal, which has already yielded some clues to the neglect of this truck by the previous owners as I'll get into.

To recap:
The truck is a 1996 2.7L (3RZ-N73) 4X4 Manual, 255,250 miles, purportedly with 120,000 on the rebuild. The guy I bought it from, the 2nd owner and son of a buddy from work, bought it 2 years ago with 80K on the rebuilt motor from the original owner.

I bought the truck about a month ago for $2,600. He was asking $3K and touting KBB's $4K list price, but it needed tires, new exhaust, and a few other things. The truck sounded good and seemed to run fine.

The first thing I did when getting it home was change the oil. The truck only had 2.5qts of oil in it even though it holds 6.1qts. So that was the first warning sign. I threw fully synthetic into it (I know, I know, and not trying to resurrect the conventional versus synthetic debate, just giving you background on the events).

I also swapped the exhaust downstream from the Cat, threw brand new rubber on all 4 wheels, and changed the pads and rotors. The drivers side caliper bolts sheared off aside of a healthy smattering of PB Blaster (shoulda heated that bish instead!). After a week of drilling slow and steady, I got the caliper drilled out and back on.

A little over a grand into it for parts I took it muddin for a celebratory run and got it stuck, but no H2O in the MAF or intake and she ran like a champ after pulling her out. Three days later I got the new state inspection sticker done, and she passed with no issues and even a compliment from my local shop on how well it runs for that many miles.

Later that day I was teaching one of my kids how to drive in a parking lot and I heard what sounded like a chain in the engine for a minute or two, then it subsided and sounded normal! It ran fine the rest of the day.

The next morning on the way to the train station, the issues outlined in the other thread arose (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ght-comes.html).

Fast-forward to present: Last weekend I drained the oil and found metal shavings . At this point with a little over $4K into it, I figured I'd pull the engine and take a closer look, then consider possibly rebuilding it myself since I really have noting to lose. I'm not a mechanic but do have a 1,634 page Toyota FSM which has helped with the engine removal.

To start, none of the nuts or bolts were tightened to spec, in fact, many were hand tight! On top of that, the engine is full of sludge and grit - the thing is nasty and doesn't look like the oil was changed regularly. The anti-freeze was like coffee, complete with grounds. Basically the thing was run hard and not maintained by the looks of it thus far . In my limited experience, I'd say that its more likely that the constant abuse and neglect over time led to the mechanical failures, versus throwing in synthetic or muddin for 20 minutes. And I can only imagine what I'm gonna encounter when I start breaking the engine down!

Working an hour here and an hour there for the last week, I've got the engine completely disconnected and ready to be hoisted out. Gotta get my buddies cherry picker for that task and pick up an engine stand. If once I get it ripped apart I find the internals hosed, probably gonna rebuild with this: http://www.lceperformance.com/Master...-p/1010012.htm

I have to replace a hot water heater this weekend though, and I'm outa town all week next week, so pulling the engine may be a week or so off. I'll keep y'all posted and try to get some pictures added to this thread...
Cheers!

-Josh
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