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Old 12-08-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
DuckStu
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Default AVCS cam pulley cleaning (How to)

So my '04 STI engine spun a rod bearing and I had the long-block rebuilt. But then I had to clean the cams, shim the valves, clean the AVCS solenoids and inspect / clean the AVCS pulleys themselves.

Precious little info online.

So here goes.

'04 - '07 STI only has AVCS on the intake cams,.. so here's a walk-through with pictures of the driver's-side intake pulley.

Here's the front side of the pulley with the dust cover removed and the large cam-bolt and the 3 small dust-cover screws sitting in their respective positions.



The backside showing the 6 bolts that hold the pulley onto the AVCS mechanism. THESE BOLTS USE A 5 SIDED VERSION OF A TORX BIT. You will need to order this special tool. They're about $9. I ordered mine from Oakos, who gets them from "Company 23". aboothman below says it's actually a Torx tamper-proof T30. You can see mine attached to a 4" socket extension in this picture.
http://www.oakos.com/Merchant2/merch...Category_Code=


Pulley off.



No more bolts to undo to get the back cover off,... but I had to tap at the edges a bit with a sharp chisel, very lightly,... and it popped off.
Pulling the back cover off the mechanism. Care full with the part my fingers are touching. This is the surface that rides in the cam seal on the front of the engine.



Back cover flipped over.



Press the inner rotor out from the front side with your thumbs. Do not use tools on the rotor itself. It's aluminum and many of the surfaces are of critical tolerance. Especially the top and bottom flat surfaces.


Rotor coming out.



Rotor flipped over. You can see the pin on the rotor (top left of this picture,.. on the rotor-lobe between my fingers), and the socket that it sits in at the bottom of the housing on the right. This pin is hydraulically activated. At idle (I think) or when the AVCS solenoid wires are unplugged the AVCS does not have adequate pressure, and the cam timing is held in position by this pin. Once the ECU wants to adjust the timing,.. hydraulic pressure is fed to the mechanism,.. which raises this pin out of the socket,.. and allows the inner rotor to begin to move.

This is why it's important to NEVER hold the cams when you tighten or loosen the center pulley bolts from the engine. The amount of force required to break loose the cam bolts is enough to damage these pins and their sockets in most cases. There is a good chance your AVCS will never function again properly. Use the belt method or buy one of the AVCS holding tools. The AVCS tool is actually very important to get proper torque on the AVCS pulley center bolt. It's a torque, then degree method,... and the degree indicator resting against the pulley tool allows for an accurate reading.

Company 23 also makes these special tools, (As does AMS and others.)
http://www.oakos.com/Merchant2/merch...Category_Code=


You can also see the 6 seal-springs and 6 seals that have dropped out. No worry,... these are very easy to re-install. No nightmare here.



Cleaned, inspected and ready to put back together.



Here's a closeup of the seals. (Brake cleaner will wreck your manicure)
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Last edited by DuckStu; 02-07-2013 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
DuckStu
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Set the spring into the back of the seal and slide them into the trench in the rotor. You'll do this 6 times. 30 seconds tops.



All done. ready to put the back cover on. On the bottom right you can see part of the pin-socket. I assembled the mechanism with the rotor in the position shown,.. and then rotated it until the pin snapped into it's socket. i just wanted to make sure it wasn't binding somehow. (just for the goof basically). Just make sure to have that pin snaps into it's socket before you button everything up.



The mechanism has a locating pin for the back cover and pulley. So you can't get the back cover or the pulley in the wrong orientation. That same pin also locates the outer belt pulley. SO the timing marks will be in the right place. Fairly fool-proof really.

Remember the two different size bolts? 3 each? The small ones are to be torqued to 45 INCH pounds,... the bigger ones to 180 INCH pounds. I did up the big ones to 100 in-lbs first,.. then the small ones to 45,... and re-torqued the big ones to 180 in lbs. Habit I guess.

Re-installing the cam-pulleys on the engine is more of a headache. The non-AVCS exhaust cams were pretty easy. 72.5 ft lbs.

The AVCS intake cams are not so easy. Torque them to 21.5 ft lbs,.. then tighten them another 45 degrees. This requires a Torque Angle Gauge,.. which I had bought previously for $10 an an auto parts store.

