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Does your engine rattle on startup? A bad variable valve timing VTC actuator or bad cam phasers can cause a rattling noise on a cold start. This is a common problem in Honda 2.4 engines including the Accord and CRV among others. This is also a common problem in Ford Ecoboost engines. In this video I show you how to diagnose a bad VVT actuator which can cause a P1009 check engine code. Then I show you the entire process on how to replace the VTC actuator without removing the camshafts and using only common hand tools. I show you how to set the engine to top dead center, remove the timing chain, replace the VTC actuator and install new gaskets in the valve cover to prevent oil leaks.
Spray Nine Degreaser:
High Strength Removable Threadlocker:
Quick Set Gasket Maker:
Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner:
VTC Actuator:
Honda 2.4l Valve Cover Gasket Set:
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Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, I cannot guarantee against improper use or unauthorized modifications of this information. ChrisFix assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. Use this information at your own risk. ChrisFix recommends safe practices when working on vehicles and or with tools seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, no information contained in this video shall create any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage, or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or from the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not ChrisFix.

Hey guys chris fix here and today, i'm going to show you how to replace a vtc actuator in your vehicle and the best part is with the method i'm going to show you. You don't need to remove the camshaft from the engine, which is huge. That's going to save you time, it's going to make the job a lot easier and it's going to make it a lot harder to mess up now, in this case, we're working on a 2008 honda accord with a 2.4 liter engine, and this is a very common Problem on these honda engines with millions of vehicles affected, but don't worry even if you don't have a honda, there's tons of vehicles on the road with variable valve timing, and that means they have actuators. That could go bad.

So this same basic process still applies. So after you're done watching this video you'll know exactly what you need to do to replace a variable valve timing actuator. So let's get started, and the very first thing we need to do is diagnose the problem. We need to make sure that vtc actuator is actually the problem, otherwise we're throwing parts at the car.

It costs time it costs money and it might not even fix the problem, luckily figuring out, if your vtc actuator is bad, is very easy to do now. In this case, the owner drove the car, the check engine light came on. It felt like he had some hesitation with accelerating it wasn't accelerating properly his fuel economy went down and it even started misfiring. So since the check engine light's on the first thing to do is scan the computer and see what the codes are and to do that, i'm using a bluetooth, obd2 scanner which plugs in right under the dash so find your obd2 port, which is this right here And then plug your scanner in then.

What we need to do is put the key in the ignition and turn it to the run position, but don't start the car. Now we can go to the app on the phone and click read codes. Now we could read a bunch of different codes - transmission codes, abs, airbag and stuff like that, but we just need to do check engine light code, so click that it'll scan the computer and you can see we have one check engine light code right there. So, let's check it out, it's a p1009 vtc advanced malfunction and it's saying the most frequently reported fix is to replace the variable valve timing actuator.

Now we can't go just off of this. It's a good lead, but other variable valve timing. Problems could trigger this code. For example, i spoke to my good friend and fellow youtuber eric the car guy and he said when he sees these codes.

He finds that the timing chain is typically worn out, especially if the owner ran low on oil, so the timing chain is another common problem on these cars. I'll show you how to diagnose that as well, but to know for sure our actuator is bad. We have one more test and that is to do a cold start and listen for an engine rattle now by cold start, the engine hasn't been started in three to six hours. It doesn't actually have to be cold.

It's pretty warm out right now, but the engine itself hasn't been started in a while, and what we're gon na do is just listen for that rattle and real quick before we start the car. We need to check the engine oil level because low oil could cause that actuator to make a rattling noise on startup and, as you can see, our engine oil is topped off. It's filled to the top notch, so we are good to go. So let's start her up and listen to this, and that noise was the perfect example of a bad vtc actuator.

It won't rattle like that. The whole time it'll only rattle like that on startup and then after the engine's warmed up. If you shut it off it'll. Take a couple hours before it does that again.

So in this case we know for sure the vtc actuator actuator's bed, let's replace it, and to do that here - are all the tools and products you're going to need now, as always we're using common hand tools. So you could do this job at home yourself, no problem. We have a torque wrench, we have thread locker a paint marker. We have gasket maker and a strong degreaser parts wise.

