94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

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Old 23 Dec 2004, 08:50 am   #1 (permalink)
Elric
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Default 94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

Hey all.. Hope I can get some better help here than I've been getting at the
dealer and other mechanics.
I've got a 94 Camry with 160k miles.

For a long while (months..), everytime I go over big potholes I hear and
feel a loud obnoxious "thud thud thud"
coming from the rear driver side. Midas wanted $400 to replace my struts
(even tho they werent sure that was the
problem). Another mechanic told me it was the rear sway bar and wanted to
pull it out! I did some research and found
alot of people just changed their bushings and that solved the problem. So
while I'm at it, and to save money, I want to
replace my front & rear sway bar and end link bushings with polyurathane
ones from Prothane. I know it'll make the driving stiffer
but it should make it more responsive too. Either way, I dont care. As long
as my suspension and handling improves.
I'm looking at JC Whitney to order my parts. So here's my first question:

Does anyone know the exact dimensions of the end link (front & rear) and
sway bar bushings? The dealer didnt have that
info and I don't believe my Haynes book does either. JC Whitney shows
different sizes but doesnt say whats for what. The sway
bar bushings are 16mm (5/8") but the catalogs show ones with "larger
brackets" and "smaller brackets".. So I'm at a loss there.

Next.. a low-volume metallic rattling (grinding?) noise has developed during
acceleration. It comes from the front end somewhere.
I took it to a family mechanic and he welded a small pin-hole that had
developed around the front flex pipe. Thought that would have
fixed the problem but it didnt. So I took it to Midas b/c I thought it may
have been an another exhaust leak but they said they
didnt find one and seriously doubted that the noise could be coming from the
exhaust. The noise has been there at least a few months,
it hasn't gotten any worse. I dont notice any difference in performance or
shifting, etc... Anyone have any idea?

Last question, for now.. :>
Has any experienced problems with power? I'm talking about horsepower,
pickup, whatever.. I drive my friend's 96 Camry and the
thing speeds up like a speed demon. My 94 just goes like a golf cart
compared to it. I know they're two different models Camrys
but still. They're both 4-cylinders with over 100k miles. I've replaced
spark plugs (platinum), wires (ngk), fuel filter (even though Toyota says
you dont have to change it), air filter (generic,I might get desperate
enough and get an F&N), oil change, trans flush, timing belt, motor mounts..
I've cleaned out the air intake valve and replaced the pcv. None of that
made much difference.
I've had the car for 4+ years.. its never really had a whole lot of power,
but its gotten a bit worse. I've thought about the O2 sensors but I
dont want to drop a few hundred bux when that might not even solve it. I've
done pretty much everything else my mechanics have
recommended. Please, any ideas or sharing of experiences are most welcome.

Thanks!
-elric-
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Old 23 Dec 2004, 09:39 am   #2 (permalink)
ROBMURR
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Default Re: 94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

The dealer should be able to get the right bushings for you, go there.
For the rattling noise, keep looking for it. Maybe open the hood
set the parking brake, hold the foot brake and have your mechanic
stand next to the car while you put it under load in drive.
Have the compression checked, maybe time for a new head gasket
or you could have a leaky valve. Get the fuel injectors cleaned. Dont
just dump some miracle oil in the tank. The dealer can hook up
a chemical directly to the fuel rail and disconnects the fuel system.
The car runs only on the cleaning chemical for about 10 minutes and
it really cleans out the injectors. You did use NGK plugs or Denso
I hope.Forget the K&N filter. Forget the o2 sensors. Clean the
throttle body. Make sure the timing belt is on correctly and not
too loose or skipped a tooth. Set timing to specs...
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Old 24 Dec 2004, 07:55 am   #3 (permalink)
no_email@anon.com
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Default Re: 94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

The dealer has the rubber bushings for $32/pair. Online retailers have
polyurethane bushings for $10/pair.
Reading up on the differences, polyurethane is supposed to have higher
"performance." Even if it doesnt, it
saves me a bit from getting it from the dealer.
About the rattling noise, you can only hear it when the car is actually
moving. Having it in park and
accelerating doesnt produce the sound. I hear it only for a few seconds
after i put my foot on the gas, and up until about 40mph.
Then it either gets drowned out by the other sounds or it goes away. I can't
be sure. My other suspicion (besides exhaust) was
that it could be something from one of the wheels.. I wouldnt know where to
begin thinking about that though. I'll just take it to a
few more mechanics and see what they figure.
I'll try out that fuel injector cleaning, though not at the dealer. Local
shops here in NJ do it for $60 or $70. I've used alot of those
miracle additives and I'm not sure I've noticed any difference with them.
The throttle body was cleaned in August this year.. wouldn't hurt to open it
back up and check it out.
The timing belt was changed about a year ago and I trust the timing was set
to specs since I havent noticed any change in
performance since. I'll have the timing checked though, good idea.