Note,... holding the AVCS tool, the Torque angle gauge and keeping everything straight is really a three hand job. This is easily the hardest part of this job.

Last edited by DuckStu; 02-07-2013 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
BlueSTI4Me
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Nice writeup. Subscribed for future reference.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #4
EROCS04SBRUSTI
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Very nice!I will do this when my motor gets rebuilt!Is the rubber seal replaceable?

Last edited by EROCS04SBRUSTI; 12-09-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EROCS04SBRUSTI View Post
Very nice!I will do this when my motor gets rebuilt!Is the rubber seal replaceable?

Both the "O" Ring on the front and the seal under the mechanism rear cover are replacable. New "O" Rings for the front cover came in the OEM engine gasket set,.. but I have not seen the seals for under the mechanism cover (not something they expect you to take apart I suppose.)

Some RTV could be added to the seal to make sure it doesn't leak,.. but I opted not to.

I hope that doesn't ome back to bite me.
.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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This is very useful.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:39 PM   #7
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The bit for the 5-point star bolts holding the gear on is a torx plus tamperproof t30 BTW.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #8
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I ordered a T-30 Torx Plus and it has 6 points, NOT 5 like these bolts are!.... Does anyone have a place and part number to get the correct one???
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #9
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They are a tamperproof torx plus t-30. Hard to find. Company 21 makes one... Rally sport direct sells them among others
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
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I bought mine at pepboys for $5, I broke one but have only needed the 5 point for this job so it sees very little use.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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Dude, you're awesome! I was wondering how to get the rod bearing residue out of my '09 WRX's nooks and crannies and I stumble across this gem.

Nice writeup and a big +1 on using the Company23 tools! RSD has all the Company23 tools you'll need in stock and it's a lot easier doing the job with the right tools than trying to MacGyver things...

For the record, here's the Company23 AVCS Security Socket
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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Has anyone done this on a dual avcs? The Exh cams have a spring thing in the middle that looked like it was holding the center rotor from coming out but that is not it... I can get the intk ones apart just like in this tutorial but not the exh ones
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:52 PM   #13
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Its good to know that there are still people out there that know what cleanings steps need to be taken when a motor goes bad. Good write up, you can get the 5 sided torx right off the snap on or mac tool trucks.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:46 PM   #14
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^+1billion

To those of you who spin a bearing in the future and are reading this, I flushed these out several times and on the final rinse STILL saw copper flakes of **** coming out, SO DO NOT OVERLOOK THESE, clean them out...
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #15
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Tagged for future reference
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:22 AM   #16
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FYI for those of you with dual AVCS... I ended up buying new exh gears, I called and emailed several sources who rebuild them and the exh ones are a BITCH so... I bought new ones and cleaned out the intake ones (intake gears follow exact directions listed in OP)

I bought my gears here, GREAT service, even better prices :

https://www.flatironstuning.com/p-21...cam-gears.aspx
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #17
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bizarro did you replace them because you couldn't get all the crud out or did you find something wrong with them?
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:41 PM   #18
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I replaced the exh ones because I simply could not figure out how to get them apart. I called a few subi shops and they said it was a bitch to do I tried flushing them out without taking the rotor out since I could not figure out how and even after 5-10 min still saw metal bits coming out every now and then so I just ditched the idea... worth 250$ to just not have to worry about it

The intake ones came apart ezpz
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #19
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:50 PM   #20
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^ pm sent outfront
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #21
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Just a follow up... should that be done if I have to change out the cam seals due to leaks?
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:12 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outfrontmotorsports View Post
Interesting!!
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:22 PM   #23
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Does anyone know where to find replacement security bolts for the back of the gear? I stripped a couple of them during removal. The dealership said they couldn't order them.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:31 AM   #24
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Has anyone figured out the secret to disassembling the exhaust AVCS cam gears? Like the guys above, I can't get the rotor out. And there is no sign of anything that might release it.

My only guess right now is that it might unlock somehow when oil pressure retracts the pin. And with luck, air pressure might do the trick. Haven't tried though.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:40 AM   #25
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I found gasket sets on ebay, who ordered these?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/17378047524...84.m1561.l2649
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