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Old 11-14-2009, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replacing valve cover gasket

Bought my 4runner 3 months ago and loving it.. but it gave me a check engine light this morning. So i took it to the dealer for inspection and they said that the code is for the o2 sensor (bank 1 sensor 1). They also said that i have more issues to fix. Here is the estimate:

o2 sensor (bank 1 sensor 1) = $362.00
front brakes = $250.00
valve cover gasket = $642.00
drive belts = $220.00
fuel induction service =$150.00

Now, i've searched this thread and found how to replace the two 02 sensors, and the front brakes. (Bookmarked!)

How hard will it be to replace the valve cover gaskets (passenger and drivers side) for a 98, 3.4L 4runner?
How much time will it take?

Thank you in advance!

Yotatech rocks!

Btw, i've attached pics of the leaks on the valve covers.
How serious are these leaks?
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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yikes! $220 for drive belts. ouch. try ~$40...
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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x2 about them drive belts...

Remember, the dealer will always find something that "needs" to be replaced just to get you back in there,

The O2 sensor is like 90$ or so. NGK or Denso works well.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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$362 for an O2 sensor? Are you kidding me? Replacing mine was the easiest O2 sensor job ever. Just two easy to remove bolts and then undo the harness. About $90 from Rock Auto.

Valve cover gaskets are a pain, but it's certainly worth the 2-3 hours to remove your intake manifold to get to them if it means saving $550 over the dealer's quote.

Front brake pads are about $80 for quality Hawk replacements, and removing and replacing pads in fixed calipers is literally 10 min. per side. You'll spend more time jacking it up and taking the wheels off than doing the pads.

What is a "Fuel Induction Service"? Sounds like a complete waste of money that isn't necessary at all.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Am I missing something???
What I call the Valve cover gasket is the jenky, long, rectangular rubber gasket that fits into the little slot around the outside of the valve cover and costs $20 and takes 15 min. to change. If that is not the valve cover gasket would someone please clue me in!!
thanks
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Yeah.... wow.... if you go to the dealer for the work.... you'd better bring a big jar of KY!!!!
--Haha! Right on! Thats why i went to Yotatech first, I know i'll get some honest opinions. Seriously, we should start our own auto repair shop.

Quote:
What I call the Valve cover gasket is the jenky, long, rectangular rubber gasket that fits into the little slot around the outside of the valve cover and costs $20 and takes 15 min. to change.
-- I think you're right. It only takes 15 min to change? Can you pls elaborate.. Im going to try to do this myself and make a writeup to contribute to Yotatech.

I will be replacing my o2 sensors, brake pads, and bleed my brakes (look at how dark the fluid in my reservoir) this weekend, still in the process of building my own one-man brake bleeding kit. I will keep this updated with pics and cost of how much ive spent.

Thank you guys for your opinions!

Last edited by logsurfer; 11-15-2009 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logsurfer View Post
"Yeah.... wow.... if you go to the dealer for the work.... you'd better bring a big jar of KY!!!! "

--Haha! Right on! Thats why i went to Yotatech first, I know i'll get some honest opinions. Seriously, we should start our own auto repair shop.

"What I call the Valve cover gasket is the jenky, long, rectangular rubber gasket that fits into the little slot around the outside of the valve cover and costs $20 and takes 15 min. to change."

-- I think you're right. It only takes 15 min to change? Can you pls elaborate.. Im going to try to do this myself and make a writeup to contribute to Yotatech.

I will be replacing my o2 sensors, brake pads, and bleed my brakes (look at how dark the fluid in my reservoir) this weekend, still in the process of building my own one-man brake bleeding kit. I will keep this updated with pics and cost of how much ive spent.

Thank you guys for your opinions!
ahhaha damn dude !!
so sorry! I didn't see your pictures. I mistakenly assumed (bias) you were talking about a 22 RE valve cover.
yea your valve cover(s) are a bit more complicated.
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LC Header, Marlin clutch,
32's- Swamper TSL's- RC rims, lifted, lighted, winched, LC high output alternator, etc etc..


My 82 build
http://www.yotatech.com/f197/toyospe...thread-211943/
My SAS thread
http://www.yotatech.com/f152/great-w...ck-sas-164531/
My Flatbed build thread
http://www.yotatech.com/f88/toyospea...-build-191787/

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Old 11-15-2009, 12:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Where the turf meets the surf... Del Mar? I'm in Solana Beach.
Yes, SC4runner! but I'm in LJ most of the time. Glad to know there's a member of Yotatech nearby. Your 4runner looks mean, mine is bone stock except for the air filter and some polybushings.

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Old 11-15-2009, 03:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It doesn't surprise me one bit that the Dealer wants $600 to do the valve cover gaskets. They are a bear IMO. It is not complicated to replace them but you have to remove the intake and everyting to get to them.

You can do it but it's not a walk in the park.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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o2 sensor (bank 1 sensor 1) = $362.00
front brakes = $250.00
valve cover gasket = $642.00
drive belts = $220.00
fuel induction service =$150.00
Difficulty levels(1-5, 5 being the most difficult):

O2 sensor: Caveman, you would be no long welcome here if you pay someone to change it.

Front brakes: 2.

Valve cover: 2.

