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1998 Toyota Celica ST202 3SFE A140E
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys; i am new around here and new with my 6th gen celica.

Lately i have seen an issue when i start the engine.

Occasionally i can hear a bang bang from the passenger side of the engine for a few seconds; when i start it. The oil pressure light will stay on until the sound is gone.

Firstly i thought it was a bad mount; cuz i know they are bad; but i am scared because the light staying on; it would take 3 or 4 seconds to shut off.

It seems more likely to happen when the engine its cool.

Before this i had the car at the shop; where timing belt; water pump; transmission filter and gasket; were replaced. The engine oil pan was removed and cleaned as well as the oil strainer.

Before the maintenance i heard the noise every once and then but i thought it was the timing belt rattling.

Another thing is that after the maintenance it seems that the oil pressure light would stay on for more time than before either i heard the rattle or not. Again it is occasionally more likely when the engine its cool; overnight for instance.

One last thing; i dont think it is the oil press switch; since i replaced it not long ago.

I hope someone can help me with this.

Here is a video!!!


Sorry for the long post!

Car is a 1998 Celica; 3SFE; Automatic transmission A140E 245.000 Km
 

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You have oil pressure issue resulting in tensioner not picking up belt tension right away and timing belt slap along with valve train chatter.
It is worn out connecting rods bearings and tensioner, leaking oil out.
Sometimes, switching to heavier weight oil helps. Or, adding Lucas oil stabilizer.
 

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1998 Toyota Celica ST202 3SFE A140E
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have oil pressure issue resulting in tensioner not picking up belt tension right away and timing belt slap along with valve train chatter.
It is worn out connecting rods bearings and tensioner, leaking oil out.
Sometimes, switching to heavier weight oil helps. Or, adding Lucas oil stabilizer.
Hey mate

Thanks for your reply!
In this engine i think the oil pressure does not act for the timing belt tension; because is just a spring. I think in the 3sge is controlled by the oil pressure but this is a 3sfe.
It does sounds like a belt slap. This is driving me crazy; just dont know what it is.
As soon as it starts it goes away and never returns until the car is completely cold; and sometimes does not show up.
I already used a toyota oem filter and i still hear the sound sometimes.
For the rest the engine is perfect! Idles perfectly; sounds good; does not blow any smoke; it has plenty power.

Again thanks.
 

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One with the farce
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That definitely sounds like a rod bearing with excessive oil clearance. If you can, it would be cheap insurance to remove the oil pan and inspect the rod bearings as per the proper repair procedure. Once a rod bearing is on its way out, there’s no saving it...if you leave it too long, you’ll end up with metallic particles being pumped through your engine and it’ll wreck all the bearing surfaces.
 

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1998 Toyota Celica ST202 3SFE A140E
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That definitely sounds like a rod bearing with excessive oil clearance. If you can, it would be cheap insurance to remove the oil pan and inspect the rod bearings as per the proper repair procedure. Once a rod bearing is on its way out, there’s no saving it...if you leave it too long, you’ll end up with metallic particles being pumped through your engine and it’ll wreck all the bearing surfaces.
Hey!

That is so disappointing to hear; i was really excited by this project.

Do you think would be worth it to replace them if there is a beyond standard gap?

I got the tech manual for the 3sfe; with the clearances to be checked; however; any other advise will be appreciated.
 

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One with the farce
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Don’t lose the excitement! Just think of it as an opportunity to learn. It’s possible to roll in some new bearing shells, yes, but follow the technique for checking clearances before anything else. Once your engine is in good condition, you’ll have peace of mind. This will also help determine if it’s okay or if looking for another used engine might be necessary.
 

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So you have the 3S-FE on this model (not the 3S-GE)?

You said you had the oil pan and the oil strainer cleaned when you dropped the oil pan.Why did you drop the oil pan? Were you suspecting the pan and the strainer had sludge in them? If so, when you changed your timing belt, was the head caked with sludge? Would be very, very valuable to understand this.

