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VVT Solenoid (OCV) Replacement DIY

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Old 10-31-12, 03:04 PM   #1
BearsLexus
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Default VVT Solenoid (OCV) Replacement DIY


I am posting this DIY as my way of thanking the great people here at Club Lexus, especially LexMex, for all their help.

This is a general step-by-step photographic aid to help you replace your faulty VVT Solenoids, also known as Oil Control Valves.

I encountered the OBD2 Code P1354 which pointed me toward the VVT Solenoids.
Symptoms: Momentary Engine Lag when "off the gas" Feels like rough shifting; Hard Brakes at Idle; Rough Idle feeling like the car may stall; Inability for the car to shift into Over Drive.

These are all symptoms I encountered and frankly, scared the crap out of me... I thought my RX300 was going to fall apart and die!

I want you to know that this is a VERY easy and inexpensive fix. You can do this! I will guide you through it here.

You will need:
3/8" Ratchet
6" Socket Extension
4mm Allen Socket or Key
10mm Socket
14mm Socket
Standard Pliers - for Hose clips
Very small Needle Nose Pliers - 3" Overall Length are best - can find these at a craft store.

Parts : Dorman OE Solutions Part # 917-211 - Lexus Part Number 15340-0A010
Dorman OE Solutions Part # 917-214 - Lexus Part Number 15330-0A010

I found the Dorman parts for $67 each after tax at my local O'Reilly Auto Parts. I am sure you can find them elsewhere, this is just where I found mine.
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Last edited by BearsLexus; 10-31-12 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 10-31-12, 03:11 PM   #2
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Step 1 - Remove Engine Cover and Move Hoses to make room for work.

You'll need to remove the Engine Cover using a 4mm Allen key or socket. There are 3 Allen screws at the front edge of the cover. Remove those and give a light tug on it and it should pop right off.

There are a few hoses which you should loosen up and move out of the way in order to make your work easier so you can see what you're doing and get your hands in where they need to go.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:15 PM   #3
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Step 2 - See what you're working on! In the Picture below you can see the 2 VVT Solenoids.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:23 PM   #4
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Step 3 - Remove the VVT Solenoids - I started with the Front Bank of cylinders because it was more difficult to see. You can start with either one, it matters not.
You will need your Ratchet and a 10mm socket and, for the rear bank, your 6" extension.

1- Carefully Detach the Electrical Connection from the solenoid.
2- Loosen and remove the 10mm Retaining Bolt from the Solenoid.
3- Grasp the Solenoid and with a gentle twisting tug, pull the Solenoid loose and remove it.
4- Set the Solenoid aside.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:32 PM   #5
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Step 4-
In this picture you can clearly see the Rear Bank Solenoid port and to the right is the Filter Bolt.
I have also included pictures here of the filter and bolt. These are before cleaning and after.

1- Use your Ratchet and the 14mm socket to remove the Filter retaining bolt.
2- Pull out the Filter using your small needle nose pliers, being careful as it is plastic and nylon.
3- Clean the Filter - I used WD40 and a shop towel - be sure to clean this well.
4- Put your cleaned filter back into its port and replace the 14mm bolt - don't forget its washer/gasket!
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Old 10-31-12, 03:42 PM   #6
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Step 5 -

Now you just need to install your New VVT Solenoid.

1- Be sure that have the proper solenoid for the cylinder bank. Just compare your old one to the new one... if they look the same, you have the right one. The only difference I know of is the retaining bolt tab location.
2- Use a little of the oil from the old solenoid to lube up the O-Ring on the new solenoid.
3- Slide the new solenoid into the proper port, give it a good twisting push to seat it and align the retaining tab with the retaining bolt hole.
4- Replace the 10mm Bolt and snug it up.
5- Reconnect the Electrical Connection.

Repeat all this for the other bank's solenoid and filter.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:47 PM   #7
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Now that you have completed this - and it really didn't take very long at all, did it? - just reconnect all the hoses you moved in order to get to your work area - don't forget any!! - and replace the Engine Cover.

That's it! Start up your vehicle and the CEL should go away immediately, as well as all the symptoms.

Congratulations! You've just completed engine work and fixed your own Lexus.
By the way, you also just saved many hundreds of dollars and probably several days without your car.

BearsLexus
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Old 10-31-12, 04:09 PM   #8
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Please add a link in the DIY section to this thread.

Do give us feed back in 6 months and 1 year as to how the after-market part is holding up. Also did you have to do something special for the leads since the hold down tab is different?


Thanks

Salim

Last edited by salimshah; 10-31-12 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 10-31-12, 06:17 PM   #9
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Sure thing, Salim. I'll check out the link in the DIY - I have placed a link to this in the DIY per request. And thank you, Salim for directing me there, as I hadn't even noticed it before! I'll be checking there before posting a question in the forums from now on.

Glad to check back in with a follow up... I don't expect any issues. The parts seemed to be very well made.
For any who would rather use Toyota / Lexus official parts, I included the part numbers in the first frame of my DIY. Note that those run $110+ each from the Lexus Dealer (at least the one near me!)

There was nothing different about the hold down tab for the electronics. The picture is just a bit unclear showing that portion. The stock connector clicked right in with no issues what-so-ever.

Last edited by BearsLexus; 11-01-12 at 04:55 AM.. Reason: Added notes
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Old 10-31-12, 07:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for the DIY with the great pics!
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Old 11-01-12, 07:01 PM   #11
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Great DIY, I'm sure this will be helpful to many!
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Old 11-05-12, 05:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypervish View Post
Great DIY, I'm sure this will be helpful to many!
Thanks to both of you. I hope this will be helpful for any who need to undertake this project.
Not difficult at all and certainly a time and money saver!
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Old 11-27-12, 07:06 AM   #13
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Very well documented. Thanks.
After seeing how easy this is, and seeing how dirty your filter was, would it help or would it be necessary to take the filter out and clean it even if the solenoid seems to be still working in my wife's car? Or is that a waste of time?
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Old 11-27-12, 08:46 AM   #14
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I would say it depends! How religious one is in replacing the oil and any engine treatment. Once you do decide to do it, dont skimp on washers and Orings.

Salim
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Old 12-03-12, 03:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimShep7 View Post
Very well documented. Thanks.
After seeing how easy this is, and seeing how dirty your filter was, would it help or would it be necessary to take the filter out and clean it even if the solenoid seems to be still working in my wife's car? Or is that a waste of time?
KimShep,

I agree with salimshah. I bought my 2000 RX used with 112K on it, and as I soon found out when one of the connecting rods disintegrated and I needed to have my engine rebuilt, it was not well maintained. I assume that when the engine was rebuilt that these were not replaced or perhaps even cleaned. Personally, I wouldn't have EVER rebuilt an engine without cleaning EVERYTHING!
If you are the only owner your RX has ever had, then you know how well you have maintained your vehicle. If you have been lax, or you don't know how well it's been maintained, I would say yes, just to be sure.
I would also suggest some sort of oil system cleanser... These RXs can be serious sludge-buckets... that is likely what happened with mine... oil passages probably got clogged up by the previous owner's lack of quality routine maintenance.
Be very dutiful about your oil and filter changes. You may want to think about your transmission oil and filter, too. I am not sure if there is a DIY for that here yet, but if not, I will make one next time I do the job.
All these jobs are reasonably easy to do yourself. The oil filter can be a pain in the ***, just because of where it's located! LoL
If you have any questions, don't hesitate asking!
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