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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, names Jack. I am new to this forum but not to all forums. I am entirely new to toyotas though.

I posted in the new forum, but figured it more suitable to post in the model specific forum.

My best buddies mom retired her old 96 camry and sold it to me for $500. Well $400 and some electrical work bartering.

Info: 1996 Camry 4door LE, 2.2 4cylinder, auto trans (what does the "etc" button next to the shifter actually do) champagne/silver-ish depending on the way you park it (lol), tan two toned leather, power locks, windows, sunroof, dealer installed wood grain (its freaking stickers) that the dealer installed for $800 (still have the original window sticker) and the option of enkei stock wheels. Ill post a pic once i get this loaded up on my phone. **currently at work**.

Im giving it to my mom for the $500 i paid to get her in a better vehicle. We are going to try our best to keep this car in decent shape, ever since my pops passed its been a hard long road on our cars and lots of babying them until they died.

This car was taken rather good care of, and when my old car had blew its engine, while it was in the shop i actually daily drove this car for about 4 months.

Since i stopped driving it and moved out of their house, She put new tires on it, Cooper Life liners 13k miles ago, new brakes on all four corners and unfortunately a oil leak sprang up.

When they bought the car 6 years ago it had oil leaks galor and they spent up near $2k in the shop getting seals replaced. pretty sure it had everything on the front of the engine replaced, shes still finding receipts for me. So this oil leak im thinking is going to be the valve cover going bad again, the dizzy o ring failing or worst case, the rear main seal failing. Gonna start cheapest/easiest first. Its leaking on the exhaust, that is the worst part. burnt oil smell is rought man....

For its age i think its in pretty good shape, it has certain "Camry Specific Quirks" but i mean, it is 20 years old. If i can find this oil leak and solve it. I think my mom will be pretty well off for a while while we get her blazer up and running again. Stupid vortex system. Looking forward to making every bodies acquaintance.
 

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how many miles?
when, in miles/years was the last major maintenance done like timing belt, plugs/wires/pcv, etc.?
gonna have to dig around, clean things up and see where the oil leak is cause you have eyes on it there.
the electronically controlled transmission has a normal and sport mode which causes it to remain in gears longer. just use the normal mode for 99% of your driving.
report back what you find is leaking and we'll be better able to tell what to do to fix it.
tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
how many miles?
when, in miles/years was the last major maintenance done like timing belt, plugs/wires/pcv, etc.?
gonna have to dig around, clean things up and see where the oil leak is cause you have eyes on it there.
the electronically controlled transmission has a normal and sport mode which causes it to remain in gears longer. just use the normal mode for 99% of your driving.
report back what you find is leaking and we'll be better able to tell what to do to fix it.
tony
Ah dang it, i knew i forgot something. The car has 177k miles, zero smoke and engine sounds stout.

The fool here goofed and spilled oil down the backside (was leaking before hand) so thats gonna make it more fun to diagnose, i hate spraying pressurized water in engine bays... my buddy did that once and caught his alternator on fire lol. (to be fair, he was a moron).

Thanks for the bit of knowledge on the ect button. I see no need to use that button on a camry... ever....

Will post back if/when i can get some more info on the last work done to the car.

Any preffered methods of getting the loose/spilled oil and road grime out of the engine bay, so i can see where it is leaking from.
 

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Gonna break it down to make it easier.

Welcome to the forums! You've join one of the most reliable Toyota generation. A lot of us really enjoyed the Gen3. You'll find a lot of cross components between the Gen3/4 and that makes parts a bit easier to find (engine wise).

Hey all, names Jack. I am new to this forum but not to all forums. I am entirely new to toyotas though.

I posted in the new forum, but figured it more suitable to post in the model specific forum.
Yes, model specific is better. Not sure why we have a 'general' discussion. I never check there.

My best buddies mom retired her old 96 camry and sold it to me for $500. Well $400 and some electrical work bartering.

Info: 1996 Camry 4door LE, 2.2 4cylinder, auto trans (what does the "etc" button next to the shifter actually do) champagne/silver-ish depending on the way you park it (lol), tan two toned leather, power locks, windows, sunroof, dealer installed wood grain (its freaking stickers) that the dealer installed for $800 (still have the original window sticker) and the option of enkei stock wheels. Ill post a pic once i get this loaded up on my phone. **currently at work**.
Sounds like you got an awesome deal. I think I would had picked this one up if I didn't have so many cars. It's hard finding the original window sticker. I consider that a major plus. Options sounds like a loaded LE model. Golden Emblems, sunroof, and the wood grain (3m sticker) are uncommon add-ons to the LE.

Im giving it to my mom for the $500 i paid to get her in a better vehicle. We are going to try our best to keep this car in decent shape, ever since my pops passed its been a hard long road on our cars and lots of babying them until they died.

This car was taken rather good care of, and when my old car had blew its engine, while it was in the shop i actually daily drove this car for about 4 months.

