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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 22RE “replace head gasket and everything else while you’re at it build”.

I have put countless hours of searching here along with the FSM and Haynes. I found that here on PBB, no one really had a REAL good “how-to” on the head gasket, separating and removing the engine, etc., so I wanted to add my own write up of it to hopefully eliminate any of those small annoying questions from this really great section.

My goal of making this thread was to have it on the FAQ. When I did my searching, I had to go to countless threads to learn different tips, tricks, and recommendations. So basically, I have compiled all those tricks & tips, and want this thread have it all. If you have any input. Post up, I would be happy to add it to my suggestions or even just have it below.

So I picked up this truck earlier last month for $750. The gal who owned it before didn’t take care of it and I knew I was going to be in for an adventure.

I bought this truck for my wife who has always loved this year range. For now, I wanted to get it running, but I also wanted to have all the goodies for later when it can really go under the knife.


So AWN with the tech!

Don’t worry, I took the “roll bar” off and assorted other things.




• ‘89 Toy xcab.
• 200,500 miles
• 22RE
• 5 Speed

The rebuild of the top end of this thing had to start with knowing what parts I was going to use. That’s where to search brought out its gold. I basically picked out parts that the majority favored.

I started with purchasing the following. You can use most of this as a guide of some other things you might need when tearing at the head gasket. I'll have all the part numbers up tomorrow or the next day hopefully.


All the stuff came in within 2-3 days. I really like that LC requires the signature. So many high priced things to show up to just have them stolen.


self explanitory...





I also picked up a brand new Cherry picker, stand, and 20 ton press from a guy locally here in the Bay Area. I got the whole set for $378. He drove all the way from San Pablo to drop it off himself for free. You can find him at [email protected]

Stand, picker, and press…


During assembly


I will be replacing everything with the engine removed. So this article is really based around the removal at first, but the middle will get better when I am finished for those of you looking doing it without removing the engine.

I DO recommend taking it out as this will give you the opportunity to do everything with ease. You will also be able to really clean it up and make it bling.

Below has some titles as keywords for the people who actually use the search.

(Hood removal)
Remove the Hood. Use a paint marker to trace the brackets on the hood. Unbolt, and take off.

(Cleaning)
This is the absolute FIRST thing you should do. I did not clean a single thing before I started, and had to clean everything by hand. That brings the suck. A nice pressure washer and engine degreaser would do wonders in making the later tasks easier.

(Releasing the fuel pressure)
The first thing I did was release the fuel pressure from the hoses. This will eliminate a huge mess. Assuming your engine was running before, start the engine, get it to the regular idle, and then shut it off. Proceed by removing the fuse to the fuel pump. Then crank the engine to let it cycle 5-6 times. This will remove most gas from the lines. Replace the fuse is necessary and proceed with the next step.

(Removing battery cable)
To started by removing the battery, cables, etc. I recycled the battery for a little extra green in my pocket. I kept the cables so I could take it down to Napa and have them cut the new ones to length. I suggest adding a 3” more then stock as if you ever get a body lift to help with a doubler, or something else, you won’t have to put to much strain on the cables, terminals, or mounts.

(Air intake removal)
After wards, I removed the air box, tube, and all clamps. You will want to be very careful when removing unplugging the MAF sensor. It has a small wire clip that does not need to be removed as it can be lost, but just move the sides of the wire outwards, and remove the clip from the base of the sensor.

I recommend taking a plastic baggie or rubber glove and putting it over the TB inlet to prevent debris from going inside. You can secure it there by putting a zip tie around it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
(Proper Labeling)
Next, I started to label EVERYTHING! Using the masking tape and sharpie, I labeled all vacuum hoses, radiator hoses, clamps, lines, every clip in the wiring harness. I usually made a note of what part of the engine that specific object was on (i.e. front valve cover driver side), followed by what it was actually going too, and an arrow to show which way it goes. I’m sure there is a more effective/easy way to do it.






Instead of this way, I was thinking of this way while writing this thread out. The “average mechanic joe” drinks a lot of beer or soda. Cut your cans in half and label each can appropriately as you put bolts and stuff in them. The best part about this method is you can fill the cans with a little solvent or acetone. This would clean some things up real nice.

One way you can consider is by a recommendation I found on here. You can unplug the harness at the ECU, and remove it from there. I would imagine this would save a TON of time.

