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short-throw dipstick
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Paid registration yesterday and sticker'd so the car is now barely legal.

Today, changed shifter backlight bulb, installed new battery hold-down hardware, replaced missing positive terminal cover, and tossed out the crappy Motorad fuel cap for a new OE.

Went to change my busted door lock actuator, turns out I screwed up and ordered a new latch assembly, which does NOT come with the actuator motor. Ordered a new actuator, hardware, and lock assembly cover so another couple weeks before my door is functioning nicely. Le sigh. That's $300 to get this stupid door working, I'll have to pay more attention next time.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Mail-lady was nice enough to go back and get my Toyota parts package yesterday (but she scored that sweet, sweet overtime), so I got my actuator in and installed. Door locks work! Hopefully the others don't go out soon.

I'm going to leave my door card off until I get in a Power Probe to test the window regulator on my donor shell for swapping into the beatercam. I've been trying to avoid buying from their official suppliers such as Matco, Snap-On, etc because all those want $550+, but it seems like the company has been cracking down on all the discount tool suppliers and I might have no choice. I used my buddy's and it's pretty great for on-the-spot electrical testing of stuff like window regulators and door locks, among other things.
 

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Scored a nice, color-matched spoiler, and all ancilliaries, plus a wood-grained steering wheel and some odds and sods all for just $40!!

Might go back for a nice trunk carpet and XLE power driver's seat, just for an upgrade on the '98 LE.

Cosmo
 

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I stared under the hood, looking for reasons my '01 V6 has the flickering, or pulsating, dim and don't...whatever you want to call them head and interior light syndrome.



I'll try to keep this short. Alternator and battery tested fine. I followed the wire from the alternator which feeds into a major harness that runs down the passenger side of the engine compartment. Just at the dog bone or engine torque strut, two wires come out of the harness and go to the block as a ground. I checked to make sure it was tight by tugging on it, and it was. I noticed a bit of a crimp in the wire, and next to that what would be best described as a bubble. I moved the bubble around a bit, and it sounded sort of crunchy. I thought I may be on to something, so I started the car, and put the headlamps on.



Headlights looked pretty normal, as did the map light, dome light, instrument cluster lights, etc. I ran the a/c, applied the brake, operated the sun roof. Fingers crossed, all seems good! If if starts again, I will look into replacing that ground wire, but for now, we are flicker free!
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Got my spare 5S head back from the machine shop (check for cracks, clean, resurface, valve grind, valve stem seals). Opted not to have them adjust valve clearances as I like to do that myself.
 

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Just an observation regarding the V6 no up-shift beyond 2nd gear until warmed up thing: Mine does not shift into 3rd or OD until the temp gauge is 1/8th of an inch over the cold temperature line (east coast weather).



My initial reaction when I discovered the no shift thing was to be gentle, hoping a lower rpm would prompt a shift. Not so. I found that bringing it to the point it should shift into third (but doesn't), then accelerator to the floor for about 2 seconds and releasing it fully, allows it to shift regardless of temp. I hope it works for you as well.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Just an observation regarding the V6 no up-shift beyond 2nd gear until warmed up thing: Mine does not shift into 3rd or OD until the temp gauge is 1/8th of an inch over the cold temperature line (east coast weather).



My initial reaction when I discovered the no shift thing was to be gentle, hoping a lower rpm would prompt a shift. Not so. I found that bringing it to the point it should shift into third (but doesn't), then accelerator to the floor for about 2 seconds and releasing it fully, allows it to shift regardless of temp. I hope it works for you as well.
That's normal behavior (no OD until warmed up); it's to prevent damage to a cold transmission.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Bad news and good news today.

Bad: PoS garbage excuse for a human being dumpy middle-aged fat b**** door dings my car in a hospital parking lot. Doesn't even look at me, and tries to walk away like nothing happened. Sadly, that's how people tend to behave around here, I really, really hate South Bay drivers (and people here in general). I open my door, "Hey lady, you hit my door!"

(bitchy voice) "No I didn't, I lightly tapped it getting out like this." (taps my car with her knuckle)

"That's hitting my car. Just watch it, will you?" (I close my door)

...she storms back to her car in a huff, and KEYS MY REAR DOOR ON THE WAY BACK TO HER POS. Then, manages to get away as I get stuck trying to weave through the "perfect" flock of old people in electric wheelchairs (out for a walk? dunno).

