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Camshaft Upgrade / Chain Tensioner Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Camshaft Upgrade / Chain Tensioner Replacement

Time:

10 hrs

Tab:

$100 to $2,500

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Camshaft timing tool, crankshaft locking tool

Applicable Models:

 
Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
Porsche 987 Boxster (2005-12)
Porsche 987 Boxster S (2005-12)
Porsche 987 Cayman (2007-12)
Porsche 987 Cayman S (2006-12)

Parts Required:

New camshafts, lifters, solenoid, etc.

Hot Tip:

All of these tasks should be able to be done with the engine in the car, but are far easier with the engine removed

Performance Gain:

More horsepower

Complementary Modification:

Replace intermediate shaft bearing
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

This project started out as a simple addendum to checking the camshaft timing when performing the intermediate shaft bearing replacement (see Pelican Technical Article: Intermediate Shaft Bearing Replacement and Upgrade (IMS)). However, after further consideration, I decided to expand it to include all of the items in your valvetrain that you might have problems with in the future. Specifically, this projects covers the following tasks or potential problem areas you might encounter on your Boxster engine:

  • Fixing camshaft cover leaks
  • Replacing the VarioCam solenoid
  • Swapping out your camshafts
  • Checking the camshaft timing
  • Replacing noisy lifters (tappets)
  • Replacing the external chain tensioners
  • Replacing the internal cam-to-cam chain tensioner
  • Replacing chain ramps

For the purpose of illustration, the motor used in this project was out of the car on an engine stand. It's an old core motor that I purchased for demonstration purposes: it had been involved in a car that had a bad fire. The core motor is fine, but all of the injection and sensors were destroyed in the fire: perfect for rebuilding or for photos! This motor is a five-chain engine, which is significantly different than the later-style three-chain engines. See Project 14 for a description of the two types and how to tell the difference between the two. For those of you who have a three-chain engine, the procedures documented here are available on the official website for this book, refer to the link at the top of this project.

All of the tasks illustrated here should be able to be performed on the engine while still installed in the car, although clearance is tight and it's somewhat difficult to work under the car. I've broken the tasks up into photo captions: read along for the procedures detailing the tasks listed above.

Disassembly: The first step in this whole process is to set the crankshaft to Top Dead Center (TDC) and lock it there.
Figure 1

Disassembly: The first step in this whole process is to set the crankshaft to Top Dead Center (TDC) and lock it there. Turn the engine until the tear dropped-shaped hole lines up with the hole in the case. Insert the way-overpriced factory knob in place, or simply use a punch or an appropriately sized drill bit (5/16th size worked well for me). Set the crankshaft at TDC right now - the camshafts rotate at one-half the speed of the crankshaft, so the crankshaft is located either at TDC for cylinder 1 or TDC for cylinder 4. If need be in the next few steps, you might have to rotate it another 360 degrees if it's not at TDC for the cylinder bank you're working on. If you're performing these tasks with the engine in the car, then you need to access the crankshaft from behind the seats (see Pelican Technical Article: Drive Belt Replacement).

Now remove the two cam plugs that sit on the end of the two camshafts.
Figure 2

Now remove the two cam plugs that sit on the end of the two camshafts. You need to remove these green plugs to inspect / check the timing when performing the intermediate shaft upgrade. You basically poke a hole in the center of the shaft and then pull it out. Toss the old ones away, as you will not be reusing them. The engine uses a total of three per head and the part number is 996-104-215-54.

With the plugs removed, now install the camshaft timing tool, P253 onto the end of the camshaft.
Figure 3

With the plugs removed, now install the camshaft timing tool, P253 onto the end of the camshaft. Normally, you would use Porsche tool 9624 to hold the camshafts onto the end of the motor (see Photo 3 of Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Engine Teardown), but I found that the camshaft timing tool also pretty much did an adequate job of holding them in place as well. While I personally have most of the tools listed as required in the Porsche factory manuals, I like to try to recommend places where they may not be 100% absolutely necessary. This is one of those cases: use the P253 tool instead.

Remove the oil pump from the cylinder head.
Figure 4

Remove the oil pump from the cylinder head. It's a wise idea to get a marking pen and mark the pump where it lines up with the engine case: it can be installed backwards by mistake. Remove the four bolts that hold the pump to the case (orange arrows), not the four Allen screws that are internal to the pump. Use two pry bars to simply pull the pump out of the end of the engine.

With the oil pump removed, remove all of the perimeter bolts from the camshaft cover.
Figure 5

With the oil pump removed, remove all of the perimeter bolts from the camshaft cover. Also remove the two bolts that hold on the cover for the VarioCam solenoid (green arrow, lower right). With everything disconnected, use a few pry bars on the separation areas of the case and the cylinder head (yellow and red arrows) to pry the camshaft cover off of the head.

