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2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

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Old 07-06-2014, 06:33 PM   #1
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2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Just looking for opinions on next step --

I've never really worked on my 02 Tacoma (128k) instead opting to have a family mechanic perform maintenance and any other work. Never have had an issue until now - 6/28 he replaced the following:

Valve Cover Gaskets
Spark Plug Tube Seals
PCV Valve + PCV Valve Grommet
Camshaft Plugs
Fuel Injection Plenum Gasket

After, full synthetic oil change, I had him install a K&N oil filter. Typically, he uses WIX. Reason for the K&N was I was picking up the filter and the oil (Mobile 1). No WIX in stock so I grabbed a K&N (HP 1002).

PROBLEM:
So, last night I notice a puddle of oil in my driveway and proceed to investigate further. I looked under the hood and VC Gaskets look fine. Started the engine and looked under the vehicle. Steady stream of oil dribbling down from skid plate. Shut off ignition and took a look.

Dropped the front skid plate and went to remove the rear part of the skid plate and the passenger side bolt will unscrew so far before it just spins and will not drop. Both skid plates were coated in old + quite a bit of fresh oil. Soaked it up with paper towels and wiped em down as best I could.

I hand checked the oil filter and found I could turn it 3/4 more to the right. Started engine and now no more oil streaming.

Since I do not have an oil filter band wrench, I could not tighten past hand tight.

So questions (sorry if they are noob - I need to learn after this mess):

1. Do I need to tighten the filter further? I have google'd that K&N and found several links on cold temp leaking and problems with tightening. Should I just change the oil again and go with a stock filter? Really leaning toward doing this.

2. Lots of oil on undercarriage resulting from that streaming leak. Oil sprayed all the way back to the rear axle and was on the diff and everything else. Should I be concerned with oil spray on any bushings, hoses, rubber, etc.

Next on my list is to look into an engine compartment cleaning at a detail shop. If needed I can inquire about the undercarriage and steam cleaning as well. Especially if the oil spray is going to damage or degrade anything.


As for the family mechanic, I have always used him for oil changes and routine maintenance. I've changed oil before (not on the tacoma) but always figured for a few bucks more, I could just pay someone else and didn't have to worry about the disposal/drop off of used oil. If the K&N is just crap, then I may give him another chance but I may just start doing oil changes myself/ Anything major, I'll find a shop so that a warranty of work will be there.

I've attached a few pics. cant really see a lot but you get the idea.

Also attaching pics of the IAC - mechanic suggested that be replaced next as it has corrosion on it. He also mentioned struts and shocks are overdue. Original so I tend to agree that is next on the list (128k!).

Input appreciated. Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-img_20140706_101423.jpg   2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-img_20140706_101454.jpg   2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-img_20140706_101534.jpg   2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-img_20140706_110847.jpg   2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-img_20140706_110941.jpg  

2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-iac.jpg   2002 3.4L DBL - Oil Change Nightmare after Valve Cover Gasket Replacement-iac2.jpg  
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:43 PM   #2
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Hand tight on the oil filter is the spec, you will be fine. Leave it til next oil change.
Ok, you have a mess, but no big bad things will happen. You can let it go, let the rain and wet roads do their job. You can spray it with jungle juice or similar degreaser, spray it with water, rinse, repeat. etc, etc. No harm will be done.
I just looked at your pictures. Where is the oil? Looks like a new truck. You have some rustproofing now is all.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I am a bit worried about the filter and will continue to check it/keep an eye out for leak issues. As long as it stays dry, I guess I'll leave it.

As for the oil mess/spray, its hard to see in the pics but lets just say that none of the undercarriage was dark black before - yep, I guess it does look new in the pics. As long as its not an issue then I will try not to worry.

Any thoughts on the Idle Air Control Valve? Its a bit hard to see in those two pics but there definitely is what appears to be corrosion around the hoses. Can those be cleaned or is it best to replace it? Mechanic says replace - I figured I would pose that question to the forum.

I'll try to take better pics and re-upload.

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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Honestly, I can't quite make it out, but if it is working fine, (no idle speed hunting, or engine killing, or overspeed) I would leave it.
If it works, don't break it.
If it works, don't fix it.
I wish my truck was that clean, but it still runs like a swiss watch.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Sorry this happen to you , I did allot of research on oil filters a couple of weeks ago as I needed to do an oil change .I have used Fram oil filters all my life on every oil change on every car I have owned . After doing my research between Fram and K&N on youtube and other websites K&N make a far better oil filter then fram ( built better and more fins inside the filter ) then Fram so I now will only install K&N oil filters . I just did my oil change last weekend on my 04 Tacoma with the K&N oil filter and had no problems .Lipster is right , it only need to be hand tightened . And this is why I dont trust anybody to work on my vehicles . You were very lucky that you caught it in time. To clean what I would do is just use simple green or go to car wash and spray with high presser .
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:04 PM   #6
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Thanks muddog.

Is it possible that K&N worked itself loose enough to start leaking?

Guy who did the work has never botched a job before for me and swears its the filter. He mentioned this K&N filter has an abnormally thick seal.

