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Tough to start when cold...'97 tacoma, 3RZ-FE

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Old 07-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #1
ngrysen713 [OP] ngrysen713 is offline
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Tough to start when cold...'97 tacoma, 3RZ-FE

I'll just start off by saying that I did a head gasket replacement, had the head milled, etc. etc., and put it back together. The first attempt took some cranking, but eventually it turned over, but would not stay running. Giving it a little bit of gas eventually gets the motor to stay idle around 750-1250 rpms. Once it's running, it stays that way and is drivable with no problem. Since that initial starting and running since, not much has changed. The range of difficulty starting the truck coincides with the last time the vehicle was running. When cold, it cranks and eventually takes after about 5 seconds, but doesn't stay running. Trying again, and again, it eventually gets running and stays idle with some initial help from the gas peddle.

What could the problem be? I had a couple friends that are quite a bit more mechanically inclined that helped me from the start to the end. It almost seems that it just isn't getting enough gas at start up? Once the truck starts, it runs great! Seems to idle fine, again sticking mostly around 1,000 rpms, no lower than 750. I drive it down the road and it doesn't hiccup or anything...problems with the injectors perhaps, or do you think the timing could be off a notch? When I have run the engine, and start it up 5 minutes later, it starts up no problem! It gets harder and harder to start depending on the length of time since the last warm up.

Any help would be appreciated to a long-time Tacoma World "lurker"
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
ngrysen713 [OP] ngrysen713 is offline
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Okay. A little more information, if at all helpful to anyone willing to give me some ideas:

Since putting back together, I've had a CEL that always read that something is wrong with the coolant temp sensor. Does this add up? It's to my understand that there are two. I replaced one because it had cracked upon putting it back together. My temp gauge works great. Cold when cold, middle when warm and running. When putting it back together, it was bought up that the sensor that was replaced, the housing was cracked. Therefore, the temp sensor stays in, but is not clipped.

Again, any help appreciated. Sorry for the long read, just want to include everything I think would be applicable.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
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I bought a '97 Tacoma with the 3rz and mine had a cracked head too. I am having similar issues. I have some ideas but I wanted to ask you if you had yours fixed yet? And if so, what was the culprit?

Engines don't just crack heads for no reason, so I think the problem is the same one that blew the engine up in the first place, so I'm not driving it until I get it fixed.

On a side note, I replaced the rings as well.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
ngrysen713 [OP] ngrysen713 is offline
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Bad Gas...seriously

Well, the underlying problem to my issue was bad gas! I had bought the truck in Florida in...March, and didn't even make it out of the state! Trailered it home, and subsequently worked on the truck until the original post. I had run the entire tank of original gas through and put fresh gas in and the problems persists. The truck is still not 100%. Has a rough idle at 7500 rpm, but sits there nicely. Starts after a couple cranks though, have put about 3-4,000 since and not many changes...

The gas was about the last thing I thought of, but with a fuel filter change and the system flushed out, the problems stopped and the truck is now my daily driver.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:29 AM   #5
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I have already run a tank of gas through mine, and I put a new filter on it in the beginning. I have it down at a friend's shop now where I'm betting he'll find it needs a new TPS or MAF.

I used to build engines for a living and I'm always a bit miffed when I hear that the engine blew and when you ask why they say, because the head gasket went. It doesn't work that way. Something caused it to run poorly enough to be a problem. It sounds like maybe the plug in the fuel line was what might have caused your truck to run lean enough to get hot.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Actually, the radiator cracked and spewed coolant everywhere--pretty sure that was the cause for what I know..but you should have seen the inside of the engine when the valve cover was taken off: sludge. And a lot of it. It was as if the guy changed his oil only once every 15k. Hard to compare it to anything, but speaks to the importance of regularly changing oil once I saw the build-up in the engine.
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