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Old 10-19-2005, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default Engine Help!

OK This is my dilema.... I've had a supra in storage for 4 years waiting to fix up (88 turbo). My dad decides to "suprise me" and get the tranny and engine replaced (gets "low milage used" ones) ... unfortunately it is garbage, and now I have no idea on the history/condition of the engine.

When I drive the car for more than 40 miles (once it has gotten fairly warmed up) the thing overheats like crazy. I just put in a new radiator, but that didn't help. It's not the thermostat because I can see STEAM coming out of the overflow tube into the antifreeze overflow tank. Suffice to say I stopped driving it now. When it is very hot, it does not want to start at all.

When the car is cold, the engine starts up easily and runs very good and strong. Unfortunately the place that replaced my engine and tranny are not very reputable and I've given up working with them.

So what should I do now? Should I just replace it with another used engine from someone more REPUTABLE?

Should I rebuild the complete engine?

Should I just have the head taken off and machined and get someone to put in a high performance head gasket + ARP studs and assume the engine will be fine? (since it was "low mileage" and runs very well when cold)?

I'm in the Los Angeles area.... if anyone can recommend a good engine rebuilder or even a fellow Supra-enthuisiast-mechanic that would like to help me out I would be forever indebted to them! (I also sell jewelry and can give them some jewelry hookups!)

Unfortunately my budget is really not too big and I definately can not afford to get screwed over again. Any advice would be appreciated. PLEASE HELP! Thanks!

Last edited by born2drv; 10-19-2005 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:25 PM   #2
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still have the old engine ?

it's sure sounds like a blown head gasket for sure

replacing the headgasket is something you can do .

just takes time
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:38 PM   #3
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unfortunately i do not have the old engine. i actually moved from the east coast to west coast.... the car had been sitting back east... my dad "fixed" it for me there to drive back west... i only got as far as detroit unfortunately and i have to tow it all the way here to LA now (gonna cost me $1100 for towing).

so i just wanna get it done right this time and since i don't know any of the history of the car i have no idea how to proceed.... for all i know their could be internal problems with the engine and getting the head redone and replacing the gasket may not even solve the problem.

i found someone here called West LA Engine Rebuilders who will remove, remanufacture (all new parts including new pistons) and reinstall for around $3000, apparently they rebuild engines for dealerships and have 29 bays yadda yadda so i guess they are very big and legit and even give a 4 yr/48,000 warranty, but i'd hate to go through all that and still have problems.... plus $3000 is quite a bit of coin.
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:49 AM   #4
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Are you losing radiator fluid? Is there even 50/50 in there and not just straight water? Is your water pump putting out the right pressure or fluid at volume? How is your timing? Lots of things can cause overheating my friend. There are alot of cheaper things to fix than going right into the MHG+studs... unless you were going there anyways. Is it AT or manual? Is your radiator full of all kinds of gunk? Tried flushing and refilling the system? Are you burning any oil? Black or white smoke form the car when your going down the road? If so is it foot on the gas or off? I'd do a bit more trouble shooting before an engine rebuild.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:29 AM   #5
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The first time the car overheated I took it back to the mechanic that replaced the engine and they looked in the overfill resevoir and it was filled with 2 kinds of coolants. They concluded that my radiator was mixing anti-freeze and transmission fluid and was no good and needed to be replaced. After replacing the rad they didn't even bother flushing the system to remove the tranny fluid from the cooling system, but since they didn't seemed worried about it and they seemed very shadey and lazy... I just wanted to get the hell out of there and leave, drive it home and fix all their mistakes starting with flusing the cooling system).

So right now the anti-freeze is still contaminated .. it has red + green in it.

>>>Are you losing radiator fluid?
YES. But I think it's because it gets so hot and boils, when the car sits after overheating, it steams like crazy and bubbles out of the overflow resevoir. Then after it cools down it sucks out whatever is in there and it needs to be refilled. I don't know if there is a net loss in fluid assuming the system doesn't steam/overheat.

>>>Is there even 50/50 in there and not just straight water?
I can only assume they put 50/50. When I refilled it, I also put 50/50.

>>>Is your water pump putting out the right pressure or fluid at volume?
I am assuming so. We took the rad cap off when the car was cold, started it up and everything seemed to circulate fine. I will have a mechanic check this before it gets the engine replaced once my car arrives here from the shipping company.

>>>How is your timing? Is it AT or manual? Is your radiator full of all kinds of gunk? Tried flushing and refilling the system? Are you burning any oil? Black or white smoke form the car when your going down the road?
Seems fine?
I have not checked/tested the timing. But the car sounds fine. It's an AT. Radiator doesn't seem to be full of gunk. Not burning anything as far as I can tell.... I will have the timing checked as well once the car gets here.

Anyhow I'll have those tests run as well as a compression check on the engine once the towing company ships my car to me. Hopefully the engine is still fine, but I still think I will need to replace or rebuild the engine unfortunately.

I've had my supra for the past 11 years since highschool, so I slowly plan to restore it and maybe make it a little better than stock.

I'll keep you guys updated. Thanks for answering and I'll be bumping this post in a couple weeks. This has been an invaluable website. I'll be posting here much more often.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:58 AM   #6
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I am not sure, but I think the Toyota dealer has red anti freeze that they use. I got a car in very ggod shape and it was full of the red coolant and the guy used the dealer all the time.

It sounds like you need a good mechanic that you can trust to walk you through the things to look for with your engine. I would help if the person knew overhead cam stuff. The people in here can walk you through a lot, but it is hard to explain everything and sometimes being there is the best.

Let us know.

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Old 10-20-2005, 09:24 AM   #7
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check water level

does your car gurgle on start up when cold

is your heater cold

is your low coolant level light on (bhg light, birdcage, roman building etc) far left of dash

the red & green is actually toyotas coolant... and someone has added green coolant... it is extremely extremely rare for a radiator to do that

but i would say due to the amount of times it has now been overheated you may now have a bhg

do not put a metal head gasket on if you are not going to prepare the block
get a stock toyota gasket & use arps

good luck
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:23 AM   #8
500whp yet?
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I dunno if this is the same....but towards tyhe back of the block on the passenger side on my car, there was a blocked off water passage. it was leaking, but only when the car was hot, so it seemed fine and no leaks when it was cold. and then it would overheat from lack of liquid, and would steam from several places after about 30 mins of driving. i just replaced the block off pipe nad it was fine. but unfortunately my head gasket is leaking(i think) oil and coolant into the #6 cylinder....
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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i have a mk3 that has no power left in it.when i start it it knocks a lil at first then it will stop and the car will idle.then when u take the car out of park and put it in drive and try and give it some gas it acts like there is no power u can hear the eng tryin 2 go but nothing.i know the lady i bot the car from just put a topend on it.so should i just tear the motor down and see whats wrong with it or what?????
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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I changed the front seals and valve cover gasket on my supra, but it still leaks oil. Are the rear seal hard to get to?
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