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91 Camry Problems


trinitro's Avatar
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09-13-04, 07:36 PM   #1  
91 Camry Problems

I have a problem with my father's 91 Camry. It's a 4 cylinder, 2.0 litter, automatic. It runs almost like 1 cylinder is not firing, but not quite. It feels like it's missing, but not quite. I already changed the plugs (looked ok, replaced them with NGK plugs), wires and cap. No change in behaviour. Looked and listened for any vacuum leaks, couldn't hear/see any. The exaust doesn't seem to be smelling any different.
Starts on the first key, but runs rough. Exaust doesn't smell rich, so I suspect a malfunctioning injector (if a spark plug would not fire you should smell unburned gasoline). Am I going in the right direction? It actually smoothes out as you accelerate, but the problem is probably still there, just hidden by the RMP. Turning on the AC will make the engine knock and almost stall.

My father thinks the symptoms got worse over a couple of days, but knowing him it might have taken a couple of weeks prior to him noticing anything. I should have mentioned, this car had no work done on it (other then normal maintenance), and has 185K on it.

 
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09-14-04, 02:44 AM   #2  
may be time for a compression test as it could very well have a cylinder with low compression and you should spray around the intake gasket to see if it may be leaking using carb cleaner.

 
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09-14-04, 09:15 AM   #3  
There were no leaks I could see or hear around the intake. I'll play around with it a bit more, but I'll probably take it to a shop for the compression test. I don't have the equipment nor the time to do this unfortunately.

 
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09-16-04, 07:20 AM   #4  
toyota/lexustec
91 camry

just a thought if compresssion is ok pull the cap and rotor and check the coil under the rotor and look for a crack or a coil starting to go bad

 
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09-16-04, 08:14 AM   #5  
I'll take it my trusty Toyota mechanic today for a more comprehensive diagnostic. I don't think the problem is electrical. It runs the same regardless of temperature, electrical problems, especially coils tend to act up when wet or warm. I sprayed water on the distribuitor and wires, but noticed to change in running conditions. One it hits about 2000 rpms it seems to run perfectly. There is no change in fuel milage either, and it drives beautifully on the expressway. It's the idle and low rpms that are problematic.

 
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09-16-04, 04:02 PM   #6  
Remove the EGR valve and see if it has carbon stuck in it.

 
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09-20-04, 07:49 AM   #7  
I did a compression check over the weekend and cylinder#2 (from the distribuitor side) has no compression at all. Zero. I'm thinking of a burned valve, which means a head job. I've never done this before, and the procedure in the Chilton book is almost 2 pages long ( ), but it should be good experience for me to fix it. It's not worth paying a mechanic to fix it (~$1500 for a head job), so if I don't succeed (unlikely) all I'll loose is my time.

The procedure to remove the head looks straightforward, just very long. Should I "risk" buying a used head (around $125) and putting it in, or should I rebuild the present one (send it a machine shop probably). I assume I should replace the timing belt and probably water pump at the same time.

 
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09-21-04, 02:48 AM   #8  
suggest you take the head to a machine shop for the valve work and it may need decked also.
sometimes you have to replace the head bolts also the manual should tell you if new head bolts is needed.
also keep in mind that the engine doesnt have a lot of life left in it when deciding how much you want to put in this car for what you will get out of it. you will likely have 300-400 in parts and machine shop if you do the work.

 
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09-21-04, 06:41 AM   #9  
It's my father's car, and he wants to do it. I believe the manual said the head bolts will need to be replaced, along with of course all of the gaskets (intake, exaust, head, cover, and probably the orings for the injectors). Should I replace the water pump at this time also, or should I leave it as is if it works. I will replace the timing belt also as I know it wasn't replaced in the last 70,000 miles.

I've never worked with a machine shop before, or exactly do they do? And where do you find them? Yellow pages? Do I just take the head to them and they will replace the valves and check everything? Or do I have to remove the valves and such, and they will simply check the head?

 
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09-21-04, 12:43 PM   #10  
just let the machine shop handle all of the head dissasembly even the cam unless you have to remove the cam to access head bolts. you should see something obviosly wrong on the cylinder with no compression you will want to take your valve seals and cam seals out of the head gasket set and take them with the head to the machine shop.
you can check the yellow pages or call around to a few general repair shops and see who they use or recomend.

 
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09-21-04, 08:21 PM   #11  
I started on the process today. Was able to remove the alternator, most of the vacuum hoses (those will be fun to put back ), water inlet, throtle body, EGR valve and connector, distribuitor, cruise control assembly and some other little brackets that got in the way. I started to work on the intake, but couldn't figure out the best way to get to the bolts. Is there a trick? It looks it's easier to get to them from the bottom. I removed a couple of the bolts that hold the shield over the exaust manifold, the others are 'stuck" and the 12 mm socket or regular wrench "slips". Any trick on removing those other then WD40 or perhaps a grinder? It looks I'll have to remove the whole exaust manifold and pipe up to the convertor, including the lower front cross member.
Also, if I'm reading the instructions right and according to what I see I have to remove the alternator bracket (top), which also happens to be the mounting point for the right engine mount. Perhaps I'm looking at it wrong, but if I remove that bracket won't the engine "fall in"? Nowhere in the procedure it mentions that you have to support the engine.

I'll probably get back to it on Saturday, the next few evening are booked.
Incidently, there is a lot of "junk" in the intake, including the throttle body. Looks oily. The EGR valve passage was complety closed also.

 
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09-24-04, 05:41 PM   #12  
I may or not be on the right track here but for whatever it's worth I'll throw my 2 cents worth in here. If the body of the car is in good shape a used engine from Japan may or may not be the answer. In Japan if a car has 1% rot it can't get on the road and they strip the mechanicals and ship them to the States. Also as Japan is a very small country these engines virtually have no mileage on them, 40 50 thousand. It may be more cost effective replacing the engine than doing the heads.
I'm sure the experts will chime in, good luck.

 
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