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1995 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter #1
I didn't think this engine really burned oil, but apparently the one in my father-in-laws '98 is. He called me saying the oil light was on, and that he added some oil and it went out but is now back on again. I told him it only comes on if it's like 2 quarts or more low (might not be Toyota's exact spec but directionally close). If I had to guess I'd say there's 1500-2500 miles on it since the last oil change? I can get a more accurate number when I see it.

Am I looking at something as simply as valve stem seals? Or are the oil rings known to gum up on these engines too? I know it's a problem on the newer Toyota engines like the 2az-fe and such. I know there are a few oil leaks on this engine, but I think he would have noticed ~2 quarts leaking out. Common spot would be the distributor hole plug... anywhere else?

His Camry has ~135-140k on it or so.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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I didn't think this engine really burned oil, but apparently the one in my father-in-laws '98 is. He called me saying the oil light was on, and that he added some oil and it went out but is now back on again. I told him it only comes on if it's like 2 quarts or more low (might not be Toyota's exact spec but directionally close). If I had to guess I'd say there's 1500-2500 miles on it since the last oil change? I can get a more accurate number when I see it.

Am I looking at something as simply as valve stem seals? Or are the oil rings known to gum up on these engines too? I know it's a problem on the newer Toyota engines like the 2az-fe and such. I know there are a few oil leaks on this engine, but I think he would have noticed ~2 quarts leaking out. Common spot would be the distributor hole plug... anywhere else?

His Camry has ~135-140k on it or so.
Valve stem seals are a common problem after 100k miles...replace with Viton ones and you should be good for a loong long while. Easy to check piston rings with a wet compression test...I haven't had any problems with it, and my oldest 5S-FE is 168k miles.

These engines love to leak oil. Made worse by the tilt of the engine. Check the oil pan, valve cover, and half-moons as well.
 

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1995 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply, how about rear main seals leaking? I haven't checked his yet, but it's entirely possible. I'm thinking new PCV valve and grommet too.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Thanks for the quick reply, how about rear main seals leaking? I haven't checked his yet, but it's entirely possible. I'm thinking new PCV valve and grommet too.
Yeah, forgot about those. I just resealed a 5S-FE completely...if the RMS is leaking, you should see it from the opening on the flexplate under cover.
 

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98 Camry,91 CelicaGT
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Oil sending unit can leak too. I think that is a lot of oil to be burning. I'd check for leaks. If you haven't fixed any leaks yet, you probably have at least one.
The 5sfe engine is known to leak at distributor/distributor plug, oil sender, cam seal, oil pump seal and oil pump gasket, and improperly installed valve/head covers. I haven't had either crank seal leak yet, on mine but others have. I have 250K miles on one and 148k miles on the other.
 

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First, let's ensure the oil is being burnt.

Post pictures around the engine top, bottom, bellhousing and control arms.
 

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I didn't think this engine really burned oil, but apparently the one in my father-in-laws '98 is. He called me saying the oil light was on, and that he added some oil and it went out but is now back on again. I told him it only comes on if it's like 2 quarts or more low (might not be Toyota's exact spec but directionally close). If I had to guess I'd say there's 1500-2500 miles on it since the last oil change? I can get a more accurate number when I see it.

Am I looking at something as simply as valve stem seals? Or are the oil rings known to gum up on these engines too? I know it's a problem on the newer Toyota engines like the 2az-fe and such. I know there are a few oil leaks on this engine, but I think he would have noticed ~2 quarts leaking out. Common spot would be the distributor hole plug... anywhere else?

His Camry has ~135-140k on it or so.
Yes the 1997-2001 4cyl are sludge prone engines because of their hotter running heads. Has the oil been changed according to the maintenance schedule?
W95c
 

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The oil pump on the 5sfe is a convoluted design. It has waaaay to many seals and gaskets.... it has a rotor seal, a pump body gasket, and a high-pressure pump to block metal gasket... that's 3 places total the oil-pump can leak from...

on most cars of this vintage, the oil pump is driven DIRECTLY from the crankshaft by a gear on the crankshat itself. There's only the pump to block gasket, and the crank is sealed by the crank seal which is normally replaced at every timing-belt-interval (60k or so)...

Dunno why Toyota went with a complex oil pump design, but they are well known to leak.. so check there, and go over the entire engine and check all the usual-suspects for leaks... and make sure you PCV system is in order... built up crankcase pressure will make marginal leaks worse...

lastly dont let the oil pressure get so low that the light comes on... babysit the oil level by checking it frequently until you get to the bottom of things.....





:)
 

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short-throw dipstick
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The oil pump on the 5sfe is a convoluted design. It has waaaay to many seals and gaskets.... it has a rotor seal, a pump body gasket, and a high-pressure pump to block metal gasket... that's 3 places total the oil-pump can leak from...

on most cars of this vintage, the oil pump is driven DIRECTLY from the crankshaft by a gear on the crankshat itself. There's only the pump to block gasket, and the crank is sealed by the crank seal which is normally replaced at every timing-belt-interval (60k or so)...

Dunno why Toyota went with a complex oil pump design, but they are well known to leak.. so check there, and go over the entire engine and check all the usual-suspects for leaks... and make sure you PCV system is in order... built up crankcase pressure will make marginal leaks worse...

lastly dont let the oil pressure get so low that the light comes on... babysit the oil level by checking it frequently until you get to the bottom of things.....


