With more and more late-model HEMI V-8 engines finding their way under the hood of vintage Mooars like Darts, Chargers, Challenger, ‘Cudas and the like, there’s going to be a point to when swapping out the stock camshaft becomes inevitable. For anyone out there considering such a swap, it should be noted that the 2009+ HEMI V-8s have Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT), also known as Variable Valve Timing (VVT).
Engineered to deliver an overall more powerful and efficient package, the downside, its that removing the camshaft has become a bit trickier to someone unfamiliar with the intricacies of the design. Wanting to provide direct insight to our readers, we spoke to Michael Scano of MS Racing Components and he sent us the actual instructions, along with this video, just to show you how it works!
Install the VVT UNLOCKER tool in place of the OEM oil control valve. Apply a liberal of engine oil to all O-rings surfaces. The engine oil will allow the tool to easily slide into position. Without engine oil the O-rings will be damaged and possibly the VVT UNLOCKER tool when installing and removing the tool from the oil control valve bore. The engine oil will aid in sliding the O-rings past the intersecting oil passages in the oil control valve bore.
Using a slight side to side twisting motion push the VVT UNLOCKER tool into the bore until it is fully seated. The O-rings will hold the tool into position. The VVT UNLOCKER tool can installed in any orientation in the oil control valve bore since the tool is designed to be non-directional.
- Install the M12 – 1.75 X 110mm bolt, steel washers and Delrin spacer in place of the OEM cam phaser bolt using a 19mm open end box wrench.
- Tighten down the VVT UNLOCKER until snug. The tool will be properly installed when light hand pressure is applied to the wrench counter clockwise and you are able to feel the lock pin engagement and the setup cam phaser bolt does not turn or back out.
- The internal cam phaser lock pin will be disengaged when shop air is applied to the VVT UNLOCKER schrader valve. Apply shop air using an air chuck while simultaneously applying pressure counter- clockwise to the wrench. Usually 60-85 lbs. of pressure is required to unseat the internal lock pin. Use increased pressure if the lock pin doesn’t disengage but don’t exceed 125 PSI to disengage the pin.
- Turn the 19mm open end box wrench counter clockwise to the full cam retard position against the cam phaser clock spring. Shop air pressure can be released once the cam phaser lock pin is disengaged.
- Note/Caution: When one piston assembly is installed there might be not enough drag on the rotating assembly which will cause the crankshaft to rotate when the cam phaser is turned counterclockwise. If this situation happens the crankshaft will need to be locked at the desired position to check the piston to valve clearance.
- Piston to valve clearance can now be checked with the camshaft fully retarded while continuing holding the wrench fully counter clockwise against the cam phaser retard internal rotor stop.
- Slowly release the wrench clockwise to engage the internal lock pin.
- Remove the VVT UNLOCKER when piston to valve clearances are verified and install a new OEM cam phaser bolt per manufactures torque specifications. To remove the VVT UNLOCKER tool pull the tool out slightly and then using a small flat blade screw driver pry between the VVT UNLOCKER tool and engine block while slightly applying a side to side twisting motion. The VVT UNLOCKER tool shall remove from the oil control valve bore easily and retain its O-rings in the VVT UNLOCKER O-ring grooves.
- Inspect the O-rings on the tool to insure they are still intact on the VVT UNLOCKER tool and have not become dislodged in the oil control valve bore. In the event that the O-rings become dislodged from the VVT UNLOCKER tool remove any O-rings from the oil control valve bore before reinstalling the OEM cam phaser oil control valve. Failure to remove any dislodged VVT UNLOCKER tool O-rings could result in the OEM cam phaser oil control valve not functioning properly or result in engine damage.
- Replace damaged or missing VVT UNLOCKER tool O-rings with Buna N70 Specification AS568-017 before using the tool again. The VVT UNLOCKER tool requires four (4) O-rings to operate correctly.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of Timeless Muscle Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.