View Full Version : Yeti-Dad's super-exciting new piece of 1990s Japan.

August 2nd, 2016, 09:38 AM

Dad's Subaru Forester has fallen on hard times of late. Two axles are failing, the transmission is starting to go in spite of our best efforts to keep it together, the AC compressor is chewing up it's clutch, it's got an oil leak that would put the Amoco Cadiz to shame, and now the engine has popped one of it's headgaskets. Off to Rawhide that ones goes.

This is the replacement, found locally in the neighborhood. 1996 Toyota Camry LE, complete with a 5SFE engine, automagic transmission, beige interior, and a sweet 90s emerald green paint job with GOLD TINTED PINSTRIPE AND TOYOTA LOGOS SON! The gold body details thing was such a bad 1990s fad, lol. If I can find a cassette tape of Hootie and the Blowfish's first record for the car's tape deck, the 90s action will be complete. It's got about 140,000 miles and no rust that I've been able to find.

It runs and drives great and everything works including the AC, but a clean 20-year-old Camry purchased for barely four figures will need a couple of things. It's got the typical Toyota 5SFE oil leak at the valve cover and distributor. It also needs a radiator, since the (plastic) top tank has a fracture that gets visibly wet when the car warms up.

It looks like I can get eveything needed to fix those things at RockAuto for about $120. That isn't 1993 Chevy Lumina cheap to fix, but it's close.

This is actually the second 1996 Camry my family has owned. We bought one in 2002 or so for about $3000 less than book value because it had been rear-ended and then fixed to the incredibly high standards demanded by most insurance companies. I didn't really think much of that car when I was 17, but now I have to admit that Toyota did a really good job on designing and building this generation of Camry. Certainly better than the ones that came after it.


August 2nd, 2016, 09:54 AM
You can get adjustable Konis for those. :up:

Just sayin'. :D

August 2nd, 2016, 10:28 AM
All those '90s Camrys simultaneously impress me with their engineering and execution and turn my stomach with, well, everything else. :lol:

August 2nd, 2016, 10:55 AM
They're like a processed cheese sandwich on Wonderbread....prepared to absolute perfection.

August 2nd, 2016, 11:23 AM
That's really apt. It'll make you not hungry in the moment, last forever even sitting in the sun, and reflects a huge amount of science having been done. But, if you stop and think about it for too long it'll make you question what you're doing with your life.

August 2nd, 2016, 12:31 PM
:lol: :up:

August 3rd, 2016, 01:18 PM
I can't find fault with any of these references.

August 7th, 2016, 06:21 PM
Neat car! I'd buy another of those if I happened into a sweet, low-mileage one. I drove one for nine years and really liked it. Say what you want about Camrys being boring, but it was comfortable and had enough room for me to stretch out and not always have to have my legs bent while driving as I do in my Accord.

Toyota did a really good job on designing and building this generation of Camry. Certainly better than the ones that came after it.

Don't know if this is the reason why, but somone once commented that those Camrys were made before Avalons were introduced, so they were Toyota's top-of-the-line car at the time, at least in the US.

No gold badges or 'striping on mine, but it was same dark green - a color I really like.


August 8th, 2016, 12:15 AM
Love those Camry's, hate how the interior holds up.

And the AC tends to smell a certain way when the air is directed right at you.

June 15th, 2018, 09:14 AM

The green 96 popped itís transmission a couple of weeks ago. So we found this 92 XLE V6 to replace it. 83k miles, owned by one family since new, and solid maintenance records. Itís almost too nice of a car for dad :lol: