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My $6000 Mistake - Never Drive Overheated

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by RandyO, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:10 PM
    #1
    RandyO

    RandyO [OP] Member

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    My 2005 PreRunner is my main ride - 160,000 trouble free mostly highway miles. 2 weeks ago I was returning home from work late at night and after a couple of miles I noticed my heater wasn't warming up. I pulled over about a mile later at a deserted parking lot and looked under the hood to see what I could see. I didn't see any evidence of any leaks, and I "thought" I saw some coolant moving when I jiggled the reservoir. Anyway - I closed it up, got back in, and fired it up. After a couple of minutes the check engine light is on and I'm showing evidence of overheating -temp gauge rising. I still had 20 miles to home and it was after midnight. I turned the heater on full blast and moved down the road - figuring in my ignorance it might be a thermostat issue. I pulled over in another parking lot about 5 miles later and let it sit for a while. Fired it up again and got on the highway. Temp was a little lower but still a lot hotter than normal. I made it home and the next morning drove it down the road to a Firestone dealer where I'd always received good service. No overheating during the short drive to Firestone. They did a diagnostic and said along with running out of coolant due to a leaking reservoir, I was showing a misfire in #6. They replaced the entire radiator cowl/reservoir assembly, changed plugs, changed out #6 coil, and said I was good to go. Turns out "not quite" though, as the next morning when I fire it up and start to drive it's misfiring badly until it warms up. This persisted and I took it back a couple of days later. They did another diagnostic followed by a compression check and told me I had exhaust getting into the intake on #6 and the most likely cause was either a blown head gasket or a small crack in the head. They don't do major work so they recommended a take it to the dealer. It's too late to make a long story short - but basically the dealer confirmed the diagnosis. After hearing the options:

    1) $3700+ to pull head - test it - machine it if usable - reinstall with gasket. Best case scenario if I am "lucky"

    2) $5000+ if above reveals a cracked head needing replacement and nothing else shows up.

    3) $6000 - replace with a relatively low mileage 2005 Taco used engine.

    I opted for option 3. Sux to spend $6000 but the truck was in great condition, new tires, just had its first brake job, so I'm keeping it.

    Let this be a warning to anyone who thinks they can make it home on an overheating engine. I feel like an idiot. I should've remembered Red Dawn and just stopped and pissed in the radiator.
     
  2. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #2
    AK27

    AK27 Well-Known Member

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    damn! sorry to hear that
     
  3. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:16 PM
    #3
    surfsupl

    surfsupl Well-Known Member

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    "I should've remembered Red Dawn and just stopped and pissed in the radiator."

    Or just have called someone.
     
  4. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:18 PM
    #4
    paintdiddy

    paintdiddy Machine gun shits

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    nj and not from "the jersey shore"
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    Welcome to tw.that sucks about your truck
     
  5. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    #5
    surfsupl

    surfsupl Well-Known Member

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    I DONT CARE IF IT'S A RE-POST
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    X1 Besides,your 1st post is suppose to be more positive :rolleyes: Good luck with your truck.
     
  6. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:32 PM
    #6
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    Find another mechanic. That is way too expensive to have to have a head gasket replaced, even with machine work.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:34 PM
    #7
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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  8. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:45 PM
    #8
    RandyO

    RandyO [OP] Member

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    I've seen the "under 3 grand" engines and that's gonna be the source but you still have the labor of removing the old and installing the new.
     
  9. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:46 PM
    #9
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    That labor does not cost 3 grand. The dealership is ripping you off.
     
  10. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:53 PM
    #10
    RandyO

    RandyO [OP] Member

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    Plus the time spent rediagnosing what the Firestone store diagnosed, along with dealership rates - not to mention the increased cost of labor/employees/doing business out here in the PRK. Yeah - I might save shopping around, but I'm tired, ringing up rental car $$, and just want to get this mistake behind me.
     
  11. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:56 PM
    #11
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    It's your money Randy. Just trying to help you save a whole bunch of it. Good luck.
     
