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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few Saturdays ago I went to (cold) start the '98 Lexus. It fired up with a strange mechanical noise I never heard before and shut off in less than a second.

Uh-oh....I think I know what that means. I opened the hood, disconnected the battery so no one would get in and try starting it and walked away.

It's been pretty HOT this summer so I've taken to working on it near dusk. It's a plus when the Delta breeze kicks up. I got stated a few evenings ago.

Since the car is parked in the garage, I'm trying not to make a mess with fluids. Putting the drain pans and buckets on top of some 26" baking pans that I bought for another auto project helps keep the floor clean.

I was concerned about the block drains. Typically, you open the block drains and coolant will splash everywhere. I have to thank the clean-freak engineer in the Toyota power train department for this:



I couldn't get my hands up near the drain but the 5/16" fuel line is rigid enough to be pushed onto that metal tube. I was able do aim the drainage right into the bucket.

I was scratching my head looking for something to use to plug the rubber AT cooler lines at the radiator. I didn't have enough 3/8" drill bits and blanks. Then it hit me:



Years ago, someone gave me a baggie with 7 rounds of these scroungy, green corroded cartridges.

Once I was able to remove all the crap in front of the belt covers, I lined up the timing mark on the crankshaft and checked the marks at the sprockets:







::Whew:: That noise wasn't the timing belt like I thought it was. The car only has ~90k miles on it but it's 20 years old. When I bought the car 10 years ago (the car had 36k miles on it), I bought a timing belt kit (OEM Aisin) and put it on the shelf. The Toyota 1UZ-FE engine is an interference engine - when the belt goes it takes everything else with it.

Toyota's belt replacement interval is 90k miles but I don't think they had 20 years to accumulate that mileage in mind.

But what the heck was that strange noise I heard? It was "light" sounding. Not the typical lower end noise. More to come....
 

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That was the piston's comeing up and closing the valves that were open, at the wrong time, hopefully, none damaged the cylinder head, ???
 
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Looks like it is time to replace it. I would spin it over by hand using a wrench or socket on the crank shaft pulley. It there is interference, you will hear and feel it. If no noise, then most likely the noise came from something in the belt line. You may have a power steering pump or something like that beginning to fail.
 

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In my years as a service manager at a few shops,I’ve seen serious damage done to an interference engine after timing belt broke on the interstate.But,I’ve seen non interference engines eat valves too.Depends on Circumstances.
First thing I’d do is change that cracked timing belt.Then,start it up and find out where the noise is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Car makers who used timing belts should be subjected to the likes of a war crimes tribunal. They're right up there with car salesmen and shyster lawyers.

AC
Not saying you fall into the following category, but there are people who feel this way have no issues with riding away on a HD or Buell with a belt final drive.

At least the belt in these cases are easier to get at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
At this point, I'm not worried about bent valves/cracked pistons, the crank and cams all line up. Who knows what that noise I heard was. Back burner for the time being - the engine needs to run before anything further can be done.

For now, the belt kit gets installed, the PS leak gets fixed and we go from there.

As a manufacturing engineer, I can appreciate how this thing was made - the sub-assemblies and standardization are obvious. As a mechanic, those engineers can go rot in Hades. :biggrin:

"Remove the drive belt tensioner...." OK. But to do that you have to remove the alternator. To do that you have to remove the PS pump and reservoir. To do that you have to remove the ABS modulator and pump.

It's not that bad working on this car. It brings me back to an earlier life and it's kind of therapeutic. We have friends who will only take their vehicles to the dealer for service and repair. Screw that. I'd rather spend eternity in Hades working on this car over and over than to do that.

I've only had to use three basic wrench sizes; 10mm, 12mm and 14mm. The crank bolt was 22mm and would have broke loose with hand tools (I used an impact wrench). Same with the crank pulley. If I had more strength in my hands, I could have twisted the puller screw and the pulley would have come off. Reminded me of my old Pontiac.

BTW, if you think a Remlin has sharp edges, you should take a feel of this new water pump.



I'm going to have to spend some time with a file and break some of these edges for safety sake. I'm sure I'm going to cut myself just from handling it during installation. The pulley has a real sharp edge. Same with the bypass flange. Maybe I should send it back to Remington....:rofl:

Now I need to find my tube of FIP gasket....
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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Not saying you fall into the following category, but there are people who feel this way have no issues with riding away on a HD or Buell with a belt final drive.

