1991 toyota truck

i have a 91 toyota pickup 4cyl 2wd. 2.4ltr engine. one of the timing chain guides are broken. i was wondering do you have to remove the cylinder head on the engine to change the timing chain? or is there a way around that? also is it possible to change the guide without even bothering the chain itself just by removing the valve cover? the truck has around 180,000 miles on it .

If this is all so new to you, as it seems, the repair manual is your first stop to knowledge.
The cylinder head and timing chain might stay in place. Check it out.

I do not remember if the head has to come off or not; my feeling is not.
As mentioned, you really need to invest 20 bucks on a Haynes manual before tearing into this since it will be somewhat of a moderately difficult thing to do.

Considering you have a broken chain guide you should tear completely into this and remove all of the debris. You should also not do a piece meal repair by replacing only the broken part. At near 18 years old and 180k miles you should replace the entire chain/guide assembly along with the front crank seal, water pump if it’s the original, etc.
There’s nothing more aggravating than replacing one item and then having to back in the next week and redo it all.

No, you do not need to remove the cylinder head to remove the timing cover. But, be careful, because you also do not want to damage the head gasket extension that covers the gap between the timing cover and head gasket. Also, you will need to remove the oil pan. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE BOLT ON TOP BOLTING THE TIMING COVER TO THE CYLINDER HEAD!! This bolt is located under the distributor drive gear, under the oil. I’ve seen too many people break the timing cover by forgetting that bolt exists. Once all the bolts are out, carefully slide the timing cover evenly forward until it slides off the guide pins.

You can change the guides without removing the chain once the timing cover is off. Just rotate the crankshaft to untension the side of the chain the guide is on your trying to replace. But, with 180,000 miles on it, you may want to change the chain, guides, and tensioner anyway. The chain is probably stretched beyond recommended limits. It’s been a while since I had my 1990 Toy, but a Haynes manual has the correct limits and how to check it. The chain is easy to remove my unbolting the camshaft sprocket bolt. then the chain is easy to remove. Just remember to rotate the crankshaft to TDC to insure everything stays lined up.

One last recommendation is to look into steel chain guides. Here’s a website that sells them for your 22-RE. http://www.toyotacatalog.net/M1WebGear/ProductDetails.aspx?PartUniqueID=D7A1B610-0954-46E3-9231-27855E433DC2
These guides will not break.

Where did the guide go? When they break, they usually go down into the oil pan, where they can plug the oil pickup, starving the engine of oil, which is bad. Google “22R timing chain replacement” and you’ll get a couple of good step-by-steps. The correct way involves pulling the head as well as the oil pan, but there are other ways around it. If you don’t know where that guide went, it’s probably in the oil pan and you should do the method where you remove the oil pan.