Considering timing belt replacement on my '93 with 32K miles - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2019, 17:18 Thread Starter
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Considering timing belt replacement on my '93 with 32K miles

I've had my 1993 3S-GTE since new. Stock and a little over 32K miles on her. Always garage kept and never seen snow/winter. Timing belt, tensioners, water pump, all other belts, and all hoses are original. Timing belt replacement interval is shown as 60K miles in Schedule A of the manual with no time limit.

At the 26-year mark, I guess it would be obvious that I should have everything changed now, but wanted to get some feedback from the forum. Should I have it done?

I found a Toyota specialist in my area (Jeff's LexToy in southern NH) as I don't want to leave her with a dealer or shop with no Toyota experience.

If I have it done, what else should I have them address with the engine out of the car?
  • The thermostat hose (is this the so-called "Hose From Hell")?
  • Thermostat?
  • Any seals/gaskets? The valve cover gasket has a tiny amount of seepage but nothing major.
  • Should I have them replace all vacuum hoses?

Also, starting this spring I noticed that she would occasionally mis-fire under load when the turbo spooled up. I had a full tune-up done at the 29K mark quite a few years ago. I haven't really driven her much over the past 5-6 years, only idling her every few weeks to get the fluids circulating. Could the mis-fire just be carbon build-up from all the idling? The plugs are shown in the maintenance schedule not to be replaced until 60K miles, but would this length of time mandate replacement of them?

Many thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2019, 18:04
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IMO, I'm more from the camp of not to fix something which isn't broke.

You have a unique history having owned car from new so not guessing what has done or not done to the car. Miliage is the key for most components so I'll bet your timing belt and associated components are just fine. Water pump and hoses can be an issue if coolant has not been maintained at regular intervals. HFH and HFHOE both fit into this category. The mis-fire is more likely to be ignition related so possibly new dist cap, rotor & plugs may solve.

Love to see some pics of this beauty including a shot of engine bay please.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2019, 09:51 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by benckj View Post
IMO, I'm more from the camp of not to fix something which isn't broke.

You have a unique history having owned car from new so not guessing what has done or not done to the car. Miliage is the key for most components so I'll bet your timing belt and associated components are just fine. Water pump and hoses can be an issue if coolant has not been maintained at regular intervals. HFH and HFHOE both fit into this category. The mis-fire is more likely to be ignition related so possibly new dist cap, rotor & plugs may solve.

Love to see some pics of this beauty including a shot of engine bay please.
Many thanks for the feedback/info. I'll post some pictures to the thread this weekend. I still have the original Toyota front bra from 1993, though I don't dare put it on anymore for fear of scratching the paint.

The mis-fire occurs only when she's hot and only intermittently. If I putter around, she runs perfectly. If I get into boost, then it randomly mis-fires, then calms down afterward. I'm thinking ignition too, maybe a vacuum hose or two.

Last edited by OrbitalGolem; May 10th, 2019 at 09:59.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2019, 13:18
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I doubt ignitor or vacuum hose is problem. If havenít changed recently start with cap, rotor & plugs. Another issue to be aware of is the ECU caps which fail due to age. They lead to strange problems when engine warns up. These cars are at age where issues like this are becoming common.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2019, 17:55
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I've only ever heard of age being a factor for timing belts if the car is driven in very hot climates such as Phoenix or Las Vegas. Which doesn't describe NH at all...
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2019, 11:29
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Rubber deteriorates over time, so I'd definitely get it replaced. I would bet that 26 year old timing belt is starting to crack if you examined it, which means it's only a matter of time before it snaps.

As for other gaskets, the HFH and HFHOE are good to change, and you might also want to replace all the gaskets in the oil cooler at the same time. They're cheap, and it'll just be 1 bolt to remove it and change all the gaskets (they seem to commonly leak on 3S-GTEs).

I'd also do the valve cover you mention is leaking, and service the ignition components (distributor cap, rotor, wires).
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2019, 13:50 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DefSport View Post
Rubber deteriorates over time, so I'd definitely get it replaced. I would bet that 26 year old timing belt is starting to crack if you examined it, which means it's only a matter of time before it snaps.

