96 Camry - replace valve cover, plenum gaskets?

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Old 24 Sep 2005, 07:48 am   #1 (permalink)
mike@mdodd.com
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Default 96 Camry - replace valve cover, plenum gaskets?

Recently I had a Toyota dealer replace the timing belt and do some
other minor maintenance on my 1996 Camry V-6, with 128,000 miles.
Afterward, the dealer noted several more items and cost estimates,
including EFI flush and coolant flush.

But #1 on the list was "Valve cover gaskets, plenium gasket starting to
leak." The labor was estimated at 5.5 hours, with a total cost of $594.

This is a chunk-o-change for me. Does it really take 5.5 hours for
this, or is this something I could tackle myself? (I'm handy with
tools, and sort-of know my way around engines; I completely rebuilt a
Chrysler 318 V-8 years ago.)

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

Mike

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Old 25 Sep 2005, 02:13 am   #2 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: 96 Camry - replace valve cover, plenum gaskets?

The valve cover gasket do leak over time. The front looks easy but the
rear can be a bear. To get to the rear you have to take off the plenum,
and that's probably why it's listed. Not that the plenum gasket will
leak that often.

If there is just some seepage you might want to leave it for now. Try
retorquing first. But if it's dripping then you should change it. You
may be able to reuse the metal plenum gasket. But replacing any gasket
upon removal is standard practice.

While you are in there, consider taking off the lower intake manifold
and change out the coolant hose if not already done. I prefer a Gates
hose.

If you change coolant regularly using distilled water then there should
be no need for a coolant flush. Besides, caustic chemical isn't that
good for the cooling system IMHO. Is your cooling system full of rust
and minerals? Or do you see clean metal through the new coolant your
recent service should have filled?

I personally won't go for the dealer EFI service. If you want EFI
cleaning, buy a bottle of Chevron Techron additive ($5). Today's gas
already has a minium level of additives per regulation. For real fuel
injector service, you have to take them off and send them to a
specialized shop where they will pattern the injector spray before and
after cleaning ($$$).

A quick search www.rockauto.com:
FEL-PRO Part # VS50471R $28.79
FEL-PRO Part # MS92766 $53.79

plus RTV $3-$5

What did they changed with the timing belt? The water pump too?


m...@mdodd.com wrote:
> Recently I had a Toyota dealer replace the timing belt and do some
> other minor maintenance on my 1996 Camry V-6, with 128,000 miles.
> Afterward, the dealer noted several more items and cost estimates,
> including EFI flush and coolant flush.
>
> But #1 on the list was "Valve cover gaskets, plenium gasket starting to
> leak." The labor was estimated at 5.5 hours, with a total cost of $594.
>
> This is a chunk-o-change for me. Does it really take 5.5 hours for
> this, or is this something I could tackle myself? (I'm handy with
> tools, and sort-of know my way around engines; I completely rebuilt a
> Chrysler 318 V-8 years ago.)
>
> Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.
>
> Mike


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Old 25 Sep 2005, 05:16 am   #3 (permalink)
mike@mdodd.com
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Default Re: 96 Camry - replace valve cover, plenum gaskets?

Thanks for the info about the gaskets. I guess I'll save my pennies and
have the dealer do the work in a few months. There are some drips on
the driveway, but nothing major; maybe I will re-torque and see if that
helps.

I specifically asked the dealer to replace the timing belt, nothing
more, so they didn't change anything else. The other belts look okay to
me; I think they were changed a while back.

Mike

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