2003 Toyota Camry overheating problems.

Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
2003 camry 2.4
A little history on this car, I bought the car with a broken timing chain from a mechanic. They had stripped out the inside of the cylinder head bolts, where they try to remove them. The threads on the bolts were ok. I removed the head and had it machined and the bent valves replaced. I put in the steel inserts after reading about the problems the 2.4 has with head bolts stripping out. (You know a oz of prevention, since I had the head off) Got a gasket set and put the timing chain on, making sure I had all the correct marks lined up. I believe this is where the mechanic made their mistake, lining up the chain on the wrong mark of the cam, because their are two marks on it.

This is what is happening, cooling fans will not come on except when the AC is turned on and they will go off when the AC is turned off, otherwise the car acts like it will over heat. The temp gauge inside the dash shows the hand about half way to hot. When this happens the engine runs very rough and sounds badly. When first starting up the motor sounds great and quiet, but in a minute or two the engine starts making a loud clacking sound from the head. The head does not have the hydraulic lifters but the fixed ones.

When I first start it up it runs good, three different times I test drove it about a mile down the road, the engine started running rough as the temperature gauge on the dash was reaching mid-way. I turned the car around and started back home. As I am driving back into the garage, the motor was sounding badly and the gauge was mid way now. After cooling down, I check fluids to make sure the head did not warp. When the motor is running, taking the oil filler cap off, there is a lot of blow-by coming out. I am not sure if this is normal for Camry's.

This is what I have done. Replaced the fans (because the radiator fan was bad, after hooking them up to directly to the battery). I checked all the grounds, including the one under the intake, checked the fuses, checked relays when 12vots to the relay and used a ohm meter to see if it made contact when activated. On the three fan relays. Replaced and tested the new radiator sensor with a pot of water on the cooking stove and temp gauge and ohm meter. Unplug the radiator sensor while the car is running, the fans will come on, but go off as soon as it is plug back in. Replaced the thermostat. Did a block test, was ok. The compression is as follows, the motor would start each time
no1-125

no2-135

no.3-125

no.4-125

what can I do next, before I burn the motor up trying to fix it?
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Monday, June 22nd, 2015 AT 1:00 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Did you check the water pump? A weak water pump would result in poor coolant flow.
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Friday, June 26th, 2015 AT 9:50 AM
Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
Yes I replaced the water pump
the variable timing solenoid was apart when I got the car. I put the solenoid back on the body what has the rod part that goes into the engine. The end was ground off little, I guess the mechanic had a hard time getting it out. Maybe this is the problem
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Friday, June 26th, 2015 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The solenoid would affect the driveability and engine performance but not the overheating issue.

You ought to have the VVT solenoid replaced as it commonly fails and since it was rejoined, it most probably won't work well.
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Saturday, June 27th, 2015 AT 5:28 AM
Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
Replaced the vvt solenoid, it started and ran perfectly for fifteen minutes while driving, then it started running very rough and sounding like a diesel motor, if I turned the motor off and restarted it, it sounded normal.
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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 AT 1:42 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Are you getting any codes now?
When VVT solenoid was removed, was there any signs of sludge?
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Friday, September 4th, 2015 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
No sludge. Was getting a code 301, replaced the spark plug and swap out the no 1 and no 3 coil pack. Just checked the codes, NONE. The car may not be over heating, the temp gets to half way on the dash gauge and the cooling fans do not come on, but the car starts running rough when the temp gets that high. I was thinking about taking the oil pan off to look at the oil pump. What about the exhaust catalytic converter being stopped up?
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Friday, September 4th, 2015 AT 8:30 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
What is the idling speed at this time?
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Saturday, September 5th, 2015 AT 9:02 AM
Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
Don't know, but it does slows down
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Saturday, September 5th, 2015 AT 9:21 AM
Tiny
HOLLOWAY57
  • MEMBER
Problem solved! I had said a little prayer to the Lord to help me fix this car, I had done all I could do, I finally listen to HIM, to take the oil pan off. What I found was a oil pump screen totally stopped up, from pieces of the inside edge of the oil pan gasket that had gotten brittle and broken off and also oil sludge. Now the motor runs just fine. The motor had many problems, this was the biggest one. Thank you Jesus! Lol
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Thursday, September 17th, 2015 AT 6:37 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Well done.
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+1
Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 7:22 AM

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