Re: 1998 Toyota Avalon timing belt question

All:     Thank you to those of you who answered my initial question. I have almost 73K on this Avalon; but, it was
rarely driven by the previous owner so I am satisfied that I won't need the timing belt and water pump changed for awhile.     I was wondering is this 1MZ-FE engine interference or non-interference?     Does one know where I can get floor mats fitted for a 1998 toyota avalon? I bought some generic ones recently; but, I would like to have something covering the left foot pad on my Avalon.     Thanks again!
Keith
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The car is nearly 10 years old and has been driven 73K miles. I believe the Toyota Service Schedule calls for replacing the timing belt every 90,000 miles or 72 months. You aren't that far from the 90k miles, and you are well past the 72 months.
Gates claims the belt should be replaced every 90K miles for normal service.

Gates claims it is an interference engine. I have heard others say it isn't, but I would not take any chances. Gates does seem inconsistent on this, since the 1997 3.0L V-6 is not listed as an interfrence engine, while the 1998 3.0L V-6 is. I suppose there were changes between 1997 and 1998 that reduced the valve to piston clearance.

These guys have decent looking mats: http://www.qualitycarmats.com/floormat3.asp?Make=Toyota&Model=Avalon&Year 98&Itemsp82&PT=Floor+Mats&Froogle=Yes&Entry=5
or http://tinyurl.com/ypaorm
Ed
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Ed:     Thank you.
Keith
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AutoData indentifies the 94-00 1MZ-FE as a "Freewheeling" engine. So there is NO interference. However, two-stage (?) variable intake valve timing came in 01, then it became an interference engine.
wrote:

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On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 18:57:58 -0800, johngdole wrote:

John: What is the link to this Autodata web site? Thank you.
Keith
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AutoData is a publisher of maintenance information for vehicles. AllData is another one is the US and owned by Autozone. That's why Autozone is advertising that if you buy, say, brake pads, they'll print an instruction sheet to tell you how to install them. Sooooo that's why Autozone bought AllData!
These are paid services, BTW. I have a sheet that was included with the Gates Timing Component Kit. Gates is the world leader in automobile and industrial belts and hoses. A few years ago they introduced the world's first commercially successful carbon cord elastomeric composite belt that's stronger than steel for Harley- Davidson. Really impressive research capability here.
http://www.autodata.ltd.uk / http://www.alldatadiy.com/index.html www.gates.com http://www.gatesprograms.com/carbon /

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How often the previous owner drove the vehicle is in no way connected with the absolute number staring at you from the odometer every day. The maintenance schedule is based on the absolute number, not on your interpretation of the prior owner's driving habits.
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Joe:     I will have the timing belt changed soon; but, I don't understand why I should worry too much about it. Granted, Toyota states that it should be done every 6 years or 90K. Since the previous owner didn't use the car that much (after all, 72K in 10 years), I don't see why there should be any hurry about it. I barely use it myself. Thanks for the advice.
Keith
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??? Not logical. Toyota's recommendation is not based on how long it took to reach the suggested mileage. Friction and wear are not related to whether you understand them or not.
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In this case, it is not the mileage on the engine, it is the age of the belt. Elastomeric materials deteriorate over time. It has been a while since anyone in my family has owned an engine with a timing belt, but we have in the past. Over the years we have had at least three fail (fortunately on non-interference engines). With a belt that age, you are subject to developing cracks in the substrate. It is possible that you can actually have the "teeth" brake loose from the backing.
Think of it this way - You are probably planning on keeping the car for at least a few years and another 30k miles. At some point during your ownership you will likely decide to have the belt replaced. Why wait? Do it now and you won't have to worry about it. You'll probably never replace it again, so you aren't really saving anything by deferring the replacement.
Ed
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Ed and everyone: Thank you again for all your advice. I just set up to have my 1998 Avalon's timing belt and water pump changed this coming Thursday after the New Years holiday. That way, I will know that everything is AOK with my almost new car. Have a nice one and I will keep watching on this group for more information!
Keith Lee
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