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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey All,



Here's some pictures of the valve cover/spark plugs and a timing belt job I did on my 2004 XLE V6 with about 118K on it. This is the first timing belt job this car has had. Valve cover gasket was done at around 52K.

This job was done over a course of almost a month. Weather and events pushed it across those weeks. If I had a consistent full day of doing it, it's probably a good 2 day job for most.

I did this job because I am getting this car ready to be sold to a friend of mines. Considering the water pump, timing belt, front seals, and thermostat were original, it was time. I also was getting a CEL for P0128, which pointed to a stuck open thermostat for the last 20K or so. Might as well do it 'all while there'....

For this job, you don't need too much crazy tools. A good set of 3/8 and 1/2 is ideal. 1/4 could be used for the valve covers or anything requiring tight access. You'll need something to hold the cam gears in place and also a seal installer tool and removal tool. RTV black or Toyota FIPG is also needed. Washers for the valve cover bolts as well. Impact gun is recommended for the crank bolt along with an impact rated socket set (shallow is ideal, but having both is better)

Updates : 11/12/2018 - Fix some mistakes. Thanks ISB.



Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
I'll be covering this job from doing the valve covers, spark plugs, and a complete timing belt job. Thermostat also will be replaced.

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Preparing
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Open your hood and start taking a look what you'll be swearing for the next few hours.



Remove the three allen head nuts thingy. I don't know the size.


Since it is impossible to usually remove them, I loosen them up completely and use painters tape and cover the holes. They DO go flying if you do not do this when pulling up on the cover.


Grab the cover by the top end part as shown above.


Pull upwards gently.


There are the two clips that hold onto the wiring harness bracket.


Now you can see what is under the cover.


Start taking note on how things are connected. A bunch of these hoses and connectors are probably hard and possibility brittle. Now is a good time to replace any leaky vacuum lines.




Every 1MZ I've come across, this black plastic wire harness organizer is always falling apart as seen above.


Another shot of the wire harness and misc connectors.


Take note of this vacuum hose. All the 1MZ ones i've come across, this hose is IMPOSSIBLE to remove on the valve cover side. Just remove it from the intake.


Another angle before removal.






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Battery disconnect
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Highly recommend disconnecting the battery. I don't think you really need to in this case, but if you are just doing valve cover, you should be OK. Since I am working around the alternator and I tend to use my battery as a table, it's best to remove the terminals from the battery AND cover up the post with tape to prevent tools from crossing...

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Front Spark Plugs
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Remove the bolts holding the coil on the valve cover. 10mm.




All bolts should come out easily.




These coil connectors can be fragile. I do not know the part numbers for these. The clips ALWAYS break. I've had these clips break on almost all the V6 I worked on. They are not necessary super needed as I've been fine with these connectors not coming off anyhow. You can use a precision tool to push upwards on the clip to clear the coil....providing they haven't snapped off.



I usually try to twist the coil before removing it.


Check for oil marks. If so, the spark plug seals are going bad. Mines were pretty good still.


Sometimes the coil O ring will fall off as shown above.


With all coils removed, time to do spark plugs.


5/8 spark plug socket.


These spark plugs should come out fairly easy. If you feel it is binding a bit, STOP and spray some penetrating oil down in the spark plug tubes. Repeat. Tighten every so slightly and then loosen. Repeat with oil.


In my case, it all came out smoothly.


From left to right (front of engine to rear of bank 2)






Not bad for 118K








I don't think you need to put anti seize, but I still do just a tiny bit.


Again, not too much.


ALWAYS hand tighten it down. If it goes in smooth, you are good. If it binds a bit, stop and try again.


Torque to spec.


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Valve Cover Removal - Bank 2
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Remove radiator upper hose. This part isn't super needed, but I rather remove this hose so you get better angle with the bank 2 valve cover.




Hose removal makes it a quick job


Hose moved.


Not sure what this is for. Might be for the older V6 covers.


Plastic harness is all brittle


Start removing vacuum lines. Label.




Keep on labeling







 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Valve Cover - Bank 2
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Continue to note down everything.

Misc picture of vacuum lines


Getting to use all my fancy hose removal.


Tried wiggling it...


Got some space to put this hose tool on.


It worked great!







continue to note down lines, disconnect.


Remove these two nuts. These holds down the rail and harness.



They are small!


Misc shot


Start disconnecting the harness.


Misc picture


Misc picture


With everything labeled, remove the harness. Move engine harness to the side without breaking everything.


Disconnecting fuel injector connector.



It can be a torture. Use precision pliers to get to that clip.




disconnect the wiring harness from the back cover.


