View Full Version : Whee! Rod Knock.

07-04-2007, 11:51 AM
When it rains it pours. First the wheels now this.

I noticed the other day when I was out tooling around that I was hearing a strange tapping noise from my engine. Only when I was accelerating. I listened to it for a while and then calmly convinced myself that it was just my exhaust leak acting up. When I gutted my cat I snapped one of the bolts connecting the cat to the exhaust manifold. I only drive my car back and forth to work with only the occasional trip elsewhere. All in all I put maybe 50 miles a week on the car.

I was making my daily run to the store on break when I noticed the 'tapping' was a little more agitated. I just kept telling myself that it was the exhaust leak. An angry valve ticking at the worst.

After work when I fired the car up a buddy of mine came over and mentioned the knock. I had shared my fears with him earlier about it being and exhaust leak, and he had agreed. However with the car cold, we both got out and listened to it.

It wasn't an exhaust leak or a sticky valve.

It is full on motherfucking rod knock.

Mudhoney has 213k on the ticker. I bought her off a kid, who no doubt beat the living hell out of her. I am certain she was his first car and mommy and daddy took care of everything for him. When he showed me the $1200 bill for the clutch and labor I was sure of it. I am not gonna say that I don't beat my cars, but I at least take care of them.

This is an utter bitch now.

I now get to source a set of wheels to replace my ruined Enkeis and an engine to keep my daily driver going. All the while working 80 hours a week.

So now I am 0 for 3.

The wife's car has a blown headgasket, Chaos has a stuck set of wheels and Mudhoney just developed a case of the rod knock.

I am looking at replacing this as cheap as possible.

Jeremy, you have mentioned using a 5SFE as a drop in replacement for the 3SFE. What steps are involved in this? If I understand correctly Gina used the entire 5SFE harness and ECU (or will.) You mentioned that this step could be avoided by using the 3SFE sensors on the 5SFE engine.

I am looking to do this as cheap as possible. I don't have a lot of money or time to invest in this. If I did, I would just source a 3SGTE. That was the original plan for when the engine went, I just expected it to be a lot later.

I could probably source a 3SFE from a local scrap yard, but I would prefer to get a 5SFE since the odds of it being lower mileage would be better.

What about a later model 3SFE? Didn't the RAV4 come with those?

I am just a little stressed out right now. I have pulled two 15 hour days in a row, get my day off and realize that I have no reliably operable car.

This is a pain in the ass. Any help or suggestions would be highly appreciated.

07-04-2007, 12:21 PM
hey what do u mean by stuck set of wheels,

if u just need some wheels i got some brand new 15 inch steelies that 4x100 u can have, off of a corolla, just pay shipping

im getting scared, cars that went to the dragon started blowing up :ugh:

07-04-2007, 12:48 PM
I have a thread about the wheels in the Troubleshooting, Repair and Maintenance forum. I meant to post this there, but I am really tired. I thought that was where I was.

Basically with the wheels I have 3 seized lug nuts that prevent me from removing the front two wheels. I have broken 3 keys (spline drive nuts) trying to break the loose. IN the end I took a chisel to one of the nuts and only wound up scoring my wheel. The nut wouldn't even split.

I have a friend coming over today. Since it is the 4th of July and it is my god given right as an American to get drunk and blow shit up, we are gonna get that damn wheel off come hell or high water. I am gonna take a drill and drill down the side of the nut to manually split it. If that doesn't do the trick my last option is to take a grinder and literally cut the wheel off. The wife has a heavy go foot and an even heavier whoa foot. That is not a good combo for brakes. She needs a whole new brake job, rotors, calipers, pads... And that can't be accomplished if I can't get the wheels off the front end. The rear wheels are fine, the nuts came right off. However the front ones are seized. I am speculating that they heated up to much due to some heavy braking and essentially welded themselves to the studs. Just a hunch.

Let me evaluate the situamigation and I will let you know about those wheels, do they have rubber on them? What do you suppose shipping would be?

I knew this was coming with Mudhoney's engine. I knew she had been rode hard before she met me, I should have been a little more gentle. I was worried I was gonna have to pull the engine from the beginning on account of the rear main leak. I had even pondered dropping a fresher motor in there at that time. I just hate being 'forced' to do things.

