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  1. From my experience, if either the transmission or the torque converter are bad, no service will bring it back, unless it really is just low on fluid. Does the check engine light come on at all? (Just wondering why the mechanic decided it was a bad MAF sensor)
  2. Yeah if the chain is loose, that's bad, you really need to replace it soon, it will cost you to do a valve job and even after that it'll probably never run the same. And do replace the chain/guides/sprockets together since they wear together. No sense for a sprocket worn in a certain pattern wearing down the new chain. And a new tensioner will do nothing for a worn chain, it can only stretch it so far. On another note though, try listening to the drive belt tensioner pulley, mine is pretty noisy, going to replace soon. Just sounds like a worn bearing rattle. I think it's the noisiest component in there right now...
  3. I was just listening to my 1ZZFE and I hear the same sound. I don't think it has anything to do with A/C though, I had it turned off. It happens when it's idling and I manually open the throttle a little bit (just like it does when the compressor kicks in). I assume it is normal, and I guess it could be the VVT mechanism, there are some tight passages in there and oil is flowing pretty fast... I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary, I remember hearing same sound when it was new.
  4. I did use a repair manual, and there is also another pdf that basically has the same instructions, here it is timingChain.pdf, (some of the torque specs are different from the manual, but not by too much). Here is another article on valve clearance check, which you might as well do if you have the valve cover off... valveClearance.pdf. And you're right, there is a measurement you can take to check the wear, but I never did since I got all the parts beforehand (I kept the old ones though, so I guess I can do that one of these days). For stuff like that, my strategy usually is, if I'm going to go as far as taking it all apart to check it, I might as well put a new one in there, the car does have quite a few miles on it, so I'd have to replace it at some point... I think it took me a night and two days, took it apart one night after work, spent the next day cleaning the parts and put it back together the day after that. You could probably do it in a day, but I like to take the time and look around, and make sure everything is clean before I put it back together. Cleaning old gasket material off the engine and timing chain cover was a little tedious. I did it all myself, it wasn't too bad, I was just a little worried about the FIPG gasket I had to do for the chain cover, since I've never done it before and you have to put a couple of parts back together within a few minutes. There are a couple of places where there is only a thin line separating the water pump from the chain, so I was little nervous... And yeah, I guess I do feel qualified now, lol.
  5. Yeah, I think you have to change everything as a set, so chain, three sprockets (including the VVTi assembly on the intake cam sprocket), and the two guides. I also replaced the tensioner, crankshaft seal on the timing chain cover, and a couple of other seals as well.
  6. I think it's more quiet, but it's hard to tell, it's still a loud engine, I'll have to take another listen with a stethoscope... Didn't really notice any difference in the way it runs, but then I didn't really expect to. As far as oil, it's beed Syntec at 4-5K intervals. Thinking of switching to Mobil1 after all the goot stuff I read about it. I usually try to keep the engine pretty clean, just makes maintenance so much easier. (I did also clean it as much as I could without getting it all over with a degreaser before I started). It's a lot harder to do that with all the covers off... By the way, thanks for your valve clearance pics, that was nice to have before I started! I checked mine, they were all within spec, although closer the upper limit. Wish I actually wrote down the numbers. Oh well, next time... But yeah, the only weird thing was that it took a while for it to start up again after I was done, which just about gave me permanent shakes, lol... I think it was the fact that the VVT sprocket was locked in a bad posistion for starting and it took a bit for the oil pump to get the pressure built up again to unlock it. At least that's my guess, I did also change the oil after I was done, just to get out any coolant or old gasket material that dropped into the pan. Once it started, it ran and still runs fine since then, not sure what else it could have been, any ideas? -Dmitry
  7. Not really, I guess just me being paranoid, I could have sworn I heard a loose chain in there (and I know what a loose chain sounds like). Mainly it was the horror stories of a chain breaking inside an interference engine. Just wanted to check it, and if I am going as far as checking it I might as well put a new one in there, that was my strategy. Looking back at it, I probably didn't have to do it, because everything was still in excellent shape, but oh well, I learned a lot... -Dmitry
  8. Just replaced the timing chain on my '02 Corolla with 165,000 miles on it. Here's a zip with some pictures, if anyone is interested. There is a bunch in there (I mainly took them for myself to help remember where stuff goes), I didn't have time to sort through so I just zipped them all, sorry for the big file. Maybe I'll make a page out of thumbnails later. Anyway, let me know if anyone finds it useful... -Dmitry
  9. Thanks Jay, I am slightly ahead of you - I have the Haynes manual, and I will replace all seals that I get access to, chain, the three sprockets, both guides and tensioner. I did think about the oil pump since it is just under the cover, I will definitely look around some more for common problems with it as you suggested. If it's easy to take off, I might just do the seal anyway... I have a stethoscope and I did listen to the chain. I can definitely hear it, (even without any gadgets), but that's probably normal, it is a chain, not a belt. On the cars you did the chains on, were the chain cover gaskets premade or FIPG? Thanks again, -Dmitry
  10. Hey guys, so I have a 2002 Corolla (1zzfe engine) with about 155K miles on it and I'm about to put a new timing chain in it. Just wondering if anyone has any last minute advice/pointers for me. Now I realize that a timing chain should last the lifetime of the engine, but the mileage is racking up and I want to keep it for as long as I can, which probably means I will have to do this at least once, and I think 150K is a pretty good time, at least for a check. And if I am going as far as taking it apart, I might as well put new parts in it. Another motivation for the job is that I see some oil leaking out from the back of the timing chain cover, and the tensioner as well. Not a big deal, but it makes me less confident about the similar water pump gasket (FIPG) in the center of the cover. That's another point - it's pretty tight in there, and I'm a little nervous about doing the FIPG in places that are hard to reach - any pointers? Some background on the car - I've had it since it was brand new, did all the maintenance myself. Synthetic oil only (except one time when I was really broke). It's been Syntec, and yes I know now from reading the reviews that it's by far not the best, and I will probaly switch to Mobil 1 from now on, but that's what it's been so far. Anyway, I appreciate any advice, and I'll post some pictures once I'm done. Thanks, -Dmitry