Blown head gasket repair or replace short block & reused head

It will cost approx. $2K for a good shop to repair the blown head gasket! I will need to tow the truck to his shop added expense.
Yota online Toyota tacoma parts said, if I get a certified short block it will cost $3k. and recommends reusing the old head which is about 1 yrs old, but have a good Machine shop go over its condition first. Then reuse it only if it passes all tests.
Machine shops are not cheap they may want $1500.00 a new head would set me back about $900.00 complete with new valves and the works. Or I can part it out for $2,231.46
The Trans works Ok and the tires have about 2 yrs left of good thread. I would need to take out a loan to get the work done.
This model Tacoma is a Prerunner which means it has the suspension for a 4 x4 and can easly be converted to a 4 x4 for about $2,500.00 with used parts. But the engine is only a 4.7L and needs work.

Have you gotten a 2nd opinion on this diagnosis and repair charge?

If the transmission is less than perfect (which it sounds like it might), then I might consider whether the truck is worth fixing or not. But definitely get a 2nd opinion, if you haven’t already.

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Have you priced a long block?

Why would you replace the long block for a blown head gasket? If anything is damaged it is more likely the head. There is a lot you are not telling us… like the year of the truck, its mileage and condition yet you are asking advice on whether or not to spend lots of money.

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If you have to borrow momey for this repair why even bring acoversion to 4WD into the conversation ?

How did you come up with this exact number ?
Why not sell it complete as a mechanic special for $2,231.50 and make an extra $0.04 ?


Don’t introduce a new variable, like a replacement block, unless there is a good reason. A blown head gasket isn’t that big of a problem for an experienced mechanic to address. The fee is mostly for the labor. If there’s a problem w/the head, then buy a replacement head or have the existing one machined (the latter would be my preference, again with the idea of avoiding introducing new variables). The head may require a little machining anyway, to flatten the sealing surface.

It would be helpful if you explained what your mechanic thinks caused the HG failure.

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A 4 cylinder 4 valve per cylinder valve job cost me a bit over $300 at a good machine shop. What place would charge $1500?

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I’ve only had this done once which added to my belief of never opening up an engine with a lot of miles on. At any rate there is little reason to replace a block for a head gasket. They check the head for flatness and cracks, clean the valves up and slap it back on. If it is bad you replace the head but not the engine.

Thankyou all for your opinion, and suggestions, This truck has 234k miles the compression was approx. 150 with the exception of cylinder4 with much less, that was the reason for the new short block, I just got out of the hospital, with a blood clot in each lung lobe, I am out of the hospital but still on oxygen if my oxygen is too low my heart does not work right and my ankles and feet swell, my mind become clouded my my chest pains,come back. So, although I know how to do a hed gasket, i will need to hire a mechanic. Which means I will ned a loan no savings.

I may be misreading your original post.
My understanding is the head was replaced with a new head one year ago and now the head gasket has failed.
The failed head gasket might be the cause of the low compression on #4. It is possible all that is required is replacing the head gasket.

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The truck might not be worth the amount of money it wll take to make it reliable . Do you really need a truck ? I know that health problems can make decisions’ a difficult thing to do . Borrowing money to fix this now and then if it breaks something else then another loan will be needed . It would be nice if you had someone to take you where you need to go until you can fend for yourself and then make a choice .

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This is the reason for my post to make sure I am making the right choice! Thanks all of you for your suggestion and opinions, so I can make the correct choice.

You don’t say what year this Tacoma is, or if there is any rust or body damage, but I routinely see people selling this type of truck–from the 1990s to early 2000s with 200,000 miles or more, and “needs engine” or “needs transmission”, and they still go for $3500 and up (assuming a decent body/interior). If you can’t afford to fix it, I would sell it on Craigslist as a “mechanic special”, and depending on the year and overall condition, I’d ask for $4k obo.

BTW, it is highly probable that a new head gasket (and of course, having the head reconditioned by a professional machine shop) will be sufficient to restore the engine to proper performance. I did this repair not too long ago on my car, which is a Daewoo that’s not worth much money; I’d certainly do this repair on a valuable model such as a Tacoma.

Thank-you for our valuable opinion and suggestion. JP