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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's time to change the timing belt again and I thought I would post a few photos here and host a discussion of some other items I plan to attend to at the same time. It's for my 2000 V6 Solara. I bought it with 113,000 miles on it and now it has 510,000 miles, largely highway miles. I replaced the water pump at 300,000 miles so I plan to replace it again now. Hopefully I can drain off the antifreeze without getting any trash it it. I just replaced the radiator after accidentally breaking off the top hose nipple leaning on it to loosen the oil filter. Dumb mistake but it was clearly brittle and it was good to replace it before it leaked. Aggravating that it's difficult to find antifreeze that's not pre-diluted....I don't like paying that much for something that's half water!

I also want to change the valve stem seals which are original and probably leaking. I haven't notice the blue puff of smoke from the exhaust on startup but I am using 2-3 quarts of oil in 5,000 miles. Haven't checked compression but I don't think I have that much ring wear. I changed all of the seals on the front of the engine last time I changed the timing belt but the rear main seal is original. There is a little oil around the flywheel access cover but not enough to be 2-3 quarts worth! I hate to take off the cam covers since they sealed up really well last time I changed the seals. When I last changed the valve cover seals I added one washer to each cam cover bolt and that seems to have done the trick.

I did new timing belt pulleys and tensioner last time so I won't be changing them again. There is probably some difference of opinion on that but the original ones lasted 400,000 miles and still worked fine. I know some of this stuff is luck-of-the-draw but I even ran the original water pump 300,000 miles and it wasn't leaking then. Toyota parts are amazing in this day when nothing seems to be built to last. I also recently replaced the thermostat, the PCV valve, and I did a throttle body-off cleaning of the air flow sensor. I have a new seal for the throttle body on hand so I won't need another one.

I'll be ordering:
Timing belt, V-belt, cam cover gaskets and spark plug hole seals, valve stem seals, intake manifold gasket, platinum spark plugs, water pump and seal.
Hopefully I can rent an overhead valve keeper remover and valve stem seal pliers from the local auto parts store where I will get the V-belt and the platinum plugs.
I reviewed the following handy-dandy stickie link for the valve stem seal part of the job:
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
92 Toyota Camry XLE
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1,766 Posts
Best of luck man! You got a pretty LONG list of items to do and I would concentrate on the Timing Belt Job, Water Pump and Thermostat.

Brother and I bought a super nice 1995 Camry SE Coupe with the V-6 Automatic and that thing really zoomed with Zest appeal when you stomped on the Gas pedal.

We did some repairs as I found the Right side of the Engine (the side close to the Firewall of the Car) ignition wires broken on two cylinders so, I had to take out my Soldering Iron. Did timing belt, water pump etc....etc..... and that thing ran like new. Got a super deal from the original buyer as at the time of purchase the cruise didn't work and it was running on 4 cylinders! Cruise connector harness was disconnected.

A Few Pictures of my Brother's ride.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I picked up and ordered parts today so hope to get started tomorrow after work. Bill for parts is $800! I went with O-Riley ($200) for the more easily replaced parts but went with the Toyota dealership ($600) for the water pump, timing belt, and valve guide seals. Just the valve guide seals was 24 X $12 each =$288 at the dealership.
 

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168 Posts
Too late I guess, but Amazon had the Aisin timing belt/water pump/tensioner kit under $200 when I did my 1MZ a couple years ago. It is the OEM maker for Toyota. There's a great tool to remove the valve spring retainer clips, ValveMaster VMT68, I've got the version for the 2AZFE, wouldn't do valve work without one, it's so dang easy to use. FelPro seals use Vitron for some pretty good seals without breaking the bank, too.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
The Fel Pro are supposed to be Viton (I don't have a source, just from trusted members around here), but I don't think they are. Have had at least one report on here of failure within 2 or 3 years.

I recommend the Enginetech Viton seals, they've been my go-to. OP, you might need a gantry-style valve spring compressor if you're not pulling the engine.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the notes. I'm not sure what brand valve stem seals the Toyota dealership sources. I just went with the dealership for the parts I wanted to make certain were genuine. I'll be picking them up sometime Wednesday if I can get off work a few minutes. I checked with O'Riley when I got the plugs and serpentine belts but they don't have the overhead valve compression tool for rental. It was....I think $85 if I ordered one. I plan to do the left side first and see what I need and then do the hard side against the firewall once I develop a system. I had a little time this evening and drained the radiator, and removed the throttle body, dogbone engine mount and a few other miscellaneous items. Hope to make some good progress Wednesday evening/night.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I got quite a bit done this evening. I am including some photos since I'm too tired to write a thousand words.
I decided to get the wiring harness completely out of the way since it always gets in the way of the right cam cover removal. There were over 30 connectors to find and disconnect.
282947