You should be able to move the wiring harness as shown above.




Suggest to vacuum prior to removing anything else.




Once that is done, time to remove the rest.


Valve covers bolts are specifically set to torque once. You'll need washers if reusing them.


Loosen them all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Valve Cover - Bank 2
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As you can see, I have 1 washer on here. When I re-tighten all the bolts when I first got the car, they were all torque down but the gasket was leaking from the front and rear. Couldn't believe that the dealership had a third party shop do the front and rear valve covers and reuse bolts. Thats why they were all leaking! I push on two washers in the rear and one on the front because I ran out...it stopped the leak....

You can see the crush water.


With all that removed, it's time to remove the valve cover.


My cover was pretty stuck on even with everything removed. I smacked it upwards and downwards to break the seal...using my hand.


Cover removed.



Overall pretty clean.








Nothing out of the ordinary on this.


The valve cover gasket was getting hard alright, but still pliable.


I would say with the valve cover gasket being 7 years old, it was just starting to seep. could probably get more life out of it by torquing down the valve cover bolts (with washers), but I could imagine a valve cover gasket 10yr old is due.


The valve cover gaskets between the 1MZFE and 1MFE VVTi are different due to the VVTi gear.



Spark plug seals


This is how I got them out. They WILL go flying with oil flying just FYI...


Bending the tabs a bit.


Dont mind me... I have so many cars and I order a bunch a parts, I get confused which one is for which so I have to mark them...


P/N for the 2004 Camry V6 3.0L VVT-i


Install the seals. I put a little bit of motor oil on the outer rim of the spark plug seals. Clean the valve cover seal holes first. I then use a 32mm impact socket and a rubber mallet to push them in. Note if the valve cover seal tabs are digging into the seals, you need to bend the tabs back a bit more and if the gash is pretty bad, Wouldn't hurt using a very little RTV on that spot. After installing the seal, it is best practice to bend those tabs downwards. Now...if you forget I don't believe you'll be in too much of a bind. They shouldn't fall onto the spark plug tubes and cause a mess - prolong as the valve cover seals are done every decade or so. Only time I had these seals come off was during a removal on a 7AFE engine. Previous shop forgot to bend the tabs back down and the valve cover gasket and seals were HARD as rock.






And then reinstall.


Torque wrench the bolts. I got in a X pattern/across pattern.


Reinstall all the bolts and coils. You are done with the front cover!


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Rear Valve Cover - Bank 1
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Bank 1 (rear) is more of a pain. It is harder each generation of Camry as well. I find the Gen5 the hardest. Gen3 are the easiest. Gen4 are just a tiny tad harder. Gen5 takes the cake and the pan home.


Remove anything in the way. In this case, remove the strut tower.
**If the car is up on jackstands, be careful. The strut assembly MAY fall out. I would remove just TWO of the THREE nuts. I don't know why I am removing ALL the nuts above....LOL! **


Remove strut bar.


Note all the tape!


Remove vacuum connections, label.


These connection/vacuum lines


MAF sensor


Remove airbox.


Remove air hoses. **These hoses CAN develop cracks. Inspect!**


Slide out assembly


Repeat


Note the vacuum line on the rear of the box.


Piece removed.


Take note of the throttle body.


Disconnect another connector.





So these Camry do not have an EGR, but these brackets make up for it. There are three of these brackets. Getting to 2 of the 3 are the PITA ones. This one isn't too bad. You need to remove this one before tackling the one below...


You usually can't get a torque wrench on these. The one is the center bracket.

This one is the PITA one. It's hard to get your hand back there due to the wire harness on the firewall, AC lines, and the power steering high pressure line to the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Rear Valve Cover - Bank 1 Continue
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Getting this bolt off is the most pain. Getting this bolt back on is another story...


You will need an open box wrench.


Just enough to fit!


This bolt ugh!




Time to remove all the other bolts. Start with the outer one on the driver side behind the throttle body.





This center bolt might be impossible to reach due to the bracket of the first bolt. You may need to remove the bracket as a whole. Bolt is on the bottom part of the engine.

The three bracket bolts location.


I couldn't get to the center bolt without removing the bracket.


It's do able now!


What a PITA...


Remove all the grounds. Label.


Remove the Allen heads and nuts. There are 4 Allen of them and 2 nuts.




There are washers on ALL of them except the nuts.


I just noticed one of the bolts is black. Not sure why...maybe for the center one?


Remove this bracket off the intake manifold.


Disconnect any other vacuum lines


Unclip




Label.


Coolant bypass to throttle body.