Drive belt: 1

Fuel Induction(injection) service: totally bull crap. don't do it.

as for the valve cover, I found it's very common among the 3.4L that the bolts got loose, mine were finger tight. get a small 10mm wrench, see if you can turn the passenger side ones fairly easily. if so, it's time to a lot of work.
a.) change the spark plugs and wire.
b.) you need to remove whole lot stuff before you can reach the valve cover gaskets. so you will need new: throttle body gasket, intake plenum gasket(x2, one top, one bottom), 2 valve cover gaskets.
c.) if a few days of down time is ok for you, while doing the valve covers, take the fuel injectors out and send to Witch Hunter to have them serviced, for real. I've only heard good things about them.
http://www.witchhunter.com/

http://www.yotatech.com/f105/props-w...eaning-159750/


as for the parts, there are few dealerships sells parts at discounted prices to few Toyota related internet forum members. I've dealt with Champion Toyota in TX and Northridge Toyota in CA, both gave me 25% discount and shipping is dirt cheap, no tax. I think I paid $55 for a complete set of OEM spark plugs and wire to my door. so it pays to shop around.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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O2 sensor: Caveman, you would be no long welcome here if you pay someone to change it.
LoL. I'm going to replace it myself so I can go back here and post again. As for the valve cover bolts, I actually tightened all of them this afternoon. Yeah, they were a little loose. I also cleaned the leaks around the cover and will monitor for any sign of leakage.

Thank you for the very informative reply.

Last edited by logsurfer; 11-15-2009 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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For now, I've re-tightened my valve cover gaskets every six months (owned the truck for about two years) and it's kept them from leaking too badly. But soon enough I plan on tackling the job of replacing them. Just too many other things to worry about first.

On a side note: I just got a front end alignment and the shop that did it quoted me ~$350 for replacing the valve cover gaskets.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Update: oxygen sensor 1 replaced

Replaced the oxygen sensor 1 today. Bought the parts a the dealer for $110 (part # 89465-39835 came w/ gasket).

PB blasted the nuts the day before. You guys are right fiddling with the harness took more time. Here's a tip: Undo the two bolts (12mm) first and get a (-) screwdriver to pop the lock on the harness then pull it out.

I disconnected the battery for 15 mins, CEL gone and will update if it comes back. Let's see if this also improves my MPG.

Money saved:$362-$110 = $252
Thanks Yotatech!

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Old 11-17-2009, 11:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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As for just tightening the valve cover, don't torque it down too much or you will warp it.

Quick tip when doing the valve cover. On the driver's side there is a plastic housing that has a harness running through it that sits on the edge of the cover. Before taking the cover off, wrap that plastic housing in electrical tape. It becomes very brittle from the repeated heat cycles and will shatter when lifting it out of the way. Wrapping it first will keep you from fishing shards of plastic out of the head.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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^^^ Good tips!

I agree about the torque on the valve cover gaskets, I didn't even use a ratchet when tightening mine down, just an extension on a socket and hand tighten to really snug.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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What is a "Fuel Induction Service"? Sounds like a complete waste of money that isn't necessary at all.
Not really.... it IS an extra incentive for us to upsell the flush kits as we get both extra labor time and the person that sells the flush kits give us money for each stickers we give him. An induction service is basically the same things you can do at home. First you put the additive in the fuel tank. Next, you fill a cannister with the induction cleaner and have the engine running. Put the "spray nozzle" either into the air intake close to the throttle blade (I prefer to do mine through the PCV system or the brake booster). Finall you clean the throttle blade out really good. Basically you can do the same things at home with an old toothbrush and rags.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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As for just tightening the valve cover, don't torque it down too much or you will warp it.

Quick tip when doing the valve cover. On the driver's side there is a plastic housing that has a harness running through it that sits on the edge of the cover. Before taking the cover off, wrap that plastic housing in electrical tape. It becomes very brittle from the repeated heat cycles and will shatter when lifting it out of the way. Wrapping it first will keep you from fishing shards of plastic out of the head.
I did my valve cover gaskets the other day on my 5vz-fe. It is TEDIOUS (not difficult) but well worth the $500 you save by doing it yourself. LOTS of wires and LOTS of hoses to keep track of. The parts are a little pricy : $3.03 / ea for spark tube seals and $25 / ea for the valve cover gaskets. The biggest help I can give for doing your spark plug tube seals is that you have to bend the gasket to get them out. They are a metal coated rubber gasket. I hammered them from the side into the middle of the hole with a small screwdriver and then used a pair of needle nose pliars to pull them out. Be careful not to scratch the metal cover! If you do, it can leak. They were the biggest PITA to get out! Make sure you put them in right side up. I used the blunt end of a screwdriver with a hammer to put them in, lightly tapping. Those plastic coverings for the wire harness on top of the valve covers are just so brittle and you will end up busting the one on the left of the engine for sure at least. I used an inch pound wrench to torque my cover gaskets to 53 in. lbs (per FSM).
You don't have to undo the throttle body from the manifold, you can leave that attached if you wish.

You will need to change the PCV gromet on the right valve cover while you are in there, they are notorius for leaking! (Yep, I did hammer that one too to get it out it was so brittle).

Total time for doing valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, spark plug tube seals, porting the mainfold and throttle body, valve cover cleaning, PCV valve gromet, torquing the cover bolts, putting FIPG on the corners of the cam semi-circles in the head, and cleaning the mating surfaces really well: ~ 7 hrs including lunch and another trip to the stealer to get more parts. I had 3 sets of hands but I did probably 95% of the work. When I work on my truck I want it perfect so I don't have any problems.
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Last edited by stir_fry_boy; 11-21-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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^^^ Good tips!

I agree about the torque on the valve cover gaskets, I didn't even use a ratchet when tightening mine down, just an extension on a socket and hand tighten to really snug.
You will want them tighter than that. 53 in.lbs
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