07-04-2007, 12:56 PM
i sold the tires a year ago, i can probally get some, i have no idea on shipping, i think i can find out tomarrow

shoulda had a 22re powered celica....

oh hows that intake btw

and i have 1 front new 4th gen rotor i need to get rid of as well

07-04-2007, 01:06 PM
I haven't gotten around to installing the intake. It is too long with the AFM. I am going to us an extra intake pipe i have laying around to make an actual CAI that will run through the fender. The Injen intake to the AFM, the 90* bend intake after the AFM to a filter in the fender. It will nifty when I get the time. However, now I have more pressing matters.

It will be cheaper to ship the wheels sans tires. I can source them up here if need be. I have to sit down and figure finances and timeline possibilities before I make any decisions.

07-04-2007, 01:35 PM
I feel you brother, my poor 3SGTE is knockin too... freakin' horrible timing for me as well. Me and the wifeys only vehicle. Well, let me know if there's any way I can help you.

07-04-2007, 01:54 PM
so the 22re.................

:incert evil laughter:

07-04-2007, 03:56 PM
Meh, just throw some thicker oil in it. :hehe:

The RAV4 up to 99? had the 3SFE.

One note here,
What I am suggesting is what I believe is the "right" way to do this. Many times things can be half assed or just stuck together and work. They might even work for a long time.
IMO the best way to do it is the right way, this greatly lessens hassles down the road.

The easiest 5S [for you] to put in will be from a 90/91 Celica. More of the sensors will be the same, as well as how the exhaust is lined up, vaccum lines, ect.
As you move to newer 5S, or to a different vehicle [MR2 or Camry] more small things will change.
The basic stuff is the same though, all the engines will physically bolt in, bolt to the transmission, and the sensors are in basically the same place.

A couple of notes.
5S came in
90 - 95 MR2
90 - 99 Celica
93? - 01 Camry
-ALL [as far as I can tell] Camry 5S have balance shafts. This shouldn't really create a problem, just something to be aware of. I wouldn't recommend removing them as they are driven off the crank by a machined in gear, and this could change the balance. :shrug:
-97 ^ Camrys have 2 sets of coils where the dist used to be. The bracket should unbolt and there is still a hole for the dist. However, I don't know if the camshaft still has the machined relief for it.
-All 96^ have crank sensors. This shouldn't effect you at all, just leave them disconnected.
-The newer Camry manifolds, while better than all the others, won't directly bolt to your exhaust. They are visually different, being tubular instead of cast.
-92^ Celicas, most Camry [probably all, I'm not 100% positive of the year they started] and I believe the 92^ MR2 have knock sensors. Same deal as the crank sensor, won't effect you.
-The 92^ 5S has a PCV valve in addition to the breather hose [part of the PCV system]. This won't work with you older intake manifold, so hopefully you can use the newer one.
-The dist is different in some cases. Some have the coil inside the dist, and some have different connectors. All [that have a dist] come with the same relief machined into the camshaft. You will need to reuse your old dist IIRC.
-You need to match up an auto trans with an auto ECU and vice versa.

While I believe the injectors are the same type and shape for most, I'm not positive. I know they changed on the newer Camry 5S, and you can't use them on your car.
If they are different I'm not sure how many of the fuel rails are interchangeable. The Celica ones I would imagine will be, but I'm not postive. This might also go for the RAV4 3S too.....

The other thing I don't know for sure is if the clutch pressure plate has the same bolt pattern, and if not, if the crank does [if the clutch PP won't bolt up to the flywheel, you can try using the other flywheel, assuming it bolts up to the crank].
If neither do, check and see if the input shaft is the same. If so, use the other clutch, if not, you'll have to make a hybrid clutch.

If you have an auto, same thing applies, only possibly a little more difficult.
If crank bolt patterns are the same you can use your old flex plate if your torque converter won't bolt to the new one.
If it doesn't, then you will have to try and make something work [swap TC maybe, if the input shaft of the trans is the same].

