1MZ-FE Valve Cover Gasket Job Question - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 01-26-2012, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1MZ-FE Valve Cover Gasket Job Question

I'm gonna replace the valve cover gaskets on my leaking 1MZ-FE.
Besides the spark plugs and gasket, is there anything else I should replace while I do this job?
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You mean the spark plug tube seals and the valve cover gaskets like:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=128852

Definitely reseal the semi-circular plugs. You can use Permatex Ultra-Black or Ultra-Copper RTV. Dollar store high-temp sensor safe RTV also works, for a dollar.

Clean off the old RTV from the plugs with a small screwdriver or a wire brush. Make sure the surfaces are oil-free so the RTV can stick well. Use alcohol and paper towel. Stuff some paper towels in the area to catch old RTV you're scraping off the cylinder head. Then also apply dabs of RTV at the specified spots when installing the valve cover gaskets.

Change out the PCV valve and grommet. The grommet hardens and becomes brittle. So it'll probably come out in pieces. That's why it's best to do this while the rear cover is off.

If you are changing the spark plugs try NGK Iridium-IX. Get new NGK spark plug wires if you need them.

Since you're very close to the water bypass hose under the low manifold, maybe change that out as well. Remove the bolts of the lower manifold and tilt it up without touching the fuel rails.

If changing the timing belt it's a good time to change the valve stem seals as well if you have over 120K miles. But special tools are needed.

Clean the IAC while disassembled (1MZ similar):
5sfe IAC Removal (lots of pictures)
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You can check valve/cam clearances.
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 363k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 303k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Guys,

I'll start by saying thanks on behalf of Oceanview and Myself for the valuable information you have gone out of your way to provide.

The reason i am resurrecting this thread is to enquire about the specialised tools required to replace the valve stem seals.
i have almost finished collecting all the tools and parts i need to complete this job and since i will be in that area, the valve stem seals may as well be replaced.

Things on my check list are as follows:

-2x Rocker Cover Gaskets (front & rear)
-1x Manifold Gasket (Upper)
-2x O2 Sensors (front and rear)
-6x NGK Laser Platinums (or would you recommend Iridium-IX?)
-6x Spark Plug Leads
-1x Water Pump
-1x Timing Belt
-1x Coolant Reservoir
-1x Fuel Filter

As Well As:
-Resealing the Semi-Circuler Plugs
-PCV Valve and Grommet
-Clean the Throttle Body
-Valve Clearences
-Water By-Pass Hose?

And then maybe the Valve Stem Seals supposing i can acquire the Tool.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For an extra few bucks you can buy a tube of Toyota FIPG. I can't say it seals better than aftermarket RTV's, but it is so much easier to work with. And, on this PITA job, you will appreciate it very much.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StupidFastWagon View Post
The reason i am resurrecting this thread is to enquire about the specialised tools required to replace the valve stem seals.
I'm guessing you want to do it without removing the heads?... This valve spring keeper removal tool will do that (link below). There are a few others out there too. I've never used one so can't comment on which one works best. I have read that some of them are too big in diameter, and can scar the bore that the shim bucket rides in, so be careful what you buy. IIRC, it was one made by Lisle that was too big.

http://www.toyotool.com/index.htm
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 363k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 303k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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While you are at it you might as well replace the cam & crank seals, and thermostat. I just replaced the valve stem seals on my 1mzfe. Front cylinder bank was easy and would work with any type of lever tool. Rear bank was a pain rear. The fleabay tool I used was too big and hit the rear firewall. If you are going to purchase a tool, use the Schley or take the heads off and replace the stems. I doubt I would replace with the heads on again.

See posts 8, 10 in the link below for tool recommendations and additional proces details. Thanks to JohnGD.
1mzfe camshaft removal question

Is there a reason you are replacing the O2 sensors? If they aren't broken, don't fix.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hehe that was a good summary. You're welcome.

I'd recommend in addition to the list, to replace:
- Idler pulley and tensioner pulley. You can buy a "timing component kit" with the timing belt and two pulleys.
- Oil seals (they can be hard to remove)
- NGK Iridium-IX plugs
- If your engine is a waste spark system, there are 3 coils (front bank) and 3 wires (rear bank).
- Radiator and heater hoses, thermostat, and radiator cap
- Check/clean the idle air control valve
- As far as valve stem seals I'd recommend Fel-Pro in the US, not sure what Aus has
- Change ATF and drop the pan to replace the strainer. make sure to drain the differential too.

A sample list of a typical timing belt job parts:
GATES K060407 Micro-V AT AC/Alt Belt $9.57
GATES K040347 Micro-V AT Power Steering Belt $10.79
STANT 48128 180 w/Jiggle Pin OE Type Thermostat $15.34
FEL-PRO TCS45889 Camshaft Front Seal $7.50
FEL-PRO TCS45890 Crankshaft Front Seal Set $5.46
GATES TCK257 (1 Belt, 1 Tensioner, 1 Idler) Timing Belt Component Kit $67.79
*Optional* ACDELCO T43096 Hydraulic Timing Belt Actuator $43.79
FEL-PRO VS50471R Valve Cover Gasket Set w/Spark plug tube seals $19.45
AISIN WPT057 Water Pump $57.79
Subtotal $193.69-239.83 (before 5% discount, depending on optional hydraulic tensioner)
Shipping (US domestic) about $20

Quote:
Things on my check list are as follows:

-2x Rocker Cover Gaskets (front & rear)
-1x Manifold Gasket (Upper)
-2x O2 Sensors (front and rear)
-6x NGK Laser Platinums (or would you recommend Iridium-IX?)
-6x Spark Plug Leads
-1x Water Pump
-1x Timing Belt
-1x Coolant Reservoir
-1x Fuel Filter

