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#1768348 - 02/04/10 12:40 PM Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common
pacem Offline


Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 451
Loc: MD
This is becoming more common as the 4-cyl engines gets high in miles. Not sure what years are affected by apparently it's the 2AZFE engine.
This stuff is very scary and seems very expensive.

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/camry/148454-camry-with-stripped-head-bolts/

Quote:


I am a service center owner and technician of over 40 years in SC. Recently, a 2003 Camry LE w/ 70,000 miles came into my shop with a coolant leak. I consulted this forum and others to find proof of the same instance in the Toyota Camry. I write this in response to some posts I read on this site. This is to be informative for those in similar situations.

To do the exam, we pressurized the cooling system and put the car up on the lift. We immediately noticed coolant leaking from underneath the plastic INT intake Manifold in the rear of the engine. I also noticed a Large piece of foam rubber between the Intake Manifold and the Engine Block and Head. This was blocking our view of the leak. We could only see that the leak was behind the foam piece. The only option to discover the source of this leak was to remove the plastic intake manifold, which I did. After this was removed, it became obvious that coolant had been leaking a minor amount for quite some time due to build up between the cylinder head and block.

The only option left is to remove the head, which requires an exstensive disassembly (R and R cylinder head). After Loosening the bolts in sequence, I notice the head bolts in the back of the engine are loose. From my experience in the field, I can confidently conclude that this only means one of two things: The bolts were left loose at the factory, or the Bolts are stripped. ( I commonly have seen stripped bolts in the Aluminum Cadillac North Star Block discovered through leaking coolant.)

Next, I removed the head and sure enough, one bolt came out with aluminum in the thread...thus indicating a stripped bolt.

MY THEORY: The placement of the (insulation) foam rubber piece between the Intake Manifold and the engine block created an uneven dispersion of heat, creating "metal fatigue" in the aluminum block allowing the headbolt to strip.

If Toyota had out an Aluminum Manifold instead of Plastic, there would have been no need to insulate (w/ foam piece), thus eliminating the probem.

The only solution to this problem is to unforunately replace the engine. The cost to repair it otherwise would be substantial. This is an engine defect and we WILL be seeing more of this.

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#1768364 - 02/04/10 12:55 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - comm [Re: pacem]
bepperb Online   confused


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4624
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Yeah, I've probably seen about a dozen reports of this. I'd say a particular engine has about 1 in 10,000 of this problem, it's fairly rare but yes a complete dealbreaker. Also, the Japanese build vehicles had a change in design in 4/03 with the US vehicles getting a change for the 05 model year which I haven't seen a report of the same thing happening on.

By the way, your quote is a few years old, so I think "becoming more common" is quite a stretch.


Edited by bepperb (02/04/10 12:56 PM)
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#1768365 - 02/04/10 12:57 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: pacem]
Michael_P Offline


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 959
Loc: Ohio
Cadillacs TSB stated to use helicoils. The later model Northstars (1999 & newer) came factory with helicoils. I have heard what you are describing about the 2AZFE engines in the Camrys and people helicoiling the block as well with good results. The head bolts on the 2AZFE engines and variants are TTY even compounding the problem. Man I miss the 4AFE and 22R engines even though they cracked exhaust manifolds a bunch it was an easy fix.

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#1768375 - 02/04/10 01:05 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: pacem]
sunfire Offline


Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 1571
Loc: Ca, US
Quote:
MY THEORY: The placement of the (insulation) foam rubber piece between the Intake Manifold and the engine block created an uneven dispersion of heat, creating "metal fatigue" in the aluminum block allowing the headbolt to strip.


I'm having a hard time picturing where the coolant is leaking from. Is he saying the coolant is coming from the head gasket because of these stripped headbolts?
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#1768377 - 02/04/10 01:05 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: Michael_P]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 2987
Loc: Bremerton Wa
Interesting. I blew a bunch of headgaskets in old Turbo Mopar cars running more than 15 PSI of boost(Lebaron, Lancer, Daytona, ETC) Thank goodness there were updated gaskets and after that problem virtually went away. No head bolt problems though.
The early cars had 10MM headbolts and the 87 and up had 11MM. The 11MM bolts made a huge difference in clamping force. Not really on topic but I love talking about headgaskets. Those 2.2/2.5 cars were easy to swap them out on. Never have done one on a Toyota, since I have never owned one.
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#1768386 - 02/04/10 01:11 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: ls1mike]
bepperb Online   confused


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4624
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
"I'm having a hard time picturing where the coolant is leaking from. Is he saying the coolant is coming from the head gasket because of these stripped headbolts?"

Coolant leaking through a headgasket is common on engines of all makes. That's 1/3 of what the headgasket is gasketing (besides the cylinders and the oil passages).