^I hope those paragraphs made sense, it's the only way I can think to explain it without typing a 2 page essay....

As far as using the 3S ECU on the 5S, all the sensors are in basically the same locations.
Some of the below mentioned will depend on which year engine and what vehicle it came out of, but all are pretty similar.
You will most likely need to swap either TPS or the whole TB with the ISC valve, though they tend to have the same connector for it [the ISC].
The EGR stuff [including the EGR VSV on the rear of the intake manifold] will most likely be useable off the 5S. If not, swap it.
Swap the whole coolant elbow with the sensors on it. Or you can just swap individual sensors, depending how many are different. You're best off swapping the whole elbow though, because while a "sensor" might have the same connector, it might not perform the same. Case in point, the Camry has the radiator fan switch on the coolant elbow. While the connector might be the same as the EFI water temp sensor, it won't take the 5V from the ECU and convert it to a temp reading, so it won't work. It needs 12V and is an on/off switch.
Oil pressure switch should be the same for all.

As far as accesories [alt/AC/pwr steering] it will probably be easiest to use the original ones.
Physically they are interchangeable [meaning any ones will bolt to any engine, with the MR2 being the exception because it has no pwr steering pump and the alt is on the rear where it usually is], but connectors WILL be different for some engines, depending on year/model.
If you do want to use newer ones and the connectors are the same, go for it. Just remember manual trans alts have a lower output than auto trans alts.
Consider also the pwr steering pump might have different connections for different engines. If it does, you can most likely swap them. How hard it will be I'm not sure. Depends on application.

Vaccum lines might take a bit of creativity. There are ALOT of variations on the vaccum ports and where they are. Not a massive difference [they're all on the intake man, just in different numbers and positions]. You will need to have a basic understanding of what lines go where and what they're supposed to do.

A couple of notes for those that want to swap the 5S ECU and harness into their cars as well.
First off, it will be MUCH easier if you get an engine/harness/ECU set. This way it SHOULD have everything on the engine you need.
Older harnesses and ECUs will USUALLY work fine on newer engines, but not vice versa.
If you want to just use a 5S ECU and engine with your 3S harness, you will need a 90/91 engine/ECU.
If you use a 92^ ECU, you WILL need a 92^ harness and block [for the knock sensor].
If you use a 96^ ECU, you WILL need a 96^ engine and harness [for the crank pos sensor].
The differences in dist will also matter. What you will need will depend on what year/model engine you get. Don't forget about the Camry coils for 97^.
There are MANY ECU and harness revisions for the 5S. Some of which aren't readily interchangeable [anything is with enough time and $$$].
Even if I did have them all in my head [which I don't], I wouldn't list them all here.
You need to do some research and find out which year/version 5S you have, and then dig around for it's specific info.

07-04-2007, 03:59 PM
5s was in the camry till 01 , it twas the last year

07-04-2007, 09:51 PM
I will hit the Junkyard this weekend and start looking to find the engine. I will keep in mind to look hardest for a early 5SFE out of a Celica.

However, how difficult would it be to just swap block and head, reusing all of my externals, including intake manifold and so forth?

The bummer is the time constraints. I will literally have to get this done in a weekend. Working 80 hours a weeks doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room.

I am hoping that Mudhoney will still be operable for my 5 mile run to work every night without grenading the engine. Stuck on road is not nearly as preferable as stuck in parts in the garage.

07-05-2007, 02:53 AM
wait, out of all the people on here..

WHY THE HELL DONT U OWN A TOYOTA PICKUP, see if u had a 20r, 22r, 22re, ect.......

07-05-2007, 04:46 AM
Then his plastic timing chain guides would have broken, the timing chain would have eaten through the water pump, and the coolant/timing guide mix in his oil pan would have destroyed his engine.......

Murg, swapping just the longblock [include water pump, oil pump and timing belt stuff] is cake.
That's pretty much what you would do anyways.

07-05-2007, 04:51 AM
That sux. Well better days will come. Just keep your head up and move forward. good luck with your projects.

