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Hello, the engine on my 04 4runner is blown and I need advice on what to do next. Please read.

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by majora3000, Aug 13, 2023.

  1. Aug 13, 2023 at 8:36 PM
    #1
    majora3000

    majora3000 [OP] New Member

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    So I made a post about a month ago but now that I have more info I wanted to make another post to see if I can get some more advice.

    My situation: Last month my 4WD 2004 4runner V6's head gasket blew up and I had multiple mechanics including personal friends of mine tell me that the engine is probably done for due to water getting into the long block, so I need to replace the engine (4.0 L V6 1GRFE). The 4runner has 205,000 miles on it and is in otherwise great mechanical condition with no rust on the frame, a solid transmission, and only some minor instrument panel light issues. It is also worth it to note that I love the car. I have $9000 to spend and still don't know what my best next move is. I'm no car guy and can't do any repairs myself, but a family friend who's replaced several engines and worked on cars his whole life said he'd replace the engine for $2000 in labor, which is way cheaper than any of the quotes I got from local mechanics. The way I see it, I have the following options:

    Option 1: Replace with a low mileage used engine.
    The total cost to do this would be $7000-$8000 based on the prices for used engines I've seen. However, I don't like the riskiness of this option for 2 reasons: I don't trust any of these junkyards or used engine websites as far as I can throw them and the warranty protocols on these engines are so stringent that they can void the warranty over pretty much anything with plausible deniability. I'm also worried about the head gasket blowing again since apparently the 04 4runner V6 engines are known for having head gasket issues.

    Option 2: Replace with a remanufactured engine.
    The total cost to do this would be $8000 - $9000. I found a company called Go-Powertrain that sells my engine remanufactured and it has very good reviews and the best warranty I've seen on any of the reman websites I've looked at. My issue however is that they use a combination of OEM parts combined with "OEM grade" high quality aftermarket parts, and I've heard a lot of people say that the wouldn't trust an engine that isn't made with 100% OEM parts. I was thinking of calling them and asking for a list of all of the aftermarket brands used in my specific engine so I could research them, but I'm wondering if doing that is even worth my time or if I should have an "OEM or nothing" attitude about it. If that's the case, than a used engine might be even better because it's 100% OEM.

    Option 3: Pay a mechanic shop to replace with a low mileage used engine.
    This option is safer since I don't have to worry about voiding warranties and mechanic shops have access to low mileage used engines that I don't. However, the obvious downside is the downright ridiculous cost to do this, as I was only able to talk down the mechanic at the Toyota dealership to $10,000 for a used engine with 50,000 miles on it. I was also thinking that I might be able to leverage a lower offer from another mechanic shop, but I still am concerned about my year 4runner's engine head gasket issues.

    Option 4: Sell the 4runner and save up for an 05-09 4runner or another reliable 4WD Toyota.
    I obviously dislike this option due to my love for my car and the fact that I'd be taking a bath on the car for about $15,000. However, I checked online and I could probably sell my 4runner for between $1000-$2000 to an online junkyard vendor, giving me $10,000-$11,000 towards a newer 4th gen 4runner on craigslist, as I would avoid 03-04 due to the head gasket issue. 05-09 4runners usually cost about $11,000 - $15,000 in my area, meaning I'd be going a fairly long period of time without a car. Not to mention, if I go with this option, there's a chance that the new car I get will have issues that my current car doesn't. At least with my current car I'm almost 100% certain that it will last to 300,000 miles with only basic wear and tear expenses, as my family owns 4runners and I've seen them go to well over 300,000 miles.

    And that's pretty much it. I know that was a lot of info, but I've been trying to rack my brain trying to figure out what the best option is and could really use some advice. What option should I choose? Is there another way I could go? Any advice is much appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. Aug 14, 2023 at 2:28 PM
    #2
    AuSeeker

    AuSeeker Old As Dirt

    Joined:
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    South Carolina
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    There's a guy on the other 4runner forum that earlier this year bought a brand new V6 short block from the dealer and put his heads on it, he got the short block for much less than you would think and it BRAND NEW!!

    Check with your local Toyota dealer for a price and have your mechanic pull your engine, pull the heads have them machined and redo the valves at a machine shop and install them on the new short block and you will have a brand new OEM engine for less than doing a remanufactured engine!!

    Edit: Here's a link, for the short block, you might want to give them your VIN number to make sure which of the 2 V6 engine/short block is for your T4R...BUT they list these blocks by production dates i.e. "build date", you can find your build date on the Vin sticker on the driver's door jab, but $4013 for the short black, scroll down about 1/2 way down the page until you see the engine blocks, 2 for the V6 (1GRFE) and 2 for the V8 (2UZFE), you can try shopping around to see if you can find a better price, then see if your local Toyota dealer will price match.

    https://www.toyotapartsdeal.com/parts-list/2004-toyota-4runner/engine_fuel_tool/cylinder_block.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2023
    xtremewlr and RumHamRunner73 like this.
  3. Sep 8, 2023 at 8:50 AM
    #3
    Libagui

    Libagui New Member

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    The main problem here is that you are not a DIY, and this kind of repairs can go down the road very quick.
    There is a good market for used 2010 4runners in the range on 12k to 15k. Take that money and give yourself and upgrade.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2023 at 12:07 PM
    #4
    statsman4

    statsman4 New Member

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    First Name:
    Mike
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    2004 4Runner SR5, 2006 4Runner SR5
    I am curious as to where you ended up here. I have the same year and model vehicle. I am considering letting it go as there is a significant amount of work needed to get it running. The work is related to brake lines, calipers, rotors, pads, control arms, tires, and wheels. Everything else is fine and the motor runs well. Let me know if you are still pursuing an engine replacement and have an interest in taking on a parts car.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2024 at 10:42 AM
    #5
    MTahoe

    MTahoe New Member

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    Any update on this thread? My '04 with 323k is loosing fluid (head gasket passengers side) and I am wanting to keep it due to the mods already on the 4run. Cost of a remanufactured motor with install is high but the bigger problem I am seeing is that all the business' have a poor track record on their motors. There is no hurry this is a spare that gets driven off road and in mountain snows. Thx
     
  6. Jul 9, 2024 at 11:06 AM
    #6
    gkomo

    gkomo New Member

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    San Diego, CA
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    2014 Tacoma AC 4x4
    It seems like most Toyota engines are just a remove and replace, are they not repairable or something? I had a SBF 302 bored out to a 331, completely rebuilt using high quality after market parts with labor was like $5,500. I can’t imagine just a head gasket job being crazy, or am I crazy?
     
  7. Jul 9, 2024 at 6:39 PM
    #7
    icebear

    icebear Recovering Kia Owner

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    2021 Toyota 4Runner SR5
    I’m not too familiar with the specifics of your vehicle but why not just do the head gasket?
     

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