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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
According to the below video someone showed me, it seems the 07-10 have a few more common issues. That being said, the 04-06 have a timing belt you have to keep an eye on. I'm not much of a DIY person, so I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to go for one or the other based on that information. I know this is a bit vague but any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!

 

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The 3.5 in the 07+ is a sweet engine. More power than the 04-06 3.3L same fuel efficiency and you get the more reliable and lower maintenance timing chain vs belt.

The two weak spots are easy fixes, one of which (VVTi oil line) is still under warranty if it hasn’t already been done. If you have the tow package and the oil cooler lines are still rubber, they should be replaced ASAP.

-Mike
 

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Both are reliable engines. The 3MZ-FE is an older design, based on the 1MZ-FE introduced back in '94. As such it had more years to get the bugs out. Yes, the 3MZ has a belt but that really isn't an issue. The belt along with the water pump has to be replaced every 100K miles. Belts breaking with <100K miles is pretty much unheard of.

The 2GR-FE was a brand new design. As FloridaNative notes above it's more efficient and powerful, but it's also more complicated. Being a new design it had its teething problems, and being more complicated it has more things to fail. Many people though get hundreds of thousands of miles out them if properly maintained and with those pesky oil lines replaced. But note that the water pump should be replaced every 100K miles, and a water pump job on a 2GR-FE costs about the same as a TB/WP job on a 3MZ-FE. The 2GR-FE is famous for piston slap which is noisy when cold but doesn't seem to cause any harm whatsoever.

Either are fine engines. Aside from minor model year changes, the rest of the van are almost identical. Base your buying decision on miles, condition, and price vs. belt vs. chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 3.5 in the 07+ is a sweet engine. More power than the 04-06 3.3L same fuel efficiency and you get the more reliable and lower maintenance timing chain vs belt.

The two weak spots are easy fixes, one of which (VVTi oil line) is still under warranty if it hasn’t already been done. If you have the tow package and the oil cooler lines are still rubber, they should be replaced ASAP.

-Mike
Thanks for commenting. Excuse my ignorance, but what does the tow package have to do with the oil cooler lines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Both are reliable engines. The 3MZ-FE is an older design, based on the 1MZ-FE introduced back in '94. As such it had more years to get the bugs out. Yes, the 3MZ has a belt but that really isn't an issue. The belt along with the water pump has to be replaced every 100K miles. Belts breaking with <100K miles is pretty much unheard of.

The 2GR-FE was a brand new design. As FloridaNative notes above it's more efficient and powerful, but it's also more complicated. Being a new design it had its teething problems, and being more complicated it has more things to fail. Many people though get hundreds of thousands of miles out them if properly maintained and with those pesky oil lines replaced. But note that the water pump should be replaced every 100K miles, and a water pump job on a 2GR-FE costs about the same as a TB/WP job on a 3MZ-FE. The 2GR-FE is famous for piston slap which is noisy when cold but doesn't seem to cause any harm whatsoever.

Either are fine engines. Aside from minor model year changes, the rest of the van are almost identical. Base your buying decision on miles, condition, and price vs. belt vs. chain.
Both are reliable engines. The 3MZ-FE is an older design, based on the 1MZ-FE introduced back in '94. As such it had more years to get the bugs out. Yes, the 3MZ has a belt but that really isn't an issue. The belt along with the water pump has to be replaced every 100K miles. Belts breaking with <100K miles is pretty much unheard of.

The 2GR-FE was a brand new design. As FloridaNative notes above it's more efficient and powerful, but it's also more complicated. Being a new design it had its teething problems, and being more complicated it has more things to fail. Many people though get hundreds of thousands of miles out them if properly maintained and with those pesky oil lines replaced. But note that the water pump should be replaced every 100K miles, and a water pump job on a 2GR-FE costs about the same as a TB/WP job on a 3MZ-FE. The 2GR-FE is famous for piston slap which is noisy when cold but doesn't seem to cause any harm whatsoever.

Either are fine engines. Aside from minor model year changes, the rest of the van are almost identical. Base your buying decision on miles, condition, and price vs. belt vs. chain.
That's a good point. Given my price point, I will probably run across more 04-06, but I won't be as worried to grab an 07-10 if the price/mileage/condition is right. Thanks for commenting!
 

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Thanks for commenting. Excuse my ignorance, but what does the tow package have to do with the oil cooler lines?
If I may cover this for Mike.
So with the towing package there is an additional oil cooler which, as it suggests, cools the oil due to the increased work when towing. Initially the line to this cooler is rubber which tends to fail. New lines are now metal , from what I understand.
Here is a discussion.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I may cover this for Mike.
So with the towing package there is an additional oil cooler which, as it suggests, cools the oil due to the increased work when towing. Initially the line to this cooler is rubber which tends to fail. New lines are now metal , from what I understand.
Here is a discussion.
Thanks for stepping in there. That makes sense.
 

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But note that the water pump should be replaced every 100K miles
Not true. There are not a lot of low mileage water pump failures on the 2GR that I’m aware of. Use Toyota SLL coolant and change at recommended intervals (100k miles and every 50k miles after that), and you will be good for a long while. I have 172k miles on my original 2007 water pump (knocks on wood).

-Mike
 

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A quick search on this forum shows a few. Should it be in the category of preventive maintenance? Maybe not if they're driven mostly around town, but I sometimes drive out in the middle of the desert, a hundred miles from any repair facility and I think I would. And there are plenty of 172K 3MZ-FE Seinnas running around on their original timing belts. Those folks are really knocking on wood.
 

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I've got a 2008 Sienna with 324,000 miles ... bought used with 287,000 miles. Original engine and transmission, both have never been apart! Engine doesn't lose any antifreeze. (changed water pump at about 300,000 miles)

It looks like the rear main seal might be leaking slightly ... Although it doesn't use any oil between changes.

I do have the (slight) "piston slap" when cold that "Roader" mentioned above ... But like he said, it goes away when warm and doesn't really affect anything.

I also used to own a 2004 Sienna that was originally an airport shuttle in Michigan ... As near as I could calculate, it had about 365,000 miles! (the odometer quit at 300,000 and the instrument cluster had been replaced) ... Original engine and transmission!

You take care of them and they'll last forever! (almost!)
 
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