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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:54 AM   #1
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22RE Overheating / heater not working - Blown Headgasket?

So on the way to work this morning, the defroster was totally not working. I drove it anyway, and was peaking out of a 1" X 1" clear spot on the windhsheild for most of the way. As I got close to work (where the heater is normally kicking on) I started to get suspicious and looked at the gauges and noticed that while the heater was blowing cold, the temp gauge was just starting to slide over into the "red" zone. I shut the engine down and could immediately hear that the coolant was boiling. I let it cool off a bit before I drove it about 200 yards to a mechanic shop and left it. They just now called me and told me that their "testtube" test is indicating a leaking headgasket and they quoted me $1,500 to repair it (I have had quotes for a new engine and labor to R&R it for that amount, so that is not going to happen)
Here's the thing - I am just a bit suspicious about their test. Last night I drove this thing and the heater was blowing fine. I did not notice any sort of overheating on the gauges. Then, this morning, it magically overheats? It sounds to me more like the thermostat stuck. I dunno, I just don't understand how a headgasket could just all the sudden go out so bad that it causes the engine to overheat. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:36 AM   #2
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clog in the system? theres something preventing hot coolant from circulating through the heater core.

$1500 is way high for a head gasket replacement
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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That is kinda what I was thinking - like maybe the T-stat didn';t open this morning. It is possible that it was superheated for longer than I thought it was though, and that that led to a warped head, but it seems like (if the HG is bad) it is a symptom of something else being wrong (rather than being the source of the trouble itself.)
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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Could be a bad thermostat, start with the simple stuff first, thermostat, radiator cap, when was the last time you checked your antifreeze what temp it's good to before freezing up? I know it got down to 5 here last night in Post Falls. If you froze up the radiator/ block this could also be the problem.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:26 AM   #5
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You need a special t-stat for the 22re. Read this:
http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...tml#Thermostat
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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1500 way too much. These wil fail from around 150K to 200K area. Usually #4. Gets low on coolanty, then you lose heat. Might be anything else also.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:45 AM   #7
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head gasket is probably a result of the overheating. I would check t-stat first. You can make sure it opens at the proper temp by heating it in a pot of water on the stove. If its not the t-stat its probably a major clog somewhere else.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMA_Alex View Post
head gasket is probably a result of the overheating. I would check t-stat first. You can make sure it opens at the proper temp by heating it in a pot of water on the stove. If its not the t-stat its probably a major clog somewhere else.
I have found on the 22R/E, its usually just the opposite. Overheats after it has become low on coolant from a failed headgasket.
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #9
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It seems too sudden / catastrophic to blame it on the HG. I drove it last night and the heater blew fine. I drive it this morning and there is no heat. It was like a light switch.
Also, the fine mechanic I dropped it off at charged me $41 for their diagnostics. I was expecting free and was going to slide them a few $$ for their trouble, but I have now decided that I will never be taking a vehicle to them in the future. They never said anything about any fees when I dropped it off.
I guess I will tow it home this evening and start going through the simple things like check the antifreeze mix and the T-stat. This is my first winter with this rig, so I had never checked the antifreeze before and yes, it did get very cold here last night...
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:23 PM   #10
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A headgasket can blow just like that, it's not uncommon, my dad's 22re was overheating and it was because of a blown headgasket, it just happens when you get into the higher mileage
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:26 PM   #11
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The engine is actually fairly recently rebuilt....
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:31 PM   #12
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considering it went from no issues to all of a sudden overheating one day its probably a clog somewhere. If the coolant froze that could definately be it, or a chunk of rust of something clogged something. If its a newly rebuild engine and you weren't having coolant and oil mixing issues then it probably wasnt the HG
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:35 PM   #13
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I had the very same problem last week. I was just low on coolant. After adding a little more coolant and at ariving at my destination, I found my leak and all is well. Also, perhaps it is a problem with your water pump--that would cause boiling too.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:34 PM   #14
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jode, if you find out that it's a simple fix like the thermostat or a coolant issue I'd go back to that mechanic/shop that charged you $41 and tell them you want your money back or you will report them to the better buisness bureau. You have a legitamate beef with this guy if it's a simple fix. I live in Idaho too and 99% of the people are honest, you'd be doing others a favor by doing this if the guy is a crook!
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:51 PM   #15
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Yeah have a look at the Water Pump. You could be missing a few impeller blades there. Anything to do with your cooling system I would look at. Check your coolant too - milky? Oil - milky? If not, focus on the cooling system checks.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:59 PM   #16
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UPDATE

