Question: I have the cam cover bolts all loosened VCT solenoid elec disconnected, does the VCT solenoid itself have to be removed prior to cover removal? Or dies it come out with the cover?? I'm rapping the sides of the cover with a soft mallet and wood block, but its not breaking free. I don't wanna break the solenoid if that is whats hanging it up.
It doesn't come out at all unless you take the head apart.
It is connected to the exhaust cam basically, and just unplug the sensor on top and the valve cover will slip right over it.
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Ahhh thanks.. so it has to come straight up! Good to know!
'nuther perhaps tedious newbie Q: The cam locking/alignment tool used @ TDC #1 Cyl; is there any stress on this tool during any of the operations that would require it to be a robust metal? I'm thinking its just a verifier and a protector against cam spinnage once belt is off and cams are delinked? Yes? No? Why? Because I do not have a 3/16 piece of matal handy but I DO have 3/16 thick wood moulding that fits perfectly.. as long as it does not have to resist any moderate torque on the cams.
With caution is this gonna be ok?
I found a somewhat more robust solution.. I took the rule out of a 12" machinist square and together with a clean paint stirer stick its a nice tight 3/16th.. its now STEEL reinforced wood.. crazy? perhaps.. will it work nonetheless?? YOu tell me if it won't please before I continue.
And as long as I'm here.. #1 plug was soaked in black oil (above the plug hole) electrode was a suitable dark tan.. #2 plug less so but still wet, #3 & 4 dry. Cam cover gasket just not sealing well at that end?
could VCT solenoid cause this? Thoughts?
Last edited by larryj54; 02-17-2009 at 03:54 PM.
If this is your first time taking off the valve cover, it is HIGHLY recommended you change the valve cover gasket (its apparently already leaking if you have oil on top of your plugs)
When putting a new gasket make sure it sets properly (had a small kink in mine...wondered why oil sprayed on my Throttle body...saw a small indention where it didn't seat right at the back of the valve cover) and make sure not to torque down the bolts to tightly (....I was a noob and caused my front far right one to break...still needs repaired....).
I had light tenstion on the cam lock item. I personally used two metal L brackets that were smaller than 3/16's. Had a little play...but i notice no problems in my timing on the car. I did forget to tighten the tensioner...causing belt to fly off while i was on the road....ended up redoing timing on the side of the road and just used two small 8MM Wrenches as cam lock tools. Worked well.
Last edited by MaveriK; 02-17-2009 at 07:44 PM.
1999 Ford Escort Zx2 (ATX) - RIP
1998 Dodge Neon (MTX)
Hell, you wouldn't even think that I'm actually a chevy guy, lol!
The next warm day we get. The Video make it look sooooo easy. Ordered the kit from Rockauto yesterday along with a serpentine belt. Took the upper cover off and the timing belt actually looks real good. I think I can get this done in under 4 hrs. Jim
Does anyone else have TORX bolts on their TB pulleys besides me? Dammit I do not have any large torx bits! Trip to store.. I need a 6 pt 10mm box wrench anyways.. the 12 pt is trying to round off the tensioner bolt.
I was gonna ask what size torx but looking at pics I seem to be a freak! The pics show good old fashioned hex bolts! I am adding pics of my Torx speed bump.
(btw has anyone ever broken off the TB tensioner bolt?) That would SUCK. I hit mine with a lil WD40 while I'm upgrading the tool kit mid-stream.
The stock ones are torx. The replacement lower pulley will come with a hex bolt, but the upper torx bolt has to be reused. Unless you want to go bolt hunting.
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ZX2Fast is there one combined Torx size standard for english & metric?? ie. T-x?
I just got a combo set of Torx bits and the T-50 fits the CAM sprockets nice'n snug, but the T-45 for the pulleys seems to have a lot of slop. My biggest concerns in doing theoretically easy jobs like this is the errant broken bolt or stripped head that suddenly makes the easy job a major PITA.