It is funny that the same product for the Northstars is also being used here, in the same size thread no doubt! Maybe Toy and GM didn't learn as much via NUMMI as they should have.
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#1768387 - 02/04/10 01:12 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: bepperb]
John_K Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 2276
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Wow! Toyota really is the new GM!

John
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#1768394 - 02/04/10 01:19 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - comm [Re: bepperb]
pacem Offline


Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 451
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: bepperb
Yeah, I've probably seen about a dozen reports of this. I'd say a particular engine has about 1 in 10,000 of this problem, it's fairly rare but yes a complete dealbreaker. Also, the Japanese build vehicles had a change in design in 4/03 with the US vehicles getting a change for the 05 model year which I haven't seen a report of the same thing happening on.

By the way, your quote is a few years old, so I think "becoming more common" is quite a stretch.


It's everywhere, check out toyotanation.com and other toyota sites. When I got my 02 Camry, there was zero discussion on this subject, now a few years later, it's becoming an issue.
I just sold the Camry the other day to avoid having to deal with it (It had zero problems but I really did not want to gamble and live in fear, plus I needed a station wagon anyway)

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#1768396 - 02/04/10 01:21 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: John_K]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 8354
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Steel bolt, Al thread, acidic coolant = erosion.
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#1768397 - 02/04/10 01:22 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: pacem]
mechanicx Offline


Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 8576
Loc: Ohio
I doubt the plastic intake manifold has anything to do with it. Maybe the Toyota extended life formula coolant and th headgaskets don't get along well. The headgasket first starts slowly seeping coolant and makes it to the head bolts corroding them. Then the head bolt lose clamping foce and the coolant leak gets much worse.


It may not be the coolant, but we'd need to see the headgaskets to see if they look like they've been deteriorated by the coolant or not. It could be the aluminum threads and steel bolts don't get along and eventually lose clamping force.

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#1768398 - 02/04/10 01:23 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - comm [Re: pacem]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6261
Loc: beaver land EH?
Another knee-jerk reaction on top of what's been going on with Toy's gas pedal recall?

I'm only aware of 2AZFE's head gasket problem of 1 or 2 cases so far out of all the 2AZFE's out there in-service since 2002...so, statistically-speaking, I would say that such phenomenon is more of a "workmanship/quality-control" issue more than being a head gasket failure, period.

Yeah, we all have our way of finding an easy way out when it comes to laying blame to certain mechanical issues but this one is not one of them from what I can see so far.

drive

Q.
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#1768399 - 02/04/10 01:23 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: John_K]
cousincletus Offline


Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 2513
Loc: Richmond, VA
I've never had a head gasket issue with a GM car, but have seen plenty blown on Toy, Nissan and Mitsu.
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#1768402 - 02/04/10 01:25 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: ARCOgraphite]
mechanicx Offline


Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 8576
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
Steel bolt, Al thread, acidic coolant = erosion.


Exactly but what we need to know is which came first, the threadbolt incompatibility or coolant contamination maybe due to degrading the headgasket..

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#1768406 - 02/04/10 01:28 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - common [Re: mechanicx]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 1603
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: mechanicx
Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
Steel bolt, Al thread, acidic coolant = erosion.


Exactly but what we need to know is which came first, the threadbolt incompatibility or coolant contamination maybe due to degrading the headgasket..

Toyota's 150K coolant drain interval doesn't help the cause either IMO.

Head gaskets aren't a new issue for Toyota - the 3rd gen Supra/Cressida had BHGs, so did the HiLux/Pickup and 4Runner/HiLux Surf with the 3VZ-E V6 as well as the 2nd gen Camry/Lexus ES250 with the 2VZ-FE V6.


Edited by nthach (02/04/10 01:32 PM)

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#1768407 - 02/04/10 01:30 PM Re: Toyota 4-cyl with head gasket problems - comm [Re: mechanicx]
bepperb Online   confused


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4624
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
"It's everywhere, check out toyotanation.com"

How on earth do you think I know where you stole the quote from? My username is the same everywhere, you'll find me those places as well.

The problem isn't really the coolant or the gasket. There have been engines helicoiled from the factory. So it's just a undersized thread surface on the bolt. Also, these bolts aren't torqued to spec, they're turned to spec like a sparkplug. IIRC 3/4 turn past seated. So, they could easily be overtorqued at the factory or some other point. But the helicoil from the factory, to me, says this is an issue they knew about and that it's not corrosion, it's design.

I certainly wouldn't get rid of a car over this, every car has issues. You'll pay more in the trade than the fix for this costs!


Edited by bepperb (02/04/10 01:31 PM)
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