Toyota 2ZZ-GE intake cam wear - bad oil or bad filter?

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I will admit that Honda's VTEC > Toyota (Yamaha) VVTL-i because Honda uses cams on rollers even on the high-profile cams. But then again, Yamaha couldn't have anticipated mandated cuts to zinc additives in oil at the time they designed the rockers.
Yamaha’s also accustomed to higher Zn/P 4T oils used in motorbikes - the car side of their engine business has to make do with what they have.

The Ford SHO V6/V8(which Volvo also used) and the Lexus F-car 2UR-GSE called for 5W-30 oil. Both are Yamaha-built/tuned/designed motors. But the Yamaha 1LR-GUE V10 in the Lexus LFA calls for M1 5W-50, a high ZDDP oil(and it’s also dry sump as well). Valve train issues are almost unheard of, except for disintegrating SHO/Volvo V8 cams.
 

ProbeGT

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Only way I could see the tight valve clearance contributing is if that caused the cam to actually run at a much higher temperature, causing the oil on it to break down and cause the wear damage - highly unlikely IMO.

If it's actually an "oiling problem", then maybe for some reason that camshaft doesn't get the proper oil flow supply - lack of oil flow is very detrimental.
I, too, am perplexed by the fact that the intake camshaft was wiped while the exhaust camshaft is completely intact on this DOHC engine. While the 2 camshafts look almost identical in design, there are 2 key differences between them. 1) the valve clearances on the exhaust side are much higher (see values in my last post) so potentially the valve spring pressures aren't as high there and 2) the exhaust cam is located physically lower than the intake cam as the engine sits tilted toward the firewall in a transverse config. In fact, the intake cam is the highest part of the engine apart from the valve cover.

Integrated into the valve cover is a tube with pre-drilled holes which sprays the 2 camshafts with oil from above in addition to lubrication through the camshafts. Due to the engine tilt it is possible that gravity sends more oil on the exhaust cam. Then again, I'd think that the oil pressure above 6,400 RPM is so high that gravity wouldn't matter. Hard to say without testing with a transparent valve cover...wouldn't that be fun to watch!

In any case, I'm going to stop worrying about this for now. The original intake camshaft lasted 18 years and 124K miles and was still good to continue driving the car at engine speeds below 6,400 RPM. I will report again in the year 2040 if the ZDDP additives to oil made any difference :)
 
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Just use a full SAPS Euro oil if you really think it's the oil (the consensus seems to be it's the lash though...). They have higher levels of AW additives.
+1 ACEA A3/B4 oil
As for YAMAHA, they mostly make the heads/valvetrains of engines.
 
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ProbeGT

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Yamaha’s also accustomed to higher Zn/P 4T oils used in motorbikes - the car side of their engine business has to make do with what they have.

The Ford SHO V6/V8(which Volvo also used) and the Lexus F-car 2UR-GSE called for 5W-30 oil. Both are Yamaha-built/tuned/designed motors. But the Yamaha 1LR-GUE V10 in the Lexus LFA calls for M1 5W-50, a high ZDDP oil(and it’s also dry sump as well). Valve train issues are almost unheard of, except for disintegrating SHO/Volvo V8 cams.
Those are Interesting points. I just looked these up.

While developed by Yamaha, both the SHO engine and the 2UR-GSE were much lower revving engines and neither featured VVTL-i.
The only comparable Yamaha car engine to the 2ZZ-GE is in fact the Lexus LFA 1LR-GUE V10. It has a 9,000 RPM redline and solid rocker arms. But that engine is on another level as far as materials used:

"Light but strong titanium alloy was employed once again in the construction of the valves, while the valve springs were cylinder-shaped and of a low-inertia design to remove the chance of valve float at high revs. These were partnered with ultra-lightweight solid rocker arms featuring a special diamond-like wear-resistance coating and integrated oil jets."
A closer look inside the Lexus LFA's V10 - Lexus UK Magazine

Maybe I should coat my rocker arms with diamonds to compensate for low AW additives in oil! :)
 
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First, fix your valve clearance.

If you want to improve on the oil, you can't stay with a 5W-30. I suggest that you move on to a 15W-40 CK-4 HDEO. Since the valvetrain runs in the boundary-lubrication region, the valvetrain wear is directly related to the base-oil viscosity, not the HTHS viscosity, and a 15W-40 will be about 50% thicker in base-oil viscosity than for the 5W-30 oils you listed.
 
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I dont believe oil caused the issue but oils with higher zinc and phosphorus can help to minimize wear on these types of cams that use a slipper. what is more interesting is why the clearance got smaller, it has to be valve seat recession or someone adjusted them too tight at some point.
Normally with a worn cam, lifter/slipper the valve clearance will be greater. As alloy heads get hot the valve clearance expands unlike iron heads where it contracts, this is the reason for such small clearances, at operating temp it is greater by a sometimes substantial amount.
 
