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86 4runner w/ 22re, need to get it running right

11430 Views 62 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  bob o
I bought another project truck! I am going to try & keep this one. It is an 86 4runner 4x4 with 22re & automatic. The story from the previous owner is that he bought it not running with a rusted out gas tank & bad fuel pump. The truck spent the last 6+ years on a deer lease. He replaced the tank & pump but didn't bother with the float for the fuel gauge.:shrug: He got it running (poorly) but the fuel injectors where all leaking & then he threw in the towel. It sat for another year then I bought it for next to nothing & brought it home.

I pulled the upper intake & the injectors, cleaned them in the ultra sonic machine that we have at work, replaced all of the o-rings & bushings & put it all back together. In the proccess I replaced just about every vacuum line.

I drained the tank & put some fresh gas in & it started right up. Really ran like crap for the first 30 sec, then smoothed out some & ran OK at best. I let it run for about 20 minutes, revved it several times & noticed a bunch of other problems, but no fuel leaks. It has a pretty bad oil leak on the front crank seal & possibly the rear also, a terrible exhaust leak coming from the bottom of the exhaust manifold & leaky valve cover gasket. I decided to go ahead & replace the timing chain since I know these engines have issues with them. Ordered a timing chain set, exhaust manifold & valve cover gasket set all from LC Engineering. I still want to do a compression test before I start taking it apart so that if I need pull he head I can do it all at the same time.

I have a few questions before I start & prob. several more as I go. The porous of this thread is to keep track of my progress & ask questions as I go.

1st question - I have read that it is recommended that you pull the head when changing the timing chain, I have read several write ups & some people do, others don't. Why?

2nd - If the timing chain guides are broken, then I understand that I need to remove the oil pan & clean out the debris. Should I remove the front diff to get it out, or just pull the whole motor & do all of my work on an engine stand?

Any help, incite or thoughts are welcome & appreciated. I will post pics as I go.

And BTW, the date on my camera is wrong, lol


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honestly man, pull the motor and put it on a stand...its a project so you dont need it for work or anything...while its out you can inspect it better, clean it, clean the bay, etc. you dont have a lift so working under it will be a pain
That is kid of what I am thinking, It would also give me an oppurtunity to replace the rear main seal. I hope to get the compression test done today after work.
i seplace mine with the head on, just becareful not to rip the HG, and remove the "secret bolt" from under the valve cover!!

it took about 5hrs but i went slow and double and triple checked EVERYTHING. but if you have the money and tools to pull it and work on it then do it! :waytogo:
Ypu do not have to lift the head if you remove the oil pan. Also the front leak is most likely a seal behind the crank pulley and in the oil pump.

You have some EASY repairs
You have some EASY repairs
Thanks & I am glad you seem to think it will be easy!
I think people that pull the head to do the chain are only doing it to replace the head gasket and possible clean the head up a little. I would reccomend you just pull the engine out and re-seal the whole damn thing. I would pull the head and see whats going under there too. I didnt notice, whats the mileage on it?
LOL, it only has a mere 186K miles & I have no idea if they are original miles or if it has had any work done. I asked the PO when I bought it & he thought they where original miles. I guess as soon as I get the valve cover off I will look for evidence that the head bolts had been removed.
A little bit of bad news. I did a compression test last night & the results where not good. The number are suprisinglly even just low across the board. I have 100 psi in all 4 cylinders :(. I am going to and adjust the valves & try again. Also I think I am a bumb a$$ for not warming the engine up first, it was 35 deg. last night when I did the test. How important do you think it is to warm the engine first? I am also going to try & put a little oil in the cylinder & see if the number goes up. How much oil should I add? Once I get another compression test done I am going to try & rent a leak down tester to find out if it is the valves or rings. I sure hope it is the not the rings. I could prob. swing a new head but rebuilding the short block is not in my budget right now.
I wish I could afford that. :drool:

