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1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
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Discussion Starter · #601 ·
Update to post #593, engine code #22 occurred several more times (grumble).
Luckily it always did on only the first time I'd go to start the engine.
Either by dumb luck, or as a piece of the evidence as to what actually is the problem, it only did it when starting the engine, and it never occurred after I'd shut off the engine while I was out driving around, running errands or visiting with friends.

But, each time it happened the glove box had to come back out, the wires re-checked, the sensor re-checked, etc.
For some reason, simply pulling the ECU fuse to reset that wouldn't make any difference.

So, I re-checked the wires and re-checked the sensor. Even wiggling the wires while the ohm meter was attached to each end of the 2 wires. While doing this stuff I realized something subtle: the battery posts are not the same diameter, but the clamps in the wire harness are. The negative terminal was loose.

I bought a 1/2" strip of 1/64"thick brass strip and made a shim to wrap around the post to eliminate that:
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But that made no difference to the engine code #22.

Next, I bought another engine ECU:
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No difference. Still threw the code. In fact, the replacement one on the right in the photo above threw the code as soon as it was plugged in.
This points me to the sensor! Perhaps once the engine was warmed up something inside of it would then be better than when it was at room temperature, even though it always registered the expected resistance each time?

Swapping the sensor means pulling the lower engine covers, attach a 3/8" drain hose to the radiator drain and a big pan to catch the fluid. Drained out about 3/4 of a gallon to make sure the top of the engine was dry and swapped the sensor and re-filled the engine.

The sensor is the green one on the heater outlet manifold on the end of the engine, above the transmission:
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Close up of the bad sensor after swap:
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I installed the one from my car and the code is gone.
Interesting that both the airbag ECU and the engine temp sensor, both from the much cleaner looking parts car were the ones with an issue, but the ugly parts from my original car were fine. Kind of like those engine photos from last year, the parts car engine looked so nice on the outside but was a mess on the inside, and mine was vice versa.

Gotta put another 300 miles on until my second oil change (500 miles), and maybe now can do that if this code is behind us.


Norm "who says old cars are better than new ones?" Kerr
 

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1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
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Discussion Starter · #602 · (Edited)
Been driving around all week "like its just another car" and everything is working perfectly now. What a joy.

The 2001 Camry JBL audio system, with the Cerwin Vega spare tire mounted subwoofer, sounds absolutely amazing!
 

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1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
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Discussion Starter · #603 ·
... a bunch of loose fasteners in the suspension caused rattle noises this week. Ones that I know I had torqued properly during assembly. Goes to show how paint or not flat as original mating surfaces, or other variables can make it seem like something was tight when it evidently was not. After forces from road input/suspension stokes push those surfaces closer together the torque drops to nothing. Doesn't take much (bolt stretch from torque is measured in microns). Loose bolt & quickly increasing rattle noises.

I wonder how many times folks have installed new struts and blamed crap aftermarket top mounts for noise, if it could have been something like this, instead?

After going through all of them, and re-torquing all of the loose ones, its back to the wonderful new car silence. Man, this car handles so nicely. Also, the engine power is really something, after driving the 4cyl AT winter car "slug".
 

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1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
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Discussion Starter · #604 ·
Teething issues are normal after restoring a car. The difference between a good restoration and a slap-dash one is that all of them are properly sorted out, in spite of how frustrating it can be at times.

Suspension noises fixed: check
Engine ECU issue fixed: check
Airbag ECU issue fixed: check
Instrument panel lights burnt out: this was like the torque on the suspension fasteners, I checked every one before putting it together, but there you go, 3 burnt out (note that no instrument panel bulb had ever burned out in the preceding miles and years). Luckily I had harvested a lot of bulbs out of the parts car so it was simply a matter of taking the dash apart and replacing with ones from the bag of bulbs. check

After draining the coolant to replace the bad engine temp sensor, and refilling it again the drain on the bottom of the radiator kept on dripping after closing the drain. So, I put a 3/8" rubber nipple on it with a small hose clamp to stop it.

Next teething issue: high pressure AC pipe joint at the firewall leaking the compressor oil and freon.
Will take it to the shop to be de-pressurized and I will then put on a new O-ring in that joint and hope for the best. The pipes came from a '95 with a known good AC system, and the expansion valve was a new OEM part, so hopefully I just damaged the O-ring during assembly somehow. Like the torque and the bulbs I was super careful because I know how fragile they are, and used compressor oil on them to help with assembly.

