If you’re looking for a mid-size truck, Toyota makes great product. These Tacoma TRD trucks are among some of my favorite to drive and work on. This one came in with a water pump leak, and we’re going to fix it right. Water pump, timing belt, cam seals, crank shaft seal, tensioner, and idler pulley! Just another day at the shop.
LET THE DIS-ASSEMBLY BEGIN.
See the crusty red stuff? That’s where the leak is coming from!
Cam seals going in and prepping the engine block for a new water pump.
Parts arrived! Brand new components! Lets breathe some life into this car!
All moving components in. These were the last of the pictures. Someone needs to remind me to take more pictures to tell the story.
I tend to like the shortest stories the best. If problems were always this easy to repair, we’d be MILLIONAIRES. And our mechanics would be showering in Snap-On Tools. That might hurt a little come to think of it.
The reason I called this job easy is for a few reasons:
- The problem is not a result of multiple components breaking down at the same time.
- The part replacement was easy to get to, and didn’t have any trouble coming out.
- Once replaced, our diagnosis was correct and we didn’t need to re-diagnose the car.
The check engine light is usually the first clue to the source of the problem. Its a good thing we have a Snap-On Modis to help us diagnose this problem. The Snap-On Modis is like an AutoZone scanner on steroids. That is, if the steroids were made of rocket fuel.
After a few minutes conversing with the car, we figured out it was a simple 02 (oxygen) sensor. Its a good thing we didn’t just immediately recommend a tune-up like all mediocre shops out there. The misfire in the Solara was due to an incorrect air/fuel mixture caused by the oxygen sensor. Long story short, if we had completed the picture set, we would have shown you a mechanic screwing in a new 02 sensor.
We need to start taking pictures of happy customers walking away…
Sometimes, by the grace of AMAZING LUCK a car makes it into the shop on a timing belt that is way past due. The owners of this car were old return customers, and wanted to double check the car before taking it on a road trip to California. We checked all the cars major vitals, and everything checked out.
Out of pure curiosity, I was asked the couple when the last time they had done their timing belt. To my surprise, the car was bought with 25,000 miles and had never gotten a timing belt done before. Your timing belt is supposed to be done around the 80k-100k mark. The car we were looking at had close to 162,000 miles.
The timing belt was over due by ATLEAST 62,000 miles. When a timing belt snaps, it means certain destruction of the engine. To explain it simply, your timing belt keeps the top part of the engine (the cylinder head) from smashing into the bottom part of the engine (the block) by timing the components inside the engine to miss each other on each stroke of the piston.
So today, we saved a car from certain doom. Its a good feeling. Here are some pictures of the tear down and the assembly.
Getting to the harmonic balance / crank. We’ll need access on the bottom end of the engine to pull the little pulley to the right of the brake rotor.
Inside the timing belt assembly. In this project we will be replacing the hydraulic tensioner, water pump, and idler in addition to the timing belt.
New component kit is in! Nice shiny new parts!
Here at Junkyard Revival, we have a special love for these V6 4Runners. 4 Wheel drive, plenty of muscle, and its one of the only SUV’s released in the 90’s that isn’t hideous! We rescued this one off the side of the road one day. The motor had thrown a rod and was starting to make a nasty sound when running.
This beauty would have been headed straight to the junkyard if we hadn’t fixed it for the customer. Here is the motor in the midst of its rebuild. We had to pull the engine, compression test and resurface the heads. Not to mention rebuilding the crankshaft, and replacing the piston heads.
Doesn’t even look like a motor does it? That’s because everything outside of the motor was taken off! Alternator, idler, water pump, belts, intake manifold, spark plugs, value covers, you name it! In the end, everything came together really nice. Our Toyota mechanic put the engine back together with new pistons, crankshaft, head gaskets, intake manifold, water pump, belts, idlers- the whole 9 yards. We gave the engine a great detail and put it back into the truck. It ran like it was brand new. And that’s what we like to see here. It makes the whole job worth it at the end of the day.
We love it when someone we know makes the decision to hand their trust (and their truck!) over to us. This car belongs to a friend of my named Maddie. Maddie’s truck was making a horrible screeching sound when going into first and second gear. If you sat in the car, the vibration of metal on metal could be felt through the seats! This truck went to three other mechanics with no dice in the end. We were her last hope! It took us a bit of time to figure out where the horrible noise was coming from. Our Toyota mechanics went through the upper and lower control arms. Then the struts, then all the bushings, and then we found this:
A broken motor mount! Usually, the bushings get torn up but we’ve never seen the metal carrier this bad. Then we took the motor mount bushing out. Um, what?! Half of the weight of your 600 pound motor was being supported by this broken bracket?!
That is what happens when the weight of your engine gets sloshed around within the engine bay, free to move with the current of the road. It was a surprise not find the other motor mounts destroyed. Either way, we got to work and finished the job.
She was a happy customer. With a happy truck. The end.