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Is This Anything To Be Worried About?


EMTtech
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Im curious if this is anything that needs to be addressed quickly.(See attached pic)

there seems to by a fair amount of oil residue on the front of my 1992 5-speed's engine and first of all im just wondering how quickly this should be fixed, and also what it's leaking from? the valve cover, the head? etc. the oil level seems to be fine, and the car still drives like a dream, just curious and thought I'd check with the experts of the 3VZ-FE on this site first :)

Thanks in advance

-Erik

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Since you mentioned that the oil level doesn't drop too much, I wouldn't worry about it at this point. This problem is fairly common due to the valve cover gaskets drying up. I suggest you check the oil level at each gasoline fill up though. Do you smell burning oil in the car, or when you open the hood? If not, then the leak is very small.

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Yeah, from what I can tell from that pic, it looks to be just a valve cover leak. And it actually looks like there is more of sloppy oil add then a leak.See how it comes all the down the side of the oil fill spout? And how much dirt has caked on it? That usually suggests that the oil has been there for awhile. I would only be concerned if you see fresh black oil pooled or actual drip lines coming from the seal. try using some parts cleaner and wipe that whole area down real good. Get it good and clean. Then check it every few days for awile and see how quickly it returns if at all. You may find that you need a new oil cap too.

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I've never actually put oil in this car as I just bought it. I kinda figured it was a valve cover gasket, but hey, as long as my head gaskets hold up i'm all good. but I'll start checking oil level more often. as for oil burning smell, nothing when I open the hood no, it hasn't changed looks wise since I got it, I think the leak is small. I'll verify by wiping down all the oil on the block and keep an eye on it to see if there is anything fresh that comes out.

Thanks,

-Erik

out of curiosity, how hard is it to change your own oil on the 3VZ?

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I've never actually put oil in this car as I just bought it. I kinda figured it was a valve cover gasket, but hey, as long as my head gaskets hold up i'm all good. but I'll start checking oil level more often. as for oil burning smell, nothing when I open the hood no, it hasn't changed looks wise since I got it, I think the leak is small. I'll verify by wiping down all the oil on the block and keep an eye on it to see if there is anything fresh that comes out.

Thanks,

-Erik

out of curiosity, how hard is it to change your own oil on the 3VZ?

Changing oil is as easy as it gets, Pull the drain plug, Drain well, Replace the plug, Replace oil filter and fill, Done. None easier ;)

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sounds pretty straight forward, will i need any un-conventional tools? also how tight should the oil filter be?

Thanks again!

-Erik

I think it is a 14mm wrench, Hand tighten the filter then a 1/4 turn with the filter wrench. Use a toyota filter. There have been discussions on different filters on these forums and everyone has there own opinions as to which filter is best, So I always use OEM toyota filters.

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alright,

So I wiped down the side of the block as well as I could, and it is leaking... a little quicker than I thought, so I am contemplating doing the valve cover gasket. Is that relatively easy to do even if it might be time consuming? any specialty tools needed? should I drain the engine oil or coolant first?

any other pointers?

Thanks

-Erik

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You have the v6 correct? Then, no it should be pretty straight forward if it is just the valve cover. You might wanna have a metal putty knife handy to clean the remnants of the old one off really well. Do you have a good torque wrench?

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You can get the valve cover gaskets easy. I would just order one online. Autoparts warehouse.com and there are many others to choose from. I don't imagine they would be more than 25 or 30 bucks each. You may wanna just get a set and change both while your there. Torque specs on a Camery are 17 lbs. So I would go 20 lbs. as the valve cover is much older now.

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cool, I'm going to the gaskets. thanks for the torque settings as I have yet to purchase the BGB

a few other questions;

1.)how hard is it to swap out the rear valve cover gasket?

2.)while im at it, how much harder is it to get to the head gasket as those have a nasty tendency to fail on these or should I hold off on those.

3.)do I have to take off the intake manifold plenum to get to the back?

4.)is there anything thats hard to remember where to put back?

5.)should I swap out the PCV valves on the heads as my car is 131k young?

6.)my timing belt was last changed at 67K miles, when should that be done and how hard is that?

7.)anything else if I'm gonna be in there

Thanks,

-Erik

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cool, I'm going to the gaskets. thanks for the torque settings as I have yet to purchase the BGB

a few other questions;

1.)how hard is it to swap out the rear valve cover gasket?

2.)while im at it, how much harder is it to get to the head gasket as those have a nasty tendency to fail on these or should I hold off on those.

3.)do I have to take off the intake manifold plenum to get to the back?

4.)is there anything thats hard to remember where to put back?

5.)should I swap out the PCV valves on the heads as my car is 131k young?

6.)my timing belt was last changed at 67K miles, when should that be done and how hard is that?

