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Old 03-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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Help with removing a cylinder head - 99 Tacoma

Hello to the Tacoma world forums!

Recently got my truck back from my parents after being overseas for a bit, and unfortunately learned that the number 3 cylinder (4 cylinders overall) was leaking about 85% of its compression. The valves on that cylinder are worn, probably burnt, and I need to have them re-machined. That is what the mechanic in the Sacramento area told me.

Well, seems like that job will cost somewhere in the area of 1,800 dollars if I take it to a shop. Now neither my parents nor I can fork over that money right now. So my question is......

As a amateur mechanic, loaded with patience, time, and a desire to learn more about my truck, (and to save money) what is the chances of removing the cylinder head and gasket myself?

My chilton manual makes it seem like its mostly a matter of unhooking and disconnecting things in the right order, and making sure that I put everything back in the right place. I would label the hell out of everything that I disconnect.

Any feedback from people that have done this, or know about removing a cylinder head is much appreciated. Advice on required tools, tricky parts, or complicated settings that would have to re-done would be excellent. I can afford to leave my truck in the driveway for a bit while I learn and read up.

Thanks much, and hope to talk again soon.

Damien
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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The bigger question is: why is it leaking? Overheating, oil starvation? What caused it. Then I can tell you if you need to pull the heads or the engine.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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Recently hit 168k miles. Engine never seemed like it was getting hot, would not notice the needle in the dashboard moving. I have been good about oil changes every 3-4k miles.

Always kept coolant in it and was good about checking fluids. Never had much of a problem and I bought the truck at about 110k miles.

Mechanic in Sacramento has always been pretty good to us, but I don't know much about the problem other than what they told me. #3 cylinder leaking 85%, need a valve job, advised me to re-machine the valve.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #4
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I would only do a head job on an engine that had low miles and something wrong with the head. Otherwise I would pull the engine and do a full rebuild.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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That is not really an option. I don't have the money to pay a mechanic to remove and replace my head or put in a new engine. And this is really the first major thing that I have had happen to this truck in several years of ownership.

Why would you not want to re-machine the valves and keep using the same head? I can have a local shop do the machine work for 450 bucks if I am able to remove and replace this part on my own.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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if you do the head, get a fel-pro head gasket. if you know the head is the problem for sure. should be something you could do. the shop is doing the hard part. you just have to make sure you follow the pattern. and torque to specs.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlh178 View Post
if you do the head, get a fel-pro head gasket. if you know the head is the problem for sure. should be something you could do. the shop is doing the hard part. you just have to make sure you follow the pattern. and torque to specs.
Is fel-pro just really good? Why that over another one? And I am trusting the shop in Sac when they say that is the problem as they have been good to our family for a few years running.

What specifically needs to be torqued to spec? The nuts holding the head down? Because the Chilton manual doesn't say much about that that I saw, but I will make sure to look for that tonight.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien85 View Post
Is fel-pro just really good? Why that over another one? And I am trusting the shop in Sac when they say that is the problem as they have been good to our family for a few years running.

What specifically needs to be torqued to spec? The nuts holding the head down? Because the Chilton manual doesn't say much about that that I saw, but I will make sure to look for that tonight.
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm, go here and find the engine size you have,this manual is a must, has most older factory service manuals. goto cylinder head installation, it will show you the right pattern to follow when torquing the head. you'll also have to retorque the head after the engine has heated up the 1st time you restart your new head. fel-pro is a high quality gasket maker. call napa and ask them if fel pro makes on for your engine. i have two old tractors, 1948 ford and 1952 fergy and fel pro makes them for these old gals still. so they should have yotas, hth
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien85 View Post
Is fel-pro just really good? Why that over another one? And I am trusting the shop in Sac when they say that is the problem as they have been good to our family for a few years running.

What specifically needs to be torqued to spec? The nuts holding the head down? Because the Chilton manual doesn't say much about that that I saw, but I will make sure to look for that tonight.
yes, the head bolts are what has to be torqued to specs. in my book fel pro is the best manufacture of gaskets. i skimmed thur the chiltons and i didn't see anything either, but i'm an old dude,lol
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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Thanks that's a great bit of information so fat. I am still trying to research each stage of getting to the cylinder head.

Is there anything that I should know about the placement of the gasket? Or is it pretty straightforward, such as just sitting in place or what?

Thanks for the info so far, and if anybody has any other information to offer that would be great.

Damien
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:13 AM   #11
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Here's a sample torque sequence: http://www.thesaabsite.com/Saab-900-...e-sequence.htm You might be able to find the exact rebuild sequence on TTORA.com

The gasket aligns with the passages in the block and the alignment dowels.

If you have the skills to pull the head, you can do an "in-chassis" rebuild. It will be less thourough, but you have the oppoptunity to do more tests to make sure your block is sound.
With the pistons removed, you can do a dye penetrant test to check the block for cracks, hone the cylinder, put in new rings, and bearings. You'll want to check the top of the block (deck) for flatness. Borrow or buy a precision straight edge and feeler gauges. You'll have to find the specs to know how flat it needs to be for the new gasket to seal.
You have the opportunity to rebuild the engine with the heads off. It will be worth it.

