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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, so a while back I started a thread to chronicle my resurrection of a beat-to-hell 1995 Camry 5S-FE. While I'm getting the last bits together to close that one out (parts list, final work), I thought I'd start another thread for my latest clunker acquisition :smile:

My buddy needs a reliable car, so we chose out this 1999 ES300 for $1100. It's been to the moon but hasn't come back yet (243k miles). It's black on black on black on black. See pic1-pic5.

I started working on it before I got a chance to take pics. Did a few things to start:

- P1349 when we bought it (vvt valve malfunction) so I replaced the OCV's with Dorman ones. It was running rough when it got warm (classic sign of VVT valve malfunction), this smoothed it out.
- replaced both cupholders with ones from eBay
- replaced coin pocket/cigarette lighter from Pick-n-pull
- got a separate remote keyfob from eBay for remote lock/unlock
- replaced crumbling coolant reservoir with Parts Galaxy one from Amazon
- replaced D bulb in cluster
- installed cabin air filter
- replaced missing center caps with eBay ones
- did rear hubs/bearings (4 broken studs)
- replaced all lug nuts with Dorman mag nuts (all mismatched before)
- replaced cracked washer fluid reservoir from Pick-n-pull
- replaced all rear bulbs to solve bulb-out indicator in cluster
- new eBay hood struts
- new OEM washer nozzle (one was spurting weakly)
- replacement battery hold-down bracket from Pick-n-pull
- new Duralast Gold battery from AutoZone. Old one had been sitting dead for a month, was starting but KOEO w/fan blowing would kill it in 15 mins. (Hah accidentally wrote Duralast God)
- threw in a spare fuel door spring

Still got a lot of other problems:

- trans jerks/clunks hard when you put it in gear
- oil leaks from bottom end and valve covers
- cooling system not holding pressure, leaks from hoses
- P0420 (catalytic converter below efficiency)
- A/C compressor not engaging
- front seats ripped, interior smells like BO, dirty carpeting in trunk
- seat controls hanging loose
- airbag light constantly on
- radio is almost completely un-backlit
- subwoofer buzzing
- passenger window automatically goes down if window lock is turned off
- key does not work in trunk lock
- two tires right size (205/65/R15), two Camry tires (195/65/R15)
- yellow headlights, passenger side has condensation inside
- front bumper cover hanging off on passenger side
- front fender liners ripped apart from dragging
- unknown timing belt condition
- front struts, all sway bar links and bushings shot
- hoses to power steering reservoir leaking
- brake booster vacuum leak
- PCV valve broken off, both hoses leaking
- visors broken, not lighting up
- engine sludged up

...probably some other problems I haven't encountered yet. I'll post a categorized parts list in post #2, and pics as I go along. My goal is to have this in great condition in a month and a half. I hope you guys enjoy following along :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Job/Parts List

Purchased Parts
- fuel filter: Beck/Arnley 043-1020
- spark plugs: NGK 4589 (actual OE part)

Pick-n-pull
- subwoofer: OEM 86160-33500
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Engine Bay

pic6 shows the engine bay with the intake plenum removed. It was missing the stay at the back, and the power steering clamp wasn't attached...which made it easy to get off. I'll go to the Pick-n-pull tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New OCV's

pic7 shows the new Dorman OCV's. Sharp contrast to the grimy surroundings!

This car saw exclusive in-town use over the past 60k miles, which would explain why the engine is so sludged up. That was the root cause of the OCV failure...they burned out and wouldn't move even after cleaning out the chunks. Threw a P1349 and behaved as you would expect, running rough once warmed up. The new solenoids solved that issue.

You should take out the OCV filters and clean them out as well; they are each behind a 14mm bolt right below the OCV's. Mine were clogged with sludge, so I shot some brake cleaner into the hole as well. The filter clips onto the bolt, but they may be worn to the point where they don't hold on well or have broken tabs.

Torque on the OCV hold-down bolts is 66 in-lbs. Had a hard time finding the torque for the filter bolts: 33 ft-lbs.

After clearing the codes and test driving, engine was smooth but a P0420 came up.

