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Grueling Daily Commute - Help with 1993 Toyota Pickup 4wd v6

Old 11-15-2018, 07:00 AM
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Grueling Daily Commute - Help with 1993 Toyota Pickup 4wd v6

I own two Toyotas that are responsible for carrying my family and friends up and down some fairly treacherous roads. One is a 93 pickup with 3vze the other is 07 land cruiser prado 3.0L diesel. My daily commute for each vehicle is roughly 20 miles. Half of the trip is "easy driving" on well maintained asphalt roads. The 10 miles from home to the paved road is "fun driving”. The road is a mix of red clay and rock. Altitude gains 3000 feet in first 2 miles, then drops 6000 over next 8 miles. Reverse for trip home. The road is rutted out in some areas so you have to crawl in 1st gear 4wd. Rarely 4WDL unless there has been a land slide and there is more red clay than rock. After trying and failing, and trying again, and failing again and again and again (can you guess what's next?) to find a good mechanic, I have decided to start doing future work if at all possible.

Right now I am working on my 93 pickup that was driven to Costa Rica by a young guy from Portland 11 years ago.

side story - he left portland with about 10k and all the equipment to start a painting business. He figured he could do the trip in two weeks max. 4 months later he showed up in Costa Rica with 0 money. His mom made him sell the truck to pay for a plane ticket home.

The odo stopped working over 10 years ago with 286k miles registered. It has been and continues to be a great truck but these roads are beating her. I want to do some simple but effective upgrades over the next few months that will help her stay cool, handle the roads and get me where I need to go. I have gone through the body and suspension. I took the old rusty bed off and replaced it. While it was off I changed shocks, bushings, CVs, new frame around the windshield, new front moldings, new headlights and painted the frame. She is looking great. All of that work was done with a friend who has a lot of experience in body and suspension but he is not an engine guy and its time to get the engine prepared for its daily routine.

Current issue… I was out of town and my wife drove my truck for a few days. I got back in the truck on a paved road and noticed it was in 4wd H. I asked my wife when she put it in 4wd and the look on her face said it all. She drove the truck for 3 days in 4wd, even on pavement. So lets say she did about 90 miles on the pavement in 4wd. UgggI get the truck home and go to bed. Get up in the morning and drive it back down and notice it overheating. (thankfully 4wd seems to work, tires are ok, and no crazy noises from suspension) I let it cool down, limp home and find that there is 0 coolant in the radiator. So I start filling radiator and notice tons of leaks.

Right now radiator is off and I am waiting on a new one to be delivered from the big city. It’s the only new radiator I can find, its called a Tomita. I’ve never heard of it and can’t find any info online but the parts guys says he sells a lot of them and he doesn’t get complaints. Living in 3rd world country means I can’t get amazon deliveries so I am at the mercy of local vendors. I have looked over the engine. there is a small pool of oil on the heads, closest to firewall on drivers side. I’m hoping my wife didn’t drive it while it was overheating too and blow the head gasket.

questions:
  1. is there anything else I should clean, check, replace etc while i have the radiator off. Anything specific I should look for since it was overheating?
  2. The engine had green coolant in it so I am going to replace with green. Any thoughts on this?
  3. anything i can tinker with to make the truck better suited for its daily routine. ie. steep incline and declines on dirt roads. i ride the gears going downhill which adds heat I’m guessing. I go in an out of 4wd many times a day. Is there anything I should be doing for health of 4wd?
  4. any parts you would recommend ordering from the US to have on hand in case of emergency. These would need to fit into a suitcase and not weight too much. i can find china knock offs of just about anything but quality is hard to find.
  5. That oil pooling on top of the head? Thoughts?
  6. should i ever let my wife drive my truck again? :-)
My truck is a 93 3vze manual tranny with auto lock hubs
I want to thank everyone for contributing to these threads. I have been learning so much and the info has helped me gain the confidence to start tinkering with my truck, so thank you.

Last edited by crchuck; 11-15-2018 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by crchuck View Post
is there anything else I should clean, check, replace etc while i have the radiator off. Anything specific I should look for since it was overheating?
Given your situation (distance and scarce resources) I would replace all hoses, thermostat, heater valve (if it is metal type). Keep the old ones as back ups in case. Good luck
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:23 AM
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have you done a compression test?
300k+ unknown miles and having been beat on it would think you might have head gasket issues too
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by crchuck View Post
  1. is there anything else I should clean, check, replace etc while i have the radiator off. Anything specific I should look for since it was overheating?
  2. The engine had green coolant in it so I am going to replace with green. Any thoughts on this?
  3. anything i can tinker with to make the truck better suited for its daily routine. ie. steep incline and declines on dirt roads. i ride the gears going downhill which adds heat I’m guessing. I go in an out of 4wd many times a day. Is there anything I should be doing for health of 4wd?
  4. any parts you would recommend ordering from the US to have on hand in case of emergency. These would need to fit into a suitcase and not weight too much. i can find china knock offs of just about anything but quality is hard to find.
  5. That oil pooling on top of the head? Thoughts?
  6. should i ever let my wife drive my truck again? :-)
My truck is a 93 3vze manual tranny with auto lock hubs
I want to thank everyone for contributing to these threads. I have been learning so much and the info has helped me gain the confidence to start tinkering with my truck, so thank you.
1. Every single hose that carries coolant would be a good idea. Also flush the system a couple of times.
2. After the flush, replace with Toyota RED. It is safer for Jap engines (special Metal corrosion proofing additives that is only in RED)
3. lower air pressure. Of course you will need to build an onboard air system to air up - and a cool 4 way outlet, 1 inlet setup so you can fill all 4 tires at "once")
4. Cap, rotor, spark plug wires, special coolant hoses, turd-mo-stat both head gaskets, intake gaskets, new head screws. (get the injectors checked for drip vs. spray)
5. Good luck. Need pics
6. Of course! Just explain to her not to put it into 4wd. Ever. Or simply remove the handle. Or place a "NO WIVES" sticker on it?

