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Old 02-25-12, 04:34 PM   #1
BillCarson
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Default VVTi engine interference or not?

I'm new to this forum. I am frustrated because there is so much back and forth (and guessing!) about whether or not the engine in my just purchased 2004 ES330 (V6 with VVTi engine) is interference or non-interference. Is there any conclusive way to determine this bit of information?
I want to know because I'm thinking of not jumping to replace my timing belt at 91,000 miles as I mentioned on another thread. I assumed my engine was non-interference but the comments made me wonder.

Frankly, I'm irritated when someone points to Gates as the possible authority in this matter. Gates should not be the authority! Does Toyota publish this information somewhere? This is such a major question and I'm amazed to note that there is not uniformity of opinion on the engine in my car.

Can a very knowledgeable person help? I mean with a proven information source.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:04 PM   #2
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Default I replaced my timing belt

I do not have the answer. I was just as frustrated as you. I searched every possible avenue and determined that it was 50/50 chance that the engine would be destroyed if the timing belt broke so I changed it. We need to hear from somebody whose belt broke and find out for sure.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:08 PM   #3
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I'm fairly positive your engine is similar to the one In my es300 and i know that if my Timing belt snaps my engine would be toast
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Old 02-25-12, 06:22 PM   #4
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How bout you don;t be dummy and just replace the timing belt and water pump and don;t chance it? Just sayin....
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Old 02-25-12, 06:34 PM   #5
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^ agreed.
i've been told the 3MZ is interference but if i had a dime for every time i've seen someone mis-time a 3mz car and it be fine when re timed i'd be a wealthy man, so i can only conclude that its non interference.
in addition, the 1mz is non interference....so i don't see how a 1mz with .3 liters more displacement and VVTi can be interference.
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Old 02-25-12, 06:47 PM   #6
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It's not the displacement that makes the potential difference, it is the variable valve timing. If the VVTi engines are indeed interference (I am quite certain they are) it would be because of different camshafts and pistons, resulting in the valves potentially striking the pistons if the timing belt were to break.

I agree with others here, just replace the thing at the recommended interval and stop screwing around. Don't forget a broken belt is also a safety issue, if the belt were to break at a moment where you need acceleration, could get into a serious accident or even killed.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:32 AM   #7
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Do the right thing!
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Old 02-26-12, 06:48 AM   #8
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Go to the gates website and ymm belt search. It will tell you if it's interference or non interference. My 99 Es is not.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCarson View Post
I'm new to this forum. I am frustrated because there is so much back and forth (and guessing!) about whether or not the engine in my just purchased 2004 ES330 (V6 with VVTi engine) is interference or non-interference. Is there any conclusive way to determine this bit of information?
I want to know because I'm thinking of not jumping to replace my timing belt at 91,000 miles as I mentioned on another thread. I assumed my engine was non-interference but the comments made me wonder.

Frankly, I'm irritated when someone points to Gates as the possible authority in this matter. Gates should not be the authority! Does Toyota publish this information somewhere? This is such a major question and I'm amazed to note that there is not uniformity of opinion on the engine in my car.

Can a very knowledgeable person help? I mean with a proven information source.
Bill, I'm the one that responded to your other post and amongst others, referred you to the gates website. I realize that you are new here, but for you to start another similar post and express irritation at me for directing you to the Gates website, is totally uncalled for, not to mention also disrespectful.

I have been on this board for over 2 years and without exception have found all members to be very helpfull and respectfull to each other,

Obviously I'm only speaking for myself, but please be more considerate to other members here in your posts and in the tone of your replies.

Phil
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Old 02-26-12, 07:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFB View Post
Bill, I'm the one that responded to your other post and amongst others, referred you to the gates website. I realize that you are new here, but for you to start another similar post and express irritation at me for directing you to the Gates website, is totally uncalled for, not to mention also disrespectful.

I have been on this board for over 2 years and without exception have found all members to be very helpfull and respectfull to each other,

Obviously I'm only speaking for myself, but please be more considerate to other members here in your posts and in the tone of your replies.

Phil
Phil- I am a little surprised to be accused of being inconsiderate, lacking proper "tone," making uncalled for remarks and disrespectful. Anything else?