07-05-2007, 05:45 AM
omg.......... i'm still new at cars and i was convincing myself that a ticking from my engine was from my exhaust leak at the flex pipe. It only ticks under acceleration, and only does it sometimes. My car almost has 120k but i beat the hell out of it day in and day out. Probably rod knock? Maybe low on some fluids?

07-05-2007, 08:06 AM
Then his plastic timing chain guides would have broken, the timing chain would have eaten through the water pump, and the coolant/timing guide mix in his oil pan would have destroyed his engine.......

so if he was a dummy and didnt do maintainace on his engine....... and if your smart u get an epn chain kit that has metal guides


meanwhile JOE's 22RE.........

07-05-2007, 08:21 AM
Not to thread jack, but FYI, I spent 8 hours working on the car today. Rebuilt the Dizzy, redid the timing, plugs need to be a heat range colder since they are apparently experiencing high speed glazing, set the TPS to spec, new Magnecore plug wires, new turbo to IC coupler... The list goes on.
The good news is that I am now not experiencing any knock whatsoever in any gear at any speed. Boost goes right up to 10psi and holds steady with no problems.

Just wanted to update.

07-05-2007, 06:49 PM
now, turn it to 12. go ahead ill wait

07-05-2007, 07:09 PM
*waits for headgasket failure thread after he does that"

07-06-2007, 12:56 AM
Have you even owned one of these engines? :laugh:
You seem to have a pretty good animosity twards them.
12 PSI is perfectly safe, especially if it's in a good state of tune.

5s was in the camry till 01 , it twas the last year


so if he was a dummy and didnt do maintainace on his engine....... and if your smart u get an epn chain kit that has metal guides


meanwhile JOE's 22RE.........
Timing chain guides aren't maintenance.
Point being on those engines they [and a few other things] are weak spots, just like with any engine.
No engine is perfect.

07-06-2007, 12:36 PM
*waits for headgasket failure thread after he does that"

Why you wishin' badness on my baby Joe ? :squint:

Also, Jeremy is correct, 12psi is perfectly fine, especially since they run so rich to begin with and that the factory cutoff is 12. Hence, why people get boost cut controllers if they want to exceed that.

07-06-2007, 01:23 PM
Timing chain guides aren't maintenance[QUOTE]
nooo....but timing chains are.

[QUOTE]Why you wishin' badness on my baby Joe

im not

Have you even owned one of these engines?

im just weary about them, worked on a few, saw alot of claytons hell

id take a 7m over a 3s, but im crazy

murg whats the update

07-06-2007, 03:18 PM
omg.......... i'm still new at cars and i was convincing myself that a ticking from my engine was from my exhaust leak at the flex pipe. It only ticks under acceleration, and only does it sometimes. My car almost has 120k but i beat the hell out of it day in and day out. Probably rod knock? Maybe low on some fluids?

I believe a rod knock is constant. Though I might be wrong.

But you might really want to consider changing habits with your driving. 5sfe's are near bulletproof, but you have to be at least somewhat gentle and take good care of them, especially on oil changes.

07-07-2007, 09:38 AM

I drove Mudhoney to work Thursday. The knock was constant. It didn't effect power or response. It was basically just an auditory warning. The interesting part was a loose lugnut, but that was a trivial thing.

I drove her home and the check engine light came on. This was new. I had a guy follow me to be safe. She started puffing smoke as she came off the interstate. I could feel it. My apartment is immediately off the intstate. It was raining. I bounced it off the rev limiter all the way to my parking spot.

The engine has some spunk to her, but it is over and not worth popping it. It deserves that dignity.

A swap is in order. I have always rebuilt in the past, but I don't see a reason here with the availability of options.

Coming from a complete turbophobe. How difficult, and cheaply could a good 3SGTE be swapped in for?

Is it worth it to get a clip. Price wise it might seem more. But if I were to get an MR2 clip I would have a transmission that would handle the engine with no stress. More modifications would be in order. But nothing that is impossible.

With a JDM GT-4 clip I could have an easier time fitting, installing and wiring, but would require sourcing an MR-2 tranny and so forth. My tranny would be fine as some have noted, but I would prefer something engineered to handle the stress that I would be inflicting.

