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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you might have seen my thread about restoring my '93 SE V6-MT.

To do that, I found a pristine '92, also with 200k miles on it, and am using the two to build one "brand new" one.
Ok, fine.
The problem I had was, "what to drive in the winter if I want this one to last?" I already have a set of perfectly good snow tires and steel rims to fit a Camry, so that kind of narrowed down my search. I really wanted a manual, but couldn't find one in this portion of the country. The ones I did find were too nice to subject to "winter beater" status.


Yesterday I bought a '94 I4-AT and feel pretty good about it being my winter car. It has a broken RF spring, and bad Alternator bearings, so I've got to fix those things first. There was some repaired rear end damage and resulting water leak in the trunk. Not sure if I'll be able to fix that, or simply remove anything not waterproof from the trunk. The AC doesn't work, but that shouldn't be too bad for a winter car. It rides reasonably well (broken spring notwithstanding).

The CV joints are sound, and their boots are all intact. Engine runs great. Both inside front handles are broken, but still work. It is beige (bleh), and rusty (good for a winter car, if it was too nice couldn't in good conscience waste it on winter driving).


Scotty looked into "Quick Struts", and his conclusion: DON'T.
So, I'll get a Toyota spring ($50~100) and put it in myself, reusing the rest.

Norm "suddenly owner of 3 Gen 3 Camrys" Kerr
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah, and it is missing a hood.

It blew off when a previous test drive had been underway, before I got there - please check that your Aux catch is not rusted and stuck. The Gen3 had the possibility if it was rusted to stick so that it wouldn't work if the main latch wasn't latched. If you keep it lubricated its fine, but in this case, it had become sticky but no one had noticed.

I just happen to have an extra hood (black) which I'll put on. But, I don't want this to happen to anyone here, so am passing along the caution.

Also attached: photo of the broken spring and why I thought, at first, "bad wheel bearing" (see the wear mark on the tire).

Also, the Driver's outside mirror doesn't work. I've got an extra one (white), which I can install if it becomes a big enough issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
probably corrosion, a suspension spring doesn't need to rust all of the way through, just a small pit where the stress can concentrate and then a fatigue failure eventually occurs

Interesting how OK it rode like this.
 

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Ha, Ha, Ha!

Scotty Kilmer also said in his Video that his wife didn't like the ride quality. She was used to the mushy ride.

Certainly, like anything in the market today there are bad quality items but, to use one of his Videos to BROAD BRUSH "ALL" Quick struts is really silly.:devilish:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Remember that his point was to check before buying. When he took apart the pre-assembled one it had the wrong size spring, and had very cheap bearings. The other one that he got had bearings that looked like OEM and it was still priced well below the Toyota price. The difference was that the good one came as components for him to assemble, and from a vendor who'd sold him quality parts before.

True, though, that all generalizations are false (including this one).

N

My next job: change the hood hinges (I forgot the front fenders, and thus the bumper must also be first removed). :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This evening I swapped out the Hood Hinges (including partially removing the fenders, and wipers and cowl louver of both the donor and recipient vehicles to get at the bolts), and installed the hood from the donor vehicle. Thank GOODNESS that the only bolts that sheared due to rust were on the donor. Then I found out why the hood had flown off the '94: its hood lock had failed (corrosion). So, I managed, after a LOT of coaxing and use of a lifetime of experience with severely rusted nuts and bolts, to swap out the good Hood Lock from my donor to the '94, so that works as it should (whew). Every fastener's threads liberally dosed with anti-seize before re-assy (and any rusty ones cleaned and re-tapped), and the hood hinges, latch and aux catch now are very well coated with new penetrating lithium grease.

Then, I took off the broken RF strut assembly, stripped off the failed spring (the "waves on beach sand" witness marks on the fracture surface shows it was a fatigue crack initiating from one point, as rusty as they are I am going with corrosion caused that initial stress point).

I also cut off the aftermarket alarm siren (maybe back in 1979, but since then, why anyone would think a siren would do any good during a car theft...).

During this work, I found a failed AT cooler hose (and a big, new leak), and NO other leaks (unbelievable). We'll see how daily driving after it sitting on a used car dealer's lot for 160 days will fare.

I am kind of digging the black hood on a gold (beige) car, maybe I won't bother to paint it.

Norm "winter beater" Kerr
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My magic recipe for winter windshield cleanliness (GEN3 Camry):
replace the wiper blades with modern Toyota Uni-Blades (with the latest in rubber tech, and they have a built in airfoil shape for high speed wiping performance, which the Gen 3 sorely lacked from the factory)

Dr side: 85212-06130 (it was last generation Camry Pa side)
Pa side: 85212-47040 (it was last, last generation Prius Pa side)

Washer Nozzles: 85381-34030 (fluidic nozzles from FJ Cruiser)

These parts fit perfectly, and are aimed/curved/ shaped for the best fit to our Gen 3 vehicle, windshield curvature/hood x w/s spray angle.

