'88 Camry - rack & pinion?

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Old 22 Jul 2006, 01:32 pm   #1 (permalink)
inez
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Default '88 Camry - rack & pinion?

We have a 4-cyl. 1988 Camry with only +116K on it. We think it's worth
fixing up. The immediate question is about rack & pinion. The steering seems
pretty decent, but if you grab hold of the tire and manually turn it there's
a lot of play. There's highway vibration/bumping, but I guess that could be
the struts. My husband says the play appears to be at the inner tie rods
coming out of the steering gear. Is it possible to do an adjustment to fix
this? If so, with limited time, can we do the adjustment properly ourselves?
Or, should we just have the rack & pinion replaced? We've gotten 1 estimate
of $295/labor only for replacement. Hubby's found parts for $150.

We're on a budget with both time and money. The A/C has been out for quite
some time, but we don't think it was the compressor. (Needed as we're in
Louisiana and it's HOT!) Any tips on that? Also have a leak in the exhaust.
Cold start sensor has always been weird.

We bought the Camry used about 5-yrs. ago. Large area of glass coat was
peeled away from one fender when we bought it. Any idea how to affect a
cosmetic repair there to help protect the paint (dark, metallic maroon)?

TIA for any bits of advance,
inez

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Old 22 Jul 2006, 10:20 pm   #2 (permalink)
mack
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Default Re: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?

----- Original Message -----
From: "inez" <inezhsmith@earthlink.net>
Newsgroups: alt.autos.toyota.camry
Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 11:32 AM
Subject: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?


> We have a 4-cyl. 1988 Camry with only +116K on it.


Only?


We think it's worth
> fixing up.


Based om what you've said next, I don't think so.


The immediate question is about rack & pinion. The steering seems
> pretty decent, but if you grab hold of the tire and manually turn it
> there's
> a lot of play. There's highway vibration/bumping, but I guess that could
> be
> the struts. My husband says the play appears to be at the inner tie rods
> coming out of the steering gear. Is it possible to do an adjustment to fix
> this? If so, with limited time, can we do the adjustment properly
> ourselves?


Definitely not, unless you folks are so talented you can also perform
appendectomies on each other.
Suspension specialists spend thousands of dollars on equipment to align
steering systems, and you're going to try to do it yourself under the pepper
trees? Please face facts.

> Or, should we just have the rack & pinion replaced? We've gotten 1
> estimate
> of $295/labor only for replacement. Hubby's found parts for $150.


How do you know the parts are any good?
>
> We're on a budget with both time and money.


I'd guess that driving a 19 model-year old automobile of any make would
indicate a money budget.


The A/C has been out for quite
> some time, but we don't think it was the compressor.


What gives you that idea? Maybe indeed it IS the compressor....and they're
expensive.
(Needed as we're in

> Louisiana and it's HOT!) Any tips on that? Also have a leak in the
> exhaust.


Another costly repair, and don't try to do this one at home either ....a
little exhaust leak into the cabin and you'll be calling yourselves dead and
deader.

> Cold start sensor has always been weird.


Here's another little insignificant item that can cost you big time. And
it's not going to fix itself.
>
> We bought the Camry used about 5-yrs. ago. Large area of glass coat was
> peeled away from one fender when we bought it. Any idea how to affect a
> cosmetic repair there to help protect the paint (dark, metallic maroon)?


Not a clue, but since you've been driving it that way for five years, who's
counting? and evidently you don't much care.
>
> TIA for any bits of advance,
> inez
>

Inez, I hate to bring you bad tidings, but I think you ought to dump this
problem-mobile at the first opportunity.
It's darn near 20 years old, it has steering issues, suspension issues, cold
start issues, air conditioning issues, and the paint's bad on (at least) one
fender.
All the issues (and there are probably more, be honest) are things that
amateurs like yourselves will only throw good money after bad trying to fix,
and when you get done, the old car won't be worth 5c more than it is this
minute. Trust me.
I'd advise saving your dough and getting something in future where the year
model starts with a "2" as in 2000, 2001, 2002 etc. And don't get fooled
by someone who has a beautiful car with low mileage at a great price....it's
likely been swimming in the murky waters of the gulf coast since Katrina
struck and is just now dried out. You don't need that kind of aggravation.
(I am not saying that there aren't good cars out there from the 1990s, there
are.....but they're starting to get into the "getting old and needing lots
of help" category too, so go for something newer that will be more trouble
free.


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Old 23 Jul 2006, 02:37 am   #3 (permalink)
inez
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Default Re: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?

On 7/22/06 10:20 PM, mack commented:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "inez" <inezhsmith@earthlink.net>
> Newsgroups: alt.autos.toyota.camry
> Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 11:32 AM
> Subject: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?
>
>
>> We have a 4-cyl. 1988 Camry with only +116K on it.

>
> Only?


Yes, only. I expect another 100K out of it.

>
>> We think it's worth fixing up.

>
> Based om what you've said next, I don't think so.
>
>
>> The immediate question is about rack & pinion. The steering seems
>> pretty decent, but if you grab hold of the tire and manually turn it there's
>> a lot of play. There's highway vibration/bumping, but I guess that could be
>> the struts. My husband says the play appears to be at the inner tie rods
>> coming out of the steering gear. Is it possible to do an adjustment to fix
>> this? If so, with limited time, can we do the adjustment properly ourselves?