As for other gaskets, the HFH and HFHOE are good to change, and you might also want to replace all the gaskets in the oil cooler at the same time. They're cheap, and it'll just be 1 bolt to remove it and change all the gaskets (they seem to commonly leak on 3S-GTEs).

I'd also do the valve cover you mention is leaking, and service the ignition components (distributor cap, rotor, wires).
I forgot to ask if I should also have the valve lash checked? It's never been done. Would that be something easier (cheaper) to do with the engine out?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2019, 15:44
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Valve lash adjustment is generally mileage dependent. Doubt that you would require that at 32k.

If you want to monitor the engine health I'd consider doing a compression & leak down test before & after you complete the maint run. This will tell you anything which isn't right.

Last edited by benckj; May 12th, 2019 at 15:49.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2019, 09:47
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not to hijack, but i am in the same boat. bought a 91 with 69k. going to replace also, last done in 01 with 32k. are the aftermarket kits ok? or should i stick with toyota parts?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2019, 19:04
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On the upside, the 3S-GTE is a non-interference motor - so if the belt did snap, it would just lose power.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2019, 19:16
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Two things, first the timing belt change is recommended based on stretching of the belt due to normal wear and tear. I think your decision to replace it based on age is sound, but in my experience (having had a timing belt fail) the engine just stops. There is no damage to the engine, it just won't run, so that may factor into your decision. Secondly, the "hose from hell" and I actually think there are two of them, the first is the hose that is between the water pump and the oil cooler that sits under the oil filter. Fortunately, I have never had that one fail, but it is a challenge to replace even with the engine out of the car. The second one is the short hose that goes from the outlet of that same oil cooler (under the oil filter) to hard pipe that runs up the back side of the engine. That is a real difficult one to fix but I did manage to replace the one that failed in my 91 MR2, but there was a lot of cursing involved. So if you pull the engine, I would recommend replacing both hoses. You can see both hoses on the picture I have attached. I hope this was helpful.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2019, 19:49
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Almost a Mr2 owner.

Ok, I’m new to this Mr2 site. I am in the process of purchasing a 1992 Mr2 for my wife to drive. It is a one owner automatic with only 75,000 miles . It has sat in a garage for 10 years with only the car being started every once in a while( according to the lady that owns it. Should I be Leary to purchase it knowing it has sat in a garage for that long? Also should I trailer it home or drive it? I know cars that’s not the issue , I just don’t want to buy something I have to work on from the get go. She is wanting 3500.00 for the car and looks in showroom condition. Your thoughts? Thanks Big C
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2019, 20:24
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Almost a Mr2 owner.
Ok, I’m new to this Mr2 site. I am in the process of purchasing a 1992 Mr2 for my wife to drive. It is a one owner automatic with only 75,000 miles . It has sat in a garage for 10 years with only the car being started every once in a while( according to the lady that owns it. Should I be Leary to purchase it knowing it has sat in a garage for that long? Also should I trailer it home or drive it? I know cars that’s not the issue , I just don’t want to buy something I have to work on from the get go. She is wanting 3500.00 for the car and looks in showroom condition. Your thoughts? Thanks Big C
2 / 2
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2019, 22:28
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Do it ^^^ !
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2019, 07:39
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I will try to respond to a couple of the posts on this thread.

I just completed the timing belt service on my 1991 MR2 SW20 Base model with the 2.2L non-turbo engine with automatic transmission. The belt was last changed by the previous owner at 57,000 miles in 1995. I have had the car for the past 12 years and it has 66,500 miles on it, so I was changing due to age, not mileage. Even though I am in Mobile, AL, which gets pretty hot during the summer, after 24 years on the car, the belt looked like it could have gone another 24 years. Toyota must use a lot of silicone or some other long-term materials in their rubber, because this belt looked new. I was not surprised because it was the fourth Toyota timing belt I had changed and all of them looked nearly new, one of them after 180,000 miles. Also, like someone said, these are non-interference engines, so the worst is that it stops running. If you do go into it, change everything. Like you said, water pump, thermostat, idler pulley. The only thing even seeping on mine was the oil pump seal, so do that, it's simple. I always change the crankshaft seal. My crankshaft timing pulley did not have holes to accept puller bolts, so you will probably have to drill and tap for them like I did if yours does not have them. I bought a couple of pulley pullers to avoid this, but the jaws would not fit under the pulley enough. Ultimately a lot of force was needed to get it off on mine even though you could barely see any rust anywhere. Fortunately, a new one was about $30 and readily available. The other thing to change is the harmonic balancer, that is the crankshaft pulley with the alternator/ac belts. I got Dale Manufacturing to do mine. This was the main thing that seemed to age poorly. If a mechanic does all of this, it may get pricey. It is not an impossible job, it just takes patience and time.

