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Sudden Blown Head Gasket or Cracked Head 3.4L

Old 12-17-2010, 01:11 PM
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Sudden Blown Head Gasket or Cracked Head 3.4L

Happened yesterday. My wife was driving (it is her work truck, I use it for play...towing a boat to the lake and such). Without any warning (no overheat, no check engine, etc.) the truck suddenly started running rough, then stalled.

When I looked at it last night (after being towed home) it started for me, but was running really rough (5 cylinders I think). Within a minute there was a steady stream of coolant coming out of the exhaust flange between the down pipe and Cat. Shut it off right then. No oil in coolant, not coolant in oil (yet) but that doesn't mean much in the scheme of things.

The truck is a 1995 with 159k miles. Ran flawlessly right up to the point of sudden failure. Talked with the dealership hoping for possible help with the head gasket recall, no hope there and the service manager mentioned it sounded to him like a cracked head (most likely driver's side he said) because they have been seeing a rash of them lately.

Of course it happened at the worst possible time. I have no indoor place to work on it, we just paid property taxes and are broke with Christmas still coming soon, and I really wasn't planning the time suck this thing will take to fix (I do all my own work on our fleet). Love the truck, but gotta say my experiences with Toyotas (this is my forth) has not been so good. Still think it should get fixed rather than sold as is and buying something else. My wife does need a truck for her (self employment) work right away too, which adds to the pressure.

Since I don't really know what's up 'till I start tearing it down I guess that's the next step. Looking at a week straight of rain right now. Maybe week after next to get the heads off.

I do have a factory manual (electronic copy so I have to print the appropriate pages), but I would love to hear first hand tips and advice from those who have done this job since this will be my first time in. I assume I'll need to get a crank lock tool and timing belt tensioner spreader/lock tool?

Any and all help, advice, and words of encouragement (or offers to buy as-is in Santa Cruz, CA perhaps?) will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:24 PM
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Here may be one of the best 5vz HG rebuild threads around - it clearly shows what you need to be prepared for. I used the first thread extensively when I mine a few months ago.

You can easily make a crank holding tool. You don't actually need the timing belt tensioner tool, but will need to remove the AC bracket to get to the tensioner bolts.

http://www.ultimateyota.com/index.ph...6&topic=2241.0
or:
http://www.ultimateyota.com/index.ph...6&topic=7462.0
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:37 PM
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I made up a tool like this one in post 14:
https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f116...ebuild-201583/

It worked great for both the crank and cam bolts.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:54 PM
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Bad news from the machine shop today, both heads are cracked. I'm thinking pick-n-pull (maybe a whole engine there) or National Cylinder Heads (they have 'em for $340 each shipped).

Anyone close to Santa Cruz CA with a spare set of heads or a good 5VZ-FE engine that I can trust?
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:35 PM
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You might try here too:
http://cylinder-heads.com/automotive.cfm

Several here or on TTORA have used these folks with success.
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