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I've never heard of a failure of the upgraded rubber VVTi oil line. From what I understand, the metal line will fit but is a bit tricky to install. I personally have the upgraded rubber line in my 2007 and I don't lose any sleep over it.

The oil cooler line is a reasonably easy swap, but having a variety of extensions, sockets, adapters is required as the space is pretty tight. The rubber line did keep me up at night and I swapped mine to the metal lines.

-Mike

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Discussion Starter #42
I've heard that the updated rubber VVT-i line is a big improvement but not a 100% solution. Before we got our '08, the previous owner was trying to have the metal line installed on it, but their dealership said it wouldn't fit. But now that I've had a chance to look at things more closely, I'm pretty sure that it would fit - but of course there's some work in dealing with the power steering pump. Our '08 now has an engine out of a 2012 RAV4, so it now has the all-metal line. Oddly, the all-metal line is cheaper; my guess is that the rubber line was used to simplify something in the assembly process.

For the oil cooler situation, that's not a hard job. Be careful working with the studs - when installing a stud, don't torque it much -- I think the service manual has guidance on this; I cracked a flange on the upper oil pan on mine when I was swapping engines and had to fix it using a tee nut.

Also be aware of the VVT-i actuator issue if you get an '07 or '08. Try cranking the van after it has been sitting overnight, and listen for the characteristic clatter. There are some youtube videos that give a good idea of this particular noise; the 2GR-FE tends to rattle a bit anyhow (piston slap), and you can get some noise as the lifters pressurize, but the VVT-i actuator noise is a specific noise and indicates a very expensive repair is coming. If it were me, I'd want to get a van that was past the design change for the VVT-i actuators, just to eliminate that expensive issue altogether.

- G
Hmm... thanks for the info. I wasn't aware that the VVT-i actuators were that big of a problem. Besides being an annoyance on cold startups, what exactly will it do to the engine if I ignore it? (i.e. misfire, loss of compression, etc)
 

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Okay, so, the seller of "my" Odyssey emailed me a few days ago. He had family friends over during the weekend and mentioned that he was selling the van to me. One of the family friends wanted it and naturally, being close family friends, he sold the van to them instead :(

Anyway, this means I am back on the search for a Sienna or Odyssey:

I have a new question. I am aware of the rubber oil VVT-i lines needing replacement on 2007-2008 models. I know that owners were eligible for a free replacement of an updated rubber oil line with a new rubber composition. I am seeing threads from Fibber2 and other members saying that they are not aware of the updated rubber material causing any issues, but these threads are from a few years ago. I am wondering if any new reports have come out in recent years that the updated rubber is still not good and changing to all-metal lines are a must. If so, I will avoid 2007-2008 models - I looked at the procedure to swap the metal lines and it's a bigger job than I want to tackle.

I am also aware that 2007 models had the tow package and an oil cooler line that also needs to be replaced. The procedure for this seems much easier than the VVT-i line and I would feel comfortable changing this one myself to an all-metal if I were to buy a 2007 model. Am I correct that this is not a difficult job?

Anyone have information to share about the updated rubber VVT-i line bursting in recent years and/or the ease of changing out the oil cooler line for 2007 models??
If cash did not change hands and no documents then you are for sure to look some more.. but then again even with a sales contract .. maybe not a bad thing to move on.

I did not think the VVT-I oil line was that complex - just tedious ..

Here is a pretty good video on a Camry R² VVT-I Oil Line. (R² = Remove and Replace )

Either way I think - you might just avoid the 2007 model with the tow package unless you find that absolutely required . You could step up to the 2009 (10 years old) and skip those issues all together.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
If cash did not change hands and no documents then you are for sure to look some more.. but then again even with a sales contract .. maybe not a bad thing to move on.

I did not think the VVT-I oil line was that complex - just tedious ..

Here is a pretty good video on a Camry R² VVT-I Oil Line. (R² = Remove and Replace )

Either way I think - you might just avoid the 2007 model with the tow package unless you find that absolutely required . You could step up to the 2009 (10 years old) and skip those issues all together.
No cash changed hands. We had already arranged to meet at the DMV the following weekend and the seller performed an alignment and repaired one of the 3rd row seats at my request, so we had a deal. But, no deal is final until cash changes hands.

