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Pelican Technical Article:

VVT Unit Removal

Jared Fenton

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$330 to $660

Talent:

*****

Tools:

10mm/15mm sockets, T30/T55 Torx driver, Flathead screwdriver, camshaft locking tool, floor jack and two jack stands, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

VVT unit, camshaft seals, camshaft end plugs

Hot Tip:

Read the directions fully before beginning

Performance Gain:

Better MPG, more power

Complementary Modification:

Replace timing belt

The variable valve timing unit (VVT) is used to advance or retard the valve timing independently of the camshafts. The VVT units use oil pressure to control their movement. Over time, the VVT units can leak, requiring replacement. Additionally, the VVT units should be removed when the camshaft covers or cylinder head are removed. In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with removing them.

Removing the VVT units requires you to remove a few components for access. These include the timing belt, MAF sensor, engine belts and the wiring harness for the ignition coils. I recommend reading our articles Timing Belt Replacement, MAF Sensor Replacement, Replacing Engine Belts, and Ignition Coil and Spark Plug Replacement.

You'll also need to jack up the car, support it on jack stands and the left side (looking at the car) front wheel liner. See our articles on Jacking up Your C30 and Front Wheel Liner Removal for more information.

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts holding the plastic cover to the side of the cylinder head.
Figure 1

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts holding the plastic cover to the side of the cylinder head. This cover routes the wiring harness for the ignition coils, VVT units, turbo control valve and the camshaft position sensors. Once the cover is free, carefully fold the wiring harness out of the way.

Now loosen and remove the 15mm bolt (green arrow) and also the 10mm bolt (yellow arrow) holding the bracket to the cylinder head.
Figure 2

Now loosen and remove the 15mm bolt (green arrow) and also the 10mm bolt (yellow arrow) holding the bracket to the cylinder head. You'll also want to loosen and remove the 8mm bolt (purple arrow) holding the fuel line to the bracket. Carefully move the bracket out of the way.

You'll now need to remove the cam plugs out from the side of the cylinder head.
Figure 3

You'll now need to remove the cam plugs out from the side of the cylinder head. Poke a screwdriver through the center of each plug (green arrows) and pry the cam plugs out. These are designed to be discarded after removal. Be prepared for a little oil to spill out from behind the plugs.

Shown here are the rotors for the camshaft position sensors.
Figure 4

Shown here are the rotors for the camshaft position sensors. You'll need to remove these to install the camshaft lock. Use a T30 Torx driver to loosen and remove the two screws (green arrows) holding the rotors to the camshafts. You may need to counter-hold the VVT unit itself to prevent turning the whole camshaft.

With the rotors removed, you can see the slots cut into the ends of the camshafts (green arrows).
Figure 5

With the rotors removed, you can see the slots cut into the ends of the camshafts (green arrows). The locking tool is designed to fit into these slots and keep the camshafts locked at top dead center (TDC) on cylinder no. 1. Don't be alarmed if the timing is slightly off. You'll bring both camshafts into alignment when installing the locking tool.

Note the backside of the camshaft position rotors.
Figure 6

Note the backside of the camshaft position rotors. You can see the writing that indicates the intake and exhaust rotors. These also have tabs (green arrows) that prevent you from installing them incorrectly.

Here is the camshaft locking tool with all of the accessories.
Figure 7

Here is the camshaft locking tool with all of the accessories. This kit allows you to lock the camshafts on both T5 and T6 engines. Note the tabs on the end of the fingers (green arrows). These fit into the slots on the end of the camshafts.

Here is the tool installed on the ends of the camshafts.
Figure 8

Here is the tool installed on the ends of the camshafts. You'll want to install the halves of the tool on each camshaft first, making sure the tabs are fully seated in the cam. Make sure that each retaining bolt (yellow arrows) is firmly seated against the tool. In my case, I had to shim the bolts with washers. Then thread the retainer bolt (green arrow) through the top of each half and tighten it down while the retainer (purple arrow) sits on the edge of the cam cover. This will align the camshafts and keep them from moving while you remove the VVT unit.

Loosen and remove the T55 Torx plugs (green arrows) in the center of each VVT unit.
Figure 9

Loosen and remove the T55 Torx plugs (green arrows) in the center of each VVT unit. You may need to use a chopped down T55 Torx key to remove the exhaust plug. It's a tight fit. I'd recommend marking each VVT unit with a Sharpie to keep from mixing up the intake and exhaust as they are different. Be prepared for a little oil to spill out of the VVT units. Also note that the engine mount has been re-installed to better hold the engine while loosening the bolts.

Underneath the plugs are the T55 Torx bolts that hold each VVT unit to the camshaft.
Figure 10

Underneath the plugs are the T55 Torx bolts that hold each VVT unit to the camshaft. These are VERY tight. You'll likely need a breaker bar to get them loose. Carefully pull each VVT unit off the camshafts.

Note the camshaft seals behind the VVT units (green arrows).
Figure 11

Note the camshaft seals behind the VVT units (green arrows). I recommend replacing these any time the VVT units are removed. Simply pop them out with a screwdriver. You should be able to press the new seals in by hand. Make sure that the edge of the ring is flush with the cylinder head/camshaft cover.

Shown here is the reverse side of the VVT unit.
Figure 12

Shown here is the reverse side of the VVT unit. You can see the oil ports inside. These ports receive oil from the camshaft and the pressure causes the VVT unit to rotate independently of the camshaft.

Refitting the VVT units is the same procedure in reverse, although you'll want to thread the T55 Torx bolts only finger tight.
Figure 13

Refitting the VVT units is the same procedure in reverse, although you'll want to thread the T55 Torx bolts only finger tight. Rotate each VVT unit until the timing marks (green arrows) line up with the marks on the plastic cover (yellow arrows, not visible). Now install the timing belt. See our article on Timing Belt Replacement for more information. The timing belt, when tensioned, will prevent the VVT units from rotating when you torque the T55 Torx bolts (purple arrows) to 120Nm (88 ft/lbs.). Now install the plugs over the center bolts and torque them to 35Nm (25 ft/lbs.).


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