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6G Celicas Forums > 6th Generation Celica > Engine/Transmission/Maintenance
How To Replace The Timing Belt and/or Water Pump on a 5SFE

I hold no responsibility for anything that breaks, any personal injuries, any damage to the vehicle, or any unexpected results caused by this how-to.

Related Thread:

Tools Used:

* I'm not gonna label each and every single tool used because there's too many to list.

**Just to give you a general idea, you absolutely NEED a full assortment of ratchets, sockets, extensions,
screw drivers, wrenches, two hydraulic jacks, jack stands, pulley puller, crowbar (or breaker bar),
some sort of marker (ie touch up paint or 'White-Out'), a way in sorting out nuts & bolts removed, determination and patience.

***It's optional to have: set of pliers, a short pick, a hammer, some liquid gasket maker,
a pipe (used as an extension for tight bolts), and impact ratchets (makes doing/undoing bolts faster).

Parts to Order:

Timing Belt
13568-09041 (for 5SFE)
13568-19056 (for 7AFE)

Water Pump Kit (Water Pump Gaskets are included)
16100-79185-83 (for 5SFE)
16100-19305-83 (for 7AFE)

Thermostat and Thermostat Gasket
90916-03046 & 16325-63011 (for both 5SFE & 7AFE btwn 94-95)
90916-03090 & 16325-63011 (for 5SFE btwn 96-99)
90916-03115 & 16325-63011 (for 7AFE btwn 96-99)

Coolant (If you're replacing your water pump)

Follow this guideline here as well:


My car is now at 125,270 kms (77,806 miles). Although, still a bit young but a good age to do a timing belt change as it has never been done since it came from the factory. I think 13 years, regardless of mileage, is long enough of a reason to have it replaced. So why not just get a complete tune up?
So I bought a bunch of OEM tune up parts recently: timing belt, water pump, thermostat, TRD oil filters, coolant, spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, oxygen sensor, and a few other bits that were missing from my car.

I've already done the easy half of the tune up. The distributor cap and rotor were replaced. New spark plug wires were put on. My spark plugs are still new so I didn't bother getting new ones. An oil change was done just a few days ago.

Now comes for the harder half of the tune up: timing belt and water pump replacement.
For this, it's best to have everything in the timing belt area to be changed. This consists of also replacing both idler and tensioner pulleys but due to the lack of funds, I didn't order them.

After a lot of searching for possible how-to's or guides to changing a timing belt, the only one I found useful was the BGB manual on found here. The most discouraging part of the search was the numerous comments made about this being a very difficult task and that someone with an 'average' level of mechanical experience is better off getting it professionally done by an expert. This is my first time doing a timing belt change or anything regarding an engine that simply isn't 'bolt-on' per se or had anything to do with regular maintenance. After successfully completing this for the first time, I would agree to what everyone says. It's a lot of work, requires a lot of tools, can be very frustrating having to set the timing right by the 'tooth'. But the big question is:

"Was it worth doing this myself? or should I have forked out a few hundred dollars out of my own pocket and have had a professional do this for me?"

That all depends on the individual. After reading this guideline, one must decide whether it would be worth his or her time provided that he/she has the necessary tools to attempt such a task..

imo, with my dad's tools and garage and my desire to learn more about celicas and engines in general, it was definitely worthwhile doing this myself.


1. Put the car on jackstands. Don't lift it too high but high enough that the hydraulic jack will reach the bottom of the engine oil pan for lifting. Ensure you have a lot of room around to work with.

2. Place some sort of soft cloth (or that pad that mechanics use) to cover the body around the engine bay so that one could lean over without damaging the paint.

Something bigger than what I used would have been a lot better.

3. Disconnect the negative terminal from your battery. Remove the strut bar (a combination of 14mm on the firewall and 12mm bolts on the strut mounts if you are using the stock one). Remove the harnesses attached to the alternator. Loosen the rear 14mm bolt pivoting the alternator to the motor. Loosen the 12mm clamping bolt on the side to allow the alternator to adjust. Now loosen the top bolt on the alternator bracket to lower the alternator. This loosens the belt for the next step.

4. Now that the belt is loose, remove it. Now, remove the rear bolt pivoting the alternator and the clamping bolt on the side. Remove the alternator.

5. Remove the passenger side wheel. Remove the passenger side lower splash guard. If you're replacing your water pump, drain your coolant. The drainage plug is located on the lower passenger side of the radiator. The plug looks like a winged nut and can be undone without tools. Make sure the engine has already cooled down before draining the system.

6. Remove the two 10mm bolts holding the harness protector to the motor.

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7. Place a secondary jack beneath the engine and jack it up til it reaches the oil pan. You'll be using this jack to lift the engine up and down to be able to gain access to bolt located in tight spaces.
NOTE: Be careful when lifting or releasing the jack, you do it slowly and keep watch of the height as you don't want to put too much stress on your motor mounts.

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8. Pump the jack to raise the engine a little. Just enough to remove the weight being forced on the front motor mount. Use a 17mm or 11/16" socket to remove the front motor mount bolt.

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9. Remove the 14mm nut and 12mm bolt on the passenger-side motor mount.

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10. Remove the 2 14mm bolts and 1 14mm nut holding the passenger-side motor mount to the body of the car. Remove the 14mm nut from directly under the motor mount. You'll need a fairly long extension to do this. Remove the power steering reservoir bracket from one of the studs where the 14mm nut used to be. Remove the engine mount. (If it won't come off, try raising and lowering the engine until it does)

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11. Remove the 3 14mm bolts holding the lower bracket to the engine.

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12. Loosen the 2 14mm bolts holding the power steering to the motor. Like the alternator, one of the bolts is for pivoting while the other one is used to adjust the angle and hold its position. After loosening, pull the power steering pulley towards the front of the car to loosen the belt. Remove the belt.

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13. Remove the 3 10mm bolts holding the upper timing belt cover at the front side of the engine. Remove the remaining 2 10mm bolts in the rear. Remove the upper timing belt cover ensuring that the rubber gasket is still on it.

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14. Use a 3/4" socket and turn the crankshaft pulley clockwise until the v-notch on the pulley is aligned at 0 degrees. Check the hole on the camshaft pulley. (You might not have enough room to see this. I used my camera phone and slid it between the camshaft timing pulley and strut tower, took a picture, then viewed it later. Lifting the engine and using a small mirror can be used otherwise) There should be a u-notch on the head that you should see directly through the hole on the camshaft pulley. If there is, then go to the next step. If there isn't, then turn the crankshaft pulley another 360 degrees until the v-notch on the crankshaft pulley is aligned at 0 degrees. Check the hole through the camshaft timing pulley, you should now see the u-notch on the head.

Note: Make sure that the alignment of the v-notch is ▒0.5 degrees from the 0 degree mark. This step ensures that the #1 cylinder is at top dead center (TDC, ie. piston at maximum height) when the piston is in compression and the exhaust valve is just closing. 2 crankshaft revolutions equals 1 system cycle.
Click here for more info.

Alternative method: This is another way to check if the #1 cylinder is at TDC at the end of the exhaust stage. This step may require 2 people to do. Remove the #1 spark plug, put your thumb over the spark plug hole to seal it and turn the crankshaft until you feel the air push out. This means you're in compression. You need one more revolution to be at the beginning of the cycle (ie. at the beginning of the intake stage and end of the exhaust stage). Use a long object like a straight coat hanger and put it through the spark plug hole lighly resting on the piston inside. As you turn the pulley on its final revolution, the coat hanger should rise to the highest position. Adjust going back and forth on the crankshaft pulley per unit degree until you reach maximum height.
Click here for more info.
*Thanks to my cousin for telling me this method.