Thanks for the advice, will let you know if the injector cleaning makes any
difference
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Old 24 Dec 2004, 10:11 am   #4 (permalink)
ROBMURR
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Default Re: 94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

>The dealer has the rubber bushings for $32/pair. Online retailers have
>polyurethane bushings for $10/pair.


Ok sounded like you did not know what size to get thats why I
said go to the dealer.

>About the rattling noise, you can only hear it when the car is actually
>moving. Having it in park and
>accelerating doesnt produce the sound. I hear it only for a few seconds
>after i put my foot on the gas, and up until about 40mph.


OK check the motor mounts, they do go bad and the top one that
looks like a dogbone can break too.
I had a rattle in my 97 that baffled me for several months. I did the
open hood, rev it in drive method and found out it was the air cleaner
box rattling! even when it is fully tightened it has some play in it
that made a rumble/rattle I thought was serious. I loosened the
bolts holding it down and slid a sponge under it and tightened it
down and it is nice and quiet again.

>I'll try out that fuel injector cleaning, though not at the dealer. Local
>shops here in NJ do it for $60 or $70.


My Toyota dealer does it for $50...better ask HOW they do it first.
It may just be a cleaning device they put on the air intake and that
cleans up pistons and valves, does nothing for injectors...

I've used alot of those miracle additives and I'm not sure I've noticed any
difference with them.

I went thru a lot ot expensive techron with no results with a clogged
injector. You could feel it skipping once past idle.
The Toyota method really worked great, power and mileage restored.

>The throttle body was cleaned in August this year.. wouldn't hurt to open it

back up and check it out.

Ok, I would not bother with it then. But it is only 1 screw to look.
open the throttle wide so you can see inside and the back of the
butterfly valve.

>The timing belt was changed about a year ago and I trust the timing was set
>to specs since I havent noticed any change in
>performance since. I'll have the timing checked though, good idea.


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Old 27 Dec 2004, 07:59 am   #5 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 94 Camry questions - bushings, rattles, etc...

http://www.redlineoil.com/products_fueladditives.asp
That's my prescription for power. Try actually reading the technical
information all the way through - much useful data there.
Also, properly cleaning the throttle body on your car involves removing
it.
Recently followed the procedures in the factory service manual for
cleaning the throttle body on my '94, 4 cyl., and discovered pinhole
blockage at one of the EGR modulator vacuum feeds in the throttle body
throat, plus the TPS (throttle position sensor) required adjustment as
did the throttle stop. You need to apply a vacuum to the throttle
positioner and then check RPMs as described.
If you're going to be doing your own work on that car, it is worth
acquiring the factory service manual.
The Redline can take a long time to clean, but stay with it. You should
notice an immediate improvement also. I too, had noticed nothing with
Techron, but use the Redline with each tankful.
When I first acquired the vehicle, I changed the lubricants, and then
shortly thereafter switched to Mobil 1 synthetics for the engine oil,
transmission, differential and power steering, plus added Lucas
products. Have experimented for some time to find optimum
concentrations. Point is, when I changed the differential fluid, there
was a noticeable improvement in power.
When changing the timing belt, noticed the idler and tensioner rollers
both made noise when turned by hand - that can also draw power.
For the 14" wheels, I run the tires at 30F/26R with light loads, that
improves power also.
Make sure you used the factory plugs and wires. The small center
electrode on Bosch platinums have been known to cause problems.
The O2 sensor can be checked from the underhood diagnostic port. Again
the factory manual gives the procedure. So many swings of the needle on
a voltmeter per so many seconds using the OX1 connector. I think the
Haynes manual gives some information on this also.
Check for exhaust back pressure. Simple test is check for dropping
vacuum at constant throttle.
When you get everything working just right, that little engine pulls
pretty well. After all these changes, noticed full throttle is rarely
required. Recently used full throttle uphill on the highway and was
accelerating up to 95 in third.
Also, after the throttle body cleaning and adjustment, noticed that
same hill (a regular route) no longer required the engine to downshift
out of overdrive when set on cruise control at 65 mph.
BTW, forget about the K&N air filter. Just use factory parts. If you
drive in dusty areas, blow out the stock filter with compressed air
more often. K&N admits more silica (dirt) and accelerated engine wear
does not improve power over time.
Also forget about J.C.Whitney. I purchased a metric crow foot wrench
set there, not finding it elsewhere, and then discovered I could order
the single size I needed for the lower fuel filter bolt in the SK line
- quality is sooo much superior, never even used the JC Whitney low
quality tool.
Just get the stock anti sway bar bushings. Spread some silicone paste
before applying to minimize squeaks. (small inexpensive tube of
"dielectric grease" works fine for rubber parts). Changed mine shortly
after acquiring the car, no problems since.
As a general rule be sure to stay with factory parts for all.
Especially coolant, thermostat, radiator cap, belts, just everything.
Try setting an aftermarket part next to the original - generally the
differences in quality are obvious.
Good luck with sorting out your problem.
Those are some of the most trouble free vehicles on the road when
serviced and maintained properly.
Also, remove the air intake hose and check for cracks in the pleats.

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