7.)anything else if I'm gonna be in there

Thanks,

-Erik

Wow, ambitious huh? I guess it comes down to how mechanically inclined you are. Changing valve cover gaskets is one thing, doing head gaskets and timing belts are another. I don't know your mechanical background, but guessing from your questions, I would leave those to the professionals. You can work yourself into a frenzy real quick with the "while I'm there's" if your not careful. Just remember, if it's not borken, don't fix it!!

One of the things you should try and remember is that on older motors, they have had years of wear and they have grooves and fit has been established. You start doing major work and you change those grooves, and old parts don't fit qiute the same again, and you could end up with more "other" problems then you want to have to deal with. While 131K miles isn't a whole lot for these motors, I would just reccomend you following a good maintenance schedule, such as changing your oil to a high mileage synthetic oil to keep the gaskets conditioned, change the tranny, brake, and power steering fluid regularly, and do a good fuel system cleaning. Make sure the spark plugs are fresh and all that.

the things I do think you can do while your in there is to check all the hoses. especially vacuume hoses and such. Look for cracked, brittle hoses, and replace those. I would replace your radiator cap also. I know it's an often overlooked easy fix that can bite you big later. But really, just all the simple stuff can really save you alot later.

If you need to have the timing belt changed, take it to a Toyota dealership and have them do it. I recently sent someone else on here to them and they quoted waaaaaaaaaaaay less then Lexus to do it. But yes, it is a good idea to change the timing belt. I don't think your in peril right now, but if it's on your mind, then maybe take care of it.

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well Ive done quite a bit with my MR2s 1zz-fed but have never done anything with my 3vz as its a new addition to my car family. I'm glad to hear you dont think its nessesary until it breaks. I was simply curious, and only intend on changing the valve cover gasket and oil this weekend. What about the PCV valves on the notorious sludge monster 3vz?

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I'm aware of the sludge issues with those motors, that's why I suggested just making sure you have a good maintenance schedule. Mburnickas here on the forum would be good to talk to as I think he has about the same year car and model you do, and he takes pretty good care of it. Maybe find out from him what he's doing to stop the sludge issue.

The PCV valve is an easy change also. So sure. if your there, why not. It's a 5 dollar part!

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I'm aware of the sludge issues with those motors, that's why I suggested just making sure you have a good maintenance schedule. Mburnickas here on the forum would be good to talk to as I think he has about the same year car and model you do, and he takes pretty good care of it. Maybe find out from him what he's doing to stop the sludge issue.

The PCV valve is an easy change also. So sure. if your there, why not. It's a 5 dollar part!

I'll have to message him and get some pointers. as for the PCV, is there one per valve cover, or just one for the whole thing? I use Castrol Syntec 0W30 European Formula oil in the rest of my cars and love it, is there any reason that shouldn't be a good choice for this older car? also I usually use mobile 1 filters, is that OK?

also If you know; which I cant imagine you would, do you know how many quarts of oil go in the motor when I put it in? My car didn't come with an owner's manual

Thanks again,

-Erik

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Yeah, I'm thinkin you might wanna get off the full synthetics, and maybe switch to high mileage blend. Todays high mileage motor oils are designed to keep seals conditioned and clean a little better. Just a thought. I'm an Amsoil user. But to each thier own.

Mobil filters are fine. It's not like your running extended rev limits and need to raise the oil flow rate or anything. Changing them regularly is the key.

If I'm not mistaken, oil capacity is 4.7 qts. Ask Mburnackis while your talking to him as he owns one and probably will have the exact figure if not just back up what I think it is.

Oh, and you just have the one PCV valve.

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Yeah, I'm thinkin you might wanna get off the full synthetics, and maybe switch to high mileage blend. Todays high mileage motor oils are designed to keep seals conditioned and clean a little better. Just a thought. I'm an Amsoil user. But to each thier own.

Mobil filters are fine. It's not like your running extended rev limits and need to raise the oil flow rate or anything. Changing them regularly is the key.

If I'm not mistaken, oil capacity is 4.7 qts. Ask Mburnackis while your talking to him as he owns one and probably will have the exact figure if not just back up what I think it is.

Oh, and you just have the one PCV valve.

To take out the rear valve cover you have to remove the air cleaner housing, throttle body and also the maf and intake pipe.

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Yeah, I'm thinkin you might wanna get off the full synthetics, and maybe switch to high mileage blend. Todays high mileage motor oils are designed to keep seals conditioned and clean a little better. Just a thought. I'm an Amsoil user. But to each thier own.

Mobil filters are fine. It's not like your running extended rev limits and need to raise the oil flow rate or anything. Changing them regularly is the key.

If I'm not mistaken, oil capacity is 4.7 qts. Ask Mburnackis while your talking to him as he owns one and probably will have the exact figure if not just back up what I think it is.

Oh, and you just have the one PCV valve.

