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Just bought a Taco, only to probably need a new engine. HELP!

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Old 07-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
Devonoco [OP] Devonoco is offline
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Just bought a Taco, only to probably need a new engine. HELP!

Hello all. This is my first time posting, but I've been following for quite a while and really appreciate everything you guys do. I just signed up for TW recently after purchasing a taco, and wish my first post bore better news. But, such is life, right? So without further ado, here we go. After saving for quite a long time, I finally purchased what I thought would be my dream truck, a 2000 Tacoma SR5, 2.7L 4 cylinder truck. It has high mileage, 206,000, but the used car dealership had just changed the heads, and replaced all the valves and seals on top of the block. They had the paperwork to prove it too. Everything else on it seemed cherry; clean title, no rust, A/C works great, suspension is great, and the clutch is smooth. It even has a nice topper. My fiancee and I ended up buying it for 6k. I kept it in the garage mostly for about two weeks, occasionally driving it around town, and once on a dirt road when it was raining. Everything was fine. Then came 4th of July weekend, when my fiancee and I had planned to go to the mountains for a backpacking trip. We live in Salt Lake City, and were heading up to the Uintas mountains. I had put maybe 200 miles on it at this point. While heading east on I80 up Parley's Canyon(about a 3-4% grade where I was), I had the truck in fifth gear, going 65 mph, and in cruise control. The rpms were between 2500-3000. I got about six or seven miles in, near Mtn Dell Resevoir, and the truck fell out of gear. I thought that was strange, downshifted to fourth, and continued up the canyon, this time without cruise control. About a minute later, I felt a pretty dramatic loss of power, and had to downshift again into third. By this time I was starting to get really worried as the rpms were getting high, into the 5000s. I got to the summit, and shifted into neutral first, and the oil pressure indicator came on. As soon as I shifted into gear though, it disappeared. On the downhill, the engine started making a really strange sound, almost like it was missing or the timing was off. I pulled off as soon as I could and checked the oil. It was full. We ended up turning around and heading back, because the truck sounded just horrendous by this point. We ended up heading back to the mountains in a different vehicle for the weekend, and on Monday I took it back to the dealership. Their mechanic initially said that it was the timing chain, but upon further inspection discovered some metal shavings in the oil. I'm well aware of what this means, and I'm frightened that the truck needs a new or rebuilt engine. I'm also aware that it was foolish to put the vehicle into cruise control on a steep grade like I did, but I don't think that should have destroyed the engine by throwing a rod, destroying a camshaft bearing, or whatever else it could be. Am I wrong? Meanwhile, the dealer is saying that he will buy the truck back minus the cost of a rebuild (about $2300 by his math), or he can have his mechanic rebuild it himself for that price. I feel like I am being taken for a ride here, but Utah has no lemon laws for used cars, so taking him to court probably won't end well. I can threaten him with a complaint to the BBB, and several negative reviews and comments on social media, but I just want my taco back. What should I do? Am I at fault here? Did I destroy the engine, or do you think this problem was bound to happen soon anyway? I don't think the dealership intentionally sold me a lemon, but I'm not sure. I do have a buddy that's savvy who said he'd help me swap the engine myself, but I don't know how long it would take to find a halfway decent one. Here in Salt Lake a totaled Tacoma with a good engine sells like a hot cake, so it would be expensive anyway. I'm at a loss right now, and any advice you guys have would be much appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
5100s are the same price as spacers, seriously
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Sorry to hear about that! If I were in that situation, I would go grab a low mileage junkyard motor, a Haynes manual, and a couple knowledgeable friends. eBay and car-part.com are both good sources of used engines, make sure you get one with a warranty. DO NOT take it to the dealer you bought it from to get fixed, as it sounds like their mechanic has no business rebuilding engines. You could try to get some assistance from them in paying for the repairs, but I doubt they will be much help. Best of luck to you!

EDIT: here's a reman engine w/1yr warranty for $1095:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-2RZ-F...e00cff&vxp=mtr

Don't know if that particular builder is any good, just an example
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #3
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I live in Salt Lake as well and drive Parely's Canyon frequently, even commuted through it on a daily basis for awhile. Having the shift down to third gear to maintain speed on the steep grades sounds typical. I sometimes even drop into third with my v6. Keeping the RPMs that high for a long period of time is risky but for short periods it shouldn't cause major engine damage.

I won't be much help as far as advice to get it fixed but I would say don't take it back to the dealer. Sounds like they may have just sold it to someone hoping this would happen so they could get the money to rebuild it or get the truck back with a new engine on someone else's dime.

