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Timing chain or belt broke in 88 Toyota pickup 2.4

Just as I rolled off the highway yesterday my truck came to stop and I had it towed to a nearby shop. Unfortunately I am nowhere near home so I don’t know the guy but he seems honest enough.

He says the timing chain or belt is broken (he said both several times, I can’t remember which). He also said my engine might be severely damaged as it may be an interference fit type but he wasn’t sure.

He also said that best case scenario, no serious damage, just replacing the timing belt or chain would cost over $1000 as it is a 10+ hr job!

What should I make of all this?

It’s the 22R engine. It’s a chain. It’s not an interference engine, but the head on this engine needs to come off to replace the timing chain, and on a truck that old you’ll have to accept whatever they find.

And the price quoted is not unreasonable for this job.

Since a chain seldom breaks without advance warning (rattling, etc.) you might consider this.
The chain tensioner is oil pressure operated and if oil pressure was lost for whatever reason it’s quite possible this could cause a sudden chain breakage and the engine may have damage due to the crankshaft and bearings.

You really need to give consideration as to whether the truck has any oil in it, whether the oil light was on or had been flashing, whether there was any noises before this happened, etc. One would hate to spend a grand and still be left with a truck that needs an engine.

It is possible to replace without removing the head. If you gotta have someone else do it, you are probably at their mercy though. Good luck.

Was the engine getting noisy, especially at cold start up?