View Full Version : 3.4 cam oil seal replacement

01-06-2013, 07:21 PM
So I've made it about halfway through a timing belt replacement, and I discovered a leaking camshaft oil seal on the passenger side of my engine (3.4).

Can anybody offer some advice on the best way to remove the leaking seal? Best method I've come across is to use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry it out, but the risk of marring the cam has me kind of nervous. It also looks like the seal would be more accessible if I remove the valve cover... Would it make sense to do this, or is it easy enough to pry out? Thoughts?

01-06-2013, 08:42 PM
It would make the seal easier if the cover was off but you can use the screwdriver method too. There's bonuses to both options.

Removing valve cover: hey new valve cover seals! Hooray!
Con: takes a lot longer

01-07-2013, 09:10 AM
Researching on the web, I found this thread (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/60-t-100/401064-valve-cover-gasket-replacement.html) where they replace the rear cam housing seals by removing the rear cam "journals" - or what I would call a bearing cap. Most of the photos are of the rear of the cam. If TheBoomBoom does remove the valve cover - would the procedure be to remove the the front cam "journal"?

01-07-2013, 10:29 AM
I came across another thread on a similar subject... It shows the valve covers removed and describes the process to replace the seal.


I also found a couple of threads where people report successfully drilling holes in the seal and using screws to extract them. Sounds like this may be a good method as long as the drilling is done carefully...


01-07-2013, 10:51 AM
Sweet, that first post answers the question I had. I didn't look too closely but if the valve covers are showing any sign of leakage and being this far into it removing the valve covers would be my thought.

01-08-2013, 10:09 AM
Update- We're going to go ahead and pull the valve covers. It'll be a bit of work, but there was some evidence that they may also be leaking so it should be worth the effort.

01-09-2013, 09:00 PM
Definitely the safe play and probably better for ya long term. Would you like to borrow my valve adjustment tools while you've got em off? I think I've even got shims.

01-20-2013, 08:06 PM
Guess its probably time for an update?

Anyways, I got the truck running again today. However it was not without a few bumps in the road along the way-

1. While reinstalling the valve cover that I removed to replace the oil seal, a piece of plastic broke off and fell into the head. I chased it all the way to a hole that goes down to the oil sump, but couldn't be sure it wasn't still in the head with the exhaust cam in place. I removed the cam, and while replacing it had some of the holes strip that the cap bolts go into. D'oh! Luckily, Justin offered to lend a hand in bringing the threads back to life. We spent some time doing this one evening, and (very) lucky for me, he was successful and all the caps were torqued to spec.

2. The timing belt was tricky to get on. I ended up loosening the top middle pulley so I could angle it up and slip the belt on. It took some effort, but after the belt was on all the marks lined up.

3. As I reconnected the battery and attempted to start the truck, everything (all lights, gauges, etc) turned off as I turned the key. I got the multi-meter out and identified the cause as a corroded negative battery terminal. After cleaning that up, the truck started but...

4. There was a pretty nasty belt squeal going on. I turned the truck off right away, got under the truck and found that the AC tensioner idler pulley was the cause. I believe it was on its last legs as I removed it, and the reinstallation did it in. I removed the drive belt that turns it so I can use the truck until I find a replacement.

Big thanks to Justin for his help on this job! Also, thanks to RicardoJM for fabbing up an SST to hold my harmonic balancer! It made the installation process a breeze!

01-20-2013, 10:50 PM
Luckily, Justin offered to lend a hand in bringing the threads back to life.

Big thanks to Justin for his help on this job!

No problem. The bill is in the mail. :lol: thanks for the Chipotle!

01-21-2013, 10:09 AM
I think it is pretty cool to see second generation gearheads working together. Must be something you dads did right! :thumb::thumb: Terry