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wildside
Newbie

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 7
Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid?
#1192591 - 03/16/06 12:33 AM

I thought that I had seen directions somewhere on how to clean out the VCT solenoid, wasn't sure if it was here that I saw it. I had my car scanned more throughly today and it says that my solenoid is stuck at 27 degrees retarded. Any ideas?

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robertchevy
CEG'er

Reged: 03/11/06
Posts: 60
Loc: Illinois - Florida in November
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192598 (Re: wildside) 03/16/06 12:45 AM

27 degrees RETARTED!

Holy crap that means your piston is 27 degrees ATDC ( after top dead center) when your spark plug fires.

Your car must like run like crap I bet.

--------------------
New car
2004 Cavalier 23,000 miles
Another new car/toy
1998 Corvette 17,000
5.7 V8 - six-speed manual
0-60mph in 4.9 seconds, top speed 165 mph
Previous car
Ford Contour 78,000 miles




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SquareHead
CEG'er

Reged: 11/29/05
Posts: 410
Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192734 (Re: robertchevy) 03/16/06 03:53 AM

Does it even run at all?
What year and engine?

--------------------
95 Contour GL. Bought new.
BAT Sway Bars/Pioneer CD/Koni Rear Struts/Mobil Fluids.
Looking for 15" alloy rims-PM me.
180,500km's so far.

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wildside
Newbie

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 7
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192787 (Re: SquareHead) 03/16/06 04:42 AM

yeah it runs but at idle it runs so rough that it shakes the motor mounts if that tells you anything.


It is a 1998 Mystique with a 2.0 zetec.


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Rogerm60
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 10/11/02
Posts: 2408
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192798 (Re: robertchevy) 03/16/06 04:54 AM

Originally posted by robertchevy:

Holy crap that means your piston is 27 degrees ATDC ( after top dead center) when your spark plug fires.




No, the plugs will still fire at their normal timing respective of the crank.
The exhaust valves will just open and close late. This causes increased lobe overlap and poor cylinder clearing at low RPM.



--------------------
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -George Santayana

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Rogerm60
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 10/11/02
Posts: 2408
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192804 (Re: wildside) 03/16/06 04:59 AM

Originally posted by wildside:
I thought that I had seen directions somewhere on how to clean out the VCT solenoid, wasn't sure if it was here that I saw it. I had my car scanned more throughly today and it says that my solenoid is stuck at 27 degrees retarded. Any ideas?




First step is to check the coil continuity at the connector on top of the valve cover. If it is burned open you will have to replace it.

I have not taken one out and cleaned it. However, using an oil system cleaner can often get it moving again if it is just stuck.



--------------------
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -George Santayana

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wildside
Newbie

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 7
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192808 (Re: Rogerm60) 03/16/06 05:02 AM

So, test across the two pins for continuity?

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jd2-98s
Veteran CEG'er

Reged: 12/19/04
Posts: 508
Loc: Rhode Island
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192938 (Re: wildside) 03/16/06 01:43 PM

VCT Solenoid - MIL ON/Trouble Codes Stored
Read ALL of this, has the flush service number. This is some really usefull TECHINCAL info I've found.
Article No.
00-3-7

02/07/00

^ MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) - MIL ILLUMINATED - DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES (DTCS) P1380, P1381, OR P1383 IN MEMORY - NO DRIVEABILITY CONCERN S - VEHICLES WITH 2.0L ENGINE

^ ENGINE - 2.0L - ENGINE OIL CONTAMINATION WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES (DTCS) P1380, P1381, OR P1383 IN MEMORY - NO DRIVEABILITY CONCERNS

FORD:
1998-2000 CONTOUR, ESCORT ZX2

MERCURY:
1998-2000 MYSTIQUE
1999-2000 COUGAR

ISSUE
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) may illuminate with Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P1380,.P1381 or P1383 stored in continuous memory on some vehicles. Driveability concerns may or may not be present. This may be caused by engine oil contamination.