As it is I just spent 1.5 hrs running around town to discover that NOBODY makes a 6 pt box end wrench any more.. so removing the tensioner is gonna be a religious experience (given its space restraints that eliminate all but a box end wrench. That Motor mount could not be located any worse.
All torx bits are just a 'T' rating. I know I don't like the sloppy feel myself in those 'T' bits. Just make sure you hold that bit in straight when you loosen it. Don't let it twist sideways at all. If you do round off that bolt on the tensioner, there should be enough space to get an easy out in there.
Almost done.. ran out of daylight and yeah I'm going slow to make sure I don't forget something, etc.. but I found something I think is pretty amazing. What prompted me to change my TB is because I pulled the top cam sprocket cover to just look at it, and the very very small section of tooth area that I could actually see from this vantage point revealed a shiny spot that upon closer inspection showed exposed longitudinal fibers where the belt rubber had eroded away. After removing the belt and inspecting it, I was amazed to find that this one area was the ONLY area like this on the entire belt.. yet it was there, at that visible location at that one time I pulled the cover to inspect the belt condition. Now this belt may have lasted another 10,000 miles.. I dunno.. but its comforting to know @ used car w/126k has a new belt. I took pics to show how small this one defective area was.. but.. thats all it takes to fail isn't it?? One small area?
Also took a pic of the new and old lower idler pulley. The old one is concave and I do not attribute that to wear, as the upper idler was flat.. I suppose it "could be wear, but my initial thought was that it was a method to center the belt; ie. to run off center requires the belt to run uphill. Yes/no? Anyone seen this concave pulley before?
Last Note: CAM sprocket bolts (TORX).. the FORD TSB and Gates Instructions say to loosen the CAM sprockets when setting tension. I found that the TORX bolt makes this a really crappy operation, because the depth is not enough to keep the torx bit and ratchet square with 1 hand, while the other hold CAM w/24mm open end wrench. I tried, but said screw it. I tweeked the intake sprocket ever so slightly toward the exhaust sprocket to mesh the unstretched belt. Seems to have come out ok.. Serpentine still needs reinstall.. ran out of light.
Alright, hope this does not get too long, lol.
I've come to find out one thing with the timing belt. A lot of components are different, even if the model of the car is same as another. For example: I have a 99.5 (it has the 6 wire MAF). So I bought the pulley set for a 99.5 only to find out....it has the 99 pullies. The tensioner is a 10mm....the bottom idler was a regular bolt (think 10 mm) and the top right was a TORX bolt.
The 99.5 pullies are nothing but bolts....so had to run and get a regular 99 pully kit (which was also 30$ more!). Glad I changed my pullies thou, because I had trouble pulling off the lower timing belt cover....did not know why...and it didn't want to go back on (heard a crack sound and thought I broke it taking it off) come to find out....my bottom idler pulley MELTED to the damned cover....had to chip away at it to get it out.
Only thing I did with my cams was TDC them, and never messed with the gears... car runs great. BE CAREFUL: Like a noob...i didn't double check my friend's work...and he didn't double check mine....which led to a loose tensioner pulley bolt (each person thought the other person did it). This caused my belt to walk off 30 miles later...it only took off an 1/8th inch off the belt. Currently running with that belt...and has roughly 1.2k miles on it now....changing it on spring break thou. It is very important to make sure all the pulley bolts are tightened.....especially the tensioner.
As for the concave pulley: As you read above....mine was melted. the reason yours has a rut in it would be (IMHO) from wear of the belt. Its probably just wore down the center a bit...causing the pulley to form a concave shape. Regular pulleys for the timing belt are completely round however.
Ran out of light? Hell serpantine is like a 4 minute ordeal, lol. When we did work...the car had to be road ready the next day due to college....so we grabbed 3 hanging work lights, and one standing halogen....my driveway looked like it was day light out.
Hope things go well... If you need any one on one help, send me a message....I jusyt went through a full timing belt system change on my Z.
Yeah, that pulley is concave because it melted. They are supposed to be flat.
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