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Question about changing cam seals on 98 with VVT-i

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Old 05-15-14, 09:37 PM   #31
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you set the alignment per the instructions and then it became unaligned. How is it specially un-aligned? Did it rotate clockwise , and if so how much? Or how exactly did it turn?
in my case the driver's side cam had a propensity to rotate clockwise about half a rotation. But I was visually saw it become unaligned. did you witness it become un-aligned?
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Old 05-15-14, 09:47 PM   #32
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AS i recall, there are different marks on the cam. One is the white paint, that is for one alignment . The other marks were like two small dimples on the metal of the cams. Which i believe is for the cam seal repair and immobilizing the cam.
you need to re read the instruction because it is kinda tricky.
I dont recall moving the cams to get the correct alignment with the dimples in the cam.
If you are absolutely sure that you started out with the correct alignment, then undue whatever you did to the cams to make the dimples line up. I mean , you might have to move it an inch or so, or a cm. But rotating one cam with out the other is really bad. Sounds like you are close to bending a rods or hitting a piston or some bad ****.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:01 PM   #33
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Ok let me explain. I never aligned the cams once I took the valve covers off.

1. I did the timing belt job and replaced the water pump and both Idler pulleys.
2. I did not put the new timing belt on since I knew I had to change the cam seals.
3. At this point both cam pulleys and the crank pulley are set to 50 degrees past TDC
4. I unbolt the bolts on the cam pulley using my cam pulley holder tool which worked great. Here's the link.
Amazon.com: OTC 6613 Variable Pin Spanner Wrench: Automotive Amazon.com: OTC 6613 Variable Pin Spanner Wrench: Automotive
5. I removed the cam pulleys.
6. I removed both Valve covers.
7. Everything is still set at 50 degrees past TDC.
8. I check the right side cam ( passenger side ) and see that it is already lined up with the markings and service bolt hole so I place the bolt in the hole. I never moved the exhaust cam because it was already lined up.
9. I check the left side cam ( drivers side ) and see that the markings and the hole are not lined up so I'm going to have to do it myself. This is where I stopped initially and contacted you by email.
10. While waiting for you I built a little courage lol and start to turn the left side exhaust cam little by little with a 24mm hex wrench which is the correct size for the hex shaped part of the camshafts. I felt some resistance before I could get the cams lined up so I stopped.
10. I went to a PTA ( Parent Teacher Association ) meeting at my sons school and now I'm back trying to get some clarification on what you did and what I need to do next.

Sorry for the long details because I hear my phone email notifying me that you have probably replied to my post while I'm writing this post. I'm a slow 2 finger typist and I want to be absolutely clear about what I've done and what I need to do. You have already done the job so I would appreciate clear and precise instructions on how you did it if you would be so kind. Remember this write up will probably get stickied since no one else has done a write up and I'm taking lots of pictures to help out all future ppl that dive into this job. This scares more ppl than a timimg belt job that's why I'm being so cautious.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:05 PM   #34
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I dont have the manual in front of me and it has been some time. So by all means look at the instructions and the manual.
I dont recall if both sides have the dimple markers on the cams or just one side.
The drivers side cam is tricky, because there is a certain amount of resistance to it. You have to be able to distinguish between that built in resistance ( aka with the spring loaded cam lobes etc.) and pushing against a piston or rod. But i did have that same concern,
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Old 05-15-14, 10:13 PM   #35
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Above all. .....the over all timing alignment of the complete engine is paramount. When you take off the cams to replace the cam oil seals...you are just un bolting and pulling out the cams....then replacing the oil seals. So....the alignment of the dimples on the cams is of secondary concern......
As long as you retain alignment of the complete engine with the cams you are fine......
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Old 05-15-14, 10:15 PM   #36
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What I am saying is for the most part as long as the engine is in alignment with both cams......then you immobilize each cam....then you can un bolt the cams to get to the oil seals.....because you are not affecting the overall alignment
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Old 05-15-14, 10:20 PM   #37
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If You immobilize one cam with the lock down bolt......go to the other cam and start moving that.....you will for sure get things out of alignment.

Like I said it has been awhile.....I remember the job well. But I can't remember if only one side had perfect alignment with those dimples on the cam........

Maybe just one side lined up and I reasoned that it would be okay to pull out the cams because if they are immobilized you will not lose alignment. I speak of immobilizing the cams....I am talking about freezing the engine in place so as to pull out the top cam ...repair oil seal and put back in.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:20 PM   #38
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What I am saying is for the most part as long as the engine is in alignment with both cams......then you immobilize each cam....then you can un bolt the cams to get to the oil seals.....because you are not affecting the overall alignment
I understand that part but to place the service bolt in the hole on the drivers side I have to turn the cam since the hole is on the bottom side off the cam at this point. To get it up where it's supposed to be I HAVE to move that cam out of alignment a little.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:21 PM   #39
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I am trying to be as clear as possible. ....but realize it might be less than eloquent. So ask if you have any questions.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:24 PM   #40
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How much do you have to move the cam so you can put the bolt in?
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Old 05-15-14, 10:27 PM   #41
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I am trying to be as clear as possible. ....but realize it might be less than eloquent. So ask if you have any questions.
We are having a little bit of confusion but it's ok. Can you look at this pic and tell me if this is the seal you changed because the seals I have are smaller than it. They are about the size of the crank seal.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:32 PM   #42
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Yes the seal on the left is the camshaft...oil...seal. you have to take off the vvti..with Allen head to get to it.

Some confusion is bound to happen. ...as long as we clear it up!
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Old 05-15-14, 10:33 PM   #43
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How much do you have to move the cam so you can put the bolt in?
I have to turn the exhaust cam about 180 degrees. Basically half a revolution.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:35 PM   #44
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Well...I remember turning it some to line it up. .......but that seems too far. I might have moved it a couple of inches.
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Old 05-15-14, 10:45 PM   #45
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Well...I remember turning it some to line it up. .......but that seems too far. I might have moved it a couple of inches.
Ok I guess I'll just have to figure it out. I know that they def sent me the wrong seals so I'll have to reorder them and since it's the weekend I know I wont get them til Monday the earliest. Could you answer my question on how you lifted the cams out? I know you have to bring them out straight and level but did you pull both the exhaust and intake cams out at the same time or did you take one out first then remove the other one?
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3s, 98, 99, cam, camshaft, lexus, ls, ls400, oil, pull, removal, seal, seals, top, valve, vvti

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