Torque guide: http://olybrake.com/pdf/fel_pro_torque_specs_guide.pdf
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien85 View Post
Hello to the Tacoma world forums!

Recently got my truck back from my parents after being overseas for a bit, and unfortunately learned that the number 3 cylinder (4 cylinders overall) was leaking about 85% of its compression. The valves on that cylinder are worn, probably burnt, and I need to have them re-machined. That is what the mechanic in the Sacramento area told me.

Well, seems like that job will cost somewhere in the area of 1,800 dollars if I take it to a shop. Now neither my parents nor I can fork over that money right now. So my question is......

As a amateur mechanic, loaded with patience, time, and a desire to learn more about my truck, (and to save money) what is the chances of removing the cylinder head and gasket myself?

My chilton manual makes it seem like its mostly a matter of unhooking and disconnecting things in the right order, and making sure that I put everything back in the right place. I would label the hell out of everything that I disconnect.

Any feedback from people that have done this, or know about removing a cylinder head is much appreciated. Advice on required tools, tricky parts, or complicated settings that would have to re-done would be excellent. I can afford to leave my truck in the driveway for a bit while I learn and read up.

Thanks much, and hope to talk again soon.

Damien
Removal (Skip step 32)
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm/2003/Repa...ylhea/remo.pdf

Installation
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm/2003/Repa...ylhea/inst.pdf

You will need a complete gasket set; exhaust manifold, intake manifold, head gasket, etc.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98tacoma27 View Post
Removal (Skip step 32)
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm/2003/Repa...ylhea/remo.pdf

Installation
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm/2003/Repa...ylhea/inst.pdf

You will need a complete gasket set; exhaust manifold, intake manifold, head gasket, etc.
Might be easier to drop in used engine for 600
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trifenix View Post
Might be easier to drop in used engine for 600
Can you even find one for that?
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trifenix View Post
Might be easier to drop in used engine for 600
I looked into that, and if i just stick to removing the head and surrounding pieces, seems likes it simpler to just focus on that. I found used engines, but it seemed like they weren't going for less than 900 to 1000, and that was for an engine with near 80k miles.

Is there any special tools that I will need for this job? Provided that I just stick to the cylinder head removal and re-install. And should I expect any problems reassembling or is it straightforward after I tighten the cylinder head?

Lastly, for now, if I have to retighten the cylinder head bolts after I run it the first time, how long should I run it for and is that something that I can do with the mass air filter and other air supply parts removed? Just for ease of getting to the bolts.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #16
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basic tools and a torque wrench. you need too bring engine up to normal operating temp, 160 to 180. i would run atleast 15 mins before shutting the motor down. i usally let the motor cool down before re torquing, say warm to the touch. no need to put mass sensor and other parts on until you are ready to button it up for good. the link i gave you before will walk you thur removal and install. you can't go wrong if you take your time and just follow the factory service manual.hth
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:58 AM   #17
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Make sure you use a non-metallic scraper to remove gasket from the block.

IIRC, there are dowel pins that align the head and block. Make sure you remove them from the old heads and reuse them.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #18
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Any updates on this post? I was just diagnosed with a P0303 cylinder 3 misfire code. The mechanic told me that I had around 20% leakage on cylinder #3.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:12 PM   #19
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Any updates?????
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlh178 View Post
http://www.ncttora.com/fsm, go here and find the engine size you have,this manual is a must, has most older factory service manuals. goto cylinder head installation, it will show you the right pattern to follow when torquing the head. you'll also have to retorque the head after the engine has heated up the 1st time you restart your new head. fel-pro is a high quality gasket maker. call napa and ask them if fel pro makes on for your engine. i have two old tractors, 1948 ford and 1952 fergy and fel pro makes them for these old gals still. so they should have yotas, hth
In response to the quoted text: NO NO NO NO and NO!!

These cylinder head bolts are torque-to-yield bolts and you NEVER EVER retighten them after warming up the engine. That is old-school stuff from way back in the day. If you attempt to do this on the 2.7 you will over torque the bolts causing MORE problems. Follow the manufacturer specs for your model year, which is tighten in sequence show in the manual to 29lb-ft, then following the exact sequence again tighten an additional 90 DEGREES of rotation. note that this is not in torque but in ANGLE! After that you tighten them again one more time, in sequence a final 90 degrees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien85 View Post
I looked into that, and if i just stick to removing the head and surrounding pieces, seems likes it simpler to just focus on that. I found used engines, but it seemed like they weren't going for less than 900 to 1000, and that was for an engine with near 80k miles.

Is there any special tools that I will need for this job? Provided that I just stick to the cylinder head removal and re-install. And should I expect any problems reassembling or is it straightforward after I tighten the cylinder head?

Lastly, for now, if I have to retighten the cylinder head bolts after I run it the first time, how long should I run it for and is that something that I can do with the mass air filter and other air supply parts removed? Just for ease of getting to the bolts.
As mentioned in response to the above quoted text, do NOT try to re-tighten the head bolts!

Make sure that when the machine shop takes care of the valves (assuming of course that this IS the problem) that they have installed the correct size shim on all the tappets. If the wrong size shims are installed, or if they don't keep the tappets matched to the valves they are installed with, you may run into compression issues.
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