Author Topic: the last of the Good Old Girls  (Read 285 times)

mikenash

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the last of the Good Old Girls
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:58:53 PM »
Nothing to do with Lister engines except that I like ‘em for the same reasons people like their Listers:  they’re tough & built to last; plus they’re simple & easy to work on; and their reliability has been proven over and over . . . .

I’m speaking, of course, of the last of the Old School “Toyota Tough” Toyota Camrys.  This is the SXV20 station-wagon model made from 1998 – 2002, with the tough-as-nails 2.2-litre engine, the manual gearbox that no-one has ever seen the inside of and the sort of load-space that a six-footer can sleep in with a bit of headroom left

I have owned probably a dozen of these over the last decade – my kids have stolen three or four off me as they have needed cars – it’ll be grandkids doing that shortly . . .

The two I have at home have 330,000 and 340,000 Ks on the clock and still seem to rumble along OK

They are Japanese-designed cars built in Australia to compete with the dinosaur Ford Falcons & Holden Commodores – so they’re more-or-less full-sized wagons.  Australians have used them as taxis for years and some have done to-the-moon-and-back mileages

I regularly do a 900-K round trip on weekends and keep an eye on the fuel consumption just out of interest.  Unlike the Falcons & Commodores, they are frugal – scampering along at a steady 110 km/h just harvesting the low-speed torque of the engine and with the old girl loaded up with gear they will regularly return 6.1 litres per 100 Kms – that’s 45 MPG in the old money

I have been looking for one to replace mine as they get old and come to the end of their working lives.  I talked to my friend who is a service manager at Toyota and she said I would be better served by continuing to own these old girls rather than buying a new Avensis wagon or the like (I need a wagon, and regularly carry big loads & tow a trailer with it)

I found one the other day – a 2002 wagon (the non-ABS model as I like the simplicity) owned by some old gent who has recently retired from driving after having put just 70,000 Ks on it in 16 years.  He even kept the factory servicing up to date until 50,000 Ks.  It drives like a new one, really.  Everything works perfectly.  The spare tyre is one of the original five new tyres it came with.
 Even the electric retractable antenna still goes up and down – I haven’t seen one with that working for years

It’s kinda the Toyota equivalent of a “barn find”

You know – it might outlast me

cobbadog

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 05:51:44 AM »
I too had the '98 model wagon as a manual and I put 500,000klm on it before updating to a Commodore wagon. It was a good car and I would have bought another Camry wagon but they stopped making them so back to GMH.
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dax021

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 06:10:59 AM »
You talk about the 2.2Lt engine.  Would that be the 4Y?  Is it EFI?

mikenash

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 06:54:33 AM »
It's the 5S-FE.  My #3 Camry has one of these with 430,000 Ks on the clock & still doesn't use any oil.  Well built old girls

A Toyota engineer told me years ago that during the second half of the '90s when Toyota was developing the engines which would power the Lexus cars, that the "ordinary" Toyotas benefitted from their "overbuilt" engine components - an oversimplification I guess but makes sense.  Those old Toyotas had a reputation for "tough" that the new ones don't

I have a friend who is the Service Manager at a Toyota branch in town and, when I was considering buying a newer wagon such as an Avensis, she advised me to stick with the old ones - simply on the basis of their robustness and simplicity

FWIW the 2009 Hilux which is my work vehicle has just ticked over 415,000 Ks - still seems to rattle along OK

old seagull man

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 12:44:49 PM »
Your almost getting into Volvo mileage now, the 740 wagon has 724k on the clock.
its had a few timing belts, of the years, and we took the head off at 500k, did one valve otherwise its been indestructible.
But its still green, and she hates green.

dax021

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 07:20:15 PM »
Thanks mike, my old Hilux has the 4y, 2.2Lt.  Also a bullet proof engine, but more of a dog.  Getting close to 350K km's now and only been opened once

mikenash

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 07:24:59 PM »
Yes, those old Volvos are VERY hard to kill.

