Valve Cover Replacment – 2002 Toyota Camry

I recently did a Valve Cover replacement on a 2002 Toyota Camry.  This job was fairly easy and I’m sure that anyone with a working knowledge of basic hand tools should be able to do this.  You really just need;

Basically you just remove the black plastic cover on the top of the engine which is only two bolts.  If it has never been removed you might need to apply some force but be careful as it is plastic.  Around the top of the engine there are are 8-10 bolts and a set of nuts which are easily removed with the a 10mm socket and ratchet.  I like using magnetic parts dishes to keep all bolts, nuts, and crews from going anywhere.  There are also two hoses connected to the valve cover and you will need to use pliers to clamp down on the clips holding the on.  You also need to undo two brackets that are attached to the Valve Cover. Once you get off all the nuts and bolts off the Valve Cover, and make sure nothing is attached, you can take it off.

One thing I found while doing this Valve Cover Replacement on this 2002 Toyota Camry was that it looked deceptively easy but… as usual it give me a few problems. :) First the Valve Cover was being a bit stubborn coming off, so I had to use a block of wood and gave it a few late taps when against the Valve Cover.  It also was a bit difficult maneuvering the Valve Cover off the top of the engine as there is plastic clip bracket for the fuel injector wiring on the Driver’s side.  On the passenger side there wiring harness that runs from the alternator over the top of the engine.  While you can loosen a bracket bolt connected  for this 2-gauge wire for better clearance, it’s still a huge problem for getting the Valve Cover off and back onto this Camry.   My recommendation for getting the Valve Cover back on is to take your time and start with getting it back on the driver’s side sliding it under the plastic clip.

Before you attempt putting the new gasket back on though, make sure to compare if you have the correct one for your car.  This picture shows the new one that fits in perfectly and the old gasket, below the Valve Cover, which you can see was brittle and hard to the touch.

valve cover replacment toyota camryAlso you need to clean both mating surfaces of any oil, dirt, or grime.  That means the engine block itself and the Valve Cover.  For this just take the Acetone (nail polish remove) and pour it onto some shop rags and start rubbing each surface.  Take time with this step as you need to get it clean before installing the new Valve Cover gasket.   I do NOT recommend using paper towels as they will tear and can potentially leave bits in your engine.  I see too many people use paper towels.

You might have noticed above I recommend a product called High Tack.  This so that when you are placing a new part into position the gasket doesn’t move.  It’s a red, sticky, and kind of smells like old BBQ but it works and was really helpful for completing this job.  While I was trying to maneuver the Valve Cover into position with the new gasket it kept falling out making it annoying.  I ran to the auto parts store and bought a can of High Tack Gasket Sealer and while it is expensive for a 4 ounce bottle it was definitely worth the price to complete this DIY auto repair job.

Before installing the Valve Cover gasket make sure to use a little RTV sealant on the two large surface areas near the timing chain.  This is specified since I assume there are higher stress and wear areas on the gasket.  I got the Valve Cover position on the engine and once I was comfortable that it was in the right place I put the RTV sealant on.

After that you just put all the nuts and bolts back on and tighten then down.  You should be able to get away with hand tightening without a torque wrench.  Just make sure to go in a star pattern to distribute the pressure evenly when you are installing the bolts and huts.

If you are reading this and need to do this Valve Cover Replacement, something to keep in mind about gaskets is that it’s good to replace them sooner rather than later.  This stops any oil leaks and keeps your engine compartment clean for future auto repair jobs.  In addition you don’t risk loosing oil or oil pressure and damaging other vehicle components.

Another thing, the Fel-Pro gasket I used for this Toyota Camry Valve Cover replacement, I wasn’t all that impressed with it.  It’s thiner than the factory one that came out of the car and while it fit perfectly and worked fine in retrospect I probably should have opted for a Toyota gasket from the dealer.  Since you save money doing it yourself, why not put that money toward better parts? :)

Mechanix Gloves are nice to have for keeping your hands clean and so they don’t get too busted.  I also like having a Fender Cover so that I don’t damage the paint or finish on a car.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments about doing doing this feel free to leave a comment below.  I’ll be sure to answer them as quick as I can and to the best of my knowledge and ability.  I hope this helps you fix your own Toyota Camry.

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Jim Carrey rips Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln Ads on SNL [VIDEO]

jim carrey snl lincoln commercialJim Carrey hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) this weekend and the Canadian actor is a pretty funny guy.  Notably movies he’s done include Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, The Truman Show, Liar Liar, and more.  As part of Jim Carrey hosting SNL he did a set of fake commercials ripping the Lincoln TV spots featuring the Academy award winning actor, Matthew McConaughey. 

For those that haven’t seen the Lincoln MKC commercials with Matthew McConaughey they are pretty trippy.  The ad agency that came up with them was doing some serious drugs while conceiving these commercials.  McConaughey was doing drugs when shooting them as well I imagine.

In total there were three different spoofed commercial SNL spots with Jim Carrey.  The second one was my favorite when a young kid in the back says, “Dad are you ok?”Carrey replies, “I’m super good, bud.” the other kid says, “You’re going 5 miles an hour.” then Jim Carrey turns forward and says, “Not bad for a Lincoln.” then a voice-over says, “Who’s kids are these?”

The last commercial in the series starts off as an AllState commercial with Kenan Thompson as the AllState guy.  Midway through a Lincoln MKC rolls by and hits Thompson, then the camera cuts to Carrey undressed in the car with tie around his head.  You can watch the silliest below.

