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Cam's out of alignment slightly? Calling Tester123 & jseklund + others

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Old 01-22-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Cam's out of alignment slightly? Calling Tester123 & jseklund + others

So I've got the passenger side valve cover off and I get my first look inside. First, is this horrible dirty for a car with 165k miles on it? (I've only owned it last 70k) Is there a way to clean the inside once I remove the cams to replace the seals (per Blauparts instructions), is it safe to use engine cleaner or degreaser in there if I apply it to a rag first and then use the rag to softly pat up or "softly scrub" the horrible looking areas?

Second, it's kinda hard to tell when looking at some angles, but when looking DIRECTLY down from the back of the engine it looks like the cam that's closest to the center of the car is SLIGHTLY out of alignment. Can that be adjusted by me without screwing it up more? Should I worry about adjusting it? I'm beginning to believe my Indie didn't use the special tools when he did this job 60k ago but the car HAS been running well enough since then...

A couple pictures to follow... again thanks for so much help guys!

First is an overview, is it embarrassingly dirty?

Second is a view of both cams, they LOOK aligned, but when moving toward the back of the engine and looking directly down on it, the one circled in red looks just a little off.

Third is a close up of the circled cam that looks slightly off, is this and issue? Can I improve feel, power, or efficiency if I align it more? How?

Fourth shows the other one (NOT circled) that looks perfect spot on...
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:25 PM   #2
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The inside looks normal for an oil run on dino oil. Do *not* attempt to clean it.

Don't worry about the chains. The link count is important; the marks are just a guide. The cam adjuster can alter the position of the sprockets. If no CEL prior to touching it, leave it alone. Tools are only important for the belt timing, not the chains.

If it was my car, I would not be changing the chain guides either.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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Engine looks about like every 2.8/2.7T iv seen, Breather systems are rather poor, and if yours isnt functioning like plugged up or broken it will look even dirtier. But yours looks pretty normal, even ones run on synthetic look like that. I occasionally get one thats like, ooooo clean.

And yes it appears timing is fine, like he said links are whats important.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 4Driver4 View Post
The inside looks normal for an oil run on dino oil. Do *not* attempt to clean it.

Don't worry about the chains. The link count is important; the marks are just a guide. The cam adjuster can alter the position of the sprockets. If no CEL prior to touching it, leave it alone. Tools are only important for the belt timing, not the chains.

If it was my car, I would not be changing the chain guides either.
Sounds good! I've only cleaned the surface where the gaskets make contact. Should I even try to dab out the "puddles" of oil, or not worry about it. I'm in the process of removing the actual camshaft a (the 1-3-5 etc) method and making sure I keep everything in line and ordered up. The special tool is torqued down enough that the chain is pretty loose (marked the chain on each side to line up with the alignment arrows) but didn't bottom out the special tool. I'm not completely sure on what the "chain rollers" are for the alignment, is that basically the links when viewed from the side? And is it 16 from alignment arrow to arrow on the pass side and 15 or 15 & 1/2 on the driver side?

I'm hoping to get both valve covers done tonight and possible part or all of the build up process again getting the T-belt etc on.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarney View Post
..So I've got the passenger side valve cover off and I get my first look inside...
Yeah it is really dirty so, what you gonna do about it? Leave it alone. Like others mentioned, get the breather pipe fixed. Its those blow-by oil vapors that are depositing in the engine. People mention seafoam and whole other products to oil. I suggest you never add any thing to oil. Just good brand synthetic oil and change it frequently or on time/mileage. Nothing serious here that requires any government to get involved in!

Now, before you pop those bearing caps, follow this post:
http://forums.audiworld.com/showpost...5&postcount=24

Granted, some parts don't apply to you but from STEP 12 TO 15.
Forget those sounds (that were specific to OPs problem). Just turn the engine and turn back 45 degs and back to marked position. Now check alignment of those notches and arrows. By doing this all slack in the chain will be gone and they should align properly. Even if they don't, don't worry too much about it; mark and continue.

Just read that post clearly and use pertinent info. Count the links. Mark it with White-Out. Any permanent marker will just wash out when you spray brake cleaner etc. when cleaning. Don't worry, the chain won't break or your engine won't lose any efficiency because you got white-out on the chain. Don't make the mistakes I made... I used permanent marker and didn't realize while cleaning off the grass (that f'ing lawn mower guy ) I sprayed brake cleaner and ink washed right off and you can imagine my panic! Of course after much deliberation, (thanks for fellow forum members), trial and error, I got it all back together. Otherwise, I wouldn't be the professor that I am here now, would I?

Good, now we are getting to meat and potatoes here!

