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Water Pump Replacement on 1998 VZJ95 Prado


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I am about to replace the water pump and thermostat on the 5VZ engine of my Prado.
Haynes Workshop manual says to remove the A/C compressor and the crankshaft pulley.
Just wondering if anyone on this forum has found a work-around for this job as all the bolts for the water pump are clearly visible after removing the upper timing belt cover.



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Sometimes you can take a Hayne's Workshop manual with a grain of salt. They tend not to be vehicle specific so the method may apply to some vehicles equipped with the 5VZ and not others.

If the bolts are visible and easy enough to reach then by all means do it without having to remove all the other items as specified. It looks like a no brainer to me unless we're missing something.

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The problem is that the water pump pulley is under a lot of tension from the timing belt and the timing belt tensioner is not accessible without removing all of the aforementioned parts. I'm sure that mechanical workshops have devised a shortcut way to do this job, potentially saving them many hours of labour.

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I think this is a more involved process than I first envisaged. Found this video and there seems to be quite a bit of disassembly, but one of which doesn't involve removing the a/c compressor completely, so you don't have to degas the system. You can remove the compressor off the bracket and push it aside. No big deal.

This video covers the timing belt and water pump, so in your case in having to do the water pump you will have to disturb the timing belt, so the timing belt procedure is necessary too it seems.

Just make sure you have TDC marks all lined up Before removing the timing belt.

Looks like the water pump is driven by the idler of the timing belt under tension and the fan hub is driven via the serpentine belt. 

The 5VZ is a strange engine to work on now that I've watched the video. 

Also, another quick note: Not sure how handy you are, but it looks like you need to make that special tool in order to hold the crankshaft pulley for loosening and torquing back up. Find two bolts that fit the two holes, measure the distance between them and weld them to a thick piece of flat bar. For best results, drill the flat bar and weld the bolts in the holes for added strength.

Edited by Tony Prodigy
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Thanks Tony, I have had a look at both and they contain some useful tips.
The one thing they all complain about is the removal/replacement of the A/C compressor mounting bracket.
Bad design from a maintenance point of view.



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  • 2 months later...

It has been some time since I lasted posted about this repair but what I discovered maybe of use to others.
T&E Tools make a Toyota Timing Belt Tensioner Compressor.
This little tool, see photo, compresses the timing belt tensioner with the belt still on the pulleys.
This saves having to remove the A/C compressor and the tensioner assembly.
The tool can be purchased from Burson Auto Parts for around $35.00


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It's worth every cent if it means less work. That's a hell of a job just to change a water pump. Toyota did us no favours when they designed the 5VZ that's for certain.
Imagine if it was a transversely mounted engine ! Engine out job for sure.

They needed to come up with a radical new design and I reckon that's what spawned the 2GR-FE.

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