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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 98 4th gen camry, and I was looking through the Scheduled Maintenance manual that came with the owners manual. After many years of people saying the Timing Belt needs replacing at 80 or 90k miles, this is first time I have seen documentation from Toyota saying you may Not actually need to replace it, unless it is driven under Special Operating Conditions as outlined. Attached are pictures I took of the manual. What do you all think?
 

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^Having seen tons of broken timing belts both at the Pick-n-pull and on customer cars, nah, that's incorrect. Change it on time.
 

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they will last way more than 90k miles for sure. maybe even 3 times that number and the engine is non-interference so you could save the $600 bucks it costs to replace it and just do it when it needs it. all you'll lose is the towing expense, assuming it's not on the car insurance, or aaa, etc. interesting, i've never read that little tid bit.
tony
 

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When it breaks, it will not do so at inconvenient times-- such as 11 PM or in pouring rain (the tow guys love that) nor when you are going to your dental appointment-- or when going to a court appearance.
Or do you think you might not be so lucky?
 

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ah yes, unexpected things happening at the worst times. the stuff extended warranties and insurance policies of all types are built of...heck, even life insurance is sort of hoping that nothing bad happens when you get into a car to begin with doesn't it? i do usually try to replace serpentine belts and hoses at what seems like reasonable times to me, but it don't always agree with assumed intended change intervals. :)
tony
 

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Since it's non-interference, you might not need to replace it. But it will leave you stranded when it goes, typically without warning... if it was a station car, driving a mile or two each day, I probably wouldn't replace it either. But, if you drive all over the place, you'd be foolish not to change it.

I changed my timing belt for the first time in 2017 on my 2001 (16 years and 81K). I really regret not asking the mechanic about the condition of the belt. He suggested I wait until 90K, but we were taking a road trip and I figured it was time anyway.

The funny thing is, when I suggested we change it, my dad said, "if I wait until 90K, that means I can wait until 180K before doing it again, but if I do it now, I'll have to get it done at 170K." If history is any indication of the future, the car will be well over 30 years old before it reaches 170K-180K, probably consumed by rust at that point.
 

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YMMV.

Also no one never ever drives in the 'normal' condition. Who the heck in the bright mind put the whole normal and 'severe' condition anyhow? lol.

I've heard belts failing (showing serious cracking) at around 90K to where a replacement would be ideal. At the same time, I've heard older Gen3/4 running their original belts way past 200K on all original seals and pumps (seals are probably leaking by 120/130K @ 20YR.

Chances are, if you are getting up in miles, there not just only the belt that wears out but all other components.

Take it this 1995 LE V6. No indication of any timing belt/WP replacement. I assumed it was original...probably was....

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4702/3RXO3J.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/6389/JqSdpM.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/510/By5wz2.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/5667/56xhfW.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/8539/QMYjNE.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/9875/cy8IVH.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4491/VNLe61.jpg

The car still ran great...with 340K on the odometer. It was leaking oil kind of bad on all the front seals and the engine had a clunking/chunking noise for like forever...suspected the noise was a idler going bad for the last 100K.

Now a 2000 5SFE with about 134K. I did the TB/WP because it was original and starting to leak kind of bad.
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/3734/3bI3Wc.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/797/aJftMZ.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/9093/fHHscN.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/527/axMPl0.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/8570/8DwbFv.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/2272/HvvwIl.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/632/IhHafR.jpg

Belt looked in good shape, but the seals were done for.


On my 2004 XLE V6 though, Everything looked great still. Seals looked decent shape but was seeping a tiny bit and belt as still rather OK. 119K....did all the major work before selling to a friend. The HB was going bad though and thermostat was stuck open.
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/7047/nTbq0o.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/9269/BQhCPs.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/8964/lbVAZZ.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/7070/KgiyzJ.jpg


The issue with these Gen3/4 is not because they are bad cars which causes them to 'die' due to a bad belt, ran dry on oil, etc, but people do not find it worth spending half the valve of these Gen3/4 cars. They will simply drive it, add in oil until they either spun a bearing because the oil pump gasket on the I4 start leaking a quart around the block or the something that won't allow them to past safety such as blown struts and alignment issues. If you can DIY it, a Gen3/4 is a very sound investment if you can find one that has not been neglected.
 

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YMMV.

Also no one never ever drives in the 'normal' condition. Who the heck in the bright mind put the whole normal and 'severe' condition anyhow? lol.

I've heard belts failing (showing serious cracking) at around 90K to where a replacement would be ideal. At the same time, I've heard older Gen3/4 running their original belts way past 200K on all original seals and pumps (seals are probably leaking by 120/130K @ 20YR.

Chances are, if you are getting up in miles, there not just only the belt that wears out but all other components.

Take it this 1995 LE V6. No indication of any timing belt/WP replacement. I assumed it was original...probably was....

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4702/3RXO3J.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/6389/JqSdpM.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/510/By5wz2.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/5667/56xhfW.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/8539/QMYjNE.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/9875/cy8IVH.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/4491/VNLe61.jpg

The car still ran great...with 340K on the odometer. It was leaking oil kind of bad on all the front seals and the engine had a clunking/chunking noise for like forever...suspected the noise was a idler going bad for the last 100K.