Sadly the Camry I bought recently is white.  I HATE the white ones but really like the look of the green ones (I have two and have owned at least three others in various green shades).  But, appearance aside, it was too good to pass up

I have considered painting it - but seems such a waste of $$.  You don't notice the colour when sitting in it

I seem to do about 30,000 Ks a year in the three of them.  Even if I did 50% of that in the white one, it'd take me 43 years to hit 740,000.  I can't see me living to be 105.  Think what a bloody hazard on the road I would be by then!

The one that is closest to "wheelbarrow with an engine" status - also my favourite - has 430,000 Ks.  I guess if I put 15,000 Ks a year on that for the next 21 years . . .

ATM the wheelbarrow one is the one which most often travels up to my property in the Bay of Plenty - usually loaded to the gunwhales with building stuff.  It's a grass paddock there ad can be tricky traversing it in winter.  So right now I'm tinkering with some wider rims and fat tyres that I can deflate to about one bar while up there.  Been welding some home-built 5 X 114mm centres into some 17" rims.  Not sure what the WoF people are going to say lol

mikenash

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2019, 07:32:07 PM »
Thanks mike, my old Hilux has the 4y, 2.2Lt.  Also a bullet proof engine, but more of a dog.  Getting close to 350K km's now and only been opened once

Hi Dax

My work Hilux has some kind of 3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine - no idea what it's called.  I just drive the bloody thing.  It usually weighs in between 3,000kg and 3,500kg on the weighbridge because of all the tools and parts onboard so 4WD stuff can be hard on it.  Consequently I think it's on its 3rd clutch and has had a bit of brake/wheel-hub/driveshaft/suspension work as you might imagine

Mechanically, its only issue to date has been a turbo bearing fail at just 100,000 Ks.  We fitted a second-hand turbo and that has been just fine for the 340,000 Ks since. Pretty tough engine, actually.  Still doesn't burn any oil or leak any coolant.  Just replaced the alternator at 415,000 Ks but it's still on the original starter motor.

I'll be interested to see what finally stops it

Cheers

cobbadog

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2019, 02:50:32 AM »
My Camry was the EFI model and economical to go with it.
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glort

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 05:18:07 AM »

I remember years ago an uncle had an early EFI Camry.
Stopped driving it because the fuel pump on the thing went and they wanted $1500 for a new pump at the stealership.  Looked it up and went to the wreckers and got one out of a commodore for $40.  Far as I could tell, same pump. Wiring plug was Different but some side cutters and  a portable gas soldering iron and heat shrink soon  got round that. Went round with a mate one afternoon and changed the pump in the driveway while he was having a nap.  Woke him up and said  I think your car is OK now, go get the keys.

I'll never forget the look on his face when it fired up and he realised he was mobile again. He was going to scrap it and buy something else but it had a lot of sentimental value as my Aunt and he had bought it together and been a lot of places in it. She had passed away since so the thing was worth far more to him than just it's actual value but at the same time, he knew it wasn't worth spending $1500 on.

He was still driving the thing on the same pump till he was no longer able to Drive 10+ years later.

cobbadog

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 04:46:58 AM »
After market pumps are just as good and freely available but that was a brilliant fix, well done.
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glort

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2019, 01:11:23 PM »

I discovered a LOT of fuel pumps from that era are all the same and based on the Bosch 044.  They have them in everything from Porche 911's  to land rover discovery's in Diesel.  Even saw them on traffic sign generator engines.

Connectors and wiring plugs may be different but the pump is the same.

In reality any EFi pump only has to supply fuel at a certain rate and pressure and it's all good.  When you see how the performance guys mix and match every part of an EFI system you realise that there is little about it that is particularly special .

oldtime

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Re: the last of the Good Old Girls
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2019, 09:18:08 AM »
My poor old rodeo has just ticked over 800,000 still going .. still doing 10 l / 100 km .  Injectors every 120.000 . Pump replacer at 500,000 afew clutches brakes .  Still gets me around . Simple reliable .and I can fix it ..