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15. Loosen the tensioner pulley bolt. Use a hard rod (like a socket extension for example) to push down on the part where the spring is hooked on to. Keep it down and retighten the pulley bolt. This loosens the tension in the belt. Remove the belt from the camshaft timing pulley. If you're reusing the timing belt only to replace the oil pump or water pump, then put a mark on the belt and timing pulleys to know where the belt should line up when you put it back on later. Click here to see an example.

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16. This step requires you to remove the crankshaft bolt. You'll need to find a bolt that screws into one of the holes on the pulley. (It's good that I have a huge collection of random nuts & bolts in my garage, but I wasn't able to determine what type of threading it is.) None of the bolts that were removed up until now fit in that hole. The bolt I used looked to me like some sort of rear caliper bolt..
Anyway, once you find a bolt and screw it into one of the holes, use a long pipe or crowbar to keep the pulley from turning as you undo the center bolt. If you have an impact gun, you probably won't really need to lock the pulley down. Just hold the pulley steady while you unbolt it with the other hand.

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17. Using a pulley puller, pull out the crankshaft pulley. (You'll need to block the center of the pulley with something. I used a bolt that fit the end of the threads on the pulley puller.) Make sure that when you pull the pulley off, that it was set at 0 degrees. If this turns on you, you will have a mess later on with adjusting the timing and your car won't run (like what happened to me. You'll notice the crankshaft has a square notch so the pulley can only go in one way. I'd suggest you make a mark on the block where that notch should be. In the next few steps, there's a good possibility that the shaft will rotate.

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18. Remove the lower timing belt cover by undoing the 4 10mm bolts. Make sure the rubber gasket is attached to the cover.

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19. Remove the timing belt guide.

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20. Remove the timing belt from the crank shaft but remember to make markers if you plan on reusing your timing belt. Also make a marker on the block directly inline with the square notch on the crank shaft. This way in case the crank shaft turns a few degrees in the next few steps, you can put it back to how it was at 0 degrees. Click here to see an example.
Remove the crankshaft timing pulley which should easily slide off by hand.
(Make sure the crank shaft doesn't get pushed in. This happened to my dad when he was doing the timing belt on my sisters 6th gen. He had to get my uncle (Toyota mechanic) to help him and required a lot more work.)

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21. Now that the belt is off, remove both tensioner and idler pulleys using a 14mm socket. Once off, inspect both pulleys to ensure they can freely rotate and don't wobble or have any cracks or anything. Also inspect the spring ensuring it meets factory specifications. I was only able to inspect the dimensions of the spring but not the tension force of the spring. I guess I can use Hooke's Law (F=kx) if only 'k' was given! LOL rolleyes.gif

Nerds only: oh wait a sec, actually you can! if the range is 32 to 37 [N] while at 50.5 [mm] or 0.0505 [m] and since F=kx, then k=F/x.
therefore, k(min) = 32 [N] /0.0505 [m] = 633.66 [N/m] and k(max) = 37 [N] / 0.0505 [m] = 732.67 [N/m]. (this is the theoretical ideal range for k).
but you'll also need a known mass hanging on the spring and a ruler to measure its elongation (x) due to gravity.
also calculate the force (F) by multiplying its mass by the gravitational acceleration.
then solve for the actual value for k using k=F/x and compare if it falls in the theoretical ideal range for k.

but i'm too lazy to actually do it, plus i'm on my summer break. no engineering til september!
i'm gonna take my chances and skip the spring force test. meh, if the spring fails on me, then so be it.

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22. For this next step, we'll be replacing the water pump. If this doesn't concern you, then jump on ahead to step 23. If you've gotten this far, then congratulations you're 1/3rd of the way! LOL biggrin.gif seriously though.
Since you made it this far, then replacing your water pump is a piece of cake. I'll quickly summarize everything you need to do this in one step.

Drain coolant. Remove the 3 10mm and 1 14mm bolts holding the water pump to the block. Remove the 2 10mm nuts holding the water pump neck to the water pump. Remove the 2 10mm nuts joining the coolant bypass pipes to the water pump (just above the oil filter). Remove the water neck. Remove the water pump. Replace the old thermostat gasket and bypass pipe gasket with new ones (new gaskets should have come with the new water pump). Install new water pump and put all nuts and bolts back on. The studs and housing on the water pump are aluminum and aluminum is generally known to be softer than steel so don't overtorque the nuts and bolts. But they should be fairly snug.