I want something that is going to be solid and stable. I am not looking for lofty horsepower goals. For my driving style anything more than 200 horses to the front wheels is wasted.

I had toyed with the idea of a 3SGTE before, and now seems to be the perfect time. I will drive Chaos, she is fine. She has always been solid.

If I am gonna do this, I wanna do it right. And once. I don't relish the idea of dropping $300 for an engine now, and $2500 for an upgrade later. I might as well go for broke. :hehe:

I have been browsing eBay for clips and engines and so forth. But right now would really be the research stage.

07-07-2007, 10:05 AM
Wow, it is honestly amazing what one finds when he searches.

07-07-2007, 10:12 AM
Well, you're up on most since wiring isn't an issue for you. Aside from that, it's really mainly cost. The swap itself is fairly straight forward from the info here so :shrug:
Plus, it's you, so I have no doubts it would get done right. :)

07-08-2007, 02:26 AM
185 clip

No question

More on this later, I have beer to drink. :D

07-08-2007, 08:37 AM
id put the 3s in your 5th gen and a 5s in your 4th

07-08-2007, 12:01 PM
Chaos has a 4AFE, I am not gonna take that out. That is a dead solid engine. Never had a problem from it.

I have been thinking of an ST185 clip. I could use the body panels to fix the twitted ones on Chaos. It would be making the most of the purchase.

07-08-2007, 05:50 PM
Dammit, you and your damn car names :hehe:

I thought your 5th gen had the knock.
I hadn't even realized you had a 4th gen.
I've been so busy I didn't even realize the lack of connection between a 3SFE and a 5th gen.

IMO you're still better off with a 185 clip, but it's not quite as imperative.

There are 3 advantages to an MR2 clip vs a 185 clip.
the important one is the transmission.
however you will still have to mod it to work for FWD.
the MR2 axles [inners?]
the other reason [and this isn't necessary for the swap to work, even doing it the "right" way] is the T BPV.

The 185 clip gives you
the GTE engine cross member
the trans mounts
all the right accesories in the right places
an IC you can run the engine with
a wiring harness set up for a FWD car [if you think converting a RHD harness to LHD is a PITA, try converting an MR2 harness to FWD]
all the small pieces [vaccum lines, coil, ig, ect, ect] set up for FWD. 80% of the addon stuff is different on the MR2 and the 185, even the metal vaccum lines on the side of the engine
if you have a A engine the right bracket is in the right place on the clip, waiting for you to cut and weld to your car
shifter cables
185 axles
the trans is also potentially useable, all that's needed is an MR2 diff and backing plate

07-09-2007, 03:06 AM
The IC was one of the issues I was looking at. Since the engine is going into a 4th gen, the IC is pointless. I would be needing a frontmount or at WTA IC of some sort. Cutting a hole in my hood is not an option.

I had pondered searching for a ST185RC/CS clip. But how much more expensive would this be?

The benefit of a clip is the fact that I could use the body panels on my 5th Gen and the engine in my 4th.

For those that haven't kept up, Chaos, the 5th Gen ST is fine beyond body damage from a wreck a year or so ago. Mudhoney, the 4th Gen GT is the one with the blown engine.

07-09-2007, 03:29 AM
Finding an RC clip is hard.
Even if you do, it isn't always an RC clip.

For instance there's a company in Canada that has an RC clip with a FMIC.
But it's not an RC, it's a regular 185 with a FMIC and an RC hood/bumper.

But it's worth it.
Shit, I'll buy the hood off you if you get it. :D

IMO you still want a clip. There's ALOT of little things that make it easier with a clip.
You can get the car running on the ATA IC for now, just unplug the knock sensor and/or disconnect the WG. As long as it's not boosting it's perfectly safe, and the car can at least be driven while you source a FMIC or a WTA IC.

07-09-2007, 04:05 AM
But I half want the RC clip for the hood. :P

The WTA IC is the other half. It would simplify matters greatly. Remember, I want this as low buck as possible.

I tell you what though, after reading all the stickies in the FI forum I am highly impressed with the resource this site has to offer that I never had a use for.

Now I just need to figure out a timeline and how I am gonna afford it all.