Now a 2000 5SFE with about 134K. I did the TB/WP because it was original and starting to leak kind of bad.
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/3734/3bI3Wc.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/797/aJftMZ.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/9093/fHHscN.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/527/axMPl0.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/8570/8DwbFv.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/2272/HvvwIl.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/632/IhHafR.jpg

Belt looked in good shape, but the seals were done for.


On my 2004 XLE V6 though, Everything looked great still. Seals looked decent shape but was seeping a tiny bit and belt as still rather OK. 119K....did all the major work before selling to a friend. The HB was going bad though and thermostat was stuck open.
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/7047/nTbq0o.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/9269/BQhCPs.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img921/8964/lbVAZZ.jpg
https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/7070/KgiyzJ.jpg


The issue with these Gen3/4 is not because they are bad cars which causes them to 'die' due to a bad belt, ran dry on oil, etc, but people do not find it worth spending half the valve of these Gen3/4 cars. They will simply drive it, add in oil until they either spun a bearing because the oil pump gasket on the I4 start leaking a quart around the block or the something that won't allow them to past safety such as blown struts and alignment issues. If you can DIY it, a Gen3/4 is a very sound investment if you can find one that has not been neglected.
I tend to prefer the Gen 6 (and technically 5) with the 2AZ-FE more than the Gen 3 & 4 with the 5S-FE only because the 2AZ is slightly newer and has very low maintenance. No EGR, a single vacuum hose, and a timing belt. The only "downside" I guess is its drive-by-wire throttle. It's legit downsides are potential to strip head bolts for 02 - 06 engines and potential to burn oil for 06-09 engines. After fixing those flaws, the 2AZ-FE is a very good engine.

I think I may have liked the 5S-FE more had I owned a Gen 3 or 4 Camry and also if I was one of its earlier owners. When I still worked on the shop, all we worked on was mostly Toyota's and Honda's so most of the examples I have seen of the 5S-FE tended to have something leaking with them but that is a given due to its age, potential owner neglect, and what I consider to be stupid valve cover design but at the same time I sorta understand why it is designed like that due to its intake manifold cover the back half of it.
 

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I tend to prefer the Gen 6 (and technically 5) with the 2AZ-FE more than the Gen 3 & 4 with the 5S-FE only because the 2AZ is slightly newer and has very low maintenance. No EGR, a single vacuum hose, and a timing belt. The only "downside" I guess is its drive-by-wire throttle. It's legit downsides are potential to strip head bolts for 02 - 06 engines and potential to burn oil for 06-09 engines. After fixing those flaws, the 2AZ-FE is a very good engine.

I think I may have liked the 5S-FE more had I owned a Gen 3 or 4 Camry and also if I was one of its earlier owners. When I still worked on the shop, all we worked on was mostly Toyota's and Honda's so most of the examples I have seen of the 5S-FE tended to have something leaking with them but that is a given due to its age, potential owner neglect, and what I consider to be stupid valve cover design but at the same time I sorta understand why it is designed like that due to its intake manifold cover the back half of it.
I have the 2AZ as well. Between the 5S and the 2AZ you gain some and lose some.

DIY are straight forward around the engine. Mines seems to be going thru coil packs every so often. Drive by wire sucks. The best thing I do like about the 2AZ is that it has decent pickup and fuel economy for my 5spd is great. I don't know if I would like it if it was paired with the 4/5spd automatic though...

Need a 5S w/ 5spd manual for a fair comparison.
 

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I have the 2AZ as well. Between the 5S and the 2AZ you gain some and lose some.

DIY are straight forward around the engine. Mines seems to be going thru coil packs every so often. Drive by wire sucks. The best thing I do like about the 2AZ is that it has decent pickup and fuel economy for my 5spd is great. I don't know if I would like it if it was paired with the 4/5spd automatic though...

Need a 5S w/ 5spd manual for a fair comparison.
Drive-by-wire is still weird even with the ECU tune and Throttle Controller but at the same time it's not like they have any serious issues with them either.
 

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That is true about the Gen 3/4 being worth so little that people just stop wanting to maintain it. When I bought my second 5S-FE 3 years ago for $1200, it needed tires, brakes, suspension bushings, exhaust leak, window motor, engine mount, and probably some other small things I'm forgetting. Cost me about $1000 to fix all that. The previous owner just didn't want to put what he saw was the car's entire value in maintenance/repairs.

But, in ~5-7 years, it'll need tires, timing belt, etc again. At 23-25 years old, I don't know if it'll be worthwhile to drop another ~$800-1000 to keep it running in reliable condition that I would trust it on road trips. I also live in the North, so salt/rust is a problem. At 23-25 years old, I think there might be some other parts that could fail that are expensive to replace preventatively (like the coolant bypass hose).
 

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Just think, there was a time when old Ferraris, old Jaguars, old Corvettes, '57 Chevys, muscle cars and old MGs all went through that same phase, "at some point the repairs will be more than it is worth, so off to the junkyard it goes".

