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6G Celicas Forums > 6th Generation Celica > Engine/Transmission/Maintenance
CoolDoctorJ
Ok, so the blue smoke on startup is the valve seals. Here's a question:

Do the valve seals get replaced when an engine is rebuilt? It sure looks like just replacing the seals is almost the same cost as completely rebuilding the engine. If that's the case, I might seriously consider it.

The car has 90,000 miles on it and it puffs blue smoke when I start it. What are the benefits of rebuilding the engine? If it's going to be rebuilt, are there any improved parts I should use? Keep in mind that I "don't know cat piss" about how to take apart an engine, so I'd be having it done professionally and paying through the nose for labor.

Some might say I should swap the engine. My concern with that is I would want to switch the AT to MT (more money), and I don't know what putting a ridiculous amount of power into my car without changing anything else would do to it. That and I'm paranoid so I'd want to rebuild the new engine anyway before putting it in. I really can't afford this option.

Let's assume I have $1500 maximum for this project. In any case, I must replace the valve seals somehow. Should I rebuild while I'm at it, rebuild with improvements, just replace the valve seals, or shut up because I don't know what I'm talking about?

Thanks!
Snarfer
Do a compression test first. They are pretty cheap for a shop to do it, or a tester is only ~25 bucks from an auto parts store. Its easy, all you do is take out the fuel pump relay, take a spark plug out, ground it, screw the tester in where the plug was and then turn the engine over a few times. If the compression is within spec then I wouldn't recommend a rebuild. I don't think the valve seals should be too expensive. They are not very hard to get to, the only tricky part is removing cams and putting compressed air in the cylinders without messing up the timing. But you take a ohc valve spring compresser, and remove the spring take the old seal off, put the new seal on and put the spring back on, then repeat 15 more times.
CoolDoctorJ
Replacing the valve seals really isn't that expensive? I wouldn't trust myself to do it myself. On other topics people were complaining that it would be something like $800 labor for a $10 part.

Thanks.
Snarfer
I wouldn't pay anyone to do it for me so I can't really say what it would cost. But the procedure would seems to me easier then replacing a timing belt. But then again I can't say for sure. You could just call around and ask shops what they would say. 800 may be for a head job that involves new guides.
Snarfer
Actually never mind, I just took a look inside the head. You would have to have the whole head off to be able to get the valves out. Some heads have enough room to just let you use a special compressor with out having to take the head off but these do not. So ya it would be more expensive then a head gasket.
CoolDoctorJ
Thanks for all the advice... I guess I'll be paying a visit to the local garage to get that compression test done, among other things.
brianforster
let me know about this, i have almost the same exact questions you have with this stuff wink.gif
bonzaisushi
valve seals arent any thing to worry about from what i know. i have the same problem, i guess its a problem with the 5sfe/common problem with the 5sfe, dont let a lil blue smoke ruin ur day. am i right? or completly wrong
Digndoug
Its not going to hurt anything, just make sure to always check your oil... Later it will be more of a problem, like in another 50k or so.. but i wouldnt flip out about it.. How much oil is it burning?? also, you could try some risoline.. It helped a good amount for 4k miles.. I would sugest using that every oil change, I have the same problem, but I change my oil more, an use risoline, ( it really just thinkiness up the oil some) an its been fine.. just a lil oil burning here an there.. I even asked the machanic i got the car from, he said just watch the oil, its really not worth dumping 800+ into it, but i also have 135k.. hope some of this helps
wht95st-02gtivr6
QUOTE (Snarfer @ Jul 8, 2004 - 5:09 PM)
Do a compression test first. They are pretty cheap for a shop to do it, or a tester is only ~25 bucks from an auto parts store. Its easy, all you do is take out the fuel pump relay, take a spark plug out, ground it, screw the tester in where the plug was and then turn the engine over a few times. If the compression is within spec then I wouldn't recommend a rebuild. I don't think the valve seals should be too expensive. They are not very hard to get to, the only tricky part is removing cams and putting compressed air in the cylinders without messing up the timing. But you take a ohc valve spring compresser, and remove the spring take the old seal off, put the new seal on and put the spring back on, then repeat 15 more times.

who told you to ground the plug out, at my tech school they told us to disable the primary ignition system.
95BlueGT
wow 90k and it needs a rebuilt....Are you doing it only for the reason of blue smoke at startup?? I dunnot but i've got 172K on mine and blue smoke only appeared like 10-20k miles ago.
CoolDoctorJ
Eh... it probably doesn't "need" a rebuild... I just didn't know what to do to fix the problem.
97GTinKC
1: Are you sure its the valve stem seals? could be just a stuck PCV or something,,,just how much oil is it using? Valve stem seals will typically blow smoke after an extended time idling, you have oil running off the cam while running, and a high vacuum reading at idle, which can suck oil past the seals, usually get a good puff of blue smoke after a long traffic light. If its just a single puff in the mornings, I wouldn't worry about it. could just be an injector leaking down overnite and washing oil off the cyl walls. You might also consider a good synthetic like Amsoil or mobil1, may cut down some oil usage. (not to mention helping perf and cutting wear)

2: A compression test will only tell you if you have worn compression rings or valves not seating. it does NOT tell you if the oil control rings are good. (I learned this the hard way).

3: Another alternative is to find a good low-mileage 5SFE from a salvage yard and change the whole engine. a late model celica or camry that was rear-ended would be ideal. This is a last resort, yours shouldn't have anything seriously wrong at only 90k
CoolDoctorJ
If I was going to replace the whole engine, why not go with the 3sge or 3sgte? Honestly I don't have the money to replace the entire engine, so that's just speculation.

You think it might not be valve stem seals? I get a big puff of blue smoke every morning when I leave for work and every evening when I come home from work. Also, it might just be my imagination, but it seems to be getting worse (the cloud is getting bigger.) I haven't -noticed- any smoke at other times, but I might not be vigilant enough.
Manta5x
I had the same problem at around 90k..a big puff of smoke at start up. I ignored it and now have 213k miles. No more smoke at start up.
ivansit0
I think thats a Common problem because My car the SAME EXACT thing, and after 125K miles later it still runs like a CHAMP, my mechanic said dont worry about it, and after 2 years i stoped worrying about it.
97Celica
137k raced almost every day...no smoke...am I missing something!??! I want to be one of the cool kids! damnit!
celicaboston1983
hey guys I have the same thing going on kinda noticed a while ago just thought i was seeing stuff. Well i changed my oil3 1/2 months ago and i check my oil today and the dip stick and it was on the full mark. Should I worry about this?
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