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The mkiv Supra Owners Club

How To: Valve Stem Seal Replacement


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Unbelievable but I did it! :D


Started at 10:30am, finished fitting the last seal at about 6:00pm and the only casualty is my back & hands! I managed to do the job and leave the head ding/scratch free which I'm pretty proud of seeing as I've never ever opened up an engine, even if I did only take the very top off and considering I did this on my driveway in these stupid temperatures!! :cold:


Credit goes to Tony! Thanks for the guide as I wouldn't have had the confidence to do this job otherwise!


Just need to get some cams and do the shims before I can put everything fully back together.


Some notes:


  • If doing this on a driveway like I did, make sure your neighbours windows are closed or that they are at least not offended easily - profanities were being chucked as often as tools!
  • My cam pulley bolts were INCREDIBLY tight - almost a showstopper for me. It took a breaker bar on the pulley end and using another spanner to link with my adjustable to get the leverage I needed and even then I was practically giving myself a hernia trying to undo them!
  • The seals are VERY tough to remove, especially on the inlet side which made job harder as you are trying to remove them with brute strength but still wary of damaging anything. Gripping the seal and turning it about the valve stem broke the seal and made it easier.
  • I had to remove the heater matrix coolant hose to the rear to allow me to reach the final valves and getting purchase on the valve keeper tool was especially difficult there
  • I only had to use the rubber mallet a couple of times to remove the keepers when my own body strength wasn't enough
  • Me pushing with my whole body weight was barely enough to refit the keepers - bare this in mind if doing this yourself. A heavier person should have an easier job as I'm only little!
  • The GA317A tool was smaller and had no knurling and is cheaper so I would say its the more suited tool however I had to put a few layers of insulation tape and fold it over the end to make 1st time keeper seating much more reliable (see pics) but other than that it fits within the bore with a few mm to spare. Insulation tape around the outside of the tool helped further in preventing and damage to the head.
  • Whether it made a difference or not I used 3m of 6mm soft polyester rope instead of 2 - I never had to re-adjust the crank part way through a cylinder and it compressed very easily but remained very firm against the valves even with the tool compressing them.
  • Be prepared to do nothing after - I'm feeling pretty knocked out now! :stretch:







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Only few things to go now! Get new cams this week, fit them, check shims, put back together, install injectors, then it'll be time to fit manifold, turbo, wastegate, fuel pump etc.


Should have it ready by christmas easily but maybe won't map until new year depending on how much snow we get!

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  • 4 months later...
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  • 2 months later...
Guest Seoul4korea
Think you will be better looking on a mk3 supra forum if you have a 1j as the mk4 uses a 2j and therefore all guides etc will be tailored to a mk4/2j engine!


LOL 1J is a 1st gen 2J so a lot of things are the same.

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  • 2 months later...

Awesome write up; I attempted something similar on my 04 WRX and time seemed to be my enemy. A wife, own business and 2 kids meant that spending the whole weekend taking the engine to bits was met with abuse! I was removing the engine with a view to rebuilding it (long story!).


Anyway, (yes I will get some pics of my new car up ) this needs doing on my 94 Jap TT, is there anyone near Melton Mowbray (Notts/Leics) that's reputable for completing this work?


It does seems straight forward, and I know I could do it, but with the responsibilities I have (business/kids/wife), I just simply wouldn't be able to allocate the time.


I don't mind driving somewhere to drop the car off, but would just like some recommendations from you guys.


Have to say on a separate note, out of all the car forums I have been a part of, this is by far the most rewarding although there are too many vultures around and parts go far too quickly :D:d:d


Sod it, I'll get some pics taken and get them posted in the newbies section; it is dirty though....:D

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  • 9 months later...

Managed to do this job myself using this guide mostly. Thanks very much for the clear instructions.


Because I also had to do a timing belt change I made some extra room on the front of the engine.

I then also spotted some leakage marks on the water pump so also replaced that for a new one.


Just for reference, I also used the special snap-on tools. This was VERY usefull! I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this without some special tool to undo and redo the valve locks.


Some pics, because pics are always nice.


Front of engine disassembled



the look you get under the valve covers with cams removed.



Valve tool snapping the valve locks out of place



Ripped of the old valve seal, with every seal, there was some rubber left at the bottom.



Replaced the IACV pipe for a K&N filter to get rid of the ugly irritating pipe around the back of the engine. Also want to reposition the heater pipes some day.




Welded the crank sprocket when I had the chance.



Installed some new Whifbitz adjustable cam pulleys, and the new timing belt.



All closed up and running again.


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Edited by DJT88
pics labelled (see edit history)
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Nice work :)


I still need this doing as I feel embarrassed when I start the car for the first time and a cloud of blue smoke fills the street. I bet the neighbours think the car's knackered lol


Mine only smoked a small amount and when we changed the vss they

weren't in very good condition, yours must be totally shot.

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Mine only smoked a small amount and when we changed the vss they

weren't in very good condition, yours must be totally shot.


Mine also smoked a puff for abuot 2-3 seconds...

I was left over with this (pic), most of the seals split while removing them.. And the inlet side is a pita to rip out.


IMG_9814 (Medium).jpg

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I just did this job on my v8 BMW - but I took the heads off and used the big C-Clamp compressors and it was easy peasy!

I had to take the heads off for other reasons really (chain guides, and to drill out air-flow passages).


As it happens I have the original tool that was recommended on here, somewhere.. Never did use it. Somebody else did my Supra for me years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've got a question, I have the ferrea valve stem seals, I'm going to install some GSC S1 cams, and Springs, can I put the ferrea seals in the stock valves?? Anyone knows?


I've used the Ferrea seals on the stock engine. Got the set from whifbitz. All good so far.

Different springs and cams shouldn't matter as the size of the seals is very much the same, Ferrea and OEM.

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