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This post is a follow-up to these threads:
1996 Camry 5SFE won't start, please help to diagnose
1996 Camry 5SFE: Wrong position of v-notch mark on the harmonic balancer?
Camry 1996 5S-FE: Please help to identify a part

The cylinder head was taken off, water seen inside the piston chamber, it became obvious that the blown head gasket was the problem. The head is sent to the shop for re-surfacing. Cleaning and preparing the engine block mating surface is gonna be the weekend's fun;-)

Here's one question:
With 418K miles on the engine, the crosshatches on the cylinder wall are long gone. It would be a much better idea to take the block off and have the piston rings and such taken care of, but that just not a feasible option for me.
It is possible to hone the piston wall without taking the block off? what would the consequences if I leave them as is?

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short-throw dipstick
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Did you run dry and wet compression tests before taking off the head?

IMO what you're saying is not feasible. If the compression was good on the non-blown cylinders (wet, piston rings good), and the block measures flat, then resurface the head, slap on new Viton valve stem seals, clean the block, and stick it back together.

It's usually more practical to swap in a lower-mileage engine.
 
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