View Full Version : Project: "Wintergreen"

11-27-2012, 11:44 PM

11-27-2012, 11:45 PM
I was just looking for some rusted, ugly, unsexy and reliable workhorse to be my winter daily. Listing pops up on Criaglist and I was the 2nd person to respond of 20 in the first 5 minutes it was up. Talked them into letting me see it first, and I was shocked at what I came across for the price...

Buyer specs:

Year: 1993
Make: Toyota
Model: Camry
Trim: XLE
Engine: 3L N/A 3VZFE
Features: All Factory Options, Leather, Premium Sound, Sunroof, Factory Tint, 4 wheel disk w/15" alloys, all paperwork/documentation, including original window sale sheet


11-27-2012, 11:45 PM
small dent in rear driverside door

premium sound includes tweeters in the door handle

working CD/Tape player double DIN

well cared for leather interior

new battery, cracked original radiator

valve cover gaskets are toast, sputtering oil

infamously clunky rusted rear

paint intact, clearcoat full of swirls and scratches

thinking touchup paint for the center caps, and mothers wheel polish with clearcoat for the wheels

sunroof with wind guard

11-27-2012, 11:46 PM
* * reserved * *

11-27-2012, 11:47 PM
* * reserved * *

11-28-2012, 06:58 PM
Reserved for the double mint twins.

11-28-2012, 07:04 PM
* * reserved for snide remarks and possible boobage * *

11-28-2012, 07:15 PM
<--- Supports boobage

11-28-2012, 09:28 PM
Sup? I heard there might be boobage in here.

Eric Barrera
11-29-2012, 12:25 AM
1997 Camry v6?

11-30-2012, 06:43 AM
1997 Camry v6?

I don't need that OBD-II nonsense, so I got me a '93.

11-30-2012, 06:58 AM
Very nice beater you have there.

11-30-2012, 07:13 AM
Original paint, no rust and the detail stripes are still 98% intact to top it all off.

If I wanted to nitpick, the radiator is shot and is mixing coolant with transmission fluid through the chiller. I need to do a flush on both systems, and refill with new fluids after replacing the radiator. The intake hose has a small crack causing a vacuum leak and the butterfly valve to stick at various RPMs. The rear suspension is loud as it is well worn, with the rear sway bar slapping around like screen door in a hurricane. The struts on the hood are toast, but I have a set I was going to fabricate for Blackhawk lying around. Tires are mostly shot, but ironically enough, I have a set of 15" wheels I was going to roll away an old chassis on that look like they may fit. Lastly, the aerial antenna is not working.

I had a good day at the Pull-a-Part, as I found a few missing parts. I also found a full piece of trunk carpet, a bug guard, working antenna and faux wood trim for the instrument bezel. I didn't get the trim, but I think I will redo the dash, just for fun, in some wormy looking oak vinyl wrap.

12-01-2012, 09:37 PM
Going to tear into the rear bank of spark plugs without removing the intake plenum for fun. Will post pics of the adventure.

12-02-2012, 07:04 PM
Soon as I read wintergreen a 3rd gen Camry poped into my mind. I have a weakness for that body style, oh btw the 3vz is boost friendly. I miss my 93 Camry :(**

12-02-2012, 07:35 PM
u goin to do ur v6 swap in ur celica with that motor after winter?

12-02-2012, 07:53 PM
u goin to do ur v6 swap in ur celica with that motor after winter?

Haha, what would ever make you think that...

I haven't gotten to do a full compression test on the Camry, and I am alright finding a blown head gasket. I figured if I had to get another motor to swap, it would leave me with a block to build. $1000 budget and a $500 car leaves me with some room.

I am debating how much work goes into Blackhawk at this moment. I've been loosely shopping around for a GTS shell because I don't really want to put up with the rust repairs in the rear wheel wells. If I had a welder, I'd have gone to town already.

I have another blown CV seal (passenger side) and a few more engine leaks. Exhaust has a large hole, and she's finicky with MPGs. I either need to do the swap next spring, overhaul Blackhawk, or clean and sell it. Ideally I find a red GTS without rust or body issues before I transplant a V6.