Remember, Surfaces have to be CLEAN; like, Acetone Clean! when putting back - if you never want to see these leaks for another 100k! And, screw the manual's advice on not using silicone sealer on gasket! USE it, but very lightly! EVEN on Valley seals, Cam tension adjuster gasket (pay special attention to the oil inlet opening to cam adjuster) too much and you'll clog it. Better yet, put a thin layer on both sides of metal gasket BUT, WIPE off the sealer around the oil inlet opening. Leave a thin layer around the outer edges of it instead. I hope that makes sense. if not, post back and i'll try to explain more.

A note about surfaces, Audi uses some sealer (there is a number I forget; like they do for everything) between the head and end bearing caps -ones with cam seals. After removing all bolts, use a rubber mallet and tap slowly until they move. You don't want to bend them with force. Aluminum will nick/warp very easily. Also, take your time to remove ALL this glue/sealer. It didn't budge even with Acetone. I used Dremel with small wire brush and brushed it all away basically. It's that cross hatch area I am talking about; they mention it in the manual. Here too, you can use the silicon sealer (thin even layer). Bolt them down, wait a few mins because the excess of sealer will seep out in the cam seals area. Complete tightening all bearing caps and by now, the sealer will dry. Take a wooden pick etc. and just clean that out. Don't do this until it dries or you'll just smear that stuff all over. When dry, it will peel off clean like that glue behind new credit cards.

Also the same with tensioner gaskets etc. Basically, clean out all excess sealer after it dries completely. Then put some on the valve cover gasket and lower it and complete the rest.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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Yeah it is really dirty so, what you gonna do about it? Leave it alone. Like others mentioned, get the breather pipe fixed. Its those blow-by oil vapors that are depositing in the engine. People mention seafoam and whole other products to oil. I suggest you never add any thing to oil. Just good brand synthetic oil and change it frequently or on time/mileage. Nothing serious here that requires any government to get involved in!

Now, before you pop those bearing caps, follow this post:
http://forums.audiworld.com/showpost...5&postcount=24

Granted, some parts don't apply to you but from STEP 12 TO 15.
Forget those sounds (that were specific to OPs problem). Just turn the engine and turn back 45 degs. Now check alignment of those notches and arrows.

Just read that post clearly and use pertinent info. Count the links. Mark it White-out. Any permanent marker will just wash out when you spray brake cleaner etc. when cleaning.

Good, now we are getting to meat and potatoes here!

Remember, Surfaces have to be CLEAN; like, Acetone Clean! when putting back - if you never want to see these leaks for another 100k! And, screw the manual's advice on not using silicone sealer on gasket! USE it, but very lightly! EVEN on Valley seals, Cam tension adjuster gasket (pay special attention to the oil inlet opening to cam adjuster) too much and you'll clog it. Better yet, put a thin layer on both sides of metal gasket BUT, WIPE off the sealer around the oil inlet opening. Leave a thin layer around the outer edges of it instead. I hope that makes sense. if not, post back and i'll try to explain more.
I'm a little confused to what you're saying about rotating. The Blau directions don't mention that at all and I've got the crank pin still locking it. Do you mean once I'm done to rotate it lots to check that there isn't any interference? I already have cam caps 1 & 3 removed and about to continue.

I have the high temp silicon that blauparts includes but they only mention on the valve cover gasket. Should I be putting a super thing coating on any seal that's touching metal?
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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I'm a little confused to what you're saying about rotating. The Blau directions don't mention that at all and I've got the crank pin still locking it. Do you mean once I'm done to rotate it lots to check that there isn't any interference? I already have cam caps 1 & 3 removed and about to continue.

I have the high temp silicon that blauparts includes but they only mention on the valve cover gasket. Should I be putting a super thing coating on any seal that's touching metal?
Re-read my post. I edited it. Forget blau instructions for a moment. Not saying disregard completely.

You should only do this when the t-belt is on. Never turn the crankshaft after t-belt is off! Crank lock pin stays until the belt goes back on again! VERY IMPORTANT!

Here is what you do: Get it to TDC. See if you can lock the pin But, don't lock it in yet. Mark with white-out on a tooth of CRANKSHAFT sprocket. Mark on the engine body so both markings are in-line. Then turn the engine by crankshaft few times Clockwise (as you face the engine). Watch the markings you made and turn until they are aligned. Watch the cams, they might slightly off. Then turn counter clockwise 45 deg. and turn it clockwise again back to markings on crankshaft sprocket. check the cams. they should be aligned. Now lock the crank with pin and move on.

Manual mentions the instruction above (well, not the part about marking crankshaft - I do that so I don't have to keep crawling under to make sure the crankshaft can be locked/aligned)...

