264,000 miles, changing the timing chain and everything else involved.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Kevin Cecchini, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Kevin Cecchini

    Kevin Cecchini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    44
    9
    0
    Location:
    Clinton, Michigan, 49236
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Hello,
    I have a 2004 Prius. I have done some maintenance work to the car, bought it with 200K miles on it.

    I have trouble codes, and running rough, with engine light blinking. I removed the valve cover and found that the timing chain was very loose.

    I am going to replace the timing chain, guides, and the water pump, oil pump, serpatine belt, possible the head gasket and anything else I can think of.

    My question to those who have Prius's with high mileage. Is it worth putting this money into the car? I am going to do the work myself.

    My concerns,

    Will the engine itself last, such as the lower bearing and pistons and so on?

    If I replace the head gasket, what else should I replace?

    Am I better off replacing the head with a rebuilt head and if so, is there a supplier that everyone trusts?

    Also, I saw an inverter online at the price of $900. Is this something I should replace as well, I am thinking not, that I will wait until it goes bad, just figured I'd ask that question as well.

    This is going to be a long project, as I am working full time and a full time college student, so I will devote free time to the project.

    If I come to a point where I am totally lost, I am either going to scrap the car or cell it for parts - unless I can find another car around the same year and use this car for parts for the next Prius.

    I am content with my Prius, I would like to think I will never purchase another car for work, other than a Prius.

    Thank you in advance for you information.

    It is greatly appreciated.

    One final thing, I am not in a financial stand point for a monthly loan, and my Prius is costing me less than $500 a year in repairs, this includes tires, a typical year of repairs since I have had it - 3 years, is $200.

    Thanks again,

    Kevin.
     
  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    3,372
    3,844
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    A blinking CEL is indicative of a serious misfire. This is usually a spark plug issue. You may want to check your codes before digging in too deep. I've had 2 Gen2s with ~290k each and they never had timing chains touched. Not saying the problem isn't the timing chain/tensioner, but it's best to check before tearing too deep into the engine.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,143
    6,180
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I agree that it makes great sense to understand what the logged DTC are before you start replacing parts.

    How long will the engine last? That is dependent upon the extent to which the engine was abused by prior owners, allowing the oil level to drop excessively, not changing oil at 5K mile intervals etc. Certainly at 264K miles on the odometer, any system might fail tomorrow, however any reasonable person would say that the car has already delivered an exceptionally long service life to get you to this point.

    It is possible that the loose timing chain is due to the tensioner only and that the chain itself might be OK.

    Do not underestimate how difficult it is to access that area of the engine while it remains in the car.

    If you take too long on this project, the traction battery may fail due to non-use. Then you will have another problem to deal with.
     
    Kevin Cecchini likes this.
  4. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    1,143
    1,298
    29
    Location:
    Evansville, IN
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    This was my experience with a Gen 3, so the Gen 2 may differ slightly.

    The HG failed at 213k. The timing chain was loose, but still tight enough that it could not jump on the gear. The tensioner was likely between two slots, or the lack of oil pressure caused the slack.

    The car was apart for three weeks, and I have been driving it since July with no HV battery issues. I believe that even though the battery shows one or two bars, there is likely a reserve capacity, or a slight “no draw recovery” that occurs on an extended period of non use.

    Trying to do a head gasket and/or timing chain with the ICE in the car is a challenge, but can be done. There are videos on YouTube showing that it can be. However, with the proper tools, the ICE can be removed out the top in a couple of hours. I don’t see any major obvious reason a Gen 2 would not be similar. In reality, the exhaust manifold, bellhousing bolts, coolant hoses, and passenger motor mount are the only things holding the ICE in.
     
    Kevin Cecchini likes this.
  5. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    2,768
    1,424
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If you were going to remove the engine wouldn’t it be better to just replace the engine with a lower mileage replacement?
     
    Kevin Cecchini and johnjohnchu like this.
  6. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    1,143
    1,298
    29
    Location:
    Evansville, IN
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three

    Every Gen 3 engine out there in the used market is a) overpriced with lunar mileage, b) already suffering from a bad head gasket, or c) a core needing overhaul.