When you remove the camshaft cover, you should see the camshafts and the chains underneath.
Figure 6

When you remove the camshaft cover, you should see the camshafts and the chains underneath. The top camshaft will want to move outwards when you remove the cover, but the force of the camshaft timing tool against its end should keep it relatively secured. It's okay if it pushes out by a few millimeters. I have heard from various sources that the camshaft can snap if there is enough force placed on it from the valve springs, so make sure that it doesn't move significantly out of its bore. The yellow arrow points to the spark plug tubes (found on early engines). Now would be a good time to replace them and the o-rings (found on all Boxsters / Caymans) that seal them to the cylinder head and camshaft cover.

Shown here is the solenoid that activates the valve which turns on the hydraulic oil pressure supply that advances the camshafts for the VarioCam operation.
Figure 7

Shown here is the solenoid that activates the valve which turns on the hydraulic oil pressure supply that advances the camshafts for the VarioCam operation. This solenoid has a habit of failing and needing replacement. Once you have the camshaft covers off, replacement is a snap. Simply unscrew the old one and install the new one in its place. At about $200 apiece, they are probably the world's most expensive solenoids.

Now, loosen and detach the camshaft sprocket from the exhaust camshaft.
Figure 8

Now, loosen and detach the camshaft sprocket from the exhaust camshaft. Four small bolts hold it on to the camshaft.

Carefully remove the leftmost camshaft bearing caps on both of the camshafts (green arrow, inset photo).
Figure 9

Carefully remove the leftmost camshaft bearing caps on both of the camshafts (green arrow, inset photo). Then remove the three very long bolts that secure the VarioCam chain tensioner to the cylinder head.

Now, loosen up the chain tensioner on the head (refer to Photo 16 for cylinders 1-3 or photo 17 for cylinders 4-6).
Figure 10

Now, loosen up the chain tensioner on the head (refer to Photo 16 for cylinders 1-3 or photo 17 for cylinders 4-6). With the chain tensioner loosened, the bearing caps removed, and the VarioCam tensioner disconnected from the head, you should be able to slide the gear off of the camshaft with your hand. A few gentle taps with a small rubber hammer can also help your cause if it's stuck. Let it sit next to the camshaft in the case. If you are performing this procedure with the engine in the car, be aware that once you remove the cam gear, the camshafts may slide out of the head: be ready to catch it. If you are performing this task on an engine stand, then simply rotate the engine at an angle, so that the camshafts won't fall out.

With everything disconnected, remove the camshaft timing tool from the engine.
Figure 11

With everything disconnected, remove the camshaft timing tool from the engine. Remove the camshafts and move them over to your workbench.

Shown here are the two camshafts, the small timing chain, and the VarioCam tensioner that ties them together.
Figure 12

Shown here are the two camshafts, the small timing chain, and the VarioCam tensioner that ties them together. There is a special tool that is used to compress the tensioner together to make it easy to remove, but I just opted to use a zip-tie instead. Works great, and when you're ready to expand it again, you just clip the zip-tie.

With the camshafts removed, you can simply pluck out the lifters (tappets).
Figure 13

With the camshafts removed, you can simply pluck out the lifters (tappets). Check both the lifters and the lifter guides for damage (pockets of wear greater than 1mm, fractures at the edges, irregular contact patterns on the running surfaces, grooves in the oil pockets for the cam lobes). Clean each lifter carefully with a lint-free cloth. I recommend using KimWipes, which I used all the time in the past when I was working in clean rooms building satellites. You can find these at PelicanParts.com: they are perfect for cleaning intricate engine parts where you don't want paper fibers or debris contaminating tiny oil passages. With the lifter clean, dip it in some fresh motor oil. Use whatever motor oil you're planning on using when you refill the car. Press down on the inside of the lifter while it's submerged so that you can clean out the internal passages as best as possible. It's particularly important to clean everything if your engine had its oil contaminated with coolant. Failure to clean and lubricate thoroughly may result in what is known as a noisy lifter: one that doesn't completely engage. This can lead to degradation in engine performance. The Porsche factory manuals recommend not using a magnet to pluck the lifters from their bores (use your fingers or a mini-suction cup device instead).

This is one of the reasons why I don't care for Porsche's recommendation of going 15,000 miles between oil changes.
Figure 14

This is one of the reasons why I don't care for Porsche's recommendation of going 15,000 miles between oil changes. This is an example of a camshaft bearing that is scratched and becoming worn. If this were on a 1965-89 Porsche 911 engine, I would recommend replacing the bearing. However, the camshaft cover and cylinder head are matched pieces and to replace this bearing, you need to basically replace the entire cylinder head! It's not worth the risk: change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles with an oil that has a high level of anti-wear additives and keep bearing wear to a minimum.