We have a brand new vtc actuator and it came with a new bolt and we have a valve cover gasket set because we're going to be removing the valve cover, we don't want to reinstall it and get any leaks and then finally, we have a jack and Jack stands because we're gon na have to lift the vehicle up to remove the wheel from the passenger side wheel well to get to the side the engine, and that is all you're gon na need to get the job done and i'll be sure to link everything Here in the description, so you could easily find it, and just so you get an idea. My friend went to the dealer to get a quote, and they said this is gon na cost around a thousand dollars to get this job done and right here we have a little bit over a hundred dollars in parts, so we're saving around 900, which is a Good chunk of change, and not only are we saving all that money but we're doing the job ourselves. So we know it's getting done properly, plus we're gon na have a good time doing it. So let's get our safety glasses on and let's get started, and the first thing we're gon na do is give ourselves more room.

We're gon na be working right over here and right now. We have our hood prop in the way and our hood is in the way it's really not lifted up very high. So a little trick i want to show you guys that you might not know is remove the hood prop from the hood, lift the hood up even further and slide that prop all the way down, and you can see right here, there's another square: you could fit The hood prop in so now the hood prop is not in our way and also the hood is lifted up significantly, so we could easily get access to our engine next. What we need to do before we remove any bolts and remove this valve cover.

We need to make sure we get all the dirt and dust out of here. Once this valve cover is off. We have access to the internals of the engine, so you'll see the valves, the cams, all that stuff. We don't want to get any dirt or dust in there.

It could damage the engine and, as you can see, this is a pretty dirty engine, so get a leaf, blower or compressed air and blow all the dust you can out of the engine bay. So it doesn't get into the engine so with all that loose dirt and dust blown away. We still have a bunch of grease and grime and dirt in here that we want to make sure we don't get into the engine, and this is actually perfect timing, because spray nine recently sent me a bunch of their heavy duty, cleaner and degreaser, which will work Perfect to clean that up, so all you need to do is spray. The valve cover area with degreaser.

Let it soak for a couple of seconds and then agitate it with a brush. You guys know how much i like detailing brushes because they make it super easy to loosen up the dirt and get the area extra clean, so brush everything down and then grab an old, microfiber, towel and watch this. All we need to do is wipe this off and holy smokes. The dirt comes right off with no effort at all and check out this before and after what a difference.

So we cleaned out all the dirt and grease from around our valve cover. So we could safely remove it without anything falling into the engine and although this looks brand new, you guys know me by now. I can't just leave one small part clean and everything else dirty. So, although it's not necessary, let's super clean, the engine bay, real, quick spray down the engine bay with the greaser and agitate it with a brush making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies, then just absorb that dirt away with a microfiber towel and check It out here's a before and after and what a difference now our engine is super clean.

It looks brand spanking new and remember you don't have to do all that. All you need to do is make sure the valve cover area is clean, so dirt doesn't fall into the engine. Now i do want to thank spray9 very much for sending me out degreaser and supporting the video and with our engine, nice and clean. We can move on to the next step and remove our valve cover now to remove the valve cover, there's a couple things we need to unscrew as well as move out of the way.

So we're going to start right here and let's disconnect this power steering hose hold down from the valve cover using a 10 millimeter socket once that's loose. Now we could wedge it behind the ac low pressure line right here so now, with our power steering hose out of the way. If we come to the other side, we have evap hoses and vacuum hoses that we need to move out of the way as well. So first, let's remove this evap hose so using a pliers grab the hose, clamp and slide it up the hose and then the trick to easily remove hoses every time is turn the hose from side to side like this which breaks it loose and then the hose Will come right off good and then we can just tuck this out of the way.

Next up. We have this vacuum hose here that we need to remove so same process use pliers to remove the hose clamp twist, the hose a little bit, and this comes right off. Then we can tuck it out of the way. Next, there are two bolts holding this assembly to the valve cover so remove both of these bolts and then separate it from the valve cover like that.

So, with both sides of our valve cover cleared of everything, now we can get to our ignition coils. So let's take this cover off and remove the coils. There are four 10-millimeter bolts holding this in so remove all those and then remove the cover. Then there's four ignition coils that need to be removed, so unscrew the 10-millimeter bolt holding in the ignition coil and slide each coil out and tuck it behind the engine.