At least the belt in these cases are easier to get at.
...or catastrophically toast your engine. I think Pontiac started the debacle with their belt drive overhead cam motor in the mid 60's. Ford's Pinto suffered an early rep with the cam pulley's tooth pitch not matching the belt's pitch on early production models. They poured into the dealership I was working at the time.

Belts are GREAT in motorcycle applications
 

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I usually get cut on a sharp plastic edge. There are little razor sharp edges everywhere under the hood nowadays. I have resorted to wearing mechanics gloves. Gone are the days of getting into the engine compartment with both feet on the ground and pulling the head as i was able to on my 72 Ford F100 with a 240 inline 6. Heck, just reaching into any modern engine compartment is akin to reaching into a **** trap.
 

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The way I see it,whether I am framing a house,laying tile.installing a plumbing fixture,drain or working on my truck.If I don’t see a little blood or get a bruise every now and then,it means I ain’t workin hard enough.
My hands are so desensitized and I am so focused,I don’t even know I’m cut till I see blood everywhere.If it gets annoying,I get a napkin and wrap it with duct tape ,if the cut is deep,I butterfly it with duct tape.
 

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Lol! My sideline job of selling used cold drink machines and snack machine is like working in a razor blade company! If it can cut, scratch dig and mangle I have found it! Razor blades are nothing when it comes to these machines!
Time for my annual shot!

ca'jun56
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The next time you take your car in for a timing belt replacement and the shop recommends replacing the water pump, it's a good idea to let them do it. Even if the pump shows no outward signs of failure.

It's essentially the same amount of labor because the timing belt has to come off to replace the pump. The pump may also be seeping and you'll never know it.



I never saw any dripping or spots of coolant on the driveway or on the garage floor. No evidence on top of the engine splash shield either. I do recall noticing over the past few years how the coolant level in the reservoir had dropped.

Seepage out of the weep hole (typical):



The weep hole dribbles on the "air" side of the water pump seal.

Note how clean the water jacket in the block is. Toyota Long-Life (red) coolant, 50/50 mix with distilled water:



Oh yeah....if the shop recommends replacing the idler and tensioner pulleys, let them do that as well. This is what could happen to your new timing belt if one of those pulleys happens to seize:



This is the timing belt out of my brother's old Corolla. The belt had about 150 miles on it before the tension pulley (original one) seized and took out the belt. He was going +70MPH on I-4 near Orlando. Luckily, the 1.6L is a non-inference engine and he was back on the road after the belt (and pulley) were replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Took a few days off from knuckle busting. However, the wife mentioned in passing that she misses her car, so I got back to it yesterday afternoon by installing the water pump.

Pretty straight forward until I started inspecting the water pump hardware. I spent the better part of the afternoon looking for a solution to this "problem":



At first I thought it was a captured split washer that was way over torqued, but split washers don't come captured (split washers are poor locking mechanisms anyways).

I didn't have any 8mm washers or nuts in my hardware/junk drawers. So off to Ace Hardware I went. I spent more time there than I should have helping another dude look for a radiator petcock - we both knew we seen them someplace. We both decided it was over at Orchard Supply Hardware (better get over there....Lowe's announced they're closing all their OSH stores by the end of the year).

Anyways, I get home with a bag of eight washers and two nuts. Then it hits me. The captured washer/nut that Toyota uses is a non-standard, 12mm hex. Typical 8mm nuts are 13mm hex. Being the anal retentive person that I am and recalling that Toyota was nice enough to put even-sized metric fasteners on their cars, I don't want put use an odd (13mm hex) fastener on the engine/car.

So I screw in one of the water pump bolts into the nut (so I don't crush it), vice it up, stick a screwdriver blade in the "split" and twist the washer off the nut "sproing!". I put a washer on the stud and installed the now divorced nut on backwards:



The rest of the installation was routine; a little Dawn dish detergent applied straight-up to an o-ring, pushed the water pump into place, torqued the nut, bolts and two studs to 156 in-lb (my ft-lb torque wrench isn't small enough to do 13 ft-lb).

The rest of the evening (better part of 30 minutes) was spent getting all the form-in-place gasket off of the water outlet flange:



It wasn't too difficult getting that sealer off. It wasn't as difficult as Permatex silicone is to remove (I HATE silicone).

Now that the water jackets are covered by the water pump, I can clean off the front of the engine. I also need to find the two bolts that hold/seal the water outlet to the water pump. :hmmmm2: I throw all the fasteners into a bucket as I remove them but they weren't in the bucket....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The past few days were spent scratching my head.