Looks like there is a little leak in this sensor on the transmission. Anyone know if this is a concern? This is on the front of the transmission below the cruise control.
282948


I replaced the water pump which had 200,000 miles on it. I felt like I was taking out a perfectly good water pump. There were no signs of coolant leaks and I really had to work to detect any play in the bearing.
282949


I removed the inspection cover from the flywheel down under the engine so as to block the flywheel with a socket while I unbolted the crankshaft pulley. I'm happy to see no significant oil down there so I assume the rear main seal is still holding oil.
282950


Lastly, the old plugs look great to me.
282951


I have the left cam cover off, removed the cams, and am ready to begin replacing valve stem seals tomorrow evening.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
I think that's a breakout harness connector for the shift solenoids; it must be very old to be cracked and leaking internally. If you take it out (don't pull, or it'll damage the wires going to the solenoids) and see the crack, you might be able to use epoxy to reseal it. Otherwise, the harness will have to be replaced, comes with the o-ring and requires pan drop to get out.

Yeah, the water pumps will last as long as you change coolant on time.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the notes on the shift solenoid. I will probably leave well enough alone since it wasn't leaking significantly from the plug.

I tried removing one of the valve plate/keeper/spring/seals this morning and I can tell I will need a tool for the right side of the engine along the fire wall. Does anyone know if this tool can be used against the fire wall? The illustrations would seem to suggest the lever will need to extend toward the firewall and doesn't look like there will be enough room.

This is one (Lisle 36050) that I have seen recommended but also may be difficult to apply the pressure along the firewall.

I have seen a spring compressor used that looked easiest to me but looks like you could overcompress the spring if you weren't careful. Also would need to make sure it would work within the confines of the valve spring space.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
The first one is the type you need (the "gantry style" I mentioned), but you want to buy something decent, all the Chinese clones bend and break. CTA Tools makes a good one if you don't want to spring for pro-grade.

The second one will not work because you won't have space to swing a hammer onto it.

The third one is meant for pushrod engines, recessed valvetrain and smaller springs on OHC engines usually defeats it.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Insight, many thanks for your.....insight! I ordered the gantry style unit. It was $54 after a 15% off coupon. Hopefully it is reasonably good quality but I'm not overly optimistic at that price. The set also included seal pliers and an air adapter for the cylinder. I will try to post photos of that tool being used for the valves along the fire wall. I couldn't find any photos or video showing its use in the hard-to-reach side.
 

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The second one will not work because you won't have space to swing a hammer onto it.
Help me out here. I'm following this because at some point I'll be doing this on my 1MZ. I used a Valvemaster Valve Spring Tool on stepsons 2AZFE with the head off, and it is so darn easy to use, as simple as their video shows- Valvemaster Valve Spring Tool It looks like the second one ToyotaJP had linked to is the same tool I used, different maker. I didn't need to use a hammer on the 2AZ to use the tool, but the head was off and sitting on a bench. A firm grip and solid push is all that was needed. I can see the back cylinders presenting a bit of a challenge though. Then again, I've never used a gantry style either.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Doing valve stem seals on a 2AZ is very similar to doing it on a 5S, check out my DIY in the sticky for the caveats for a 5S. The tool you got is very similar to the Lisle offering, and is the ideal tool for the job.

But since the 1MZ is canted backward toward the firewall (rear head access is bad compared to nearly flat front head access), that tool is not ideal. Side note, I'll be using that tool (well, the Lisle version), but I'm pulling my 1MZ in 5K miles. What happens if you're trying to apply pressure and you slip? The gantry style eliminates that problem.

