87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

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Old 13 Feb 2005, 02:49 pm   #1 (permalink)
techtrainer61@yahoo.com
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Default 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

I desperately need your suggestions.

I have a 1987 Camry standard model, with AT-AC, 2L Engine, 187,000
miles.
I have been spending money regulary on fixing different things .. until
we discovered a new problem. Here is what is urgently needed:
1) New Power Steering rack -- lately the steering is suddenly loose and
can completely loose traction anytime as per my mechanic's inspection
2) front brake pads and rotors .. I saw the rotors are in a completely
bad shape, with brake pads almost gone (my fault here .. for not
inspecting this regularly).

Cost = approx $850 total for parts+labor+alignment.

I do want to fix it .. however, putting so much in this car has me
worried. I don't mind spending this money as long as everything else
is in good condition to last me about 2 years. Unfortunately, I cannot
afford a new or newer car.

OK, my questions for you:
what parts should I get completely examined to determine if anything
else is wrong or could go wrong at this age of the vehicle ? I did ask
my mechanic to examine the following:

1) engine: he said this is fine except for a small oil leak .. I have
been aware of this for last three years .. I just add a quart of oil
between oil changes. This is fine with me.
2) timing belt: should this be a problem ? I had a rebuilt engine put
in at 116,000 miles. Is there a way to examine this ?
3) rear brakes: my mechanic told me they are fine
4) automatic transmission: my mechanic told me this is fine, had fluid
and filter changed one year back .. by the same mechanic
5) grinding noise while starting the car: I am aware of it since last
5 years .. repairing this is too expensive, so I am fine living with
it.

Anything else that I may have overlooked. My mechanic is trustworthy
... and is willing to work with me.

Your suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks

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Old 13 Feb 2005, 04:35 pm   #2 (permalink)
0_Qed
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Default :-) Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

techtrainer61@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> I desperately need your suggestions.
>
> I have a 1987 Camry standard model, with AT-AC, 2L Engine, 187,000
> miles.


Aughta 'go' 250 easily. :-)


> I have been spending money regulary on fixing different things .. until
> we discovered a new problem. Here is what is urgently needed:
> 1) New Power Steering rack -- lately the steering is suddenly loose and
> can completely loose traction anytime as per my mechanic's inspection


Let your 'wrench' do this ... too much for a newbie.

Malfunctiong 'rack's can cost you (minimally) the "car". <VBG>

> 2) front brake pads and rotors .. I saw the rotors are in a completely
> bad shape, with brake pads almost gone (my fault here .. for not
> inspecting this regularly).


Your "bad", & mine, may differ.

Me??? My "suggestions" ...
I'd ==>

Mooch a floor jack & two(2) jack stnda , jack under frnt cross piece ...
fix/place stands appropriately under chassis jack pads, 2x4 blocking ??
.. turn frnt wheels alternately lft/rt, during 'proc' below ...
.. wheels left, remove wheel/tire
.. pull pins locking pads "in" to caliper
.. =gently= move the hyd 'puck' back into the caliper puck cylinder ...
.. =gently=, I use a 3/8"t x 2"w piece of alum ... =NO= steel "stuff"
....
.. some times a big "C" clamp will do it , positioned properly
.. The "idea" is to 'push'(retract) the 'puck'(piston) back into its'
.. caliper_cyl , such_that the old pad slips out, NAd the new one has
.. room enuf to slip back in , on '2', both sides.
.. Examine the movements of the caliper halves, the puck ...
.. it aughta be obvious what does s what, to develop pad pressure on
.. both sides of the rotor .
.. Be thankful you dont have 2, or 4 'puck', calipers.
..
.. out with old, =clean= sliding surfaces , save both anti_sqieal shims,
reuse.
.. I =litely= "lube' sliding surfaces ... black lith grease
.. replace both pads inner/outer , incl reused 'shim'
.. =clean=(shiney), replace pins,
.. ??? is there a locking cotter pin(s), or spring,
.. used to "keep" the pins in the caliper,???
.. wheels rite ... repeat proc above
.. pump brk pdle till firm , =check= the fluid level in the brk fluid
tank
.. top 'off' as required.
.. down off jack & stands, test drv.