This whole thing just burns a bit - I just recently started to again dump TLC into my truck - have always made sure oil changes and other routine maintenance is done on time but I've let the appearance go a bit (oxidized fender flares, haven't waxed in A LONG TIME, brake dust on the rims, etc.). Fell back in love with the thing and have replaced the broken cup holder retainer things, deep cleaned the exterior/interior, etc. Getting ready to replace shocks/struts, swap out the aging Kumho's for BFG ATAs and replace the window trim as its peeling showing chrome. Now this happens with the oil. Argh.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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Well the old saying is if you take care of it it will take care of you . I dont know what he did , maybe he did not coat the seal with oil around the seal . Not sure . Sometimes we miss things and maybe thats what he did . My K&N has not leaked a drop since I did the oil change last weekend and its the first K&N i have ever used.
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Originally Posted by Area51Runner View Post
Thanks muddog.

Is it possible that K&N worked itself loose enough to start leaking?

Guy who did the work has never botched a job before for me and swears its the filter. He mentioned this K&N filter has an abnormally thick seal.

This whole thing just burns a bit - I just recently started to again dump TLC into my truck - have always made sure oil changes and other routine maintenance is done on time but I've let the appearance go a bit (oxidized fender flares, haven't waxed in A LONG TIME, brake dust on the rims, etc.). Fell back in love with the thing and have replaced the broken cup holder retainer things, deep cleaned the exterior/interior, etc. Getting ready to replace shocks/struts, swap out the aging Kumho's for BFG ATAs and replace the window trim as its peeling showing chrome. Now this happens with the oil. Argh.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:07 AM   #8
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Hand tight is all you need. Remove it by hand also. I use about a inch longer than the factory size filter. 95 Ford Turaus V6 filter. It time you start doing the little things yourself.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:18 AM   #9
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That oil filter location is a POS, I had loose filter when I first bought my 04, wimp that changed the filter had no hand strength. When I do the oil and filter changed now I spray a degreaser where the filter is and rinse it with water.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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It's good policy to smear a few drops of new oil on the new filters o-ring when reassembling. And I'd never use anything other than toyota filters. If you buy a 6 or 10 pack online it'll still be cheaper than buying any cheap individual filter in any parts store.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:03 AM   #11
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Yeah we are only human. Hand tight has always worked for any filter I have installed. Fram,Toyota,Mobil 1,K&N all good as long as you don't extend oil changes. Besides coating the o-ring, I also fill filter half way before install. Prob unnecessary but one of my anal habits. Oil on under carriage is a good thing for rust prevention. Like stated(if it ain't broke,don't break it). IAC is working.Best policy is do anything you can to your taco yourself. GL
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:38 PM   #12
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Update: no further leaking from the K&N filter since I hand torqued it down (close to 3/4 of a turn). I am still a bit paranoid about that filter - either the guy who did the work for me forgot to hand crank it down or it worked itself loose (is that even possible?). I am very tempted to replace the filter. No reason why I cant change it out for a factory filter. I just finished looking over Chris's oil filter comparison post. Wow. From now on, its Toyota filter for me. If I do change it out, can I expect a large amount of oil to flow out when I remove the filter?

As for the undercarriage, I've been checking it out daily (like the filter) to be sure there are not any other new collections of oil - either from the filter or who knows what. Seems to be ok.

I am still concerned about that one bolt on the rear half of the skid plate. I cant figure out why it just spins but wont unscrew completely. Also cant seem to torque it down any more. Just spins. Bad sign, I'm sure. I need to figure out how to remove it and replace if necessary. I want to be able to drop that part of the skid plate to clean it up - still has oil all over it I'm sure.

Also, have to figure out shocks. Front is definitely ready to be replaced. Rear feels fine but since neither have been changed out (original), might as well do both. Since I'm 2WD with the locker, not sure if I really want to look at doing anything with lift.

Thanks for the added feedback/thoughts. Really appreciate the comments! I was freaking a bit with this whole oil mess and pissed at the family mechanic. From now on, I'll handle the routine maintenance myself or send it in to a shop.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:49 PM   #13
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You should get the Rancho Quicklift for your new suspension, your not looking to lift but it will level out your rake and they actually ride better than stock and it's a full coilover replacement......and if you buy them off Amazon you can get them very reasonable.....just a thought
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #14
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thanks, I'll definitely check it out. Of course, all I have been reading about here are the Bilstein 5100s

edit:
checking amazon, there is the Rancho RS999907 Quick Lift Loaded Strut, Rancho RS999908 Quick Lift Loaded Strut and Rancho RS999794 Quick Lift Suspension Lift System. Im guessing without looking at detail that the 907 and 908 are left/right side. not sure the difference yet with the 794 system. Time to google.

One of the amazon reviews for the RS999907/908 mention:
Quote:
used Fabtech (FTS205) 1-1/2" Add-A-Leaf Kit for Toyota Tacoma for the rear of truck
along with (Left Rear) Bilstein 24-184960 Bilstein Shocks - 4600 series & (Right Rear) Bilstein 24-184977 Bilstein Shocks - 4600 series. With this exact setup there is no need for a leveling kit. You'll get almost 3 inches a lift all the way around and the right is amazing. No leaning into turns, recovers quickly from dips, bumps etc. It is level all the way around and drives amazing. I can't say enough about it.
This is setup for a 2001 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner (4 door/double cab) with the TRD off road package. 3.4 liter V6 automatic Transmission 2 wheel Drive.
Hate to sidetrack my own thread - probably need to start a separate one for my suspension q.
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