Tip & How-To about Ford F
Variable Camshaft Timing
With all of the gadgets on cars today, most of us find enough to boggle our minds inside of the passenger compartment let alone what's under the hood. Recently, many manufacturers have moved torward VCT's to improve performance, emissions and to eliminate other components. Let's start with the EGR valve or exhaust gas recirculation system. By installing a variable camshaft system on the exhaust camshaft, the manufacturers were able to eliminate the EGR valve, save money, and lower emissions.
VCT's have been installed on exhaust cams, intake cams, both cams and single overhead cams. The system is operated by using engine oil pressure to move a phaser that is mounted to the end of the camshaft and adjusts the camshaft timing while the engine is running. This is a brilliant system and the performance gained is amazing. The oil that is pressurized by the oil pump moves through oil channels to a solenoid that is controlled by the vehicles computer. The computer takes input signals from various sensors, processes the information and sends a signal to the solenoid that operates the cam phaser and in turn, adjusts the camshaft as needed.
How can I keep my variable camshaft system in good working order?
The best way to keep your VCT system is good condition is to perform regular oil changes and use a factory approved oil filter. Use of an aftermarket filter that is not factory approved can damage your engine. The material that makes up the internal portion of the filter must meet strict guidelines to assure that the material doesn't break away and enter the engines oil channels. This could block the oils path to the camshaft phaser and cause conditions such as rough running, noise and poor emissions/fuel economy. Dirty oil is a VCT's worse enemy. A few dollars extra can save thousands in repairs.
Posted by Sand Piper on
Jun 03, 2014 | Ford Taurus Cars & Trucks
Jun 21, 2012 | Cars & Trucks
A P0012 DTC trouble code may be caused by one or more of the following:
- Incorrect camshaft timing
- Wiring problems (harness/wiring) in intake timing control valve control solenoid system
- Continuous oil flow to VCT piston chamber
- Failed timing valve control solenoid (stuck open)
On Ford, the VCT solenoid is located at top of cylinder head underneath the valve cover and goes around one camshaft. You will need to remove the valve cover, the timing cover, then remove the timing belt, the camshaft sprockets, and finally the camshafts to remove the vct solenoid as it goes around the camshaft. You can use 2001-2003 models with same engine.
VCT or Variable Cam Timing solenoid is a device used in modern engines to change camshaft position timing in relevance to engine speed and engine timing allowing the engine to produce more horsepower without adding excessive overlap to the camshaft design.
The way the VCT Solenoid works is as follows:
The VCT solenoid works with oil pressure, it receives a signal from the ECM when the camshaft needs to be rotated either in the advanced mode or ******** mode depending on engine load and speed.The VCT solenoid is able to accomplish that by altering the oil flow in the passages that lead to the cam phaser(s), there are passages to advance the valve timing ( open the valves earlier), and passages that direct the oil to ****** the valve timing ( open them later)
The purpose of the VCT or Variable Cam Timing system is to allow the engine to move larger volumes of air in and out of the cylinders to generate maximum horsepower.
Vehicles with DOHC ( Dual Overhead Cam ) engines usually have two VCT solenoids mounted in each cylinder head, one for each camshaft, allowing the Engine Control Computer to activate each VCT timing mechanism in each Camshaft separately.
NOTE: The Cam phaser is mounted on the front of the camshaft(s) it is driven by the engine's timing chain or timing belt depending on the engine's design.
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