There are three externally accessible chain tensioners on the Boxster motor.
Figure 15

There are three externally accessible chain tensioners on the Boxster motor. The one shown here tensions the chain for cylinders 4-6, and is by far the most difficult to reach. It's located underneath the air conditioning compressor, inside the cylinder head, and is accessible from inside the engine compartment. In order to loosen this tensioner, you need to remove the two screws that hold on the air conditioning compressor and nudge it out of the way. Then use a 32mm socket to loosen the tensioner as shown in the inset photo in the lower right. You loosen the tensioner in order to replace the intermediate shaft bearing (see Pelican Technical Article: Intermediate Shaft Bearing Replacement and Upgrade (IMS)).

This photo shows the chain tensioner for cylinders 1-3, which is located inside the bottom of the cylinder head.
Figure 16

This photo shows the chain tensioner for cylinders 1-3, which is located inside the bottom of the cylinder head. The three tensioners are all different, but look remarkably similar. Porsche marked the top of each tensioner with different rings in order to help distinguish amongst them. A- The chain tensioner for cylinders 4-6 located under the air conditioning compressor. B- The main intermediate shaft tensioner, which fits inside the crankcase near the flywheel. C- The chain tensioner for cylinders 1-3, which fits into the bottom of the cylinder head. Note the handy marking on the head itself (purple arrow).

This photo shows the tensioner for cylinders 4-6, which is located on the left side of the engine case very close to the bottom of the flywheel.
Figure 17

This photo shows the tensioner for the chain that runs between the crankshaft and the intermediate shaft, which is located on the left side of the engine case very close to the bottom of the flywheel. When replacing the intermediate shaft bearing, loosen the tensioner as shown in the inset photo. If the tensioners are leaking, you should replace the metal sealing ring (orange arrow, PN: 900-123-147-30) and the small o-ring on the tensioner shaft (purple arrow, PN: 999-707-344-40).

Reassembly: Begin the process of reassembly by taking the two camshafts and lining them up on your bench.
Figure 18

Reassembly: Begin the process of reassembly by taking the two camshafts and lining them up on your bench. The cam-to-cam chain has two special links that are colored differently (green arrows). Align these links up with the divots that are located on each camshaft (yellow arrow). Keeping these two links lined up with the divots will keep the two camshafts timed with respect to each other.

Using care not to let the chain slip on the camshaft gears, install the tensioner in between the two sprockets.
Figure 19

Using care not to let the chain slip on the camshaft gears, install the tensioner in between the two sprockets. It's also a good time to replace your chain ramps if they appear worn (inset photo, lower right: they simply snap off). You will have to maneuver the tensioner and the camshafts back and forth to get the tensioner in there. Once installed, clip the zip tie and expand the tensioner: this should secure the chain, and the camshafts should be securely timed with respect to each other. Before going onto the next step, you should meticulously clean all of the mating surfaces of both the cylinder head and the camshaft cover (red arrows, inset photo) with gasket remover and a sharp razor blade. Remove all traces of sealant from both surfaces.

With all of the sealant material cleaned from the cylinder head, lay the camshaft assembly down into the cylinder head.
Figure 20

With all of the sealant material cleaned from the cylinder head, lay the camshaft assembly down into the cylinder head. Double check that the light colored chain links and the divots in the camshafts are still lined up properly. On the opposite side of the cylinder head, the lower camshaft should line up with the cylinder head / cover parting line, as shown in the inset photo.

Using your left hand, push the camshaft into place while affixing the camshaft bearing cap into place.
Figure 21

Using your left hand, push the camshaft into place while affixing the camshaft bearing cap into place. Tighten down the bearing caps and also tighten down the tensioner housing. It's important to keep in mind that the German word for intake is einlass which starts with the letter E, and the word for exhaust is auspuff, which starts with the letter A. E = intake, A = exhaust. The cylinder head, the camshaft cover, and these two little caps are all machined together and are labeled with the same number so that they won't be mixed up during the assembly process. Since the camshaft cover is machined and matched with the cylinder head, the cover is not available from Porsche as a separate, orderable part number. You must order a complete new cylinder head, which will include the head, the cover and the caps all matched together. This makes rebuilding and repairing any damage due to camshaft bearing wear very difficult.

With the camshaft caps in place and the tensioner tightened down, affix the camshaft timing tool to the opposite end.
Figure 22

With the camshaft caps in place and the tensioner tightened down, affix the camshaft timing tool to the opposite end. There are a set of Porsche tools that are used to hold the camshaft in place while working on the engine at this stage: I found them unnecessary as the camshafts are held in place if you install the timing tool as shown.

Remove the chain tensioner for that bank: shown here is the tensioner for cylinder bank 1-3 (green arrow).
Figure 23

Remove the chain tensioner for that bank: shown here is the tensioner for cylinder bank 1-3 (green arrow). With the tensioner removed, you should have enough slack to push on the chain sprocket (purple arrow) with your hand. Gently tap the sprocket on the rest of the way using a rubber mallet (inset photo). If you have the Porsche factory chain tensioner tool 9599, then install it into the bottom of the case. Tighten the tension screw until the small rod in the center is flush with the adjustment screw. If you do not have this extremely expensive tool (upper right inset of Figure 24), you can tighten up the tension on the chain using the regular chain tensioner. Reinstall the tensioner completely into the bottom of the case.