Do that for all four of these, so with our coil pack and harness moved out of the way we don't need to remove the spark plugs, but we do need to remove our dipstick. So, let's get that out of here and put that down somewhere clean and finally, we have the last six bolts holding in this valve cover. So, let's remove those - and i really like how honda uses a lot of the same size fasteners in this case 10 millimeter, and that makes this quick and easy to do now under each one of those nuts is a rubber seal many times these are stuck on Here they don't come up, so what you do is you get a flathead screwdriver and you just go under like that and pry it up and they'll pop right out. So with all six rubber seals removed.

Now we can remove the valve cover and this one is stuck on here, pretty good, so a trick to loosen it up is gently tap it with a rubber mallet, and now it's broken free. So we can remove it and there we go. We are into the engine. You can see why it's super important to clean everything.

Any dirt that falls in here gets right onto the camshafts into the valves and it'll fall into the oil pan. It just wouldn't be good, so this is the intake cam right here and you can see the valves down there and then we have our exhaust cam right back here and then our vtc actuator is right. There that's what's bad, that's what's making that rattling sound, so to get a better look at our actuator. Let's remove this chain guide and to do that.

There's two 12 millimeter bolts holding it in so remove each of these, noting the orientation because one bolt head is longer than the other. Once these bolts are removed, the chain guide could come out and make sure you put this down somewhere clean. So we don't get any dirt on it. So, with that chain guide out of the way we have better access to our cam actuator and before we do anything else up here, the top end has to be inspected for sludge.

We don't want to see any sludge. This actually looks really good. It's nice and clean no sludge at all. But to give you an idea of what an engine with sludge looks like check this out, you can see that black gooey tar-like substance - that is, sludge and that's from not doing oil changes.

Frequently enough, if your top end is all sludged up like that, stop and don't keep doing this repair, because you need to clean that up. First you're going to use an oil additive you're going to change the oil a couple of times and get that nice and clean because if it's all sludged up you're just going to break that cam actuator again and you're wasting your time. But in this case we look good. This is perfectly fine.

This is what you want to see so now we need to set the engine to top dead center and in order to do that, we have to access the side of the engine. So let's go jack up the car, so chalk off the rear tires and let's get the jack under the front of the car using the sturdy cross member as a jacking point to jack her up once you lift the car high enough to get the wheels off The ground, then we can get our jack stands under the sturdy points of the car, like the subframe mounts here and slowly lower the car down onto the jacks, and i always like to leave the jacks slightly holding up the car just as a backup. Just in case a jack stand fails. At least this will hold it up as well, and now we can remove the five lug nuts holding on the wheel and then we can take the wheel off and i always like sliding the wheel underneath the car.

So if the car falls, somehow it can't fall all the way down so with the car safely lifted off the ground and our passenger wheel removed. That gives us access to the side of the engine now. Normally there is one of these splash shields right here, but in this car it doesn't have one. You can see the little clip that would pop in there.

You would just pop that out and take that splash shield out, and that gives you access to the engine right there. So this right here is our crankshaft pulley, and this is the bolt we'll use to spin the engine clockwise to get it to top dead center. I'll show you how to do that in a second and then right here we have a cover for the timing chain, tensioner that we need to remove to get to that tensioner. So let's go do that now and there are three bolts holding this in and you guessed it they are 10 millimeters, so remove all three of them and then this cover is stuck on here, so carefully get something thin under the cover to pry it up and Now the cover comes right off alright, so that right there is our timing chain tensioner.

That's what keeps the timing chain tight against those cam gears i'll show you how to loosen timing chain tension in a second, but first we need to set this to top dead center and to do that we have a 19 millimeter socket that goes on here and Right on the inside of the pulley are the timing marks, so we want to spin the engine the same way it spins with the engine being on. So that's clockwise and as we spin, the engine keep an eye out for those timing marks. So you can see right there. We have one set of timing marks that first set.

We don't use, ignore those, but right down here is our second set. So let's move this up just a little bit, so you get a better view. So here's a close-up of that second set of timing marks. We need to use so we have three marks right here and then we have a separate mark right down here.