Until the pendulum swings and people start looking at those old cars in a different way and ask, "what kind of a crazy person would have scrapped one of those just because it needed a clutch (or whatever).

:)

Norm
 

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My 243,000 mile '99 Solara 1MZFE is on its 4th timing belt.
In 2004 at 65,000 the dealership changed just the timing belt at their recommendation. At 141,000 miles in 2011 it was back for another timing belt and new crankshaft seals that were leaking, they had never suggested to replace any other components like the idlers or water pump.
In 2014 at 172,000 the water pump failed driving on the interstate at 70 mph. The pump bearings failed wobbled and sent the timing belt in every direction, it was a mess. A friend that had a Meinke shop ended up replacing all the components with after market Chinese parts. So a year later at 185,000 the idlers failed, I then purchased all new OEM components and had someone else install them.
Due to this history and my lack of knowledge at the time I'm getting nervous as I now have 58,000 miles on these OEM parts. I do have an entire timing belt kit in my trunk just in case.
 

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Goes to show the importance of doing it right, the first time!

These belts and related components should be good for much more than 60K if all the parts were replaced with quality parts and done right. I'm of the opinion that you should always replace all the related components including the water pump and tensioner "while you're in there". I wouldn't worry about the timing belt for another 30K miles if everything was done properly at 185K.

Not sure that this timing belt job is one you could do roadside if it does go on you. It's not a quick job.
 

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Goes to show the importance of doing it right, the first time!

These belts and related components should be good for much more than 60K if all the parts were replaced with quality parts and done right. I'm of the opinion that you should always replace all the related components including the water pump and tensioner "while you're in there". I wouldn't worry about the timing belt for another 30K miles if everything was done properly at 185K.

Not sure that this timing belt job is one you could do roadside if it does go on you. It's not a quick job.
Only need a 4 foot breaker bar and a wrench to hold onto the cam shaft to prevent it from rotating... :drinky:
 

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That is true about the Gen 3/4 being worth so little that people just stop wanting to maintain it. When I bought my second 5S-FE 3 years ago for $1200, it needed tires, brakes, suspension bushings, exhaust leak, window motor, engine mount, and probably some other small things I'm forgetting. Cost me about $1000 to fix all that. The previous owner just didn't want to put what he saw was the car's entire value in maintenance/repairs.

But, in ~5-7 years, it'll need tires, timing belt, etc again. At 23-25 years old, I don't know if it'll be worthwhile to drop another ~$800-1000 to keep it running in reliable condition that I would trust it on road trips. I also live in the North, so salt/rust is a problem. At 23-25 years old, I think there might be some other parts that could fail that are expensive to replace preventative (like the coolant bypass hose).


Coolant Bypass hose? the V6 has it only. Seems to blow at 20yr-25 old or 200K-300K miles. I believe coolant condition plays a huge role in this part. I4 doesn't have it, but it does have some coolant lines going to and from the heater core to the firewall that does get oil soaked if the valve cover and/or distributor O ring (or cap in the coil pack models).

I mean if the car runs great and you know you didn't run the car with a serious problem, it would be fine. If the body rusts out, it can be an ultimate killer, especially if you need to deal with leaky interior and mold. If the car doesn't disappointment me and it runs great, I think I would still keep putting money into it unless it required a major component such as an engine, transmission, or major body work to keep it reasonably safe.

Then again, the 1995 V6 that I did work on had over 330K on it when I did some work on the top end and 340K for the timing belt/seals/radiator and was pretty worn out...but I figure DIY it, spend $500 ish. If it blows up the next day, oh well. It was a good run. As a person who takes it into a shop, it can be very costly real quick for even minor stuff that some of us can DIY. Only thing it'll cost are parts and a day worth of labor (free)



My 243,000 mile '99 Solara 1MZFE is on its 4th timing belt.
In 2004 at 65,000 the dealership changed just the timing belt at their recommendation. At 141,000 miles in 2011 it was back for another timing belt and new crankshaft seals that were leaking, they had never suggested to replace any other components like the idlers or water pump.
In 2014 at 172,000 the water pump failed driving on the interstate at 70 mph. The pump bearings failed wobbled and sent the timing belt in every direction, it was a mess. A friend that had a Meinke shop ended up replacing all the components with after market Chinese parts. So a year later at 185,000 the idlers failed, I then purchased all new OEM components and had someone else install them.
Due to this history and my lack of knowledge at the time I'm getting nervous as I now have 58,000 miles on these OEM parts. I do have an entire timing belt kit in my trunk just in case.
Goes to show the importance of doing it right, the first time!

These belts and related components should be good for much more than 60K if all the parts were replaced with quality parts and done right. I'm of the opinion that you should always replace all the related components including the water pump and tensioner "while you're in there". I wouldn't worry about the timing belt for another 30K miles if everything was done properly at 185K.

Not sure that this timing belt job is one you could do roadside if it does go on you. It's not a quick job.
Aisin belt kit is what should be used. It's def a bit more expensive to the cheapest chinese kit...but timing belt kit is not what I would cheap out on. Get OEM seals. They won't break the bank either. Seal it up and you should be good for at least 100K.
 
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