In regards to some of the vacuum lines, on top of the TB, there are a few there that can be confusing to label. I used a sharpie and labeled them by number. I used silver on the tube, and black on the cover and TB. Put a number on each side where it connects, and the same number on the tube.

(Draining fluids)
After that, start by draining the fluids out of your truck. It doesn’t have to be in any specific order.

Turn your heater inside the cab all the way high and high. Drain the coolant by unscrewing the plastic plug at the bottom of the radiator on the passenger side. To make thing less messy, I think it is good to note that you DO NOT have to remove the plug all together. There is a “notch” at the end of the threads that allow a steady stream to pass while still threaded in there. (< ----for the nubs)

You can see, my wife likes to help.


Remove the heater core hoses, upper radiator hose, and both radiator hoses. It would be a good idea to cap those holes off with my rubber glove and zip tie method.

Drain oil. Self explanatory.

Take a look at my very first surprise of this rebuild.





The density of this yuck was incredible. I have no idea how the engine was run like this and for how long. It took about ½ hour to drain the whole thing, and filled an entire oil catch. Yikes.

I guess we’ll see what condition the top of the block looks like in a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Remove the fan shroud and radiator. 4 bolts hold in the shroud, when removed, you can lift it right up and out. 4 bolts also hold the radiator in. Remove, and place to the side. It is a good idea to keep those fins safe. Keep the radiator in a good damage free area if one exists.

You can see, I did this removal a little bit out of order. Either way works.


Remove the fan/fan clutch assembly. A 10mm wrench will get those out. The bolts on mine came out very easy, but the actual fan had been removed before, and put back on with a tab of silicone at the base. To remove, I threaded the nuts back onto the unit, and used a standard screw driver to pry a little at a time while adding PB blaster to the base. You should go in a star pattern to make sure you are distributing the pressure evenly.

Remove belts by loosening the tensioner on the alternator.

(Fuel line)
It’s a good idea to now disconnect the fuel line from the filter. I cut up a water bottle just in case you need to catch some gas before it falls onto the ground. This proved handy.

(Top Dead Center (TDC))
Next, turn your engine to top dead center (TDC). This is done by first removing all spark plug wires, and the distributor cap. Note the location of what direction the rotor is pointing too. Now, you want to use a socket wrench on the crank shaft pulley bolt and turn the engine until the notch which is on the pulley itself matches up with the 0* mark on the block. This is TDC. To CONFIRM that it is at TDC, you will see that the rotor on the distributor is pointing to the #1 spark plug location (i.e. #1 spark plug location on distributor of 22RE is 10:00 position) If it is not there yet, turn the crank over 360* until the rotor faces that 10:00 position.

-Notch-

-10:00 position-

-Finding TDC-



(down pipe)
Remove the 3 bolts securing the down pipe on the exhaust manifold then remove the two bolts about a foot behind the cat. Remove this section and place it to the side. It would be a good idea to have these bolts soaked in PB blaster for a while before trying to remove.

(Distributor)
Using a paint marker, mark a line across the distributor to head to identify the correct alignment for installation.



And for the newbs. Mark a line if you want for identify the correct way the distributor cap goes on.


Remove the retaining bolt on the distributor and slide it out very carefully. You should not move or twist the unit from side to side as you take it out. Plug the hole with a glove or bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
(Power Steering Pump)
You can see below, that what I did was quite retarded, and that’s why I will recommend another way. Basically, I removed the bolts holding the bracket to the block rather then just taking the pump out. Save yourself a head ache and don’t bother the bracket, just remove the bolts retaining the pump to the bracket.




To get the power steering out of there, keep ALL the lines attached. Just remove the bolts that hold it to the black bracket. You should be able to “jimmy” the thing loose. Just tie it off to the side so when you remove the engine, you wont have it in the way.

(Alternator)
Next remove the wires leading to the alternator. Make sure to mark them. Remove the alternator. This is pretty straight forward.

(Starter)
Next it’s time for the starter. Remove the wires and label them. I used a long $15 extension and a 14mm bolt to remove the 2 bolts. This way you don’t have to be under the car fitting you big fat hands in a small place. The starter should come out pretty easy. Set it to the side somewhere and clean it up.



Thank God that I got that flywheel, this one looks a bit to old for “my” taste.



