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Bryan*

Rx300 Non Interface Engine

11 posts in this topic

Hi,

I have a 2001 MK1 RX300 with 55k miles. The timming belt is due for a change due to it's age (+72 months) rather than mileage or wear.

Unfortunately work is thin on the ground at the moment and i'm trying to save cash where i can.

I took this quote from an american web site:

"Since the V6 in your RX300 isn't an interference engine, meaning the pistons won't hit open valves if the belt breaks, a belt failure will only leave you stranded and needing a tow and require the installation of a new belt, but it won't destroy the engine."

I called my local lexus dealer, but the technicians there were reluctant to say wheather the european RX300 engine is an interface or non-interface engine.

If it is a non-interface engine, I will take a punt on the belt lasting and join the AA....

Has anybody come accross this before?

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What engine is it exactly that is in your RX300. Is it the 1MZ-FE 3.0L ?

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What engine is it exactly that is in your RX300. Is it the 1MZ-FE 3.0L ?

I looked at wikipedia for that engine number and i believe my engine has VVTi . It does say 'US market' beside it.

I'm not sure if it is the correct engine. Is there a way to check it on the engine itself ?.....

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My cambelt was changed at 100K and the mechanic shown it to me it was still as good as new.

With the full service it cost me around £200 ( I supplied the cambelt,plugs, oil,coolant,filters) it took him 4.5 hours.

I would not risk letting the cam belt snap and hope for the best. I know money is tight for people right now but if it happens and anything major does go wrong with the car then you will be a lot worse off financially and will still have to pay. All a breakdown service will do is tow you to the nearest expensive garage or home and then you have to get it moved from home to a garage.

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I checked the engine and it is indeed a MZ1-FE (printed on the plastic belt cover) with VVTi on the front

If it only cost £200 i would have it done straight away. Unfortunately in Ireland i have been quoted up 700euro which is about £620.

Since the car is now probably worth less than 5k i think it's worth a risk joining the AA if i can get some sort of feedback on the interface engine.

So does anybody out there know if the MZ1-FE VVTi is a non-interface engine?

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I wouldnt take the risk mate. There was a thread on here a while back where engines were discussed and the matter of them being interference or not and well...no one is 100% sure if they are or not. There was a list but tbh I wouldnt take the risk. The first thing I did when I put my car on the road was to get it fully serviced and the belt, tensioner, and idler changed.

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That is interesting. I did a search before i posted but didn't find anything. I suppose if the lexus mechanic doesn't know it's going to be hard to call. The only way to know for sure is if somebody has seen an engine with the belt snapped... And let's face it that doesn't happen too often....

I got a price in Belfast from main dealer for £400. Steep but cheaper than in Ireland.

Now for the hard part... Finding the money.

Thanks for replies

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As far as I can find the compression ratio is 10.5:1, at that I think that it is very unlikely that the engine is non-interference.

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The information that I could find from various websites (which of course may or may not be correct) is that the 1MZ-FE is fundamentally a non-interference engine. However, I don't know about the effect of VVT-i on it. For example, the 1G-FE engine that the IS200 uses is fundamentally non-interference but the VVT-i turns it into an interference engine ! I think it's highly like that the same is true on the RX300, and I certainly wouldn't take a chance on it myself.

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I know on the MKII RX Lexus suggest 10 years/100K miles as a stated interval. This has been revised down somewhat I believe and there is sufficient ambiguity about when exactly the belt should be changed. I kept my RX until it was nearly 7 years old and one of my motivations in selling it was the cambelt. In your case, I would suggest that you are close to the belt change interval (it is now 8+ years old) and reaching that stage.

I fully appreciate your 'money is tight' supposition, but consider this, if your belt broke now - could you 'afford' to either have the RX repaired or buy something else to replace it? if you can answer 'yes' to either, then leave the belt on and see how it goes...otherwise, sell it or get the belt (plus tensioners and water pump) changed for peace of mind.

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Apparently the VVTi versions of the engine are interference.

Had the cambelt recently changed on my RX after 105k miles, the old one looked new and would have lasted many more miles but would recommend you stick with the 100k miles service interval or at least get it inspected for cracks/wear.

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