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Old March 16th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #1
Toyo-Mama
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Default Damsel in Distress

hey there gang... I just got word that my Sunday driver ('95 V-6 3.o) has a thrown rod and bearings. I had it in to an oil change place (yeah, I know... but I'm an ole paramedic with a bad back, and it beats laying under the vehicle in these cold Michigan winters) and the filter wasn't seated properly. They tell me that something inherently wrong in the engine caused the filter failure, (which shows an obviously faulty seal) while I maintain that the filter gave way. Is there any way for me to definitively test and prove that my engine was NOT at fault? Certainly I can't check compression... or my oil sending unit, etc.. and obviously they know that.
I'm reasonably mechanically inclined, but not to the point of doing an engine swap. And certainly not the 3.4 conversion that I've seen on here. The real kicker is that I owe $6000 on the car loan, for a vehicle that needs an estimated $5000 in repairs.
Do I sue? Do I solicit help and wrench on it myself? Anybody looking to purchase? Any legal advice? As a single mom, I simply don't have the resources. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I've spoken with a lawyer (once), gotten 3 different estimates from 2 different mechanics, taken many pictures, documented everything in writing, and they have officially tested the filter. I'm not big on the sandwich board approach, they aren't readily forthcoming with additional names, but I can write a letter to the editor...
Please help!
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Old March 16th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #2
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To me, it sounds like you have a case. Realize, though, that litigation is going to mean the truck is down for months.

I would also talk to your insurance agent, since you must be carrying some decent level, with a loan. They may be able to assist/advise you.

A 3.4 would be nice, much better than the 3.0 camry motor. But, again, a lot of work.

I would look around for a used motor. As long as the head gaskets don't go, the 3.0 isn't all that bad, albiet underpowered..

You can use www.car-part.com to search for a new motor in a junkyard.

I see these guys:

http://www.autosportsunlimited.com/

Are located near you, in Zeeland. They are listing that they have a 95 4 runner 3.0 engine for $1300. Often times, places like that will install as well.

Good luck.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #3
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I hear the 3.4 conversion is the way to go but I am sure intimidated by that. This one isn't my dune runner; he's just too pretty. So I don't know that I'll need to improve it for performace purposes, but I'd sure be looking for longevity.

I appreciate the tips on parts from Zeeland. I'll look into that a bit further.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:32 AM   #4
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if you can't assess the damage yourself have it taken to the dealer. I did many of them at the chevy dealer that were blatent screw ups. one store put the wrong filter on because they didn't have any for the cars application so it spit it off onto the ground while the enginie pumped its self dry. many others were double seals and things of that nature. if you already took it back to the oil change place they would have covered up any evidence of they're screw up. get a lawyer, they will pay in the end.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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The pressure blew all of a sudden... I did hear a vague hiss, and actually had smoke up the steering column for a brief minute, which called my attention to the gauge cluster, which all looked fine... initially. I started flipping switches, adjusting the tilt, etc to see if maybe I shorted something out but couldn't find any cause for the smoke. Less that a mile later, my oil pressure gauge dropped. a half mile after that, I was in my driveway witnessing the leak from the filter gasket. We took the old filter off, put a new filter on, added oil, thought he was a save until the next mornign off to work, there was the rod knock. Worsening as the day wore on, and less than twenty miles later, it was knocking even at idle. Progressively worse. So I think the bearings are spun too, correct?
My lawyer tells me that I have no legal recourse unless a mechanic is willing to testify that the loss of oil is directly due to THE FILTER BEING INSTALLED IMPORPERLY. And I don't know anybody who will make that broad statement. I guess I need to eat it know and hope to appeal to their sense of decency. Might this be something TRD would care to hear about? Might they champion my cause? I'm not afraid to play my single mom trump card, for whatever it may be worth.

I got pics of the gasket showing it pulled away from the filter casing and when it was tested, I was told that some spike in pressure within the engine itself caused it to blow. No way to prove that it was actually installed improperly. And no way to prove (now) that there was anything faulty within the engine that caused the blow out, now that the bearings and rod is bad.

Anybody else have this happen? A huge spike in oil pressure? And as a novice, I suppose it'd be best to replace rather than rebuild? Its driveable now, but for how long?