ACTION
Refer to the following Service Procedure for diagnostic and repair procedures.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

The Variable Cam Timing (VCT) sprocket retards the exhaust camshaft up to 30 degrees producing exhaust valve overlap. This controlled overlap allows exhaust gases to enter the combustion chamber, effectively providing Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) flow to the engine without the use of an EGR valve. The VCT holds the exhaust camshaft fully advanced by internal spring pressure in its normal, uncontrolled state. For example, if the VCT solenoid is unplugged. When retard is commanded by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), engine oil pressure is directed through the VCT solenoid to overcome internal return spring force in the VCT sprocket.

Parameter Identification Displays (PIDS) Relevant To VCT:

CAMDCR (0 to 99%) is the on-time of the VCT solenoid as requested by the PCM.

CAMERR (0 to 30 Degrees) is how many degrees the exhaust cam is "out" from the requested position. Values "+" mean the cam is not retarded enough and values "-" indicate the cam is over retarded.

RCAM (-15 to +45 Degrees) represents actual position of the cam relative to the crankshaft.

Normal PID Values (Approximate):

Warm idle (exhaust cam fully advanced/no EGR effect): CAMDCR = 0%, CAMERR 0 degrees, RCAM = -15 degrees.

Warm cruise: CAMDCR = 50%, CAMERR = 0 degrees, RCAM = 40 degrees.

DTC(s):

P1380 - VCT Solenoid Malfunction: Indicates a VCT circuit failure between the PCM and the VCT solenoid, or possible VCT solenoid failure. Consult the appropriate Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM) for circuit location and description.

P1381 - VCT Over-Advanced: Indicates the exhaust camshaft would not retard to the position requested by the PCM.

P1383 - VCT Over-Retarded: Indicates the exhaust camshaft would not advance (return) to the position requested by the PCM.

Diagnosing DTCs P1380, P1381, Or P1383:

P1380 and P1381 stored together: Possible open VCT solenoid or circuit between the PCM and VCT. These conditions would not allow the cam to retard as requested by the PCM.

P1381 or P1383: Must NOT be set together and ONLY in Continuous Memory for the following to be accurate: Possible VCT sprocket is sticking intermittently while driving. Exhaust camshaft is out of desired position as monitored by the PCM.

This condition could be caused by engine oil contamination. Consult TSB 99-13-8 for further diagnostics.

P1381: Single DTC set. Must be a hard fault. Monitor the following PIDs, checking for these readings: CAMDCR reads 99%, CAMERR reads a high "+" value while driving, and RCAM reads -15% at idle. This condition may indicate a sticking VCT sprocket which is retarding the exhaust camshaft. TSB 99-13-8 may remedy this concern. If concern persists after the TSB flushing procedure, replace the VCT sprocket. Refer to Section 303-01 in the appropriate Workshop Manual for VCT sprocket replacement. If RCAM is ABOVE -15 deg at idle, suspect base cam timing. Check and adjust the timing belt per Section 303-01 in the appropriate Workshop Manual.

P1383: Single DTC set/hard fault/rough running engine. If RCAM reads +45 at idle, VCT sprocket is stuck in the retarded position (very unlikely due to return spring force acting on VCT sprocket). VCT flush procedure from TSB 99-13-8 may be effective. If concern persists, replace VCT solenoid. Refer to Section 303-01 in the appropriate Workshop Manual for VCT solenoid replacement. If RCAM reads other than +45 at idle, suspect base cam timing. Check and adjust the timing belt per Section 303-01 in the appropriate Workshop Manual.

--------------------
JD a.k.a Fingers
"Don't Panic"

'98 Contour GL 2.0L VCT ATX 88k
'98 Contour LX 2.5L MTX 120k

Street racing can kill
just less of a chance with a 2.0



Edited by jd28 (03/16/06 01:46 PM)

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jd2-98s
Veteran CEG'er

Reged: 12/19/04
Posts: 508
Loc: Rhode Island
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid? new
#1192940 (Re: jd2-98s) 03/16/06 01:52 PM

here is the rest.