In the US, we generally have the 5S-FE version of this engine. Very similar. On my 1993 ST184 with the 5S-FE, I always had a rattling sound on a cold startup, until the oil pressure light went out. This was partly due to today's oil filters don't have the excellent anti-drainback valves in them anymore. Ask an old Toyota mechanic about this, Your oil filter sits with the gasketed side on the bottom. And because engines aren't built with this kind of oil filter positioning anymore, anti-drainback valves have either gone away or have been made much cheaper, and today's engines don't depend on them anymore. So your oil filter drains itself empty after sitting a few hours and on a cold start, your engine oil pump needs to fill that oil filter before oil starts to circulate again. Once it starts circulating (your build pressure and your oil pressure warning light goes out), your rattle stops. You could try to find an oil filter with an excellent anti-drainback valve. I don't know what oil filter brands you have in your region to suggest one.

On my ST184, I had a sludge problem from a previous owner's neglect. I too took my oil pan out and cleaned with with the strainer (mine was partially plugged). I also measured my rod and crank bearing clearances, and they were on the high side of normal. So I bought a variety of different sizes of bearing sleeves and fit them to get the right clearnace (the journals were all quite good, but the old bearing sleeves were a bit worn). Then I put in an oil pump for a late 90's Camry 5S-FE engine (had a higher flow rate rating). Then I put in electronic analog gauges, one to measure oil pressure. My issue is gone now - or at least much, much better. My light goes out within a haft to 3/4's of second of the engine starting - I see yours is easily on for 3 or more seconds after your engine starts).

Lot's of things to consider.
 

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1998 Toyota Celica ST202 3SFE A140E
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don’t lose the excitement! Just think of it as an opportunity to learn. It’s possible to roll in some new bearing shells, yes, but follow the technique for checking clearances before anything else. Once your engine is in good condition, you’ll have peace of mind. This will also help determine if it’s okay or if looking for another used engine might be necessary.
Yeah
I will probably look check this next weekend or so; can these be replaced/inspected with the engine in the car? Or is it strictly necessary to remove?
 

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Yeah
I will probably look check this next weekend or so; can these be replaced/inspected with the engine in the car? Or is it strictly necessary to remove?
Engine can stay in the car. You need to drop the oil pan, of course. There also are the cam bearings in the head. But if those are worn, they are not replaceable (those are bored during the head manufacturing process). But cam bearings can become worn just like the rod/crank bearings. Only solution if cam bearings have worn out is to replace the entire head.
 

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1998 Toyota Celica ST202 3SFE A140E
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So you have the 3S-FE on this model (not the 3S-GE)?

You said you had the oil pan and the oil strainer cleaned when you dropped the oil pan.Why did you drop the oil pan? Were you suspecting the pan and the strainer had sludge in them? If so, when you changed your timing belt, was the head caked with sludge? Would be very, very valuable to understand this.

In the US, we generally have the 5S-FE version of this engine. Very similar. On my 1993 ST184 with the 5S-FE, I always had a rattling sound on a cold startup, until the oil pressure light went out. This was partly due to today's oil filters don't have the excellent anti-drainback valves in them anymore. Ask an old Toyota mechanic about this, Your oil filter sits with the gasketed side on the bottom. And because engines aren't built with this kind of oil filter positioning anymore, anti-drainback valves have either gone away or have been made much cheaper, and today's engines don't depend on them anymore. So your oil filter drains itself empty after sitting a few hours and on a cold start, your engine oil pump needs to fill that oil filter before oil starts to circulate again. Once it starts circulating (your build pressure and your oil pressure warning light goes out), your rattle stops. You could try to find an oil filter with an excellent anti-drainback valve. I don't know what oil filter brands you have in your region to suggest one.

On my ST184, I had a sludge problem from a previous owner's neglect. I too took my oil pan out and cleaned with with the strainer (mine was partially plugged). I also measured my rod and crank bearing clearances, and they were on the high side of normal. So I bought a variety of different sizes of bearing sleeves and fit them to get the right clearnace (the journals were all quite good, but the old bearing sleeves were a bit worn). Then I put in an oil pump for a late 90's Camry 5S-FE engine (had a higher flow rate rating). Then I put in electronic analog gauges, one to measure oil pressure. My issue is gone now - or at least much, much better. My light goes out within a haft to 3/4's of second of the engine starting - I see yours is easily on for 3 or more seconds after your engine starts).