  12. Dec 31, 2010 at 8:04 PM
    #12
    MotoXdoer

    MotoXdoer taco?

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    k&n cai 63 series intake, blacked out headlights, blacked out tailights, magnaflow pro offroad 17115 dumped, URD competetion y-pipe, total chaos 3.5" long travel, fox 2.5x8" remote resevoir shocks, allied 4" spindles, toytec 2" AAL, 20% tint up front and 5% rear, satoshi grille, ddm 50w 6000k hid's. wet okole custom trd seat covers with heaters. 4:56 nitro gears with arb rd129 air locker, arb ckmta12 dual air compressor.
    time for diesel swap or i force 4.7l
     
  13. Dec 31, 2010 at 8:08 PM
    #13
    dirtfondler

    dirtfondler Well-Known Member

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    As of just a day ago there was a used 2nd gen Tacoma engine on Craigslist in the bay area. I dont remember if there was a price in the ad, but you should be able to buy a good used engine for about 1500. You can also shop www.car-part.com to get competitive pricing on engines. I have also bought used Japanese engines from importers and can point you to more than one trustworthy seller.

    I also agree with above, it shouldn't cost $3k to swap engines. It also shouldn't cost $3700 to replace a head gasket, even if it needs a valve job. Last time I pulled the head myself and paid 3 or 400 for the valve job. Might cost a little more if they need to surface it.

    I've used some good shops in this area to do work on my race engines if you want to re-think your options. Shoot me a PM for details.

    EDIT:
    Here's the CL ad:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/pts/2131751542.html
     
  14. Dec 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM
    #14
    907taco

    907taco Alaskan Assassin

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    dam that sucks dude, listen to your taco brothers trying to help you out, a buck saved is a buck saved.... i get pissed if don't buy anything on sale. I work to hard for my money and im sure you do to.. go the obviously cheaper route and use the money saved on mods, and don't forget to buy a beer for people trying to help you save you money. :D
     
  15. Dec 31, 2010 at 8:41 PM
    #15
    Fluffymonkey

    Fluffymonkey Token

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    Yikes, sorry to hear that!
     
  16. Jan 1, 2011 at 6:11 AM
    #16
    fjm0008

    fjm0008 Well-Known Member

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    Randy, do you want to put this mistake behind you for 3K or 6K? The head gasket is 6.0 hours, 480. Used engine is 1500. + 12 hours @ 80. 2460. You will be more tired later working off the 3K that you wasted. Find a better mechanic and stay away from the chain stores and dealers. Good luck.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2011 at 9:58 AM
    #17
    jcayce

    jcayce Well-Known Member

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    Someone here replaced the engine in their Tacoma and documented it...might be time to learn a new skill. I've rebuilt carbs, replaced cams, relined cast iron piston sleeves in diesel engines...had my fair share of tinkering around in the garage. Whomever replaced their engine here made it look like putting legos together. Let me do a quick search.
     
  18. Jan 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    #18
    jcayce

    jcayce Well-Known Member

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  19. Jan 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM
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    dirtfondler

    dirtfondler Well-Known Member

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    It really isnt much more difficult than that. On modern vehicles, they usually make all electrical connectors different so it is almost impossible to plug something in wrong, there are only a very few vacuum hoses, and really just a few bolts when it comes down to it. Replacing the engine yourself is actually easier than replacing a head gasket (not that I would consider the head gasket THAT difficult). Get good documentation and follow it slowly and carefully. I think you would be surprised at what you can accomplish yourself.

    BTW, if you want to have a go yourself, I'll even donate my cherry picker at no charge.

    You may also want to consider selling it in the current state before paying $6k to fix it. There are a LOT of people who troll CL looking for this exact thing so you will get a lot more than the book value minus $6k.
     
  20. Jan 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM
    #20
    Gadget@URD

    Gadget@URD Well-Known Member Vendor

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    I would just swap in a good used engine and not worry about fixing yours.

    It does not say what engine you have, but you can get 1GR engines for around $1500 these days.

    G
     
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