I want to do a visual inspection of the cats, so P0420 will wait until I take off the front exhaust manifold and midpipe to reseal the oil pans.
 

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The black on black looks super nice in the 3ES models. I can't deal with black because it's like a non-stop washing and waxing. I like the pearl white and ivory.

Thats quite a bit of repairs it needs. Looks like it was run to the ground. Suprised it was running.

The leather in these 3ES is very nice. The woodgrain IMO is probably one of the best in the ES. If you look closely on the panels, you'll see it's actual wood laminated on the plastic. If I ever got another car, probably would be a 3ES. Only issue is with the later years transmission although the 2000-2001 had the best look to it. Funny how you don't find them around...oh wait, the transmission.... :headbang:
 

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Funny how you don't find them around...oh wait, the transmission.... :headbang:
I think the 4ES had the transmission issues. These cars had the "drive-by-wire" throttle body. Some people call it "sudden acceleration" and some called it "lazy transmission". I bought a used one for $2000 so I can put up with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The black on black looks super nice in the 3ES models. I can't deal with black because it's like a non-stop washing and waxing. I like the pearl white and ivory.

Thats quite a bit of repairs it needs. Looks like it was run to the ground. Suprised it was running.

The leather in these 3ES is very nice. The woodgrain IMO is probably one of the best in the ES. If you look closely on the panels, you'll see it's actual wood laminated on the plastic. If I ever got another car, probably would be a 3ES. Only issue is with the later years transmission although the 2000-2001 had the best look to it. Funny how you don't find them around...oh wait, the transmission.... :headbang:
Haha yeah, good thing it's not my maintenance job after I'm done with it. My personal cars are Oyster Pearl Metallic (ES300) and Formula Red (Insight).

Yeah it's a lot thicker than in its peers. I'm leaving the seat repair until last, and hoping my shop doesn't charge too much to close it up.

I think the 4ES had the transmission issues. These cars had the "drive-by-wire" throttle body. Some people call it "sudden acceleration" and some called it "lazy transmission". I bought a used one for $2000 so I can put up with it.
Oh yeah, those...nah, he's referring to the U140E trans. The A541E was great (I think pgh mike has one with 400k original with regular maintenance or something), but 1999-2001 got the U140E which is less reliable. Guess which one I've got...with problems...but 243k original...:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Fuel Filter

I replaced the fuel filter while the airbox is out. You can't quite see in pic8, but it was missing the clamp bolt...that would explain at least some of the rattling I hear when driving around. I got a clamp bolt from a '98 (latest model ES at my local yards)...it looks a little small and the fuel filter location and clamp were a bit different from my '99. I'll update when I get it clamped.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, this car has had an axle replacement in the past...the fuel filter, line from pump, and surrounding area were covered in axle grease. That stuff is hardy!

pic9 is the new fuel filter, Beck/Arnley 043-1020. Silkscreened "Made in China." Sorry about the blurry pic, my phone seems to have trouble choosing something to focus on in the busy work zone :frown:

You need a 19mm flare nut wrench to hold the filter still, and 14mm to release/tighten the flare nut on the bottom. Without the clamp bolt, I had to be careful to keep the filter from turning so the raised bumps (there are three) on the housing would line up with the grooves on the clamp. If it moves and they don't line up, the clamp will squeeze and possibly deform the filter housing instead of holding it. I used the German torque setting of gutantite, since I was tightening backwards from the top and my torque wrench doesn't measure torque counterclockwise. No leaks; the actual torque value is 21 ft-lbs.

There is a cover on top, squeeze it and it'll come right off. You then have to squeeze the gray clip and slide the line off the outlet. The new filter did not come with the line clip (pic10), so it must be transferred from the old one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Subwoofer

Also replaced the subwoofer; it was making a very loud buzzing noise at all volumes. Turns out the polypropylene dome in the middle had come unglued (pic11). I have the standard sound system: Pioneer subwoofer, P/N 86160-33500.

Prying up at the back of the center high-mount stoplamp housing releases it; it stays put via two clips. You can see the black receptacles on the subwoofer at the top in pic11. Then, you just pull it back and the bulb socket twists right out.