With the camshafts installed, the timing tool in place, the two bearing caps tightened down, the camshaft solenoid tensioner tightened down, and the primary tensioner reinstalled in the case, tighten down the four bolts that hold the camshaft sprocket to the camshaft.
Figure 24

With the camshafts installed, the timing tool in place, the two bearing caps tightened down, the camshaft solenoid tensioner tightened down, and the primary tensioner reinstalled in the case, tighten down the four bolts that hold the camshaft sprocket to the camshaft. Double check once again that the special colored links (green arrow) in the cam-to-cam chain are properly lined up with the divot mark in the camshaft (yellow arrow). Temporarily reinstall the camshaft cover using only a handful of bolts, lightly tightened down, and then remove the camshaft timing tool. At this point, spin the engine two full turns to recheck the camshaft timing by reinstalling the tool again. The upper right inset photo shows the very expensive Porsche chain tensioner tool in place (not required).

Next, reinstall the oil pump onto the exhaust camshaft using two of the four bolts to affix it to the cylinder head.
Figure 25

Next, reinstall the oil pump onto the exhaust camshaft using two of the four bolts to affix it to the cylinder head. Carefully line up the tab of the oil pump with the slot on the camshaft and make sure that it's inserted correctly. The two scavenge oil pumps are the same for either side, but they must be installed with the proper side facing up. There are markings for cylinders 4-6 (green arrow) and 1-3 (yellow arrow). The pump must be installed with the markings for the current cylinder bank closest to the crankcase. Sitting in the backseat of the Boxster, looking at the engine and the crankshaft pulley, cylinders 1-3 are on the left, and 4-6 are on the right. If you get confused, the basic rule is that the two pumps are installed opposite to each other. The oil pump for 1-3 is located on the flywheel side of the engine, and the oil pump for 4-6 is located on the drive belt side of the engine.

Perform a final cleansing of the surfaces with some isopropyl alcohol and let it evaporate fully before applying the sealant.
Figure 26

Perform a final cleansing of the surfaces with some isopropyl alcohol and let it evaporate fully before applying the sealant. Porsche recommends the use of Drei Bond silicone, type 1209 or Loctite 5900 flange sealant to seal the surface area of the head to the camshaft covers. Don't forget to apply a thin bead of sealant to the bearing saddle areas in the inner part of the head as well. With the sealant applied, tighten down all of the bolts on the camshaft cover in the order shown on this diagram. Carefully tighten each bolt to 10 ft-lbs (12 Nm), which is not a lot of force.

As a final step, insert the camshaft plugs into the end of the camshafts.
Figure 27

As a final step, insert the camshaft plugs into the end of the camshafts. Lightly tap them into place with a rubber mallet. Tighten down the two remaining bolts on the oil pump, and also the two bolts that secure the cover for the solenoid. With one side of the engine complete, move onto the other side and repeat the process if necessary.

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Comments and Suggestions:
rich Comments: hi I have a 2002 mk2 boxster and want to know how to set the camshaft timing can any one advise me please, there seems to be a lot of info on the mk1 but cant seem to find anything on a mk2 boxster
thanks,
August 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The process is different due tot he timing chain configuration. It requires multiple special tools and is a high level repair. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
KarinaB Comments: OK, so forgive me as I am not a amateur mechanic and really am pretty much mechanically challenged but I do have a question. What might be the cause of a full Camshaft replacement needing to be done in a 2005 Boxster S? And if a replacement was successfully done, is there any reason to worry about the issue recurring in the future?
August 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely due to an oiling issue. I would check if there is metal debris in the engine oil, if so, a rebuild may be needed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Hi ...Mike here...I have a 98 2.5 boxster. It has a rattle coming from the L/H side of engine. It comes in at around 3,500 to 4000 rpms stationary and also on hard acceleration- under load.100000 miles on the vehicle. I've removed the three timing chain tensioners. 1 out of the three feels very soft. This is the IMS chain tensioner. Should they all be equal tension when manually pressing them in? Thanks for any info you can give.
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Usually they feel the same, all difficult to push in. You may have a faulty tensioner. Double check the the tensioners are also int he right place. Each one has marking, (rings) that match the location the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mectec Comments: Hi Nick,
yes, my 2.7 Boxster is a 2000/2001. Can you tell the resistance value for the solenoid on bank 1-3?? Do I need any other special tool/s apart from the cam locking tool?
July 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a tool for the tensioner as well as locking the engine down. Be sure to use them. You do not want the timing to jump.