12-02-2012, 08:36 PM
1mz is a better swap it makes more power and is aluminum, so it's lighter. U can also go 3mz and have vvti. I swear 75%of the 92-96 camrys were green

12-02-2012, 08:59 PM
1mz may make better top end power, but I want low end. I've researched and read this for years and I want torque, the 3VZFE has torque. I also enjoy problem free OBD-I and don't want to deal with the knock issues on the 1MZ. If I'm not mistaken the engineers tuned the 1MZ to handle emissions, whereas the 3VZ was never intended to receive an EGR. I'm coming up on the emissions barrier with an older car, and that system will be one of the first to go.


12-02-2012, 11:23 PM
Obd2 is a blessing and a curse, it's quirky at times but its easier to figure out what exactly is malfunctioning in the system and also offers better tuning abilities. Good outweighs the bad if u know what your doing

Btw u forgot about the 3mz

12-03-2012, 03:29 PM
Nice find, too bad it's an auto. We just bought Ashley a 97 Camry, 6 Cyl Stick, so far I have been very satisfied.

12-04-2012, 08:18 AM
Hope those wheels u got laying around is 5x114.5

12-08-2012, 06:27 AM
I can't say this has been the greatest of weeks, so hopefully Monday brings me some better news.

Family drama aside, I got to disassemble the radiator assembly. Anyone know why or who engineered a power-steering pump driven radiator fan? I'm looking into a better upgrade for that as it doesn't seem exactly temperature dependent. There is also an unused plug harness hanging off the AC Compressor I assume is for the electric fan version of the Camry.

I'll crack open the bottom of the old radiator to prove my theory on the leaky tranny chiller. Anyone try SeaFoam Transmission Treatment? I'm debating giving that a shot to clean out contaminants from coolant.

Front bank of plugs look good and I'll finish the valve cover seal tomorrow. Rear bank is a party that I'll finish up tomorrow as well. I'm not liking the condition the oil chiller is in, so I can add that to the list of things to get replaced. It may be the most rusted thing on the car, which is pretty awesome.

12-08-2012, 06:44 AM
So the reason for the old-school hydraulic fan on this model Camry (I always see the electric versions at the yard) is the same reason you see them on the Lexus; noise. I'll take a quiet running fan over the loud electric.

12-09-2012, 02:52 AM
Solved a mystery behind where the coolant was going. Previous owner said he bought a brand new coolant cap for the water outlet. Looks like he may have gotten a radiator cap instead of the outlet cap. Poor fitment was leaking steam and allowing burning oil fumes to collect inside the top of the water outlet.

01-15-2013, 06:21 AM
I finally got a window big enough to tear into the motor. So far, it's been a joy.

Anyone know what the sensor to the right of the TPS is?

The brake fluid level sensor was unplugged. I know the previous owner had the brake lines replaced. Curious that it didn't trip a code.

Intimidating mess of hoses.

Nice and corroded.

3/8" drive 14mm socket was the only size able to fit here on the intake plenum.


This looks like an "aftermarket modification". Custom control valve for heating?

One of the nice features found all over inside the engine bay, is all the components are mounted on rubber. I assume that is to dampen vibrations. Might be an effective upgrade on a Celica.

01-15-2013, 07:36 AM
Blackened intake manifold.

Radiator overflow tank conveniently snaps in and pops out.

I had to loosen almost every sensor plug on the main harness to get the space needed to remove the rear cover.

I use plastic bags to cover exposed cams.

20 years of caked on oil deposits. Where the seals used to be, is the color the entire cover should be.


01-15-2013, 05:00 PM
Ive seen alot worse in a valve cover, just change the oil a few time and it will clear up.

01-16-2013, 01:43 AM
Ive seen alot worse in a valve cover, just change the oil a few time and it will clear up.

I gave it a good soak. Oil pan is being cleaned, block looks great. Someone has done work on the lower or inspected it within the last 50k, they left their signature. One of the exhaust runners was loose, adding to engine noise.

Should have it all back together tomorrow morning so I can get it back on the road.

