Hey all. I’m looking for some input and advice on getting my Taco back in fine running order before leaving the city. Taco, puppy, and I are heading back to our ranch in the Southern Rockies, far from anything, where 4WD and a dependable truck are simply a way of life.
So my aunt calls me yesterday having heard that the truck was in pieces and offered to pay for repairs - (she just sold a house and a store
). I don’t have a garage, but prefer to do many repairs myself just because I don’t trust these repair shops in the big city. Also, I don’t want to see my kind aunt get ripped off.
So I put together a list of stuff to do so I can shop for an honest mechanic to help with some of the work. If you guys don’t mind, please comment on your experiences and what part of the workload I should do myself and what work should be farmed out.
OK – here it goes.
1995 Toyota Tacoma, extra cab, 4WD, 4” lift, 3.4 liter (5VZ-FE), twin overhead cam, auto transmission (A340E).
History: Replaced engine 3 years ago at 108,000 miles, replacement engine had 12,000 miles on it and came from a 1998 4-Runner. Miles on engine now 56,000.
Valves were noisy on the new engine from the start. Have always had plenty of power.
Recently replaced P/S pump, water pump, PCV valve, u-joints in rear split drive shaft, front left wheel bearing, and tie-rod ends. Recently passed smog with no problem.
Current condition: The front of the engine is disassembled (A/C, P/S pump, alternator, timing covers, all belts, etc. are off).
Problems, work to do:
1. Noisy valves, poor gas mileage. Noticed oil on spark plug in cylinder #1 (but that may be from turning the engine backwards – oops) – have not checked others. Considering doing a valve adjustment or removing heads entirely and having them rebuilt. Also would like a compression test on all cylinders (110 to 150psi ok if all are uniform).
2. Re-assemble front of engine (have all belts). Replace timing idler pulleys and timing cover gaskets.
3. Excessive oil in air intake, related hoses, as well as intake air meter and related sensors. Clean and treat with ‘Sea Foam’.
4. Transmission slips when in O/D. This problem has been research for quite a while by myself and 4 mechanics (one at a Toyota dealership). History showed errors relating to speed sensors. Have tried both computers and complete dash panel swap-outs. Problem only occurs in overdrive after warm-up.
A. wire harness (which had been spliced above transmission before I bought the truck).
B. O/D solenoid in transmission (when looking behind the screener in the transmission it is the odd one of the three visible).
C. possibly as simple as the Shift Lock Control Relay Assy. (located under the shifter console). The mechanical part of this assembly wore to a point that the solenoid will not release the shift lock. Shift Lock Control Relay Assy. currently disconnected.
5. 4WD not working. Front shaft does spin. I don’t know a lot about the front actuator or differential, but do suspect either the wiring harness or a clog in the vacuum.
6. Front end still pulling to right after new balanced tires and front-end alignment. May just be drag from old front wheel bearing on the right.
7. Brakes lines and P/S lines need to be bled and calibrated for Anti-Lock Brakes by the dealer. I’m wondering if this could be related to other issues of the transmission or the 4WD. According to the manual, the transmission, transfer case, power steering, and brakes are all connected in a way that if one looses pressure all must be bled and re-calibrated.
8. Front right wheel bearing needs to be replaced (have bearing and seal).
9. Rear brake shoes need to be replaced (have brake shoe set).
10. Muffler needs to be replaced.
11. Rear drive shaft needs to be balanced.
Thanks in advance.