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I have a 98 camry with the 5SFE engine that has developed a knock. I have already replaced the cylinder head but the knock seems to be coming from the lower part of the block and I suspect a rod bearing due to low oil level.

My question is, will it be possible (or realistic) to replace the bearings with the engine in the car? I'm just not sure how to access the bearings with the crank still intact....or is that even possible?

Since I've invested in a new head I don't want to have to replace the entire engine if it may be something that I can repair.
 

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You can pull the oil pan off while the motor is in the car and check the condition of the crank shaft. Anything less than a glass like finish on the rod journal and it will need to be machined or replaced. At that point I'd pull the motor rather than work on it from under the car. You have to separate the motor and trans to get the crank out.
 

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You CAN replace the bearings without removing the engine. It's a pain, but it can be done!
 

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You CAN replace the bearings without removing the engine. It's a pain, but it can be done!
Thanks for the info guys.

That being said, I assume the crank can be lowered enough to replace all of the rod bearings?

If I have a knock, only at higher rpm's, will it be easy to detect the bearing that has the issue? I'm just hesitant to go through the process of pulling the engine if I can do it without...even if it means a little more pain in the butt.

I'm pretty mechanically inclined but pulling the engine is something I am not excited about doing and every mechanic that I've taken it to wants to automatically replace the engine altogether. I have zero performance problems..no smoking, no leaking...just an annoying high rpm knock.
 

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The crank does not move in that sense. What you have to do is unbolt the rod cap and push the rod up a bit to give you access to the bearing on the rod side. BTW its easier if you pull all the plugs first:)
 

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V8'sRGone
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^^ Ditto

The unseen enemy is stopping 4 leaks and increasing the leaks at the mains. The oil tends to take the path of least resistance. If the rods are now tight and mains are loose, the new rods literally force the oil out at the mains the the rods burn up again.

Use the search button and you'll find many threads on in-car over-hauls; search "bearing, rod, clearance, plasti-gage" Hint: here's a thread right here: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=334158

Do a search for plasti-gage, plastigage in here and in google too. Its used to measure vital clearances. FWIW: Replace the rods, mains, and oil pump. Just be warned that yoda's don't all use the same bearing size on every register so bearing shell to shell may vary.

Have you been to camrystuff.com and pulled down the PDF file on how to do this? Very much worth your time. . .


Do some reading and ask away. Many are willing to help. Oh and last thing, mains can be done in the block. Its not impossible, its not recommended path, but it can be done its just tedious.
 

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V8'sRGone
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So did you literally replace the head, or have that one rebuilt with new guides, valves, seals, valve job ect?
 

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I believe there is also some concern about the balance shaft assembly that sits below the crank. Obviously it will have to removed, but the bigger issue that I've heard is that once you've torn up a bearing you should replace all bearings, and the balance shaft assembly has bearings in it as well that you can't obtain, so most of the time people leave the balance shaft assembly out.
 

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Yup. I think you buy the bearings in a set anyway? But regardless I would do them all at once. And maybe leave the balance shafts out, don't wanna blow the engine do you?
 

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you really should have the crank checked when replacing bearings especially if its already knocking. replacement bearings come in several oversizes if the machine shop has to polish the journals again. id imagine you could remove the crank with the engine still in the car if you separate the engine and tranny like you were doing a clutch job to remove the flexplate.

the balance shaft runs off a gear on the crank, so i dont think it would need bearings. most balance shaft horror stories stem from people not having it re-installed correctly.

if you're going balls deep into the engine, might as well do it right.
 

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if you're going balls deep into the engine, might as well do it right.

Very true. As an 18 year old who didn't have two nickels to rub together I replaced ONE rod bearing in a chevy motor. Took me a day or more and only took the motor half an hour to spit it back out. (I didn't get the crank worked over) In the end dad helped out and we put a re-man crank in it with all new bearings. That was 20 years ago when chevy small blocks were a dime a dozen so the parts were cheap.
If you only want to dive into this once, it's going to be difficult. The only correct way to measure bearing clearance is with the bearings installed in the motor. You'd have to get the crank machined, guess at the bearing size, install and check, then hope it all comes back within allowed tolerances.
Maybe you want to call salvage yards for a short block and re-use your new head, or a long block and keep your new head on a shelf in case you need it? A small part of me wants to suggest "run it till it blows" but you stand a chance of damaging the cam bearings in your fresh head......
 

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Thanks for the info guys.

I replaced the rod bearings yesterday and everyting went smooth until I realized that I didn't calibrate the balance shafts before installing the balancer. The engine ran smooth as ever but had a horrible vibration when under torque. Had to break it all back down and install the balancer properly. Now it runs smooth but I have a P0758 code...Shift Solenoid "B" Electrical. No idea what that leads me to...I'm hoping that a ground worked loose when the vibration was going on. Any ideas??? This code didn't exist until I test drove it with the balancer out of whack.
 

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Thanks for the info guys.

I replaced the rod bearings yesterday and everyting went smooth until I realized that I didn't calibrate the balance shafts before installing the balancer. The engine ran smooth as ever but had a horrible vibration when under torque. Had to break it all back down and install the balancer properly.
So I'm curious to what all you ended up doing besides rod bearings. Did you do the main bearings also? Was the crank in good shape, such that you didn't have to do anything to it? What do you mean by "calibrate" the balance shafts... does that mean adjusting for proper gear lash?
 
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