You don't mess with a man's car, no matter how crappy it looks (and my beatercam does look crappy).

Good: Got a call from my injector cleaner today about the 12 injectors I sent out: 6 original Flex-Fuel injectors for my crappy fleet-spec Taurus, and 6 from my NY-spec V6 Camry. The Taurus injectors (yes yes, I know this isn't a gen3/4 Camry) were fine, just some deposits due to it being a 15-yo car with 79K (it sat a lot); cleaning brought them back to spec. One Camry injector was leaking from the tip due to debris holding it open; cleaning solved that as well. Another Camry injector just wasn't coming back to spec after cleaning, kept running really lean, so he replaced it with a refurbished OE injector. I'll have the refreshed set of 12 back in a week or so, just in time for my weld-the-Vulcan-to-the-1MZ-to-make-a-V12-that-can-half-run-on-E85 project (just kidding).
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Went to the Pick-n-pull and nabbed 3 engines worth of valve adjustment shims. I didn't think I was going to keep the head from my busted engine so I gave away the shims...but it's in excellent shape, so I'm refurbishing it.

1. Sent out to machine shop for crack check, cleaning, resurfacing, valve grind, and Viton valve stem seal installation DONE
2. Sent valve cover and water outlet to blasting shop for vapor blasting DONE
3. Ordered replacement OE exhaust manifold stud and water outlet gasket DONE
4. Got shims from junkyard engines DONE
5. Do valve clearance adjustment
6. Assemble head with camshafts
 

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Found and patched a slow leak on the right front tire of the old Toyota. Harbor Freight manual tire machine, soapy water to find the really slow leak, patched not plugged. 50 cent patch on a 5 dollar tire. I've got a couple of new tires to put on but these are good for another few miles yet.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Got my final top-end parts for my V6 back from the blasting shop. Coupled with my injectors I'm ready to get it back up and running, finally.

Was going to have the EGR parts ceramic-coated but I'm going to pull the engine in 5K anyway so I'll do the whole exhaust then. Don't want to pull the shorter EGR tube anyway, it's so badly rusted, might as well wait until I have easy access. Need to order a y-pipe cat assembly as well...so hard to find NY-spec cats, and cough cough smuggle into CA cough. OE looks like $1300 or so, might have to source locally due to exorbitant shipping.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Topped up my oil (half quart) in the beatercam and looked for a leak since I smell burning oil after a hard pull.

Found drippage from the oil pump. SON OF A-

Last time I use a Mahle gasket on these cars. Shoulda gone OE. It's not that bad, but I'm going to swap it out when it gets bad or I start smelling it more.
 

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Put 9.6OZ of r134a via AC Pro into '96 5S-FE wagon. (Weighed bottle with hose attached before and after fill.) It had been blowing only ambient/hot air but now is blowing out COLD air On the AC Pro gauge, the needle stopped moving after it got up to 30 psi which is only about 20% into the green/"filled" area on the gauge. I'm original owner and don't recall ever adding refrigerant or any other issue with the AC. My Honda SI was parked next to the Camry and it took 3.5 OZ. Initially the gage read filled/in the green but I thought I'd check if it took any. So I estimate I have about 7 oz left in the 20 OZ net weight bottle.
 

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For the knock sensors.. our past 2002 Sienna V6, one of the knock sensors was throwing a code about 4 years ago maybe. It would knock on acceleration too so I knew it was the sensor. I found a good price for two knock sensors as there are two on that engine and buried under the intake. I also read that the harness gets brittle and to replace it too. And while I was at it, I replaced the bypass hose. All Toyota parts. Glad I replaced the knock sensor harness as the connectors were brittle and the holding clip snapped. The bypass hose runs all along under the intake. Never had a problem with the sensors after that.
 

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Geez guy, I see we owned similar vehicles. I have a 2001 F150 Supercrew 5.4. My previous truck was a 1996 Ranger Supercab 3.0 5 speed manual.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Resurfaced beatercam's rotors. Brakes smoothly now, but it feels like the master cylinder needs a rebuild.
 

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short-throw dipstick
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5,964 Posts
Swapped beatercam's front turn signals for Philips amber LEDs, and changed the flasher relay for a Novita EP35. For some reason RockAuto won't ship them to Cali, and there are too many reports of fake ones on Amazon for me to trust that; had a buddy reship them to me. Works great, although I wish the LEDS were brighter.
 
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