Cam Tower Gasket Replacement

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  1. #1
    POTATO Tanya's Avatar
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    Cam Tower Gasket Replacement

    Takes anywhere from 8-12 hours to do this, including the time the car has to sit for the sealant to cure (I prefer closer to 16 hours for sealant curing however)

    So anyway you start by opening the hood


    Start by removing the obvious stuff. The accelorator bracket, miscellenous hoses, intake, etc.


    Pull the valve covers and upper timing cover


    Now you don't HAVE to pull the plug wires, I only did because I was going to clean them, but 4 out of 6 of mine broke.
    Anyway, pull the coil wire, put car in neutral and rotate the crankshaft to TDC and make sure the cams are at their timing marks (also pull the distributor cap to make sure the rotor is pointing at #1 or you're gonna be in trouble)


    Loosen the cam gears w/o disturbing timing and remove the timing belt.


    Remove the upper rear timing cover. Don't forget to get off the remaining gasket material on the backside.





    Now, remove the bolts from the cam tower in sequence as is shown here:
    Cam Tower Sequence



    Remove rocker arms and lash adjusters, but keep them in order to their respective cylinders.




    Before installing the lash adjusters back in the head when re-assembling, be sure to bleed them well in lightweight oil.


    Intake side cam tower is more of a pain. Unbolt the throttle body and move it out of the way. Unplug distributor.


    Now do everything the same as the exhaust tower, same bolt removal sequence.

    Now I told my husband to use a little bit of sealant on the gaskets, but I suppose he forgot because I was in town when he did this part. Guess I'll find out if they leak w/o it soon enough.
    ***edit* they did start leaking again, HIGHLY recommended to use some RTV sealant/gasket maker on the gaskets, not a huge bunch, just a thing spread should suffice***


    When putting the cam towers back on, try using a little bit of grease to hold the rocker arms in place, because they're easily knocked off.


    I also lubed the cams up as well because we had to let the engine sit overnight because we couldn't finish with no light.

    Now here I made my own "Tennesee" gaskets as they're sometimes called. You can get one of these gaskets in the upper timing cover gasket set from Felpro, but because we just bought the cam tower gaskets and nothing else I made my own. And I made TWO gaskets because I've had experience with this little bastard oil galley before, and if that thing leaks, you're in serious trouble. Better safe than sorry. This is why the car should sit overnight, to let this troublesome area and its sealant cure.




    Then you put your cam gears back on, make sure they're in time (always check the rotor to make sure, or look through the oil cap opening to see if the cam hole lines up). Put the valve covers back on, replacing the grommets if you got them. (Which is recommended)



    I won't say much about getting the timing belt back on except that it's an extreme pain in the ass and now I really have blood into this car. I retarded each cam gear by 1.5 teeth, then I took the timing belt tensioner pulley and pulled it all the way towards the exhaust side, then temporarily tightened it there. Then pulled the belt on, intake cam first, then exhaust. Then I loosened the tensioner pulley and pulled it tight towards the intake until the belt was tight and the slack pulled the cam gears into time.

    The obviously you put everything else back on, hoses, throttle body, intake, etc.

    Before you try to start the car, don't be dumb like me and forget to plug the distributor back in. That could lead to a lot more pain and suffering, heh



    *note* any steps that may have been left out can be located in the online TSRM. And of course also the cam tower bolt torque specs HERE.
    Last edited by Tanya; 05-11-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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  3. #2
    CelicaSupra.com Member Angkistrodon's Avatar
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    POST IN FAQ!!
    I will be needing this, now do the same thing for the timing cog Seals.LOL
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    POTATO Tanya's Avatar
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    damn, you know I didn't even realize I could post in FAQ, thought threads had to be moved there. Whoops.

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    CelicaSupra.com Member Dangerous Ken's Avatar
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    Yes, nice writeup Tanya .

    I think you can't Start a thread in FAQ, but you can post replies to one.

    So you have to lobby someone with the power to move threads .

    Ken

  7. #5
    CelicaSupra.com Member
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    Good call about using a little bit of sealant. My brother a very good mechanic said to do the same thing. WE did and no leak 12'000 miles later knock on wood

  8. #6
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    Excellent writeup Tanya, thanks for taking the time to do it. Now that you've done the hard part, in being constructive, there are a few things I can add/clarify.

    It's best to remove the timing belt before loosening the cam gears to avoid damage to the belt, cogs, & keyway caused by pulling against the timing belt. Although doing this in the correct order does require the use of a special tool (I use 2 bolts through a 4' steel bar with holes every inch) to hold the cam gears.

    Use of an egg carton is the best way I've found to hold lash adjusters and rocker arms separate and not have any roll away/drop. At 6x2, it's like they were made just for this.

    Once the timing belt is on all cogs, you should not pull the tensioner pulley tight. This defeats its purpose. When you loosen the bolt holding it toward the exhaust side so that you could work the belt on, it should spring back and apply the correct tension on its own (assuming the spring etc. are within specs). Then rotate the crank as described in the TSRM to achieve correct tension before final tightening of this bolt.

    Hope these tips help. Again, thanks to Tanya for the actual writeup.
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  9. #7
    POTATO Tanya's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying some things. This is only the second time we've done this, the 1st time was years ago with my 1st Supra, and we had only changed the exhaust side. This time *I* did 98% of all the work by myself, and took pics. I did as much research as I could here on the forum, and it seems people have many different ways to get the timing belt back on, and some of it was a bit confusing, especially the TSRM version.

    Thanks again for the input, it's always appreciated
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  10. #8
    Tanya, how many times did you pump the lifters in order to bleed them?

  11. #9
    POTATO Tanya's Avatar
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    Hmm, I didn't really count or keep track, I'd have to say about 10 times each or so.

  12. #10
    CelicaSupra.com Member Dave A.'s Avatar
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    Very nice write-up, Tanya! Just one question; why do you use sealant on the cam tower gaskets? The stock OE cam tower gaskets are a metal shim type with a sealant coating. I think the Fel-Pro gaskets are the same way, IIRC.

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