4.7 broken timing belt and ensuing nightmare - TundraTalk.net - Toyota Tundra Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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4.7 broken timing belt and ensuing nightmare

I have a 2002 Tundra Limited with the 4.7L. I was right around 200K miles when the timing belt broke as I was coasting to a stop doing maybe 20mph (this is the one I replaced at about 100K btw). I don't know if you'd hear the sound of valves hitting pistons, but it died very quietly. Local mechanic says "maybe the valves aren't bent, but no way to know unless I replace the belt and we see". I suggested a leak down test, but he said that wouldn't work. I said I didn't want to replace the water pump, idler's and tensioner unless I knew the valves were okay. He proceeds to change the belt and tells me I've dodged a bullet and the valves are all fine. I okay the full repair and I drive away after spending $1158. I start it and it idles okay and is running fine up to 2000 rpm. Heading down the road, I get on it to test it. It down shifts into passing gear and roars like a race car, which is unusual, but there is no power between about 3000 - 5000 rpm. I doubt I could actually pass another vehicle due to the lack of power. I head back to the mechanic and suggest that he must have the timing belt on wrong and that it's a timing issue, so I leave it with him. A couple days later he tells me he checked everything out and the timing is perfect. He's sorry, but I must have some bent valves after all. Im not happy about this, and I wish he could have told me this up front, but I don't make a stink and drive away figuring it's my problem I didn't get the timing belt fixed on time.

I drive it this way for the winter, staying local, since I can't make it up the mountain passes that I live within. Can't tow my work trailer's either. I happen to really like these model years of Tundra's so I looked all winter for a nice used 2002-2006, but to no avail. I go back to the mechanic and ask what it would take to fix it? He says to have the head(s) rebuilt and quotes me about $3500 and tells me this would totally solve my problem. I've had this truck from day one, love it, and I know the rest of it is in peak condition, so I decide to opt for the head job. The repair does not go smooth. I'm driving my motorcycle for a month before the job is done. At one point he tells me that he has damaged the valves again in the process of doing the repair and has to send the head back to the machine shop, which adds a week to the timeline. He says he'll still honor the price quote and will pay for the extra machine shop cost out of his own pocket. I must admit, Im losing confidence that this guy knows what he's doing. He's already made comment to having to look stuff up online and ask other mechanics what he's doing wrong.

Long story short, I finally get the truck back, pay my money and drive away. Yeah, you guessed it, nothing has changed. It still runs like shit and worse, now when its under load or trying to climb a grade, it not only lacks power, but Im hearing all kinds of clatter (valve noise?) that I never heard before. Same overly load induction roar. The check engine light is on too. I've now spent almost $4700 and all I have is a new timing belt and water pump, but neither are really doing me any good with a useless truck.

Im not sure if I should cancel payment on my check, or take it back and tell the mechanic I don't want it back until it's right. I live in a very rural area and the closest Toyota dealership is 2 hours away. Not sure my truck will even make it there. I called them yesterday and they asked about the code it's throwing. I'll follow up with them Monday when I can get someone to check the code.

I haven't asked you all a question yet, but any advice or comment is welcome. My main question is: do you think this is actually a timing problem? ... or what do you think the real problem is? The Mechanic only did one head and he claims a compression test gives nearly identical pressures of 175 lbs across the board on both heads. My conclusion is that since fixing the valves yielded no new result, the problem was never with the valves / heads. I may have spent that $3500 needlessly. What else could cause the lack of power and the loud induction noise that Im experiencing? Should I try to get my money back, or make him fix it right? Im afraid he could just mess things up worse at this point. What is making all the new clattering noise? Is it perhaps doing more damage?

Sorry for the long post. This has been extremely frustrating and Im feeling foolish to have trusted this guy. Thanks for listening and please offer any suggestions.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:01 PM
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put a hold on the check and go see another mechanic asap.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Found a scan tool and the code it's throwing is P0171 - system too lean / bank 1. I'll check for vacuum leaks and the MAF sensor too.

I drove it some more today. Tried driving up the pass and turned around when the valve noise started worrying me. Driving uphill provides enough load that it started "pinging" real bad. Like the noise you get when the octane of your fuel is too low.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:44 PM
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For the money you spent you almost could have had the motor totally rebuilt, I would put a hold on that check and find another mechanic because it appears this guy does not know what he is doing. Has far as the work that he has already done you and him are going to have to work something out.
Good luck.
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