:)
I agree and I may be wrong but I think the modularity is due to crankshaft wear. I've seen a lot of 22R and 22RE that have grooves worn in the crankshaft from the crank-driven pump and oil seals (apparently Toyota went through 14 revisions, at least for my '88 22R). With a separate, belt-driven oil pump it can be replaced easily if its shaft wears too much vs. using crappy crankshaft repair sleeves.

Pump on my 22R is driven by a many-splined sprocket, compared to a few teeth on the 1MZ. I've not seen crankshaft wear on the 1MZ nearly as much as on R engines, so I bet the "sloppiness" makes for less crank wear? Just musing here, feel free to point out flaws in my reasoning
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input guys, I'll be heading over the in-laws today so I'll see what I can see on his Camry. I've changed oil pump seals and gaskets on the 5S-FE in the past, but I don't remember if this one has been done or not. I'll make sure to snap some pictures of the any oil leakage.

As far as oil pressure, I hope it wasn't too low for too long. I wasn't there so I honestly can't say, I'll find out more when I talk to him in person. I'll make sure he keeps an eye on it as often as possible. I'm just hoping I don't have to do a full rebuild at this point, I don't really have the time.
 

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I agree and I may be wrong but I think the modularity is due to crankshaft wear. I've seen a lot of 22R and 22RE that have grooves worn in the crankshaft from the crank-driven pump and oil seals (apparently Toyota went through 14 revisions, at least for my '88 22R). With a separate, belt-driven oil pump it can be replaced easily if its shaft wears too much vs. using crappy crankshaft repair sleeves.

Pump on my 22R is driven by a many-splined sprocket, compared to a few teeth on the 1MZ. I've not seen crankshaft wear on the 1MZ nearly as much as on R engines, so I bet the "sloppiness" makes for less crank wear? Just musing here, feel free to point out flaws in my reasoning

The 22R engine has the same wonky 2-part design... yes it's driven from the crank, but the pump body is still seperated by an o-ring.. just like on the 5sfe...

a more conventional design doesnt have an o-ring, but rather a 'backing plate' that faces the inside of the engine, so even if it leaks it leaks internally:






#2 in this photo is that plate......









the 22r and 5sfe have that 'plate' as the oil pump body and it's on the OUTSIDE of the engine...







^ as you can see above the V6 Camry of this era has a "NORMAL" oil pump... with the backing-plate on the BACKSIDE of the oil pump...

naturally the V6 Camry does NOT have oil leak issues while the 5sfe does!






:)
 

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'93 V6 wagon, '94 I4
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OP,
Did your FIL check the oil before adding any? I'm no expert but what are the chances that the sending unit has a flaky connection or has gone bad and is sending a low-pressure signal needlessly?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
OP,
Did your FIL check the oil before adding any? I'm no expert but what are the chances that the sending unit has a flaky connection or has gone bad and is sending a low-pressure signal needlessly?
Yes, and when I checked it last night it was just barely on the dipstick.

From the outside there were visible leaks out of the back of the valve cover gasket and from the distributor hole plug. I wasn't able to check that far under the car to see if the rear main seal was leaking. The front of the oil pan wasn't wet, but the back was so I'm thinking it could just be from the valve cover leaking down the whole back side. The oil pump area, at least from the outside of the timing cover, was totally dry.


Oil on the bottom of the coil pack bracket, under where the distributor plug sits


Oil collecting on top of the trans, ultimately from the distributor plug


Oil pooling on the intake manifold, directly behind the valve cover

Also he apparently has other leaks:


Power steering hoses leaking in/out of the reservoir


Splash shield is soaked, not sure what with. It's either radiator fluid or trans fluid, but both are still full.


Regardless of the leaks, I think at 140k miles it still should have the valve stem seals replaced. The leaks are obvious but I didn't see much on the ground, so I think I would have noticed if that much oil leaked out.
 

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Check the passenger side CV-boot and control arm... if they are covered with oil then the oil pump may be leaking...

if not, it looks as if you've got some easy to fix leaks as they are all up top..


:)
 

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Distributor plug is leaking. Change valve cover gasket, clean plug and black sealant around plug, add black sealant on head where seams are on head.
If you start your car and look under the passenger side, you will most likely see oil dripping at the timing cover rear bottom. That is indicative of leak(s) behind cover(oil pump gasket, oil pump seal, cam shaft seal, maybe crank seal too). The car must be running to observe this. Your car may not be that bad at that point. I was leaking a quart every 60 miles, on mine, so the drip was very constant when running. Yours may take some time to drip.
It may just be the plug on yours. Some people have had power steering fluid leaks too. If you remove the bottom splash cove be sure to spray the bolts to avoid breaking too many.
Another indication of running oil leaks is black film on the rear bumper, caused by the oil being vaporized by the air flow when driving.
 

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I'd bet 95% of you valve cover leak is due to loose nuts under the plug wires that hold it down. For a quick fix, try tightening them if you don't have time to swap gadgets yet.
 

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+1 as Hooter says - tighten the valve cover via nuts under plugs to 17 Ft-lb. Three years ago I replaced leaking valve cover gasket. At that time someone here said to re-tighten each year. Sure enough 12 month later and then 12 months after that I've been turning each nut a little at a time (maybe full turn in total). My hindsight says maybe I didn't need a new gasket, just needed to tighten nuts?
 
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