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Do I bother fixing it? 1993 3vz-E 4x4

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Do I bother fixing it? 1993 3vz-E 4x4

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Old 07-07-2015, 02:58 PM
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Do I bother fixing it? 1993 3vz-E 4x4

I've posted the truck here in several threads and was very proud of it untill yesterday.
Back story: sold my perfect 1991 22RE 2wd for a Ford (oops) sold the ford and got what I wanted (a 4x4 Toyota).

My current headaches a 1993 3.slow v6 although mine is pretty quick :-) It all seemed perfect with 124,000 orig miles and working EVERYTHING as well as a dealer ream of paper work as thick as your wrist with the dreaded head gasket done by dealer and again my God knows who with an oil impregnated cork gasket.

My dilemma is that it drips oil. Perhaps a drop every other day. The coolant reservoir is empty and it's not leaking so I'm guessing consumption somewhere. The long and short is I paid my whole truck budget on a good one and now the shop says it likely needs a new gasket/engine because you don't want to do it three times and this engine is crap. The shop is a Toyota specialist shop for these early vehicles and I've done lots of biz there in the past, so I believe their assessment but Is that the end of it? The 3vz-e is a dog and needs to die? I'm going to lose my ass selling it so soon. And the smog is good for another week only (ca tyrants).

Any ideas? I'm not an accomplished mechanic and I can't "mill the heads" or anything. How can a perfectly running truck be dead on wheels?? Arrrrrggghhhhhhh!!



Last edited by dropzone; 07-08-2015 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:41 PM
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If you change engines, go for the 3.4 swap.

Toy only swaps will sell a complete kit.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:48 PM
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So change the headgasket? I dont see the problem. The heads probably wont need to be milled or anything.

That truck a 5 speed?
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:30 PM
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The shop that evaluated it said it was bad to do a third head gasket and that I might be in new engine territory. I'm not sure why?? I mean sht... I haven't even blown the thing... I have an oil leak lol. Perhaps they were bidding themselves out of the job because it sucks? No win faced with keep a truck that has all of the other stuff I want and "maybe" have big engine issues or sell..
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:07 AM
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Sounds like a second opinion is in order.

Me I'd put some stop leak in and drive it.

Keep an eye on coolant level, don't let it get hot..

Good luck .
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:50 PM
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Red face

Something is strange here Is the 3.0 some what different then other engines with aluminum heads .

In my misguided Youth I ran A Big Block Chevy 454 with the Aluminum heads .

I know I had those heads off at least 10 times in 3 years.

It can`t hurt to pull the heads see how things look go from there.

It would be quite different if it was run hot 3 or 4 times till it quit.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:58 PM
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A drop of oil every other day isn't a lot, unless you are OCD about a clean driveway/garage floor. Just put some cardboard or kitty litter under it and live with it. If you do decide you need to fix it, the most likely leak areas are valve covers or the rear main seal. Neither one requires any immediate action except for neatness.

As far as the cooling system/coolant loss goes, first thing is to make sure the radiator cap is good. If the cap doesn't seal properly, just plain old evaporation will cause the coolant level to drop. It's also possible to have a slow leak in the overflow tank such that coolant leaks out but evaporates before you can see it dripping. I have a '99 Chevy Suburban that never has any coolant in the overflow tank. I've sealed the tank multiple times but it's always dry. Been that way for 100,000 miles, and the engine still runs great.

Unless there is other evidence that the HG is bad, I sure wouldn't tear into it yet based on what you've told us so far. If it's running good, keep driving it until something more definite shows itself. Alternatively, do a leakdown test on each cylinder and a pressure test on the cooling system to get more detail on what's going on.

I think you're being influenced by a shop that likes to bad-mouth 3.0's. Remember they only see the engines with problems. While the 3.0 might not be Toyota's best engine ever, it's not horrible and probably the majority of the 3.0's that Toyota built are still running strong without a wrench ever being put on them. Yours could easily go another 30-50,000 miles before you need to do anything major.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:09 PM
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You can't live with a drop every other day ? I'm probably leaking a drop an hour.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:11 PM
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I appreciate the feedback you guys are all wise in your own unique ways. I'd say most of the oil dripping stress comes from my wife complaining. I'm also convinced that you are correct in assuming that the repair shop simply does hate the 3.0 as it is popular opinion. I've had many cars in my life and I never considered significant repair without symptoms or probable cause. As of 10 minutes ago I added a bottle of Lucas oil treatment to stop the drips and bought a very expensive bottle of coolant treatment from blue devil but have yet to add it. Any input on Lucas oil or blue devil coolant treatment would be great!



