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Loud Ratting From Timing Cover When Cold

Old 01-12-2017, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Washington State
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Default Loud Ratting From Timing Cover When Cold


I have a 1998 Camry LE with the 5SFE.

The car has 123,603 miles. It's been making this rattling sound for a very long time that's quite loud when it's cold. The sound is most prominent between 1,600 and 1,800 rpm.

I thought this would be the timing belt tensioners for sure, so I changed the belt and tensioner last summer. I did not replace the water pump at the same time as there's one large Phillips head screw on it (why?!) and it stripped out.

I inherited this car from my grandparents who bought it new. It's been garaged and well cared for almost it's whole life with regular dealership servicings etc.

It almost sounds like the belt is slapping against the timing cover.

If this isn't the timing components, could it be the water pump?

Thanks in advance for any help!


Last edited by Jon98LE; 01-12-2017 at 04:11 PM.
Old 01-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ipswich QLD australia
Posts: 543

I can see the top plastic timing cover vibrating ..with age and heat they warp

you changed the timing belt last summer so should be no slack in the timing belt

check the bolts are tight for plastics lower and upper timing covers

there is some tappet noise there

water pump
if a screw head is stripped .. wont be an easy task to replace the water pump
with engine in the engine bay ....maybe a right angled drill chuck and drill the head out
Attached Thumbnails Loud Ratting From Timing Cover When Cold-set-up.jpg   Loud Ratting From Timing Cover When Cold-22.jpg  

Last edited by dirty hands; 01-12-2017 at 07:48 PM.
Old 01-12-2017, 08:20 PM
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Did the water pump turn freely?

Was the belt tensioned correctly?
Old 01-13-2017, 09:45 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Washington State
Posts: 9

Thanks, Hands. I'll try messing with the plastic and see if it quiets down.

Toyo, yeah the pump turned smoothly and didn't feel like it had any play in it. The belt is tensioned properly.
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