=Sounds= far worse than it really "is" ... not rocket science.
Make "notes" if you're NOT all that sure of (re)assembly parts sequence
..

AutoZone.com aughta have a few 'pics' of the task , cant hurt to 'look'
..

...............
Unless the rotors are too thin , I'd leave `em as-is ...
nice smooth hills & vallys will 'wear' in ... wear your new pads a bit ,
but ...
"pads" is quicker/cheaper than rotors ...
Your 2nd time `round ... pads ... will go quick. :-)
3rd time, the pads mite "wear" quite normally.

Make sure you can "guage" pad wear, wheels on the ground ,
looking "in" at the caliper ... metal pad backer looks "diff" than pad
mtl.
=Look= till you can =Tell=.


> Cost = approx $850 total for parts+labor+alignment.


Cut $150 for pad job . ... U do.
Cut $200(min) for the rotors. ... leave `em.
Fix the 'rack'.

> I do want to fix it .. however, putting so much in this car has me
> worried. I don't mind spending this money as long as everything else
> is in good condition to last me about 2 years. Unfortunately, I cannot
> afford a new or newer car.


:-)
Nobody can "see" that far into the future ...
roll the dice.

> OK, my questions for you:
> what parts should I get completely examined to determine if anything
> else is wrong or could go wrong at this age of the vehicle ? I did ask
> my mechanic to examine the following:


Fix the 'rack' , you do the pads ... try for '250'.

> 1) engine: he said this is fine except for a small oil leak .. I have
> been aware of this for last three years .. I just add a quart of oil
> between oil changes. This is fine with me.
> 2) timing belt: should this be a problem ? I had a rebuilt engine put
> in at 116,000 miles. Is there a way to examine this ?
> 3) rear brakes: my mechanic told me they are fine
> 4) automatic transmission: my mechanic told me this is fine, had fluid
> and filter changed one year back .. by the same mechanic
> 5) grinding noise while starting the car: I am aware of it since last
> 5 years .. repairing this is too expensive, so I am fine living with
> it.
>
> Anything else that I may have overlooked. My mechanic is trustworthy
> .. and is willing to work with me.
>
> Your suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks


A good 'wrench'(male) doesnt mind an appreciative 'smooch' from a gal
.... :-)
Apply lipstick =before= ... lots.
Makes it last the "day".


"Wait' for a few more rplies ... go with the concensus.

E.

Email munged, reply to NG.
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Old 13 Feb 2005, 07:55 pm   #3 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

If you can't fix it yourself and can't afford a new car -- and you have
owned it for years it is probably worth putting $ into it. If the pads are
not completely down to metal then unless its from prior pad neglect why are
the rotors in bad shape? Replacing pads is a 40 minute job if the rotors
are not deeply grouved and the calipers are not frozen. Pads are $30.
Suspect replacing the steering rack is not a huge job - check price at
Advance Auto for rebuilt one. What do you mean it is suddenly loose and
looses traction --- that sound more like the CVC/axels than the steering
racks. Are the tie rod ends and ball joints still good? Who knows on the
others - if no preventative maintence has been performed the radiator could
go (need to change antifreeze solution ever 2 years) or the transmission go
up in smoke (need to drain/refill every 60k or so). Struts are probably
original too - and shot.