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23. In this step you're putting parts back on the car. So backtrack going from step 21 to step 14. This step consists of 1/4 of the whole procedure. (It sucks, i know). Make sure there is no oil or other contaminants anywhere in the timing belt area like on the pulleys, the belt itself, etc. If there is make sure you wipe everything clean before moving on.

Basically the idler and tensioner pulleys, the new timing belt (or used one if you're reusing it. but be sure to match the marks made earlier on the belt teeth to the proper gear tooth on the timing pulley), timing belt guide (make sure the crankshaft is aligned to the marks made earlier in step 20), lower timing belt cover, crankshaft timing pulley, crankshaft pulley, and center crank bolt are all back on. Make sure the tensioner pulley is set to 'loose' (ie. where the spring is in tension). Run the timing belt back on all pulleys except for the camshaft timing pulley.

24. Warning: The next two following steps will be the most difficult and longest steps. Get a box of kleenex ready just in case tongue.gif.
In this step, you will try to test start the car and see if the timing is right. Since there is no coolant (if you replaced your water pump) and the alternator is not attached, you can't run your engine for long. If the car starts and idles fine, you're golden! Otherwise, you'll need to make adjustments by moving the timing belt back and forth on the camshaft timing pulley til you get it right.

To start off, put the timing belt on the camshaft timing pulley and make sure it's fairly tight. Then loosen the tensioner pulley bolt until it springs back tight putting tension back on the timing belt. Retighten the tensioner pulley bolt. If you had used the alternative method from step 14, then put the spark plug and wire back on. Put the negative terminal back on the battery. Pray... now get in the car and start it with the hopes of it running normally. If it does, congrats as you just saved the extra trouble in having to adjust the timing and proceed to step 26.

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25. Otherwise, you car will either not idle properly or more likely will not run at all. In this case, you'll need to rotate the crankshaft pulley 2 revolutions clockwise and back to the 0 degree mark. Make sure again it's at ▒ 0.5 degree tolerance. Recheck the hole on the camshaft timing pulley and see if it's aligned with the u-notch on the head. More likely it isn't which is why it isn't running normally. If it isn't, then we'll have to readjust it so that it is. So remove the negative terminal on the battery, put the tensioner pulley back in 'loose' and remove the timing belt from the camshaft timing pulley and make the necessary 1 or 2 tooth adjustments to bring the hole back in alignment with the u-notch. Put the tensioner pulley back in 'normal operation' mode, reconnect the negative terminal on the battery, and start it again.

Repeat this step again and again until the timing belt is correctly positioned and until the car idles normal. If you're lucky you could get it right the 1st time but for me, this took about 3 times before i got it down right to the right timing since my crankshaft turned while the timing belt was off so I had to narrow it back down to the right position.

Here's a video of how my engine ran after I got the timing set.

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26. Congratulations, you're now at 2/3 of the way to completion! Take another break if you want but..
IPB Image you're almost there! Just hang on.

27. From here on out, you're putting everything back the way it was before you started. So in other words, you're backtracking once again from step 13 all the way back to step 1 (with the exception of the splash guard since if you're going to add coolant). Make sure you don't mix up the bolts, which is why you're supposed keep them all organized in the process..
Feelin tired yet? Try writing a how to! lol biggrin.gif

28. Once everthing is put back correctly and the car is down, you're finished! But if you still need to add coolant, see the next step.

