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Old 01-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

Clyde The Ride, my 2006 Tundra, sprung a leak.
Well, specifically, a head gasket sprung a leak and now the engine is oiled on the outside too.
Oiled seriously enough that my once pristine parking spot now has a heavy coating of oil spots and I use a quart of oil in a bit over 500 miles. Crud.

So, what to do?

I still owe $9,000.00 so using it as a trade-in would probably mean payments far beyond what I now have.
Then I would have high payments and only a mile or two better mileage to compensate.

I could do a half-*** repair and just throw on a gasket, but I am totally disinclined to do the work myself and 80% of doing the job right
only to find that the head needed to be plained or there was a bad valve, and Dex won't do the job wrong, so that looks like a bad plan.

Dex says he will remove the engine and send the heads out for a valve job,
then he'll replace the rings, reminding me that it still consumes oil and that is likely caused by a ring or a valve guide;
then hone the cylinders, reinstall the pistons, replace the starter and the relatively new timing belt because it is a major job to do later and everything will be apart now.
This almost-major overhaul will cost around $3,000.00.
Good thing I am independently wealthy. Hah, hah.

Now would be the time. Is there anything I could do to improve gas mileage?
Is there anything I missed?
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:29 AM   #2
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

somender singh grooves!

No really, I'd have someone put new head gaskets on it and call it a day. If it hasn't overheated your heads will 99% likely not need any surfacing. When the heads are off you can visually inspect them for any burnt valves and go ahead and replace the valve seals. Total on a job like that is probably closer to $800-1000.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:30 AM   #3
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

My personal opinion is to do one of two things: Either purchase a remanufactured engine, or if you can find a low mileage motor in a junkyard, do that. Its hit or miss having someone overhaul a motor by hand, but one thing is that it definitely is expensive. Look at a Jasper engine. I think they come with a 3 year 50,000 mile warranty, and I think you can even get an extended warranty on the motor. If your mechanic buddy overhauls the motor, and you have problems 20,000 miles later, unless he's a REALLY good buddy, you'll be paying him to fix it again.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:30 AM   #4
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

I tend to agree with Project84 unless you were using a significant amount of oil prior to the head gasket failure. My '88 Escort with 513K+ miles still has the original rings and the head has never been off for a valve job. Yes, it's now at a point where it probably needs both since it uses/leaks a quart of oil about every 1K miles, but the car isn't worth putting the money into, I just save the oil from my better cars that I change the oil in every 3-5K miles and use it for topping off oil in the Escort. This gives me the best of both worlds, I keep clean fresh oil in my better cars and I don't have to spend a lot of money and waste new oil that's just going to be burned or leaked back out of the '88. If you're using Amsoil and it's anything as good as everyone says you shouldn't have hardly any ring wear in just 90K miles.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

$3,000 for a head gasket job? Pulling the whole engine out? It makes sense to try to find a replacement engine. GM 5.3 pickup engines can be found for a few hundred bucks commonly, I imagine the Tundra's can't be too much.

Check Tundra forums, craigslist, and of course junkyards. http://car-part.com says there's junkyards on that end of the country selling the 4.7 for $700 to $1900.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
$3,000 for a head gasket job? Pulling the whole engine out? It makes sense to try to find a replacement engine. GM 5.3 pickup engines can be found for a few hundred bucks commonly, I imagine the Tundra's can't be too much.

Check Tundra forums, craigslist, and of course junkyards. http://car-part.com says there's junkyards on that end of the country selling the 4.7 for $700 to $1900.
This is what I would do also. You will end up with a better engine then a rebuild. A lot of the newer engines today just don't rebuild as good as what they did at the OEM level.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

How many miles are on the engine? Is there any chance that it is just a very bad valve cover gasket leak that is running down the back of the head and then running horizontally along the block/head seam so that it just appears to be a head gasket oil leak?

A compression test would tell you if it had a bad valve. If the compression was still good, I'd probably just put another gasket on it if I had plenty of free time to do the job.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:22 AM   #8
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

More reason why I'd just do the head gaskets:

I bought my '94 Z28 for $1,000 needing a head gasket and a clutch. I put a clutch in it and drove it for a month before having enough money to let someone else do the head gaskets. They did send the heads out because I told them the engine got hot on 3 different occasions but resurfacing was only like $125 for the pair. That, plus parts and labor from a reputable F-body custom shop and the job cost me $865. Haven't had any problems since and I raced the car that very summer in SCCA for about 8 events. 135k miles on the engine, TONS of abuse over its life (I knew the previous 2 owners), and original valves, seals, rings, etc.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:40 AM   #9
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

How many miles are on it?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: Here's The Problem - What Would You Do?

I hope I'm not too late to contribute.
I'd do a search on the Tundra forums for 'engine oil leak' , 'valvecover leak', and 'blown headgasket' and see if it's a common problem, a serious problem, or a small problem with your model year and type of engine.
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