Help...nasty grinding noise from engine

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Oct 12, 2013
Apologies in advance for the long post but I want to include details in case any of the experts here have been down this road & have ideas.

I'm going to attempt to take a video (with sound) & post it as well; wish me luck as I've not posted video before.

The 1999 100 I bought a little over a year ago has been flawless-- until yesterday. Pulling in to gas up, I began to hear a grinding noise that I also felt in the shifter. Fueled up, started up, & the grind was definitely there. Thankfully I was within about 1.5 miles of home so with white knuckles I drove it home.

Removed the skid plate & engine cover about 30min ago & (while holding my breath) started it up. Grind still there.

I wish I had the tools, resources, & ability to start tearing into things to diagnose it myself but I simply do not.

When the wife gets out of the shower & can watch the kids I'll try my hand at a video.

Of course cash is tight (2 kids under 3 years old, 'nuff said) so this is NOT the way I wanted to start 2015
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Update: my FIL knows a mechanic who came over to take a look (yes on a Sunday; good man)...he says water pump (seems very confident) & is going to do the timing belt while in there.

He's going to order the parts tomorrow (using his shop discount).

Hate to spend $ so soon after the holidays but on the bright side, I'll have a new water pump & won't need a timing belt for another 90k miles.
there is a long list of things you should change while you are in there :) may want to look into the timing belt change threads for a list.
I had a bad grinding noise recently and it was part of the fan assembly. I'm not a mechanic so I drove straight to the shop and $800 later it was fixed. I know it should have cost less but I didn't have time to try to fix it myself..
Here's the timing belt/water pump write up I used when i did mine, along with a list of parts. However, I wonder about the water pump diagnosis. You mentioned you also felt the grinding in the shifter and that the sound started suddenly. I suppose that could happen with a water pump failure but it seems weird? You might want to do some searching on this forum first; maybe other ideas will come up. Of course, you may need the T-belt done anyway if it's time!
On my truck the fan bracket assembly was making a grinding noise. Maybe check that with a stethoscope as well.
Latest update: after he tore things down he says the water pump is fine but I need a water pump bracket. Tomorrow while I'm at work my wife & FIL are spinning by Camelback Toyota to pick one up.

The guy "seems" to know his stuff & is a friend of my FIL...I hope he's right & I get home from work tomorrow to a sewing-machine quiet 4.7 like I've enjoyed since 2008 with my previous 02 & this 99.

For those curious, this just means I can do the t-belt & water pump on my own in about 10k more miles when it's "technically" due. If money wasn't tight I'd do them now but a few hundred saved is nice in my current state
there is a long list of things you should change while you are in there :) may want to look into the timing belt change threads for a list.

My next oil change is due in April & my plan is to go crazy: new shocks (rides nice now but can't hurt, they could be originals for all I know) replace any worn suspension pieces (bushings, etc.), clean intake & MAF sensor, change diff & trans fluids. Would do it all sooner but need to recover financially from the Holidays & it'll be due for fresh Mobil 1 in spring anyhow.
Score :grinpimp:. My FIL's mechanic friend was right-- a new water pump bracket later & the 4.7L once again has that sewing-machine hum...with no horrific grinding noise. Less than $200 for the part, add on Toyota red coolant, distiller water, & labor for the off-duty mechanic put me at $408 in total.

I'll take it...when that grinding noise began Saturday I was envisioning a multi-thousand dollar engine rebuild.

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