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

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Old 09-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
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Loss of power, LOUD clicking, blown head gasket

I'm new to yotatech, I love the site, you all are are awesome. Sorry about the long post in advance, I'll try to break it up as best I can. I bought a 92 yota pickup, 22re 5spd 4cyl a couple months ago and yesterday it had a melt down.

I noticed over the last week that if I shifted to 5th gear below 70mph the engine would bog slightly and I would lose speed; I was curious, but not alarmed so I didn't do anything about it.

Yesterday, I was driving on the highway between 60-70mph for about 6 miles, and when I exited, stopped at the light, and took off on the side street, the engine was clicking very loud and the click speed increased with RPM. It did this thru all gears. If i pushed in the clutch, it stopped, but if I revved the engine high (even with the clutch in, or in neutral) the clicking could still be heard, but much less loud.

I decided I better get home, obviously, so I took surface roads in case it blew up and i had to pull over. The clicking stayed consistent, but I was rapidly loosing power. I just barely made it home (1st gear high rpm doing 5mph) up the hill to my house.

I pulled into the garage and the engine died. I popped the hood and took a look; about a minute later white smoke started pouring out of the tail pipe and coolant drips from the exhaust joints under the truck.

No coolant in the oil pan, but the middle two spark plugs were wet and smelled of burnt coolant.

I obviously have a bad head gasket, but the big question here is... What was the loud clicking sound? Was it related to the head gasket failing, or do I have a separate issue? If I have things to fix, I want to do it all at once. Any thoughts or opinions would be a huge help. Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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My guess is something in the valve train let go when the head gasket puked. It could be a rocker arm adjuster, which would make valve lash really loose and give you the rpm related tap. It could be a bent valve, also giving an rpm related tap. You may have jumped timing and no you have valve to piston interferrence. You won't know until you pull the valve cover and possibly the head.

Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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I have the rocker assembly and the head pulled off. What should I be looking for in here? I dont see any evidence of the valves interfering with the pistons or vice versa. The head gasket ripped between the #3 and #4 cylinder. Is it possible that when the gasket went, it would cause the oil pressure to drop and cause the lifters to make the sound? I'm really concerned I'm going to get this back together and still have the clicking problem :/
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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Without seeing what you're seeing it's hard to give you a definitive. Also without having done a leakdown, compression test, or a few other diagnostics it's hard to give you much more help. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Pretty hard to do a compression test or leakdown test and get anything meaningful from it if you already know the head gasket is blown, I would look for abnormal wear on the valve train parts to start with.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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There is no abnormal wear on any of the rocker arms, springs, camshaft, or the valve surfaces. I havent checked to see if any valve stems are bent, but I don't know why they would be, there is no evidence of piston contact. Is it common for this engine to make noise when a head gasket blows out?

Also, is there any reason a head gasket would fail in under 20k miles other than a hack repair job by the previous owner?
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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My old truck did the same thing. I think the "clicking " sound you're hearing is compression going between those two cylinders,possibly fighting each other.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #8
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I'm really hoping that's what it is... it's the only logical conclusion i can come to, but I'm new to engine internals, so i don't know much
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your troubles, mumbler. I too bought a '92 Yota pickup a couple of months ago, and mine's the 3.0 that is known for head gasket problems. Not only that, but it makes a very consistent rpm-related clicking too!

I have my fingers crossed, but I wouldn't be surprised to find myself driving home in a cloud of white smoke anytime soon either.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:24 PM
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