:)

Next step: deal with all the rusted and broken screws holding the engine under covers on (drill out the broken bolt stubs, and re-tap the holes, then re-assy with anti-seize to prevent re-occurrence).

I violated my cardinal rule to use all OEM parts: Rock Auto front springs, spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor, because they were crazy cheap ($140 for the whole lot), and I don't need them to last more than a winter or two. Rock auto has a feature, parts listed have a little red heart next to the parts that most people have responded with "like" after purchasing, and have the fewest complaints / returns. Here's hoping that crowd data helped me get good parts rather than bad.

Norm
 

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Rock auto has a feature, parts listed have a little red heart next to the parts that most people have responded with "like" after purchasing, and have the fewest complaints / returns. Here's hoping that crowd data helped me get good parts rather than bad.
The hearts
Heart icon
mark is just the parts that they sell most often for each application. Still useful information but I don't believe it's anything to do with customers response because there is no such feature that I've seen on Rockauto.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
According to them, its an algorithm which tracks the parts that sell the most and which get returned the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sunday's project: installed the new Right Front suspension spring, which, remarkably, is the same shape and diameter as the original (whew). Rides fine. I've gotten a heck of a lot of use out of that $40 set of spring compressors this year.

Solved AT cooler leak - the leak was actually in the metal pipe right next to where the hose goes, so I slipped the hose further up the pipe and re-set the clamp. Solved! (another whew).

Found a gas leak upon my first fill up. Looks like a perished vent hose between the tank and the filler pipe. On order.

Replaced the PCV (which came out without breaking off and falling into the valve cover, whew). Should have also bought the hose, as it is perished, but holding for the moment. Its a pre-shaped squiggly shape so I can't just use a piece of parts store hose. On order.

Drilled out and re-tapped all of the front engine undercover holes, and collected together from my parts car enough of those special little "S" shaped screw clips and screws to put it back together again (and a bunch of new M6-1.0 metric bolts and washers, installed with a liberal dose of anti-seize). A few hours of elbow grease and now ready for deep snow (the only time I've ever had trouble with them in the past, backing up in deep, compacted snow which tears them off, if not properly attached at all the points).

The driver's mirror (with its federally required flat glass) is too small / blind spot is too large. So, I took a driver's side glass out of a European spec vehicle (just the bare glass, after removing it from the black glass case) and attached it to the flat original glass with some 3M acrylic foam tape, to get me back to safe driving again.

If I can fix the fuel leak it just might be ready, now, for its role as winter ride.

Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The fuel leak is cured: new 13mm vent hose tube and clamps. The old hose was VERY cracked/"dry rotted", and the steel pipe nipple on both the tank and the inlet pipe were much less rusted than I'd feared. Success. Although there is a lot of rust back there, on the rear subframe and control arms, the fuel system seems to be doing rather well.

Access to the fuel pipe clamps is very tight. A combination of "gear wrench", ratchet screwdriver with metric socket and 3/8" drive socket wrench w/extensions got it done. Factory hose clamps are 10mm, but some had been swapped out for 8mm over the years, so a collection of sizes was necessary to get it done.

With the car jacked up as far as it would go in the rear, access, otherwise was fine, and the fuel from the full tank was positioned well away from this vent tube (which is always full when at a full tank, as this tube is how the fuel delivery nozzle is shut off, by the jet of fuel that shoots up this smaller diameter pipe from the top of the tank to the tip of the nozzle).

Pro-tip: when putting jack stands at the rear of a Camry, there can be a real lack of choices for where to position them. When your Camry is old and rusty, that makes the pinch flanges problematic.
A pair of jack stand pinch weld blocks - either buy a set of rubber ones, or make your own by cutting a 3/8" wide, 1/2" deep groove into some 6~8" long blocks of wood, and place them between your rust weakened pinch flanges and your jack stands.

The power antenna needs a new mast (the toothed nylon strip that drives it up/down broke into a ton of small pieces. New one on order (the rest of the power antenna system seems to work just fine, I completely dis-assembled it, cleaned out dry/dirty grease and re-assembled with new moly grease).

The radio in this car is shot (missing knobs, the tape deck doesn't work at all, so my iPod x cassette adaptor won't even work). I've got some other old Camry radios and will sort it out. "Just.One.More.Job"

Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good question. I have thought about it. Since I have the tools, and the springs came as a set, I could swap it out pretty quickly. It is fairly rusty, so it might crack soon too. Interestingly, it rides and handles just fine, even with one new and one old, and both sides sit level.

Probably I'm going to swap it, before I bother to get the suspension 4-wheel aligned, just for completeness sake and because it is certainly better to do both sides whenever working on suspension.