<techtrainer61@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1108327791.504480.209770@l41g2000cwc.googlegr oups.com...
>I desperately need your suggestions.
>
> I have a 1987 Camry standard model, with AT-AC, 2L Engine, 187,000
> miles.
> I have been spending money regulary on fixing different things .. until
> we discovered a new problem. Here is what is urgently needed:
> 1) New Power Steering rack -- lately the steering is suddenly loose and
> can completely loose traction anytime as per my mechanic's inspection
> 2) front brake pads and rotors .. I saw the rotors are in a completely
> bad shape, with brake pads almost gone (my fault here .. for not
> inspecting this regularly).
>
> Cost = approx $850 total for parts+labor+alignment.
>
> I do want to fix it .. however, putting so much in this car has me
> worried. I don't mind spending this money as long as everything else
> is in good condition to last me about 2 years. Unfortunately, I cannot
> afford a new or newer car.
>
> OK, my questions for you:
> what parts should I get completely examined to determine if anything
> else is wrong or could go wrong at this age of the vehicle ? I did ask
> my mechanic to examine the following:
>
> 1) engine: he said this is fine except for a small oil leak .. I have
> been aware of this for last three years .. I just add a quart of oil
> between oil changes. This is fine with me.
> 2) timing belt: should this be a problem ? I had a rebuilt engine put
> in at 116,000 miles. Is there a way to examine this ?
> 3) rear brakes: my mechanic told me they are fine
> 4) automatic transmission: my mechanic told me this is fine, had fluid
> and filter changed one year back .. by the same mechanic
> 5) grinding noise while starting the car: I am aware of it since last
> 5 years .. repairing this is too expensive, so I am fine living with
> it.
>
> Anything else that I may have overlooked. My mechanic is trustworthy
> .. and is willing to work with me.
>
> Your suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks
>



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Old 14 Feb 2005, 01:25 am   #4 (permalink)
Viperkiller
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Default Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

On 13 Feb 2005 12:49:51 -0800, techtrainer61@yahoo.com wrote:

You can check the timing belt by removing the cover. Make sure that
it is dry and not frayed or cracking.

Also check:

1) Oil leak in the distributor.
2) Radiator. An aftermarket replacement could cost about $150.
3) Brake master.
4) Starter.

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Old 14 Feb 2005, 03:48 pm   #5 (permalink)
hachiroku
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Default Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

<techtrainer61@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1108327791.504480.209770@l41g2000cwc.googlegr oups.com...
> I desperately need your suggestions.
>
> I have a 1987 Camry standard model, with AT-AC, 2L Engine, 187,000
> miles.
> I have been spending money regulary on fixing different things .. until
> we discovered a new problem. Here is what is urgently needed:
> 1) New Power Steering rack -- lately the steering is suddenly loose and
> can completely loose traction anytime as per my mechanic's inspection
> 2) front brake pads and rotors .. I saw the rotors are in a completely
> bad shape, with brake pads almost gone (my fault here .. for not
> inspecting this regularly).
>
> Cost = approx $850 total for parts+labor+alignment.
>
> I do want to fix it .. however, putting so much in this car has me
> worried. I don't mind spending this money as long as everything else
> is in good condition to last me about 2 years. Unfortunately, I cannot
> afford a new or newer car.
>
> OK, my questions for you:
> what parts should I get completely examined to determine if anything
> else is wrong or could go wrong at this age of the vehicle ? I did ask
> my mechanic to examine the following:
>
> 1) engine: he said this is fine except for a small oil leak .. I have
> been aware of this for last three years .. I just add a quart of oil
> between oil changes. This is fine with me.
> 2) timing belt: should this be a problem ? I had a rebuilt engine put
> in at 116,000 miles. Is there a way to examine this ?
> 3) rear brakes: my mechanic told me they are fine
> 4) automatic transmission: my mechanic told me this is fine, had fluid
> and filter changed one year back .. by the same mechanic
> 5) grinding noise while starting the car: I am aware of it since last
> 5 years .. repairing this is too expensive, so I am fine living with
> it.
>
> Anything else that I may have overlooked. My mechanic is trustworthy
> .. and is willing to work with me.
>
> Your suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks
>

Tough call. I had a Celica I paid $250, the engine was progressively getting
worse, so I bought a newer engine for $300 and had it installed for $200.
Engine runs great (I failed to mention I drove the car for 2.5 years with
the bad engine...)

