1987 Toyota Corolla

Engine Mechanical problem
1987 Toyota Corolla 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 110000 miles

(I hope my donation is attached to this question, the Paypal return-to-index didn't indicate that there was a connection)

I am replacing the head gasket on a 1987 Toyota Corolla SR-5, A-F engine.
I removed the camshafts & sprocket and continued with the head gasket replacement. Now I am attempting to put it back together but have run into a problem - or at least a question:

Which direction is the " sprocket timing hole" supposed to face?

The cams and sprocket were removed intact, but when they are meshed with the alignment marks together, the sprocket timing hole is off 90 degrees from the top, pointing to the rear of the car. I don't know that it wasn't this way to start with, but the instruction in the Haynes manual has me baffled. &Quot; align the camshaft sprocket timing hole with the center mark on the cylinder head" (illustration shows the hole at the top of the sprocket, not 90 degrees to the right.

This manual does cover several engines (ours is the A-F) but there is no indication that this is different between them.
Can you help?
February 27, 2008.

Could you be more specific about this " service bolt"? The specs for the bolt are shown in the Auto Zone document - but i'm not clear on it's purpose. Aren't we bolting together two items (gear and subgear) that are already attached via a lock washer?

Lucky[/quote: 5b3002dd2f]

Yes, but for me it gives me a good reference point and you would need it to remove the subgear. The service bolt is an M6 x 1.0 bolt about 15mm long. It cannot be put in at the timing position because the head casting is in the way, so you rotate the cams to install it.

If you rotate the exhaust camshaft (cresent wrench on square camshaft boss) so that the pulley mark is at 12: 00, the service bolt hole is at 9: 00 and the OUTSIDE (timing belt side) marks on the camshafts are pointing at each other, you are in good shape and can install the timing belt, the inside camshaft marks are installation marks not timing marks.

Otherwise: You have to remove the intake camshaft.

Position the exhaust camshaft so that the knock pin is just above 9: 00 Do this by rotating the camshaft with a cresent wrench on one of the square castings on the camshaft. There is a prior step, but the exhaust camshaft is already installed.

Mesh the intake and exhaust by matching the installing marks (dots on the inside of each camshaft).

Roll the intake cam into position, install bearing caps. I tighten from center out in 1/4 turn increments.

Remove service bolt and then rotate the camshafts into timing position with a cresent wrench on the square boss of the exhaust camshaft (Haynes manual does not specifically say this that I can find)
Timing position would be the service bolt hole at 9: 00, the timing marks on the FRONT (not inside) of the camshafts would be pointing at each other, and the hole in the timing belt pulley would be at 12: 00. Then you can install the timing belt, just make sure the lower belt cog timing mark is pointing at timing mark on the oil pump.

This make sense?

Feb 29, 2008.
I believe I've got it now. I can't get to the car until Saturday, but will print and take your message with me for reference.


Feb 29, 2008.
THANK YOU for all your expert help.
Learning about that second set of marks was all it took (as in: it was right in the first place, but I just couldn't SEE it!)

I apologize for the delay in posting this. I am a Pancreatic Cancer patient at UCLA Medical Center and sometimes get a bit knocked down for a few days after chemo treatments.

The car is completed, my sister-in-law is thrilled and says it hasn't run this well in a very long time.



Mar 9, 2008.