I do not have the resistance values. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mectec Comments: Hi, I've got a 2.7 boxster that run well except for 2 irritating faults. 1lumpy idle, 2intermitant cutting out when coming to a stop at a junction or similar. Two different diag. machines have pin-pointed P1341 fault code. Also an experienced Porsche tec has said this is possibly caused by the camchain solenoid valve on bank 1. Do you agree? Also what is the resistance value for the solenoid valve.
Many thanks.
Nick McKenzie UK
July 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll need to confirm why it is stalling. Is it losing spark, air or fuel. Possible timing changes enough to cause a stall. The timing fault code supports that. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alex Comments: Hi
Could you please tell me if there is a difference between the left and the right variocam solenoid, and what is?
Thanks,
Alex
July 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a left and right side, the construction is different.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
R Comments: Okay, so when performing the camshaft removal, is there variable valve timing found on earlier cars, specifically a 1997 Boxster base? Also, if I change my hydraulic tensioner bolts, what tool do I need, if any?
April 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need the timing locking tools, 32mm ring wrench, tensioner tools. The camshaft tensioners have to be removed with the chain, from the camshaft. It is variable timing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MAK Comments: My buddy has a 1997 porsche boxster and he is telling me that a service shop said that his cam tensioners are worn and that it required a pull from the car and the entire job would cost in the $8K range.. Is that a true statement and does it really require a whole bunch of very expensive and specialized tools to do this or could a home garage mechanic attempt to do this.
April 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Someone with mechanical skills can do the repair at home, you will need special tools.

I am not sure what the repair will cost in your area. Call a few shops and ask for a quote. It is also a good idea to have them confirm what the issue is.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
R Comments: I can hear a rattle when the car starts up cold, lasts for half a second tops. However, it's anywhere from 20 degrees Fahrenheit here to 40 degrees. I'm running 0w-40 Mobil 1 oil. Will an oil change to something like 20w-50 improve this clatter? Or is it time for me to start tearing the engine apart? Camshaft deviation values are on outer limits, but they are holding steady over the course of a couple months. Should I be worried? What could go wrong if this persists?
April 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would perform the repair, heavier oil will not fix anything. if you wait too long and the issue is the tensioners, engine timing can jump. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hillbilly986 Comments: Hi, I have a 1997 boxster, while I have the cams and crankshaft locked from doing a IMS bearing replace, can I remove the oil pumps in the cylinder heads so I can replace the large o rings on them, without messing up the timing? Or does it matter if the cams or locked or not when removing these oil pumps?
Thanks!
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove them. The camshafts do not have to be locked. Pay attention to the orientation when removing, they have a specific installation position.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Roman986 Comments: it is necessary use porsche tool 9612 camshaft lock on the picture?or can i use only tools 9624 and 9611?
March 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on and what repair are you performing? Then I check the tool info for you. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hillbilly986 Comments: Hi, I have a 1997 Boxster base, I am doing a IMS bearing upgrade, all went well with that. Now I want to replace all 3 chain tensioners, I still have the engine's crankshaft and both lower cams 1-3 and 4-6 bank locked at TDC with the locking tools. My question is can I replace all 3 tensioners, one at a time, as it is locked now, or do I need to rotate the engine 360 degrees for bank 4-6 after I replace 1-3? Thank for your time!
March 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove and replace the tensioner now, while the engine is locked. Just do one at a time. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
. Comments: I have a 1997 boxster base. Was the solenoid on the chain tensioners introduced in later models or do I have to deal with them when I'm taking this apart?
March 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you referring to the Variocam plus solenoids? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Robert Comments: Camshaft covers do not need to come out for cam seal or plug removal those little green plastic pieces, but do the camshaft covers need to come off to replace those pieces? Or can I just shove it in there?
March 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The camshaft plugs can be removed and replaced without removing the valve covers. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sepesusi63 Comments: Where can I find instruction for 3 chain engine timing adjustment? I have Boxster 2003 2,7 engine M96.23.
I have 101 Project book, but that unfortunately does not cover 3 chain engine.
November 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sepesusi63 Comments: Great book!
But, pitty that there is instructions for 2003 M96.23 2,7 engine timing adjustment.
Mine has timing slipped about 5 to 10 dec maybe 10 to 20 degrees on crankshaft on intake and exhaust cams both similar on cylinders 1-3 side due to damaged IMS-bearing. Seems that valves are not damaged? Can it be possible? Your reply is highly appreciated.
November 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's possible. Only way to know, reset engine timing, check compression and cylinder leakage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
barks Comments: hi, excellent articles, helped me pull my engine to pieces and fix it whilst still in the car,
can i use loctite 5920 instead of 5900 ?
many thanks
November 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe one is silicone and one is a copper. so No, use the correct loctite. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alan Comments: Can I swap vario pensioners if also swap solenoid ?