But, once you have everything aligned, before pulling the belt off, crankshaft MUST BE locked in.

In any event, the above instructions are only if you are particular to make sure the camshafts' notches are aligning perfectly with arrows... Whether you do this or not, the timing won't change because the link count is the same... just that there is slack in the chain and that's why you are seeing them slightly off... Does it make sense now?
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:20 PM   #8
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Do not rotate anything. Take the cams out and put them back the same way they are now. Do not remove the chain from the cam sprockets. You may want to mark chain position on the sprockets just in case it falls off at some point.

Again, I see no reason to change the cam adjuster pads. Condition looks fine. I changed the belt on my wife's 2.8 three times and never touched them. My A4 2.8 has had 2 changes and is on the original pads. Unless they are cracked or badly grooved, there is no reason to touch them.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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...original pads. Unless they are cracked or badly grooved, there is no reason to touch them...
+1 on this. Although, I would check the condition of the bottom pad just to make sure. But if there is only a slight groove, don't change them. If there are cracks or deep grooves, then change them by all means.

You know the amount of work to get here so, inspect them thoroughly.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:05 AM   #10
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So I'm putting everything back together for the passenger side valve cover and I wanted to ask a quick question before I put the valve cover gasket on and silicon and cover it up, etc.

There is still 16 links between the two points I marked off (reddish/pink on the chain) before I removed everything BUT I didn't get it lined up perfect and it seems like a pain to do since it shifts a bit as you torque the first two cam caps down...

Can I leave it like that and put the sprocket back on to turn the whole thing as one unit slightly to get them to the arrows before I put the valve cover and T belt on? Then remove the sprocket again to put on the valve cover and back plate for the timing belt etc.

I'm not sure the easiest way to get those lined up with the arrows, can't just move it with my hand without removing all the caps.... I probably should have put the two caps with the alignment arrows on first and just threaded them two or three turns by hand... dammit, I should have thought of that first... the directions didn't mention anything about that! (Sooooo many bolts to remove again... easier way guys?)
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:55 AM   #11
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As long as the link count between the two marks is the same as when you started, you are good. There are many different ways to count it out.

This is an old picture commonly used here:
http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2822284
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:32 AM   #12
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Sorry I wasn't around for this - I am in agreement on the pads - I think you spent a lot of time removing cams when you didn't need to unless there were signs of damage. I've actually noticed that moving the cams is often when you damage the pads - they rotate as they are coming out, hit the pad, and then you pull up or put force and it snaps the pad. You did the A+ student job though and learned more about how it all goes together.

As long as the link count is right, and the locking bar is on, you are good to go. The cam adjuster will do the rest once it pumps up.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:57 AM   #13
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OP Im not sure what you are asking ... but as pointed out earlier the only important things are the number of links .. and the timing belt tool set up . The hydraulic tensioner will move those timing marks on the arrow anyway as more oil pressure is applied to them the chain is pushed out and the timing marks move ... if your chain is where it was before on the correct points of the cam sprocket, you should be fine..

edit .. oops didnt see the entries after the question .. all has been answered.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #14
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As long as the link count between the two marks is the same as when you started, you are good. There are many different ways to count it out.

This is an old picture commonly used here:
http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2822284
Quote:
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Sorry I wasn't around for this - I am in agreement on the pads - I think you spent a lot of time removing cams when you didn't need to unless there were signs of damage. I've actually noticed that moving the cams is often when you damage the pads - they rotate as they are coming out, hit the pad, and then you pull up or put force and it snaps the pad. You did the A+ student job though and learned more about how it all goes together.

As long as the link count is right, and the locking bar is on, you are good to go. The cam adjuster will do the rest once it pumps up.

So upon closer inspection it looks like the plastic like "half moon" shaped thing that the cam adjuster pushes down on has two groves right under the chain. I wasn't sure if those groves SHOULD be there or if they were caused by the chain rubbing. The plastic thing looks good otherwise, no stress marks or cracks or anything. Should that be replaced? How is it replaced? I have a set of four of them that cam in the Blau parts kit but I could swear that the little plastic bag they came in said 1.8t & 2.8....
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #15
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So upon closer inspection it looks like the plastic like "half moon" shaped thing that the cam adjuster pushes down on has two groves right under the chain. I wasn't sure if those groves SHOULD be there or if they were caused by the chain rubbing. The plastic thing looks good otherwise, no stress marks or cracks or anything. Should that be replaced? How is it replaced? I have a set of four of them that cam in the Blau parts kit but I could swear that the little plastic bag they came in said 1.8t & 2.8....
Those plastic gizzies just snap on. They're used on many audi engines. In most cases those are the only things that need to be changed but the stealer changes the whole tensioner (which comes with new plastic 'shoes'.)
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #16
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PS: They're not grooved when new. As to how deep the groove is when deciding to replace that's up to you. They're also generally discolored after a few years and may or may not be chipped or fragmented or partially broken off.

