Engine - Camshaft breaking after VCT install | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Engine Camshaft breaking after VCT install

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by Kevin Rogerson, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Kevin Rogerson

    Kevin Rogerson FEOA Member

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    I replaced the VCT because of the check engine code. I put it all back together and my dad suggested I put assembly lube in so I took it apart and tried to put it back together. Two separate cams have snapped during install. I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. Any ideas?
  2. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    i already know what you are doing wrong so hopefully you are prepared for the answer.

    you are installing the cam incorrectly. I am positive that you are just installing it from left to right and tightening them down one by one :(

    since you are playing around with the exhaust cam (which you should not be) you are going to have to follow these steps to get it right this time

    - put cam in place with vct parts attached to cam
    - put cam caps onto the cam (DO NOT BOLT THEM DOWN)
    - make sure cam caps are in order (they are numbered. the number face toward the front of the car for this cam. They are there, you may need to look real good because some are not as easy to see as others)
    - now that all the cam caps are in place, screw down all the cam cap bolts by hand using the correct reverse torx socket starting with the one in the center. There are 5 so start with the 3rd one. Then go to the 4th, then the 2nd then the 5th and then do the 1st.
    - once these are all down finger tight, use a wrench to tighten then down just to the point where they touch the head. Use the same order provided in the previous step.
    - Now that this is done to this point, the bolts should be tightened down to 120-144 in-lbs (that is inch not foot) in the same order.
    - Once you have done this the cam will be installed and not broken. it is at this point that you can now install the bolts for the vct solenoid making sure the the triple gasket in in place
    - next, install the pulleys

    if you do it exactly as described the cam will not break
  3. Kevin Rogerson

    Kevin Rogerson FEOA Member

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    The only thing I didn’t do in this process is start from the middle. With hand tightening. They are all in the correct position and we’re tightened down in the specified order according to the ford service manual. I will try your method and let you know. Thanks
  4. ario98Zx2

    ario98Zx2 FEOA Member

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    I had broken 2 cams when I was working on a Zx3 once. Same issue. Wrong bolt down pattern =/
    4cylinder likes this.
  5. Defunct SR Owner

    Defunct SR Owner FEOA Member

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    Buy a Hayne's Manual, they're worth the $$$ and provide a good how-to on most repairs you have to do sooner or later.

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