(Drive Shafts)
Now to get a bit dirtier. Remove each drive shaft. It has been noted that on the front, just remove the bolt connecting the shaft to the front diff. On the rear, just remove the rear bolts, the center support bearing housing, and front bolts to the transfer case. Now would also be a good idea to replace your u-joints and add a clean glossy coat for bling. Well not now, later after the important stuff.






(Transmission Removal)
Remove the bolts holding the tranny to the engine. If you have someone with small hands, they will come in handy. There are two very hard to reach bolts at the top. Without a body lift or anything, my wife stuck her hand down there with a 17mm socket wrench and small breaker bar to crack it loose, then used a 17mm wrench to get it the rest of the way.





Another way to do it is to remove the bolts on the cross member and let the engine/tranny sag a little so you can reach a socket with extension through the holes in the floor board for your shifters. You will want to put the cross member back in before removing the rest of the bolts.

Now get your trusty ‘ol jack out. Support the underside on the transmission very lightly with a 1” thick piece of plywood (cut it enough so it will sit flat on the underside of the tranny) between the jack and tranny. Have the jack run parallel with the wheels. You do not have to put a lot of pressure on it at all. Just enough to see it move up a little bit.

It would be a VERY good idea to have a friend with you now. Get two jack stands and have them ready under the vehicle. Remove the bolts holding the cross member up. While removing them, you will want to have your friend helping keep the weight on the jack even as to not have the tranny/transfer case fall and hurt you or the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)





Gently, use a pry bar in the appropriate locations to pry to two apart. With the jack running parallel, you should be able to move the combo back a few inches evenly, and lower the jack onto the stands. I recommend putting a terry cloth or rag on the stands so you do not scratch or warp the casings.

(Engine Removal)
Now that you have to two separated, you want to get out your cherry picker and support the engine lightly with the hooks on the factory support brackets. Loosen the engine mount bolts and remove.



Now remove your engine, and have a friend help you guide it to where it is going and get it on that stand.

(Prep)
Before putting it on the stand, find a good place that you think you will be most comfortable working on it. Put a large cloth or sheet under the stand, then support the engine on it. Adding the sheet will help when you spill different things and also will help when you drop bolt and stuff (they seem not to bounce off the concrete and end up across the garage).

Alas! You now have that piece of shit out, and it’s time to have some fun.

First, clean up the mess you have just made. It will make things a lot easier to bare with when starting this next phase. You can also use your solvent to put your bolts, nut’s, etc. into. This will have them clean as new by time your ready for reassembly.

The other things that you need to remove to get to the head gasket are pretty self explanatory. I tried to keep this in mind while doing the project, “If you DON’T need to move it or take it out, don’t touch it. “


Anyways, this is where I am at right now. I ask anyone who wants to add their “pearls of wisdom” or criticism to feel free. I want this thread to be the holy grail for noobs like me to find and use. Your input is appreciated.

This is the condition of the flywheel, pressure plate, etc. when I took it out. I'm glad I ended up picking all that stuff up.







I’ll be tackling this tomorrow and the next day and post up pictures as soon as possible. Please enjoy.
 

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I'll bet there is a hole warn threw the timing chain cover and the gasket is fine..

Does it miss or just have water in the oil and make lots of noise on start up?



It is a nice write up so far but a little more going on here then what would normally be needed to do a head gasket.. I like the ladies legs too:D
 

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You gotta be kidding.
You have a $750 truck with 200k miles
$3000 or more in parts
the engine out
AND YOUR NOT GONNA REBUILD THE BOTTOM END!!!!!!!!
Priceless

jim
 

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if it still ran good and no white or blue smoke came out of the tail pipe I would pull the pan since you have it out then the timing cover and look at the grooves worn into the timing cover.. that might be the whole problem.. If it was it takes about 3.5 hrs to do in the truck with a couple of beers
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys.

Even though that oil looked like something that came out of a baby, the truck ran SMOOTH! No smoke, no stalling or sputtering. I didn't mention that I drove this truck from Sac.

I wanted to inspect the block before I went out and bought one. Considering it didn't have any problems before the start of this project, I figured it was worth atleast waiting. If it's fawked, I'll happily go out and buy one.

