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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all i'm a newbie here, i have a 96 Rav 4 i got from my brother for free since he gave up on repairing it. Its a 2 wheel drive 2.0L and it started up and ran fine. There was water shooting out down by the water pump so he decided to change it out. He put it all back together and now there is no spark and no start. I have searched this site and found lots of information i plan to try but i'm guessing he probably got the timing off but if that is the case would there still be a spark or not? Then also the cel does not come on while cranking either. Then there is the issue of pressure accruing in the cooling system while cranking, im talking enough pressure to make a good hissing sound from the radiator cap when you remove it. So if anyone out there has ever encountered this i would be very great full for your help on this or anyone with some info would be greatly appreciated as well!!! Thanks in advance!!!
 

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No matter how far off the timing might be there should NEVER be cylinder pressure in the cooling system unless the head gasket is blown. My advice - unless you can do major repairs yourself give it back to your brother!
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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The lack of spark is probably because your brother didn't hook the crank position sensor back up. It is at the bottom of the engine passenger side just below the A/C compressor. There should be a wire running from the wire harness that runs over the top of the valve cover (again on the passenger side) and then down the side of the engine to the sensor. You may need to pull the passenger tire and splash shields to gain access.

See photo https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0N4qdhM8CoaRGN5NnY3TXBlQ00

As far as the radiator having pressure, they are probably right, a blown head gasket or worse. Check your oil for water contamination.

If it is just a blown head gasket, if you have any mechanical aptitude you can do it yourself and you don't have to pull the engine. Things you will need:

General hand tools, ratchets, metric sockets, 3/8 and 1/2 inch
Torque wrenches one in foot pounds and one in inch pounds
A good manual
Patience and a large vocabulary of curse words, you may even create a few new ones, LOL

If someone gave me a RAV4 I would attempt a fix. Or if you have money burning a hole in your pocket and you are a very good wrench monkey, do a performance engine swap.

Oh, and welcome to the site, post some photos of your ride and update your profile.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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If you decide to do the head gasket repair, take lots of photos as you do each step, label those hoses and wires so you know where they go back to.
Put a heavy blanket over your fender to keep from scratching it up.
Move the pesky EGR VSV to the firewall
While you have the intake manifold off, clean the throttle body
Clean the EGR valve
When you pull the fuel rail, pull the fuel injectors test, and clean them; you will need new seals to put them back
There are hoses behind the exhaust manifold, replace them because they are so difficult to get to later.
While you have the head off, change your valve seals.
You should be able to order a head gasket kit that will include all your gaskets and seals.

Or you can go to a scrap yard and find a donor engine and do an engine swap - a lot more work involved, more cursing...

Post your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey all! I really appreciate all the advice and i will update with pics hopefully by this weekend. I did however check the oil and there was no water contamination that i could tell and the crank sensor was still plugged in. I do have a bit of automotive experience so i know some things. I own an 88 Ford Festiva that i rebuilt the engine in about 3 years ago and its running strong. It has a 1.3L B3 stock engine in it. But back to the Rav 4, as i stated before it started up and ran fine before he did the water pump and now it wont start. So would the crank sensor cause it not to send a spark at all? Then the pressure in the cooling system, if it was a blown head gasket is it possible that the water and oil wouldn't mix? Then the CEL not coming on while cranking what would cause that? I hope to get it in the garage this weekend and try to undo what he did and start from there, so any other info would be great before i get into this. Thanks for the welcome to the site and all the info thus far.:thumbs_up:
 

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...Then the pressure in the cooling system, if it was a blown head gasket is it possible that the water and oil wouldn't mix?
Yes, the gasket could have blown between a cylinder and the water jacket w/o involving oil passages. The fact that you have noticeable pressure in the radiator from just cranking makes me think you'll have a geyser :egad: with the cap off if it does start.
Don't rely on the CEL to diagnose this kind of stuff especially with the engine not running.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Agree with Dr. Dyno about the head gasket.

If he put the crank position sensor in wrong, it isn't plugged in properly, maybe turned the crankshaft timing pulley backwards you won't get any spark. If that is the only system he worked on, timing belt and water pump then the only thing there that would prevent firing is the crank position sensor. The sensor wires could have gotten broken as well.

The cam position sensor won't keep it from starting, it will just run poorly.

Usual reasons for no spark - No spark due to a bad crank position sensor, a faulty ignition module or PCM (your RAV4 doesn't have these), a problem in the ignition circuit (ignition switch, anti-theft system, wiring, etc.), a faulty park/neutral safety switch, a bad ignition coil (only on engines with a single coil ignition), or wet plugs or plug wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info guys hopefully i can get done working on my grand am this weekend and get it out of the garage and get the Rav4 in so i can start on it. I will post what i find out Monday, hopefully it will be running again. Thank again!!:thumbs_up:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay all its back to running again and it was the crank sensor. He had it on backwards :doh: so i turned it around put it all back together and it started right up. So now it definitely has a blown head gasket because as soon as it turned over and started the antifreeze gushed out of the radiator. So now my question to you guys is how likely is it that the head could be warped from overheating? I guess there is no way to tell until i get the head off and check. So plan to get started sometime this week and to take my time and to take lots of pics and labeling things like EODGATOR suggested. If you guys out there have any tips or tricks on doing a head gasket job it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and i will try to post some pics as i go along. :thumbs_up:
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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You can do it with the engine in the car, the only draw back is that you cannot have the block machined. Machining of the block isn't always necessary, I personally wouldn't pull the engine unless you had too, it is a lot of work and requires some equipment to drop it out the bottom of the engine bay.

You can also price a rebuilt head, it would have new seals, adjusted properly, clean, ready to go on.

IMPORTANT: Follow the instructions for removing and reinstalling a head, the head bolts must be removed, replaced, and torqued in a particular manner and order or you may very well warp the head.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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CAUTION: Don't run the engine or turn the engine over again, if there is water in a cylinder you can do a lot more damage, I repeat you can do a lot more damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello all! I started the job of removing the head last night and in the process i discovered that there were two broken exhaust manifold bolts and the studs are still in the head but there is enough hanging out for me to get a grip on and hopefully twist out with a good pair of vies grips. So i removed the exhaust manifold, alternator, air box and got to the wiring harness going across the intake. How do you move that out of the way? I cant get to it from underneath and its hard to tell exactly where it goes. So is there way to get around that or does it have to be moved? One other question can the head be removed with the intake attached or does it need to be taken off as well?
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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To get the wiring harness out of the way disconnect everything from it on the front of the engine.

You already removed the alternator so that should be disconnected
Disconnect the A/C
Disconnect the sensor on the radiator near the lower radiator hose
Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor

I think that's all there is to move it. Get a tube of dielectric grease and apply to all those connectors, clean and apply to those grounds when you reassemble it.

I usually put all new head bolts on when I remove the heads.

Good work so far.
 

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1999 Toyota RAV4 with 3MZ-FE 6 cylinder engine, camo wrap, OME lift, heavily modded
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Don't forget:

- Move the EGR VSV to the firewall, it's the one that fits in the lower gap of the intake manifold
- Clean the EGR system
- Clean the throttle body
- Replace any vacuum hoses that are getting into bad shape
- Replace those impossible to get to coolant hoses that under the exhaust manifold and those going to the throttle body. It would also be a lot easier to replace the heater hoses while you have the head off
- Test and clean your fuel injectors, you don't want to get it all together and find you have a problem there

A long list of things but it will make your car more reliable...
 

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The intake manifold has to come off the head at some point but that's usually easier to do after removing the head with it still attached. But detaching it in the car if possible does save disconnecting lots of stuff.
 
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