The sub is held down by four 10mm screws. The harness side of the connector is clipped onto the trunk sheet metal, which you can release from inside the trunk (clip is white. rear deck carpet clips are translucent). pic12 is the used sub I picked up at my salvage yard, installed. It's a bit of trouble to wrestle the old one out and the new one in...you can see I broke the cardboard/particle board backing on the right side of the picture. Maybe it's better to just take out the rear deck carpeting.

The real challenge with the carpet on is getting the harness connector clipped back into the trunk.

Sounds great now!
 

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Getting Ready to Do the Valve Covers

So after evacuating the "V" (pics coming soon) I decided to pull the spark plugs before it got dark. pic13 shows them...Denso plugs, good condition but swimming in oil. So were the coils...there was a lot of residue at the top inside the tubes, so I'm guessing the tube seals haven't been done in a long time. I got NGK 4589 Iridiums (actual OE plug) from RockAuto to replace them. Will put them in after doing the VC gaskets and tube seals.
 

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I think the 4ES had the transmission issues. These cars had the "drive-by-wire" throttle body. Some people call it "sudden acceleration" and some called it "lazy transmission". I bought a used one for $2000 so I can put up with it.
Haha yeah, good thing it's not my maintenance job after I'm done with it. My personal cars are Oyster Pearl Metallic (ES300) and Formula Red (Insight).

Yeah it's a lot thicker than in its peers. I'm leaving the seat repair until last, and hoping my shop doesn't charge too much to close it up.


Oh yeah, those...nah, he's referring to the U140E trans. The A541E was great (I think pgh mike has one with 400k original with regular maintenance or something), but 1999-2001 got the U140E which is less reliable. Guess which one I've got...with problems...but 243k original...:laugh:
I'm hesitate on getting the A541E really. Then again, so much nice options are on the 00-01....maybe if I can get one from the first owner then maybe. Wonder what caused it to be such a weak transmission. I mean I can deal with 'more than often' ATF drain and refills, but if it is just weak in general then that sucks. Per the RX300 forums, people suspect it wearing out due to excessive heat.




I replaced the fuel filter while the airbox is out. You can't quite see in pic8, but it was missing the clamp bolt...that would explain at least some of the rattling I hear when driving around. I got a clamp bolt from a '98 (latest model ES at my local yards)...it looks a little small and the fuel filter location and clamp were a bit different from my '99. I'll update when I get it clamped.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, this car has had an axle replacement in the past...the fuel filter, line from pump, and surrounding area were covered in axle grease. That stuff is hardy!

pic9 is the new fuel filter, Beck/Arnley 043-1020. Silkscreened "Made in China." Sorry about the blurry pic, my phone seems to have trouble choosing something to focus on in the busy work zone :frown:

You need a 19mm flare nut wrench to hold the filter still, and 14mm to release/tighten the flare nut on the bottom. Without the clamp bolt, I had to be careful to keep the filter from turning so the raised bumps (there are three) on the housing would line up with the grooves on the clamp. If it moves and they don't line up, the clamp will squeeze and possibly deform the filter housing instead of holding it. I used the German torque setting of gutantite, since I was tightening backwards from the top and my torque wrench doesn't measure torque counterclockwise. No leaks; the actual torque value is 21 ft-lbs.

There is a cover on top, squeeze it and it'll come right off. You then have to squeeze the gray clip and slide the line off the outlet. The new filter did not come with the line clip (pic10), so it must be transferred from the old one.
I should do my fuel filter in my 1998. It's original at 217K. Any reason on why you did it? Anything for the prep work to get to do it? I'm just worried when I do the fuel filter, i'll be gushing out fuel lol. Straight forward job for the most part?

Also replaced the subwoofer; it was making a very loud buzzing noise at all volumes. Turns out the polypropylene dome in the middle had come unglued (pic11). I have the standard sound system: Pioneer subwoofer, P/N 86160-33500.

Prying up at the back of the center high-mount stoplamp housing releases it; it stays put via two clips. You can see the black receptacles on the subwoofer at the top in pic11. Then, you just pull it back and the bulb socket twists right out.

