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Discussion Starter · #1 ·



so this is my corolla, my baby, my first car.
so after work (i work at toyota) i had my friend take an inspection of a leak. he gave me more bad news than i had expected.

drive belts cracking
power steering belt cracking
power steering pump leak
rack and pinion leaking
back coolant leak
water pump needs to be replaced
oil leak (we still dont know where from)

estimated around 2000$ (which is cheaper than a new car if divided throughout the year)

on your guys opinion, would you fix this? sell it?
engine has 155k
no slug in engine.
no knocks
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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Drive belts and water pump would be necessary anyway, do it all with the timing belt. Take the time to figure out where it's leaking from when you do the timing belt. Add some UV dye to the oil, wait a few weeks, and do the timing belt and water pump. Check for leaks when the timing cover is off. Ideally, you should replace the cam and crank seals as well, along with the valve cover gasket (under $20) and the hose behind the water pump.

For around $2000, I say fix it. You'll be hard pressed to find such a good car for so little. These Corollas will run forever with the occasional hiccup along the way. Fix this, you'll have many more years without issues if it's taken care of.
 

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Oil leak can be located using a UV dye as mentioned. Most likely it is from the oil pan, oil pump, and/or front crank seal if it's on the bottom of the engine and passenger side. Other seals prone to leaking is the distributor oil ring which is something you can do yourself and costs less than $10 A timing belt job that addresses the front crank and cam seals, valve cover gasket, water pump, and drive belts would probably run you $450-600 and is more or less required at some point anyway. The bigger concern is your power steering leak. If that is in the rack, you have an issue, as I seem to recall seeing on here replacing the rack involves removing the engine. A UV dye can also help locate this, just make sure you get different ones for oil and your hydraulic fluid. If you have a stick and the engine needs to come out might want to get the clutch checked too
 

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He has an auto, if I remember correctly.

Don't quote me on this, but can't you remove the rack by dropping the crossmember? It's attached by two brackets to the firewall at the bottom, it should be really easy with the cross member off.
All I can remember is when I was looking at swap info, it was highly suggested to carefully check if not just outright replace the rack while you had the engine out, as at the very least it was much easier.
 

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Verify the power steering leak is not the high pressure hose, I replaced it on our Corolla & Prism. Belts are normal wear items should be under $50 for all three.

Most of that quote is probably labor, buy a wrench & socket set and start learning.
 

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You will have a VERY limited market for selling the car with the current mods done on it.
So I seriously doubt you would get much of anything for it with current mods AND what it currently needs for repairs.

So with that being said, it looks like you sunk a lot of money into the car,
I would say fix it because that car is worth way more to you than most anyone else.
That's my thoughts....
 

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I'd like to agree with everyone saying to grab a wrench and get working. When I was too poor to afford shop work, I knew nothing about cars and had a broken Corolla. I started mechanical work because I was forced to. Hell, now it's a ton of fun and I'm repairing cars on the side. Start learning, the forum search will teach you tons.
 

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Most of the stuff mentioned is small potatoes. A good Haynes manual and a trip to harbor freight (I would recommend snap on but I'm sure you're short on cash for such tools) would take care of all service points. For $2000 to fix everything (which I agree is too much) you couldn't get a car in the same condition. Any other vehicle you get in that price range will have repairs needed as well, probably more expensive than $2k.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd like to agree with everyone saying to grab a wrench and get working. When I was too poor to afford shop work, I knew nothing about cars and had a broken Corolla. I started mechanical work because I was forced to. Hell, now it's a ton of fun and I'm repairing cars on the side. Start learning, the forum search will teach you tons.
Man I wish. I can do easy things here and there but when messing with the engine I'm afraid I might break something else. Smh. Wish u lived closer to teach me your ways lmao

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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Man I wish. I can do easy things here and there but when messing with the engine I'm afraid I might break something else. Smh. Wish u lived closer to teach me your ways lmao

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Just jump in and be careful. Start smaller though, don't go straight for timing belt. Things may break once in a while, but they're fixable if you're careful. But these skills are invaluable, and the Corolla is the best car to start with. You learn fast, I learned pretty much everything I know on my own (and with the help of these forums). The best way to get into it is out of necessity haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just jump in and be careful. Start smaller though, don't go straight for timing belt. Things may break once in a while, but they're fixable if you're careful. But these skills are invaluable, and the Corolla is the best car to start with. You learn fast, I learned pretty much everything I know on my own (and with the help of these forums). The best way to get into it is out of necessity haha.
Timing belt has already been replaced.

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The older I get, the smarter my ol man gets. Today new cars are so sophisticated that it seems they are no longer selling cars with a warranty, but rather warranties that come with a car. When I bought a 1977 Monte Carlo new, it came with a 12 month, 12,000 warranty...I never had a problem and kept it until 14 Chicago winters made it dangerous to stand by because of the rust holes. That is not going to happen with today's vehicles, most likely.
Remember, $2000 translates into about 6 months of car payments or less on a new car that WILL cause you grief and expenses sooner or later; there's just no escaping it. Consider this--
If the body is in good shape, and you like the car that much, putting money into it is saving you 5 years of payments that you are NOT making now; and if you DO decide to get rid of it in the future, it is worth all that much more. And think of what your are saving on insurance now as opposed to a new vehicle. It all adds up...look down the road and see the bigger picture.
He's gone now, but I wish I had listened to Dad earlier...I would have been tens of thousands of dollars ahead right now if I had. Happy Easter, Dad, and a happy Easter to you, as well.
 

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If you drop the motor you can do water pump without removing timing. IMO its easier to pull the motor than re do timing.

I don't even think you need to drop the engine, just take the timing covers off and leave the belt on. May or may not need to temporarily release the tensioner, can't recall exactly where that last water pump bolt is.

If you leave the belt on though you need to be super careful about not spilling coolant on it when you replace the pump. Cut the hose on the back of the pump to let most of the coolant spill out there instead of through the front. Then get a new hose.

Some of the responses to the timing belt DIY discusses removing the pump without the belt if I recall correctly.


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And to OP, 90% of what you need to address is really just periodic maintenance. Just make sure you set aside funds for that and balance wise spend (on maintenance) with discretionary spend (on whatever mods you are doing). Maintenance funding should always trump other car spends!

Besides my feedback on your power steering on the other thread I think you should consider switching to a high mileage engine oil to see if that helps with your leaks. The best solution is obviously to replace the leaky seals.



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Think of what I am going through:

My Corolla needed the engine completely rebuilt (HG, piston rings, timing belt, crank and cam seals, and water pump), an exhaust header, new catalytic converter, and piping. That would have likely cost me around $1000-1200 to have done.

I decided to move on from the car, and bought another. Currently I am in it $1700 in the car and parts, and will likely be in it around $2200-2500 by the time I am done with all the things that need fixed, paint, etc. For that I could have bought an entire drive line for my 7th gen, all the parts needed for an M/T swap, probably a custom harness from Dr Tweak, and have at least some of the labor costs covered.

Now do I regret it, no, I love my All-Trac and knew I'd be in it around two grand after everything was said and done without major surprises (which I've had a few...), but buying another car of similar vintage is almost never cheaper than fixing your current ride especially when you've customized it like you have, as you'll be stuck with a bunch of parts no one wants to buy (like me) or costs you'll never get back (paint, time).
 
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