I love this hose removal tool.


This line is underneath the throttle body.


Removed.


Notice when removing the intake manifold, there are collars. Oh yea, don't forget PCV hose.
**Be careful when pulling the intake. There are these metal collars that goes into the throttle body. I don't think they would fall out but it could slide out AS you are lifting the throttle body out and fall into the intake. Please take caution if you notice these collars are sliding out when removing the intake!!**



Pulled this sucker off.


Intake removed...do you see it?


A collar of some sort of left behind.



It sure fell out


The old intake gasket.



Reinstalled this collar.


Valves seems clean.


Tape up the intake incase anything falls in...



Remove fuel rail connector.


Pry off the wiring harness from the studs.


If you have not, remove the PCV hose.


Remove these connectors near the radiator spout




Ground strap removed.


To raise the rear harness up, disconnect the coils.






There is a plastic brackets that hold the engine harness to the valve cover. Remove them.



They are attached via stud and a nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Valve Cover Gasket - Bank 2
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To remove the rear valve cover, the harness needs to be lifted off the rear cover. Use some tape or something.



Again, use the same method to remove the spark plugs.


All the plugs seems to be working good. Looks like it could had gone on longer.


Another close-up


Valve cover bolts removed with two washers.



All the valve cover bolts.


Rear cover removed.


As noticed, you have to keep that harness up as high as possible.



In order to put the valve cover back on, you may have to remove this plastic bracket that holds down the engine harness. There's a bolt that holds it down. I couldn't' get a good picture of it.


This bracket will allow you more space to raise the engine harness. It is important as the FSM states to put a dab of RTV in certain places where two piece of metal meets (i.e. half moons).



PCV Valve

Deep socket 19mm.


Reassemble the rear valve cover. Torque to spec. It can be difficult to install the rear valve cover due to the space on the rear end.





Once you torque the valve cover bolts to spec, reconnect the coils, connector, fuel injector, misc wire harness clips, etc....replace the intake gasket


Manifold Intake Gasket 17176-20010


PCV Hose 12261-20011


Reinstall everything that was removed for the rear valve cover. You will have some struggle getting the rear bolts on for the intake manifold. Do not tighten all the bolts all at once, you may need to loosen the rear brackets to allow the bolts to line up. Once that is done, make sure you can thread all the bolts in the rear before tightening them down. Tight them as best you can as getting a torque wrench is very difficult, if not impossible on some of the bolts.


Reinstall the intake manifold. Watch for any cables/wires that might be in the way. Torque to spec. Re -connect all the vacuum lines.




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Timing Belt
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We are going to do the timing belt. Take note of the grounding straps and misc clips and hose routing.


Disconnect the wire harness clips from the back plate.


Take note on the grounding straps.


Tape and remove connectors.


Reservoir coolant line. Mines has a zip tie as mines does seep without it.



Remove the line that goes on top of the motor mount



Coolant reservoir. You can slide this out.




Loosen the dog bone mount


Loosen this bolt.


Inspect for cracks. I didn't replace this but it should be done eventually. They tend to fail every few years.


Remove Bracket


And these bolts holding down the motor mount bracket.


Should slide out.


Remove these bolts for the lower bracket.




Bracket removed.


You can start removing the timing cover bolts. Theres a handful of them. Two are in a tight location.










I couldn't reach it from above. Had to remove the tire.


Remove wheel.


Side splash shield.


Since I was down there, I also zipped off the crank bolt. It came out easily.


Belts were in the way, so loosen the alternator bolt to remove the belt.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Timing Belt - Continue
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Finally loosen the alternator to remove the belt.







Remove the power steering belt to gain better access to the valve cover bolts.




It's a tight squeeze here.


Socket and open box wrench might be the only thing that can fit here.




Finally removed harmonic balancer.


I needed to use a puller for this. wasn't coming off.


Careful when removing it. You may be hitting the car body.


I noticed cracks on the Harmonic balance.







It looks like it was rubbing. The harmonic balance must be wobbling.



Continue to remove the engine bracket.


And the other lower timing cover.





You should have enough space to remove the engine bracket, although removing the power steering bolts adjustment bolts may help.


Once this bolt is removed, you can remove the cover.


Wiggle this bugger.




Out it comes!


This bolt is a tough one. I had to break it loose as shown above.


Remove the alternator bracket.








With the upper cover removed, you can take notice of the timing belt. Keep the engine mount in place for now. We'll need to break the cam gear loose.








Here's my setup for the loosening the rear bank 1 cam gear. I put a socket on the bank 2 cam gear with my pully holder. Then I cracked it away.