Since i stopped driving it and moved out of their house, She put new tires on it, Cooper Life liners 13k miles ago, new brakes on all four corners and unfortunately a oil leak sprang up.

When they bought the car 6 years ago it had oil leaks galor and they spent up near $2k in the shop getting seals replaced. pretty sure it had everything on the front of the engine replaced, shes still finding receipts for me. So this oil leak im thinking is going to be the valve cover going bad again, the dizzy o ring failing or worst case, the rear main seal failing. Gonna start cheapest/easiest first. Its leaking on the exhaust, that is the worst part. burnt oil smell is rought man....

For its age i think its in pretty good shape, it has certain "Camry Specific Quirks" but i mean, it is 20 years old. If i can find this oil leak and solve it. I think my mom will be pretty well off for a while while we get her blazer up and running again. Stupid vortex system. Looking forward to making every bodies acquaintance.
Sorry to hear about your father. Hope this car can make things easier.

The 5SFE is a pretty reliable engine. Commonly they fail due to sludge or running the oil low from the leaks. Oil leaks tends to happen on the 5SFE from the valve covers, spark plug seals (on the valve cover), Distributor seal (or the half moon in the 1996+), and the oil pump seal AND gasket. You got the 5SFE 1996+, so your engine is a bit special with ODBII support. Rear mains sometimes leak, but you'll notice it leaking since this leak tends to drip right on top the exhaust pipes between the transmission and engine. This leak can also be caused from the valve cover and the distributor cap 'half moons'.

Most times when a timing belt and water pump is done, the seals are done but I think people miss doing the oil pump gasket and oil pump seal. This when it leaks tends to leak fast. Oil will be leaking from the passenger CV axle side. Leaking oil = low oil...you can see how this goes up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cross compatability, already thinking about that 4/4.5 dog bone. When I drove it for a while the vibrating was annoying a bit, it doesn't do it to bad at idle, a little on acceleration. But not to bad. Shocks are pretty much toast, you know. Not serious things to us that are used to cars you have to bang the starter to get it going. Or leaking a quart a day of everything.

Gonna have to look up about those half Moons you speak of. Is that something in place of the oring for the dizzy? Or did I misunderstand.

I really do like this car, I miss having a sunroof and good mileage, but my mom needed something better. And I already have two cars, my 98 Grand Cherokee Laredo (which is my baby, love her) and my buddies old 83 c10 I bought off his parents for the price of getting it out of their yard before the junked it for my work/yard/dump beater truck. She's a peach, a slightly expired rotten peach... But a peach non the less lol.

For fun here's the window sticker!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also the legend these engines hold and the history I know of the car is really the only reason I dropped the coin via credit card for my mom to have this car. We've had a 96 caravan 3.0 my dad bought brand new, fell apart after he passed. It was just to expensive to keep running.

My step dad's 96 cougar, great car for a few years, then that thing LITERALLY started falling apart, a beater 95 camaro, junk junk junk but it did point a-b for a while. Then the 2000 blazer, still have that. Step dad broke that; he also doesn't work and is finally out of the picture. Vortex system is rather pricey to repair, it's actually pretty nice with 50k on the engine (230k on the body), currently she's driving a 95 s10, 2.2 auto ex city work truck. Making payments through a shady dealer, charging her 100% interest. Nope nope nope, that truck is soon to be gone thanks to this car.

A friend of mine had a 96 Celica I believe, with this engine. 280k HARD miles and that car was running like a top the day he sold it.
 

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... How is the power steering fluid in the reservoir bottle next to the passenger side fender doing? Is it clear/clean or dark and dirty? This is important because old or dirty fluid can lead to leaks in the steering rack.
 

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Wow. The Enkei Wheels were 'dealer' installed? They are not the standard wheels, must be a dealer package since that I know was not offered at most dealerships.

Geezies, 24k gold plated emblems is $400 bucks add on? You wasn't kidding regarding the Geninue 'burlwood' dash...$370????
 

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Yeah she leaks slowly. Iv put about two quarts in the power steering in the last two years combined. I'll fix that when it gets noticeable bad. So to your question, it is "technically" clear... Lol
 

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Wow. The Enkei Wheels were 'dealer' installed? They are not the standard wheels, must be a dealer package since that I know was not offered at most dealerships.

Geezies, 24k gold plated emblems is $400 bucks add on? You wasn't kidding regarding the Geninue 'burlwood' dash...$370????
Ikr! 24k gold emblems, enkei wheels, burl wood dash, did they forget this was a camry and not a race car or caddy? Hah. Certainly makes the car unique though.

Mom loves it.
 

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Yeah she leaks slowly. Iv put about two quarts in the power steering in the last two years combined. I'll fix that when it gets noticeable bad. So to your question, it is "technically" clear... Lol
Probably the high pressure hose or a power steering hose that (not high pressure) that is leaking.

Usually with high pressure hose, you'll be leaking more then two quarts in the last two years. High pressure hoses tend to sometimes get worst quickly too.