This separate mark is the one that we need to use to get to top dead center. That's what we're going to align now from the factory these are painted. You can see that's a little bit red, it's worn off because it has 200 000 miles and that one is white and the white one is the one that we need to use to get the top dead center good. So now you know how to find the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley.

Now, let's go to the top of the engine and let me show you how to align the camshaft marks for top dead center and the marks we're gon na reference are located on the cam sprockets and if we take a look at the diagram, there's two things: We need to align, there are punch marks at the top of each sprocket, so both the intake and exhaust sprocket have punch marks, those need to be up top and with each of those up top you can see. There are lines that need to align in the middle so when the punch marks are up top and those lines are lined up with each other, we're at top dead center, so spin the engine clockwise using a ratchet and keep an eye on the cam sprockets. We want these two lines to line up and once we get close slow down and let's get these aligned good. So with the punch marks up top and our two lines lined up, we are at top dead center, so we know our cams are at top dead center, but now we need to verify that the crank is top dead center.

So if we come right down here, you take a look right on the side of the engine over by the exhaust sprocket. You look all the way down to the crankshaft pulley and you can see on the engine. Block is a little arrow and that needs to match up with that white timing mark on the crankshaft pulley, and you can see it matches perfect now, hypothetically, if your timing marks don't align perfectly, maybe they're off by a couple millimeters like this, your timing chain could Have skipped a tooth or it's worn out and needs to be replaced, but in our case we are spot on so we're good to go, and it's that easy to set your engine to top dead center, and this is very important to do. You can't skip this step at top dead center, all of those marks align.

So when we remove the timing chain, we remove these sprockets. We put the new one on and we put everything back, we're able to line it back up, which is super important. If we don't line it up properly, this is an interference engine. The valves and pistons will hit and you'll ruin your engine, but you don't have to worry about that because we're at top dead center and all those marks align.

So the next step is to remove chain tension and in order to do that, let's go back under the car, so we could access the side of the engine where our chain tensioner is now in order to remove the chain tension. This is our automatic tensioner. What we need to do is rotate the engine, counterclockwise, the opposite of what we just did just a little bit and you'll see this little lock right here will move up just a little bit, and then there will be a hole that we could stick a pin Through so let me show you that right now so turn the engine counterclockwise very little, and you can see the hole up here once the hole is exposed, get your pin and put it in the hole to prevent the tensioner from getting tight and finally turn the Engine clockwise back to top dead center, like that good, so we're back at top dead center and our timing chain tension is loose next. What we need to do is break this bolt free that holds in our actuator and in order to do that, we're going to get a breaker bar on here, but we need to hold the camshaft in place and on the cam.

Shaft right here is a spot to put a 24 millimeter wrench, so we'll put a wrench here and then we'll use a breaker bar here and we'll break that bolt free. So get your open end side of the wrench on the camshaft, and this is a 24 millimeter which honda recommends, but, as you can see, there's a lot of play here. So instead i went down one size. This is a 23 millimeter and now that's nice and solid.

That's what you want next, let's get a long, breaker bar the longer the better and we have a 17-millimeter socket on here. So let's get this socket on the boat holding in the actuator, and now we can break this bolt loose holy smokes. That bolt is stuck on there real good. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to use some heat to try to loosen up that bolt, but we don't want to use an open flame because we don't want to damage this timing chain.

So i'm going to be using one of these induction heaters. This will get the bolt very hot without any flames. It just uses electricity, so get the coils over the bolt and hold the button down and 10 seconds later. This bolt is 800 degrees fahrenheit.

So now, let's try breaking this loose. Okay. Here goes nothing just a little bit more beautiful and now the bolt is broken, free and still very hot, so loosen it. A couple turns hot good.

Now, you're definitely going to need a breaker bar and potentially some heat to break that loose and with that broken loose. What honda wants you to do next is to remove all the fasteners holding in the cams, and it has to be done in a certain sequence. A little bit at a time that way you don't damage anything, then they want you to take the cam out and then you can replace the vtc actuator. Then you have to put the cam back in.