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If it is the oil you would be a good candidate to try Royal Purple HPS line of oils. Usually around 1200ppm of Zn and Ph.
 
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have you checked the oring? theres a tube that carries oil and sprays it over the rockers. i had an 05 xrs that i did oci every 5k. i did a valve cover gasket change once and everything seemed smooth and fine. i also check your lift bolts for wear.
 

ProbeGT

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have you checked the oring? theres a tube that carries oil and sprays it over the rockers. also check your lift bolts for wear.
Oring on the spray tube was fine. Replaced it with OEM part along with all other gaskets and orings in the valve cover and timing chain cover. Lift bolts looked good, replaced those, too, of course.
All I can tell you is it ain't the oil: Other camshaft is fine.
The exhaust camshaft has much lower spring pressures and higher valve clearances. Also it's lower in the engine so it gets more oil. The zincless "modern" 5W-30 oil did it, I am sure of it.

I added a high dose of ZDDP to oil fill after replacing the camshaft - as all manufacturers do in their factory "break-in" oil.

In the future I will run 5W-40 HDEO possibly with extra ZDDP additives. Normal oils just aren't good enough anymore with the idiotic govt mandates. Wish I had more API SJ or lower in my stash.
 

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Oring on the spray tube was fine. Replaced it with OEM part along with all other gaskets and orings in the valve cover and timing chain cover. Lift bolts looked good, replaced those, too, of course.

The exhaust camshaft has much lower spring pressures and higher valve clearances. Also it's lower in the engine so it gets more oil. The zincless "modern" 5W-30 oil did it, I am sure of it.

I added a high dose of ZDDP to oil fill after replacing the camshaft - as all manufacturers do in their factory "break-in" oil.

In the future I will run 5W-40 HDEO possibly with extra ZDDP additives. Normal oils just aren't good enough anymore with the idiotic govt mandates. Wish I had more API SJ or lower in my stash.

Not all the old oils had higher levels of AW additives. We've had a number of VOA's posted on here that show that. If you feel you absolutely need higher levels of AW additives, just use a full SAPS Euro lube like M1 0w-40, they have higher levels than all of the "legacy" oils that people think were so good from "back in the day".

Look at API SJ:

Phosphorous limit for xW-20 and xW-30 was 1,000ppm.

Mobil 1 0w-40 is 1,000ppm:
Mobil Product Guide 0w-40.jpg


And Turbo Diesel Truck is 1,100ppm.

The limit on Phosphorous changed with API SM (which you'll find in the same document I linked above), reducing the cap from 1,000ppm to 800ppm. This doesn't apply to xW-40 lubes. Most xW-30 and xW-20 oils produced prior to API SM were not at the 1,000ppm limit.

API SM was introduced in 2004 and the manufacturers were well aware of the changes that were happening with this update in advance. Given that your cars are '03/04 MY, both Yamaha and Toyota would have known that the phosphorous limit was being lowered years before SM was actually implemented.
 

ProbeGT

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If you feel you absolutely need higher levels of AW additives, just use a full SAPS Euro lube like M1 0w-40, they have higher levels than all of the "legacy" oils that people think were so good from "back in the day".

Look at API SJ:

Phosphorous limit for xW-20 and xW-30 was 1,000ppm.

Mobil 1 0w-40 is 1,000ppm:
And Turbo Diesel Truck is 1,100ppm.

The limit on Phosphorous changed with API SM (which you'll find in the same document I linked above), reducing the cap from 1,000ppm to 800ppm. This doesn't apply to xW-40 lubes. Most xW-30 and xW-20 oils produced prior to API SM were not at the 1,000ppm limit.

API SM was introduced in 2004 and the manufacturers were well aware of the changes that were happening with this update in advance. Given that your cars are '03/04 MY, both Yamaha and Toyota would have known that the phosphorous limit was being lowered years before SM was actually implemented.
Near term I will use Rotella T6 5W-40 from my existing stash. Apparently it contains 1,293 ppm zinc, quite a bit higher than even the euro 0W-40 M1.

Rotella T6 VOA

I will inspect the intake camshaft after 2 oil changes. In the meantime I will keep an eye out for more sales/rebates on euro xW-40 as well as diesel xW-40 oils.

Although my cars are from 03/04, Yamaha designed the 2ZZ-GE engine in mid- to late 90's. I think it was introduced in the '99 Celica GTS. Perhaps Toyota/Pontiac should have updated the recommended oil from 5W-30 to xW-40 at some point. Lotus did but I only found out when it was too late.
 