August 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what vehicle you are working on. But they are likely side specific. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rah rah 986 Comments: As noted, when servicing the cams on bank one, cylinder #1 is to be at top dead center...compression. When servicing bank 2 cams, should #4 be at top dead center compression? If so, that means rotating the crank 360 degrees if going from servicing bank one to then going to service bank two? Thanks
April 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes you will see that the cam lock tool will only fit on the bank which is at TDC compression. So you must rotate the engine 1 turn, and then install the cam lock tool. Make sure that the chain tensioners are installed and tight BEFORE turning the engine. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Red Comments: I couldn't get zip ties to keep the VarioCam tensioner compressed. I found a 4" 6-32 machine screw at the hardware store and used that instead with a nut and lock washer. A 4" C-clamp works great for compressing the tensioner.

By the way, what is the point of the VarioCam tensioner?
January 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The tensioner maintains tension on the camshaft chains, it also adjusts camshaft timing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CarmanGhia Comments: Hi Pelicans, I replaced the variocam chain tensioners on both banks of my 2002 Boxster S with the engine in the car and found a few critical additions to the description above:

- remove the spark plug tubes with a 1" marine drain plug as described elsewhere on the internet. I could not have gotten the cam covers off otherwise.
- remove the catalytic converter to make room for the cam cover. Getting the header bolts off takes alot of patience and WD40, but don't force them or they'll break.
- remove the sway bar

Thanks!
January 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
InertiaNC Comments: Followup: yes, they both come out. I took things apart again and there doesn't seem to be any oil passage blocked in the cylinder head cover. If it's just that one passage that goes down from the oil pressure sensor to the two cam journals it is clean and clear the entire length. Am I checking the correct oil passage? Any other thoughts? THANKS!
December 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's the small channel that runs along the valve cover that plugs. I am not sure what would cause the metal plugs to blow out.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
baxterross Comments: Hi there,
I have a 2003 Boxster S, and I recently changed my bank 2 Variocam Solenoid.
I want to let you guys and anyone reading know that it is possible to replace the solenoid on any 2003 or later 986 without removing the camshaft cover. The engine pictured in this writeup is pre-2003, and you can see that the black solenoid with attached wire has 2 screws holding it directly to the head located underneath the cam cover.
On the 2003+ car, the solenoid has an external electrical connector which slips off of the solenoid, and the solenoid is held into the camshaft cover by a ring fastened with two female Allen bolts.
To change the solenoid, locate the solenoid cover which is on the belt side of the drivers side bank 2 or the flywheel side of the passengers side bank 1. Bear in mind this is a Boxster with the engine placed belts forward, a 911 engine would be rotated 180 degrees.
The solenoid is installed in line with the spark plugs.
Disconnect the wiring connector to the solenoid, unbolt the solenoid cover with a hex head socket and simply wiggle and pull the old solenoid free.
The new solenoid should slip in. Ensure it is oriented correctly and press, you should feel it 'click' in a few millimeters.
Then, reattach the solenoid cover, reconnect the wiring connector, and you're good to go!
I accessed the solenoid from underneath the car, and only needed to remove the car's plastic undertray.
This is easily doable in an hour or two with the car on ramps.
Good luck guys and happy mechanic-ing!
November 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Red Comments: Do either the Pelican tool P253 or the Porsche tool 9624 support holding the camshafts in place when they are not aligned vertically? My engine isn't locked at TDC and presumably I shouldn't move it there because the IMS isn't supported.
November 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know of a tool that will lock the camshafts if they are not in the correct position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
InertiaNC Comments: So when the oil passage in the cam cover is plugged and the green end cap is being ejected, could that also include the metal plug/cap at the end of the camshaft? My exhaust camshaft on the 1-3 side is spitting out the metal end plug. Or do I have a damaged cam that needs to be replaced? Thanks.
November 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I haven't seen the metal plug pop out. The green one does as well?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
rob1210 Comments: Hi,guy,s does anyone have a web site with clear pictures of boxster 2003 3 chain cam shaft timing procedure
May 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
West Comments: What is the torque spec for the 4 camshaft sprocket bolts? I have a 2002 boxster S 3.2
May 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
roderick Comments: hi i have just re built the engine of my 1999 porsche boxster and the only problem i've got is that when engine is sterted one of the green cam end caps is being spitted out. any clues?