Any suggestions on a where to purchase a good block? To be honest, I'm not to interested in anything other then stock internals as far as the short block goes.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You gotta be kidding.
You have a $750 truck with 200k miles
$3000 or more in parts
the engine out
AND YOUR NOT GONNA REBUILD THE BOTTOM END!!!!!!!!
Priceless

jim
To add more to my last reply. This is the first time I've ever tackled a job like this. The search, haynes or anything else only goes so far in helping rebuild it yourself. I am/was a bit intimidated on this project.

I will be planning on taking the oil pan off too and checking everything 4 times over for anything I should be concerned with.
 

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the block is more then likely fine.. It is the timing cover you need to worry about.. But you already bought one from lc.. The thing is you could have spent about $125.00 and did the cover and timing chain, Flushed the oil a few time and whammo.. back in buisness.. if that is what is wrong wich it sounds like it is
 

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Discussion Starter #12
if it still ran good and no white or blue smoke came out of the tail pipe I would pull the pan since you have it out then the timing cover and look at the grooves worn into the timing cover.. that might be the whole problem.. If it was it takes about 3.5 hrs to do in the truck with a couple of beers
The timing cover will be removed and thrown away anyways. The dual row conversion replaces it.
 

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The timing cover will be removed and thrown away anyways. The dual row conversion replaces it.

I see that.. All your stuff is good stuff.. and will make a cool set up.. But if you get in there and you find it is indeed just the chain and cover, send all the bling back, got to engine builder or ebay and get the cheap parts you need and take a vacation to Muai..

I love these ones, I have made lots of money on them



I guess if you plan to keep the truck and you would do all this anyways then cool deal man.. Since you got it out do the lower end too
 

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Looks like a fun project- I've done the same thing 4 or 5 times (buy a toy with a blown head gasket) usually I've done it with the block in the truck. Since you've already pulled the block, you might as well rebuild the bottom end. You can get an engine kit with new pistons, rings, bearings for little dough on ebay. Machine work is cheap as well. You'd only be talking a couple hundred more to have a totally new engine. You've already invested a buttload in parts for the top end- but it doesn't mean squat if the bottom end doesn't hold together. Just my .02
 

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Its less of a PITA to unplug the harness from the ECU, pull it through the firewall, and remove the head with both manifolds & harness still attached.

:2cents:
 

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Its less of a PITA to unplug the harness from the ECU, pull it through the firewall, and remove the head with both manifolds & harness still attached.

:2cents:

that sounds like a pita..:D


8 plenum bolt, a few hoses and there you are.. it needs to come apart anyways.. My luck the damn harness plug would break trying to pull it out of the cab..
 

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I did mine the way Jay suggests. I nice part was I was able to inspect the harness. I found some issues that I easily repaired before putting my New engine in.

Both methods are good IMO. It's just an individuals preferance
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looks like a fun project- I've done the same thing 4 or 5 times (buy a toy with a blown head gasket) usually I've done it with the block in the truck. Since you've already pulled the block, you might as well rebuild the bottom end. You can get an engine kit with new pistons, rings, bearings for little dough on ebay. Machine work is cheap as well. You'd only be talking a couple hundred more to have a totally new engine. You've already invested a buttload in parts for the top end- but it doesn't mean squat if the bottom end doesn't hold together. Just my .02
Great recommendation. We'll see what happens when I get there. I'd like to take it all apart and learn anyway.

that sounds like a pita..:D


8 plenum bolt, a few hoses and there you are.. it needs to come apart anyways.. My luck the damn harness plug would break trying to pull it out of the cab..
Great suggestion, I'll add it to the mix above.

I left it on because I didn't think it would be to bad to remove everything. I was right. It wasn't so bad.

The only thing that "took time" removing everything was getting those two top bolts on the tranny/engine.

I did mine the way Jay suggests. I nice part was I was able to inspect the harness. I found some issues that I easily repaired before putting my New engine in.

Both methods are good IMO. It's just an individuals preferance
What issues are you talking about?
 

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that sounds like a pita..:D


8 plenum bolt, a few hoses and there you are.. it needs to come apart anyways.. My luck the damn harness plug would break trying to pull it out of the cab..
I didnt read the whole writeup, but why would you need to remove the plenum? Unless you mean the whole intake manifold with the plenum?

Oh, and the connectors at the ecu are designed to be smaller than the hole in the firewall. Fits right though there, fucking crazy. :flipoff2:
 
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