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EDIT: This Thread will now be used for all issues related to this topic. Thank you!!!!!!


- HardtopTE72






Hello. Hope I can explain this correctly as I am not mechanically inclined. But this is my understanding:

I have a 2003 Camry LE with about 75K miles on it. Performed all service as outlined in the booklet that comes with the car.

My car started overheating. It was leaking coolant like crazy. Took it to the mechanic and he couldn't find the leak because the manifold was blocking the view. After he removed it he said that it was the head gasket. He also said that he had never seen anything like it. That it wasn't a result of the overheating because it was leaking externally instead of internally (I hope that makes sense). Also when they took off the bolts, that something happened to the threads? And that they had to rebuild the threads and then test if they could handle the pressure?

I just don't understand how this could happen. He said that it wasn't anything that I did and it was some kind of defect or something. That he would try to help me talk with Toyota and see if they would cover some of the cost because of the strange circumstances on why the head gasket was leaking...

Does any of this make sense???
 

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Sedan Life
2003 Lexus ES300
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Hello. Hope I can explain this correctly as I am not mechanically inclined. But this is my understanding:

I have a 2003 Camry LE with about 75K miles on it. Performed all service as outlined in the booklet that comes with the car.

My car started overheating. It was leaking coolant like crazy. Took it to the mechanic and he couldn't find the leak because the manifold was blocking the view. After he removed it he said that it was the head gasket. He also said that he had never seen anything like it. That it wasn't a result of the overheating because it was leaking externally instead of internally (I hope that makes sense). Also when they took off the bolts, that something happened to the threads? And that they had to rebuild the threads and then test if they could handle the pressure?

I just don't understand how this could happen. He said that it wasn't anything that I did and it was some kind of defect or something. That he would try to help me talk with Toyota and see if they would cover some of the cost because of the strange circumstances on why the head gasket was leaking...

Does any of this make sense???
ive seen headgaskets go on gen 5 4cyl (2az-fe) camrys before....but most of the time it stems from an issue such as overheating due to a front end collision, loss of coolant, which causes the head to warp and blow the headgasket....i have never heard of it occuring out of the blue
 

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Thanks for the reply.

I was asking mainly because I saw from my little research that there was a recall several years back on a Toyota model for head gasket problems. I was wondering if anyone had heard of possible 2003 model Camry's possibly having a similar situation. Just wishful thinking I guess, because this is an expensive repair that seems like it shouldn't have happened.
 

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Sedan Life
2003 Lexus ES300
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yes it shouldent have happened....i have a 2003 SE and my car has 55k and no issues with anything....i keep up on all maintenence with all oem toyota fluids and parts, but i do still drive it pretty hard
 

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This is pretty weird but I just heard from my mechanic that I have the exact same problem with my Camry. I have a 2003 LE as well with mileage in the mid 80's. I could've typed your exact post almost verbatim. He said it was leaking externally as well. When they ran a straight edge across the block to see if there was warping they found that it was perfectly straight. That is when they realized the problem was with the bolts and where they are situated in the block. Still researching my course of action but I'd be curious to see what your solution is here.
 

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Just happen to me this past week. We found that head bolts loosen up and kill the threads. the head gasket was in good shape. My Mechanic is trying to use heli-coils to fix the problem. The bolts are 11mm with 1.5 pitch. We found VW head kit from Heli-coil. Hopefully it works!
 

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Just happen to me this past week. We found that head bolts loosen up and kill the threads. the head gasket was in good shape. My Mechanic is trying to use heli-coils to fix the problem. The bolts are 11mm with 1.5 pitch. We found VW head kit from Heli-coil. Hopefully it works!
I know im new to this forum and for some reason people dont think that i know anything about toyotas for some reason but i have some answers for you. It is infact the threads in the block that are causing this problem not the bolts and the head should not be damaged. what happens as the threads give out and while driving the head starts to lift up from the block allowing the coolant passage to leak out the back side of the block, and that is why it is not actually a bad headgasket. explaining why the mechanics that you have talked to find it strange that it is leaking externally and not internally. Im not sure if heli-coils will work its worth a shot i guess but most people have had to replace the short block. if i were you i would call the toyota customer service line and talk with them for assistance. specially if you have done all of your maintenances. More than likely they will help you out. hope this helps everyone! :thumbup:
 

