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Old 04-15-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
B.E. Coyote OP
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Toyota Sienna Engine sound

Looking at an 04 Sienna.

It recently had the timing belt replaced and they ran into some problem where they replaced the camshaft. This is out of the ordinary correct? This was at 100k it now has 112k

The owner has all the receipts for maintenance on this van including all the receipts for this repair.

It drives great but does it sound right?


The van is in very nice shape and has been well maintained.


B.E. Coyote screwed with this post 04-15-2015 at 04:17 PM
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:48 PM   #2
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I'm just listening to it on my phone, but it sounds like a diesel to me. it might just be because of the phone. 100,000 miles is pretty regular for having the timing belt done. the problem with the camshaft does not sound like a good thing. perhaps they replaced the cam because of wear, or maybe they put the belt back on wrong and messed up the valve train. I would ask the owner what exactly happened with the cam. if all the receipts are from a reputable shop, I would not hesitate too bad on the purchase.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Yes, everything was fine. Just the normal maintenance having the belt changed. The shop did something during the swap to cause the need for the new camshaft.

Female owner, I completely feel like she is being honest but that is the extent to what she knows.

Wondering if there could be lingering damage or if it is good to go after the new cam shaft. A new waterpump was also put in but that is typical for this van since the wp needs to be removed to do the timing belt.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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Pour a quart of ATF in the engine, if the lifters quiet down it just maybe the engine is gunked up or low on oil. Let it run (not driving) for a bit with the ATF in there and then change the oil and filter.

See how it sounds after the oil change to decide.


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Old 04-15-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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Doesn't have lifters.
Something is definitely wrong. Valves out of adjustment or slave cam gear wasn't preloaded.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:20 PM   #6
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Toyota uses solid cam followers and the lash is adjusted by swapping in new lifters with different heights. The manual says to do it every 60k.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:04 PM   #7
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Doesn't have lifters.
Something is definitely wrong. Valves out of adjustment or slave cam gear wasn't preloaded.

Shows you how many Toyotas I've worked on.






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Old 04-15-2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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Toyota uses solid cam followers and the lash is adjusted by swapping in new lifters with different heights. The manual says to do it every 60k.
But they hardly ever ACTUALLY need it.
Now if they replaced the cam without adjusting them.....
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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But they hardly ever ACTUALLY need it.
Now if they replaced the cam without adjusting them.....

So bottom line, would you walk away from this?
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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Personally, I can fix it.
If you have to pay someone. ....YMMV.

If it's just the slave gear/counter gear that's easy. Valve adjust is a bit more involved, but still not horrendous.
All based on a cell phone video, mind you.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:28 PM   #11
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So bottom line, would you walk away from this?
it sounds like ass, get the one that doesn't
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:32 PM   #12
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it sounds like ass, get the one that doesn't

Ya, the search continues. I appreciate the comments.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:36 PM   #13
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Sounds like you've got your answer. We've got an 06 Sienna with the same engine. It's really hard to tell from the video, the mechanical growling sounds normal but it seems to have a ticking that ours doesn't.

BTW I'd recommend a Sienna with the 3.3. Ours is at about 175K and still running like new. Knock on wood.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:31 PM   #14
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1st & 2nd gen Sienna engines were good for 200k +mi. If the oil was changed regularly. Every 7.5k mi. wasn't often enough in most of the country under typical soccer mom short trip driving conditions though--sludge could be a problem. The valve cover toward the front is very easy to r&r to check for sludge, do this or have it done before purchase.

1st gen Siennas with power sliding door should be avoided. The Power slider mechanism was GM sourced and utter crap.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:35 PM   #15
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I think I may just be looking for a Kia Sedonna or Hyundia Entourage.

I know the Odyssey or Sienna are probably better vehicles overall but even used, the price of admission is very steep.
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