This one is in a really awkward location. Gonna need small hands and looong arms to get to it without taking a whole lot of the car apart.

These kind of problems are normal after taking everything apart. What is amazing is that a car company puts all of these things together and a new one rolls of the line about every minute and they rarely have any of these issues (the repair yard at a Toyota plant is shockingly small). It really makes you think, how well they can do it, when they really get the process worked out.
 

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These kind of problems are normal after taking everything apart. What is amazing is that a car company puts all of these things together and a new one rolls of the line about every minute and they rarely have any of these issues (the repair yard at a Toyota plant is shockingly small). It really makes you think, how well they can do it, when they really get the process worked out.
That might explain the propensity for british vehicles to leak like a sieve
 

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Discussion Starter · #606 ·
LOL

Good design is harder than it looks. Then good quality machines to make the cuts (technology there has advanced incredibly since the '60s). Then good materials for the castings, seals and gaskets (ditto). Then good workmanship (never going to be good from a place with caustic management x labour relations, it is amazing what has been accomplished there by modern management and giving the workers a real voice in how their company is run).

The original Minis leaked at several places but by the end of the '80s they'd improved all of the above and their engines leaked no more than other, much more modern products.

One thing that was a kind of a surprise was realizing how much this Camry engine / driveline had been leaking over the years, from various places. Nothing big enough to leave a wet spot on the ground, but enough to cake everything with a thick layer over time.

Though, to be fair, my first car, a '72 Ford was basically valueless after 6 years due to rust and other issues. This Camry took more than 25 to get to that same point. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #608 ·
Oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me!

I didn't know that I had a lisp. A friend in the business said it was probably the microphone they used (?).

The video is pretty short, and I am not sure how well I came across, but have gotten some good feedback which is nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #609 ·
There is one humorous edit in that video: I mention, "I rebuilt the fan motor..." and then it cuts.
Viewer: "Why would he mention that?"
I had stated how all of the main parts are original but then had gone on to list all of the systems that I'd rebuilt, starting with the fan motor, and then went on for some time to list them all. The editor snipped it just after that first one in the list, instead of before it, leaving that funny odd mention of a weirdly obscure part with seemingly little to do with the prior statement. :)
 

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Nothing big enough to leave a wet spot on the ground, but enough to cake everything with a thick layer over time.
My camry actually has this problem with the oil filler cap - I think you actually commented on my thread I made about that a while back. Silentrunner or someone else also had that problem so I decided to just accept it since the engine is still in great shape despite me having abused it in the form of overheating it thrice in one night, and I don't have to top up the oil at all between oil changes. I just have to remember to wipe that wide snail trail from beneath the cap down to the valve cover gasket every now and then if I feel that it's too dirty.
 

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Oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me!

I didn't know that I had a lisp. A friend in the business said it was probably the microphone they used (?).

The video is pretty short, and I am not sure how well I came across, but have gotten some good feedback which is nice.
Nice video. Quite an impressive restoration there Norm. Looks great!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #613 ·
Update to post #604, AC Leak:

Was finally able to get in at the local car repair place to have my AC system evacuated.
Took about 15 min using their fancy Bosch AC machine, no charge so long as I come back to get it recharged when I'm done.

The leak was at the high pressure line where it attaches to the expansion valve on the firewall, visible in this photo below, the small diameter tube on the bottom left of this photo (ignore the 2 large diameter, shiny black hoses above it, those are for the power steering later). As you can see, there is a black M6 bolt holding the aluminum hard pipe to the expansion valve. There is an o-ring that seals the joint. My expectation was that o-ring got damaged during assembly:
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As you can see from this photo, access to that area is very difficult once the engine is in. I was able to reach it from below, from between the K-Frame and the firewall with one arm, and peering between the engine and the K-Frame on the other side with a flashlight. Very tight. Thanks to Gearwrench made much, much easier than it would have been otherwise.
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Unfortunately, the old o-ring looked fine. So, I fitted a slightly thicker one (same outside diameter) and will find out once its recharged if that has fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #614 ·
Found it: the leak is not the o-ring/joint, it is the pipe itself.