Regardless I would say that if you get it back and fixed, don't expect the 2.7 to keep up with the sports cars going up parley's and just take it easy.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #4
Devonoco [OP] Devonoco is offline
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Thanks for the post. The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning that way. Like I said, it might be tough to find a low mileage engine off a junk around here, but at least I'll know exactly what's been done to my truck if I did the work myself. I think I could get some help from them with paying it, but we'll see. I'm going to talk to my uncle, who is ASE, Toyota, and Volvo certified, and see what he thinks. Too bad he lives 2000 miles away. I'll keep posting updates.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:18 PM   #5
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Well that story sux. That's the problem with used cars. You win some...You lose some. On the positive side the 2.7L should be an easy engine to swap, even for a novice. It really doesn't get much more straight forward. And it being an older 2.7 the wiring harness won't be that complicated.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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I agree with buying a reman motor and putting it in yourself. Maybe you could even find a couple members in the area that will help for beer and pizza or burgers. If there are no lemon laws there, the dealer will try to screw you over (which sounds like what is going on). Walk away and find yourself a reman with warranty.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
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I bought a junkyard engine for an old truck with a thirty day warranty for $400 and the same junkyard installed it for an additional $400, so $800 total. Hopefully, you'll have no problems doing the same. Save all the sensors and stuff from your old engine to have as spares. Good engines are out there. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
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Truck didn't come with a small warranty? I think in some states of you buy a used vehicle and it bites the dust in a short time, the dealer is responsible for repair.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
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Engine work by the dealer should have been a red flag.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelo760 View Post
Engine work by the dealer should have been a red flag.
I agree. 206k on a 2.7 is nothin.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devonoco View Post
It has high mileage, 206,000, but the used car dealership had just changed the heads, and replaced all the valves and seals on top of the block. They had the paperwork to prove it too.

Red Flag #1 as they are a used car dealer with zero knowledge of how to rebuild and just by hearing your description leads me to believe their mechanic f'ed something up when putting it back together

While heading east on I80 up Parley's Canyon(about a 3-4% grade where I was), I had the truck in fifth gear, going 65 mph, and in cruise control. The rpms were between 2500-3000.

shouldn't hurt anything doing this

I got about six or seven miles in, near Mtn Dell Resevoir, and the truck fell out of gear. I thought that was strange, downshifted to fourth, and continued up the canyon, this time without cruise control. About a minute later, I felt a pretty dramatic loss of power, and had to downshift again into third. By this time I was starting to get really worried as the rpms were getting high, into the 5000s. I got to the summit, and shifted into neutral first, and the oil pressure indicator came on. As soon as I shifted into gear though, it disappeared.

sounds like something wrong with the transmission if it fell out of gear and wouldn't hold/high rpm (clutch slip?). also oil pressure only when in gear is bad

Their mechanic initially said that it was the timing chain, but upon further inspection discovered some metal shavings in the oil. I'm well aware of what this means, and I'm frightened that the truck needs a new or rebuilt engine.

again their mechanic has no clue

I'm also aware that it was foolish to put the vehicle into cruise control on a steep grade like I did, but I don't think that should have destroyed the engine by throwing a rod, destroying a camshaft bearing, or whatever else it could be. Am I wrong?

again should be fine. that's half of your engine's rpms, and should never cause a problem

Meanwhile, the dealer is saying that he will buy the truck back minus the cost of a rebuild (about $2300 by his math), or he can have his mechanic rebuild it himself for that price. I feel like I am being taken for a ride here, but Utah has no lemon laws for used cars, so taking him to court probably won't end well.

they set up this scam to make money. he wants to buy back the vehicle for essentially half of what he sold it for less than a month prior. If you have any friends that are lawyers I'd chat them up to get advice. hell, even use the free consultation that lawyers offer

I can threaten him with a complaint to the BBB, and several negative reviews and comments on social media, but I just want my taco back. What should I do? Am I at fault here? Did I destroy the engine, or do you think this problem was bound to happen soon anyway? I don't think the dealership intentionally sold me a lemon, but I'm not sure.

he probably doesn't care about BBB, check on him anyway to see. they may have not intentionally sold you a lemon but the work their mechanic did caused the issue, not you driving it.

I do have a buddy that's savvy who said he'd help me swap the engine myself, but I don't know how long it would take to find a halfway decent one. Here in Salt Lake a totaled Tacoma with a good engine sells like a hot cake, so it would be expensive anyway. I'm at a loss right now, and any advice you guys have would be much appreciated.

If you go this route buy two cases of beer and wings (plus the engine of course)
sorry about italics
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:26 PM   #12
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Is the "dealer" a Toyota dealer or a buy here-pay here dealer? If the latter, you're probably screwed. Sorry.
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