I think the VVT-i oil line is easier on other models (esp Highlander) since the Highlander uses EPS and doesn't have a power steering pump in the way. That is what makes the job tricky on the Sienna.

I could just shop for an 09-10 model, but was really wondering how "good" of a deal I'd have to get on an 07 (or 08) to justify it.
 

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Hmm... thanks for the info. I wasn't aware that the VVT-i actuators were that big of a problem. Besides being an annoyance on cold startups, what exactly will it do to the engine if I ignore it? (i.e. misfire, loss of compression, etc)
The actuators don't seem to be as widespread a problem as the oil line failures -- but if the actuators become a problem, the fix is very expensive due to the number of parts that have to be replaced (and since the drivetrain AFAIK has to be removed from the vehicle for the repair).

What happens with the actuators is that a lock pin stops locking the vane to the housing at engine shutdown, and on the next cold start, the vane slaps back and forth until oil pressure comes up. At that level it's nothing more than a nuisance, but eventually, over some time, the bolts holding the actuator housing to the gear can start to work loose, eventually causing a rather catastrophic failure when the bolts back out far enough.

If you think you have "the noise", listen to youtube videos of this noise just to make sure. As I mentioned (I think here, perhaps somewhere else), these 2GR engines can be a little noisy at startup even when in perfect running condition. Be sure of the particular noise (and be sure it is coming from the actuators) before taking any action to repair.

- G
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Thanks again to everyone for the info about the oil lines and VVT-i actuators!

Last night I found a deal on an Odyssey I couldn't pass up - a 2007 EX-L with Navigation/DVD with 82K miles for $3,500. I was somewhat reluctant to buy one with the VCM engine, but I will hope that it is OK. For some reason, I was finding better deals on the Odyssey than the Sienna (probably because the Sienna is objectively more reliable), but I'm convinced that if I maintain my Odyssey well, it should last me a long time as well.
 

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The actuators don't seem to be as widespread a problem as the oil line failures -- but if the actuators become a problem, the fix is very expensive due to the number of parts that have to be replaced (and since the drivetrain AFAIK has to be removed from the vehicle for the repair).

What happens with the actuators is that a lock pin stops locking the vane to the housing at engine shutdown, and on the next cold start, the vane slaps back and forth until oil pressure comes up. At that level it's nothing more than a nuisance, but eventually, over some time, the bolts holding the actuator housing to the gear can start to work loose, eventually causing a rather catastrophic failure when the bolts back out far enough.

If you think you have "the noise", listen to youtube videos of this noise just to make sure. As I mentioned (I think here, perhaps somewhere else), these 2GR engines can be a little noisy at startup even when in perfect running condition. Be sure of the particular noise (and be sure it is coming from the actuators) before taking any action to repair.

- G
The drive train does not have to be removed to change out the VVT actuators . The fix is very easy - these are located at the top inner side of the cylinder heads. Not expensive - screens are $20 from Toyota.. Solenoids not too bad - but generally screens.

The VVT is used for Variable Valve Timing - they change the timing of the valves - so if they are not working properly the performance of the vehicle drops .. poor fuel economy, sluggish acceleration, poor performance under load etc.. think of it this way - your timing belt/chain if it jumped a tooth or two poor performance, engine runs hotter etc..
 

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The drive train does not have to be removed to change out the VVT actuators . The fix is very easy - these are located at the top inner side of the cylinder heads. Not expensive - screens are $20 from Toyota.. Solenoids not too bad - but generally screens.
Not sure if you're referring to the actuators on the 3MZ-FE (up to 2006) or to the solenoids... but the discussion re. the actuators above was specifically about the 2007 and 2008 Siennas.

The VVT-i actuators on the 2GR-FE (2007+) are attached to the camshafts and camshaft timing gears, and repair involves remove the valve covers, timing cover, chains, camshaft housings, and camshafts. The TSB calls for replacing the affected actuators, camshafts, and camshaft housings. Properly done, this requires engine removal. Even if the timing cover can be removed with the engine in the vehicle, I would not trust a repair done that way. Resealing a 2GR-FE timing cover requires quite a bit of attention to detail.

- G
 
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