29. Since the coolant system is completely empty, now would be a good time to do a full system flush. I followed Bitter's idea (i think it was him) in flushing out the heater core lines but removing one of the heater coolant lines and flush it with water using a garden hose. I wanted to make sure the lines are clean and clear of all rust or deposits to provide maximum heat in the winter when I need it most. In addition, I bought a bottle of Gunk radiator flush liquid just to be safe and followed the instructions on the back which was fairly simple. Then added Toyota brand pink coolant already premixed using a special coolant bleeder funnel to ensure no air locks in the system. And just to be sure, after filling the system with coolant i did a combination of jacking up the rear and front and revving it high to increase fluid flow to ensure air is pushed through and out towards the radiator. Then let it sit for about an hour for the engine to cool back with the environment and the coolant reduces in volume while the funnel feeds it coolant to ensure no air enters. Radiator cap goes back on and Finished!

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Total Time:
Doing this the first time while following the Toyota BGB and taking notes, organizing nuts and bolts, and taking pics, all took about 18 hours.. but for a skilled mechanic, it should probably take about 5 hours more or less.


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This concludes the replacement and installation of the timing belt and water pump

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QUOTE(D-Man @ Apr 16, 2008 - 1:38 PM) [snapback]665157[/snapback]


Can this be a sticky please...... Please...... thumbsup.gif
this is jesus
Awesome how-to gerald! very informational you are as always!
PS, loosening the front bolt of the altewrnator loosen rear screws and removing belt and raising the alternator upwards would be a good step to do for those who want to install the ebay headers in their GT's.
sticky sticky sticky
Excellent write up!
nice to see someone put all that time and effort into the write up. goodjob, im sure everyone will appreciate it.
I third the motion to stickie!!!! EXCELLENT write up, thanks azian! thumbsup.gif
Great job with the write-up. I will probably attempt to do mine in the next month.
GREAT job man!
this is definetly sticky material.
Very nice write-up. thumbsup.gif
I took longer haha well over 3-4 days.
thanks for the great comments guys.. smile.gif
i'm one step closer to celica guru status! woot.gif j/k
nice job this is grrrrr ATE
Excellent write-up. You've set the bar for my clutch guide. I better finish that up...
You're a animal. thumbsup.gif
well, looks like i will be needing this!
redface.gif uh
... back from the dead.

Does anyone run without the timing covers on?
This is a great how-to. There are a few steps that could be done in a different sequence; but this coupled with the Chilton will make this job less difficult. I've done this a couple times and now know what to expect; be sure to have more time than originally planned.
i know this thing is way old but did anyone else have trouble with the crankshaft bolt? any bolt/screwdriver i could get in the holes are to small to really do anything other than just bend or break when going at it with a breaker bar?? and well honestly an ipact is out of the question for me for money reasons.m is there anywhere else i could hold it from? thanks in advance for any advice.
put the car in gear and have someone hold th brake pedal down, then use a long breaker bar. that should do it
QUOTE (atcos4 @ Sep 27, 2012 - 6:11 PM) *
i know this thing is way old but did anyone else have trouble with the crankshaft bolt? any bolt/screwdriver i could get in the holes are to small to really do anything other than just bend or break when going at it with a breaker bar?? and well honestly an ipact is out of the question for me for money reasons.m is there anywhere else i could hold it from? thanks in advance for any advice.

Brace the breaker bar agaisnt either the lower control arm or the ground and briefly crank the starter. It will get the bolt loose everytime
Oh, I forgot to thank you when I used this tutorial....

Last year, I paid a repair shop to change the timing belt, and at the time I just didn't think I needed to do the water pump. Well I got it back from them and the car was missing and sputtering etc... obviously the timing, so I took it back to them.

It came back again running, but seemed like I had bent a rod in the whole timing belt fiasco of 11. Well fast forward a year and the water pump seizes up, low and behold, this time I decide I'm going to conquer it myself, so I follow this tutorial.

First I had to go to the pawn shop and pay $25.00 for a corded impact wrench and some other misc tools, but after that, off and running. I also want to give a shout out to for the excellent parts and fast shipping on the timing belt/water pump/tensioners kit that I purchased also. It was a breeze with the instructions and pics.

Thanks, thanks, thanks....

