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Discussion Starter #1
'94 pickup 4wd MT 22R engine 126K miles

Started losing antifreeze into the oil. Other than that, the engine ran great. Not having time to do the head gasket repair myself, I took it to a mechanic recommended as honest. Mentioned to him that this engine would probably need new timing chain guides.

Got it back Friday. New head gasket and timing chain kit. $820 and he thought the main bearing were about gone due to the noise (I hmmed at that since it only had the cold tick that is pretty common with these engines).

Noticed bad things from the first. Checked the oil and coolant before starting, looked OK. Fast idle at cold start was much faster than had been, lot of engine clatter, poor power, rough idle, bad spark knock under a load, occasional miss while driving, and when I got it to the parking lot at work a couple of miles away, was steaming pretty bad. Popped the hood and figured the steam was from spillage filling the radiator plus the cold morning. Saw a loose vacuum line on top of the engine. Reason it was loose if the vacuum switch fitting had broken. $80 for a new one, rigged the old to work until he gets a new part.

After putting on the 'fixed' switched I looked the engine over real close and noticed two other vacuum lines disconneted on the back of the engine (the one to the carbon can was the only one connected). Reconnected them and drove home. Had more power but still bad spark knock under load and temp gauge went all the way over to red before dropping back down to normal. Now warm, the engine has a really bad rattling knock when engine spins down during gear shifts or slow coasting decleration. Really BAD knock. I limped it on home as gently as I could, about 20 miles.

Saterday morning I ran it long enough to warm up, again temp gauge went into red before dropping to normal. I adjusted the rocker-arms to take almost all the slop out while hot. Now the engine is quite enough to hear the new timing chain and gears whine. Noticed a the two vacuum hoses going over to the power stearing pump had been reversed (ones slightly shorter than the other), so I exchanged them. Also noticed one of the mounting bolts to the throttle cable support bracket on the throttle body was missing. Although the barket was tight it wasn't quite in line over the bolt hole.

Now the warm idle is so slow she wants to die (I might have the rocker arms a little too tight although I just took out the slop while hot). Still has spark knock and horrid knock when engine spins down after its gets warm. Looked at the distributer and finally noticed it the locking bolt wasn't tight and I could easily rotate it with one hand. I locked the distributor down about where it had been (going on the bolt marks) and that should retard the timing a bit but haven't driven it to put it under a load yet. It still has the horrid knock when spinning down after its gets warm.

Came to me late last night that horrid knock could be the timing chain expanding as it warms and slapping against something. I've not been into that part of the engine yet so don't have a good idea how the tensioner works.

With everthing else this 'honest' mechanic has done (or not done), could he have forgotten to adjust the tensioner? Is it self adjusting? Can I adjust it without tearing the front of the engine off? (I think I recall doing something like this on one of my vehicles but its been awhile and I can't find anything in my manuals on this truck for adjusting the timing chain tensioner.) Could he have managed to have locked it down or jammed it some how so its not taking the slack out of the chain when it warms up?

More importantly, will I be doing my engine serious harm driving it back to this guy (25 miles) to fix these problems?

The owner of the shop and I talked a bit on Friday when all I had found was the broking vacuum switch. He was very up front about wanting to fix anythin the wasn't right and already have an appointment to bring the truck in on Tuesday. You can be sure we'll be talking again tomorrow!

Thanks for listening. Any advice welcome.

David :hammer: in Missouri
 

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Official TN Memburr
'88 4Runner
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133 Posts
If you are in doubt, call the owner of the shop before you drive it in. If the owner is not concerned, then if anything else goes he pays for it. As for the timing chain, don't worry about the tension, it is an automatic tensioner. However, there is a possibility (from what I've heard) about your bearings. I had my timing chain eat my cover, causing the same oil/antifreeze mix you had, and I was told that antifreeze eats bearing material. On my test drive, I spun the #3 connecting rod bearing, which is when I heard of this. Whether it is true or just a coincidence, I don't know. I got lucky, when the engine crapped out I towed it and thereby just had to replace bearings as the crank was not pooched. If I had pushed it, I would have had to spend another couple of hundred on crankshaft machining and repair to the connecting rod. I'm putting in my engine next weekend (waiting for a cherry picker), so wish me luck.

Good luck.

D'mon
 

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Trailer Trash Engineer
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592 Posts
Don't drive it with a bad knock. You said it knocks when it's spinning back down? That's usually a sign of rod knock. If it knocks under no load, that is. Have it checked out. Don't drive it if you're not sure, could cost ya more busted parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies D'mon and Bob.

I've never had a spun bearing so not sure what it sounds like. I figure if it was that I'd be hearing it cold or warm.

This loud rattling knock I first thought was the heat shield hitting something as the engine spun down after getting warm, but after tracing it down, seems to be coming from the front of the engine just off to the passenger side. Doesn't knock at all cold, only after it gets up to normal temps. I can hear the knock by increasing the engine speed (not racing it, just giving it a little gas) and holding it while parked (no load).

With all the stuff that was overlooked on the outside of the engine, I have to wonder if he even installed the new tensioner. I'll be talking with the owner soon.

David
 
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