VVT and timing problems?

  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 68,342 MILES
I have the vehicle listed above with 70,000 original miles. My wife used a local oil change shop who we found out wasn’t changing the oil. They would replace the filter(sometimes) and drain very little out, usually a quart plus whatever was in or leaked out during filter replacement. Then just refill and bill for full oil change. Also, she was requesting Mobil 1 full synthetic, which according to one of the techs that quit, was never used. He said they upcharge for premium oil and then just used the cheapest stuff they could buy in 55-gallon drums. This went on for about a year and a half and the car started running really rough or not at all. Sometimes it would misfire and backfire so bad it sounded as though the engine was blowing itself apart. We parked the car. My father decided to help us repair it, as I was out of state on a huge project, which was okay because he’s a decent mechanic. However, he has never taken apart or diagnosed anything VVT. He drives 2003 and older v8 trucks. So, he basically started unbolting the phaser without locking the timing in any way. Needless to say, things have moved. I'm going to check it tomorrow to see if it was just the phaser stuck and it unloaded back to lock when he let pressure off, or if it was actually something else. It has been sitting for 6 months as I wasn’t able to get to it due to my work. The question is, if things have moved, I will need to treat it with pretty much the same procedures as if it was getting a camshaft and phaser replacement, correct?
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, January 7th, 2023 AT 5:20 PM

1 Reply


Basically, you will need to start from scratch. I assume he removed the timing chain.

First, before you put things together, make sure to change the VCT filter. See pic 1

The remaining pics explain how to reinstall the timing chain.

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.

Take care,


See pics below.
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Sunday, January 8th, 2023 AT 9:51 PM

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