SSC X01- The 3.4L V6 Head Gasket "Special Service Campaign"
by Scott Landon

The X01 campaign includes 1996 through early 1997 4Runner and 1995 through early 1997 T-100 and Tacoma with the 5VZ-FE 3.4 liter V6 engine. The campaign is for faulty head gaskets that may leak externally. I have seen no list of serial numbers or build dates to pinpoint if a particular vehicle is included. If you seem to fit this category but are not sure, contact your local Toyota dealer, give them your VIN, and they can find out for you..

Toyota describes the symptoms as slow loss of engine coolant, external coolant leakage around the cylinder heads, and/or a rise in coolant temperature. I never had a problem with my 1995 T-100 4x4 SR5 head gaskets even after 150K miles, but I did not turn down new ones.

My head gasket work was done at Kinsel Toyota in Beaumont, TX and there was absolutely no charge. A friend of mine in Mobile, AL ran into a greedy dealership. They managed to nickel and dime him for the coolant and assorted other minor fees. I paid none of this. The antifreeze, rust penetrant, and two stud bolts (they had to replace I guess) were included for free with my work. The gasket kit part # is 04008-09135. From a discussion with an ex-Toyota mechanic, this is gravy work for them. The X01 allows them about 9 billable hours, and the good mechanics can complete it in significantly less time. I did ask about the exhaust gaskets hoping that the technicians would get an entire gasket kit, and just throw away the exhaust gaskets. I was looking for a set for a header installation. There was no such luck. The X01 only provides head gaskets and expects the technician to pull the head with the exhaust manifold attached.

While the truck was torn down this far, I saw an opportunity to get some other work done that seemed appropriate at 150K miles. I replaced the water pump (16100-69395), timing belt (13568-69095), and the three v-belts (99364-21070-83, 90080-91090-83, and 99364-20850-83). I purchased these ahead of time via internet mail order for a savings and had them on the seat waiting for the technician (I have found that Toyota of Morristown, NJ does very good mail order pricing- talk to part manager Jim Goble at 1-800-540-4048). Make sure you get the right water pump. The 2WD one (16100-69405) is different and will not work on the 4WD. I also had them install an engine block heater (00213-00110) that I had purchased separately when I purchased the truck but never installed. I negotiated for one hour additional labor charge each for the engine block heater, the timing belt, and the water pump. The v-belt labor was free. They had to remove them anyway to do the other work. So, I paid three hours labor to get all that done. The belts were in bad shape, so they were definitely due. The water pump was based on a recommendation of a friend (the ex-Toyota technician). He is not one to throw money at a vehicle for no reason, but reminded me how cheap the pump was ($85-90) versus the additional labor to go back in later to replace it solo. At 150K miles, I was convinced. No sense waiting for a bearing or seal to go on the water pump.

The X01 recall notice will not tell you this, and the dealer will not usually offer it, but the X01 allows for a free rental car for you while they do this work. My technician friend let me know that little secret, and I used it. Additionally, if you have already done this work on your own or paid at a dealership unknowingly, you can get your money back. Contact Toyota Motor Sales at 1-800-404-7636 or mail your receipts to:

Toyota Motor Sales
Mailstop G5000
P.O. Box 2991
Torrance, CA 90509-9975

If you have difficulties, you can contact the Toyota Motor Sales Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Written 5/3/2001

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