The sub is held down by four 10mm screws. The harness side of the connector is clipped onto the trunk sheet metal, which you can release from inside the trunk (clip is white. rear deck carpet clips are translucent). pic12 is the used sub I picked up at my salvage yard, installed. It's a bit of trouble to wrestle the old one out and the new one in...you can see I broke the cardboard/particle board backing on the right side of the picture. Maybe it's better to just take out the rear deck carpeting.

The real challenge with the carpet on is getting the harness connector clipped back into the trunk.

Sounds great now!
Yep! the entire rear deck panel should come out. Interesting you did it with it intact.


So after evacuating the "V" (pics coming soon) I decided to pull the spark plugs before it got dark. pic13 shows them...Denso plugs, good condition but swimming in oil. So were the coils...there was a lot of residue at the top inside the tubes, so I'm guessing the tube seals haven't been done in a long time. I got NGK 4589 Iridiums (actual OE plug) from RockAuto to replace them. Will put them in after doing the VC gaskets and tube seals.
Yep those valve cover spark plug seals are long due....probably because the valve cover was never done in over 15 years...probably original!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm hesitate on getting the A541E really. Then again, so much nice options are on the 00-01....maybe if I can get one from the first owner then maybe. Wonder what caused it to be such a weak transmission. I mean I can deal with 'more than often' ATF drain and refills, but if it is just weak in general then that sucks. Per the RX300 forums, people suspect it wearing out due to excessive heat.
Well, I just brought an Odyssey 4-speed back to life with a solenoid pack cleaning, magnetic inline filter, auxiliary trans cooler, and triple drain-and-refill. I think I'll do the same on my two ES's with the U140E. This one's running OK but can't hurt with 243k on it. My other one...single owner, maintained by a Lexus tech since new, driven 20-mile round trip each day over 151k miles. Fluid pump is shot.

When I get to it, I'll do a separate DIY for the cooler and inline filter (saw that there's a nice DIY by fenixus for a Magnefine on the A541E).




I should do my fuel filter in my 1998. It's original at 217K. Any reason on why you did it? Anything for the prep work to get to do it? I'm just worried when I do the fuel filter, i'll be gushing out fuel lol. Straight forward job for the most part?
Is the fuel delivery different on the non-VVTi engines? On my VVTi motor it's a returnless system. Just saying because I think returnless systems tend to have higher pressure, correct me if I'm wrong.

Prep work, get the airbox stuff out of the way...it's right below. The just follow the instructions I posted above...didn't gush, just dribbled from the line and dropped about 1/4 cup from the filter. I let it drop in the hopes that it would scour the subframe a bit (hah, very grimy near PS pump) to no avail. Guess you could catch and reclaim it.

Yep! the entire rear deck panel should come out. Interesting you did it with it intact.
Yeah, looks fine after reinstalling the CHMSL housing. Next time I'll save the panel :wink:


Yep those valve cover spark plug seals are long due....probably because the valve cover was never done in over 15 years...probably original!
Really hate pulling them out. They get so hard and crumbly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Refreshing the "V" - Prologue

OK guys, we got hit with another rainstorm so I'm down for the count about 10 days. I started evacuating the "V" so I'll post a few pics for now, and list what I'm going to do.

So as you know, the upper intake manifold is out, along with the bracket holding a few VSV's. I pulled all the vacuum lines and coolant hoses attached to the driver's side of the V so as to have clearance to pull everything else.

pic14 is a close-up of the fuel pulsation damper. My plan was to disassemble the fuel rails, but this thing won't come out! The rails themselves are held down by four 10mm bolts...the feed line (only line, this is a returnless system) bracket is held down by a 12mm bolt (you can see it). My engine is VVTi; the non-VVTi engines use that bracket as a mount point for this T-junction box that routes coolant (this is what's known as a "wet" intake manifold, pics later).

pic15 shows the V with the fuel rails removed. You can see there's a lot of oil and carbon in the intake runners. One injector didn't want to leave...pic16 shows the rails out of the way with the other five injectors. The o-rings were SHOT on all but one injector...that would at least partially explain the gas smell on startup. Will post pics later when I'm cleaning and re-ringing them.

