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Valve cover gasket - TransCooler Leak - Etc...

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Bert96, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Jul 20, 2011 at 6:44 AM
    #1
    Bert96

    Bert96 [OP] Member

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    To repair or let it go.

    Well maintained 1996 Taco V6 4x4. 186,000mi. Looking at a valve cover gasket leak, trans cooler line leaking, and trans (bank?) gasket. That's to start; might also have a Oil pan leak and a rear main seal. Would be about $3500 (please don't debate the cost).

    I could start with the first 3 leaks for about $1300. But if that doesn't fix it, it would be another 2K.

    So the question is, do I degrease the sh*t out of it and sell it off. I love my truck and it would be difficult to see it go. I'm just VEXED. Thanks for listening and any advise would be appreciated.
     
  2. Jul 20, 2011 at 6:52 AM
    #2
    hillbillynwv

    hillbillynwv Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost positive the screws on your valve covers are not even finger tight. The 3.4L V6's are known for this, just snug them up. The valve cover top bolts on the drivers side are almost impossible to get to unless you take off the fuel injection plentum(sp?). But, it's usually just the bottom bolts that are loose.
     
  3. Jul 20, 2011 at 6:59 AM
    #3
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I would spent $100 on parts and do it myself, but yeah you can degrease and try selling it but v6 slow is not that quite desirable plus most likely somebody who is buying that old truck knows a lot about them so he/she is going to figure out in 5 minutes you have leaks. IMO
     
  4. Jul 20, 2011 at 7:07 AM
    #4
    Bert96

    Bert96 [OP] Member

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    I hear ya BlueT,wish I did, but no resources available for DIY. Not going to try to get over on anyone, It's just a gamble to keep it. Thanks
     
  5. Jul 20, 2011 at 8:05 AM
    #5
    bicklebok

    bicklebok Well-Known Member

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    Man, keep the truck! Lots of miles left in her if you take care of it.

    As mentioned, tighten the valve cover gaskets. Takes about 5 minutes and easy to do. I just bought mine with leaky valve cover gaskets(Seller did the degrease trick but I caught it) and the next day after I drove it home I tightened them up and no more leaks.

    You can also check the oil pan and make sure those bolts are snug.

    As far as the rear main seal, verify it's leaking before jumping to any conclusions. It would be worth having that fixed too at some point. No reason to dump the truck for that.

    Unless you have abused that truck, there are a lot of miles left in her with some TLC.
     
  6. Jul 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM
    #6
    Bert96

    Bert96 [OP] Member

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    Thank you. I had the trans coolant line replaced. I will inspect and tighten where needed. Not abused and always felt it had plenty more life left. This is why I joined this forum, to get specific, honist advice. Thank you.
     
  7. Jul 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM
    #7
    bicklebok

    bicklebok Well-Known Member

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    I dont know what the torque specs are, but you only need to snug them up. Dont try to rare down on them.

    There are lots of other things you can do to it that are cheap and easy and will prolong the life of your truck. Let us know when you are ready, and we will give you some ideas and tips on how to do it.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM
    #8
    boshak

    boshak Well-Known Member

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    guys... need some more advice on this. I'm new to wrenching so please be clear.

    dealer says I've got a valve cover gasket leak. I can retorque bolts but for my understanding... where do I look for leaks exactly so I can make sure the problem is fixed.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM
    #9
    PhdNPrerunners

    PhdNPrerunners Well-Known Member

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    I am in the same boat. Does anyone know what the torque specs are on the bolts?
     
  10. Feb 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM
    #10
    PhdNPrerunners

    PhdNPrerunners Well-Known Member

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    Anyone? I would like to try this on mine before I drop 400 to have it done somewhere else
     
  11. Feb 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM
    #11
    alberto_seattle

    alberto_seattle Member

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    Hi there! I have a valve cover gasket leak, and I would like to make sure the bolts are tight before replacing it. I am pretty broke at the moment so I would like to do it my self.. any tips on where to look? are those bolts accessible or do I need to remove some covers? I got this diagnose from the oil change shop. I have a 2.7 4 cyl 2006 tacoma. Thanks for helping me guys! you are the best!
     
  12. Feb 21, 2012 at 6:37 PM
    #12
    boshak

    boshak Well-Known Member

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  13. Dec 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM
    #13
    WiscTaco

    WiscTaco Well-Known Member

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    Nice vid. Thanks for taking the time. It gives me a little bit more confidence when I go to tackle this project on my truck.

    So my understanding is that when replacing valve cover gaskets you don't have to replace the spark plug boot seals. Or is it worth the cost vs. likelihood of failure?
     
  14. Dec 9, 2012 at 10:24 PM
    #14
    MapleMoose

    MapleMoose Drunk Canadian

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    Theres no sense in NOT doing it. You have the valve cover open and access to them, it would take 2min to change them.
     
  15. Dec 10, 2012 at 12:41 AM
    #15
    boshak

    boshak Well-Known Member

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    X2. Other things worth considering replacement... Valve cover washers, pcv valve and grommet, plenum gaskets (top and bottom, throttle body gasket, half moons... I forget the technical name but they are the oil plugs in the front and rear. Sometimes that's where the leak is truly coming from.
     
  16. Dec 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM
    #16
    thatSchusterguy

    thatSchusterguy Common Sense Ninja

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    I bought new gaskets because mine have been leaking for about a year. Dealer wrote a $550 estimate to fix them when I had my frame coated. I bought the parts for ~$40 and was all ready to do it, but it turns out that they were not even finger tight. Took a couple minutes to crank down on em again but it appears to have solved my problem.

    Also the leaking valve covers dripped down and made it look like my rear main was leaking, not the case at all so be careful if a mechanic tells you to replace that without making sure it's the issue.

    IMHO if you have a problem checking the 6 (8?) bolts holding a valve cover on every 6 months you should probably rethink the part where you drive a higher mileage vehicle.
     
  17. Dec 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM
    #17
    MapleMoose

    MapleMoose Drunk Canadian

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    You're not suppose to tighten them too much. They should be half a turn over hand tight or you could crush/crack the aluminum.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM
    #18
    thatSchusterguy

    thatSchusterguy Common Sense Ninja

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    I use a carefully calibrated pucker factor when tightening bolts like these. Same as a spark plug just enough to snug them down without screwing up any aluminum threads.
     
  19. Dec 11, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    #19
    Hillingdoner

    Hillingdoner Well-Known Member

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    Haynes has the V6 valve cover at 53 INCH pounds.

    I'd check the tightness of the vc bolts and then get some good engine cleaner at the autostore and clean the engine and transmission really well. Once clean you should be able to spot any leaks you might be getting and where they really are coming from. On stubborn hard to reach areas I've used brake clean also before. Not sure if it would do anything, but I'm always sure not to get it on the paint though!

    I always change the PCV valve also. If stuck can contribute to leaks on the engine.

    Also vote to keep the truck. The things you list are not super issues, just general leaks. It's not like you have a rod sticking out of the pan or something. Just keep an eye on the oil level and top up as needed and fix when money or ablity comes around. Also, unless you have the cash to buy a new vehicle with warranty, then you would end up buying used and just be potentially buying someone elses passed on vehicle problems.

    Leaks sounds like general higher mileage standard old leaks. High cost to fix quoted is because the quote would include pulling the transmission to changed the rear main (which as pointed out above, may not actually be leaking) and probably dropping the front diff.
     
  20. Dec 11, 2012 at 4:24 PM
    #20
    TallTacoma

    TallTacoma Bear fvcker!

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    Read this post, went out to the truck, and sure as sh*t the valve cover bolts were loose. Thanks guys.
     
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