    I rebuilt my Gen 3 head with new seals, and the valves scavenged from the head of the low mileage Gen 4 engine I bought to replace mine.

    My Gen 3/4 Frankenstein now has about 7500 miles since install, or 13,500 total miles. No issues since install.
     
  7. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    2,768
    1,424
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    You can’t put a gen 3 engine in a gen 2. I meant a newer than 2004 1.5L with less miles. Could be as new as 2009.
     
    Kevin Cecchini likes this.
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,602
    29,094
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    probably just reading along on a phone, lost track of the forum.
     
  9. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    1,143
    1,298
    29
    Location:
    Evansville, IN
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Just passing on my experiences. Not meaning to imply putting a Gen 3 engine in a Gen 2. LoL.

    Maybe someone could try putting a C engine in one?? LoL
     
    Kevin Cecchini likes this.
  10. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    1,143
    1,298
    29
    Location:
    Evansville, IN
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three

    After all, until July last year, it was thought to be impossible to use a Gen 4 engine in a Gen 3 car. I used the Gen 4 short block with a Gen 3 head, and @Ragingfit has put two complete Gen 4 engines in. One Prius and one V.
     
  11. Kevin Cecchini

    Kevin Cecchini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    44
    9
    0
    Location:
    Clinton, Michigan, 49236
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Good thing to think about. I have a prolong charger, so I can charge the battery in a week and check its voltage as time progresses.
     
  12. Kevin Cecchini

    Kevin Cecchini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    44
    9
    0
    Location:
    Clinton, Michigan, 49236
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I had the codes read and 3 cylinders are misfiring. It started acting up in the morning as I took off from a traffic light. I have the timing chain at its proper placement, however, the engine is not at top dead center, so perhaps I need another revolution, I hope, or it is that the chain jumped. It is severely loose and I doubt it was ever changed. Only one owner before me and I do not know their driving style, but the car does not seem like it was ever driven crazily.
     
  13. Kevin Cecchini

    Kevin Cecchini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    44
    9
    0
    Location:
    Clinton, Michigan, 49236
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I did check the codes, 3 cylinder misfires. I checked the newly installed spark plugs and they were fine. One cylinder had oil in it, small amount, nothing serious.
     
  14. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    8,411
    3,833
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Why change the timing change?

    If a spark plug well has oil in it the valve cover gasket must be replaced as that oil will short out the cop causing misfire. Spark plug well must be clean and dry any oil in it is bad. Because you cannot know how bad it’s leaking or track it’s condition Without pulling the cop out.

    Rolling misfires usually indicate a blown engine especially in a Prius where so many people run there engines out of oil because no one checks there engine oil correctly or periodically anymore. High mileage car requires hyper maintenance.

    One good low oil event that throws the RTOD usually kills the motors. The RTOD is thrown with zero oil pressure. See lots and lots of those on this site.
     
  15. Kevin Cecchini

    Kevin Cecchini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    44
    9
    0
    Location:
    Clinton, Michigan, 49236
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I have replaced timing chain. Guides. Tensioner. Oil pump. Water pump. Serpatine Belt.

    Note. When installing new chain, I made one error. I did not look as to where the lower sprocket lined up with the chain.

    I had the engine in 'top dead center' and both cams were lined up.

    So I put the engine back together with ther lowest sprocket being off by 1/2 a link.

    This will be a learning curve for me.

    My dilemma now is that the coolant in the engine is oarnge. The recommended coolant is clear or yellow.

    So I'm researching to see of these can mix.

    I will then fill the oil and coolant and see if I messed up.
     
  16. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    1,115
    1,133
    3
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Toyota coolant is orange, not clear or yellow. It is highly recommended to use Toyota orange coolant in this engine. Inverter takes the same stuff, but that's a different topic.
     
  17. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2018
    285
    173
    0
    Location:
    KY
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    In my car, the SLLC is pink.
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    10,092
    7,430
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
  19. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    8,411
    3,833
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Yep stock coolant for both the inverter and the engine coolant is Toyota SLLC and it’s pink.
     
    NortTexSalv04Prius likes this.
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    40,602
    29,094
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
Loading...