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

Could problem be anything but cracked head?

Old 01-22-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by akwheeler View Post
For me the bottom line comes down to "are you loosing coolant"? If I suspect a head gasket leak I perform a cooling system pressure test and see if I am loosing pressure over time and how fast the pressure drops.
Then I start looking for where the coolant went. Pull the spark plugs and roll the engine over by hand and see if coolant comes out of one or more cylinders.
If it holds pressure and you don't seem to be loosing coolant keep in mind that antifreeze doesn't evaporate like water and after your first head gasket blew there would be coolant in the exhaust that will take quite a while to burn off.
From what I can tell the coolant level is not going down .if it is it is not detectable in the ~50 minutes that the vehicle has run in my driveway.

I had all the plugs removed when i did a compression test. Nothing blew out of the holes when I turned the engine over.

I poured the water out of the exhaust before reinstallation. Thank you for the suggestion but I don't think that is it.

Is it possible the steam and bog/stumble are unrelated? They seem to be directly correlated to me .

I think I should perform a block test, leak down test and coolant pressure test next. If anyone has any input about which test I should prioritize that would be helpful .

Thank you .

Last edited by etharfurning_pdx; 01-22-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:40 AM
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A block test will only tell you if you have combustion gasses in the cooling system. so it will not help with an intake leak or some cracks in cylinder heads.
A cooling system pressure test (to me) is better because it allows you to zero in on where the leak is or may be.
A leak down test is more for determining if you have a burnt/bent valve or leaking piston rings (finding where you are loosing compression).
A coolant leak into the intake or cylinder itself will definitely cause problems with running, but often it will be a bad misfire, sluggish operation would point more to an intake leak to all cylinders or like stated before the timing being off or a vacuum leak, fuel starvation etc.
good luck and let us know what you come up with
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:59 PM
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To me it sounds like your mechanical or ignition timing are off. If you're not loosing coolant than the head gasket is not leaking. Improper combustion can cause steaming. The fuel contains water and will turn into steam during the combustion process. Double check the mechanical timing (crank to cam alignment) Once that is 100% then verify the distributor and rotor position. I myself have put the distributor in one tooth off, it is easy to do. For fun you can move the distributor one tooth forward than one tooth back and see what difference it makes. Its free just try it!
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by superex87 View Post
To me it sounds like your mechanical or ignition timing are off. If you're not loosing coolant than the head gasket is not leaking. Improper combustion can cause steaming. The fuel contains water and will turn into steam during the combustion process. Double check the mechanical timing (crank to cam alignment) Once that is 100% then verify the distributor and rotor position. I myself have put the distributor in one tooth off, it is easy to do. For fun you can move the distributor one tooth forward than one tooth back and see what difference it makes. Its free just try it!
Just a correction, it is not that the fuel contains water, but H2O is a product of combustion and if the fuel isn't burned efficiently the amount of water in the exhaust increases. the fuel contains hydrocarbons and when mixed with oxygen and burned some water vapor is created.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:39 PM
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Akwheeler you are correct. I don't know what I was thinking lol.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:51 PM
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Update: I've cleaned the MAF with MAF cleaner and tried to time the vehicle with the distributor turned one gear ahead and one gear back. It runs best as it sits. Right now, I think the timing chain is off a tooth on the bottom gear. I'm 100% sure I didn't get it off on the top gear when I removed the head. Opinion: do ya'll think I'd still be able to time the vehicle even with the chain off by a tooth?

Second update: I'm now not 100% sure what I think is steam is coolant coming from the tailpipe. I definitely smelled coolant the first time I ran the motor after the work but now I don't smell it. It still has steamy exhaust (even after 20 minutes)and still has condensation on the spare (my exhaust is cut right after the muffler and just before the spare tire).

Because I work every day and it's a chilly 35 degrees in the evenings I've made an appointment at a local Toyota shop in Portland. I'll try to remember to give ya'll an update.

-E
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by etharfurning_pdx View Post
Update: I've cleaned the MAF with MAF cleaner and tried to time the vehicle with the distributor turned one gear ahead and one gear back. It runs best as it sits. Right now, I think the timing chain is off a tooth on the bottom gear. I'm 100% sure I didn't get it off on the top gear when I removed the head. Opinion: do ya'll think I'd still be able to time the vehicle even with the chain off by a tooth?

Second update: I'm now not 100% sure what I think is steam is coolant coming from the tailpipe. I definitely smelled coolant the first time I ran the motor after the work but now I don't smell it. It still has steamy exhaust (even after 20 minutes)and still has condensation on the spare (my exhaust is cut right after the muffler and just before the spare tire).

Because I work every day and it's a chilly 35 degrees in the evenings I've made an appointment at a local Toyota shop in Portland. I'll try to remember to give ya'll an update.

-E
if your timing chain is off by a tooth it won't matter what you do with the distributor timing. Your valve timing is controlled by the chain and you adjust spark timing with the distributor.
roll your crank up to top dead center and verify that the mark on you balancer is correct by putting a chopstick or an evil drinking straw down the spark plug hole for cylinder #1 and roll the engine forward and back to make sure the piston is at the top of it's stroke. then verify you are on the compression stroke for #1, pull the valve cover and check the timing marks for your cam and make sure the valves for #1 are closed.
if your timing marks line up you should be golden.
As to the steam from your exhaust, if you are not loosing coolant don't worry about it. Like stated before, water is a product of combustion, you will ALWAYS get water dripping from your tailpipe and steam in the exhaust, it is WAY more noticeable in the winter.
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