Maybe the hose going from the resevor to the pump might be crack and seeping a tad.

Ikr! 24k gold emblems, enkei wheels, burl wood dash, did they forget this was a camry and not a race car or caddy? Hah. Certainly makes the car unique though.

Mom loves it.
I am a sucker for all these cool 'add-on' for Camry. I buy my cars used so these expensive add-on are usually no addition cost when I buy these old camry used. That or go to the junkyard to get them parts ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah she leaks slowly. Iv put about two quarts in the power steering in the last two years combined. I'll fix that when it gets noticeable bad. So to your question, it is "technically" clear... Lol
Probably the high pressure hose or a power steering hose that (not high pressure) that is leaking.

Usually with high pressure hose, you'll be leaking more then two quarts in the last two years. High pressure hoses tend to sometimes get worst quickly too.

Maybe the hose going from the resevor to the pump might be crack and seeping a tad.

Ikr! 24k gold emblems, enkei wheels, burl wood dash, did they forget this was a camry and not a race car or caddy? Hah. Certainly makes the car unique though.

Mom loves it.
I am a sucker for all these cool 'add-on' for Camry. I buy my cars used so these expensive add-on are usually no addition cost when I buy these old camry used. That or go to the junkyard to get them parts
I was thinking the same thing about the power steering. Definitely to slow of a leak to be bothered with atm.

I do need to get a new reservoir for the coolent though. She's brittle and brokem and barely holds any coolent but that's what the rad is for!

I do the same thing with my jeep, if i find a good limited model I'm snatching parts especially if I come across a 5.9..so many good extras!
 

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Mom finally got the car legal and drove it to work for the first time. She absolutely loves it, jamming with the sunroof open, and to her, the car is fast (compared to her old 95 s10 with a 2.2 liter lol) she keeps finding herself speeding.

Anyways, once i get the chance to tackle the valve cover and half moons (still not to clear on those) does anyone have anything against switching over to synthetic with 177k miles on it. Its been getting Valvoline 10w30 the last 6 years, I mostly ask from hearing something about these engines producing sludge. My Jeep has 242k on her and im still running Mobile Super 1000 10w30 with no problems.

I kind of worry about switching the camry over to synthetic and it messing with all the seals and causing leaks.
 

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Mom finally got the car legal and drove it to work for the first time. She absolutely loves it, jamming with the sunroof open, and to her, the car is fast (compared to her old 95 s10 with a 2.2 liter lol) she keeps finding herself speeding.

Anyways, once i get the chance to tackle the valve cover and half moons (still not to clear on those) does anyone have anything against switching over to synthetic with 177k miles on it. Its been getting Valvoline 10w30 the last 6 years, I mostly ask from hearing something about these engines producing sludge. My Jeep has 242k on her and im still running Mobile Super 1000 10w30 with no problems.

I kind of worry about switching the camry over to synthetic and it messing with all the seals and causing leaks.
I think you'll be find switching to synthetic. I've done this to all my cars and I have not notice it starting to leak more then it used to. I dunno but in my view if it leaks because of an oil change from dino to synthetic, it's probably due to do the seal anyhow.

Glad things are working out. I find the LE trim Camry with the I4 and sunroof a great night cruiser without all the XLE electronic push button fanciness for the HAVC system. It's good on gas, has enough low end power to get off the line from a stop to change lanes and handles decent with enough understeer if you push it too hard. The sunroof makes it all so much better. She might be driving around night more often with the sunroof open and the music up haha!

It's there's one thing I like about the Gen3, it is the visibility is very good and the seats are very comfortable. Wish the headlight output were better though.




The one I have in circle is the half cap 'full moon'(?). I would loosen the two bolts, remove the top cap and the plastic cover. It's probably leaking because of the engine angle and oil tends to just chill in the cap area. Just RTV it (black RTV) and let it set. I used a torque wrench....I don't recall the torque...may I just hand tighten to 'tight'. Can't remember.

Now the two other pictures with the squares, I think this is the half moons. Not sure how your suppose to remove them but the cars I've worked on they were not leaking. I think if they are stuck on good, you should be okay but try check the surround areas for leaks.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...6-1997-2001/353035-97-2-2l-oil-leak-pics.html

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...8777-only-bought-2-out-4-half-moon-plugs.html


http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...mshaft-end-plug-cap-black-round-plug-cap.html

some other links for this.


The two arrows points to a cap on the timing belt side. Not sure how you can reseal that with the timing belt back plate on. Maybe someone can chime in on this.




Some pictures when I did my dad's 2000 Camry thermostat and valve cover (not in order, I don't like photobucket lol)

**I'd highly recommend to also do the PCV valve and the hose. It's probably going to break when you take it off.



















 

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Those half moon plugs usually come out pretty easy. Just grab 'em with a pliers or vise grip and lift while giving them a little side to side wiggle. They're held in with just a bit of sealant. If they don't come out easily, they probably don't need resealing.
 
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