Got the belt installed and per the FSM, rotated the crankshaft CW two revolutions and confirmed that the timing marks lined up at the crankshaft and both cam sprockets. They did.

So I figured I'd turn the crankshaft one more revolution and about 20-degrees before TDC the engine locks up...hard. As if I had a TDC stop installed. What the heck?

So I rotate the crankshaft CCW and it gets to 20-degrees after TDC it locks up again. :hmmmm: I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Just to confirm the valves are indeed closing, I removed both cam covers (I'm still used to calling them valve covers) and compared the exposed heights of the "buckets" when on the base circle of the cam lobes. Those of you who are familiar with typical Japanese motorcycle engines will recognize the "shim under bucket" arrangement for adjusting valve clearance. FWIW, my '87 4 cylinder Camry used a "shim on top of bucket" arrangement. Valve adjustment on both arrangements is made by swapping shims of varying thicknesses.



Pretty clean inside except for the stuff that fell in when yanking the cover out of there.

Anyway, I rotated the crankshaft as much as the engine would allow and I visually checked all 32 buckets. All heights were the same. Good....the springs are all closing the valves.

To further confirm the valves were sitting on their seats, I stuck a few feeler gauge leaves in there to confirm they were all in spec. Some exhaust valves are at the high limit but still in spec. Good again.

I went inside for a drink of water and thought a bit.

Since the stoppage is happening with the crank near TDC, the problem has to be at either #1 or #6 cylinder.

2-4-6-8
Front​
1-3-5-7

Leaving the crank at the stoppage near 20-degrees after TDC, I looked at the cam at cylinder #1 and both vales are closed (cylinder #1 just fired). However, the intake valves at #6 are just starting to open they're (opening) late.

Obviously, the belt was installed with things out of time. I'm guess that the belt was installed with slack someplace opposite the belt tensioner. IOW, the cams are timed to each other but not with the crankshaft. This makes sense from what I'm seeing.

What doesn't make sense is why the engine was free when I first rotated the crankshaft CW 720-degrees and locked up when I rotated it further CW. And why does it not want to rotate a full turn CCW now? I think I know why but I need to sleep on it.

On another note, NGK states that applying anti-seize to their spark plug threads isn't necessary when the plugs are going into aluminum heads. I don't know, I always put some kind of anti-seize on plug thread when they're going into aluminum.

Seeing these plugs that came out of the Lexus makes me want to continue the practice:



I don't think these are the originals (they should be Denso if they were). So I'd say they were in for 60k miles. Removing them made me nervous. Some were tight coming out initially. Others "chattered and squeaked" as I was removing them. I'm going to continue to put anti-seize on plug threads.

OK...I'm dizzy. You all have a great day. I plan to as well. HAPPY FRIDAY!
 

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Good write up paulo!

My younger brother hates it when he gets those v6 kia's! He gets me to help him when it comes to timing both banks.

ca'jun56
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
What doesn't make sense is why the engine was free when I first rotated the crankshaft CW 720-degrees and locked up when I rotated it further CW. And why does it not want to rotate a full turn CCW now? I think I know why but I need to sleep on it.
OK. I figured it out after mediating in front of my Dad's ashes and a few of his wrenches before going to bed this morning. :idea:

I've been fighting the variable valve timing system. I kind of suspected this. I went out after a few hours of sleep and confirmed it by putting the old belt back on just to hold the sprockets in place and wrenching the camshafts back and forth. The cam sprockets can move independent of the cams for some degrees of rotation.

The way I'm reading it, the FSM says you can put a wrench on the sprocket nut and move the sprockets CW or CCW to get the belt teeth lined up. I think this is wrong. If you move the sprocket(s) the wrong direction the sprockets move but the cam can stay stationary. So in effect, the CAM can be one or more teeth off even though the timing marks that are on the sprockets and the crankshaft all line up.

Now that the light bulb has turned on, I know how to proceed. The difficult part is getting it all lined up again. It's a good thing the timing belt is marked by the manufacturer with corresponding locations of the cam and crankshaft sprockets.

The next challenge is trying to figure out keeping everything lined up while getting the belt back on. I think I have this figured out too. Either rotate the crankshaft to line up the belt or get the cam positioned to the belt and jamb something between the intake and exhaust cam gears to keep them from moving.

When threading the belt onto the sprockets, start at the crank and remember to keep the slack in the belt on the run where the tensioner is.

Now I'm reminded of why I like push rods so much....
 
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