I am thinking since this truck need other work as well, I will try to get the motor I have running as good as it can for now with out spending a ton of money & buy another motor to build. I am sure it will be down on power if I can't get the compression up but I can limp it along for a few months untill I get some money freed up.
I spent several hours tinkering with the cream puff last night trying to get it running better & hopefully getting it warmed up & repeating the compression test. I started by removing the valve cover & adjusting all of the valves. Every valve was set too loose, some as much as .008" others where at least .003". The valve adjustment was easy! When I was putting the valve cover back on I noticed that a few vacuum lines to the EGR valve didn't seem quite right so I found a diagram & ended up re-running a few of them, I must have had a pretty bad vacuum leak. I already had a new distributor cap & rotor so I went ahead & replaced them, the old cap was badly corroded! After that I couldn't get the plug wires to stay tight on the new cap? The prevous owner had replaced the plugs & wires already & he gave me all of his recipts so I decide to go get the wires warrantied at Auto Zone. I also picked up a cheap set of spark plugs. It had a nice new set of E3's in it but I think I fouled them out turning it over . I am going to clean them up & reuse them later. The plug wires fit much better! I tried to start it one more time & she ran great!!!! Nice & smooth, no spitting or sputtering, just like a top. I was so happy that I didn't want to ruin my good mood by doing another compression test so I am saving that for today! It is still leaknig oil pretty bad, I am going to try to get the timing chain done and work on the exhaust leak this weekend.
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thats great news, good progress...just change a bunch of seals and the timing chain and you should be set!
thats great news, good progress...just change a bunch of seals and the timing chain and you should be set!
I sure hope so, I know the compression is weak, but as long as it runs decent then I am going to rock it for as long as I can. I have decided to get another 22re & rebuild it at my leasure (read, as I can afford to, lol). I am also thinking that I will go ahead & put a new head gasket on it. Once I do that & get the timing chain replaced I am going to seafoam it & maybe add some of that engine restorer crap & see if I can get the compression up a little, just to hold me over with out spending a bunch of money.
Saturday was a big day for the 4runner, with the help of a couple local college kids from Tacoma World, we got the engine out. I decided to go ahead & pull it for three reasons. 1st is because I know I need to remove the oil pan & clean it out to be sure the oil pump pick-up is clear, the only 2 ways to get the oil pan off is to drop the front diff or pull the engine. 2nd, since I had it running pretty good it was obvious that the rear main seal was leaking & I would have to either pull the trans or the engine to replace that. 3rd I intend to replace the head gasket & timing chain & thought it would be nice to do all of the work on an engine stand rather than leaning over the truck. As an added bonus by having it out, it gives me the opportunity to replace the front pump seal on the trans & clean up all of the mess from the many oil leaks. It was in all honesty a bigger job than I expected it to be. There are a couple of bell housing bolts that where very difficult to get to. I have pulled several engines in my day & expected this one to be easier than it was. It took us almost 8 hours to get it out but we took our time & labeled everything, drank a few beers, grilled some dinner & had a good time doing it. Here are a couple pics.

I have a lot of clean up work to do. This engine is seriously greasy. I guess it has been leaking oil for quite some time. I am really looking forward to getting the head off of the block. Since I know the compression is low, I want to see how the cylinder walls look & just how sloppy the pistons are. I do not intend on rebuilding the short block or the head, just clean them up & replace the gaskets. As I have said before, I know this engine CAN run good as is, I am just trying to get the most out of it that I can without spending a ton of money. I will be looking for another 22re to rebuild the right way once I have the cream puff ready for the trails.


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Sunday was not near as productive, I had some other fish to fry the first half of the day, then I spent the second half running around town, trying to round up supplies. I went to just about every hardware store in town & still cant find any bolts to mount the engine to the engine stand. I know of a place that will have them for sure, but they aren't open on Sunday so I will have to try again tomorrow. I did pick up some industrial greaser & a bunch of wire brushes. I also found a deal on a couple of cheap torque wrenches for reassembly.
Sounds like you're in for some fun times, I love engine work!
You should be abe to use your trans bolts to hold the engine on the stand.
I would HIGHLY recommend you get the head rebuilt (Valve cut) and resurface, if it sat for a long time, it would be a good idea, the valve seals are probably shot as well which will cause it to burn a little oil, and those are changed when the head is rebuilt.

When you loose compression it is usually the head, not the rings.
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