The front where tighter...



I used the engine bracket as leverage.


Now it is time to remove this bracket. Take note on which holes are for the bolts and nuts.


you should be able to remove them and the bracket without raising the engine or removing the studs.







Bracket removed.



To remove the timing belt, you need to remove the tensioner....which the power steering bracket is in the way for the Gen5 V6.






Start removing the adjustment bracket.




Bolts removed. Please note the position of the bolts and what direction the bracket fits on. It is possible to install this wrong (As me how I know).
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Timing Belt - Continue
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With the adjustment bracket remove...you can access the bolts, right?


Yea you can...kind of.



This one...no.... I mean you can, but risk stripping it. The power steering bracket doesn't allow you a good 90 degree angle on the top bolt. Drop the pump...







With the pump dropped, you can get your ratchet on good.






Both bolts are different size.




Remove the Pully.




Do not forget the washer.



Loosen the guide.


Remove the belt.






Also remove the cam gears. They should be loosen prior to this step.




Remove this pully as well.




Remove timing back plate cover to access the cam seals.










Once all bolts are removed...


Slide it out...


Not a bad time to clean it up too.


Bank 2 seal. It looked good still.



Bank 1 looked good still too.





Using your seal removal tool, remove the seal.




Rear is doable with the same tool.




OEM Part number




Using the seal installer tool, install the new seals. Put motor oil on the inner and outer sides of the seal.




Rears same method as well.


Take note on the water pump.




Even though the engine was drained of coolant, it will still leak a LOT.

Grab that bucket!




Comparing the new water pump


Slowly remove the water pump. Also note the gasket behind it.



Pump coming off the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Timing belt - Water pump
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Removing the water pump




Inspection of the blades. They look like new!



Everything seemed pretty good. No play in pully too.



Original gasket.



Some minor wear on the lips but it wasn't leaking.






Comparing old and new pump



New Pump.



I couldn't slide this out, so I had to use my puller. I to get a set of bolts from my local hardware store on a previous repair that I had to use. The ones that came with the kit wouldn't fit the bolt holes on the sprocket.


**Not pictured**
I removed the crank seal using my same tool, but I had to flip the seal removal metal 'clip' the opposite side around to remove it. Once the O-Ring is removed, you can then press in the new one using some PCV pipes. I used the same set up I used to push in a pump seal for a A960E Transmission. I used motor oil on the outer and inner ring of the seal before pushing it in.



You should now reinstall the sprocket after putting the new seal. Going forward, put some anti seize (aluminum one is okay) on the sprocket inner side and the harmonic balancer to aid in removal in the future. I had to use a rubber mallet to push it back into place.



Original timing belt. It still had the marking on it. No noticeable cracks that I could tell.



This is the water that goes behind the timing belt tensioner pully.




The tensioner.






Install the tensioner but do not pull the pin yet.




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Timing belt - Belt install
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I installed the belt in this order.

Bank 2
Bank 1
Crank


Make sure the belt >>> are facing towards the OUTSIDE of the car. The >>> should NOT be facing towards the engine/in the engine.


Line up all the marks as noted below. The belt marks should be on point (or a hair off) of the marks on both of cams AND crank marks. The majority of the timing belt slack should be on the side of the tensioner. It is important that the lines match up the cam pully/crank marks....which they line up on the back plate. If you are having some issues getting the belt on, you can move the cam pully (either bank 1 or 2) a HAIR either clock wise or counter clock wise to make sure the cam gear marks match up with the timing belt marks.







This dot for the crank should be right on point



Once this is done, RELEASE the pin for the tensioner. You will need to rotate the crank TWICE and double check marks.You could rotate the crank twice WITHOUT releasing the tensioner, but your timing belt will most likely jump a teeth or two (as me how I know) when you go to check.


I had made sure my marks were on the spot as seen above and released the timing belt tensioner. Rotated engine from the CRANK bolt and check marks. Mines were below. The belt marks won't line up anymore, but as long as the pully and crank are on spot, you are golden.








It's all good!



New harmonic balancer pully. I did not get OEM. I went with Dayco PB1468N . Thanks @insightbrewery for the recommendation of the Dayco.




Reassembling almost completed!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Thermostat
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Not sure why there are only 4 pictures here but...


It's time to do the thermostat housing.


Locate the themostat. It's hiding all behind there!


Remove the supporting bracket by this one bolt. The other one is not needed to be removed.

It is just a ground strap.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
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Thermostat
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Remove misc connectors that are in the way.

Sensor on the thermostat housing




I think this is the VVTi oil gear sensor.