regards
Roderick
April 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have the oil passages in the valve cover plugged. Remove the valve cover and clean the sealant, then reseal using less sealant, being careful not to plug the passages. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dudeguy Comments: So can the external tensioners by removed and replaced without removing the camshaft cover? just lock the cam, locate TDC and go?
April 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, Just be sure to have the camshafts and crankshafts locked down before removing any of the tensioners. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Swampy Comments: Tip When changing ramps on variocam tensioner,use a long thin bolt with nut on the end .tighten down to compress tensioner,change ramps then release,simple.
February 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GRS Comments: When recently changing plugs on my 98 Boxster 71,000 miles I found a minor oil leak around the right bank VarioCam solenoid cover the lower right hand inset in figure 5. It's not dripping yet but has created a black, oily film nearly down to the bottom of the camshaft cover. It appears that a seal looks to be brown Viton is inside the VarioCam solenoid cover to seal around the outer diameter of the solenoid. Is this seal part of the cover or replaceable separately? Where does the solenoid connector attach? I would need to detach it to remove/replace the cover and seal.
You guys do a great job on these articles! The pictures really help to describe what the work involves.
January 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cover is the seal. It's quite easy to replace. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jmarc Comments: I have a 2000 Boxster 2.7, replaced broken exhaust valve spring on #3 cylinder, need to retime the 1-3 valve cams. What is the proper procedure to complete correctly?
August 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is alittle much to describe in a comment on this page. Especially since it requires photos and special tools.
I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
John Q Comments: I have a 1998 Boxster with 103k miles. The engine was running smoothly until 2 days ago. To get into traffic I took a quick right turn. The check engine light came on and my lifters started to make noise. Was this cause by a temporary lack of enough oil or something more. Please help.
July 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Lifter noise could be caused by low engine oil. Start by checking your engine oil level. Then I would check the DME for fault codes. The fault code set will help you when diagnosing.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
AMV8Vantage Comments: Hello, Im looking to upgrade the camshafts of my 3.2L boxster S of 2002 for a sporty ones but can't find any maker of then unless the ones sold by FVD Brombacher and as I see they are expensive people. Are there any other makers you know already? And also I read this in a forum.....They really came with performance cams. More extreme profiles result in a narrower power band which might benefit 1/4 mile times but not road course lap times. The Boxster is a lousy 1/4 mile car so it's the wrong application for a robust aftermarket cam business. You can always grind your own one-off design.... Is this true? What dou you think about?
July 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm sure there are options out there for you.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.

I also opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ed Comments: I have a 1999 C4, 3.4 with lifter noise on the right side. When replacing the lifters, should the lifter tray be replaced also? Can the oil passages in the old one be cleaned? Thanks. Great technical article and pictures!
June 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll want to inspect it for signs of wear. If it is worn, it will have to be replaced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JJ300 Comments: Just want to confirm, I'm replacing the timing chain tensioners and seals 3 on my 2000 2.7 Boxster. Can swap them one at a time without locking the cams? Two answers above for the same question differ, one from Wayne says this it's ok to swap one at a time "without locking the cam" Denny recommends rotating and locking cams. I have the 5 chain engine. I don't want to don't this wrong, Thank You, J
April 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Personally I always lockt he camshafts, you are better off as it removes a lot of risk. It's best to take every precaution when working on these engines. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
adimuro Comments: Hi Wayne,
during the camshaft cover sealing process, do I obtain the same result if I apply the bead of sealant over the cylinder head instead the camshaft cover ?
My engine is in car, and it seems to be a lot difficult to put the cover without touching and part of the car...
Thank you very much,
Ale
April 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just make sure you have good sealant coverage along both sealing surfaces when contact is made between the cover and head and you will get proper sealing.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Benny Comments: hey, i have a 2006 Porsche Boxster 2.7 l with 70,000km and i was driving on the high way and it just sudantly started knocking and tickinglike crazy and i got a random misfire and misfire cyl. 1, 2, 3, 6. ? any suggestions would be appreciated !
April 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I mechanical engine knock? Is your check engine light ON? How is your oil level? You may have a timing chain issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
blake88 Comments: I'm getting ready for an IMS and clutch service. What is the torque setting on the chain tensioner once you put them back in with new seals etc? Thanks.
February 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Chain tensioner torque: 80 NM (59 ft-lb) this info is given without knowing your vehicle year and model.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Braveheart Comments: If I just want totake out the chain tensioners do I still need to adjust TDC for each bank?
January 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you just swapping out the chain tensioners and not replacing the IMS bearing then you should be okay with respect to the timing. The timing is not adjustable for each bank, but you need to make sure that the chain does not slip when you are replacing the intermediate shaft bearing. However if you are just simply replacing the tensioners one at a time then this should be no issues. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Swampy Comments: Wayne, I have completed rebuild on both sides of cam valves.How do I know if TDC on both sides is at the right TDC and not 360 de out.
November 25, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can use the camshaft alignment tools to locate the correct position of the camshafts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
porsche1 Comments: I learn how to instal IMS bearing in 2000 porsche boxster from pelicn article online thanks a lot for helping DIY like me
November 19, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for the positive feed back. count on us to be your parts and information source.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
CJ Comments: I always appreciate the technical advise I get from Pelican, but I do hope my post saves someone from hours of unnecessary aggravation. On my 2003 Boxster S, the Variocam solenoid on bank 2 failed. After going through all of the steps and removing the cam cover, I discovered this solenoid can be changed EXTERNALLY. The cam cover does not have to be removed on this year/model. This job can literally be done in minutes. At least I will know this when the other one fails, and hopefully this information will help others.
October 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank you for the input and advice.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Comments: Wayne, Is your 996/997 book published yet?
October 20, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Very soon. For now you can grab this one: http://www.pelicanparts.com/More_Info/PEL-P905.htm?Porsche%20%39%31%31%20Carrera%20%28Type%20%39%39%36%29%20Service%20Manual%20%28%31%39%39%39%2D%32%30%30%35%29%2C%20by%20Bentley%20Publishing%20 If you have a need for it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pbadore Comments: I am helping a friend with a 5 chain 2.5l Boxster engine basket case. The engine is now running but the camshaft timing is not correct on bank 1-3. My question is this: Does the Boxster crankshaft to intermediate shaft chain need to be timed like a VW 2.8l VR6 engine? I do not think so because the Boxster exhaust camshaft can be adjusted with the movable cam sprocket but I want to be sure? Also, in your experience are all original intermediate shaft bearings made by NSF or are there other bearing makes used by Porsche?
October 8, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is the problem on bank 1-3? both the intake and exhaust gears are off? Pelican offers a LN Engineering bearing kit much better than the stock NSF unit - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JJ300 Comments: I have a leaking chain tensioner seal, is it safe to remove and replace the seal without locking the cams?
August 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For engine safety I would recommend rotating the engine to the proper position and locking the cams. That eliminates any possibility of getting the cam out of correct timing.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Wayne at Pelican Parts Comments: For those of you who have requested the Porsche Tech Bulletin Group 1 NR. 8/00, I have posted it here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/16-ENGINE-Camshaft_Swap_and_Chain_Tensioner/Gp1800.pdf