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Old 07-09-2015, 12:51 AM
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Red face

Yes the nagging wife Divorces are expensive but well worth it at times.

Follow the directions on the Blue Devil most of these things don`t play well with antifreeze so flushing things out real well is very important.

If using any time of block sealer I always disconnect the heater core.

I had used the Lucas oil additive in the past but never this product.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:52 AM
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you mentioned cork gaskets, i assume those are for the valve covers. yeah, cork sucks and they are more than likely leaking. easy enough fix for you to do, or any competent shop to fix for you. the two bottles you are holding are snake oils in my opinion. that lucas isn't going to stop any oil leaks. while the blue devil does work, i've seen it numerous times first hand, i've also seen what that stuff does when it doesn't work. i've pulled several heads off different cars after the hail mary blue devil didn't work. it coats and gums up everything, including the cylinder wall in the block with this crystalized stuff. i would think this would hinder the cooling effect of coolant around the cylinders. a small amount of coolant missing over time is somewhat normal and nothing to cause alarm. until you have to start topping up the radiator on a regular basis, i wouldn't worry. and if you did, i would pressure test and look for external leaks before i would condemn your motor. sounds like you have a great truck that needs minor attention.

Last edited by dropzone; 07-17-2018 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:24 AM
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Ok, so a quick update:

I'm too scared to use the blue devil. It has too many bads to justify the "possible good" so it will live in the tool box in the truck bed until actually needed.

Lucas oil (snake oil lol) actually seems to have worked 90%. My drip is down from twice a day to once a week
Hopefully it hasn't gummed the truck to hell internally.

For now, the 3VZ-E is behaving rather well in the leak dept.

All I have to do is remedy my plugged EGR modulator and VSV to clear my check engine light. How easy is it to "clean" them? The replacement prices are a bit high $60-150... And I do t have any pick n pulls around here.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:35 PM
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Egr is easy to get to and clean, maybe a 20min job. My 3vz uses a little coolant but it runs good. It truly worried about a head gasket problem have a leak down test done or if you own an air compressor buy a otc leak down tester and see what kind of results you get. Do the test with the engine cold and radiator cap off. If the head gasket is leaking you will get bubbles and or coolant will push out of the radiator.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by oldblue View Post
you mentioned cork gaskets, i assume those are for the valve covers. yeah, cork sucks and they are more than likely leaking. easy enough fix for you to do, or any competent shop to fix for you. the two bottles you are holding are snake oils in my opinion. that lucas isn't going to stop any oil leaks. while the blue devil does work, i've seen it numerous times first hand, i've also seen what that stuff does when it doesn't work. i've pulled several heads off different cars after the hail mary blue devil didn't work. it coats and gums up everything, including the cylinder wall in the block with this crystalized stuff. i would think this would hinder the cooling effect of coolant around the cylinders. a small amount of coolant missing over time is somewhat normal and nothing to cause alarm. until you have to start topping up the radiator on a regular basis, i wouldn't worry. and if you did, i would pressure test and look for external leaks before i would condemn your motor. sounds like you have a great truck that needs minor attention.
So much this. Trash an engine over a $100 gasket kit?? I bought my truck and the head gasket blew the next week. I had never even tried anything close to a head gasket replacement but there are so many resources online for this. Look for a machine shop in your area....they will tell you if you need to mill the heads and get it nice and clean.

Do you have coolant in your oil? What does the oil look like? I would drive it and keep an eye on temps while i did enough research or made enough friends who could help change a head gasket. I bought my 22re as a learning platform, and it has taught me a ton.

A lot of shops will tell you to trash the engine bc most wont want to work on a truck this old. More money for them in the high dollar newer cars. Be prepared to DIY on this truck a good bit and have fun doing it!

Last edited by dropzone; 07-17-2018 at 07:43 AM.
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