As Well As:
-Resealing the Semi-Circuler Plugs
-PCV Valve and Grommet
-Clean the Throttle Body
-Valve Clearences
-Water By-Pass Hose?
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My gosh did that list escalate ever so quickly... The plan was to just do the rocker cover gaskets

I guess i will continue with my part and tool collection until i am ready for this job.
As it is right now i estimate more than just a long weekend of full shift 8 hour days to get all this done as i am not quite yet the skilled technician (3rd year apprentice HEAVY vehicle).
Just imagine if i come across something i need and can't get my hands on for a week or so, i'd be well and truly screwed.
For one i was very surprised to find out that a lot of the bolts on the intake manifold were star bolts and torx screws, two sets of tools i have recently acquired just for this project. It was a good thing i peaked in to have a look when i did otherwise in the near future i'd not have gotten very far in the disassembly phase which equates to more time (of which i do not have much).

Thanks again for the tips!

I'll be checking back in during the next few months to post updates on my collection progress, though judging by my research on spark plugs, leads and coils i still have much to learn and will be coming back for advice more than anything.

Last question for the day some of you may enjoy guess-timating:

How much money do you think i'd be saving doing all of this work at home rather than taking it to a workshop supposing i completed everything mentioned here?

Cheers
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StupidFastWagon View Post
How much money do you think i'd be saving doing all of this work at home rather than taking it to a workshop supposing i completed everything mentioned here?
A lot. Lessee, you're doing valve cover gaskets, valve stem seals, and a timing belt/water pump job, right? Depending on where you went, I'd say you're saving anywhere from $1500 - $3000 in labor costs.
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 363k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 303k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi again,

I've been poking around on www.rockauto.com and have managed to find quite a few parts from there allot cheaper than i can find here.

As i have continued to browse the website my wish list has steadily grown but before i press 'confirm purchase' i need some advice on the O2 Sensors for the 1mzfe.

I've managed to work out i need the EXC CALIF sensors which was easy enough but exactly how many O2 Sensors are there on my vehicle??
Would i be correct in assuming there are 3?
2 Upstream for Front Bank & Rear Bank and then 1 downstream?

Obviously the reason i wish to change them is my engine is throwing a code for the sensor but does not specify which one and since the sensors are almost 13 years old i think it would be safe to say they are all on their way out.

So yeah, how many do i buy?

Thanks ^.^

P.S
I'm starting this big job on the 27th of december as i have been forced to take some of my plentiful A-Leave around that time and i'm so freakin excited to get in there and fix my shit haha counting down the days.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, three O2 sensors. They're not always the same part number though. Sometimes the downstream sensor is different.

The error codes do specify which sensor is bad, but it's a little cryptic. When you look up the error code, there'll be a short description of what's wrong, then "Bank1, Sensor1" (the numbers vary).

Bank# tells you which bank. On a 4 cylinder, there's only bank1. On a V6, bank1 is the bank with cylinder #1 in it. For most Toyotas, that's the bank up against the firewall. Bank2 = the front bank, near the radiator.

Sensor# tells you if it's the sensor upstream or downstream (from the cat). Sensor1 = upstream (located in the exhaust manifold). Sensor2 = downstream. This one will be described as "Bank1, Sensor2"
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 363k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 303k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok so i've been a little lazy (and intimidated) so i haven't progressed as far as i thought i would have by this stage.

I've removed most of the intake components and fought with the rocker covers so they are out.
found out that the gaskets i bought don't come with the spark plug well oil seals so i have to source them from somewhere.
spark plugs and leads have been removed.
Question about the semicircular plugs, any special techniques with regard to removing and resealing them?
Removed both front wheels and lower control arms. Now just need to find a workshop who will press the new bushes in for me - shouldn't be hard.
hmm what else?
i guess thats all i've done so far.
Oh wait i've replaced front and rear bank 02 sensors... having trouble finding the downstream sensor lol
I was thinking about pulling the injectors out and putting them through a sonic bath - is there a diy for injector r'n'r?

I have yet to clean the throttle body, it looks a little gunky,
and i haven't started on the timing belt yet (hence the intimidation). I understand there are some specialised tools i should get my hands on before undertaking this particular task? God i hope the belt has the marks on it =S

Tappets will be another challenge i haven't even looked into yet.

I think i'm in over my head *sigh* but no turning back now...

A little bit of good news, no sludging to be found under those rocker covers thankfully. one less thing to worry about =P
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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for the timing belt, the only specialized tools you'll need are a harmonic balancer puller, and a camshaft sprocket wrench.

Other than that its straight forward, just follow your manual or a DIY article on this forum.

The semi circular plugs are just sealed onto the heads with silicone, they will likely be stuck in there pretty good. No special technique required to remove them. I guess if I had to give any direction i would say just dont damage the flat part on the top?

Make sure to keep up with regular oil change intervals and you will likely never see any sludge issues
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Question about the semicircular plugs, any special techniques with regard to removing and resealing them?
I used a visegrip to lift and apply a little rocking motion to pop 'em out. Like Perkins said, be careful not to scratch the flat surface that the valve covers seals on. After getting them out, scrape off any old sealant, then clean thoroughly with some rubbing alcohol or other solvent to get all the oil off. Then apply the sealant. It doesn't take a lot, about the thickness of a dime. Then press into position. Wipe up any excess that oozes out, if there's a lot of it. Make sure the flat surface is even with the rest of the valve cover gasket surface. I used a steel ruler and laid it across the top to check. Then leave it sit until the sealant is cured.

Sounds like you're making good progress. Take your time. Double and triple check things as you go. I'm always slow as heck doing things the first time.
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1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 363k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 303k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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