I just got a 97 4Runner with a 4Banger that has some problems and needs some work. I got it from my brother, so he has his take on it. The biggest thing is it looks like it needs the head gasket replaced. It leaks oil in the back and coolant seems to foul one of the spark plugs. He's got a check engine light, checked the code for it, and reset the check eng light. I think he said all he did otherwise was clean the offending cylinder's spark plug. He suspects the problem started after it was in a shop to adjust the valves.
Questions: Any thoughts on the head gasket problem? Is it common? Any better head gasket? How difficult of a job is it to change the head gasket? Autozone's online manual says the valve timing needs to be triple-checked, the distributor is removed, and the cams have to be removed and timed properly. Is this all pretty straightforward for a decent DIY mechanic?
The exhaust manifold is cracked and I'm thinking I'll replace it at the same time. My brother suspects the holes in the heat shield helped it crack. I saw a Dorman exh man available through Autozone.
Questions: Any thoughts on them cracking? Better replacement?
That's it for now.