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Discussion Starter #1
It's been 15 years and 120,000 miles since the last timing belt replacement, so I pulled back the upper timing cover and took the attached pictures. There's a bit of glaze, but the belt looks to be in very good condition. Car idles quietly at 700 rpm and accelerates smoothly.

Drive less than before now so thinking about going another 2-3 years and 10,000 - 15,000 miles before I replace the belt (knowing that the 1MZ-FE is not an interference engine).

Can you guys advise if the pictures indicate belt condition - good or to be replaced right away?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Timing 1.jpg
Timing 2.jpg
 

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Visual inspections are useless. Yes, you can tell if a belt is missing teeth, coming apart and about to fail, BUT, it can look great and also be about to fail. It makes no sense to run a belt past 15 years and 120k miles regardless of its appearance.
 

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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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are you certain its a non-interference motor? I've heard both ways and am confused on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It makes no sense to run a belt past 15 years and 120k miles regardless of its appearance.
Wanted to push it out a bit because this next one will likely be the last timing belt change on this car, taking it over 300,000 miles. Hear your point clearly and will get to it soon.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
are you certain its a non-interference motor? I've heard both ways and am confused on the topic.
That is what Toyota's service department told me. Also, I've seen a YouTube video where they hand turn the camshafts and crankshaft without a timing belt through multiple turns without any valve contact with pistons or anything else. We're good here.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
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I hear you wanting to know how long you might be able to push the timing belt, especially if the only cost is inconvenience of a breakdown. Some of us throw the milk out on the expiration date and some of us drink it until it begins to smell or taste funny.
You indicate this might be the last time you have to do the timing belt job since it will last out to the 300K mile mark. Unless you know of some expensive part that's going to need replacing by then, I would assume you may have well over 300K of total life and do maintenance accordingly.
It might matter if you do the job yourself or if you have a shop do it. They charge a LOT for that job nowadays! If you have some tools and some experience (looks like you have been a member for quite a few years), you can knock it out in an afternoon.....or two if you are a relative newbie to the job. The bolt on the crank shaft can be a bear to break loose if you don't know what to expect and the cam bolts (if replacing the cam oil seals) have a trick to remove. There are some great pointers here and also some recommendations for other parts you may want to consider replacing while you are doing the timing belt. Front cam and crank oil seals and water pump being foremost if they have never been changed.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
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are you certain its a non-interference motor? I've heard both ways and am confused on the topic.
I forget where I got the information that convinced me but I am now convinced that the 1MZFE engine is non-interference.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1. Really like your milk analogy - lol.
2. The only maintenance beyond oil, brakes and tires has been plugs, drive belts and timing belt (65K at the dealer), coolant and transmission fluid (100K self) and valve cover gaskets, plugs and tube seals (185K self, just recently).
3. There's a power steering fluid leak at the pump and also there's a bolt missing on the tensioner for the past 15 years since the dealer did the last timing belt (see pictures). Looks like the bolt broke inside the oil pump housing somehow while removing or reinstalling it? Would like to fix both of these issues with the timing belt change, but not sure how to remove the broken bolt?
4. I will need to replace the power steering pump, timing and drive belts, water pump, both pulleys and tensioner as well as any leaking seals, but not confident my old Craftsman corded impact wrench ( ~230 ft-lbs?) will be able to break the crank or cam bolts. I have experience but no longer a lot of upper body strength that may be needed with breaker bars etc.

Hence at a dilemma : continue to push out this next maintenance or try it myself. Shops want over $1,000 and a mobile mechanic quoted $500 in labor to do this work in my garage. Not sure what to do here - suggestions welcome ...
Tensioner 1.jpg
Tensioner 2.jpg
 

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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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I just did this job, bought 3 special tools to do it, but they were not too bad in price. still a savings over having to pay someone and it allows time to go and do other things while your in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just did this job, bought 3 special tools to do it, but they were not too bad in price. still a savings over having to pay someone and it allows time to go and do other things while your in there.
Are you able to share what special tools you needed and for what part of the job?
 

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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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Sure


Lisle 58430 Shaft Type Seal Puller (didn't really need it, but used the tip)


Harmonic Damper Pulley Holding Tool for Lexus & Toyota Crankshaft Crank Holder - not available, but it was a good tool

sold by this guy, but there are a lot of options out there

all were quality tools, and more than durable enough for the job
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very helpful thanks. I am not confident I will be able to break the crank and 2 cam bolts or remove the broken bolt from the tensioner.

Thinking I may start by trying to break the crank bolt without removing anything else and stop right there if I can't. If I can break the crank bolt, worst case, I can leave the 2 cam seals and re-install the tensioner with just the 1 bolt. At the very least I will end with a new water pump, timing belt and drive belts and power steering pump.
 

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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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yes, that sounds like a pretty good plan. the tensioner bolt isn't under much torque, so if you can grab it with something and get a decent handle on it it should come loose. On the cam seals, I could not tell if they were leaking or not, but I'm pretty sure they were. they are so cheap, I'd replace them unless you have a strict budget for this job. your car has baby miles on it. it will easily go another 200K if you want it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK - I see your point. The broken bolt should be under zero torque since there's no bolt head - just a piece of bolt hanging in there - this one doesn't enter the oil pump housing. Just can't imagine how the dealer broke it...

Thanks again for your help. Would take me 25+ years to add 200K miles!
 

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Thinking I may start by trying to break the crank bolt without removing anything else and stop right there if I can't.
Use the starter bump method. It works so well, I don’t even bother trying anything else.

Pull the EFI fuse in the block under the hood so the engine can’t start.
Then place the socket/breaker bar so it’s braced against CW rotation.
“Bump” the starter.

Video:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow - will try that if my Craftsman impact wrench can't get it out. Was thinking about paying someone just to break the bolt with an air gun and then re-tighten it to 200 ft-lbs with a torque wrench so I can drive back home and then open with my impact wrench. Your idea seems simpler and better.

Appreciate your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK - thanks, will do. There's 3 separate price bands for the timing belt kits, looks like there one that sells around $50 (China) another about $130 (also China) and an OEM (Japan) about $190. They look identical, just not sure what if any differences there are in quality.
 

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1999 Solara SLE, V6, 353,000 miles
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I got the AISIN TKT024 kit after reading it was factory and the best. Its not the easiest job in the world, no sense having to go back on it because of inferior parts.

$150 :
in addition to cam seals, also replaced this. Fit like a glove. For the top cover, a new one wasn't available, so I used some 3M foam strip insulation to create a good seal with the old cover.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Agreed - use the right parts the 1st time. It should get me another 15 years and 120,000 miles
 
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