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V6 Blown Head Gasket @ 166k: Is it worth the risk to repair?

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by Nickprovs, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Sep 2, 2018 at 10:50 AM
    #1
    Nickprovs

    Nickprovs [OP] New Member

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    Hey there,

    My 2005 4Runner is at 166k miles and the head gasket went. Misfire on cylinder 6. Had it looked at by several different mechanics. The mechanics I went to were too busy to do the job.

    The dealer looked at it and said I have a cracked radiator too. To do the HG and Rad would be $4000. They also told me there's a risk. If the engine is cracked... there's not much recourse and I would be out of pocket.

    Additionally, I have the infamous transmission shudder at lower rpm's... usually when going uphill. My independent mechanic was wary about changing my transmission fluid though... so I have yet to try that. It hasn't gotten any better or worse in the 40k miles it has been doing it.

    I'm a bit nervous to drop the cash. I have enough savings to put a size-able down-payment on a new car (around ~10k), but I HATE the idea of being in debt when I don't need to. And I do love my 4Runner.

    I'm just nervous that if the engine is cracked, I will be pouring money down the drain.

    What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  2. Sep 2, 2018 at 12:52 PM
    #2
    another-bill

    another-bill New Member

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    Find another used 4Runner. $10K will get you in a fairly nice used one.
     
  3. Sep 2, 2018 at 1:57 PM
    #3
    Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Get off my lawn

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    I repaired my 2005 truck at about 175k miles. It was worth it. The truck will get another 175k. Mine was heavily modified so I would have lost lots by just trading it on another one.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2018 at 4:57 PM
    #4
    Nickprovs

    Nickprovs [OP] New Member

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    How is it holding up? What are you at now?
     
  5. Sep 2, 2018 at 4:59 PM
    #5
    Nickprovs

    Nickprovs [OP] New Member

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    Hmmmm.. I'll consider that too. I think the years after 2005 are less susceptible to the HG issues so I'll keep an eye out.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2018 at 5:23 PM
    #6
    Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Get off my lawn

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    I sold the truck because I needed a 4Runner. The guy who bought it has continued to build it and is wheeling it in Colorado right now. Has to be 200k+ miles by now.
     
  7. Sep 2, 2018 at 5:27 PM
    #7
    another-bill

    another-bill New Member

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    If the motor and tranny are both bad, he, in my opinion, would be better off putting that much money in a newer used truck. My 05 V8 has 185K on it. I would think hard about it if it were me.
     
    YetiX likes this.
  8. Sep 2, 2018 at 6:06 PM
    #8
    ruiz4251

    ruiz4251 "but it was funny huh?"

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    the idea of having a crack in the engine is what troubles me. personally, I would get some dye and make sure it's not. if its not then I would move forward with the fix.
    as a second option I would consider get a hold of a parts truck.
    as for the trans vibration I would definitely change out the trans mount.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2018 at 8:41 AM
    #9
    xdelmar

    xdelmar New Member

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    I want to travel and camp and will do Mod's necessary to do this with a 4runner.
    Somewhere on 1 of these threads there was a link to used engines for the 4Runner. They were imported from Japan which has, IMO, ridiculous engine life cycles. But lucky for us.
    I don't think the link will be too hard to find, assuming ur using good search terms.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2018 at 8:47 AM
    #10
    xdelmar

    xdelmar New Member

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    I want to travel and camp and will do Mod's necessary to do this with a 4runner.
    Found the info. Here it is
    Hey just browsing around trying to find a good used engine and ran across these....

    JDM 5VZFE 3.4L Engine Toyota 4Runner Tacoma PickUp 5VZ-FE / 5VZ FE | eBay

    Japanese Engines / Transmissions 1-800-552-9889

    Just wondering if anyone has ever seen or heard of these?
    I called the craigs list ad and the lady told me that in japan they have a mileage tax that is really expensive and its cheaper to just buy a new vehicle. So they bring the motors over here to sell with incredible miles on them.. around 50,000 usually..

    navbits_start_6e48e58a1a1b7659b163a1f866fd12c1e1ef7e0e.gif > > navbits_finallink_ltr_41abbb671d810e40e1732df0ef8721c5df51512b.gif Japanese import engines?
     
  11. Sep 3, 2018 at 8:54 AM
    #11
    xdelmar

    xdelmar New Member

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    I want to travel and camp and will do Mod's necessary to do this with a 4runner.
  12. Sep 7, 2018 at 8:38 AM
    #12
    YetiX

    YetiX New Member

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    If it was just the head gasket, I'd say go for it. I had mine done at ~185k miles and am now at 210k and very happy. They updated the head gaskets in December of 2005 and I'm now confident my motor will easily go to 300k or more.