Lower intake manifold is held down by nine T40 Torx bolts and two 12mm nuts. The torque on these is only 11 ft-lbs, but everybody seems to like to overtorque Torx whenever they encounter it. Needed a cheater pipe for all of them. The Torx bolts are two different lengths...keep them in order. If you screw up, look up the intake manifold on any Lexus dealer system (online or in house), and it'll show where the longer bolts go.

pic17 shows the V bared out except for the water inlet (plate looking thing that lines the bottom) and the intake manifold gaskets. The gaskets are held down by the water outlet (spout above the timing belt cover where the upper rad hose attaches), which is attached with two T40 bolts and two nuts. I also pulled the water bypass hose. Protip: drain coolant before doing intake manifold work. Getting to this point without draining coolant means I got a lot of coolant spilled in the V (well, previous owner was running water). Good thing I'm also doing knock sensors and pulling the water inlet (houses thermostat).

What I'm worried about: take a look at the hole at the bottom left of pic17. The T40 bolt that came out of there was rusty, and the hole is filled with water. These are OEM intake gaskets (maybe original?), and there was no leakage in that area...only near the water outlet. I don't know if that hole passes the head gasket, but the water and rusty bolt worry me about the head gasket.

The silver lining is that that bolt is not long enough to reach down to the head gasket. My plan is to refresh the V, redo cooling system, oil seals, and timing belt, then drive around and see if I lose coolant.

In retrospect I did this stupidly, seeing as how I'm putting in new coolant, radiator, and hoses...shoulda drained it first. Will do so before pulling the water inlet.

EDIT: A correction to avoid confusion...the water inlet is NOT held down by the idler pulley bracket. Just 8 bolts and 2 nuts.
 

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Love the photos!

Thanks for the information on the fuel filter. I'll research it a bit. Really curious on how to do the magnetic inline filter. It seems like a very good ideal to install it.

Yep, Coolant needs to be drained. I drained from the radiator peacock and the block drain from the front near the oil filter. Didn't bother the rear.

The coolant (water) in number 17 is normal. Probably because there is coolant still in the system. I recall mines having a bit too even when I drained it. Think it goes to the water pump if i'm not mistaken and even if you drain the engine from the front drain and coolant, there still is coolant that will be coming out from the water pump.

Where did you end up getting your knock sensors? I gotta get down here and do all what your doing. Recommend to do the O-ring for the fuel rails though? I've got about 216K on all original O-rings on the rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Love the photos!

Thanks for the information on the fuel filter. I'll research it a bit. Really curious on how to do the magnetic inline filter. It seems like a very good ideal to install it.

Yep, Coolant needs to be drained. I drained from the radiator peacock and the block drain from the front near the oil filter. Didn't bother the rear.

The coolant (water) in number 17 is normal. Probably because there is coolant still in the system. I recall mines having a bit too even when I drained it. Think it goes to the water pump if i'm not mistaken and even if you drain the engine from the front drain and coolant, there still is coolant that will be coming out from the water pump.

Where did you end up getting your knock sensors? I gotta get down here and do all what your doing. Recommend to do the O-ring for the fuel rails though? I've got about 216K on all original O-rings on the rails.
Oh yeah, I expected the coolant in the rectangular coolant openings, I'm just worried about the bolt hole near it (see the updated pic17_2). None of the other bolts or holes are rusty. I was going to drain as much as possible (all drain plugs, already drained the radiator and pulled the rad hoses) and replace with Zerex.