-Wayne
June 25, 2012
mattatk Comments: You mention using Porsche tool 253 to lock the camshaft....can you use the LN Eng camshaft lock tool instead?
P.S. Great write up!
June 7, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll have to check with LN. If the tool is designed to lock the camshafts for this particular procedure, then the answer would be yes. Only they can tell you. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
erik Comments: omg these instructions are amazing!!
i have been looking for hours for somthing like this.
Keep up the good work.
June 3, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for the positive feed back. Happy to help.

- Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Huge Comments: Great site thanks! I own a Boxster S 2002 and have an oil leak from one Tensioner. Can I just unscrew remove it & replace the two washers and screw it back in?
March 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll want to lock the camshafts in position before removing it. Once removed, replace the washer and reinstall. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Moose Comments: I have a 2001 Porsche Boxster with 92k miles. I have a leak in the valve cover on the passenger side. I wanted to do the job myself due to labor cost. The runs great! What should I replace when I install new sealant? I purchased the new spark plug tubes and seals, new plugs, using loctite 5900 flange sealant. Should I replace anything else when the cover is off and should I do both sides. I'm not an experienced mechanic and not even sure I should do it myself. I just bought your 101 project book which is awesome to say the least. I just wanted to save on labor costs, but I do not want to mess it up? Any advice Wayne?
February 22, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow the step by step procedure we outlined and stop if you are not sure about something and have a question. Then get back to us - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JW Auto Tec Comments: Is there enough room for the spark plug tubes to pull out with the cam shaft cover with the engine in the vehicle? JW
January 20, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sure, should not be a problem. You might want to use some right-angle, large needle-nose pliers to assist you. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
paradigm Comments: I have a 07 Cayman S and intend to remove the valve covers to inspect for damage. Dealership believes I may have a broken valve spring based on the irregular tapping noise at idle a heavier sound than what I would call a tick, or possibly a stretched chain flapping around. Using PIWIS the cam timing was fine and we found absolutely no debris in oil filter we cut open had 3500 miles on the oil and I'm using the LN spin-on.

In any case, I intend to do this with the motor still in the car is access in the cayman better than the boxster? and reading through this article in conjunction with Project 14 it doesn't look too bad. However I must have a 3-chain engine and I can't find the procedure you reference as being available through a link at the top. I only find a link for the main 101 Projects page. In particular I'm curious about how the variable valve actuator, etc. is situated. Can you help?

Thanks for providing so much useful information, it would so much harder for the DIY crowd without it.
January 1, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry about that - we're working on the 996 book right now, and the 3-chain motor teardown / retime will be released in conjunction with that. I haven't had the time just yet to tear down the 3-chain motor that I have acquired for this. I'll copy this to the forums, and perhaps someone there will have some additional suggestions. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
spudsmack Comments: I have a 2000 Porsche Boxter. I had the 75K service done and there were plastic shavings on my oil filter. I was told the plastic was from the chain ramps. Can these ramps be replaced? A local import garage said I needed a new engine, that the ramps were not serviceable. The car currently runs great.
June 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The chain ramps are replaceable, but only if you take the engine apart, which you probably don't want to do. I would probably run a slightly thicker oil in the engine, and change the oil religiously every 3,000 miles to prolong it's life from this point on. Other than that, I'm not sure what else you can do? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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