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Old 05-30-2017, 06:46 PM   #1
SBJ
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Default Fixing my oil burner

What's up everyone? This project isn't going to be a D21 build or even a Nissan for that matter but I thought I'd ask permission to post here. It'll probably be a few months before I get around to much of anything, gotta get moved and find new employment first. A little back story: a few years ago I acquired a 1998 Toyota Corolla, 1zz-fe with the 5 speed. I've been daily driving it ever since and it's been a wonderful little appliance. I am only the second owner... the first was a middle aged PhD who took extremely good care of it. The car came with the original invoice sticker and a thick folder of service records However, like most​ 98-02 Corollas it burns oil. A lot of it. Like a quart every 6-800 miles. This is because of a manufacturing defect in which the oil drain holes in the pistons are too small and over time they clog and gunk up the oil control rings. It's becoming​ more apparent...the car now has 152k on it and it starting to blow a little smoke when revved.

My plan is to pull the engine and transmission out as one unit and put the engine on a stand and drill out more holes in the pistons and install new rings. Thinking I will install a new clutch while I'm at it. I'll also send the head off to a machine shop to get the valves cleaned up and new stem seals installed.

I know this is a lot of work for a 19 year old econobox but I got the car for free and it doesn't cost me much more than that to keep it around. Plus I think it would​ be unethical to sell it with this condition since most car owners wouldn't even know anything was wrong until it runs out of oil and blows the motor up. This vehicle is worthless with it's current condition and I would feel bad selling someone a lemon... I've worked on too many other cars where the owner thought they were getting a great deal only to discover the bought someone else's problems. And finally now that I've fixed everything on the truck I need something else to keep me busy lol. Thoughts?
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:08 AM   #2
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I would like to see the project. I assume it is OK with the mods on here. One can always pick up a bit of knowledge by reading through these threads.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:20 AM   #3
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im ok with the idea. i dont think anyone will have a problem with the thread. we all have different rides besides our Nissan(s) and those vehicles need TLC as well. my adventures with her Lexus are well documented here.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:53 AM   #4
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Awesome. Like I said it will probably be several months before much of anything gets done. I got some more pressing shit to deal with first and it needs to be in one piece for me to drive it across the state. It's kinda funny...my folks keep pressuring me to sell it since I already have 2 other vehicles and I guess there's no rational basis behind it other than that I'm a gear head and love to take shit apart and mess around with it. They have never been supportive of this hobby to say the least. Funny story, I actually ended up getting this car from a family friend after they came up to visit me and had to ride in the POS $750 Honda Accord I used to drive. Plus I'm pretty much out of things to fix on the truck now lol.

This is a well documented problem with early production 1ZZs and also affected 2000-02 celicas and a few early model matrices. The pistons were updated for the 2003 model year, fixing the problem entirely. There's a great repair thread over at Toyota nation, I'll post a link. The good news is that this little car is an absolute joke to work on and​ being a 5spd the rest of it will last a small eternity.

Link: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/13.../402362?page=1

One thing I do need to fix soon...it has a seized brake caliper to the point where it's holding back trying to accelerate. But I'm gonna be lazy and wait till next payday for that.

Last edited by SBJ; 05-31-2017 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:55 AM   #5
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Barely any progress has been made. I've received the first of the parts for it...head bolts and both crank seals. I plan to buy all the parts in bundles based on which rockauto warehouse they ship out of.

Still need to get:

Head gasket set
Water pump and thermostat
Clutch kit
Transmission input/output shaft seals
Oil pan gasket
Piston rings

I may or may not replace the timing chain and gears, depending on how they look. I have seen a few of these cars with 250k+ on the original chains, so it might just fine (at 154k now). I will replace the guides and tensioner, however. I will also probably end up replacing the 02 sensors since all those years of burning oil can't be good for them. As of now the car runs perfectly fine and I plan to keep driving it and topping the oil off until I've got everything ready to go.

Here's the engine bay. So much room in there.



But before this engine gets torn down another one has to go back together. This one hasn't run in a couple years and has a lot of oil in the coolant filter. I should get a picture of the pan up here.