To "Almost a MR2 Owner", my car is similar to the one you are buying and I would appreciate knowing the market price for the this vintage. Please PM if you would rather keep confidential. Mine may be going on the market one day.

Hope this helps.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2019, 09:43 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whh333 View Post
I will try to respond to a couple of the posts on this thread.

I just completed the timing belt service on my 1991 MR2 SW20 Base model with the 2.2L non-turbo engine with automatic transmission. The belt was last changed by the previous owner at 57,000 miles in 1995. I have had the car for the past 12 years and it has 66,500 miles on it, so I was changing due to age, not mileage. Even though I am in Mobile, AL, which gets pretty hot during the summer, after 24 years on the car, the belt looked like it could have gone another 24 years. Toyota must use a lot of silicone or some other long-term materials in their rubber, because this belt looked new. I was not surprised because it was the fourth Toyota timing belt I had changed and all of them looked nearly new, one of them after 180,000 miles. Also, like someone said, these are non-interference engines, so the worst is that it stops running. If you do go into it, change everything. Like you said, water pump, thermostat, idler pulley. The only thing even seeping on mine was the oil pump seal, so do that, it's simple. I always change the crankshaft seal. My crankshaft timing pulley did not have holes to accept puller bolts, so you will probably have to drill and tap for them like I did if yours does not have them. I bought a couple of pulley pullers to avoid this, but the jaws would not fit under the pulley enough. Ultimately a lot of force was needed to get it off on mine even though you could barely see any rust anywhere. Fortunately, a new one was about $30 and readily available. The other thing to change is the harmonic balancer, that is the crankshaft pulley with the alternator/ac belts. I got Dale Manufacturing to do mine. This was the main thing that seemed to age poorly. If a mechanic does all of this, it may get pricey. It is not an impossible job, it just takes patience and time.

Hope this helps.

Many thanks - this is very helpful. Agreed about things getting pricey - I've been quoted $1775 simply for timing belt, other drive belts, camshaft seals, valve cover gasket, cap, rotor, wires, and spark plugs. Quote doesn't include water pump, tensioner, idler pulleys, and hoses from Hell.

Last edited by OrbitalGolem; May 17th, 2019 at 10:27.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2019, 09:43 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johneva1947 View Post
Two things, first the timing belt change is recommended based on stretching of the belt due to normal wear and tear. I think your decision to replace it based on age is sound, but in my experience (having had a timing belt fail) the engine just stops. There is no damage to the engine, it just won't run, so that may factor into your decision. Secondly, the "hose from hell" and I actually think there are two of them, the first is the hose that is between the water pump and the oil cooler that sits under the oil filter. Fortunately, I have never had that one fail, but it is a challenge to replace even with the engine out of the car. The second one is the short hose that goes from the outlet of that same oil cooler (under the oil filter) to hard pipe that runs up the back side of the engine. That is a real difficult one to fix but I did manage to replace the one that failed in my 91 MR2, but there was a lot of cursing involved. So if you pull the engine, I would recommend replacing both hoses. You can see both hoses on the picture I have attached. I hope this was helpful.
Thanks!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2019, 11:46
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... It has sat in a garage for 10 years with only the car being started every once in a while...
It is best to drive a car until it gets completely warmed up. If the car is only started and then shut down, the water vapor from combustion never gets boiled out of the oil and the exhaust. That does not mean that the car is not a good value, but you need to be prepared for a rusted exhaust and contaminated oil.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old June 7th, 2019, 21:08
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A/C issues

Is there anyone in Tennessee that actually knows how to work on an Mr2 A/C ? Do any of you recommend anyone other than dealerships?
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