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Discussion Starter #1
Well after not being able to pass smog likely due to low compression (can smell burning coolant) Ive decided to replace head gasket.

Started tearing engine down today, am wondering if anyone has experience they like to share. Planning on just pulling the head (not whole engine) and doing the gasket and timing belt.

Is it possible to take the head off with the intake manifold attached, that manifold looks tricky to take off in the bay.

thanks in advance
Jon
 

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The Toyota shop manual warns that you should de-torque the head in the proper sequence to avoid warping or cracking the head.

Good Luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
The Toyota shop manual warns that you should de-torque the head in the proper sequence to avoid warping or cracking the head.

Good Luck.
thanks...yeah Im just about to that point. This tear down is definitely a PITA! haha. Gotta pull the fuel rail, then Ill be able to lift the intake manifold. Feels like Im disassembling entire car hah..and damn power steering leak has been spraying and caking engine bay with 1/4 thick of grease!
 

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Sounds like a good time to clean up and fix a few things while you are in there.

While I done heads on other things my Rav has only needed a new radiator, front wheel bearings and a fuel pump.
But that is ok it has been fun to drive the past 3 years.

Can you pull the head with the cam in place? Reading the cam removal section would make me want to leave it bolted to the head.
If that is possible.

Have fun with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah gonna take the time while the car out of commission to fix most of the problems on the budget I have.
Ball joints, tie rod ends, sway end links are all fried, gonna take struts out and see if they have any pressure in them (highly doubt) and mann are struts expensive for this car! on the fence if I should do control arm bushings as well.
Want to definitely fix rack and pinion with has a crack on inlet of one of the lines causing air in the system and then in turn making PS reservoir bubble over onto belt system making such a mess

hoping the bottom end is in good condition, should get head off in next couple days

No I wish I could just pull the head and leave the cams, but the head bolts are underneath them. But I put engine at 0 degrees TDC and marked the cams so hopefully after pulling head I can get it back together with no timing issues.
 

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This is the head removal instructions for my 99 Rav4, read about removing the cams. I don't know how much of this applies to your 97.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the great info, yeah i think theyre the same engines from 96-00 so should apply :) sweet!
 

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I've been told that the pdf file is for the 99-00, so there may be some slight difference.
So take your time and watch for unlisted bolts or wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great, thanks, yeah Im definitely takin it slow hah...

heres a few pics from the tear down

Cleaned the piston heads with an old toothbrush some brake fluid and wd40.

Tip for organizing nuts/bolts Ive found while doing a build, is some old egg cartons :)
 

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I like the egg carton trick--very clever!!
 
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