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Blown Head Gasket - could use advice #1106698 05/23/22 01:58 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 396
Runner-Man Offline OP
Mudrunner
So I could use some advice.

I've got an 89 4Runner with 22RE. Original short block, pushing about 400K. Doesn't smoke, does leak some oil, but not too bad, about 1/2 quart between changes (3,000 miles). She's got an 'Enginebuilder' head and cam, replaced about 50,000 miles ago when my old head burned a valve. A few months ago I was idling the truck at a drive through and noticed it was getting HOT, so I pulled out and drove around the parking lot until she cooled back down. Replaced defective fan clutch, and it's been good since (4,700 miles).

Truck was running pretty good up until about two weeks ago, when all of the sudden it stumbles a bit as I slowed to make a turn. Then I noticed a LOT of white smoke. Temperature was normal. I was less than a mile from home so I drove it on and parked it. Turned it over by hand the next day and it had coolant in the rear cylinder.

I've pulled the head, and the gasket came apart. Pictures are attached.

Now for the question: Should I just check the head and block for 'flat', get a new gasket and put 'er back together? Should I get a machine shop to deck the head? Should I just go for the full monty and rebuild the entire engine?

I lean toward waiting on the full rebuild until the weather cools down and my daughter and I don't need an 'adventure' vehicle. Just today we couldn't get to a potential swimming hole in my Nissan Altima - which already looked mighty funny with a canoe on it.

Thanks in advance!

Attached Files
Hd Gasket.jpg (74.51 KB, 2 downloads)
Block.jpg (76.44 KB, 2 downloads)
From the Off-Road World
Re: Blown Head Gasket - could use advice [Re: Runner-Man] #1106701 05/30/22 06:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,568
Snowtoy Offline
Roll Me Over
The block should be fine, the head should be checked for true and pressure tested before reinstalling it. What HG did you use? Might want to opt for a Toyota one over a parts house brand, you can get them for about $40 through any of the online Toyota dealers.

I would go through the cooling system while you have it apart, check/replace any of the rad hoses if soft/easy to squeeze, replace the thermostat(only use a Toyota one), depending on age have the rad rodded out if you can find a shop that still does it or replace it.

At 400k, it may be due for a rebuild, though as long as there wasn't any "knock" on start-up or loud clackety-clack noise(it is louder than the Toyota valve tap) while running, it should be good to go until you decide to rebuild it.

Last edited by Snowtoy; 05/30/22 06:18 AM.

More than tread lightly. Leave it like you were never there, nor anyone else.
'90 X-cab 4.88's 33 BFG AT's, rr ARB, Headers, Ignition upgrade, cold air induction.
'91 X-cab 5.29's 315's BFG MT's, rr ARB, custom bumper and flatbed
Re: Blown Head Gasket - could use advice [Re: Runner-Man] #1106741 08/18/22 02:31 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 396
Runner-Man Offline OP
Mudrunner
Thank you, Snowtoy.

I ended up just checking for flatness with a straight edge and replacing the head gasket with a set from LCE, and installing a new Toyota thermostat. She's back together and seems to be holding fine for a few months now.

Again, thanks for the response!


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