To take out the rear valve cover you have to remove the air cleaner housing, throttle body and also the maf and intake pipe.

do I need to worry about oil coming out of the valve cover when the car is off? as I remember it there is only oil pumping through the valve cover when the engine is on and producing oil pressure...

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I have a 98 ES and my short comments are:

You have a valve cover gasket leak and a high mileage oil most time contains seal swells. Toyota oil is remarketed Mobil. They do not really do anything to the seal, just make it larger to keep things from leaking. In my eyes they are not needed. Heck, I use Amsoil 0w-20 in a car with over 120,000 miles and no leaks. My car LOVES Amsoil and Lc20. I tried other oils in the past and other oil products and so far, I recommend them to all. Even if you do not use Amsoil use the LC20. It is a great product that I am very glad was told to me by one of my oil testing houses.

I also do extended oil changes, between 10 to over 12,000 miles, since they work if you know how to construct a baseline and then go from there.

The sludge issue in autos is most times due to items not integral to the car. Use a good oil and you are golden for well over 7,500 miles. I say that based on my past years of UOA's.

Mobil is a good filter. If you want the best, yes the best get the new Amsoil Eao filter. It is unreal on how good it is. No BS, it is the best to date and should be for the price. Heck, you can go well over 1 year on these filters and be fine.

No worries on the oil coming out of VC when removed. You will get some but not a lot. Most will be in the pan and not by the valves.

For cleaning (engine, rings, seals) and maintaining them, I like Lc20 from lube control. It works, no BS from owners (unlike some products), been around for a long time; approx 70+ years, simple to use, makes the oil even better. It WILL reduce wear a huge amount (mine at least 50%), keep TBN's high/stable (TAN low), and clean all internals. It was amazing what it did to my engines. Works slow and very well.

Ps. Since some people have a thing for the pimped seafoam I cleaned my wifes car (intake). I tried seafoam via brake booster hose; did crap. Did a spray bottle with water; WAY better but Amsoil Power Foam worked the best. The intake is nice and clean along with the IAC. Do not trust me folks, try the 3 products and look at the results. I am still amazed on how good the stuff works. I used to like seafoam but that is crap now. Do not waste your money here. I know my ES needs another cleaning since it is dirty. I thought water was great or better then seafoam and it is; but, not power foam. So simple, no hoses to remove, no chance of hyro-locking car and cleans more then seafoam could ever do.

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I have a 98 ES and my short comments are:

You have a valve cover gasket leak and a high mileage oil most time contains seal swells. Toyota oil is remarketed Mobil. They do not really do anything to the seal, just make it larger to keep things from leaking. In my eyes they are not needed. Heck, I use Amsoil 0w-20 in a car with over 120,000 miles and no leaks. My car LOVES Amsoil and Lc20. I tried other oils in the past and other oil products and so far, I recommend them to all. Even if you do not use Amsoil use the LC20. It is a great product that I am very glad was told to me by one of my oil testing houses.

I also do extended oil changes, between 10 to over 12,000 miles, since they work if you know how to construct a baseline and then go from there.

The sludge issue in autos is most times due to items not integral to the car. Use a good oil and you are golden for well over 7,500 miles. I say that based on my past years of UOA's.

Mobil is a good filter. If you want the best, yes the best get the new Amsoil Eao filter. It is unreal on how good it is. No BS, it is the best to date and should be for the price. Heck, you can go well over 1 year on these filters and be fine.

No worries on the oil coming out of VC when removed. You will get some but not a lot. Most will be in the pan and not by the valves.

For cleaning (engine, rings, seals) and maintaining them, I like Lc20 from lube control. It works, no BS from owners (unlike some products), been around for a long time; approx 70+ years, simple to use, makes the oil even better. It WILL reduce wear a huge amount (mine at least 50%), keep TBN's high/stable (TAN low), and clean all internals. It was amazing what it did to my engines. Works slow and very well.

Ps. Since some people have a thing for the pimped seafoam I cleaned my wifes car (intake). I tried seafoam via brake booster hose; did crap. Did a spray bottle with water; WAY better but Amsoil Power Foam worked the best. The intake is nice and clean along with the IAC. Do not trust me folks, try the 3 products and look at the results. I am still amazed on how good the stuff works. I used to like seafoam but that is crap now. Do not waste your money here. I know my ES needs another cleaning since it is dirty. I thought water was great or better then seafoam and it is; but, not power foam. So simple, no hoses to remove, no chance of hyro-locking car and cleans more then seafoam could ever do.

wow, that was incredibly informative! Ill have to get my hands on the Amsoil filters. if I run my 0W30 GC through that thats fine right? how long should my oil change intervals be on that combo? as for the Lc20 from Lube Control, what is it and what does it do (forgive my noobness). and as for cleaning the motor... I run the engine, and spray water in the intake or what? I picked up a VC gasket from Mr. T. and It's just the rubber gasket that goes between the cover and the head right?

thanks much!

-Erik

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