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Momentary Sputtering 3RZ

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by TacoRojo, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Mar 18, 2015 at 7:46 PM
    #1
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Hello fellow Tacoma owners,

    I have a 2000 Single Cab with 5 speed and 3RZ. As of about two weeks ago, my truck will start and run as if its only working on 2 or 3 cylinders for a few seconds, then it cleans up and runs like a champ as usual. Sometimes the sputtering is only 2-3 seconds, sometimes it goes away quicker if I gently rev it to 1800 ish and let off, sometimes it takes more like 4-5 seconds. Again, once it "clears itself" of whatever problem exists, it runs like it always does. It's only on startup. Also, It seems to do it most often when the truck has been sitting overnight or at work for several hours. However; today i parked for maybe 15 minutes and it had this issue right away and I noticed a cloud of smoke out the back (could not decipher the color of the smoke as it was sunset), it has only done that this one time.

    I recently put a tank of premium in it and had a Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler installed. Other than that I haven't changed anything. I thought bad gas, but why only have the issue on startup. I have also run a full tank and a half since the truck started doing this. I plan to change the fuel filter and do plugs in the next few weeks but felt like this was an odd issue. Any thoughts or things to consider?
     
  2. Mar 18, 2015 at 8:20 PM
    #2
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    Could be any number of things. I'd start by checking the air filter first thing in the morning. Looks good-cool, bad-change it. Then get a new set of plugs in. $20 maybe for some piece of mind. Still got issues? Then dig deeper.
     
  3. Mar 18, 2015 at 9:13 PM
    #3
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler dumped before the axle, Hankook Dynapro AT/M 31 x 10.50 R15, Planet Audio 4 Channel amp Alpine Bluetooth Receiver and Bazooka 8" bass tube behind drivers seat, 35% tint all the way around with sun strip on the windshield.
    Thanks Brake_Weight. I'll check it first thing tomorrow. Any recommendation on type of plug? I've read good about NGK. I'd like to get the best ones I can since I don't plan on changing them for a long time and I doubt these have ever been changed by PO's.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2015 at 4:18 AM
    #4
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    I don't remember. I always get the parts guy to look them up and I usually get the ones under the most expensive ones. Plugs are a consumable item. They need to be routinely replaced along with filters.
     
  5. Mar 19, 2015 at 7:31 AM
    #5
    tan4x4

    tan4x4 Well-Known Member

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    A good tuneup is a good place to start, since it likely is over-due anyway.
    Always use NGK or Denso plugs for any Toyota. Nothing else.
    Get some MAF cleaner, and clean it.
    New air filter, PCV valve.

    Is your CEL on?
    Just guessing here, but you could have a couple of dirty injectors.
     
  6. Mar 19, 2015 at 10:54 AM
    #6
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Thanks tan4x4, I've thought about cleaning the MAF a lot since this seems to be a startup only issue. Plugs are a necessity. I plan to go NGK. Any good threads on the MAF cleaning? I know it's pretty straight forward but wouldn't mind a reference.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2015 at 11:39 AM
    #7
    pray4surf

    pray4surf Well-Known Member

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    look at the plugs when you pull them. Their condition will tell you a lot, If any are 'wet', you'll need to determine if it is fuel, coolant or oil...

    I have an 02 that had a miss upon startup, would run rough for a few minutes then start smoothing out. Turned out to be coolant and had a very small head crack that when cool would allow coolant to seep into the cylinder, once it warmed up, the crack would 'seal', the fuel and contaminants would be exhausted and the plug would start firing when the air/fuel ratio returned to normal...

    Obviously, if the contaminate is fuel, suspect the injector...

    Good luck
     
  8. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:37 PM
    #8
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler dumped before the axle, Hankook Dynapro AT/M 31 x 10.50 R15, Planet Audio 4 Channel amp Alpine Bluetooth Receiver and Bazooka 8" bass tube behind drivers seat, 35% tint all the way around with sun strip on the windshield.
    Ok guys, sorry for the delay. Since the last reply I replaced the air filter. I don't know why I didn't do that sooner, it was FILTHY. Truck started and ran like a champ. (Not sure if that's due to the air filter thought as the symptoms I'm having are inconsistent in frequency.)

