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Discussion Starter #1
I was finally able to drive my car back home today after a new set of plug wires. I did find out that it either doesn't have a thermostat or the one in it is stuck open. It would get to near operating temp in town etc. but on the open road it would go back to the C side and just stay there.

My question here is and I hope that I am wrong. Do you guys think this might be someone trying go camouflage head gasket issues or possibly just a bad thermostat?

Even if it is the head gaskets as well as the car drives, trans shifts etc I believe I will go ahead and bite the bullet and do them.....
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Definitely sounds like it's a thermostat issue...guess there's one sure way to find out if the previous owner/seller was trying to be sneaky! Any signs of coolant and oil mixing?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The oil looked good when I changed it, and so did the old coolant when I drained it to fix all the timing issues that it had, very diluted but was pretty clean. Weather here supposed to be nasty tomorrow and don't have a garage to work on in since I got it home. But will find out in time.
 

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1999 Outback Wagon Green 2.2 swap
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That's funny, I bought my car the same day you posted this and had the exact same symptoms on the drive home. I too jumped directly to a masking of the head gasket issue, specially since i found that the previous owners shop actually cut the thermostat out. They just left in the metal ring and the o-ring gasket. I know mine is leaking from the water pump, and may still be a bad head gasket but the more I drive it the less likely I think that is. Everything works great now, it just goes through about 2-4 oz of coolant each time I drive it. So far each trip has been 40 miles or more. I too have no mixing of coolant and oil.
Have you checked your coolant overflow bottle yet. If the head gasket is bad it will eventually show up as a lot of black slimy gunk in the overflow tank.
Good luck with yours. I'll keep my fingers crossed for both of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I changed my thermostat today and found exactly the same thing that you did with the metal ring and the o-ring. I filled back with anti-freeze and water, put about 60 miles on it today and so far so good. I only have ~$750 or so in the car as this time, and if it happens to be the head gaskets so be it, I guess I will be pulling the motor and learning to do head gaskets........
 

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1999 Outback Wagon Green 2.2 swap
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Well I sit here right now on the side of the road with my hazards on. The head gasket just went. To the shop it will get towed and a 2.2 it will soon hopefully have. It was my plan all along, I just hoped it would hold out a little longer. Oh well, at least I have the funds to do it now.
It took me a while to find a clean one so I will try to fix it up as best I can.
Hope you have better luck than I.
 
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