You have to oil up certain spots because there's bearings here: you have to tighten it down in sequence, at a certain torque spec and there's a lot that could go wrong there. Plus this is a 200 000 mile engine taking it apart, putting it back together, not the greatest idea, especially if we have another solution to do this, and my solution is to remove the exhaust sprocket right here and then we'll be able to slide out the vtc Actuator put the new one in put our sprocket back in, tighten it down, bolt everything up and we're good to go. So, let's go and unbolt our exhaust sprocket bolt, but before we do that, grab a zip tie and zip tie the chain to the sprocket. So it can't come off the sprocket and become misaligned.

Let's also mark the punch marks to the chain using a paint marker, so we know exactly where the punch marks meet the chain. This is to make sure we don't misalign it when we put it all back together, okay, so now, let's get our wrench and ratchet on the exhaust cam and let's break that bolt loose good, and that was a lot easier than that vtc actuator. So now, let's completely remove the bolt from the actuator and let's completely remove the bolt from the exhaust cam sprocket and now we could carefully pry the actuator out a little bit like that and then do the same thing for the exhaust sprocket, which is a little Bit tighter so pry on each side a little bit at a time now, with the sprocket loose, it's important that we hold the chain up, so it doesn't fall and that's exactly what i was trying to avoid. Don't do that you want to make sure you keep tension on this chain at all times.

Luckily, it looks like we're okay. So what i'm gon na do is i'm gon na use some bungee cords to keep tension on the chain and hold it up? So one bungee cord will go on the power steering hose and the other one is gon na go on the ac line to hold it up. Now we can remove the old actuator just by sliding it out good and now out with the old and in with the new, and you guys know i like to compare parts and these two parts are identical. Now, the only difference is, you can see the keyway on each of these on the new one.

This is called the unlocked position. The keyway is facing towards the right. It's on the right side on the old one the keyway is facing towards the left. That's the lock position.

We need this to be in the unlocked position that way we can install it after we torque this down. Then we can lock it i'll show you how to do that, but for now do not rotate this at all. We need to make sure it is in the unlocked position, otherwise we can't install it, and these do come brand new, unlocked and real quick before we install the new actuator, something very important i want to cover you heard me say: don't let the chain drop when We're taking the sprockets off, you can see right now. I have them bungee corded, holding the chain up that way, there's some tension on it and it doesn't fall down into the engine if the chain falls down into the engine.

You need to take the timing cover off and it's just a big mess. We want to make sure there's some tension on here, so it doesn't fall off the sprockets deeper in the engine. So make sure you support your timing chain have bungee cords or zip ties. Whatever it is ready to go and support it, just like this, so now let's get this installed and since there is a key way, it only goes on one way, so we could slide it on the cam just like that and then lightly turn it and push It until it fits in like that now do not turn this anymore.

So with the actuator in place. Now, let's tighten down the new bolt first, we want to make sure it's identical to the old bolt and it is and normally right now you'd hear me say, add some medium strength, thread locker, but instead of using medium strength, this time we're going to be using High strength removable, this is still removable, but it's stronger than the medium strength, because we definitely don't want this bolt to back. Out so add some high strength, removable thread locker to the end of the threads, and so it torques down correctly lubricate the threads and the shaft of the bolt with some motor oil. Now we can install the bolt and hand, tighten it, and this bolt gets torqued down to 83 foot pounds after the bolt is torqued.

Now we could lock the actuator by turning it, and you heard that click. That means it's locked now, let's get the timing chain back onto the actuator and remember we need to align that green mark with the punch mark. So, let's get that aligned on there good, actually not good we're off about a half a link, so our sprocket tooth needs to be in between the two chain links good and that's more like it, and that's exactly why we marked these links. Now we can get that last bungee cord off and get that exhaust sprocket back onto the exhaust cam, and this is gon na - be pretty tight, so rocking the exhaust cam back and forth.

Just a little bit is gon na help, walk that sprocket on and make it easier to align, and since this is keyed, the sprocket only fits in one direction so work that sprocket on there until it fits in just like that, all right. So before tightening down this sprocket, we need to make sure these are aligned. So if we take a look over here at our intake actuator that green mark on the chain lines up with the punch mark on the actuator same thing over here on the exhaust, you can see the green mark lines up with the punch mark on the actuator And then, if we look over here, we have those two lines they line up towards each other. So we know both of these sprockets are improperly they're.