    Changed my oil as it was about time. Full-Syn and Bosch filter.

    Topped off my coolant, it was low again.

    I also pulled the #1 and #4 plugs to check them. I didn't have time to pull the other ones. I just had 15 minutes one afternoon and thought about pulling them. It has NGK Iridium XR pulgs and they look brand new, no build up, no oil, no signs of burning. So I put them back in since those are expensive plugs and seemed to be fine. I want to pull all of them this weekend and do a side-by-side comparison.

    As an update, I have had LESS of the missing/sputtering issue on startup than usual and when it does this it's not quite as bad. HOWEVER, my truck put out a good amount of white smoke this morning when I started it. I started our Camry next to it to see if it was just from cold air (it's around 40-50 here lately) but the Camry even on a cold start barely put out any smoke and my Tacoma was pumping out white smoke like crazy. It was only for about a minute or so. It did the same thing to me later today after sitting. No misfire or sputter on startup but white smoke to the end of the street, then it cleaned up. What is the likelihood that I have a bad head gasket or a crack like pray4surf mentioned?
     
  9. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:47 PM
    #9
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler dumped before the axle, Hankook Dynapro AT/M 31 x 10.50 R15, Planet Audio 4 Channel amp Alpine Bluetooth Receiver and Bazooka 8" bass tube behind drivers seat, 35% tint all the way around with sun strip on the windshield.
    What would the plugs look like if coolant was the suspected cause? Should I pull them after a brief startup or after sitting over night?

    When you had to deal with your 02' did you have to replace the head? I'm wondering if there is any way this could be happening besides a bad head gasket or a small crack in the head itself. I'm not a professional mechanic but it seems odd that this would happen on a 3RZ. Why such quick symptoms. It's like it started happening one day after it had never done it.
     
  10. Mar 24, 2015 at 7:52 PM
    #10
    Stephen1231

    Stephen1231 Well-Known Member

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    Engine freshly rebuilt due to blown head gasket, built my own CAI, EGR delete from LCEngineering, Billstein 5125's in the back with GM leafs, I can't stand paying for something that I can make in my garage so I built my own spacers for the front and tweaked them for 3" of lift.
    I just went through the same problems. I did everything I could as far as a full tune up goes. It cleared up just slightly then 2 weeks later my head gasket blew. From what I gathered when I tore it down is that was the problem the whole time because of where the gasket blew and the way the head was pitted around the #1 cylinder that it just finally worked its way out. I hope im wrong about yours, but I had all the same symptoms as you are having.
     
  11. Mar 24, 2015 at 8:12 PM
    #11
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler dumped before the axle, Hankook Dynapro AT/M 31 x 10.50 R15, Planet Audio 4 Channel amp Alpine Bluetooth Receiver and Bazooka 8" bass tube behind drivers seat, 35% tint all the way around with sun strip on the windshield.
    So did you have to replace the head as well or just the gasket? I plan to do the labor myself since I can't afford a shop. What did you replace and what was cost of parts/machining? I'm pretty sure I have a head or head gasket issue. I don't leak coolant but I seem to get low on it more often than I should, as in every week.
     
  12. Mar 24, 2015 at 9:21 PM
    #12
    Stephen1231

    Stephen1231 Well-Known Member

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    Engine freshly rebuilt due to blown head gasket, built my own CAI, EGR delete from LCEngineering, Billstein 5125's in the back with GM leafs, I can't stand paying for something that I can make in my garage so I built my own spacers for the front and tweaked them for 3" of lift.
    I did not have to replace the head, as far as parts I bought the fel-pro head gasket kit Part No. HS 9465 PT-3 $158.99, which comes with every gasket that is for every part you have to take off, also replace your head bolts, they are torque to yield which means they stretch when you torque them down, I used felpro head bolts also. I sent my head to carquest for machining which they performed a pressure test on the valves, valve seats and seals, mine passed the test so I didn't have to have a full overhaul on the head. The cost of resurfacing and test was only $95. I broke my timing chain tensioner putting it back on so I had no choice but to replace it. Went ahead and replaced the pcv valve, and deleted the egr valve and pipe, spark plugs and wires, and all fluids. I purchased all my parts except the egr delete kit from Advance Auto Parts, they have a coupon code TRT30 that saves you 30% maximum $50 per order, so I broke it down into different orders so I saved tons of money. You have to order online and pick up in store, or have it shipped which saves you sales tax. I'm not a mechanic but have a great mentality of if I take it apart I can put it back together lol and a mechanical engineering degree. Buy a Haynes manual it has step by step sequences on how to unbolt cams, head and reverse sequence to put back together. Follow them closely because if you just go and start pulling bolts it will warp the shit out of your cams and head. If you have the extra money go ahead and replace timing gears, chain guides and tensioner, include the water pump and whatever else you can think of or feel needs to bee replaced. Good luck, its very time consuming and frustrating but take your time and it will be like new again.
     
