Tag: timing

Ford F150, Mustang, 3-Valve 5.4 / 4.6 VCT Solenoid Failure, Trouble Codes P0022 or P0012, Variable Camshaft Timing. Can cause lost power, check engine light, poor fuel mileage.

– Basic System Overview and Operation

The Ford 4.6 Liter 3-Valve motor is the first modular Ford V8 to incorporate variable camshaft timing (VCT). Variable valve timing adjusts the angle of the camshaft while the engine is running to increase horsepower, and fuel economy. This system is controlled by the engine computer, which operates a solenoid on the top of each cylinder head inside the valve cover. This solenoid allows pressurized oil to flow to the camshaft sprocket, which on this system, Ford calls a “Cam Phaser.” The cam phaser becomes pressurized by engine oil and changes the camshaft timing by varying the offset of the camshaft gear. (See our post http://www.autopartsdirecttoyou.info/?p=70 for more information on the cam phaser).

– VCT Solenoid Failure

VCT Solenoid

You can click here to find the Original Equipment Ford VCT Solenoid

The VCT (Variable Cam Timing) solenoid is one point of potential failure in this system. The solenoid is exposed to harsh conditions inside the valve cover. Excessive heat, and lack of engine oil changes are two of the most damaging factors that can kill the VCT Solenoid. When the engine computer recognizes that the VCT solenoid is not operating properly, it can trigger any of the trouble codes listed below. Failure of a VCT solenoid can also cause poor engine performance, rough running, and decreased fuel economy.

– Trouble Codes indicating possible VCT Solenoid Failure

** Please note, these codes can all be indications of other problems in the VCT system, such as the camshaft phaser or wiring.

P0010 : Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit Open, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0011 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing Over-Advanced, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0012 : Intake Camshaft Position FTiming – Over-Retarded, Bank 1 (Passenger Side)
P0020 : Intake Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit Open, Bank 2 (Driver Side)
P0021 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing – Over Advanced, Bank 2 (Driver Side)
P0022 : Intake Camshaft Position Timing – Over-Retarded, Bank 2 (Driver Side)

** Please note, these codes can all be indications of other problems in the VCT system, such as the camshaft phaser or wiring.


Drivers Side VCT Solenoid. Passenger side is similar.

VCT Solenoid Location

VCT Solenoid

How To Remove/Replace/Inspect/Install A Camshaft Phaser Sprocket On A Ford/Lincoln Navigator/Mercury Mountaineer For Engine Variable Valve Timing

NOTE: This repair requires extensive knowledge & experience and is probably best done by a professional  ASE certified automotive technician.

The variable valve timing (VVT) camshaft phaser is a sprocket that will alter its position in reference to commands from the PCM for variable valve timing. When this fails, the check engine light is illuminated, the vehicle may run rough, and experience a loss of power along with valve train noise.

Variable valve timing (VVT) Camshaft Phaser Sprocket

TechSmart™ Variable Valve Timing Cam Phaser  part #  S21001 

This repair should be done by a qualified technician and requires a labor time of, left side or both estimated at 10.2 hrs
Special tools required- Valve Spring Compressor OTC 303-1039 and Timing Chain Wedge OTC 303-1175

Timing chain procedures must be followed exactly or damage to valves and piston will result.
CAUTION- damage to the Phaser sprocket will occur if mishandled or used as a lifting or leveraging device.

1. Position the crankshaft pulley spoke to the 12 o’clock position and the timing mark indentation to the 1 o’clock position.

2. Remove the valve cover

3. Loosen and back-off the camshaft phaser, sprocket bolt one full turn

4. Disconnect the camshaft position sensor electrical connector, remove the hold down bolt and sensor.

note- if the camshaft lobes are note exactly positioned as shown, the crankshaft will require one full additional rotation.

Top dead center w/ lobe identifying

Right hand camshaft—-the No. 1 cylinder camshaft exhaust lobe must be coming up on the exhaust stroke. verify by noting the position of the 2 intake camshaft lobes and the exhaust lobe on the No. 1 cylinder.

Left hand camshaft— the No. 5 cylinder camshaft lobe must be coming up on the exhaust stroke. Verify by noting the position of the 2 intake camshaft lobes and the exhaust lobe on the No. 5 cylinder
5. Remove only the 3 camshaft roller followers shown in the illustration.
Caution- Do not allow the valve keepers to fall off the valve or they may drop into the cylinder. Roller Followers must be installed in their original locations. It may be necessary to push the valve down while compressing the spring.

Camshaft followers rollers and tool

After removing the three cam roller followers, rotate the crankshaft clockwise, positioning the crankshaft damper spoke to the 6 o’clock position and the timing mark indentation to the 7 o’clock position.

Crankshaft position just before removing VVT sprocket

Timing chain wedge tool
This tools must be installed square to the timing chain and the engine block. Do not remove tool at any time during servicing, if tool is removed during assembly the engine front cover must be removed to retime engine chain.

Wegde tool, scribe mark and deformed VVT

6. Scribe marks on camshaft phaser and chain, before removing camshaft.

7. Loosen camshaft bearing cap bolts in sequence. Inspect front thrust bearing cap oil metering groove for foreign debris.

bearing cap sequence

If Removing the camshaft do not allow the roller followers to move out of position. All parts removed, bearing caps and rollers need to go back in there original locations.

8. Remove the camshaft phaser.  After removing camshaft phaser sprocket, inspect the sprocket for missing or damaged roll pins.
remove the sprocket from camshaft, is the location pin deformed or damaged,  Replace.

Inspecting the Camshaft Phaser, visually inspect the camshaft phaser and sprocket for squareness. If the trigger wheel or spring is deformed or damaged, install a new camshaft phaser

Camshasft phaser identifying

When installing the new Camshaft Phaser transfer the original scribe mark to the new camshaft phaser sprocket.

9.Install the camshaft into the camshaft phaser sprocket, lining up the dowel pin and installing the sprocket bolt finger-tight

10. Install the camshaft phaser into position, verify the sprocket and timing chain scribe marks are still in alignment.

11.Lubricate and install the camshaft bearing caps. install the front position cap first, then the remaining caps, installing the bolts loosely.

12. Torque camshaft cap bolts in sequence to 89 Lb-in

13. remove the timing cam wedge tool. Rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise half turn, positioning the crankshaft damper spoke at 12 o’clock and the timing mark indentation at 1 o’clock.

verify correct camshaft position-
-Left-hand camshaft position of No. 5 cylinder intake and exhaust lobes
-Right-hand camshaft position of the No. 1 cylinder intake and exhaust camshaft lobes

14.Using the spring compressing  tool, install the 3 originally removed camshaft roller followers

15. Install the CMP sensor and torque bolt to 89 Lb-in. Connect the CMP electrical connector.

16. Use a two step torque sequence, on the Camshaft Phaser Sprocket Bolt
1. tighten to 30 lb-ft
2. tighten an additional 90 degrees
Replaces Ford part #: 3R2Z-6A257-DA

  • Ford Expedition 2005-2011 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford Explorer 2006-2011 4.6L V8 24V
  • Ford Explorer Sport Trac 2007-2010 4.6L V8 24V
  • Ford F150 2004-2011 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford F150 2009-2011 4.6L V8 24V
  • Ford F250 Super Duty 2005-2010 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford F350 Super Duty 2005-2010 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford F450 Super Duty 2005-2010 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford F550 Super Duty 2005-2010 5.4L V8 24V
  • Ford Mustang 2005-2010 4.6L V8 24V
  • Lincoln Navigator 2005-2011 5.4L V8 24V
  • Mercury Mountaineer 2006-2011 4.6L V8 24V

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