Timed correctly. Let's go tighten down the exhaust sprocket bolt so get some high strength thread locker on this bolt end as well, and the rest of the bolt is pretty oiled. So we could get this into place and tighten it down by hand, and then we could torque it down to 51 foot pounds good. Now, let's cut off the zip tie from the sprocket and make sure you have a good grip on this, so you don't drop it down into the timing cover all right, so our sprocket is on there it's bolted in it's torqued down.

We are good to go here, but you did see it was a little difficult to get that sprocket on. I had to use some extra force. This timing chain was pretty tight and sometimes it's hard to get it on. So, a little trick that you could use to get that timing chain on just go under the car and all you would do is you would remove the two 10 millimeter bolts holding in the chain tensioner and pull that chain tensioner right out, that'll relieve all the Chain tension just make sure you're holding up that chain, so it doesn't fall down because now it's going to be even looser and that sprocket will fit right on the cam.

Now, let's remove the pin from the timing chain tensioner and check the timing of the engine. So now we need to turn the engine over by hand and make sure that our timing marks line up these two lines here should line up after spinning the engine a couple of times. The green marks that we made on the chain will not line up anymore. Don't worry about those and those little punch marks there should be facing up when those lines are facing each other, so our focus is to make sure those two lines face each other, and that means it's top dead center.

Then we'll verify that with top dead centered down on our pulley and if both of those say we're top dead center, we are good to go so, let's spin the engine with our ratchet and everything is looking good, so we want to spin it over. At least two times and then, as you get close to, that top dead center slow it down and let's see if it aligns beautiful the two lines face each other and the crank pulley mark lines up perfectly with top dead center. So with our timing verified, we are good to go here now. We just need to bolt everything up.

Then we can go starter up and see if we fix the problem. So let's get the chain guide bolted in and remember the bolt with the longer head goes to the left and these bolts get torqued to 16 foot pounds so with the top chain. Guide installed come along the side here and just make sure that that chain is riding in the middle of that chain guide and it is and also down here, it's also riding in the middle. So we know that's all aligned.

Next, let's go and install the timing chain tensioner cover so to clean off all that old rtv to get a nice smooth surface. What i recommend is using a plastic scraper and not a metal scraper. A metal scraper could scratch the mating surface and create a way for the oil to seep out. So, stick with the plastic scraper to clean the surface and once the old gas gets removed, then we could wipe down the surface with alcohol to remove any oils, and now this is good to go.

We also can't forget about the other mating surface on the engine block, and this needs to be cleaned as well, so shove a clean towel into the opening. So the old gasket we scrape off doesn't fall into the engine and then we can scrape off the gasket with our plastic scraper and finally wipe it down with alcohol and remove the towel from the opening all right. So, with this surface clean and smooth and our engine surface clean and smooth now, let's add our rtv and i'm going to be using this rtv - it's called the right stuff. It is a quick setting rtv.

So what you do is you add it on here and then after you, edit on there within five minutes, you need to go and torque this down and then one minute later after torquing down, it is ready to go in service if we were using regular rtv We'd have to add our bead, then we have to stick it onto the engine hand, tighten it let it sit for an hour after an hour, torque it down and then let it sit for a couple more hours to wait for it to cure. But with this we don't have to do that, so i could get this car back in service today. The mating surface of this piece and the engine are completely flat, so we don't need a thick bead, but just make sure you go around the bolt holes and lay a bead around the entire perimeter. Just like that.

So now this is good to get installed and a real, quick tip, because we do have a bunch of rtv left in here. We don't want to ruin it. So what you do is you just get a little bit of rtv and you shoot it out past. The tip just like that and that'll cure and prevent the oxygen from getting in here and making that hard.

So the next time you just cut that tip off and you're good to use this again. So now let's go get this installed in the car. Now this is a bit tricky because it's tight down here and we don't want to rub the fresh rtv onto anything and ruin the bead. So take your time and you can see, i have the top two bolts in already, and this is going to help me align this and once you have it aligned, then you could just hand tighten the three bolts in and within five minutes.