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Old 01-23-2014, 08:12 AM   #17
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Those plastic gizzies just snap on. They're used on many audi engines. In most cases those are the only things that need to be changed but the stealer changes the whole tensioner (which comes with new plastic 'shoes'.)
How exactly to I pop them on and off? It's it what the special tool uses to push down on to loosen the chain? With that special tool removed that chain is so damn tight I can't imagine being able to move those things much more then maybe a mil up or down.

Also, the packet I have has four of these plastic pad things but I only noticed the one on the top... is there one on the bottom too or something? When I removed my cams I didn't exactly turn them upside down to inspect, lol.

I'm thinking it's worth replacing since they are really discolored and there is a grove that's noticeable, BUT I don't really want to get into removing the chain and everything since I kept it all aligned the first time, lol.

(Also, really don't want to remove the cam shafts again, possible to replace the plastic bit without removing them?)
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:34 AM   #18
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How exactly to I pop them on and off? It's it what the special tool uses to push down on to loosen the chain? With that special tool removed that chain is so damn tight I can't imagine being able to move those things much more then maybe a mil up or down.

Also, the packet I have has four of these plastic pad things but I only noticed the one on the top... is there one on the bottom too or something? When I removed my cams I didn't exactly turn them upside down to inspect, lol.

I'm thinking it's worth replacing since they are really discolored and there is a grove that's noticeable, BUT I don't really want to get into removing the chain and everything since I kept it all aligned the first time, lol.

(Also, really don't want to remove the cam shafts again, possible to replace the plastic bit without removing them?)
I think you have to remove the cam chain tensioner to get the shoes off and replace them.
I can see why you don't want to have to do it again, seals/gaskets, etc.,..and the tensioner has it's own gasket (at least on 4.2 engines).
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by acarney View Post
How exactly to I pop them on and off? It's it what the special tool uses to push down on to loosen the chain? With that special tool removed that chain is so damn tight I can't imagine being able to move those things much more then maybe a mil up or down.

Also, the packet I have has four of these plastic pad things but I only noticed the one on the top... is there one on the bottom too or something? When I removed my cams I didn't exactly turn them upside down to inspect, lol.

I'm thinking it's worth replacing since they are really discolored and there is a grove that's noticeable, BUT I don't really want to get into removing the chain and everything since I kept it all aligned the first time, lol.

(Also, really don't want to remove the cam shafts again, possible to replace the plastic bit without removing them?)
And yes…the special tool presses/compresses the tensioner so you can remove the cam then the tensioners.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:40 AM   #20
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So just read this: https://forums.quattroworld.com/a8/msgs/55496.phtml

Pretty good write up (I LOVE pictures with arrows, then I actually know what I'm looking at, lol)

Sounds like the best (only?) way is to remove those camshafts again and work on them outside the car. I still assume the special tool to loosen the chain has to be removed once the chain is off to get that top plastic cap off and the new one on, then screwed down again to get the chain back on, then put back into the car and camshaft caps bolted down per instructions.

I'll mark my chain better (instead of just marks on the links sounds like now I need marks on the links and sprocket since the chain will be coming off, I was using the little alignment notch in the sprocket before but just to be safe I'll add a mark on there too) before I pull that again.

Maybe I'll apply more silicon to my metal gasket too, I just put a little line on that metal gasket that would be DIRECTLY above the half moon seal because I wasn't totally sure about the oil channel and didn't want to block that... but man I don't want leaks after all this work so I'm going to have to figure out what areas need to be clear for the oil and put silicon everywhere else.

Question, does the silicon need to be in a beaded up line, or can it be so thing as to be just a "glaze" around the edges... I'm worried even if it's crazy thin if it's beaded up when I torque it down that bead will squish into the oil channel.

Also, when putting the camshaft caps back in place it says to lubricate them, I'm using assembly oil which says it dissolves in lubricating oil (I assume they just mean normal engine oil once it gets up to temp and pressure) and have been putting it in the crescent part between the posts (the areas where the bolts actually go in). A little more generous amount but not caked on. My question is the oil channel, can that have the assembly oil in it, or should I take time to reclean that out after apply the assembly oil but before placing that on the camshaft and beginning to bolt down?
acarney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2014, 08:40 AM
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18, 2000, a4, alignment, audi, chain, sprockets, turbo


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