The leak is visible as the lubricant dripping off the pipe, the tan colored, slightly shiny liquid on the pipe itself, and dripping from the pipe's black, insulating foam, above the bolted joint in the photos below (on the firewall where the pipes connect to the expansion valve, through the firewall):
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(the thin wire in the foreground is the O2 sensor wire from the rear exhaust manifold)

Upon realizing the leak is above the joint, not inside the passenger room (thank goodness: removing the instrument panel to get at the HVAC module to get at the expansion valve or the evaporator would be an incredible amount of re-do), I then noticed the lubricant is leaking all along the length of that small diameter, high pressure pipe, soaking through the black foam insulation. Its the pipe leaking!

Ok, so the junk yard pipes have got to go. The dealer got me a new high pressure pipe ($50, last one in the US), and has the suction pipe on order. These are, as it turns out, the very last pipes in the system that weren't new. The chafing of vibration where the aluminum pipes meet foam insulation, or clamps, leads to gradual erosion of the material until there's a leak. These pipes came from a scrapped car with a known, good AC system, but apparently not good enough to last for this much longer.
 

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Pinhole leak in the pipe? Funny that you post this today - the other day there was a post on reddit in the just rolled into the shop subreddit where OP found a pinhole leak in the torque converter of a vehicle he was working on. It was invisible unless you wiped the converter clean for new fluid to leak out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #616 · (Edited)
Result: pinhole leak in the pipe, near the middle of it actually, as the foam insulation around that high pressure pipe (and the outside of the suction pipe below it) was soaked along its entire length with AC lubricant when I took it off.

Was able to buy the very LAST of the OEM pipes. I tried to order both of the pipes, the small diameter high pressure and the large diameter suction pipe as both of the ones in my restoration were from a used '95 (which, ironically had come from a known, good condition AC system) and since both must be removed to replace either, and "if one is leaking...", but it turns out the suction pipe is NLA (I tried everywhere around the globe). So, on went the new pressure pipe, system is re-charged and now everything is working as it should.

Replacing those pipes to a completed car is a challenge: after removing the washer jar, the radiator overflow jar and moving the power steering fluid reservoir out of the way, the PS hoses and the engine wire harness are still very much in the way. Undoing the two clamp bolts on the firewall was also difficult, but that was just a really long arm reach from below. Removing the two pipes, and then getting the pair back in, with the new pipe, required a great deal of wiggling and squirming. But finally it all went back together and although everything in that area rubs on everything else, there's protective wrap on the hoses to help minimize wear.

Been racking up miles and enjoying my brand new Camry.

Norm
 

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So in all how long has this taken you to do? Start to finish?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
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Discussion Starter · #618 ·
Start: 9/2018 I bought the donor car. 10/'18 I began disassembling.
Finish: 7/2021

3 years. There were two winters where work pretty much stopped for several months (ski season) and summer 2019 I stopped for 2 months out of frustration (ironically, it was because I was trying to figure out the AC plan!). Probably 24 months'ish if the gaps were removed.

I miss knowing what to do every day, "What will I do today? Continue working on the car!", and having the progress to continually re-assure me.
But, I don't miss having the 'burden' of the size of the project hanging over my head: the sheer quantity of projects necessary to get done, the size of all the stored parts (it is amazing how much space it takes up, and infuriating when you can't find a part that "HAS to be in this box!", but isn't), and the repeated "uh, oh" moments when I'd have to go and do a lot of research to figure out how to make my next move ("will this problem beat me, or me it?"). Finishing, at some point, becomes simply a matter of, "If I don't finish this it'll become a catastrophe." Each hurdle overcome buoyed me through the next one.

After a certain point there suddenly weren't so many projects that there was always something else I could work on whenever there was a delay for a part. From the beginning of this year work slowed several times simply because I needed a part and that took time to wait, and there wasn't anything else to make progress on.

It was nice back when 'everything was easy', because it was all taken apart and everything was easily accessible.
It is even nicer now, knowing that there weren't any BIG re-dos necessary (its fun building a car, its a DRAG re-building it again, and again, to keep on solving mistakes).

To be completely honest, though, I don't yet have even 1000 miles on it, so there's still opportunity for something to go wrong that hasn't showed up yet.

Norm
 

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It made my day to see an update to this thread, lol. Followed the journey from the start.

Any chance we can get a few fresh pics of the Camry out in the open air?
 
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