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I have the opportnunity to pick up a very low mileage 84 Camry with a perfect, no-rust body and great interior for cheap (<$200). The current owner says that while she was driving, it made a metallic sounding clink and then stopped running. It won't start, but she says it makes a noise now when she tries to turn it over. It's not leaking any fluids.

I like to tinker with older cars, so I was going to go check it out to see if it was worth fixing. Obviously seeing the car would help me to make that assessment, but my first thought was maybe that the timing belt let go. Could be something more serious, however. Has anyone ever had a timing belt break in one of these while driving, and if so, what was your experience like when it happened? I understand that the engine in the Gen I Camry is of the non-interference variety. What else would you potentially look for when checking out a Camry with these symptoms?
 

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The belt can break and the engine dies.

Remove the dist cap and determine if the rotor turns when you crank the engine. If not, the belt is broke.

If broke check for damage to the water pump, etc.

It is rare but the water pump can also fail resulting in belt breakage.
 

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Might as well change the water pump, seals etc. while you're down there.
 
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