Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ponca City
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If it was me, I would do this before she does. The 6.0 is notorious for blowing head gaskets and running high EGT's (exhaust gas temperatures). The 6.0 only has 4 bolts per cylinder securing the head to the block. The bolts are called "torque-to-yield" bolts, meaning they stretch when you torque (tighten) them down. This stretching is supposed to hold the head down in place so that your head gaskets remain intact. When the head gaskets blow, coolant mixes with your oil and combustion pressures go into your coolant system. This causes the puking of coolant out of the degas bottle cap (coolant resevoir). The engine overheats, and if you keep pushing it, catastrophic engine failure WILL result. With a stock truck and responsible driving, the torque to yield head bolts are just fine. Under heavy duty towing applications though, they won't hold up. That's why alot of guys install ARP studs to replace the bolts. They don't stretch, and they are torqued to 245 ft lbs instead of the 85 ft lbs of the stock bolts.
That being said, the effects of your EGR system are high EGT's, higher coolant temps, etc. The EGR cooler is a pipe that exhaust gas flows through on it's way to the intake manifold. The EGR cooler has internal plumbing that allows engine coolant to pass through, designed to cool these exhaust gasses down before they go back into the engine to get reburned. Due to the poor design though, it usually works the opposite. The exhaust ends up heating the coolant, instead of the coolant cooling the exhaust. Flash boils can occur under towing applications, because those exhaust gas temps are going to be alot higher. This goes back to the head gasket situation. Another thing that can occur, is that the internal plumbing inside the EGR cooler breaks under high temp and stress, which results in coolant leaking out of their passages into the actual exhaust gas pipe, which in turn goes into your intake and then into the engine itself. This is where you see coolant coming out of the tailpipe, if you're lucky enough to see it and it's not burned up. Lucky as in, you'll see it and know that it's time to shut it down.
As with anything, you can roll the dice and chance it, but if it was me, I wouldn't tow a 4 runner from one coast to the other if you're already throwing codes and having EGR issues. You will be dancing with the devil and just asking for trouble. Get that EGR cooler deleted and get some gauges installed. You at least need to have an exhaust gas temperature gauge intalled so that she can monitor the temps when driving and shut the truck down when/if they reach a sustained (steady) high reading. If not, you're playing Russian Roulette and there's a 50/50 chance she won't make it to NC.
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