Help me out here. I'm following this because at some point I'll be doing this on my 1MZ. I used a Valvemaster Valve Spring Tool on stepsons 2AZFE with the head off, and it is so darn easy to use, as simple as their video shows- Valvemaster Valve Spring Tool It looks like the second one ToyotaJP had linked to is the same tool I used, different maker. I didn't need to use a hammer on the 2AZ to use the tool, but the head was off and sitting on a bench. A firm grip and solid push is all that was needed. I can see the back cylinders presenting a bit of a challenge though. Then again, I've never used a gantry style either.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Right, the job on the V6 with the head on doesn't seem to be the one they like to show in how-to videos! The back 6 along the firewall is going to be a booger I'm afraid, even with the Gantry tool. I got the tool in and have tried it out on a few of the left valve springs. The gantry tool support feet don't span the distance to mount an both sides so I cut some metal angle to bridge the gap. I'm having some difficulty removing the old valve stem seals. The exhaust seals are hard and ultimate come loose with some leverage from a slot screwdriver but leave a little hard rubber "necklace" around the valve guide that has to be removed with forceps. The intake seals are actually more difficult to remove since the rubber part is still somewhat flexible and doesn't fracture off. The seal removal pliers that came with the Gentry tool seem to be good quality but still don't give enough grip and ultimately slip loose from the seal. I'm planning a long evening today and hope to report that the left six are done.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Grab around the seal shell and twist with the seal pliers to break the grip, then rock the seal back and forth while tugging upwards
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Insight, thanks, that worked reasonably well for the exhaust valve seals but the pliers keep popping off the intake seals until I carefully twist a slot screwdriver under the seal to loosen its grip....really means damage the rubber inside the seal a bit so it doesn't grip so tight.

I was up until midnight last night and finished the left bank and started on the right bank against the firewall. Here are a few photos for curiosity and a few notes that might help someone. Oh, I had a dickens of a time doing research here on the forums since most of the links folks embed into their posts as reference no longer work. I needed to look up some details on how to re-load the spring in the exhaust cam gear. I found what I needed but it was in my Chilton manual....gasp!

Here is the Gantry tool I'm using and the metal angle iron I cut to help span the head. So far I have only had to bolt it down with one bolt at each end of the tool. I have a love/hate relationship with this Gantry tool. There are LOTS of accessories in the kit but no instructions. Also, the aluminum pin that keeps the push sleeve on the lever has nothing to keep it from falling out. This is really inconvenient. You can wrap electrical tape around the end of the pin to keep it from falling out but you will need to frequently remove the pin when you cange positions, say from intake to exhaust valves. I finally just left the pin free as in this photo but came within a split second and about a centimeter away from dropping the pin down into one of the open spark plug ports.
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I have used forceps and a magnet and highly recommend using the magnet to help prevent accidentally loosing your grip and dropping a keeper. I plugged the oil drain ports in the head to keep from loosing anything into the depths of the engine. Be sure to stuff some paper towel into those ports just as soon as you remove the cam cover. More on that later!
Removing the valve keepers.
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The photos are orange partly from my lighting but largely from oil deposits. As far as I know this car has only had PZ 10W-30.
Here are a couple of photos of the old valve stem seals. The left bank seals looked relatively clean but the right bank seals have some kind of gunk buildup on them.
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Right bank exhaust valve seal
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There are several notes I would recommend that you check off as you are reassembling things. First, be sure the keepers are both locked in each valve. I leaned on each keeper with a slot screwdriver when I was done to ensure it was seated well. Be sure to load up the spring on the exhaust cam gear set before reassembly and temporarily lock it in place with a 10mm bolt. I managed to do this by hand with a clean rag but it was a struggle. You only have to turn the second gear about three teeth to line up the service bolt hole (the only hole that is threaded). As far as I can tell from reading, the best way to line up the exhaust and intake cams is to put the service bolt at 12-O-clock and then match the intake cam gears so that the two-dot pattern is matching. Be sure to remember to remove the service bolt once you have the cam caps reassembled!! Also remember to take the rags you have stuffed down into the oil drain ports in the head out before you put the cam covers back on!

Service bolt installed in the right bank. I didn't know about the spring-loaded exhaust cam gear until after I had removed the left cams. Replacing this one will be easy since I installed the service bolt BEFORE removing the cams. Unfortunately I will be removing the oil pan to recover a service bolt I dropped down the oil drain port on the right bank. Like I said, plug up the oil drain ports in the head just as soon as you remove the cam cover.
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Removing rag blocking oil drain ports...sure would be easy to forget these.
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I'm currently working on the right bank. I can tell it's going to be a real booger to re-install the valve keepers on the exhaust valves which have the least clearance to work between them and the fire wall.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Almost makes you want to remove the powertrain to get this done (my secret plan in 5K).

Yes the right bank tends to get sludgier IME, presumably due to the canting causing the oil to pool and stagnate in heat.
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I was a little surprised not to find more oil drain ports on the right bank. I managed to find the only one when I dropped that 10mm bolt I was screwing into the service bolt hole on the exhaust cam gear. Looks like the other drain ports have risers on them to hold oil at a higher level. I have sopped up the oil from most of the low areas where it doesn't drain out. There is certainly an accumulation of sediment there but the oil is still runny and not solidifying.

