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Valve Lift Solenoid Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Valve Lift Solenoid Replacement

Casey Gervig

Time:

15-20 Minutes

Tab:

$20 to $200

Talent:

*

Tools:

10mm socket, extension, ratchet, shop rags

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2002-04)

Parts Required:

Bracket, Solenoid, O-Ring, brake spray or similar

Hot Tip:

Always replace the retaining bracket

Performance Gain:

Better control of Vario-Cam Plus system

Complementary Modification:

Spark plug replacement

The engine on your 996 Turbo has a system called Vario-Cam Plus. This system can change the intake cam (valve) timing on the fly as well as alter intake valve lift through a clever lifter and camshaft design. Each bank has one solenoid. The solenoid(s) we are replacing today are responsible for changing the flow of oil through the intake cam lifters, which either lowers the intake valve lift, or raises the intake valve lift. Higher intake valve lift means that the turbo chargers can force more air in to the cylinders, which increases the peak power output when compared to the low valve lift setting. I have seen a few cars with cracked solenoid retaining brackets causing misfires and oxygen sensor faults, so if you're replacing the solenoid or resealing it I HIGHLY recommend replacing the bracket! This job requires you to remove the rear bumper, intercooler console(s), and ignition coils. Please see our articles on: Rear Bumper Removal, Intercooler Console Removal, and Spark Plug and Ignition Coil Replacement for instructions.

On bank 1 (driver side) the solenoid is mounted between the spark plugs for cylinders 1-2, and on bank 2 (passenger side) the solenoid is mounted between spark plugs for cylinders 4-5.
Figure 1

On bank 1 (driver side) the solenoid is mounted between the spark plugs for cylinders 1-2, and on bank 2 (passenger side) the solenoid is mounted between spark plugs for cylinders 4-5. In this photo you can see the solenoid. Begin by unplugging the solenoid electrical connector (red arrow) by pressing down on the metal retaining clip (yellow arrow) and pulling the connector off of the solenoid.

Next, remove the two 10mm bolts (red arrows) that hold the solenoid-retaining bracket (green arrow) to the cylinder head, and remove the retaining bracket.
Figure 2

Next, remove the two 10mm bolts (red arrows) that hold the solenoid-retaining bracket (green arrow) to the cylinder head, and remove the retaining bracket. Once the bracket is removed, use eye protection and clean the area around the solenoid with brake spray, and dry the area using compressed air. If you are only replacing the bracket, installation is the reverse of removal. If you're resealing or replacing the solenoid continue with the steps below.

Then pull the solenoid (red arrow) from the cylinder head.
Figure 3

Then pull the solenoid (red arrow) from the cylinder head. Be prepared with some rags to absorb the oil spillage. It should pull straight out. It may be necessary to rock the solenoid a bit to break the seal on the O-ring, but once you can move it pull it straight out. Make sure that when you install the solenoid the connector faces this way with the alignment nub (green arrow) on the top.

Here is what the solenoid looks like removed from the engine.
Figure 4

Here is what the solenoid looks like removed from the engine. The O-ring (red arrow) is what you will replace if you are simply resealing the solenoid. Make sure to lubricate the O-ring with grease when you re-install it. I like the Porsche O-ring grease, part number: 000-043-205-10-M100. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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