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Engine not running right

979 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Steelheadstalker
i seem to be having some more issues with my '94 22RE engine. :headbang:

when i go to start it up after it's been sitting for a while, the engine runs really rough. it coughs and sputters, and i get a ton of grey-ish exhaust coming from the tailpipe. once i rev it up, it smooths out, but the exhaust stays. after driving awhile so it can warm up, the engine goes almost back to normal as does the exhaust. however, when i'm sitting idling at a stoplight or something, the RPM drop down to below 1000, and the engine starts sounding unhealthy again.
the engine temperature seems to be running a little on the high side as well. i just did a coolant flush, and i'm pretty sure the thermostat is working, since the rad hose was hot. (Haynes manual says this means it's working).

i'm really hoping this isn't something expensive, since i may end up just selling the truck if it is. any ideas?
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well, thats not much detail to work with.... but to ask some simple questions.... what condition are your plugs, wires, rotor, and distributor cap in? you could be looking at a very simple problem like worn out plugs or possibly an old fuel filter or clogged injectors. the best thing you can do right now is check out the small stuff and narrow the options down as to what is wrong.

i know i'm about due to replace all those things. it's next on my list of things to do. i guess that could be part of it. how do i check the injectors and fuel filter?

bit of an update. i just took the truck out for a spin. same issue at start up. coughing, sputter etc. i put the clutch in and revved it up to about 4000RPM. the engine smoothed right out. after about 5 minutes of driving, the exhaust cleared up as well. it ran really smoothly for the rest of the drive. once it cools down, i'll go start it up again. i'm expecting to see the same issues. it seems like it only happens with a cool engine. once it's been driven for awhile and warms up, there's no real problem.
with the fuel filter, if you have never changed it, you might want to now. as for the injectors, there really isnt a good way to "check" them without tearing into the truck. for starters you could run some SeaFoam through the engine. i used to do it with my '90, you just add it to the fuel tank and let it do its work. if the injectors are the problem, i have no idea if they are or not, you can take the truck to a shop and they can get them clean and it doesnt cost much. i think its around $90 or so. but the last time i did that was about 4 years ago....

well, i just had it at the shop getting a minor adjustment done. mentioned the issue to the mechanic, and guess what? he's pretty sure the head gasket is gone. he says it's aabout a $1000 job. i bought the damn truck for 6 grand, and i've already put about 4 grand into repairs. guess i'm selling it. boy am i pissed!!!!
that is a little high for a gasket but if you took it to the dealer i would imagine that's about right. if yu are mechanically inclined it would cost you about 100 parts and if you have are not sure if the timing chin and gears haven't been replaced that would be a good time to do it,with the timing chain parts included about 175 to 200 if you do it yourself.
the mechanic is "pretty sure" the head gasket is gone..... im sorry but that just doesnt sound right to me. if you need a new head gasket the signs are pretty obvious either through coolant in oil or a lot of crap leaking on the ground!

you should try and get a hold of some of the other BC guys here on the forum to see if any of them are close to you. if you do need to replace it, see if a guy on the forum is able to help you out instead of spendin an extra $800 to have some jerk-off in a shop do it. just buyin the parts and throwin whoever helps some money is going to be much easier on the wallet!

but really, the head gasket..... im not too sure about that one since a mechanic is only "pretty sure" about it.

how big of a job is it to replace it? my mechanic said since it's an aluminum head, it should be sent off to get done. he hasn't screwed me over yet, but then i've only used him 2 or 3 times.

i'll do some more checking and i'll see if i can get a local yota owner to take a look at it. i do have a bunch of oil down on the front of the engine block. looks pretty messy, but nothing has leaked onto the ground that i've noticed. i'll try to get some pics later today.

first thing i'll do before dicking around with the gasket is to replace the plugs, wires and distributor cap. i'll try to get that done this weekend. i'll have a look at the timing chain as well.
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