Oil pan removal required!? to replace timing chains on 2015 Toyota Sienna 2GR-FE?

cswanson

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May 5, 2008
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Make
Toyota
Model
Sienna
Year
2015
Miles
105K
Engine
2GR-FE
I'm hoping to replace the timing chains and the service manual is very clear the engine needs to be removed as an initial step. I'm hoping to skip this step.

However, the service manual also requires the lower oil pan components to be removed before removing the timing chain cover.

Is this necessary? And, does the engine really need to be removed?
 

grcauto

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You do what looks good and let us know how it goes.
 

billr

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No! Many of us strive to do better than that! Wait for a reply from <nickb2> tonight or tomorrow morning, he is our Toyota expert/fan.
 

Mobile Dan

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I looked at some videos. Looks like the oil pump is built into that "timing chain cover". The oil pickup fastens to the cover at the bottom. Until the pickup is removed, you cannot slide the cover off the crank. The only way to remove the pickup is to remove the pan, which gives you access the the fasteners that attach the pickup tube to the bottom/back of the cover.
 

cswanson

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This is great. Thank you.

Now can this be done with the engine in the vehicle?
 

Mobile Dan

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Labor time for 1 v/c gasket is 3.5 hrs. Labor time for both v/c gaskets is 35 hrs. This tells me that you can't remove rear valve cover without removing engine. Could you remove mounts, sag the cradle, etc? I don't know. It is curious, however, that the labor time for "timing chain replacement" is 19 hrs.
My labor times were found in Motologic.
 

cswanson

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Right. I found a video that demonstrates the removal of the timing chain cover with the engine in the vehicle for this engine in a Lexus, but I can now appreciate that the engine should be removed for internal work involving timing chains. Mostly due to the requirement that the surfaces need to be spotless for the sealant to seal. Getting a die grinder to all of the surfaces will be too difficult if not impossible to achieve in car.

Thus, I am not going to replace the chains. The engine still runs well, it's just my wife is very rough on all aspects of the van. (she tore a CV boot and lost a dust guard on a strut as examples of her demands as a driver. :) )Therefore, I figured the chains should be overhauled. The water pump bearing was making all the noise, so all of the belt drive components shall be replaced.

If anything, this is the first time I worked on this engine, so at a later time I may choose to yank it and do the job properly. For now, let's hope the chains hold.
 

Mobile Dan

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To answer the other part of your question...looks like you need to remove the lower oil pan and reach up into the upper oil pan to remove several bolts that go up into the bottom edge of the timing chain cover. Crazy!
I did a water pump on one of those and I had a tough time reaching the lowest bolts. Like pulling weeds while on horseback! That Sienna also needed a belt tensioner, but it was so difficult to remove that I declined that repair.
 

cswanson

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Repairing this vehicle is nuts. I questioned whether Toyota is selling vehicles that get thrown away at the first sight of trouble. Doesn't seem like much attention was paid to how to service the vehicle. I've had to use portions of the service manual to get to my goal. Again, a little nuts.

Fortunately, the water pump repair instructions require unbolting the engine and trans from the frame to lift it to clear the AC hoses when removing a part for the water pump removal! This has helped me get to particular parts. I used this to get the pulley off the water pump, which coincidentally the manual makes a note that the pump must be pulled with the pulley because of clearance problems.

I was able to get the tensioner off, but only after I removed the alternator and the compressor. The alternator has a blind bolt, so it must be taken off by removing the bracket the blind bolt is attached to. Thank god you YouTube.
 

grcauto

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This is why I said look at it and tell us how it goes. You'll be the first here to actually do one.
 

cswanson

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Hey everybody,

Thanks for your input. It has helped me a great deal which is why I turn to BatAuto when in doubt.

I have decided not to replace the chains because I don't think I will be able to get the mating surfaces of all the various parts as clean as they shall need to be with the engine still within the vehicle.

If I ask myself if I would pay the amount of the chains, guides and tensioners to NOT have an oil leak after this job I would say yes. Therefore, I am going to keep the factory seals and replace everything up to the timing cover that can wear out. This will have to be good enough.

Incidentally, the chain replacement was an idea I had to "tune" up the engine after a horrific first 100K miles from my wife. They are still good, I just thought to replace them because I would get that sense of satisfaction of a job well done. However, I've never encountered an engine with this complexity. Also, there are three chains, so the force distribution should keep them true for awhile longer.

If and when they become an issue, then I will be prepared to pull the engine. This is the first time I've "gone into" this vehicle's engine compartment, as we bought it brand new, so this experience has been valuable.

Thank you again for your support!
 
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