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VE Problem Child - Timing Chain vs CAS

Scott Fowler

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VE Problem Child - Timing Chain vs CAS


Firstly G’day to all, thanks for letting me join the forum…I know this has been mentioned here before…here is my experience.

OK, car started rough idling and 3 days prior to engine malfunction has intermittent starting problem.

The car was driving fine and we were out driving to the shops. Trip 1 OK, Trip 2 OK, Trip 3 encountered starting problem leaving shops but car started. After shopping done the car would not start and the display showed an ABS Fault and the check engine message. Tried jump starting thinking low battery voltage but still no fire. Ended up having car towed out of an underground car park at a nice expense.


Had mechanic come out and check car at home, did standard checks (ABS fault had cleared) and found P0335 CKP sensor cct malfunction. Removed Cam Angle Sensor (old unit crumbled to dust..) replaced CAS, reset fault and tried restart.

Upon cranking engine a loud “whack” or “knock” occurred during the cranking cycle that sounded like the rib belt snapping and flicking into plastic or metal in the engine bay but then was not heard again. Mechanic informed me that the error had returned and the car was reading around 200RPM cranking revs when in fact it could be heard turning over at approx 450RPM. So his conclusion was the PCM circuit controlling the CAS had been damaged and the wiring to the CAS should be checked and the PCM replaced and reprogrammed.


Now I’m leaning another way thinking that this model (through my research online), is a particular model that is KNOWN for timing chain stretch, and my car falls into this category having the 7.7mm pitch roller chain. My belief is the “whack” heard was part of the chain failing inside the casing?, but not enough for total breakage, which is why it still turns over but as an interesting note, when you place your hand over the tailpipe when cranking, you can feel the compression pulse out of the exhaust and also a slight sucking vacuum. I would guess that the crank and cams have misaligned hence the timing must be out to cause a non start scenario.

I was also enlightened to the fact that the mechanics these days are taught to follow a “procedure” to fault find problems in modern cars, which by the time they find the fault and fix it you have incurred a hefty invoice for the repair.


So I’m wondering if you guys think the timing chain could be the culprit to all this nonsense?

Thanks


And here’s the mechanics report.




Work Performed:

Got Out To Car And Started No Start Procedure Found Engine Light On Checked For

Codes Found Code P0335 Ckp Sensor Circuit Malfunction. Removed And Replaced The

Sensor With New Part As Removing The Old Sensor Fell Apart. Cleared The Code And

Tried Starting The Car With No Luck Due To Flat Battery And Jump Pack. Owner

Charged Up The Battery Over Night And I Charge The Jump Pack Went Back Next

Morning And Tried Again With No Luck Rechecked For Codes And Found The Same Code

Has Been Logged. Made Further Investigation And Car Needs To Be Towed To Auto

Electrician And Have The Wiring And Computer Checked As The Old Faulty Sensor

May Have Caused Damage To The Computer. Owner Has No Money As The Repair Could

Be More Than The Car Is Worth So Not Willing To Attempt At This Stage.
 

immortality

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The noise you heard could be a tensioner failing.

How mechanically inclined are you? If you are willing to get your hands dirty your best option may be to remove the rocker covers and check the chains for slackness and/or movement.

Inside the front timing cover looks something like this


So with the rocker covers off it should be apparent if something is up with the chains/tensioners.
 

Scott Fowler

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How mechanically inclined are you? If you are willing to get your hands dirty your best option may be to remove the rocker covers and check the chains for slackness and/or movement.
I haven't worked on many newer engines, give me an old 308, 253, 202, 186, or 179 any time..
I'll give the inspection a go..I've change timing belts to chains and straight cut gears before, so I feel confident doing the work myself..
In your opinion would you just replace the chain and inspect tensioners for wear and replace as necessary or just get a full timing kit? I mean these full kits are rather expensive if you go OEM...would an aftermarket kit be a better purchase as I'm not going to keep the car?
 

immortality

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I've not personally done one so can't say but from what I have seen the tensioners wear down as much as the chains stretch so probably best to do the whole lot.

There are a couple of suppliers for these kits, MACE the site sponsor does kits at good prices.
 

Scott Fowler

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I've not personally done one so can't say but from what I have seen the tensioners wear down as much as the chains stretch so probably best to do the whole lot.

There are a couple of suppliers for these kits, MACE the site sponsor does kits at good prices.
Thanks..I'll do the checks and see what comes out in the wash.
 

Scott Fowler

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Ok interesting development...did some checks on the weekend.
No warning lights on dash. System check ok. No faults logged. Fuel pump working (and car has fuel).
On initial cranking, on the first crank with full battery available, the engine "coughs" once like it wants to start but wont "catch" and then just cranks over and over. I was told because of the constant cranking attempts the engine can become flooded. I tried the starting procedure for a flooded engine (open throttle 100% whilst cranking) but still no start.
This morning I tried a normal start up but removed the fuel pump fuse. When turned over this time the engine "coughed" multiple times and then returned to cranking over and over with no start.
So question..I think the engine is receiving the correct amount of fuel but because the timing is out, the engine is just outside the parameters of the computer to start. The mechanic said the Cam sensor was "only reading 1/2 signal), in my mind effectively turning the engine into a "3 cylinder with really bad timing", which then floods on about the 3rd full revolution of the engine when being started?...
So the finger is being pointed at the timing, I just want to be sure before tearing the engine down...Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated?
Thanks.
 

VT2Commie

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If the old crank position sensor crumbled when replaced, I can garantee that the inside of your engine will look alot like the pic Immortality posted a few posts above, probably worse.
You going to need a full timing chain kit, (go genuine) as you get EVERYTHING in the genuine kits.
You gonna need to drop the oil after the repair, or stuff a rag along the bottom of the sump when you get the cover off so all the bits of sealer that you have to scrape off will go in the sump. Drian the cooling system and remove the water pump, (get a waterpump gasket, NOT IN THE KIT) or you'll fill the sump with coolant.
There is a timing procedure for these engines. Stage 1 and Stage 2 positions when assembling the left bank and right bank secondary chains.

DO YOUR RESEARCH or it can get real expensive if you are attempting this one.
 

Scott Fowler

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Thanks VT2Commie, yeah already have full pdf files of the alloytec engine assembly and i've done a few engine builds over the years so I know about dropping bits and pieces into the engine (not being sarcastic)..thanks, just looking at the strip down I know it's a big job, nothing like the old VK 5.0 and early 6's I've had the pleasure of repairing..so timing it is.....
 

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Just a note, mate.Take the water pump off first after draining the cooling system.
 

Scott Fowler

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Well there's your problem!!!
This is what was waiting under the rocker covers...
So help needed again...If this was your car, what would you do?
Seems 7x rockers have had a major failure, but i'm not sure about the timing chain now as one OHC has no rockers and has no tension to keep the cam in position.
Thoughts???

TC2.jpg
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