I put it off while I worked through all of the other issues which were making it non-drivable, but now that I'm through them...
Norm
 

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The power antenna needs a new mast (the toothed nylon strip that drives it up/down broke into a ton of small pieces. New one on order (the rest of the power antenna system seems to work just fine, I completely dis-assembled it, cleaned out dry/dirty grease and re-assembled with new moly grease).
Norm
I need to do the same for a '96 LE I'm fixing up.

Where did you get the mast & what moly grease did you use?

Thanks for any info!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Howdy,

Buy a new mast from the dealer, they cost about $60 (used to be really cheap when all Toyotas had these power masts, but not any more).

If the old mast is all in one piece (that is, it still goes up and down, but is bent or something) you can remove and replace it using the radio:

with the key in the locked position, hold down the "AM" button (if no CD player), or the "CD" button (if CD player) and turn the key to "AUX". The Antenna will begin extending, for about 30 seconds. Leave the key in AUX and get out and help the mast extend up and out. Once it is fully extended, give it a very firm pull and the whole thing will come out.

Feed in the end of the nylon strip of the new mast until you feel it slip past the collar at the bottom and begin to engage with the gear inside (teeth of the nylon strip facing rearward), and then turn the key back to "Lock". The antenna will begin retracting for about 30 seconds and you should help it engage with the gear and after it is as much retracted as it goes, then turn the key back to AUX and turn the radio on/off a couple of times until the mast is fully seated and parks fully down.

If the nylon strip has broken (and by this age, that is likely), then the housing has to come apart to extract the broken pieces:

The antenna assembly comes out once the two nuts holding it to the inner fender, and the top, chrome nut is loosened (use a nylon, or sharp wooden stick to push the nut around so when it does slip off the little slots you won't damage your fender's paint) - sometimes wiggling the whole antenna around will help allow that top nut move more easily. Disconnect the antenna wire and the wire harness connector and bring the unit to the workbench.

Then, unscrew the small nut in the center of the housing (8mm) and carefully lift off the cover. The broken nylon toothed strip may begin to spring out.

Remove the "C" clip holding own the inner cover and carefully extract all of the little pieces of the nylon strip. If necessary, also remove the inner drive gear.

Before re-assembly, make sure the pieces of the housing all go back together flush (there is an inner cover that goes around the drive gear, and it has to engage a couple of smaller gears, if they are not properly aligned the cover won't sit flush. When they are, it will sit flush and you are ready to reinstall the inner cover and then the black outer cover (make sure its perimeter seal is in place and not interfering with its fit).

I used a general purpose moly grease from the auto parts store (moly grease tends to be colored black). With the drive gear out, I was able to clean out the brown/rusty old dry stuff and replace with new grease pretty easily.

Re-assemble everything (without the mast, as you can't get the covers on with the nylon strip coiled up inside trying to push everything apart), re-install the unit to the fender and then use the above mast installation process to put that in.

Voila.


Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Antenna mast: replaced.
Both front springs: replaced.
Engine under covers: all attachments repaired and working again.
AT cooler flex-line leak: solved.
Gas leak: 13mm hose replaced.
Rear brakes: cleaned, lubed and adjusted.

Rats: the power steering leak is really bad, and I had a shop look at it on their hoist. They diagnosed the hard line rusted near the rack, where it is VERY hard to get to, and estimated $1000 to fix (labor + parts). Ouch.

So, yesterday, I jacked the front up as high as I can get it, resting the body on jack stands, with slotted wooden blocks against the welded pinch flange on the bottom of the rocker. To prevent the rockers from collapsing, I put these supports right at the very front of the rocker, where the reinforcement from the bottom of the A-pillar meets them. Had to take off the front mud flaps first, to get the supports far enough forward.

I cut off the exhaust down pipe bolts where they meet the catalytic converter (too badly rusted to try anything else), cleaned off the mating surfaces with a flapper disc, then removed the whole front pipe from the exhaust manifold (luckily, those 17mm nuts weren't too badly rusted). Removed the Lower Control Arm bolts where they meet the hubs, popped off the tie rod ends from the hubs, disconnected the subframe and used my floor jack to drop the whole K-Frame (with sway bar, lower control arms and steering rack still attached), out of the car.

In order to do this, I bought an engine support from Harbor Freight last night ($79), which holds everything else up, and in place (a HUGE time saver for a job like this). It rests on the surfaces where the front fenders go.

With the subframe exposed on the floor, I can now easily service:
- steering rack hydraulic lines
- sway bar bushings (ruined by soaking in oil)
- sway bar end links, if needed
At this point, it would be super easy to also replace the lower control arms (their rear bushings are pretty tired looking), but as this is only a winter car I'm going to pass on that additional expense for now (they'll still work, but will sometimes make noise if metal x metal contact occurs).

Will post photos soon.
 
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