Question about 2001 Toyota Corolla

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Loud tick & knocking for a 1zzfe engine from 2001 toyota corolla

My 01 Corolla, with 105k miles, has a pronounced knock and ticking noises from within the engine. The problem started around 90k, when I noticed increased oil consumption. A rattle/pinging (piston slap?) soon developed at approx 95k, only noticeable during acceleration on hills. The noise soon became louder and more noticeable over time, and now the noise can be heard at an idle. A light ticking had started at about the same time, and that noise has become quite pronounced now as well. When I start the engine from a cold start, only the ticking (presumably the valves) noise can be heard. Either upon significant acceleration or after about 2-3 minutes the knocking noise returns. I also noted the knock was more severe and accelerated when rpms are raised. The same is true for the ticking, but obviously not as pronounced of an increase (I assume this is due to the limited increased pressure to the lifters and the fact that overall camshaft speed does not increase as much as the crank/pistons?). Dry compression check is normal (avrg 185 or so), no visible excessive damage to camshafts, sprockets, timing chain, or lifters, although nothing has been miced/measured, and I only removed the timing chain cover and valve cover for inspection. I have a couple questions: My mechanic stopped by to poke around a bit and listen to things (trusted company mechanic), and he noted the timing chain was loose (prior to timing chain cover removal) and thought that was the problem, stating that somethings wrong with the timing assembly. At that point, the chain had less than one full link of visible slack between the camshaft sprockets in certain crank positions while turning the crank by hand. Upon inspection after cover removal, I found no unusual wear to either the guides or guide pivot arm. The tensioner seems to be in working condition (I do not know how to test this), and the chain is in the correct postion with all the slack to the tensioner side of the engine while at TDC. Could the tensioner really be causing the problems, is there a way to test the tensioner, and is the slack that appeared between the camshaft sprockets just due the lack of oil pressure applied to the tensioner (there is a little play on the tensioner when depressed before the plunger reaches the rackets/ribs)?? Secondly, what is the next easiest way to see if the engines truly ready for a complete overhaul if the problems not in the tensioner? I'm thinking: Buy a tensioner only (no timing kit) and install it, reseal the cover, reinstall the motor mount, then dropping the oil pan to check for wear on the crank bearings. Any thoughts for my project?

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  • spanke113_cr May 13, 2009

    Before I stopped using the vehicle, I tried 10-40, then went up to 75% lucas oil stabilizer. Improvement at first, but now no oil thickness can prevent te slapping/noise.

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  • Expert
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From what you are describing it sounds like a lifter/valve issue, i am a ford man i don't know if toyota do the same thing, but if they use inserts for the valve seats it is possible a valve seat has been dropping just has not dropped fully out to cause engine damage. buying a new engine will actually cost you less than an overhaul/rebuild anymore. the parts will cost you almost as much as a new motor will with all the machining that maybe needed.

Posted on May 13, 2009

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I had 300000km on mine and still good its a 4afe engine which has a belt not chain.
i found a problem with oil consumption was the 5/20 that the mazda dealer i was at was using.
went to 10/40 and it used half litre in 6000 km instead of one litre in 3000.
it also ran very quiet.it used to have the piston slap at start up

Posted on May 13, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: What is required in the 90K & 105K services

Action: Description

Inspect Cooling system hoses
Torque Body Fasteners
Inspect Idle speed
Inspect Exhaust system heat shields
Inspect Fuel lines
Inspect Emission System
Torque Frame Fasteners
Replace Air filter element
Inspect Drive Belt(s)
Change fluid Automatic transmission/transaxle
Inspect Parking brake
Inspect Ball joints
Drain, flush & refill Cooling system
Inspect Steering system
Inspect Brake system
Inspect Brake lines & hoses
Inspect Axle Shaft Oil Seal
Change fluid Rear differential
Inspect Driveshaft Universal Joint(s)
Inspect Constant Velocity Joint Boots
Change fluid Brake system
Replace Crankcase Oil Filter
Lubricate Door checks
Inspect fluid level Manual transmission/transaxle
Inspect fluid level Front differential
Inspect fluid level Transfer case
Inspect fluid level Rear differential
Change fluid Crankcase

Posted on Feb 09, 2011

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