I have mixed emotions about the benefits of the valve stem seal replacement part of this job. The interval was up to do the water pump, timing belt, and spark plugs so it seemed like a good time to replace the valve seals. In reality though, I'm going to have to run about another 200,000 miles to recover the cost of the seals alone ($280) if you assume I'm loosing 2 quarts of oil every 5,000 miles. I'm really mostly just curious to see how much this job will cut oil consumption and of course it should reduce how close I have to watch the oil level. Another benefit should be a reduction in carbon buildup in the combustion chamber. The plugs didn't look bad so carbon buildup from valve leakage oil burn may not be a big deal. It might also keep me from having to remove the injectors at some point. I guess it's a testimonial to occasional use of injector cleaner and cleaner burning gasoline but the injectors have never been removed. I used to use injector cleaner once in a while but no longer use it. I think today's gasoline may not need it.

Insight, you will have a job if you decide to remove the power train but you could replace your rear main seal and I guess do a preventative on your transmission too if you felt the need. It might be hard to decide where to draw the line. You would be sooo upset if you put it all back in and then developed a leak in your rack and pinon! I know I have an engine mount under the transmission that needs to be replaced so I guess those would be no-brainers. I still love driving my car but man it sure has a bunch of rattles and clunks in the suspension!
 

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500,000 + Miles
2000 Solara
Joined
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432 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I forgot to post some details on installing the valve stem seals. There are several good references here for doing this job but there were a few details I wasn't sure how I would approach. This isn't a thorough, step-by-step, guide but hopefully it will fill in a few gaps and maybe help you decide if you want, or need, to do the job on your car. Mostly, I know we gear-heads just like looking at photos of someone else's engine problems!
This photo shows a piece of electrical shrink tubing on the right valve stem. Just put a piece of this shrink tubing over a valve stem and go over it quickly with a torch to make it shrink to fit the valve stem. You can use this one piece for each valve. It helps protect the valve seal from damage as you slip it down over the notch for the valve keepers. The deep 10mm socket on the left is the tool folks recommend to seat the valve seal. You should be able to seat the seal by hand but some recommend a few gentle taps with a hammer to make sure it's seated. I'm a little skittish of the hammer since I don't have the experience to know how much force it would take to damage the seal. As far as I can tell, you should be good if you lean on the socket with a rag to protect your hand. You should feel one or two clicks and the seal should be fully seated.
283225
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Those "risers" are breather tubes for PCV.

Nah, I feel confident I'll end up with no leaks. In 5K when timing belt is due it'll be major, major service:

- engine reseal and cleaning
- trans partial rebuild: synchros and LSD, external components
- rack sealing, and replacing both upper and lower hard lines, suction hose, P/S pump rebuild
- install new struts w/Eibach lowering springs

I was a little surprised not to find more oil drain ports on the right bank. I managed to find the only one when I dropped that 10mm bolt I was screwing into the service bolt hole on the exhaust cam gear. Looks like the other drain ports have risers on them to hold oil at a higher level. I have sopped up the oil from most of the low areas where it doesn't drain out. There is certainly an accumulation of sediment there but the oil is still runny and not solidifying.

I have mixed emotions about the benefits of the valve stem seal replacement part of this job. The interval was up to do the water pump, timing belt, and spark plugs so it seemed like a good time to replace the valve seals. In reality though, I'm going to have to run about another 200,000 miles to recover the cost of the seals alone ($280) if you assume I'm loosing 2 quarts of oil every 5,000 miles. I'm really mostly just curious to see how much this job will cut oil consumption and of course it should reduce how close I have to watch the oil level. Another benefit should be a reduction in carbon buildup in the combustion chamber. The plugs didn't look bad so carbon buildup from valve leakage oil burn may not be a big deal. It might also keep me from having to remove the injectors at some point. I guess it's a testimonial to occasional use of injector cleaner and cleaner burning gasoline but the injectors have never been removed. I used to use injector cleaner once in a while but no longer use it. I think today's gasoline may not need it.

Insight, you will have a job if you decide to remove the power train but you could replace your rear main seal and I guess do a preventative on your transmission too if you felt the need. It might be hard to decide where to draw the line. You would be sooo upset if you put it all back in and then developed a leak in your rack and pinon! I know I have an engine mount under the transmission that needs to be replaced so I guess those would be no-brainers. I still love driving my car but man it sure has a bunch of rattles and clunks in the suspension!
 
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