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I know im new to this forum and for some reason people dont think that i know anything about toyotas for some reason but i have some answers for you. It is infact the threads in the block that are causing this problem not the bolts and the head should not be damaged. what happens as the threads give out and while driving the head starts to lift up from the block allowing the coolant passage to leak out the back side of the block, and that is why it is not actually a bad headgasket. explaining why the mechanics that you have talked to find it strange that it is leaking externally and not internally. Im not sure if heli-coils will work its worth a shot i guess but most people have had to replace the short block. if i were you i would call the toyota customer service line and talk with them for assistance. specially if you have done all of your maintenances. More than likely they will help you out. hope this helps everyone! :thumbup:
trust me man, it's not you...
 

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I have a VERY similar problem with my 2003 Camry 4cl with 86k. For me it was oil leaking near cylinder 4 around the head gasket. When I got the valve cover off I checked the head bolt (#7 in Haynes) above the leak. The bolt didn't feel right (would turn both ways with not too much effort). I tore the whole thing down and found the threads stripped out of the block, but a reasonably good head gasket. (no obvious issues). I believe that the gasket failed due to the failure of the head bolt.

I am going to attempt to fix this thread with Helicoil #1130 kit, made specifically for this repair. Here is the question, do I Helicoil ALL 10 head bolts? I would appreciate some expert opinions on what to do? I am ASE certified and have done several head jobs before, but never with a Helicoil.
 

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My Mechanic try last week! It failed after 4 hours of running. you could try but i think it will also fail. Sorry, that's information i have for now.
 

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My Mechanic try last week! It failed after 4 hours of running. you could try but i think it will also fail. Sorry, that's information i have for now.
is this a common problem on gen 5's, is it unique to a year? should i be periodically torquing down my head?

i have 92k miles... on an 02
 

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480 HP 2.4L = lying ricer
06 Camry LE 2AZFE A5
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I am going to attempt to fix this thread with Helicoil #1130 kit, made specifically for this repair. Here is the question, do I Helicoil ALL 10 head bolts? I would appreciate some expert opinions on what to do? I am ASE certified and have done several head jobs before, but never with a Helicoil.
Properly installed Helicoils will work perfectly. Do all the holes for the head bolts. It wouldn't make sense not to. Make sure that you have a fixture that allows you to drill and tap the holes properly.

james399 said:
should i be periodically torquing down my head?
No. As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke...
 

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I wonder if it is just a possibility of making engine blocks out of recycled beer cans, I mean aluminium.:wink2:
 

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Wonderfull, something else to look forward to. Cadillac had this problem with the northstar engines in the 97-2001 range. The head bolts would work loose and damage the threads in the block. The repair was to helicoil the block. We have 96K on ours so far. I hope it hangs on till we can get rid of it in a few years.
 

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Thank you to everyone for your input.
ShawnM, did you replace all threads with Helicoil on your caddy or just the 1-2?

TRD, It looks like you have done styling mods to your Camry, but have you torn into the engine? Any issues with head bolts, or have you tried head studs? I am not sure if they would help in my case, but I was thinking studs would remove the heat and torsion from the block and only put the threads in tension.

I will drill and tap per best practice.
 

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I decided to helicoil all 10 bolts, and 9 of them held when torquing. I re-helicoiled the 10th bolt with a 1/2" helicoil and put the engine back together. Everything so far seems to be holding, and the engine runs good. Overall I have about 12 hours and $300 into the project, including the helicoils, machinists straightedge, and head gasket.
 

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2002 Camry 4 cylinder blown head gasket

Hi,

I just bought a 2002 Camry LE with 110K miles on it. The head gasket is blown.....is there a problem with the head bolts in these cars ? I have seen some blogs about loose head bolts & blown head gaskets.

The previous owner is an older gentleman who drove it for a while after the gasket blew, but the engine still runs.

Are there any references to other threads on this topic ? Just wanted to start familiarizing myself before I get to work.

Thanks in advance,

Brian (new member)
 

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