I earned those comments from you simply because I expressed frustration at not being able to easily determine what type of engine was in a 2004 es330. As you know, my first post was initiated with timing belt replacement as the principal subject of interest. Since the importance of the timing of timing belt replacement relates to engine type, a second thread was started related to engine type because I became concerned that I truly don't know what engine type I have. I've learned that on forums like this that some commentators jump at the chance to say something when subject A is mentioned but have nothing to say about Subject B. So, it would not be a surprise to me that someone who didn't read or comment on my first thread about timing belts might have an interest or specialized knowledge to address the second point about engine type. The comments in my first thread were inconclusive, were they not? Thus, I made a decision to tackle the issue in pieces, and at least conclusively determine engine type.

Now, as to the point about your mention of Gates: yes, it was helpful for you to mention that. At the same time, you can't blame someone for hoping that there would be a source of information from Toyota itself about this. I've noted several places on this forum and one other place on the web where people say that Gates cannot be fully trusted. Indeed, Gates says my engine is non-interference according to my look at their site, while people posting on this thread seem to think the engine is "interference." Given the importance of the subject matter, a blown engine or not a blown engine, I hardly think it is unreasonable to express some frustration and seek a conclusive answer.

This was my logic in asking for input. I have no interest in insulting anyone. I simply seek accurate information. At this moment, if you asked me how much money I'd be will to bet on naming whether or not my engine is interference or non-interference, I'd have to say that most posters on this site seem to think it is interference, while the Gates site suggests non-interference. But no source seems definitive so I would not bet more than a dollar.

I come in peace here, with no interest in creating trouble. I am a half A handyman who bought his first Lexus and who has read many comments on a variety of subjects on this forum with interest. I appreciate the many thoughtful comments. Maybe some day I will be able to help someone here.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCarson View Post
Phil- I am a little surprised to be accused of being inconsiderate, lacking proper "tone," making uncalled for remarks and disrespectful. Anything else?

I earned those comments from you simply because I expressed frustration at not being able to easily determine what type of engine was in a 2004 es330. As you know, my first post was initiated with timing belt replacement as the principal subject of interest. Since the importance of the timing of timing belt replacement relates to engine type, a second thread was started related to engine type because I became concerned that I truly don't know what engine type I have. I've learned that on forums like this that some commentators jump at the chance to say something when subject A is mentioned but have nothing to say about Subject B. So, it would not be a surprise to me that someone who didn't read or comment on my first thread about timing belts might have an interest or specialized knowledge to address the second point about engine type. The comments in my first thread were inconclusive, were they not? Thus, I made a decision to tackle the issue in pieces, and at least conclusively determine engine type.

Now, as to the point about your mention of Gates: yes, it was helpful for you to mention that. At the same time, you can't blame someone for hoping that there would be a source of information from Toyota itself about this. I've noted several places on this forum and one other place on the web where people say that Gates cannot be fully trusted. Indeed, Gates says my engine is non-interference according to my look at their site, while people posting on this thread seem to think the engine is "interference." Given the importance of the subject matter, a blown engine or not a blown engine, I hardly think it is unreasonable to express some frustration and seek a conclusive answer.

This was my logic in asking for input. I have no interest in insulting anyone. I simply seek accurate information. At this moment, if you asked me how much money I'd be will to bet on naming whether or not my engine is interference or non-interference, I'd have to say that most posters on this site seem to think it is interference, while the Gates site suggests non-interference. But no source seems definitive so I would not bet more than a dollar.

I come in peace here, with no interest in creating trouble. I am a half A handyman who bought his first Lexus and who has read many comments on a variety of subjects on this forum with interest. I appreciate the many thoughtful comments. Maybe some day I will be able to help someone here.
You have the 3MZ-FE V6. It is an interference engine. I'd go up to 120,000 miles before changing the t-belt, but that's just me.

FYI: The gates website has been wrong before.

Last edited by hypervish; 02-26-12 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFB View Post
... express irritation at me for directing you to the Gates website ...
For years I've cringed when people mentioned the Gates website. I just now did some spot checking and found that Gates has corrected the horribly inaccurate information I remember seeing on their website the last time I visited it.

Although Gates appears to have "gone legit", I still would not consider them the final authority.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:24 AM   #13
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jeez, let's just chill here.

3MZ-FE VVTi = intereference

that's end of the story. cool?
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Old 02-26-12, 11:04 AM   #14
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Seriously, all this bickering and time spent on here trying to get an answer...

Here's a wild idea, call a goddamn dealer with this inquiry and the parts mgr, will gladly confirm.
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Old 02-26-12, 11:07 AM   #15
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Bill:
you should contact Lexus usa customer support and confirm that it IS a interference engine instead of opening a new thread.
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1mzfe, 2004, 3mzfe, belt, engine, es300, es330, interference, lexus, ls430, replace, smooth, timing, toyota, vvti

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