P.S. Yes, there was a time that I tended to the oil changes and what-not on my own... but that was many years ago. My biggest project was HELPING with a timing chain and gears in my Olds 350 Rocket. On a good day, I still do my own tune-ups, but I believe I likely have lost my edge. My daughter, age 16, bless her heart, is all for doing the engine swap ourselves. Quite frankly, it scares me. I have a respectable tool collection and feel confident in that regard, but yes, I am a girl...

My bank tells me they don't care what I do, so long as I make the payments on time, all $6,000 of them, and the insurance company says "Only if we can prove vandalism." Toyota doesn't sound interested unless it is the fault of the engine (which I doubt) and maybe not even then. And my laywer says there is no way to prove faulty workmanship. How is it that they can place the burden of proof on me?

How is it that I have to let the system gobble me up? I pulled my daughter out of the Christian schools to finance this vehicle, just 6 months ago. We're fundraising for her youth group to go on mission trips to Brazil and Missouri. I'm desperate for an encouraging word.

*heavy sigh
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Old March 18th, 2006, 08:07 AM   #6
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Do you still have the oil filter? Do you still have the bill from the oil cahange shop? How long ago was the oil changed time/milage? I have heard that oil change shops have insurance against things like this. I would take the oil filter, bill for the oil change, and estimate for the repairs back to where you had oil change done.

I know its too late for this now, but you should have called the oil change shop when this first happened. "you just changed my oil, now its leaking all over the ground", then they would have known it was their fault.

Oil change shops don't like having the word out that their shop screws up engines. Contact better business beureau, or chamber of commerce in your area if the oil change shop dosn't own up to their mistake.

Good luck,
Fred

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Old March 18th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Anybody else have this happen? A huge spike in oil pressure?
even in my race engines I could run over a 100psi and the filters never failed. the idea of a oil presure spike is absurd. your engine runs in the 30-60 psi normally so a spike would have to exced a 100-120 psi to blow a filter gasket. I think you had the wrong filter and thats that. check the number on the filter for the application to see if it even went to your vehicle, thats the first thing. if its the wrong one you still have a case. the fact you didn't have a certified mechanic check it upon failure you are going to have to eat the repair. secondly if the filter is the wrong one is it documented in with a part number in your paper work from the oil change place?
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Old March 19th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #8
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Fyi, all Ford duratech motors (2.5L 24 valve V6, and 3.0L 24 valve V6) run over 100 psi on cold oil startups. My contour pins my 100psi gage on cold startups. I assume I run about 110-120psi. I have never had a filter fail, or have heard about Ford having problems with filters mis-seating on the block from high pressures.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #9
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holy shit, what sort of repairs could total up to $5000?
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Old March 20th, 2006, 05:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschaffer66
holy shit, what sort of repairs could total up to $5000?
according to a couple different shops (and this includes labor) the $$$ could run anywhere between $4400-$6200, depending on going rebuilt, or new crate, or rebuilding the current one. Crate motor on a Toyo 3.o v-6 goes $2800... salvage for $1500
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:11 AM   #11
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http://detroit.craigslist.org/pts/141445861.html



93 Toyota 4 Runner Parts, Roof Clip, Doors, v6 Engine etc......

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: sale-141445861@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-03-13, 9:55AM EST


I have some parts from a 93 Runner that was hit in the front. Good roof clip with power sun roof, all glass minus front windsheild, useable full power doors, grey interior parts (nice front carpets), 135k COMPLETE engine, harness, etc... Parts should fit 89 to 95 Runners, can get pics, prices, etc.. email me


this is in or around near Lansing

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests




Email this guy at: sale-141445861@craigslist.org
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:53 AM   #12
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Hey gang, thanks for the encouraging words. I plan to go down there on Friday and state my claim, giving them an opportunity to make it right before I wrack up a ton of legal fees. They have had ample opportunity thus far, but of course have yet to own up to the fact that the filter must have not been tight. Why else would it fail at 30 mph, if it tested at over 100psi?

So anyhow, that's the latest. Keep those thoughts coming. I need to pursue every angle on this. Appreciate the feedback!
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 02:44 PM   #13
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Good luck!!
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Old March 25th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #14
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In memory of TYKE!

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