Lot's of things to consider.
Yes the engine had a sludge problem; i knew this just by looking under the oil cap.

I think previous owner just didn't care and skipped some oil changes; i used Castrol GTX 20w-50; which is we use in our region for Toyotas engines with high mileage.

I have changed the oil twice; with like 500km between oil changes; in order to free up the sludge a bit.

When i removed the oil pan there was sludge; and the strainer had sludge around the edges.

Yes; it seems that here we got this JDM version of the celica; but i have also seen the 2.2(5sfe) engine version and 1.8(7afe) version.

As for the anti drain valve; its the main reason i used an oem filter; but what you say has a lot of sense; modern engines does not position filters as they did on these toyota s series. As for the brands; can you suggest me any? I can get from overseas; from amazon or ebay.

Did that sound on your 5sfe was like my rattling?
I didnt check the head; since on this engine is not required to remove the cover for belt replacement!

I amnot closed to the possibility to swap the engine for a used one; however wish i can use this one long enough until i can gather the money for a proper used one.(hope my wife dont read this or she will kill me for this hobby of mine).

I wish i could get a 3sge; but so far i have seen are really expensive on ebay; and there are just a few of them; so probably i will end up with the same 3sfe.

Best regards!!
 

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I would say sludge generally forms on top of the heads on these engines. Some breaks away and gets into the oil pan and oil strainer. If you didn't take your valve cover off yet, you have to assume you have a lot of sludge on it. And the problem you have is - if you try to clean the head (assuming you have sludge up there) with the valve cover off, some will get back down into the pan and strainer. And you can't get it all mechanically (with a scrapper/pick). There are solvents you can use to break it down, but off coarse the risk of chunks breaking loose and getting down into your oil pan are high. It took me a long time to rid the head of sludge, and to keep up with what gets into the oil pan and clogging the strainer. It wasn't until I had all that sludge out (multiple chemical cleanings and oil changes and carefully monitoring oil pressure) that I next looked at crank/rod bearings. Lucky this was a hobby car.

Toyota oil filters sold today either don't have the anti-drainback valve in them anymore, or they are very poor. I've been using Fram Ultra Synthetic XG4967 on my 93 ST184 now. It doesn't have as good of an anti-drainback valve as Toyota used on their oil filters in the early 1990's, but for those made today, I haven't found any better. Let's just say you can't do much with today's filters. If you plan on keeping your ST202 for a long time, I would suggest the higher volume late 90's Camry 5S-FE oil pump as a replacement for your current one. I believe the flow rate of this particular oil pump is 70% greater than at least what my ST184 oil pump was - so it gets the drained oil filter filled much quicker - let startup wear on bearings. But if your engine had sludge, it had localized heat problems (which is what turns oil into sludge), so you can't guarantee that you don't have bearing wear issues. It's just a question of how far you want to take it.
 

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As I mentioned - you have oil pressure starvation at start up. Whatever the cause. Tensioner or not. Normal fix is connecting rods bearings replacement and engine cleaning.
Russians use dimexid for that. I use Seafoam. 2 cans of Seafom into engine oil, drive for a day, replace oil, 2 cans of Seafoam into oil, drive for a day, replace oil and filter. Add Lucas oil treatment to oil. You'll postpone overhaul but it's looming on horizon.
 

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That definitely sounds like a rod bearing with excessive oil clearance. If you can, it would be cheap insurance to remove the oil pan and inspect the rod bearings as per the proper repair procedure. Once a rod bearing is on its way out, there’s no saving it...if you leave it too long, you’ll end up with metallic particles being pumped through your engine and it’ll wreck all the bearing surfaces.
YUP! THIS HAPPENED TO MY 87' M/T ST. GOT ROD-KNOCK AND ENGINE DIED. SO SAD.
 
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