Question on '97 Avalon Timing Belt Change


gatorleet
05-14-2007, 12:12 PM
I'm getting ready to change the timing belt on my '97 Avalon. I'm considering getting the water pump replaced too while they are in there. What other items should I go ahead and have changed? Camshaft Seal, crankshaft seal, Crank/Cam Sprockets? I would think it would be a good idea to get them changed out now as if they fail/leak in the future, I would have to shell out the same amount to get them replaced. I have about 90k on the Avalon now. Thanks.

denisond3
07-23-2007, 04:06 PM
I just finished replacing the timing belt on a sister-in-laws 99 Avalon. The car had 135,000 miles on it, and had the original belt, water pump, and everything else on its V6, the 1MZFE1 engine. It was in fine condition, but...had gradually begun a steady misfiring on 1 cylinder. First I replaced what looked like the original spark plugs - but it still was misfiring. I pulled the plug wires off one by one, and learned it was cylinder #5 - closest to the brake booster. I did a compression check, and all cylinders read over 200 psi. So I assumed it was a bad injector. Since I was going to be under the hood for a while, I also decided I would replace whatever else was 'due'. The new timing belt and its idler pulleys of course, the water pump because it was now easy to reach (the original one wasnt leaking at all yet) - and of course the radiator hoses. I had a close look at the crankshaft seal and the camshaft seals. They werent oozing oil at all; so I left them alone. There is a 'transfer' hose buried beneath the intake manifold on this engine, which I also replaced, just because it would probably never be so convenient to do it again (in a shady location in my driveway, with dry weather and no hurry).
The new injector fixed the misfire, and after a days driving the check engine light went out. The total parts cost was under $300. The 'new' injector was a reconditioned item from ebay.com for $40. I didnt charge for labor - Im retired and this is a hobby with me, but it probably took at least 15 hours of my time to complete the job. The work wasnt too difficult, and I never had to use my oxy-acetylene torch to get any rusted bolts loose. Toyota used good alloys on this product.
The hardest part was removing and then retorquing the bolt that holds the crankshaft vibration damper and pulley. After removing the access plate for the torque converter bolts, I put a 5/8" socket into one of the holes in the flex plate (that has the starter ring teeth on it) - and let that 'jam' against the side of the oil pan. I would estimate it took over 300 lbs-ft to loosen that bolt. Before I undid the bolt I had marked its location relative to the pulley with 'dimples' using a center-punch. That way I could tighten it back to the original setting - since my torque wrench only reads to 160 lbs-ft, and it was -way- tighter than the the 197 lbs-ft the Chiltons manual called for. It seemed to take about 300 lbs-ft to put it back in the same place; i.e. my weight (200 lbs) pushing down at the end of an 18" lever arm.

artbuc
01-03-2008, 02:58 PM
I just finished replacing the timing belt on a sister-in-laws 99 Avalon. The car had 135,000 miles on it, and had the original belt, water pump, and everything else on its V6, the 1MZFE1 engine. It was in fine condition, but...had gradually begun a steady misfiring on 1 cylinder. First I replaced what looked like the original spark plugs - but it still was misfiring. I pulled the plug wires off one by one, and learned it was cylinder #5 - closest to the brake booster. I did a compression check, and all cylinders read over 200 psi. So I assumed it was a bad injector. Since I was going to be under the hood for a while, I also decided I would replace whatever else was 'due'. The new timing belt and its idler pulleys of course, the water pump because it was now easy to reach (the original one wasnt leaking at all yet) - and of course the radiator hoses. I had a close look at the crankshaft seal and the camshaft seals. They werent oozing oil at all; so I left them alone. There is a 'transfer' hose buried beneath the intake manifold on this engine, which I also replaced, just because it would probably never be so convenient to do it again (in a shady location in my driveway, with dry weather and no hurry).
The new injector fixed the misfire, and after a days driving the check engine light went out. The total parts cost was under $300. The 'new' injector was a reconditioned item from ebay.com for $40. I didnt charge for labor - Im retired and this is a hobby with me, but it probably took at least 15 hours of my time to complete the job. The work wasnt too difficult, and I never had to use my oxy-acetylene torch to get any rusted bolts loose. Toyota used good alloys on this product.
The hardest part was removing and then retorquing the bolt that holds the crankshaft vibration damper and pulley. After removing the access plate for the torque converter bolts, I put a 5/8" socket into one of the holes in the flex plate (that has the starter ring teeth on it) - and let that 'jam' against the side of the oil pan. I would estimate it took over 300 lbs-ft to loosen that bolt. Before I undid the bolt I had marked its location relative to the pulley with 'dimples' using a center-punch. That way I could tighten it back to the original setting - since my torque wrench only reads to 160 lbs-ft, and it was -way- tighter than the the 197 lbs-ft the Chiltons manual called for. It seemed to take about 300 lbs-ft to put it back in the same place; i.e. my weight (200 lbs) pushing down at the end of an 18" lever arm.

Nice post...sounds like you really know what you are doing!! I'm getting ready to do the timing belt on my 99 Avalon which has 82K miles. Don't plan to replace anything other than belt unless something looks bad.

Did you use a Totota timing belt? My Avalon came from the factory with a Dayco alternator belt so I am assuming a Dayco timing belt would be ok. Dayco costs $18 compared to Toyota at $45.

Has anyone used a Dayco or other aftermarket timing belt? Were you staisfied with its quality/performance?

denisond3
01-03-2008, 10:15 PM
artbuc: Besides the timing belt, most people would advise you to also replace the timing belt idler pulley and the tensioner pulleys. I did get new ones, but the ones I took off seemed to be in good shape. The bearings werent at all loose, like they get with age. by contrast I replaced the timing belt on a friends 2000 Kia with 75,000 miles on it; and its tensioner pulley seemed ready for replacement - being slightly loose, bearingwise.
I bought the timing belt 'kit' from www.rockauto.com. I think all 3 of the parts (belt & 2 pulleys) were Gates brand.

artbuc
01-04-2008, 09:25 AM
artbuc: Besides the timing belt, most people would advise you to also replace the timing belt idler pulley and the tensioner pulleys. I did get new ones, but the ones I took off seemed to be in good shape. The bearings werent at all loose, like they get with age. by contrast I replaced the timing belt on a friends 2000 Kia with 75,000 miles on it; and its tensioner pulley seemed ready for replacement - being slightly loose, bearingwise.
I bought the timing belt 'kit' from www.rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com). I think all 3 of the parts (belt & 2 pulleys) were Gates brand.

Thanks Denison. I also like to buy from RockAuto. Based on a little bit of research it looks like Gates idler pulleys & timing belt are better quality than Dayco.

I have been a Toyota/Lexus owner for over 30 years and have purchased 7 brand-new vehicles during that period (Corolla, Cressida, Tercel, 4Runner, Avalon, LS400 and RX300). Obviously I am sold on Toyota quality and have used their parts almost exclusively over the years. Everytime I experiment with aftermarket parts, eg brake pads, I end-up regretting it. Money is much tighter these days so I look harder at aftermarket parts than I used to. I am really torn about using an aftermarket timing belt, but Gates quality does look good.

I will not replace anything else unless I find a problem. I expect water pump, timing belt idlers and shaft seals to last well beyond my current mileage of 82k and probably for as long as I plan to keep the vehicle. My main concern is to not have my wife stranded somewhere.

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