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94 Camry Won't Start after Timing Belt Replacement

40997 Views 38 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  tmauldin
1994 Toyota Camry LE 4cyl 5SFE 2.2L EFI

So I thought I was a mechanic and I would replace my timing belt, water pump, front seals, spark plugs, plug wires, distributor rotor/seal, and my accessory belts. It sounded like a good idea until I put everything back together and royally effed my car in its a.

Timing belt marks match? Yes (full 720 degree rotations), and just to be sure, rotated the cam just to be sure I hadn't lined it up on the wrong stroke.

I know what you're thinking, is there spark? yes.

Well, what about gas? yes.

Grounding straps? Yeah, all of 'em.

I should also mention at this point I thought I was replace my fuel filter. Bad idea, very bad idea. I bent my steel fuel line a bit, but it is only slightly tweaked, and I don't believe its restricting fuel flow as fuel sprays out if I remove the top bolt and the spark plugs all smell of gas to varying degrees if I remove them after cranking the engine.

I know my ignition timing has got to be off somewhat because I removed my distributor but it should atleast turn over a little, right? I moved it up and down and back around in an attempt to get the car to DO something but it doesn't seem to have any effect. One thing I noticed was

The car was running like a champ before I played mechanic and the only thing wrong was it had a slight oil leak which I've now discovered wasn't even any of the front seals, it was the oil pan itself :-(

I've read this forum top to bottom and I'm at a loss. I've checked everything I can think of and this beast has been laughing at me in the garage unmoving for a MONTH. I need to get my '69 Karmann Ghia garaged up before its covered in a foot of snow so the Camry needs to get working and fast.

If anyone on here has any suggestions I will try them and report back, I've uploaded a video so you can see what the car does when you crank, it will crank and crank and catch just a bit (can be heard 0:35 seconds in) but never seems to actually turn over.

Not sure if this makes a difference but the ignition rotor I took out:

Doesn't look much like the 3rd party Autozone sold me which looks like:
except gray. (it wouldn't stay on the distributor until I bent the metal tab on the bottom to hold it in place. Not sure if that's making sense or is significant..)
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Are your plug wires in the right firing order?
This is just a suggestion, but try cranking it, then leave the key in the on position. On your diagnose box, bridge terminal te1 and e1 with a paperclip. Watch the check engine light to see how it blinks. If it continually blinks without stopping then it has not tripped a code. But it it pauses, write the code down and look in a haynes manual for what it is. If you don't have a haynes manual post the code here or google it.

Another suggestion is the distributor or rotor may be loose causing a bad ignition timing.

Just to verify that all the timing is correct,
On the Cam sprocket there is a hole that lines up with a notch on the cyl head. You can stick an allan wrench in the hole to make sure that is lined up.
To get to TDC you used a screwdriver or dowel in #1 cyl while turning the crank and did not use the marks on the timing belt case. That is where i messed up the first time I ever did a timing belt.

BTW, Did you take the cams out?
Did you ever get it running?
If so, what was it?
My biggest remaining problems would be the nasty exhaust and the original oil leak that started this whole mess. Any suggestions on things to check before heading out on the road, or possible causes of the smokey-ness? Thankyou in advance for all the help guys, you basically fixed my car and saved me a bunch of cash.

Smoke coming from the tailpipe is not good news, but does not necessarily mean the engine needs rebuilding. First, you need to determine what color of smoke is coming from the tailpipe. The three most common colors of smoke that can be emitted from the engine and billow from the tailpipe are as follows:
White smoke: White smoke is caused by water and or antifreeze entering the cylinder, and the engine trying to burn it with the fuel. The white smoke is steam. There are special gaskets (head gaskets are the primary gaskets) that keep the antifreeze from entering the cylinder area. The cylinder is where the fuel and air mixture are being compressed and burned. Any amount of antifreeze that enters this area will produce a white steam that will be present at the tailpipe area.

If white smoke is present, check to see if the proper amount of antifreeze is inside the radiator and the overflow bottle. Also check to see if antifreeze has contaminated the engine oil. You can look at the engine oil dipstick, or look at the under side of the engine oil filler cap. If the oil is contaminated with antifreeze, it will have the appearance of a chocolate milkshake. Do not start the engine if the oil is contaminated with antifreeze, as serious internal engine damage can result.

How did antifreeze get in the oil or cylinder in the first place? The engine probably overheated and a head gasket failed due to excessive heat, thus allowing antifreeze to enter the cylinder (Where it is not meant to be).

Blue Smoke: Blue smoke is caused by engine oil entering the cylinder area and being burned along with the fuel air mixture. As with the white smoke, just a small drop of oil leaking into the cylinder can produce blue smoke out the tailpipe. Blue smoke is more likely in older or higher mileage vehicles than newer cars with fewer miles.

How did the engine oil get inside the cylinder in the first place? The car has many seals, gaskets, and O-rings that are designed to keep the engine oil from entering the cylinder, and one of them has failed. If too much oil leaks into the cylinder and fouls the spark plug, it will cause a misfire (engine miss) in that cylinder, and the spark plug will have to be replaced or cleaned of the oil. Using thicker weight engine oil or an oil additive designed to reduce oil leaks might help reduce the amount of oil leaking into the cylinder.

Black Smoke: Black smoke is caused by excess fuel that has entered the cylinder area and cannot be burned completely. Another term for excess fuel is "running rich." Poor fuel mileage is also a common complaint when black smoke comes out of the tailpipe. Black smoke out the tailpipe is the least cause for alarm. Excess fuel will usually effect engine performance, reduce fuel economy, and produce a fuel odor.

How did the fuel get into the cylinder in the first place? Some of the causes of excess fuel are a carburetor that is out of adjustment, a faulty fuel pump
, a leaky fuel injector, or a faulty engine computer or computer sensor. If black smoke is present, check the engine oil as in the white smoke example to make sure excess fuel has not contaminated it. Do not start the engine if a heavy, raw fuel smell can be detected in the engine oil. Call your mechanic and advise him of what you have found.

I hope this helps you determine what could be causing your engine smoke, and the possible reasons behind the smoke.

The above is credited to
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Remove starter and wedge something into the flywheel to hold the crank still while you tighten the crank nut.

You shouldnt have to take the starter off. There is a flywheel cover at the bottom of the flywheel. You will also have to take off a engine to transmission holding bracket. Once these two things are off, use a flat head screwdriver to between the teeth where the coverspace runs out to stop the crank assembly from turning. Once this is done you can tighten the bolt to 80ft-lbs no problem.
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