I have experience with overheating things. In your situation I replaced the head (I have the 22-RE). Then I replaced hoses. Then I replaced headgasket again, and again.
Reality: it is time to redo the complete engine, or put a different one in altogether. I'm not sure, but I keep hearing Toyota 3.4l 6cyl. ?

I have around 700.000 miles on my 4-Runner now. But 22 years the odometer did not work.
t is worth it. It is my only truck / car - since ... 1986. Keep it alive!




P.S. Wear your seatbelt please.

Last edited by ev13wt; 11-15-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:57 AM
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Thank you

Thanks for the comments so far. Here are a few pics to show you what I am working with. I love this truck!






Ok, I am going to try to find the hoses and swap those out. Thermostat and heater valve too if those can be found. That should get me running for now and allow me to drive her for a little while to see if any other issues arise. Moving forward I would love to do a swap, or a rebuild but I'm not sure I am up for the task and if I run into trouble there is little support other than these boards, and you guys. So that leaves me leaning towards keeping this engine running for a while. Speaking of...I was thinking of purchasing a diagnostic machine, kit, thingy mabob so I can know what is going on with the engine. Any of you have one you use and like? I have had a light on for a while but the mechanic says it is from an exhaust sensor (i don't have catalytic converter)

Ev13wt said...
1. Every single hose that carries coolant would be a good idea. Also flush the system a couple of times.
2. After the flush, replace with Toyota RED. It is safer for Jap engines (special Metal corrosion proofing additives that is only in RED)
3. lower air pressure. Of course you will need to build an onboard air system to air up - and a cool 4 way outlet, 1 inlet setup so you can fill all 4 tires at "once")
4. Cap, rotor, spark plug wires, special coolant hoses, turd-mo-stat both head gaskets, intake gaskets, new head screws. (get the injectors checked for drip vs. spray)
5. Good luck. Need pics
6. Of course! Just explain to her not to put it into 4wd. Ever. Or simply remove the handle. Or place a "NO WIVES" sticker on it?

I keep hearing great things about the red coolant but it is hard to get here. If i use it and have a leak and need to refill I will have to wait a few days to get it. I guess I could purchase in bulk but then I would have to take extra everywhere I go. How bad is it to use green? Is it worth it. My trucks been drinking the green for a long time.

I love the onboard air idea. I'm going to look into that.

#4 coming soon.

Hard to get pics of the pooling. Too dark and it's not that much. I am going to keep an eye on it and will check back

hahaha No Wives stickers!!!! I'm scared I might find a no husbands sign near the front door of the house if I try that one.

Thanks again for all the feedback. As a newbie with just enough skills to be dangerous, it is great to get feedback.
Paz
Chuck


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Old 11-15-2018, 12:01 PM
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It depends on where the oil is coming from as to how hard it would be to fix. Leaking valve cover gaskets would be easier to replace than head gaskets.

While Toyota Red coolant is awesome and preferable, it may not be the best option if availability is a concern. If I had to guess, the majority of 3VZ-E engines are using generic (universal) green coolant at this point and are doing fine.

Even though I prefer the red coolant as it protects these trucks cooling system better than the generic green, I think availability wins out here for the generic green. You do not want to get stuck somewhere and not have the right coolant. Just change the coolant more often than if you were to put the Toyota Red in and you should be fine. (Toyota Red was not yet available when my 1987 Truck was made).

If you have a compression tester available, I would check the compression, just for piece of mind or a heads up to future problems.

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Old 11-15-2018, 04:56 PM
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The new radiator is installed and Turtle is running. Yes, turtle is her name.
The radiator is a flimsy looking piece of aluminum wrapped in plastic, and then wrapped in a metal frame. All the fittings, including the cap housing are plastic. I'm guessing this thing will last a few weeks. Nothing fit correctly so I had to drill a few holes in the metal frame to mount.

Side note. Now that I have seen the new radiator. The old one is exactly the same except it seems someone removed the plastic and tried to weld metal fittings onto it. So bizarre but down here man hours are cheap. Things cost money so they fix things until it can't be fixed anymore and this aluminum to plastic to metal weld job is par for the course. I'm gonna try to take this old radiator down to the local shop and try to sell it for $40 just to see how it goes. I bet someone someone sees a fix her up her and jumps at the deal. I'll let you know what happens.

