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View Full Version : Bad news. I just had a major engine failure of some kind


JadeRunner
08-03-2008, 06:20 PM
I was all loaded up with the family and the pop-up Friday on the way to a 5 day camp trip. My Mom was already waiting for us in a campground near Westcliff. Coming into Colo. Springs something let loose in the engine. It sounded like something was hitting the fan blade or something when I stepped on the gas. I pulled over near a gas station promtly. I could see an occasional puff of smoke coming from the front top passenger side of the engine which was also the area of the bad sound. The engine oil level was fine, although I could see some past oil seepage coming from the oil filler cap. Belts and pulleys and everything else visible looked fine and tight so I'm not sure what it is. I called Oleg and he helped me troubleshoot a few things and heard the sound over the phone and agreed it's a major problem.

I upgraded our AAA membership over the phone for 100.00 and had it towed to Oleg's shop (100 miles of towing for free). I had my Springs friend Dan pick the popup and us up. We spent the night at my brothers house also in the Springs. I was able to contact my Mom via cell ph. at the campground. They packed up their 36' RV and met us in the Springs. We were able to have them my take us and the popup back home Saturday. Their large moterhome with the popup in tow was an interesting sight.

So I felt fortunate we were able to get the Runner to Oleg's and all of us and the popup home safely. I hate to think the problems I would have had to deal with if this would have happened in a remote area on the western slope, which is where we were heading after Westcliff. Or on top of Red Cone or something.

Oleg will have to tear into it Monday to see what's going on. I just don't get it. I maintain my Runner real well and had Oleg change the timing belt and water pump at 90k.

Romer
08-03-2008, 07:27 PM
Sorry to hear about that Scott. Your right you where lucky to not be in the woods and to have a good network to help you.

wesintl
08-03-2008, 08:22 PM
Bummer Scott. At least it's in good hands with Oleg.

Uncle Ben
08-03-2008, 08:30 PM
Major bummer dude! Hopefully it sounds worse than it actually is! Oleg will take care of you! :(

subzali
08-03-2008, 08:40 PM
Toyotas know when to go - they seem to hand on until at least you are in a safe environment. Sorry to hear about the problem, really hope it's just something stupid that ruined a weekend trip and not something that's going to cost lots of $$. :(

Red_Chili
08-03-2008, 08:45 PM
Here's hoping it's a PS pump and not a rod!!!

Bummer, Scott. Let us know what it is.





My 3.4 has about, oh, um... 110K miles on it... :eek:

Rock Dog
08-03-2008, 08:52 PM
Sorry to hear that Scott. Glad to hear you got it safely to Oleg's... hope it is something simple ....

corsair23
08-04-2008, 01:26 AM
My V6 with only 110k has let me down big time. I am so bummed out, I thought my Runner had many more dependable miles on it. WTF!!:mad:

Sorry to hear about the problem Scott...Glad to hear however that it happened in at least a good location (relatively speaking)


I upgraded our AAA membership over the phone for 100.00 and had it towed to Oleg's shop (100 miles of towing for free).

We need to start a member's only AAA membership listing :thumb:. With AAA Plus you get the "up to" 100 miles of free towing. Also, unless things have changed again, the 'new' rules state that you don't have to own the car being towed anymore...I know my membership has paid off several times but not since I've gone to all Toyota vehicles (knock on wood). The last time I used AAA was to have my Durango towed back to Denver from just outside Buena Vista/Johnson Corner. Mileage was just over 100 miles and the driver was really great considering he just spent about 2 hours bringing us to Denver only to turn around and spend 2 hours getting home (more since IIRC he came out of Fairplay :eek:).

Hulk
08-04-2008, 08:27 AM
Sorry to hear it, Scott. Here's hoping it's a simple fix.

DaveInDenver
08-04-2008, 08:34 AM
Bummer, here's to something relatively simple.

rover67
08-04-2008, 09:09 AM
big bummer man, Hope it is not serious... I am curious what it ends up being..

JadeRunner
08-04-2008, 03:51 PM
Thanks for everyone saying "good luck I hope it turn s out to be simple", because basically is was.

One of my spark plugs worked it's way out and did some damage in the area. Oleg, replaced the plug coil and put some kind of double threaded tap in there so a new plug would fit back in nicely. It's runs fine now. I will change the oil and monitor things just to be safe.

I can remember when I changed the plugs last that one didn't want to thread in smoothly. I can't remember if I used a torque wrench or not. But, I can always remember trying to be careful not to over tighten them so I didn't break one off in there. I do remember using the blue anti-seize on the threads. Oleg says some of the other plugs were loose and that the crush washers were not crushed down properly. I will be sure to use a torque wrench next time. Whew! I'm back in action.

Shark Bait
08-04-2008, 04:18 PM
Wow! Glad it was nothing major, Scott. :clap:

wesintl
08-04-2008, 04:32 PM
whew

rover67
08-04-2008, 05:07 PM
sweet...

that's a relief!

subzali
08-04-2008, 05:40 PM
...a courtesy reminder from your friendly neighborhood 4runner...

glad that's the worse that it was. In the last year that's the fourth spark-plug related breakdown I've helped with/heard about. The first two were because people didn't change the plugs/wires and they corroded to pieces, the third was my buddy crushing the electrode when he was putting it in.

Time to get a diesel...:D

bh4rnnr
08-04-2008, 05:49 PM
Scott,

Glad to here your back in action and it wasnt to major of a problem:thumb::cheers:

Rzeppa
08-04-2008, 05:57 PM
Wow, that's great news, Scott! Glad to find that it was simple and not a major problem!