Engine - MIL ON/DTC's Set/ Rough Idle/Stall
Article No.
99-13-8

06/28/99

^ MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) - MIL
ILLUMINATED WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE
CODES (DTCS) P1381 AND/OR P1383 STORED IN
MEMORY - 2.0L ZETEC ENGINES

^ REDUCED POWER - MALFUNCTION INDICATOR
LAMP (MIL) ILLUMINATED WITH DIAGNOSTIC
TROUBLE CODES (DTCS) P1381 AND/OR P1383
STORED IN MEMORY - 2.0L ZETEC ENGINES

^ ROUGH IDLE - MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP
(MIL) ILLUMINATED WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE
CODE (DTC) P1383 STORED IN MEMORY - 2.0L
ZETEC ENGINES

^ STALL - IDLE SPEEDS - MALFUNCTION INDICATOR
LAMP (MIL) ILLUMINATED WITH DIAGNOSTIC
TROUBLE CODE (DTC) P1383 STORED IN
MEMORY - 2.0L ZETEC ENGINES

FORD:
1998-1999 CONTOUR, ESCORT ZX2

MERCURY:
1998-1999 MYSTIQUE
1999 COUGAR

This TSB article is being republished in its entirety to correct the Labor Time for Operation "A".

ISSUE
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) may be illuminated and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P1381 and/or P1383 may be stored in memory. The vehicle may also have a rough idle or reduced power condition, and/or may stall at an idle. This may be caused by:

^ Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT) control system stuck with a machining chip.

^ VCT hollow oil feed bolt being plugged with debris.

ACTION
Refer to the following Service Procedure for diagnostic and repair procedures.

To address the Issue, valve timing must be corrected by this procedure to cycle the VCT solenoid so that it frees the stuck valve and flushes the machining chip to the oil filter.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

NOTE PROCEED WITH THIS PROCEDURE ONLY IF DTCs P1381 OR P1383 ARE PRESENT IN KOER AND P1380 IS NOT PRESENT. IF P1380 IS PRESENT, REFER TO POWERTRAIN CONTROL/EMISSIONS DIAGNOSIS (PC/ED) SERVICE MANUAL PINPOINT TESTS HK1 THROUGH HK6.

NOTE IF CODES P1380, P1381, OR P1383 ARE NOT PRESENT IN KOER, VCT AND VALVETRAIN COMPONENTS ARE FUNCTIONING AND ARE PROPERLY ADJUSTED. FAULT CANNOT BE DUPLICATED OR IDENTIFIED AT THIS TIME.

1. If DTC P1381 or P1383 is present in KOER, install 104-pin breakout box.

2. Run engine to normal operating temperature.

3. Select and monitor Parameter Identification Displays (PIDs) CAMERR, CAMDCR, RCAM, and RPM.

4. Insert one end of a banana plug jumper into VCT Pin 44 (Pin 45 for vehicles with returnless fuel system) breakout box.

5. Increase engine speed to 2500 rpm and touch the other end of the jumper to PWR GND Pin 103 for approximately 1 second and release.

6. While maintaining 2500 rpm, monitor RCAM and repeat Step 5: 1 second on, 1 second off for 20 to 30 cycles.

7. Verify that RCAM changes from -15 to +45 (approximately) when Pin 103 is connected.

8. Turn ignition key to locked position and then restart engine.

9. Monitor PIDs previously selected. Vary engine speed from idle to 3000 rpm. If the cycling procedure succeeded, CAMERR will remain zero and RCAM will vary with rpm.

10. If the cycling procedure succeeded:

a. Clear codes.

b. Change oil and filter and restore the vehicle.