01-16-2013, 06:36 AM
Finished doing the oil pan using FiPG (yes, I finally used that tube of black magic instead of cork). Everything checks out underneath.

I took the front valve cover off to soak for reassembly tomorrow. Looked decent enough, tolerances were within spec.

The front bank was considerably more clean than the rear. I assume the angle in which is sits is responsible for this. There isn't a lot of space between an insulated firewall and the cover, so I can imagine heat builds up much easier, baking on the impurities from the oil. I wonder what would be a good fix for this situation.

The I spotted this. It's on the intake cam on the front bank. Small chips off the lobes on cylinder #3 and #5. Not sure how long they've been like that or why. Pretty identical chipping on the lobes.

01-18-2013, 06:06 AM
I solved my low idle issue (was idling between 200rpm and 400rpm). It turned out to be as simple as cleaning the IAC valve with solvent.

I replaced the thermostat as well, and both were operational. I've been having overheating issues since I flushed the system with Prestone cleaner. Lots of debris is coming out (there was a transmission fluid leak into the radiator). I'm going to have to take the car to get a pressurized flush from a shop to make sure there aren't any blockages. I've been having an issue where the heater is only functional when the car is moving.

T-belt and water pump to follow next week. Pics to come as well.

01-21-2013, 08:23 PM
I wouldn't worry about that chipping. That's more likely from the manufacture process than anything else...

BTW, that "intimidating mess of hoses" picture has a blue dildo in it... why?

01-21-2013, 09:56 PM
seen the chips before, its factory. Also admire your dildo selection

01-22-2013, 07:00 AM
BTW, that "intimidating mess of hoses" picture has a blue dildo in it... why?

You don't like my cheap-ass LED flashlight? It's grippy.

Engine was still overheating like nobodies business. Either I have a head gasket leak once the engine warms, or a blockage in the cooling system.

01-23-2013, 04:18 AM
Head-gasket failed. Previous owner used a mechanic in a can to seal it. I found the remnants of the fix after I did a cooling system flush. Exhaust is pouring into a cooling jacket.

Sourcing a new motor.

01-23-2013, 07:41 AM
That aftermarket heater thing u called it is part of one of those Prestones
flush kits

01-24-2013, 04:40 AM
That aftermarket heater thing u called it is part of one of those Prestones
flush kits

Good call.

I have a couple motors sourced out both domestic low-mileage and JDM import. We'll see who wants my business.

01-26-2013, 11:59 PM
Something random and fun, my engine starts without a Main Engine Relay. I was swapping a fan relay out into another car to test the relay, and to my surprise, no Main Engine Relay in the box. I assume on the Camry these drive the cooling fan, and because my fan is hydraulic, it's not needed...

01-27-2013, 04:55 AM
2gr-fe time?

01-27-2013, 07:10 AM
2gr-fe time?

Right after I source brakes off a Lexus LS400.

02-11-2013, 04:49 AM
I'm not going to swap the motor for another couple of weeks due to time. I spent $35 today on Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealer. Just slowly poured it into the coolant with the engine running. White smoke disappeared after 40 minutes. No more exhaust gasses in the coolant. Pretty impressed with it thus far.

02-24-2013, 03:37 AM
Picked up a set of headlamps off a Scepter with integrated fog lamps. I didn't want to go through all the work of wiring in and mounting fog lights in the bumper that don't look right. Should get here next Thursday so I can wrap up the motor install.


03-01-2013, 04:55 PM

05-08-2013, 06:33 PM
This is what I've been up to, in-between traveling all over America for work.



As much as I want to finish rebuilding this motor, I don't think I have the time. I'm going to have to locate a machine shop to balance and assemble the long block.

05-15-2013, 09:57 PM
This looks normal. I removed the passenger-front tire to get access to the crankshaft bolt and found this lovely bit of nonsense.



05-15-2013, 10:19 PM
What...is that... I...huh?

05-15-2013, 11:13 PM
The spring has seen better days. By the looks of it, that was years ago. Shattered and hanging, the previous owner must have it one massive pothole. At least I solved the sloppy handling and tire squealing. I assumed just the shock was out.