  13. Mar 24, 2015 at 9:27 PM
    #13
    Stephen1231

    Stephen1231 Well-Known Member

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    Oh and after all said and done with everything I had around $700 in the repair.
     
  14. Mar 24, 2015 at 10:06 PM
    #14
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    You said you topped off the coolant again?
     
  15. Mar 24, 2015 at 11:12 PM
    #15
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Yes I did. The truck started overheating last week so I pulled over and added about a gallon of coolant. It has become low before but I usually add every few months to the reserve tank and it never gets dry. That was last Monday, after that I just added this past Saturday and the reserve tank was empty.
     
  16. Mar 25, 2015 at 5:27 AM
    #16
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    If there's not a visible leak, that's your problem. Head gasket or the like.
     
  17. Mar 25, 2015 at 9:11 AM
    #17
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    Over a short time, a plugged air filter can cause the head gasket to blow. That clean cold air flow helps in more ways than one.

    Kinda like trying to sip a delicious triple thick milkshake thru a single mini espresso straw. It's hard work and will have most sweating by the time you get to the bottom.

    It reads like a blown head gasket,,but do the proper tests and checks listed on this site before you toss money.
     
  18. Mar 25, 2015 at 9:20 AM
    #18
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    would the tests your talking about be in the FAQ? Are you talking about a compression/ leakdown test? I can't understand why sometimes it blows white smoke for a minute and other times doesn't blow any smoke and it doesn't have any misfire and seems to start and run like new.
     
  19. Mar 25, 2015 at 10:57 PM
    #19
    Mod

    Mod Well-Known Member

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    Yup, a leakdown test. It runs good so the compression should be fine.

    A radiator pressure tester is the default tool for most on the outside of the system,,the leakdown for the inside. The motor needs to be warm or the thermostat needs/should to be removed for the rad tester. Hot spark plugs need to be yanked quickly, coils unplugged also because you will bump the motor over after adding pressure to look for water spewing/ spraying out the spark plug hole when it cranks. We don't want to possibly hydrolock the motor with the plugs in place.

    You overheated it,,so you should place a new thermostat back in. I would,,but I'm nutty like that.

    Reading the plugs like folks posted above is the first step because it's the easiest.

    Process of elimination and check off's and they do take some time,,so set that aside and read up on the small print of testing for a blown gasket.

    I am sick as a dog,,so someone look this over and see if I missed something.
     
  20. Mar 26, 2015 at 4:20 PM
    #20
    TacoRojo

    TacoRojo [OP] Member

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    Magnaflow 11255 18" muffler dumped before the axle, Hankook Dynapro AT/M 31 x 10.50 R15, Planet Audio 4 Channel amp Alpine Bluetooth Receiver and Bazooka 8" bass tube behind drivers seat, 35% tint all the way around with sun strip on the windshield.
    Thanks Mod, sorry to hear you're sick. There's nothing more frustrating than not having you're health. I'll do some digging on here to see what is recommended to test for a blown gasket (besides leakdown and plug checking). I'll check out other forums too. I appreciate the advice. Saturday I'll pull the plugs (all of them) and look for coolant. I'll bump it too and have somebody watch for coolant spray. I started it this morning and had a nice cloud of smoke for a few minutes. Seems to be getting worse. It didn't smoke at startup, but after about 30 seconds to a minute she started looking like an old locomotive. Smoke smells sweet and burnt, I'm assuming coolant but will keep testing. Until then I'm trying to avoid driving it as much as possible.

    If anyone has any suggestions for tests they are more than welcome. I appreciate all of the advice, suggestions and info.
     

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