We need to torque these down to nine foot pounds good so with the cover torqued down and sealed. Now, let's get the wheels back on and torque all five lug nuts down to 100 foot pounds and with our wheel on i'm not going to drop the car to the ground just yet because i do want to get underneath and change the oil. But before we do that, let's get the valve cover on and we need to make sure that we replace all the gaskets on the valve cover. So we don't have any leaks.

We have a big gasket. That goes all the way around the edge here, and then we have four gaskets in here that will prevent oil from getting in the spark plug wells. So, let's start with the spark plug well seals. These seals are actually pretty tough they're, not as flexible as you think and they're in there good.

So the trick to removing these is to get a flathead screwdriver in between the seal and the side of the valve cover like that, and then we're gon na gently tap that screwdriver in and you do want to be careful not to scratch the surface on the Valve cover once it's driven in there, just pry your screwdriver outwards and you can see the seal released from the valve cover and, like i said, these seals are pretty tough, there's a piece of metal in here, so they don't just pop out. But that's the trick to getting them out so out with the old and in with the new. Now a little trick to get these seals in very easily is just get some motor oil and rub it on the edge of the seal. All the way around you don't need a lot just need to lightly coat it and then watch this just get that seal centered and that seal will push right in just like that and we're good to go.

Now we can remove the old valve cover gasket, which should come right out like that and install the new gasket in the same orientation and just make sure you push it all the way into the valve cover there's a little channel. It sits in so press it into that, and now, with these new gaskets in, we won't have any oil leaks. So let's go get this installed now on honda engines, there's four spots that we need to add a dab of rtv they're, all in the corners. So there's a spot there there's a spot on that side, there's a spot in that corner and a spot in that corner.

Let's take a closer look and you can see that little line right there, where the engine block and timing cover meet that right. There needs rtv, so oil doesn't seep through, and all you need is a very little bit like that and just push it down into that crack and we're good to go. So i added the rtv to the other three corners as well, and now we could place our valve cover onto the head of the engine and you want to wiggle it until you push it all the way down. Next, we have to tighten down the six washers and nuts that hold this valve cover in, and the kit comes with new washers, so use them.

The rubber side faces down and then hand tighten the nut on top, so once those are on, we could torque them down to nine foot pounds in a criss-cross pattern to evenly seat the valve cover. So we don't have any leaks. Next get the four ignition coils seated onto the spark plugs, and then these bolts also get torqued down to nine foot pounds. Finally, we could put the cover back on and then we could tighten down the four bolts that hold this in until they're snug.

Then we could get the power steering hose bolted back down onto the valve cover, so it won't move so snug that down and then on the other side we have these two bolts which hold in the evap hoses here. So let's get them in place and tighten both of them down so they're snug, we'll finish up here with the vacuum hose on the left and get the hose clamp in place and same thing with the evap hose on the right. Get that on there and get that hose clamp in place just like that and finally, with everything bolted in, we could grab our dipstick and we want to give it a quick wipe and then we could slide it in our valve cover and with that we are Pretty much done now in this car i'm going to be doing an oil change you don't have to, but it's at 15 oil life. So it's worth doing to finish this project off.

So let's break the oil plug loose and let's see if we could remove this without making a mess pretty good, now you're gon na, let all the oil drain out and once it's drained out snug up that bolt and don't over tighten it now, let's remove the Oil filter and replace it with a brand new one, which i pre-filled, and i also lube the o-ring on the top and a quick tip. Is i like marking down the mileage on the filter with a paint pen that way you know when the oil was changed and finally, we could fill her up with some full synthetic 5w20 oil good. Now, let's remove the funnel and watch out for drips on our freshly cleaned engine and let's check the oil level and, as you can see, we're completely filled, so we are done so. Let's remove the jack stands from under the car and lower her down all the way like so all right and with that we are completely done now moment of truth.

Let's go start her up. Okay, here we go. Let's start her up, yes beautiful! That is awesome. There is no startup noise at all and taking a look at our dash, we don't have any check engine lights on.