So everything seems good but she only took 2 gallons of coolant. I filled her, added coolant to the overflow tank up to the low line and started the engine with heater on high. I let her run for about 15 minutes. The heater was blowing hot but I never saw a drop in the radiator fluid level. ?? 2 gallons is about right but I plan to let her cool and do it again. I read that the thermostat should open and let a good bit of coolant in, which will make the level in radiator drop.

Thanks again for the feedback. I think it helps to just write all this down so I can wrap my head around things. The more I work on her the more addicted I become.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:11 PM
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As you seem to be new to Toyotas it would be wise to invest in a service manual. Many recommend the Factory manual - but they seem to be pricey. I have always used Haynes manuals and find them pretty inexpensively online, usually eBay.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by L5wolvesf View Post
As you seem to be new to Toyotas it would be wise to invest in a service manual. Many recommend the Factory manual - but they seem to be pricey. I have always used Haynes manuals and find them pretty inexpensively online, usually eBay.
I found a pdf of the 93 factory manual on this site and have downloaded it to my computer. I'm thinking of going through it and deleting all the 22re info (no offense to you folks) so I have a 3vze only version for quick access to info. I had a Chiltons but it got soaked in brake fluid so I tossed it. I just purchased the alldata diy manual but I can't access the account. That's another fun story. Having said all that, you're right, I am a newbie to big picture thinking with toyotas and these manuals are priceless. I am still trying to get certain things but it's coming. Slowly but....slowly hahaha

After reading threads for God knows how many hours I've decided I want the supra engine in my truck. Can someone please write a detailed swap manual for me ;-)
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:58 AM
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There is no code reader for these readily available that is reasonably priced since these are OBD1 not OBD2 like newer (96'ish+)
check youtube or your pdf manual
there is a diagnostic port on the right side of the engine compartment that you jump two terminals with a paperclip and count how many times the light on dash flashes
number of times it flashes = your code


trouble codes
http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/TroubleCodes/
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by crchuck View Post
After reading threads for God knows how many hours I've decided I want the supra engine in my truck. Can someone please write a detailed swap manual for me ;-)
You want a 5VZ.
  • Electrical work to combine the new engine management system to the factory vehicle wiring. This keeps all systems functioning properly.
  • Custom exhaust work so the new engine connects to the existing exhaust system
  • An OBDII compliant catalytic converter
  • A plan to relocate the battery
You'll also likely have to deal with hood clearance issues as the 3.4L engine sits higher and hits the hood when itís closed. While some 4Runners have enough clearance, most will need a scoop or body lift to make it happen.

What you'll want:
  • A 'donor' 3.4L V6, which can be pulled at a junkyard or sourced from any number of websites
  • A swap kit

https://www.yotashop.com/3vz-to-5vz-swap-parts/
https://www.toyonlyswaps.com/services/
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ev13wt View Post
You want a 5VZ.
  • Electrical work to combine the new engine management system to the factory vehicle wiring. This keeps all systems functioning properly.
  • Custom exhaust work so the new engine connects to the existing exhaust system
  • An OBDII compliant catalytic converter
  • A plan to relocate the battery
You'll also likely have to deal with hood clearance issues as the 3.4L engine sits higher and hits the hood when itís closed. While some 4Runners have enough clearance, most will need a scoop or body lift to make it happen.

What you'll want:
  • A 'donor' 3.4L V6, which can be pulled at a junkyard or sourced from any number of websites
  • A swap kit

https://www.yotashop.com/3vz-to-5vz-swap-parts/
https://www.toyonlyswaps.com/services/
I was goofing off about the supra engine. I had a flash back of me driving 110 mph in an 89 supra with a beautiful woman on the passenger side just eating it up and thought wow, that'd be cool. While I would love love love to have that engine in my truck it isnt practical for so many reasons. I have started lazily looking around for a donor but yotas are incredibly expensive here. There is up to a 100% tax on older cars as a way to push people to purchase newer more efficient cars. If I can get a diesel in there I would do it in a heart beat. The little 4 banger in my wife's prado is amazing. While a guy can have his heads in the clouds, a 5vz is probably the way to go.

Thanks again for all the input.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
There is no code reader for these readily available that is reasonably priced since these are OBD1 not OBD2 like newer (96'ish+)
check youtube or your pdf manual
there is a diagnostic port on the right side of the engine compartment that you jump two terminals with a paperclip and count how many times the light on dash flashes
number of times it flashes = your code

https://youtu.be/do7ulTOvQPc

trouble codes
http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTricks/TroubleCodes/
Thank you for this. It seems easy enough and will be invaluable. I appreciate all the help you've provided. I plan to keep working on her over the next few weeks and will most likely be asking more questions. I hope to keep you attention hahaha.

Have a wonderful day
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:27 AM
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Talking

Originally Posted by crchuck View Post
I had a flash back of me driving 110 mph in an 89 supra with a beautiful woman on the passenger side just eating it up and thought wow, that'd be cool.
I do that in my 22-RE 4-Runner. You need a supra for that, eh? xD
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