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slim02svt 01-22-2013 07:20 AM

svt vct gear
I have been searching and reading many instructions on timing belt replacement. No where in any of the literature that i have found is how to set the vct gear. Can anyone tell me or tell me where to go to find the answer. I have moved the gear a tooth either way and get either a p1381 or p1383 code. VERY frustrated! Is the gear supposed to be fully turned towards the front(towards bumper) or backwards (towards the windshield)? I had to do enough work that i had engine down to the block replacing pistons valves etc. PLEASE someone has to know the secret! When i say turning the gear i am talking about the cams in a locked and lined up position. Does the gear need to be set all the way forward or all the way back or somewhere in the middle? I am asking about the gear only. I have the engine at tdc and cams in alignment but have no idea where to set the gear to not get any codes.[?|]

tukaniSVT 01-22-2013 08:46 AM

How are you aligning the cams?

Once you start messing with the VCT Gear it can be a hassle and it's a hassle that many have run into.

Myself and another member here in our area had to re-do the timing 3-5 times before getting that code gone. And that's with cranking the engine by hand several times, letting some of the oil out of the cam a bit, changing out the VCT Sensor, adjusting it back and forth. It's a very picky tamper and there is no real secret, than to just make sure you do it correctly, align it right and crank it a few times by hand and check over and over again.

It's tedious, but it's necessary to get it right.


Insaniac 01-22-2013 09:16 AM

I dont know if you've seen this thread on FJ or not but I figured I would share it just in case. Its got a ton a info regarding the two codes you're seeing.

P1381 & P1383 Fix (IMPORTANT Timing Belt Info) -

nate4027 01-22-2013 04:35 PM

What causes this to happen? Like slim02svt said I too have read about replacing the timing belt in the manual but didn't see this mentioned anywhere.

slim02svt 01-22-2013 08:22 PM

I have had the engine apart. the first belt took out 2 intake valves, the second time the ex camjumped and took out every ex valve plus 2 pistons

tukaniSVT 01-22-2013 08:41 PM

We have the Timing Belt procedure in our How-To Archive.

And ouch about your pistons. When I had a T-Belt issue, it took out my intake valves. I had to get my head machined and retainers and valves put back in by a shop. I put the engine back together and it (**Knock on Wood**) has run great for the past year now.

nate4027, these are standard belts. And tend to wear in time. On average the SVT Timing Belt has a life-span of 85-100K. The Manual states you can change it around 120K, which some have, but alot of people start have bad timing belts around 85-90K.

So, you need to time it correct and put on a new belt.

If you do it wrong, and the SVT being an Interference engine, it can be catastrophic as slim02svt has just ran into.


drostedrummer89 01-22-2013 10:58 PM

I just did my timing belt and got It on the first try, though I spent a lot of time analyzing while it was apart. I got everything to tdc and put everything on. Then I removed the timing tools. Then I put the ratchet on the vct cam and noticed that it moves independent of the cam itself, and that inner portion of the cam moves under torque from my hand, yet no other part of the engine rotateduntil i reached one of the extreme variations. So I rotated it to max retard, and then forward to max advance. You need to make sure the cam itself is at or near tdc when the gear is positioned halfway between the 2 extremes. You could use a degree wheel to find the total degree of variation, then divide the number in half to get your magic number.

I didnt like the result I originally got, so I reinstalled the timing tools and locked everything to tdc, carefully detensioned the timing, and twisted the intake cam one tooth backwards. I haven't had any issues or codes and its been 2 weeks.

Let me know if I made no sense whatsoever.

Also, once everything was set and ready to be buttoned up, I rotated the engine by hand several times to check for interferance. Once it passed the initial check, I put a drill on the crank and spun it up to maybe 100 rpm. All good!


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SBK86 01-23-2013 09:08 AM

I did mine myself about half a year ago so my memory is a little hazy.

I set it to TDC using the timing tool and cam alignment bar.

I removed the bar once I had it set and used two large open ended wrenches to hold the cams in place, I think a 22mm and a 20mm, while I loosened the cam gears that allowed me to put the new belt on. I tried to replace the belt first without loosening both gears but it was impossible since the timing was slightly off, the belt wouldn't fit properly.

Also, the intake cam with the VCT would sort of spring back in place when I adjusted it. It wouldn't always spring back in the proper spot but I kept adjusting the cam until it would naturally rest at TDC which I double checked with the cam alignment bar.

The cam bolt for the exhaust cam was also quite a pain in the arse so I replaced that with a cam bolt from CFM to make things a lot easier.

I put everything back together and I guess I got lucky on the first try. I've driven it about 7000 miles since and had no issues.

nate4027 01-25-2013 10:46 AM

Since I just purchased my car, would it be wise to check the condition of the belt by pulling the upper cover off? I don't know if it has been changed before.

SBK86 01-25-2013 11:15 AM

If you don't know if it has been changed and you're high in miles then I highly recommend you replace it or at least inspect it. If the belt on an SVT snaps you're in deep trouble since it's an interference motor.

I forget how easily it is to take off that top timing belt cover.. I think it's 4 screws but you also have to remove the valve cover to get to them.

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