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Discussion Starter #1
I have a leaking head gasket on my 2005 4.0L V6 1GR-FE Tacoma with ~166k miles and am planning to replace both gaskets myself. I'm also going to replace the water pump and thermostat at the same time. As far as I know, the engine never overheated. I discovered the problem when I opened my radiator cap during an oil change and saw that it was 1.5-2 liters low, and have done some tests since then to confirm the problem. I don't have access to a hoist or engine stand though, which means I'll have to do this with the engine still in the truck. I've never done this kind of work on a modern aluminum engine, or even an OHC engine to be honest, and I have a few questions:

1) Is this repair possible or advisable without removing the engine?

2) Do I really need to remove the front differential housing?

3) Will I need any tools other than ordinary hand tools (sockets, wrenches, pliers), a torque wrench, and an ordinary harmonic balancer puller?

4) Is it OK to reuse the head bolts?

5) Is it OK to skip taking the heads to a machine shop if I check them with a straight edge and they are within tolerance?

6) Is there anything else I should know? Any tips from people who have done this?

Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've answered a few of my own questions, but not all. Right now I'm about half way to having the heads off.

1) Yes, it can be done without removing the engine
2) Yes, you need to drop the front diff housing to remove the upper oil pan to remove the timing chain cover.
5) Probably

If anyone knows any answers to my other questions that would be great, especially about the tools and head bolts. I ordered some Felpro head bolts, and they have a weird 12 point socket (not a 12 point bolt head, and actual socket like an allen bolt but with 12 corners instead of 6). It looks like a 6 point 8mm allen bit will fit in them, but I don't know how well that will work when I torque them down. Does anybody know? Is there a special tool I need? I don't even know what to call this type of bit or bolt head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The outsides of the felpro bolts are round. It's like a 12 point Allen bolt. Are the Toyota head bolts different?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Apparently Toyota has it's own proprietary fastener head for some of their head bolts. Snap-On makes a socket bit that's $30. The bolts looks like they would work with a triple-square bit, and they kinda do, but the bit wobbles and it screws things up. Ask me how I know :|
 
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