I went out to the truck tonight armed with a few things:
Coolant gauge
More coolant
Flashlight
Towstrap

I figured I'd try to drive it home and if it started to overheat again, I would get a tow, but here's what happened:

I first wanted to test the coolant with the little needle pointer thingy to see what freeze protection I had. YIKES! First off, the water level was too low to get the thing into, so I had to open the stopcock on the bottom of the radiator. Doing that, I was able to fill the meter thingy and the fluid was a dingy brownish clear color that seems to indicate that it may not have antifreeze in it at all
The needle barely even moved, and I'd be surprised if I had protection to even 20 degrees and I know it got colder than that here last night...and the truck was parked outside.
So I topped it off with a 70/30 glycol mix and headed for home - everythign appears to be back to normal. The heater worked again, and the temp gauge remained pegged right in the middle at normal.
I will of course be draining all the coolant, and looking for leaks or possible freezeplugs that may have popped off, but overall, I think this may not have been as bad as it could have been - the only remaining question is if I have managed to warp my head by overheating it this morning - I tend to think not, and that the mechanics test was tainted by the fact that the water in the radiator was ancient. I dunno - I'll keep you posted as I get more data. If the head is warped, it doesn't seem to be bad enough to be causing any real problems....(famous last words)
I actually think I may have sidestepped a cracked block though, because it seems like the radiator is not "drying off" in a section down the middle - I think I may have just burst the radiator. It makes sense to me that the water in the radiator would break the radiator sooner than the water in the block would break the block. Also, a quick check of the oil on the dipstick reveals just regular oil - not the milky look of oil/water mix.
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Last edited by jode; 11-29-2006 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:27 AM   #17
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I'm going through the same deal with my 83. Sunday a friend and I went up to the snow but on the way up I noticed there was no heat coming out the defrost vents. Switched it to heat, still nothing. The last time I drove the truck there was plenty of heat coming out. Well after a while of spirited driving in the snow I noticed the temp was getting hotter and hotter. Popped the hood and couldn't feel any heat off the fan and the radiator hoses didn't feel abnormally hot. The one hose coming from the heater core was hardly warm but the other two were hot like the upper radiator hose. Turned around and started heading back. Looked in my driver's mirror and saw steam. Popped the hood again, hoses were hotter than hell, popped the cap, steam for days. Popped the thermostat out and took out the center and replaced it to get home. While airing back up the temp almost got into the red again. Cooled it off again and headed home, the temp hardly got off the cold line.

What I have done so far. Back flushed the heater core and some muddy water came out, cleaned up quick though. Did it again tonight and more muddy looking water came out. Finally getting some heat out of it but seems like half is still plugged up. Haven't put the new T-stat in yet and it hasn't even tried to overheat again. Put the temp gun to it and after 20 min of high idle running, the temp showed a high of 135 F. The radiator is about a year and a half old, no water in the oil, no steam coming from the tail pipe, engine turns over and runs normal so I'm thinking the HG is fine.


Edit: Think I spoke too soon on the headgasket I put the new T-stat in, got nice warm air coming from the heatercore now but the engine is running rough at idle now. Probably is warming up enough to open up and let the coolant get into a cylinder since there's also some steam coming out the tail pipe now in puffs.

Last edited by White83; 11-30-2006 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:57 PM   #18
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Bummer White83 - mine seems to be fine so far. Here's why I think I had the problem in the first place. This is the "water" that came out of my radiator:
Click the image to open in full size.
Looks more like piss-mud-water to me. I had the radiator out and took it into a shop and had them clean and fix it. There was mud blcoking about a third of the radiator, and there was a pinhole leak. I also got a new 13lb cap for it, so I think with all that and new fluid, I shouldn't have any cooling/freexing issues anytime soon. I'll be watching for haedgasket symptoms, but I really didn't run it up too hot, so I am hoping I escaped that one.

Thanks for all the help and support.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:26 PM   #19
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I just dodged a bullet so to speak. Same thing happened to my girlfriend on her way to work. Turned out the coolant was weak and the rad froze, when the themostat opened it puked all the hot coolant out the overflow. Warmed it up and she runs like a top again. Strange thing is, a Toyota dealership flushed the coolant 4 months ago. Same dealer that missed the LSPV when bleeding my brakes. If your in Ottawa stay away from Mendes Toyota.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:30 PM   #20
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that stuff looks terrible!
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:30 PM
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