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Discussion Starter #1
Last week the VVT cam gear started chattering on cold starts. I changed the cam gear out yesterday and got it finished today but when I started it the check engine light, VSC off light and traction control lights all came on and idling erratically. I shut it off and went to start it again and it keeps cranking to start even when I let go of the key.. It is also running hotter in temperature than normal. I took it for a drive, about a half mile and turned around after it didn’t have any power to get up to 30mph. When I came back I noticed the gauge and temps were higher than normal.
If anyone could help me out on this. I’m at my wits end with it and I need the car for work on Monday... Thanks in advance for any and all help!!!
 

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Best i have is to reference ALLDATA.COM or similar source as to the installation of the VVT cam gear.
May have to get a mobile mechanic to help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I kept tension on the chain the while I was changing it, when I had it mostly all together I noticed the intake cam gear was off so I set it back to line up on the marks (Paint pen) that I put on it. The way it’s running I’m thinking that’s my issue. I know the cam gear locks and unlocks, I was hoping that would of been more the issue? Guessing not...
 

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Sounds like you're off a tooth to me too. I wouldn't think a problem in the camgear itself would affect performance as much as you're describing, just a little power and economy loss. Of course, double check that you have everything plugged in, and maybe you should go out and get a code reader since that will keep everyone from guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don’t think it’ll make it across town to gets codes read. With it running the way it is and getting hot I’m thinking it’s off by more than one tooth. Not sure how it jumped.
Are the deeper slots on the cam gears the timing marks? Does anyone know? There are three slots but one is deeper..
I’m guessing I’d have to pull the front engine mount and such to get the timing cover off..? Thinking I may take it to the shop near me at this point!
 

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I wouldn't drive the car running this way either, I was thinking you had another car or could get a ride to an auto parts store or harbor freight to get an inexpensive scanner. I can't remember how I did the timing on mine, but I think I remember timing marks that line up with the top of the front cover. Hopefully someone else can chime in on that. Sometimes when you put the chain on the pulleys everything will look right and then when tension is applied something rotates and you see that you were actually off. I've had to redo things when I double checked.
 

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From my limited knowledge of the VVT system, I would guess it's installed in the timing advanced position...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys! I have an older scanner but it’s not updated to an 09. Needs download to update it and no funds to do it.
Tomorrow I’m going to call for price on the local shop to do it and go from there. Looking more like I’ll be doing it here at the house.. I’ll have to pull it all apart and check timing marks and set everything back again.. Was hoping not to but eh! 256,000 plus on it I didn’t want to go through this much but I need it to get to work!
Keep you all posted on what happens, work on it starts tomorrow!
 

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Thanks guys! I have an older scanner but it’s not updated to an 09. Needs download to update it and no funds to do it.
Tomorrow I’m going to call for price on the local shop to do it and go from there. Looking more like I’ll be doing it here at the house.. I’ll have to pull it all apart and check timing marks and set everything back again.. Was hoping not to but eh! 256,000 plus on it I didn’t want to go through this much but I need it to get to work!
Keep you all posted on what happens, work on it starts tomorrow!
Have you resolved this yet? Curious to know what the issue was.
 

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The sprocket has to be torqued to the camshaft in the unlocked position or it will jam the locking pin. Then you have to lock the sprocket before installing the cam. I'm not sure if that would make it run as bad as you are saying or not but I do know it will through codes.

You also have to make sure the sprocket is in the locked position when you mark the chain.

I just pulled an intake cam out of a 2011 corolla today at the local pull-a-part, cost less than $20 and it's better to practice on a junker than your own.

My 2009 Matrix is making the start up noise so I have watched about every YouTube video I could find over the last week.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Now that I didn’t know! Hmm? I pulled the old one and not sure if it was locked or not before marking the chain..
The new one going on was unlocked when torqued. I spun it after and it locked. However I didn’t know that about the old one! Damn!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Timing was off too! As well as the possible info above.. Now I may have bigger problems!
IF it doesn’t run this time at start up I’m done with it... I’ll have a VVT cam gear for sale too. New just installed!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok my thoughts are even though I didn’t mark the old one the locked position it shouldn’t matter should it?
With the new one going on as needed, unlocked, torqued, then locked to install. That should be all that’s needed correct? The cam placement is all that changes by the cam gear and as long as the cam gear is in the right position by timing marks to me it should be right.
 

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To anyone else thinking of messing with this, the start-up noise doesn't affect the performance of the car. It might have to be done at some point if the part wears out but I wouldn't mess with it until I had to. Here is a good video that shows what is going on.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well just for future people checking on this and wondering what the outcome was. I pulled it all apart and set the timing just to see where it was. Upon doing so I found out the intake cam was three cogs behind on timing. I knew when I was doing the cam gear the tensioner must not of expanded all the way out and allowed slack in the chain. When I turned it by hand it jumped and I thought I had turned it back enough to compensate. I guessed wrong.
After resetting the chain to the proper marks and making sure the timing chain tensioner was all the way out before going further it’s back to running again! I drive it to work today and a Round trip of 120 miles it ran fine with no codes!!
 
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