I ended up getting the knock sensors from eBay (from your links a while back, actually): http://www.ebay.com/itm/301835362641?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT#rwid

Things to note:

- yeah, they say Denso and look exactly like the OEM sensor, but they came with a flimsy sticker over the "DENSO" lettering and a note about removing the sticker voiding the warranty. The sticker is designed to crumble if you even try to take it off.
- cheap aftermarket sensors tend to have a covered hole, OEM, better aftermarket, and these "Denso" sensors have an open one
- one review on these says they're fake. They definitely look a little knockoff-y
- I read that some of the eBay ones are just Delphi's, which are rebranded Denso's in a Delphi box. Not what I got, these came in a plain white box

I'll install them and see if everything is groovy. IIRC most aftermarket sensors are crappy because they are just mics that read all frequencies (making them sloppy at detecting knocking) and the OEM one is resonant and reads at 7 kHz.

Had to order these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JLBQV2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

...because my deep 27mm socket wouldn't fit to torque the knock sensors.

Knock sensor harness and bypass hose came from Amazon (your links again, thanks). Those are first on the list after taking out the water inlet.

I did fuel injector o-rings using the Beck/Arnley kits a few months ago on a 2000 ES300 with 160k...they were ripped and peeling apart. This one's actually in better condition, but all of them are deformed and starting to peel.

I would get six of the Beck/Arnley 158-0893 kits, they have the upper and lower o-rings, plus the two bushings.

A side note: local shops sometimes carry the wrong ones...I did them on a 5S-FE (CA spec), and there were two Beck/Arnley kits, only one fit the CA-spec air-assisted injectors. My local shops only carried the federal spec kits...in California. Bringing this up because I think there's an error on RockAuto:

Non-VVTi federal-spec engines have the [physically] larger injectors. Non-VVTi CA-spec engines and VVTi engines share the same injectors (take a look at fuel injector offerings on '97 and '99 ES300's). The Beck/Arnley 158-0893 kit is listed for both years, but on '97 it says "except California Emissions"; that kit for that year is FOR CA emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Knock Sensor Comparison, Fuel Injectors and Rails

OK, the rain let up for a few hours so I took the time to get some stuff done.

pic18 shows the old knock sensor (left) next to the "Denso" sensor. pic19 shows their backsides...see how the "DENSO" lettering looks kinda "whittled"? The sensors I pulled out look like the cheaper Standard Motor Products offering on RockAuto.

pic20 is all six fuel injectors next to one Beck/Arnley seal kit. I'll post in a couple days after cleaning them and putting on the new seals.

pic21...somebody tried to seal this injector using RTV. Going to have to be careful cleaning it out so particles don't get inside and clog injectors. Man, I have a real knack for choosing tragic heaps, don't I?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Evacuating the "V"

Ah, the V. The crotch of the engine, as it were. All the nasty stuff and broken pieces of wire loom collect here.

pic22 shows the old bypass hose and new bypass hose. As you can see the new one is a much straighter shot.

Worm gear clamps being superior and easier to use and whatnot, I decided to hit up the dealer for a couple new clamps for the bypass hose (pic23). They troll you with that little pink clip...makes it so easy to put on the first time. When you have to take it apart it doesn't want to jump over the bump on the pipe!

pic24 is another picture of the V before I removed the water inlet. Oh, I was wrong: you can see the bracket that the timing belt idler mounts to at the bottom of the image...it doesn't hold down the water inlet. The water inlet plate is held down by 8 10mm bolts and 2 10mm nuts. You should keep count when getting them out...my V had numerous bits of broken plastic and hose in it, some of which covered up a few bolts. Oh, I cleaned the intake surfaces with a brass cup brush on a drill.

pic25 shows the front block drain (it's draining, bad focus) under the exhaust manifold. 10mm socket. Drain before taking out the water inlet. There's another drain on the back, but it's not strictly necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Water Inlet Removal

pic26 shows the 12mm bolt that secures the water inlet pipe.

Ok, after pulling the bolts and nuts holding down the water inlet, you should be able to loosen it (it's sealed with coolant-resistant FIPG). The thermostat housing has to come off (three 10mm nuts), and then you can lift the water inlet plate out. The water inlet pipe is held in the thermostat housing by an o-ring, so a few twists should separate them and then you can pull them out as well (can't come out together, starter is in the way).

pic27 shows the three pieces. You can see the o-ring on the water inlet pipe, and pic28 shows the bottom of the inlet plate (see the thermostat?). pic29 shows the residual FIPG and random crap/grime that needs to be cleaned out of the V, being careful not to let pieces fall into the engine. As you can see, the water level is low enough after draining from the front of the block that it won't gush out.

