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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new. My daughter has a 1997 4-door 2wd auto. She loves it. I decided to get myself something similar. I found a 96 2-door 4x4 manual about 3 hours away. I went for it. The guy had just replaced head gasket, timing belt, catalytic converter, front suspension parts, etc. My wife & I drove up, purchased it, had lunch with some friends, & headed home. After an hour of highway speeds we stopped. I checked the oil. It was low, so I added. About 20 minutes later I just had no power at all. We pulled off again. When I opened the hood I found I had left the oil cap off (getting old sucks). I added more oil hoping I hadn't ruined my engine. Long story short, I had ruined the engine. The rings were seized. We limped home.

My brother works in the body shop for a very large Toyota dealer. He talked to one of the mechanics. He said if I could get an engine he would install it for $200 cash off the books. Sounded good to me. $200 to have a Toyota tech install and I don't have to get my hands dirty. Found a salvage engine and had it shipped to the tech ($925 with tax). He did the job in less than a day. There was one catch, he said that me driving so long with the seized rings had plugged the catalytic converter. I couldn't drive it home unless I removed the cat & busted out the honeycomb. We towed it home.

I got it home and tried a few tricks to "clean" the cat. No dice. I busted out the honeycomb. Once re-assembled I started it up. Wow! That was a lot of smoke! I figured it was the chemicals I had used to try to clean the cat. It also wouldn't idle. I pulled the plugs and they were all fouled. I cleaned them real good and re-installed. It started, smoked, but still no idle. I tried to warm it up a bit to give the computer a moment to get used to the new engine. Still no idle. Did a little research. Pulled the throttle body and cleaned it real good. Put it back in, and started. Smoke was almost gone and it idled. I called my brother to warn him I was headed for a test drive and worst case might need drug back home. Once I reached about 45mph a huge cloud of smoke! The engine died almost immediately! Ugh. Called my brother. Drug it home.

I pulled the plugs again. They were fouled. I was tired. I decided to sleep on it.

The next day I did something radical: I checked the oil. Holy smokes! (pun intended) The oil was at least 3 quarts high! Apparently the Toyota tech had assumed the crankcase was empty when he received it. Without checking he added 4 quarts of new oil!

I drained the oil. I re-filled the oil. I replaced the spark plugs. I cleaned the throttle body. I cleaned the intake. Bingo! It's alive!

The moral to the story? Just because someone is a professional doesn't mean he did a professional job!
 

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Good news that it's all OK now, but what sort of Toyota tech would add oil and not check the level on the dipstick?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Good news that it's all OK now, but what sort of Toyota tech would add oil and not check the level on the dipstick?
They probably get their engines from a certain supplier that always ships them with no oil. He wasn't expecting to get a replacement engine full of oil. But yes, any good mechanic would have checked the dipstick before AND after filling.
 

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Awesome!!!


Pictures?? ... or it didn't happen !!




I get my RAV4 serviced at the Toyota dealer.. Yes.. yes.. It is an old car with 222k miles but I want the best for it.
AND I am never happy with their work so I try to do as much myself at home. Sometimes I just don't have time and I have to take the car in.
 

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Every used engine I have gotten over the years has been drained.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been fighting a lot of problems on this RAV since the engine swap. Running real rich. Can't let out the clutch from stop unless I have the RPM up around 2,500 or it will die. 15 miles takes about 1/4 tank. Always in 4wd. I did a little research and found that the MAP could be to blame. Got to checking it out and realized that the vacuum tubes were all screwed up! Very few of them in the right place! Ugh! Re-routed the vac lines. It seems to run a lot better now! New windshield tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah. I normally do it myself, but I'm helping my brother build his house. I thought, "For $200 I can get the job done and still have time to work on the house. Besides, it's a Toyota tech! How can I lose?"

Famous last words.

I kept the other engine. I plan to rebuild over the winter. I'll put the rebuilt in her RAV and then start rebuilding hers to have on hand.
 
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