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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently own a 1997 Camry, and it is my first car.

As most people like to do, they like to mod it, but my question is, for someone who has never really worked on a car, how can they learn more about it? What can they start doing that really isn't too difficult for a beginner? I like knowing there is something to do to my car, it's entertaining and fun, but as of now I got nothing lol.

Sorry for the question if this topic comes up a lot, I just want to learn :)
 

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Lord of the Sith
CAMRY 93' !!1!
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1,085 Posts
Details on the vehicle!!! and :welcome:
 

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Do simple maintenance first. Learn how to do an oil change and how to properly wash the car. Get a haynes manual or equivalent and familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Read, read, read. There are few things sadder than someone who mods their car and has no idea how to take care of it.
 

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抵抗しても無駄だ
2002 Solara SLE V6
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I HAS BOOST!!!
94 Camry SE V6 Coup
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10,728 Posts
starting with basic stuff like mantainance, small custom mods that are in the FAQs and just poking around here are good ways to learn about your car. also, id suggest getting a Haynes or equivelant manual from an autoparts store is very helpful.
 

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it really depends on your skill level. most of it is just about being able to figure it out as you go. I have not painted my needles, but I has done a white face glow gauge mod that came out great.
 

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hx35 turbo camry
1994 camry v6 3.0l
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648 Posts
buy a haynes manual and read it!!!! you will learn a lot on your car!! like others said learn on how to do basic things first... like oil change, rad flush... then begin messing with all the bolts and stuff!
 

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Yep change all the fluids first to clean all the internals.

Start with oil and filter.

Then drain coolant refill with distilled water run drain then fill with distilled water and antifreeze.

Now start on the brake system, with the car on level ground, the easiest (most fool proof) way in my opinion is to remove the cap on the master cyl take a turkey baster and suck the fluid out of the reseviour then add new synthetic dot 3-4 fluid (not silicone fluid whatever you do!) till the reseviour is full. Now open the right (passenger side) rear bleeder and allow the fluid to drip adding fluid to the reseviour as needed, now repeat the process on the left rear, now move to the right front, and finally left front. By doing the flush slowly this way you do not have to buy any equipment nor do you need a 2nd person to pump the pedal. In addition when you pump the pedal you move the seals in the master cylinder past the point in the bore where they usually travel this often causes them to be pushed through deposits and scratches them leading to a sinking brake pedal, the same is true when you replace front pads push the pedal the normal amount 5-6 time until the pedal get hard, DO NOT push it to the floor!

Now on to the transmission remove the drain plug and drain the fluid, refill with new trans fluid.

Do the same with the power steering system remove fluid from the reseviour with the turkey baster then add new fluid.

Now many of you may be saying what is this guy stupid? he will never get all the fluid out at once with these flush techniques. Yes this is true, and while I would never do this when working in a shop ( I was a ASE master tech for 20 + yrs) I always do this to my own vehicles as a slow change of fluids on a vehicle that has not seen regular maintenance is the best way to do things in my opinion, plus its cheap cheap to do this way. In addition most of these flushes take 10-20 minutes to do and by doing them all at the same time (the brakes take a while to bleed by gravity so this one is great to combine with others) you can do all 5 of them in a few hours, for under a hundred dollars (shops charge about a hundred per flush). I usually do the trans fluid and brakes again a month later then once every year is great.
 

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Now for some other standard mods on a Camry. Assuming your car makes some knocking noise in the frnt end when hitting pavement breaks and potholes? you probably need new strut mounts, this is a great time to upgrade the struts as well for a firmer ride.

The mounts make the noise and are about 60 bucks each struts are around a hundred.

I did my strut mounts and installed Tokico blue struts, however they are very harsh and you may prefer some Bilstiens as they are not nearly as harsh. Dissasembly of the strut assembly to install new stuts and mounts will require a spring compressor and can be quite dangerous so you may wish to simply remove the strut assembly and take it to a local shop to have them replace the struts and mounts.

On the back of the car the sway bar bushings where the sway bar mounts to the body are notorious for making a knocking noise when hitting bumps these can be easily replaced and are cheap about 20 total, just make sure the whole back of the car is raised since if one tire is raised and the other lowered the sway bar and bushings will be loaded.
 
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