Our idle is buttery smooth, it's stable and this engine sounds great and after letting this car idle for about 25 minutes, you can see we're at operating temperature. I double checked, we don't have any codes at all and she is running great. So not only is she running great but she's, driving great as well been driving around for about 30 minutes, there's no more misfires she's, accelerating nice and smooth and the check engine light hasn't come back on. So that means we fixed the problem all right.

Now, that's what i'm talking about. She starts up nice and quiet, no more rattle from that old vtc, actuator, she's, idling, buttery, smooth she drives beautifully and that's everything you need to know on how to replace a vtc actuator at home, using common hand tools. I hope this video was helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up if you're not a subscriber, consider hitting that subscribe button and as always, all the tools and products i used in this video are linked in the description below. So you could easily find them.

14 thoughts on “How to replace a vtc actuator (complete diy guide)”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dan Kenney says:

    In your VTC video you mentioned that it could be a stretched timing chain and you said that you were going to tell us later how to do that but you ended the video before you got to it, I checked your playlist and couldn’t find anything on it, do you have one ore can you recommend someone’s vicious to look at. I like your video’s you explain and show procedures very well and easy to follow with out all the BS

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Average User says:

    I feel like I owe Chris some money or at least let him sleep with my girl for all the time he puts into these videos. Absolute perfection.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars chris skelly says:

    If you do ever feel like putting a turbo or supercharger in one of these cars that would make a very good video 😁😁

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars TheCar Lover says:

    My dad has this type of rattling on his 07 lexus rx400h but idk if it has one of them actuators, it happens on some cold starts and goes away after 3- 5 seconds but it's loud and sounds horrible.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Filip Kropacek says:

    Hi Chris, love your videos … this one o watched third time, but…i have a Honda Civic 1.8 vtec 8g UFO and it makes similar noises sometimes. I dont know, if the engine has an actuator aswell, but some guys on the discussions told me, it should be also by the wrong starter, its keeping attached after engine starts running.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jordan Hart says:

    Okay, I've gotta say this, cause it is a distinction…. A breaker bar and a long handled ratchet are not the same thing. A breaker bar will not ratchet.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars dodge sportsman says:

    You went thru FAR TOO MANY STEPS. My way is much better… Step1 take my car to Chris fix…. Step 2 go get a cheese burger… Step 3 pick up car and go home

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryder Plays says:

    in a video game, i always made my cars in a way the hood opens at a super high angle like that, and i didn't think that it was actually a real thing but apparently it is

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Samuel Copeland says:

    Chrisfix, I love your YouTube videos and good job getting 8 Million subscribers. You do a good job at showing things in detail. I bet it took hours to set up for one video also can we take some time to appreciate the absolute perfect camera angles. For me it is a 🎄 🎁 every time you upload a new YouTube video. I also like the fellow YouTuber Aric the car guy. I have subscribed to your channel and I am never unsubscribing.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ABDULLAH . K . T says:

    Beautifully practically explained 👍💯Appreciate your practical demo .
    I remember there is a plate inside the actuator , which advance the valve timing advancing locking the two cam actuator and the third actuator take over and advance press the valve more for the air fuel mixture to enter the Cylinder . Actuator works like a Governor , like the Plate having the two weights attached with the spring under the plate of CB Point , the current distributor , which advances the current to the spark Plugs , same mechanism for the Vtec /VVTI .
    You have made me your Fan Chris .

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars JoeyFucktwice says:

    @ChrisFix Could you translate torque foot pound measurements for us non-americans so we know how hard you have to torque nuts and bolts? <3

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jessie Coleman says:

    The only problem I’m having with this job is I had to remove my chain tensioner in order to get the exhaust sprocket on. Now I’m having hell putting the tensioner back in. Any advice?

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael says:

    How do you clean the sludge if you have any? In the video he mentions to clean the sludge but his engine was fine so he didn’t clean it or explain it. I would hate to start the job only to find that and then be stuck in the middle. Also he did extra work cleaning and dusting before removing the cover I’d assume you should use a special cloth and cleaner so you can introduce as little debris as possible.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frank K says:

    just got a 2010 accord with same actuator noise. this video gave me confidence, so when it's not raining I'm gonna change this out. was worried I needed to remove the cam shaft, but glad it's not needed. awesome video. already changed the solenoid too.

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