11. If VCT remains disabled at 3000 rpm (RCAM does not increase from idle reading), refer to PC/ED Service Manual Pinpoint Tests HK1 1 through HK17.


OTHER APPLICABLE ARTICLES: NONE

SUPERSEDES: 99-10-5

WARRANTY STATUS: Eligible Under The Provisions Of Bumper To Bumper Warranty Coverage And Emissions Warranty Coverage

OPERATION DESCRIPTION TIME

991308A Cycle Variable Camshaft 0.8 Hr.
Timing (VCT) Solenoid,
And Change Oil And Filter

991308B If PC/ED Diagnostics Are
Required, Use "A" Time
Per The Warranty And
Policy Manual

DEALER CODING
CONDITION
BASIC PART NO. CODE
6L713 42



--------------------
JD a.k.a Fingers
"Don't Panic"

'98 Contour GL 2.0L VCT ATX 88k
'98 Contour LX 2.5L MTX 120k

Street racing can kill
just less of a chance with a 2.0



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Dec1000
CEG'er

Reged: 01/29/06
Posts: 75
Loc: Virginia
Re: Is there any way to clean a VCT solenoid?
#1192963 (Re: jd2-98s) 03/16/06 02:26 PM

Here are some test you can do at home. All that stuff from ALL DATA is meant for shops that have the right equipment. I know most DIY people don't have a $500 104-pin breakout box laying around.

The cam gear is spring-loaded in the fully advanced position, so if the VCT solenoid becomes damaged or malfunctions, the car will still maintain normal operation and performance. However, if the cam gear mechanism malfunctions, or if the timing belt is installed incorrectly, the exhaust cam can end up in the fully retarded position, giving you the same effect as having an EGR valve stuck wide open ... rough idle, stalling, hesitation on tip in, etc.

Three codes relate to this system: Code P1380 VCT Solenoid Malfunction, Code P1381 VCT Over-Advanced and Code P1383 VCT Over-Retarded.

Code P1380 is strictly related to the electrical circuit of the solenoid, PCM and wiring. If the PCM tries to energize the VCT solenoid and doesn't see any current flow or too much current flow, Code P1380 will set. The normal resistance of the VCT solenoid is 3 to 6 ohms. That resistance should not change by any noticeable amount even with changes in temperature. If the resistance is OK at the PCM connector for the VCT solenoid (measuring from the vehicle power circuit, pin 71 or 97, to the control pin for the solenoid - usually pin 44 or 45), you can also perform an amp draw test on the circuit. With the PCM disconnected, turn the key on. Using a digital ammeter, place the negative lead of the meter on battery negative, and place the positive lead to the control pin for the VCT solenoid. The amp draw should be in the 2 to 4 amp range. Only leave the solenoid grounded long enough to get a reading, preferably no more than one or two seconds. The PCM normally duty cycles it, so leaving it fully grounded for more than a couple of seconds can cause damage to a solenoid that is still in working order.

Here's another test you can do to make sure it is mechanically working: With engine running, using a jumper wire, backprobe the ground side of the VCT solenoid. Then rev the engine up to 2,500 to 3,000 rpm and momentarily ground the VCT solenoid; again, only for one to two seconds. You should hear a noticeable difference in the way the engine runs.

This same test can be performed to help diagnose a Code P1381, which indicates that when the PCM commanded the VCT solenoid to operate and retard the cam timing, it did not see any or enough change. This can be caused by a mechanical problem with the cam gear assembly, a bad VCT solenoid, or a problem with contaminated engine oil. Since the VCT solenoid relies heavily on oil flow to create the force to move the cam gear assembly, anything that causes poor oil flow, such as dirty oil, metal chips or flakes in the oil, can affect how well the VCT solenoid functions.

Code P1383 indicates the cam is too far retarded during its “at-rest” position. The majority of the time when we see this code, it has set because the timing belt was installed incorrectly. Be sure to check the basics ... make sure the cams and crankshaft are in time.


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