Jim Carrey Lincoln Ads Spoof – Saturday Night Live

This isn’t the first time Saturday Night Live has done an automotive themed spoof.  The most recent one was about ripping Mary Barra’s GM recall testimony before Congress.  Making fun of Mary Barra isn’t as popular as making fun of Lincoln commercials though.  It seems that ripping these Lincoln MKC commercials have reached pop culture status.  South Park made fun of them on their “Handicar” episode last week and Ellen DeGeneres also spoofed the Lincoln commercials last month.

The real question… does Lincoln appreciate all this publicity?

While nobody will argue that this is great publicity for Lincoln and the new Lincoln MKC mid-size SUV, I’m pretty sure Lincoln isn’t actually selling many of these MKCs.  Why?  Lincoln just doesn’t build competitive luxury cars and great publicity will not mask this fact.  Also having dealt with Lincoln’s PR company I can tell you they are racist, which means Lincoln is racist, so I wouldn’t buy any Lincolns or recommend them.  Also just because you get a ton of funny publicity doesn’t mean people actually buy your cars.  That just means you are getting ridiculed and made fun of, which they may or may not like.  Even if this is great publicity for the Lincoln and the Lincoln MKC I think the PR company is just allowing the public and media to throw seasoning onto the fact it is a car brand nobody cares or really thinks about.

Did you see the Jim Carrey SNL episode?  What did you think of the Lincoln commercial spoofs?

South Park rips Ride Sharing & Elon Musk [VIDEO]

south park ride sharingSouth Park is known for being edgy and making fun of current pop culture.  The production timeline for the show is 1 week, which is mind blowing if you think about how long most TV production takes.  On the latest episode they rip ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber (these allow you to catch rides in people’s personal vehicles), crippled kids, and Matthew McConaughey and stupid Lincoln commercials, car salesman, taxis, and taxi drivers.  For fans of the electric car they also make fun of Tesla co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk.

The synopsis of the episode is that Timmy, a crippled kid that only says his name “Timmy”, is working to raise money for his special needs summer camp for next year.  Timmy has a ride sharing app called Handicar which enables people to catch rides around town using his wheelchair.  The local taxi drivers in the town of South Park get upset about the competition as well as Elon Musk, since it’s taking away from people focusing on electric cars.  The culmination is a Wacky Races epic race against all the competing car technologies and services to see which is best and most convenient.

Like all South Park episodes this one is brilliantly done. Watch it here!

Editor’s Note – this video is an unofficially posted and could be taken down at any moment.

South Park “Handicar” Episode – Ride Sharing

If you watch the show you will see that they also rip Lincoln’s current marketing campaign with the actor Matthew .  The TV commercials are meant to show that he “Just Liked It” instead of Lincoln actually paying him to like Lincoln vehicles.  Since the public thinks this is BS, South Park decided to make fun of the commercials and call them out on it.  Watch the questionable Lincoln commercial by clicking here.

elon musk south parkWhile it’s cool that South Park is in-tune with current auto marketing, the real question is, does this mean that Tesla and Elon Musk have gone mainstream?  What about ride sharing?  If South Park makes fun of it that probably means it’s pretty popular and worthy of the Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the South Park creators, attention.

Here is the part with Elon Musk if you don’t want to invest 22 minute to watching the full episode.  This wasn’t part of the main storyline in case you were wondering.

South Park – Elon Musk

Musk was good humored about the spoof since he Tweeted about it on when the show aired.

elon musk twitterMcConaughey did not mention his South Park appearance though.  Surprisingly there wasn’t a mention of RelayRides in the episode but they did mention ZipCar.  Anyway, I encourage my readers to watch the Handicar episode and let me know what you think with a comment below. Did you think it was funny?

Nick Heidfeld goes to the Dark Side, Buys Nissan Leaf

nick hedfield

Nick Heidfeld, a Former F1 driver, has officially gone to the dark side.  How?  He’s bought a Nissan Leaf which is an all electric car.

Does the Nissan Leaf go fast?  No, not really.  Does it make loud noises? No, it makes hardly any noise at all since it uses an electric motor. Does it look cool?  Ahh, depends on who you are and who you ask.  Does it have responsive driving?  Mmmm, probably not. So what was a race car driver like Nick Heidfeld thinking?

The purchase of an electric car by the German ex-Formula 1 driver isn’t that surprising.  Heidfeld currently competes in the newly formed and sanctioned Formula E racing series which features all electric car racing and is sanctioned by the FIA, the governing body behind F1.  The series is meant to showcase new electric vehicle technology to the world.  He’ll mainly be using the car to ferry around his family in Switzerland where he currently lives.

What do you think of an F1 driver, even a former one, buying an electric car?

[Source - InsideEVs]

Nissan Leaf powers Clean Graffiti [VIDEO]

Nissan has done some cool marketing with the Nissan Leaf, but this Clean Graffiti video from Nissan UK is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen.  It shows how the Nissan Leaf was able to power what is known as “Reverse Graffiti” by the artist Paul Curtis.

Curtis, who goes by the art nickname Moose, uses a water pressure washer with stencils held against walls to create truly stunning and thought provoking art.  As the pressure washer takes away dirt and grime you can see what’s left behind from the stencils.  The idea is to show how air pollution affects cities around the world.

Paul Curtis, aka Moose, used the Nissan Leaf to power a few different designs in Hamburg, Germany and London, England.  The results are beautiful and quite interesting.

Let me know with a comment below what you think of this Reverse Graffiti or “Clean Graffiti” as Nissan is calling it.

Clean Graffiti – Nissan Leaf

Nissan creates the first car-powered clean graffiti using the 100% electric Nissan LEAF – the world’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV). The street art was created on polluted walls in London and Hamburg depicting the cities iconic skylines.

The Nissan Leaf is the best selling electric car of all time having achieved 100,000+ sales. One owner has clocked over 100,000 miles on his Nissan Leaf and they these electric cars come in handy in gas shortages.