Rock Dog
08-04-2008, 11:48 PM
What a major relief !! glad to see the Jaderunner back in buisness..

Romer
08-05-2008, 07:24 AM
I think your truck was just missing Olegs shop. Maybe you should drop by every few weeks so it can visit with Yuri and Oleg :D

Ron Helmuth
08-05-2008, 08:58 AM
Sure could have been a lot worse. Thanks for posting up what it was so we can learn from it.:bowdown:


I just blew a left rear axle seal and was hoping to catch it as preventative maintenance, time for me to get ahead of the repair curve.

Red_Chili
08-11-2008, 10:56 AM
Ah, the dreaded 3.4 spark plug kaphlewey. Not the first time it's happened. Your caution ironically was part of the cause!!!

FWIW, after I cleaned up and tweaked my 3.4, Mike Caskey told me the spark plugs were not properly tightened. Funny, I THOUGHT I put them in like I have done every other one for 30 years... Mike saved me a disaster.

Happens easy.

nakman
08-11-2008, 12:23 PM
.......Oleg, replaced the plug coil and put some kind of double threaded tap in there......

= Helicoil? If so that's a good fix, you should be set for a while.

And glad to year you're back in business without much pain, proper torque on plugs is definitely not something to shortcut, they're too important.

JadeRunner
08-11-2008, 12:38 PM
Ah, the dreaded 3.4 spark plug kaphlewey. Not the first time it's happened. Your caution ironically was part of the cause!!!

FWIW, after I cleaned up and tweaked my 3.4, Mike Caskey told me the spark plugs were not properly tightened. Funny, I THOUGHT I put them in like I have done every other one for 30 years... Mike saved me a disaster.

Happens easy.

Bill, can you clarify this a little for me. Blue thread lock stuff and a torque wrench to the proper specs is still all i know to do. Or i gues I could do like Oleg does just hand tighten till it's real tight.

subzali
08-11-2008, 12:44 PM
? I always have just tightened the spark plugs until I feel the crush sleeve yield, and then a bit more ? :confused: If they're threaded straight and the socket is straight on the plug then I would think you'd really have to be yarding on the wrench to get the head to strip out...

Red_Chili
08-11-2008, 02:08 PM
Bill, can you clarify this a little for me. Blue thread lock stuff and a torque wrench to the proper specs is still all i know to do. Or i gues I could do like Oleg does just hand tighten till it's real tight.
BLUE THREAD LOCK on sparkplugs??!?

No way, d00d. Anti-seize where steel threads into aluminum. Otherwise the threads get damaged, or the plug seizes, or both. Anti-seize and a torque wrench.

Mine were loose because I followed Oleg's method without using Oleg's brain and fingers...

Red_Chili
08-11-2008, 02:10 PM
? I always have just tightened the spark plugs until I feel the crush sleeve yield, and then a bit more ? :confused: If they're threaded straight and the socket is straight on the plug then I would think you'd really have to be yarding on the wrench to get the head to strip out...
More than one 3.4 has kaphlewied a spark plug right out of the head. Not sure why. Loose obviously does not help... And cross threading is a lot easier to do than that. Maybe part of the problem is that when the threads start to feel tight you think the spark plug is getting tight, and its not. And the 3.4 plugs are waaaaay down deep in a hole between the cams.

TOTONKA
08-11-2008, 03:32 PM
My V6 with only 110k has let me down big time. I am so bummed out, I thought my Runner had many more dependable miles on it. WTF!!:mad:.


I had 2 engines replaced by toyota under warranty.

I noticed the problem every time i started up the motor (SMOKE), puffy.

The MECH said Radiator fluid was leaking through the seals causing electrolysis.

They took care of it NO PROBLEM.

Toyotas are top quality

Red_Chili
08-12-2008, 09:04 AM
The MECH said Radiator fluid was leaking through the seals causing electrolysis.
Eh? Would that be a head gasket failure by any other name? TWO motors replaced? What model and year?

Ron Helmuth
08-12-2008, 09:13 AM
lurking along-I can find in a manual somewheres-what is the proper torque specification please for the 3.4 V6 sparkplugs? I may as well get this handled before I learn the hard way

-I presume all 6 to be the same torque setting but have been wrong before.

Red_Chili
08-12-2008, 11:45 AM
I use Russian specs usually, modified by my experience with my own 3.4.




Titan Gudenov.

Nay
08-12-2008, 12:32 PM
I had 2 engines replaced by toyota under warranty.

Toyotas are top quality

A nice illustration of turning lemons into lemonade :D

Red_Chili
08-12-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm suspicious. This does not seem quite like reality:
The MECH said Radiator fluid was leaking through the seals causing electrolysis.
What seals? And how would that cause electrolysis? And why would that lead to TWO new motors under warranty? Methinks he is trolling with irony?

Perhaps the headgaskets failed DUE to prefailure electrolysis due to failure to change coolant regularly, but that would hardly be warranty. I could be missing something.

JadeRunner
08-13-2008, 08:38 AM
I had 2 engines replaced by toyota under warranty.

I noticed the problem every time i started up the motor (SMOKE), puffy.

The MECH said Radiator fluid was leaking through the seals causing electrolysis.

They took care of it NO PROBLEM.

Toyotas are top quality

My problem had nothing to do with your mysterious problem. :confused: My problem had to do with my user error and a small quirk with these spark plugs getting tightened correctly.

Toyota's are still the most dependable vehicles out there, I have had excellent luck with them for 20 years now and wouldn't want to depend on any other vehicle.