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About loco_ese

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  1. There could possibly be a slight difference between the OEM gasket and any aftermarket manufacturer of the tstat gasket. What the real problem could be is that the housing is not seating properly which could be due to improper tightening (ie-cross threading) of the thermostat housing. Have you personally checked it yourself for proper tightening?
  2. I would suggest that you get a true, Toyota belt and not a Napa, Autozone, etc belt. The Toyota belt is a few dollars more and you can get it from the Toyota dealership since it shares the same engine as the N/A Supra; I saved $11.00 dollars. Now, based on MY experience, I could not for the life of me remove the bottom crankshaft pulley bolt even after my last ditch effort of ghetto-fying the removal by doing the starter bump; it still didn't work. I had the same Toyota dealership that I bought the belt from do the timing belt replacement (and they installed my new crankshaft pulley since my old one sheared off into two pieces on the highway two weeks prior). As for replacing the waterpump and knowing how expensive they are I would feel that you could wait until the next time you change the timing belt. Just do a complete cooling system flush (make sure you also turn on your heater to remove the old coolant that is in your heater core), replace the thermostat with a new one and burp the system.
  3. If you do take it to another mechanic or if you do some investigative work yourself to save some $$$ and it is determined that the motor is "blown" you could always do a better fix than rebuilding the motor. You could do the 1JZGTE swap for less than a stock rebuild; twin-turbo should prove to be fun. =)
  4. You could take it in but I'm SURE that a mechanic will tell you that something is f'd up and it's going to cost X amount of money to repair it. If you are car knowledgable you could check the plugs for any visible signs of damage, if all looks resonable then you could replace the tensioner (if that is the problem. I had my crank shaft pulley break in two pieces which pulled the serpentine belt off), replace the hose if it is cracked and either replace the serpentine belt or reuse it if its not ripped/torn. Refill your radiator with coolant at the 50/50 ratio and crank it up.
  5. I have been researching on here for various opinions on which brand of strut to get. I have a 98 SC300 w/128,005 miles and it's time for all four struts to be replaced; the SC will still be at stock height. I have found three choices and here are the best prices that I have found online so far. From Rockauto.com I have found the Monroe Sensa-trac's for $257.89 (this includes shipping charges and a 5% discount code). I have found the KYB GR-2's on ebay for $265.90 total (incl. shipping) current auction Ebay auction for KYB Gr-2's and the third choice is for Tokico's from shox.com for $276.28 w/free shipping, here is the link Tokico struts from shox.com. All three are roughly within $20.00 of each other and I would like some input on [any of] these three choices AND THEIR CURRENT PRICES. Are any of these available cheaper? Is there a general consensus of one of the three standing out?? Thanks for any and all your input. --B
  6. I spent most of the day trying to get the plastic inner fender back on. No luck. I did get the bulb replaced (mine had two wires to connect the 55W bulb), but I am going to have to take it somewhere to get the inner liner back on unless someone else has a better idea! You have gone through WWAAAYY too much trouble already. I have a 98 SC and can change mine in under 15 minutes but for the first time it took me a bit longer since I was having to figure it out myself. You CAN do it through the grill by having to use either an 8mm or 10mm DEEP SOCKET (preferably 1/4 drive). There are only three nuts that need to be removed and then you can push the fog light out to access the back of the housing. I am not going to lie, it is a bit ackward to get to one of the nuts but once you do it, the next time will be so much easier. I did my last bulb change in the parking lot of Autozone. I actually have to replace mine today so I will take some pics and post them for you.
  7. Hey, I did a search first and couldn't find anything on this. I am using the XM tape supplied with my SkiFi2 for better sound and well, finally, it is now stuck and does not work any more. I now have to go the FM way and I am not too happy about the sound. How do i get it out?
  8. That is the AutoCouture body kit, a pricey one but a supa tight one!!! Looks good with an intercooler behind it too!
  9. Another thing to check is your mirrors. My 98 SC300 has the heated mirrors that are activated when the rear defroster is on.
  10. I have the carbon metallic pads from Autozone (approx. 40.00) and they are not as dusty as the stock pads and seem to grip more when they get heated up [from braking]. Napa has a new set of ceramic pads out that have two different compounds; the outside pad is of a slightly diff. composition than the inside pad allegedly resulting in improved braking. I will be changing to these pads when I do the complete brake overhaul in the spring. As for the airfilter, I have the K&N drop-in that I got off eBay for circa $20.00 shipped. The K&N drop-in has many many fitments so you might find it for a Toyota Tacoma cheaper than for the SC if you are searching on eBay. (DISCLAIMER: I do not know if the Tacoma has the same fitment as the SC; it was for example purposes only)
  11. I have a 98 SC300 and am using my XM cassette supplied with the XM car unit and have NEVER had a problem with it. =) Hey HOWAT, What do you want for your broken cd changer?? Is it a 12 or 6-disk?
  12. IMO there really isn't too much to be concerned with surrounding the swap. You can have the basics done like a compression test, check the plugs after a few hundred miles, visually inspect the engine for any leaks and run some Chevron synthetic fuel cleaner (or equivalent) for a few tanks. Really, other than that, besides tearing the engine down just take care of it like you did your other engine. Yeah it sucks that you have a totally "new" engine that you really don't know the history of but you do have a 12-mo. warranty from the dealership so that is really the best that you can do. Look at it like this: If/When you bought the SC used you didn't really know the condition of the engine at that time so this "new" swap is in a sense the same thing; give it some time, keep an eye on it and take care of it. At least you were at the dealership having the service done and not some independent shop where you more than likely wouldn't have gotten a new engine. =)
  13. Ha! I read the same thing the other night at the library while taking a break from "studying" for the LSAT.