>
> Definitely not, unless you folks are so talented you can also perform
> appendectomies on each other. Suspension specialists spend thousands of
> dollars on equipment to align steering systems, and you're going to try to do
> it yourself under the pepper trees? Please face facts.


Well, that's why I asked her and why I've been getting estimates.

>> Or, should we just have the rack & pinion replaced? We've gotten 1 estimate
>> of $295/labor only for replacement. Hubby's found parts for $150.

>
> How do you know the parts are any good?


How do I no any part is good?

>> We're on a budget with both time and money.

>
> I'd guess that driving a 19 model-year old automobile of any make would
> indicate a money budget.
>
>
>> The A/C has been out for quite some time, but we don't think it was the
>> compressor.

>
> What gives you that idea? Maybe indeed it IS the compressor....and they're
> expensive.


And maybe it's not. I'll live without A/C if I must, as I have done for the
last 3 summers.

>> (Needed as we're in Louisiana and it's HOT!) Any tips on that? Also have a

leak in the exhaust.
>
> Another costly repair, and don't try to do this one at home either ....a
> little exhaust leak into the cabin and you'll be calling yourselves dead and
> deader.


No intension of doing it ourselves, just noting that it's something we
should get around to.

>> Cold start sensor has always been weird.

>
> Here's another little insignificant item that can cost you big time. And
> it's not going to fix itself.


I think I'll trust my husband's judgement on that part and it's replacement.
At any rate, she starts reliably.

>> We bought the Camry used about 5-yrs. ago. Large area of glass coat was
>> peeled away from one fender when we bought it. Any idea how to affect a
>> cosmetic repair there to help protect the paint (dark, metallic maroon)?

>
> Not a clue, but since you've been driving it that way for five years, who's
> counting? and evidently you don't much care.


Not deeply. Thus far the paint has held up amazingly well, but it's finally
beginning to show a few tiny spots.


> Inez, I hate to bring you bad tidings, but I think you ought to dump this
> problem-mobile at the first opportunity.
> It's darn near 20 years old, it has steering issues, suspension issues, cold
> start issues, air conditioning issues, and the paint's bad on (at least) one
> fender.
> All the issues (and there are probably more, be honest) are things that
> amateurs like yourselves will only throw good money after bad trying to fix,
> and when you get done, the old car won't be worth 5c more than it is this
> minute. Trust me.
> I'd advise saving your dough and getting something in future where the year
> model starts with a "2" as in 2000, 2001, 2002 etc. And don't get fooled
> by someone who has a beautiful car with low mileage at a great price....it's
> likely been swimming in the murky waters of the gulf coast since Katrina
> struck and is just now dried out. You don't need that kind of aggravation.
> (I am not saying that there aren't good cars out there from the 1990s, there
> are.....but they're starting to get into the "getting old and needing lots
> of help" category too, so go for something newer that will be more trouble
> free.


We won't be getting anything that begins with a "2" unless someone has
already driven it into the ground, it's been Katrinasized, or they're just
in that "giving" mood If we can have this one repaired for $1,000-$1,500
and have it last another couple of years we'll be happy. We may add another
used car, but it will be something we can get for under $4,000. We need
another gas saver, or the huuby needs to start filling up with fryer oil in
his '94 turbo deisel Suburban My husband isn't a professional mechanic,
but he does pretty well at finding decent used cars, and at working on them
if time and tools/equipment allow.

As for saving our dough, it probably won't save us a lot of money if my
steering goes out while I'm driving, so I think we might want to get the
rack & pinion adjusted or replaced. Then again, it could mean one less mouth
to feed, but not a sure thing.

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Old 25 Jul 2006, 02:07 am   #4 (permalink)
sqdancerLynn
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Default Re: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?

The outer tie rods are replacable without changing the rack. IT WILL need
an alignment after. Forget about painting it, not worth the expense. The
air cond ??? BIG MONEY R12 system so it will need to be converted to
R134
you might get away for $600-700. I drove my 88 Camry yesterday, mine was a
gift, drove it from LasVegas to LA Ca Never missed a beat. It also looks
like shet has 212K miles, but mechanically has been well take care of. my
air doesn't either. IF IT IS just for transortation keep it until you can
afford something better. FIX THE STEERING & THE EXHAUST leak before
driving it

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Old 26 Jul 2006, 11:25 am   #5 (permalink)
inez
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Default Re: '88 Camry - rack & pinion?

On 7/25/06 2:07 AM, sqdancerLynn commented:

> The outer tie rods are replacable without changing the rack. IT WILL need
> an alignment after. Forget about painting it, not worth the expense. The
> air cond ??? BIG MONEY R12 system so it will need to be converted to
> R134
> you might get away for $600-700. I drove my 88 Camry yesterday, mine was a
> gift, drove it from LasVegas to LA Ca Never missed a beat. It also looks
> like shet has 212K miles, but mechanically has been well take care of. my
> air doesn't either. IF IT IS just for transortation keep it until you can
> afford something better. FIX THE STEERING & THE EXHAUST leak before
> driving it


Thanks for your response. I've mostly been depending on mine for shopping
and errands, but recently have been needing to hit the highway and get in
traffic 2-3 times a week. Not at all comfortable doing that with this
steering problem. BUT, she runs great

So, they'll force an A/C conversion on me?

Hubby doesn't believe that replacing the outer tie rods and struts will cure
the problem, but I've been trying to sell him on trying that first anyway as
I imagine they may need replacing either way.

Believing in the quality of parts and in the honesty/skill of mechanics is
another matter entirely:\

Thanks,
inez

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