Ground Cable


Most of all the connectors were removed.


It is a good time to remove the hose




Trying to remove the thermostat. It's a bit of a reach.


3x 10mm bolts.




It's easy to drop these nuts.





As you are removing them, as they are almost out, use your finger as shown above to try and keep the nut inside of the socket when removing.





Bottom nut




The thermostat housing should be coming out but....





I believe due to part of the revised starter and the VVTi gear in this V6, it won't come out unless you slide the starter out ever so slightly...



Remove these two bolts...


Back one is do able but you may need to remove the lower airbox intake.




It was able to slide out






Note the jiggling valve position.



Another shot of how much you can slide the starter out.


Starter and thermostat shot.



Old thermostat out. A little more coolant will come out.



Seems to be a bit worn?


Comparing old and new. Old is on the right.





 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Use this guide at your own risk. I nor TN assume no responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or personal injury as a result of following this guide.
**Adding in text later today for this entire post.

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Torquing the Crank
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using my pully holder, I was able to hold the crank.








Torque this to spec.


Start filling the engine up with coolant. Double checking all connectors and hoses if everything is on.


Start the car and monitor the coolant levels. Check for leaks underneath the car for oil/coolant.
 

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Very nice presentation 934. Thank you for the effort you put into this project. Engine is very clean under the valve covers. You must have changed oil regularly to keep engine that clean. Saving your post for future reference for my 04 V6.Regards to you sir.
 

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Nice!

Good to see Toyota started using Nippon Thermostat's parts instead of the lackluster Kuzeh. Nippon Thermostat’s seem to be much more reliable.

Got new radiator cap too? There looks to be some dried coolant residue around it, so maybe the cap gasket is leaking a bit?
 

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Every 1MZ I've come across, this black plastic wire harness organizer is always falling apart as seen above.

I am not sure if you are describing the same harness organizer as the one I had but mine crumbled into dust. Are you talking about the harness that run through valve cover? If so did you replace yours because I left mine without the harness organizer.

Excellent write up btw. Wish you were here to do my rear valve cover gasket and I can pay you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Very nice presentation 934. Thank you for the effort you put into this project. Engine is very clean under the valve covers. You must have changed oil regularly to keep engine that clean. Saving your post for future reference for my 04 V6.Regards to you sir.
Thanks! The car has been seeing initially 3K M1 HM oil changes. It's been now doing 5K. When I got the car, it had 52K and unknown history, but since it was a dealer trade in, I assume it was maintain at the dealership give the age of the car the time.

Nice! Lot of work!
Thank you! A lot of work, but pictures...tape...and shade helped me do this job! Having a decent amount of tools help!

Nice!

Good to see Toyota started using Nippon Thermostat's parts instead of the lack luster Kuzeh. Got new radiator cap too? There looks to be some dried coolant residue around it, so maybe the cap gasket is leaking a bit?
Oh, so thats why there's a different design! I didn't get a new cap. The coolant residue may had been times when I pop off the cap and it spilled over a little. I should replace the cap as it is original I think....I'll keep that in mind!

Every 1MZ I've come across, this black plastic wire harness organizer is always falling apart as seen above.

I am not sure if you are describing the same harness organizer as the one I had but mine crumbled into dust. Are you talking about the harness that run through valve cover? If so did you replace yours because I left mine without the harness organizer.

Excellent write up btw. Wish you were here to do my rear valve cover gasket and I can pay you. :)
Every 1MZ has done this too. I wonder if there is a P/N for that piece? I didn't replace mines. Been okay. On my friends 1995, I used extreme tape to keep that harness on the rear cover somewhat together.

1995 LE V6 Camry - Finding the right spark plug, wire set, and other misc work



1998 Camry V6 1MZFE - Top End Work: Spark Plugs, Knock Sensor, Bypass Hose, etc






The harness organizer that runs underneath the beauty cover, right? You can do it!! the rear cover is doable, but you need to find a way to keep that rear valve cover harness up and away. Remove everything you can to keep that harness as far up as possible. It's a bit difficult getting the rear cover over the driver side.
 

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Every 1MZ has done this too. I wonder if there is a P/N for that piece? I didn't replace mines. Been okay. On my friends 1995, I used extreme tape to keep that harness on the rear cover somewhat together.
I've never been able to find a part number it only shows as part of the engine harness. I managed to find a good one a while back that was probably out of 100 I looked at over the years.
 

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Added this DIY to the sticky.

As for your thermostat comparison, I don't think the old one was worn. If I remember correctly, that is how they came new.
 
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