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I would be more concerned why the valve clearances tightened up. The only thing that does that is valve seat erosion. Once it starts it just keeps going. I think I would re-check valve clearances sooner than you said. Are you sure the oiling jets are all clear?
 

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Near term I will use Rotella T6 5W-40 from my existing stash. Apparently it contains 1,293 ppm zinc, quite a bit higher than even the euro 0W-40 M1.

Rotella T6 VOA

I will inspect the intake camshaft after 2 oil changes. In the meantime I will keep an eye out for more sales/rebates on euro xW-40 as well as diesel xW-40 oils.

Although my cars are from 03/04, Yamaha designed the 2ZZ-GE engine in mid- to late 90's. I think it was introduced in the '99 Celica GTS. Perhaps Toyota/Pontiac should have updated the recommended oil from 5W-30 to xW-40 at some point. Lotus did but I only found out when it was too late.
Even if it was designed for SL and earlier, that still had the 1,000ppm phosphorous limit, which many, if not most of the oils of the day were nowhere near. I understand the desire to run the Rotella, but the Euro xW-40's are already above what that engine was tested on.

Note that it's the phosphorous, not the zinc that's limited. ZDDP is a compound and you'll note that zinc is always a bit higher than phosphorous.

As I noted, the Mobil Turbo Diesel Truck has a higher concentration of phosphorous, which puts it around the same level as Rotella (normal for an HDEO):
Mobil product guide 5w-40.PNG


So that's an option going forward as well.

I run Delvac 1 5w-40 in our boat engine, so I can relate to the confidence in an HDEO.
 
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I realize that I am late to this party.....but
I own a 2000 Celica GT-S 6 speed with the 2ZZ that has 29,000 miles on it. I purchased it brand new twenty-two years ago, and it has always been my "summer toy". At this point in my life, I put less than 1,000 miles on it per year, probably more like 500 miles.
I do a yearly oil change using regular Mobil 1 5w30, regardless of miles driven.
I am open to using a different (better) oil that might offer more zinc protection. I don't care about cost as it's only 5 quarts once a year, so what is the "holy grail" oil to use in this engine?

Thank you!
 

ProbeGT

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I would be more concerned why the valve clearances tightened up. The only thing that does that is valve seat erosion. Once it starts it just keeps going. I think I would re-check valve clearances sooner than you said. Are you sure the oiling jets are all clear?
Yes the tightening clearances are a concern. Apparently it is quite common though.

The oiling jets that are built into the valve cover were clear. I rinsed them out with solvent anyway and tested each hole individually with compressed air before reassembly.

There is no evidence of poor lubrication anywhere else in the engine. Exhaust camshaft is perfect, cylinder walls are smooth, compression is good. Only the high intake cam lobes and opposing slipper pads were affected.

I posted photos of the slipper pads in an earlier post. If you take a close look, you'll see that all the wear on the slipper pad is at the tail end of it. Where the cam lobe first comes into contact with the pad it's good, even the center is good. But as the lobe moves to the end of the pad, all of the oil has already been squeezed out. Viscosity can no longer maintain surface separation. This is where boundary lubrication should kick in, courtesy of anti-wear additives like ZDDP. But none of the modern API SM/SN 5W-30 oils contain these in sufficient amounts to prevent metal to metal contact. Boom, wiped camshaft.
 

ProbeGT

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I realize that I am late to this party.....but
I own a 2000 Celica GT-S 6 speed with the 2ZZ that has 29,000 miles on it. I purchased it brand new twenty-two years ago, and it has always been my "summer toy". At this point in my life, I put less than 1,000 miles on it per year, probably more like 500 miles.
I do a yearly oil change using regular Mobil 1 5w30, regardless of miles driven.
I am open to using a different (better) oil that might offer more zinc protection. I don't care about cost as it's only 5 quarts once a year, so what is the "holy grail" oil to use in this engine?
Ha! That's what I've been trying to figure out. Based on my experience, no contemporary 5W-30 oils are up to the task. Most informed opinions seem to fall into 3 categories:

1) euro spec 0W-40
2) Diesel full synth, typically 5W-40 (Rotella T6)
3) 5W-30 with ZDDP additives

This only applies if you drive the car hard, i.e. engage "lift" and rev past 6,400RPM to redline. For normal driving, 5W30 is fine.

Sound like you have sweet ride in your garage! Pics please!
 
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Looks like a materials and design issue. High velocity + small surface area = high forces per unit area = high wear rate. Even with a low mass VT componentry.
On a high revving engine with average material and design I would say that 75K miles is a very good service life.

Plus - pick a good oil and stick with it. Don't be changing brands and formulations.
 
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