    However, if you're having transmission issues too . . . that may be more than I'd want to pay. For $10k, you could easily buy a 4Runner built Dec 2005 or later and have a solid vehicle.
     
    ruiz4251 likes this.
  13. Sep 7, 2018 at 12:33 PM
    #13
    BigSky1

    BigSky1 New Member

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    That's not many miles. How long have you had the vehicle, condition, history? If you buy something else even if it's 2005 or later you could be just buying something that has it's own set of issues. Just as much risk if not more depending on the details.
     
    jack bauer1 likes this.
  14. Sep 7, 2018 at 5:15 PM
    #14
    jack bauer1

    jack bauer1 New Member

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    I'd find a trustworthy mom and pop shop to give you a quote for the HG work and have them see what they think about the tranny and likelihood of a cracked motor from their experience. You rig doesn't have a ton a miles on it and if it hasn't been abused you should have many more good years with it. If getting it fixed doesn't end up making sense then look to buy something else. Look for a good deal on a left over new SR5. Will last you 10 years and more.....
     
  15. Sep 7, 2018 at 6:59 PM
    #15
    Chrispchicken9

    Chrispchicken9 New Member

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    Which motor is this? 4.0L ?
     
  16. Sep 25, 2018 at 5:40 PM
    #16
    Jbriggsnh

    Jbriggsnh New Member

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  17. Oct 22, 2018 at 6:12 AM
    #17
    gsteinke

    gsteinke New Member

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    https://www.autorecyclersnetwork.com

    This is a good site also to get a quote for an engine. I just invited the issue on my 04 4runner.... 230,000 miles. Modified, no rust, and loaded inside. the question to get a new one is out.... nothing can replace this beast. been on the beach along the east coast and in the snow mountains of West Virginia and never had troubles one time.... fix or replace is the answer for mine.... I'd rather spend $3500 on a new engine instead of $15,000 for a new runner.
     
  18. Oct 22, 2018 at 4:04 PM
    #18
    Haybale

    Haybale New Member

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    Dealing with this same issue. 05 4Runner bought for my teen son. Drives great. No trans trouble. Had engine lights on. Went to my trusted shop and they verified it was a bad head gasket. Cylinder 6....same as most of what I read. Waiting on the quote to fix or just replace engine. Worst part is...haven't had it but 2 weeks. Nice couple that swore it was tip top and no issues.....lied. They knew this..I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure.
     
  19. Oct 22, 2018 at 4:39 PM
    #19
    ruiz4251

    ruiz4251 "but it was funny huh?"

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    what goes around comes around. good luck for you sons sake.
     
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  20. Oct 22, 2018 at 4:56 PM
    #20
    gsteinke

    gsteinke New Member

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    Just got my quote for new head gasket and machining down the heads of my 04 runner 4.0 engine. $2200 and that includes replacing the timing chain which is the original.... 227,000 miles... I believe that is about $40,000 cheaper than a new one.
     
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  21. Oct 22, 2018 at 5:52 PM
    #21
    Haybale

    Haybale New Member

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    Very true....karma always wins
     
  22. Oct 24, 2018 at 3:55 PM
    #22
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    Personally if my 4 Runner was in good shape otherwise, or if I had a sentimental attachment to it, I’d fix it. The fix I’d choose wouldn’t be that hard, in fact I’ve done it, although not recently. Full disclosure: I’m driving a new 4 Runner and I’m glad that at this stage in my life I can afford to buy a new one whenever I need to. But I’d definitely swap out the engine and transmission from a wreck or wherever I could get a low mileage unit. Total swaps like this are easier than tear downs. Some of the better wrecking yards can do an install for you if it’s too challenging or if you don’t have tools or time. There are even good guys that will do this in your own garage that are Toyota mechanics, or otherwise competent. Be innovative. Life is a journey.
     
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  23. Oct 24, 2018 at 6:05 PM
    #23
    Haybale

    Haybale New Member

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    Decided to just fix it. Having the work done by a local trusted shop. Heads will be resurfaced, new head gaskets, valve job. Probably replacing manifolds while it's apart.
     
  24. Oct 24, 2018 at 6:20 PM
    #24
    ruiz4251

    ruiz4251 "but it was funny huh?"

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    might as well get ceramic header (bring a little life back) I mean...
     
  25. Oct 25, 2018 at 6:08 AM
    #25
    gsteinke

    gsteinke New Member

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    Yep, my runner is an 04. No Rust, frame still black, so it was a no brainer. I have headrest monitors for dvd player from my Alpine stereo, and with all the other extras there was no way I'd get any extra $ from trading it in. I'll run it till she falls apart. Took out the rea-shock system and put in high performance off road shocks and 3" lift just to set it apart from all the others. I get compliments all the time and folks wanting to buy it from me...... no way!!! This beast even pulled a box truck full of water bottles up a snow-covered hill out of the ditch, now that's something to be proud of.

    Not sure on the newer models, too many gadgets to deal with. I disassembled my VSC to I can play in the snow and brake like I want. Hard to replace something you've built and enjoy.
     
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  26. Oct 25, 2018 at 6:13 AM
    #26
    Haybale

    Haybale New Member

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    I really like the way yours sits. I plan to do some other things to my sons once we are good to go on this head gasket issue.
     
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  27. Oct 25, 2018 at 10:00 AM
    #27
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy Not a new member

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    Good decision, 166000 miles is nothing for a 4 Runner. Yours looks great.
     

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