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davehop
davehop, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1291
Experience:  Fully certified in all phases of automotive repair as recognized and certified by Ford Motor Company
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Ford Escort ZX2: VCT Solenoid/Timing Ford 2L Zetec Engine

Resolved Question:

VCT Solenoid/Timing Ford 2L Zetec
Engine very hard to start - idling very rough with accelerator to floor. Error code indicated bad camshaft sensor - relaced sensor - same error code. Took to shop. they said timing belt possibly jumped two teeth and that VCT hub had no oil in it and possibility of VCT locked up. They wanted nearly a thousand dollars to retime and replace the VCT and said it still might not work. Is there a way to clear out/unfreeze the VCT then replace oil? Can I try running engine with VCT solenoid connector off - apply voltage to solenoid to cycle it? I have the timing tool set - flatbar and TDC tool / Haynes manual / etc. and have read posts here with tips to do the timing. It looks like I would have to remove the camshafts to replace the VCT Solenoid (whickk I can get on Ebay for about $235 shipoped. Looking for alternatives....
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  davehop replied 5 years ago.

davehop :

Hello and welcome to JA, yes the camshaft does need to come off to replace the VCT Phaser...usually this goes bad from either lack of maintenence...long intervals between oil changes..or using aftermarket oil filters, which break apart internally and clogg the oil passage to the VCT Phaser...replacing it is the only true way to fix it, once it has been starved of oil, it is damaged beyond saving.

Customer:

I am a bit confused. Is the VCT phaser the solenoid or is it the the exhaust cam sprocket that fills with oil? Is the spring in the solenoid or the sprocket? When this systme goies bad, what parts need to be replaced (for ex. the valve cover gasket appears fine, but are there other seals, etc. that need to be replaced?)

davehop :

they are one in the same, called VCT solenoid/phaser, the solenoid can be replaced seperately, but when the screen in the phaser is restricted with debris, the solenoid is not lubricated, causing it to stick. Both need to be replaced at the same time for a proper repair.

davehop :

the valve cover gasket should be replaced anytime the cover is removed.

Customer:

I still don't understand completely. When you said, 'both need to be replaced' do you mean 1) the solenoid and

Customer:

2) the sprocket outside of the valve cover that the timing belt turns?

davehop :

yes, that is correct, the VCT solenoid gets a signal from the PCM to allow or decrease the amount of oil that enters the phaser, this in turn advances or retards the timing.

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