Got the car back, ready to go for inspection, and the exhaust breaks into 3
pieces and the fuel line springs a leak. Sooooo...do I put yet another $300
into a $250 car? BTW, the thing looks and runs great. I probably will, but
only because I went through all the trouble of replacing the engine. If all
this had happened beforehand I would have just sold it for $200 and let
someone else deal with it all...

Think Carefully...


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Old 14 Feb 2005, 07:41 pm   #6 (permalink)
techtrainer61@yahoo.com
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Default Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

Hello hachiroku, Viperkiller, Wolfgang, and 0_Qed:

Many thanks for taking the time to put down your feedback.

Unfortunately I am not mechanically adept in fixing it myself ..my
skills go upto oil changes

I am still debating this .. based on your questions ..
- yes .. oil does leak a little .. I had replaced the distributor about
two years back
- radiator was replaced two years back
- brake master, starter needs to get checked out
- timing belt needs to be checked out (70K miles on rebuilt engine)
- I had replaced tires last year
- mileage is pretty ok 25mpg city/28mpg hwy
- pickup is decent

I guess I can put off front brake pads/rotors .. braking is still good
right now (on rear brakes). The power steering rack problem is not so
bad .. but it may get bad later. My mechanic told me the seal holding
the housing is broken and oil has leaked out .. there is debris in
there. I discovered this last week when I started the car and then
turned the steering .. it felt suddenly loose than normal. Now, since
I know it, I have been ultra-careful .. not taking sudden turns or
twists on the steering.

I analyzed my spending last three years (thanks to Quicken) .. and
realized that I have spent totally $2400 totally last three years ..
this included oil changes, tires, . roughly $800 a year. Without oil
changes, the cost was $2051 ... roughly $683 a year. Looks like if I
spend $850 on the above repairs I wil exceed my yearly average. Do
these numbers look normal for a car this age ?

Of course, this is after spending $3000 in Feb 2000 to get a rebuilt
engine (in hindsight .. bad choice !)

Guess .. this Camry did not turn out as cost-effective as I had thought
... or maybe I just got unlucky ! Thanks everyone

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Old 14 Feb 2005, 09:06 pm   #7 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: 87 Camry - desperately need your suggestions

At a minimum have the front pads replaced - can't be more than $75. The
front does 75% of the braking. Considering a new car depreciates $2k as you
drive off the lot your $683/year is a bargain.

<techtrainer61@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1108431675.499739.208620@g14g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
> Hello hachiroku, Viperkiller, Wolfgang, and 0_Qed:
>
> Many thanks for taking the time to put down your feedback.
>
> Unfortunately I am not mechanically adept in fixing it myself ..my
> skills go upto oil changes
>
> I am still debating this .. based on your questions ..
> - yes .. oil does leak a little .. I had replaced the distributor about
> two years back
> - radiator was replaced two years back
> - brake master, starter needs to get checked out
> - timing belt needs to be checked out (70K miles on rebuilt engine)
> - I had replaced tires last year
> - mileage is pretty ok 25mpg city/28mpg hwy
> - pickup is decent
>
> I guess I can put off front brake pads/rotors .. braking is still good
> right now (on rear brakes). The power steering rack problem is not so
> bad .. but it may get bad later. My mechanic told me the seal holding
> the housing is broken and oil has leaked out .. there is debris in
> there. I discovered this last week when I started the car and then
> turned the steering .. it felt suddenly loose than normal. Now, since
> I know it, I have been ultra-careful .. not taking sudden turns or
> twists on the steering.
>
> I analyzed my spending last three years (thanks to Quicken) .. and
> realized that I have spent totally $2400 totally last three years ..
> this included oil changes, tires, . roughly $800 a year. Without oil
> changes, the cost was $2051 ... roughly $683 a year. Looks like if I
> spend $850 on the above repairs I wil exceed my yearly average. Do
> these numbers look normal for a car this age ?
>
> Of course, this is after spending $3000 in Feb 2000 to get a rebuilt
> engine (in hindsight .. bad choice !)
>
> Guess .. this Camry did not turn out as cost-effective as I had thought
> .. or maybe I just got unlucky ! Thanks everyone
>



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