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Discussion Starter #21
Today I changed the oil and transmission fluid. Transmission fluid was still pretty red. I also changed out the air filter.
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Discussion Starter #22
Changed the license plate lights to LEDs today. I was also going to swap out the trunk bulb but turns out the button that turns it on is to blame. Unless that is something that can be taken apart and cleaned I'll just live without it.
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Discussion Starter #23
Is there a good write up on here about doing the valve cover gasket, plug, and half moons? I want to make sure I do everything I should while I've got the cover off. Thanks!
 

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イリジウム
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You can find a variety of DIYs members posted over the years:

Although some now are missing pictures, such as this valve cover gasket DIY, but the texts are still there. There are a couple of pictures here and there in the thread.

But similar (3VZ):

A few words on the half moons, and valve clearances can be checked as well:

And the comments on the valve cover bolts and extra washers:
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thank you! I think I know it all now.
Should I use ultra black/gray or FIPG? Or both and where for each one?
 

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イリジウム
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I use Permatex Ultra Black, just because Walmart has it for a good price. They also have the more rigid Permatex Ultra Grey, which would be closer to FIPG, so you might prefer that over the Ultra Black. FIPG is faster drying, so again you might prefer that. Napa can get you an Aisin 3 oz tube for about $20. Amazon has it too.

Some members like the FIPG because it's OEM. I just use Ultra Black and leave the car 24 hrs for it to fully cure. Permatex Right Stuff would allow immediate return to service.

Each of the half-moon seams needs a dab, as well at the base of the cam caps. Same tube for all those. BTW, put a straight edge on the half moons so they seat flat as you install.

In time you might have to reseal the upper and lower oil pans too, same RTV.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Today I tested the replacement Gates t-stat. Started to open at about 190F, a little higher than ideal but not sure if it justifies a fail. Tomorrow I'll drill a couple of holes in it and install it. When I flush the coolant in the spring I may decide to replace the t-stat again with OEM or Aisin.
 

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イリジウム
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Could it be the thermometer? Anyway, also check the Aisin (or OE) when you get one, maybe it's not any better. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
I got the old one out and it is not stuck open. So either it’s opening too early or I’m dealing with another issue. Gonna go test it now.
Edit: Old one is a correct 180, not sure what brand. Started opening at 165F, I guess I will put the new one in and see if it changes anything but I probably need to start looking elsewhere.
 

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イリジウム
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If the old thermostat starts to open at 165F then it's 11F too early. 176-184 should be the range (+/- 2 deg C). The Gates would be close to range.

That gasket looks like is for the metal pipe. There's also a smaller o-ring and a larger o-ring. You replace all those when changing out the water pump housing. Therefore that's not for the thermostat. I believe the thermostat gasket is Aisin THP102 (verify). Aisin thermostat is THT009.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I installed the new one and still running way too cool. When I pulled out of my driveway it was at 176F and within a couple of minutes of driving it was down to 145F, 140F if coasting. Never got warmer than 155F after 20 minutes of driving. This is without the heat on. Not sure what else to look at. When I googled about this issue when I first got the car I did find a couple of other people with the issue who never got it fixed. In the summer it may stay at operating temp but for the time being, I guess I'll keep the radiator covered.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
What is the correct operating temp for these engines? What temp is considered overheating?
I think I may try changing out the sensor just to rule it out. What brands have you guys had good luck with?
 

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2006 Avalon Limited pearl white.
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Correct operating temp via thermostat needs to be in concert w the rad cap pressure limits. You can run safely quite hot w high pressure rad caps.
 
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