A note about the coolant-resistant FIPG. It is NOT the regular, black FIPG (P/N: 00295-00103, about $15-20 a tube from Amazon or your dealer) that you use for the oil pan and valve covers. It's P/N: 08826-00100 which is ALSO black. I called my local Lexus and Toyota dealers, both call it a "sealing kit" and said they'd sell it but it's normally only used by their service dept. Whopping $98 a tube from Lexus and $115 from Toyota. Check this chart:

http://www.yotatech.com/f123/toyota-adhesive-sealant-cross-reference-chart-251907/

...the OEM is Threebond, specific P/N is 1282B. Found one seller closing it out on eBay, a tube for $20!...another seller has a bunch, $80/tube.

If I wasn't a stickler for the sweet Toyota/Threebond RTV's, I'd say get some regular water pump Permatex or equivalent.
 

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Oh yeah, I expected the coolant in the rectangular coolant openings, I'm just worried about the bolt hole near it (see the updated pic17_2). None of the other bolts or holes are rusty. I was going to drain as much as possible (all drain plugs, already drained the radiator and pulled the rad hoses) and replace with Zerex.
Ohh I see what you are looking at. Hmm...maybe moisture got in there somehow?

I ended up getting the knock sensors from eBay (from your links a while back, actually): http://www.ebay.com/itm/301835362641?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT#rwid

Things to note:

- yeah, they say Denso and look exactly like the OEM sensor, but they came with a flimsy sticker over the "DENSO" lettering and a note about removing the sticker voiding the warranty. The sticker is designed to crumble if you even try to take it off.
- cheap aftermarket sensors tend to have a covered hole, OEM, better aftermarket, and these "Denso" sensors have an open one
- one review on these says they're fake. They definitely look a little knockoff-y
- I read that some of the eBay ones are just Delphi's, which are rebranded Denso's in a Delphi box. Not what I got, these came in a plain white box

I'll install them and see if everything is groovy. IIRC most aftermarket sensors are crappy because they are just mics that read all frequencies (making them sloppy at detecting knocking) and the OEM one is resonant and reads at 7 kHz.
Hmm very interesting. I hope it works out perfect!
Had to order these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JLBQV2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

...because my deep 27mm socket wouldn't fit to torque the knock sensors.

Knock sensor harness and bypass hose came from Amazon (your links again, thanks). Those are first on the list after taking out the water inlet.
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Nice tool kit. I'm going to buy that. I was wondering if my existing set would be enough to take out the knock sensor.

I did fuel injector o-rings using the Beck/Arnley kits a few months ago on a 2000 ES300 with 160k...they were ripped and peeling apart. This one's actually in better condition, but all of them are deformed and starting to peel.

I would get six of the Beck/Arnley 158-0893 kits, they have the upper and lower o-rings, plus the two bushings.
Given the age of our cars, would it be better to replace the entire fuel injector? Is there a way to really check the condition of the fuel injector? My 98 runs a tad bit lean and I didn't see any obvious intake/vacuum leaks. was going to do the works when I rip down to do my bad knock sensors. Is a fuel injector either an off/on sort of device or can it slowly degrade in performance? I'll probably get the injector o-ring done. Pretty straight forward process?

A side note: local shops sometimes carry the wrong ones...I did them on a 5S-FE (CA spec), and there were two Beck/Arnley kits, only one fit the CA-spec air-assisted injectors. My local shops only carried the federal spec kits...in California. Bringing this up because I think there's an error on RockAuto:

Non-VVTi federal-spec engines have the [physically] larger injectors. Non-VVTi CA-spec engines and VVTi engines share the same injectors (take a look at fuel injector offerings on '97 and '99 ES300's). The Beck/Arnley 158-0893 kit is listed for both years, but on '97 it says "except California Emissions"; that kit for that year is FOR CA emissions.
Very good information. Thankfully mines isn't CA emission...that makes everything so much more complicated.
 
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