Oh again as a side note, I've started purchasing nearly all my parts for the gen 6 celica on they have a ton of the wear parts we go through and offer economy, daily driver, and performance parts for most the stuff we use on these cars.

Great Tutorial, follow it and you should be successful
RockAuto is a solid site, not just for buying but for price comparison and part number sources including pictures.
@azian_advanced you're a legend! biggrin.gif I used your post and did my '91 ST184 celica, 2.2 5SFE and it works great now. for mechanically illiterates like me, I could have used some more info regarding the oil seals change from the camshaft, oil pump and crankshaft, and also strengthening the timing belt after replacing it, but apart from that it was going great. I guess following these steps anyone can do the timing belt replacement with little trouble. For those that own a celica like mine, I would like to add that the top cover of the timing belt does come off with a bit of extra force as the brake pump is in the way.

Any ideas about changing the power steering pressure hose?


QUOTE (KAOS @ Aug 7, 2009 - 10:21 PM) *
... back from the dead.

Does anyone run without the timing covers on?

I do, no problems at all. I lost the covers actually... probably because a bolt fell in destroying my brand new belt d=-( so i tossed it across the shop lol... but ya no biggie
if someone will do this for the 3sge

I'm sorry to bother you, but I am just about to take upon this project myself. But the pictures on your photobucket have expired. Is there any way for you to repost it?
Thank You!

I have just finished my timing belt, water pump, and oil pump! It wouldn't have been possible without your hope! Thank you!
this was a big help, but I wish i'd of been better prepared for the bolts on the psteering pump, and the bottom of the motor bracket. You need a long skinny 14mm like a serpentine belt tool. when you guys pull that motor mount bracket how do you get to it? in the pics here it looks like you've got it jscked all the way up.
on my neon there was a hole in the firewall right through the fenderwell where you could put a socket right through it.
tomorrow when I put it bCK TOGETHER I may get the hole saw out...
Ill add a couple of pics to help anybody who is taking this apart for the first time. If you're a pro mechanic you've probably got all kinds of extra tools for those specialy tricky spots.
Here are a couple you'll need for the Celica, mine is a 1994 ST204 with a replaced 5s-fe ( I think it came out of a later model Camary because they shaved a few inches off the bell housing to make the oilpan fit)

The deal is that to get to the upper bolt on the power steering pump, and the three bolts that hold the engine mounting bracket the motor are a Beeatch.
Fist thing you'll wish you had is a nice long skinny socket of some sort, I happened to already have one they sell as a "serpentine belt tool"

These bolts are 14mm , the other wrench you'll be glad to have is a 14mm with a box-end ratchet, one with a 45* angle, the straight one won't help ya much.
they sell nice Durolast ones at Auto Zone in singles so you don't have to buy the whole set.

After the whole thing is apart you've only got these few parts off the car

When I first got mine the guy told me he put a new clutch and a new motor in it, and he replaced the timing belt while he had it out, but it made a funny whiirrrr noise, He said "I think maybe I got the timing belt too tight"
Which I thought was strange, and I assumed surely he had replaced the water pump while he was at it.. sure.

after two months the whiirr noise turned into the familiar squak squak of a water pump and a little dribble below the motor gave it away for sure.
I got a Gates timing belt kit including both pulleys and new spring, the kit came with two springs, one for the 1.8L and one for the 2.2L
the spring for the 2.2 is a little longer, but when I got it apart I found the spring on there was different from both of them

the one on the top it the brand new one and the one on the bottom is the one I found on it,
notice they are about the same length, yet the bottom one has a different amount of coils, This would most certainly make for a different tension even though the
length is the same, either way, I don't like to play around and so I make sure to replace the belt, idler, tensioner, spring, water pump all together.
and IDK if the dude just found this random spring somewhere or what but it sounds a whole lot better now

a video guide sure will help...

make sure to watch the part 2 as well....

One of the best write up I have seen thus far. When I bought the car, I had a friend retired Toyota mechanic who replaced it for me at dealer cost but that was still close to 300 with parts. i have book marked this site for future use.

thank You OP!
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