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:31 AM   #6
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My step daughters BF just sold his 96 Corolla, the thing had over 360K miles on it, AC was still working but it had a bad exhaust leak near the engine, and everything under the car was black. He didn't want to put any money into it since he bought it for about $200, he just sold it for $1000
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahardb0dy View Post
My step daughters BF just sold his 96 Corolla, the thing had over 360K miles on it, AC was still working but it had a bad exhaust leak near the engine, and everything under the car was black. He didn't want to put any money into it since he bought it for about $200, he just sold it for $1000
Not bad. I was given this car by a family friend 3 years ago, so I don't mind spending a little money on it. 97 and older models have either the 4A-FE or 7A-FE engines which are not affected by the oil burning problem. Toyota's A family of engines started production in the early 1980s, so it was pretty well figured out by then. 98-08 have the 1ZZ-FE, which is a brand new all aluminum design (at least at the time). It's really simple and not a bad motor otherwise. My hope is that after I fix the manufacturing defect I'll be able to drive it another 150k at least. It's a 5 speed, which helps too. The engine in the second picture is a gm ecoshit 2.2, found in Malibus, HHRs, later model cavaliers and probably a few others too. This one overheated and warped the head pretty badly, so it's new head time.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:52 AM   #8
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Just bought some more parts for it...my plan is to stockpile all the parts until I have everything I need. I ordered a cylinder head gasket set (multi-layer steel gasket), a set of piston rings and a few little things since they all ship from the same warehouse. I also got new gaskets for the throttle body and idle control valve as well as oil pump and pickup tube gaskets. I figure I might as well replace every single seal I can as long as I'm in there, like I did with the truck.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:28 AM   #9
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Got the piston rings and the head gasket set. I got bored on Saturday and decided to replace the throttle body and fuel injector o-rings and clean the injectors just for the hell of it. Some dirt fell down in the injector ports so I ended up pulling the intake and blowing everything out with compressed air and replacing the intake manifold gasket as well. The cheap valve cover gasket that came with my head set didn't fit so I ended up going the parts store and getting a fel-pro one. It was leaking anyways.

The runners were all gunked up with carbon deposits. This car has been burning oil for a long time. Luckily this engine doesn't have an EGR system, I can only imagine how gunked up it would be. The picture quality isn't very good but it's pretty gunked up.



I emptied a can of brake cleaner into the intake and cleaned out the idle control valve while I was at it. Most of this stuff should probably be done anyways, it has 155k on it and I don't think any of this stuff has been done recently. A new clutch will also do wonders for it.

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Old 09-10-2017, 07:36 PM   #10
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So...after a bit of deliberation yesterday we have decided to ax the first project and junk the car (the chevy, not the toyota). It's toast. I pulled the crank girdle and rod bearing caps off yesterday afternoon. All of them were pretty noticeably scored, and a couple were especially bad. It's scrap metal at this point. The lighting really doesn't do these justice.

Here is a shot of one of the rod bearings. As I suspected this nasty oil/coolant mix is all over everything.




The main bearings are even worse, especially the #2. You can see where it's been scored in the middle.





I run into this pretty frequently with vehicles like this...I have helped a lot of low-income motorists repair their vehicles (I am one myself lol). I guarantee when it started overheating or running weird they didn't pull the dipstick or the oil cap or look in their coolant reservoir and say,

"Oh, my head gasket is going bad. I should park this car and not drive it again until it's fixed". Nope. They ran it until it wouldn't go anymore. I've never met the previous owner but I'm sure that's what happened. When they caught the problem I'm willing to bet they put the wrong kind of coolant in (dex-cool doesn't mix well with others and is a really shitty coolant to begin with) and caused a precipitation reaction (that nasty gel that's everywhere). It also doesn't help that this engine has a congenital water pump defect which causes coolant to leak into the oil pan because the water pump is driven off the balance shaft chain. It's not unlike Mopar's infamous 2.7L V6 in that respect. In fact, the water pump had been replaced recently but it's too little too late.

As for my toyota, I'm going to keep driving it until I find a job closer to where I live. I have seen these with 250k+ on them, burning oil the entire time. It usually gets 36-37mpg average and I've gone as high as 40. With gas prices spiking I need this car in one piece for now. I still have to buy about half the parts, including the clutch and the transmission seals. After that, I'll make a spot in the garage for it and it's go time. Stay tuned.

Last edited by SBJ; 09-10-2017 at 07:44 PM.
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