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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, All!

Does anyone have access to documentation on the 3UR-FE VVT system, particularly as regards what parameters command the timing advance, what sensor responses are expected, and perhaps a VVT "map"? I'd love a copy . . .

My ~80K mile 2010 Tundra has a wildly random VVT issue; the system will function normally for several hundred miles, and then for no apparent reason will start misbehaving. The first sign is that the engine speed at idle increases to about 1200 RPM, followed shortly by a flashing VSC, and a solid CEL, with the code P0021. (Bank2 intake over-advanced)
Sometimes this will clear, and it will go back to running normally, but just as often this signifies the beginning of a period of poor engine performance, odd transmission behavior, and numerous seemingly unrelated CELs, some related to the VVT, some for the crank sensor, some for bank2 misfires (Real misfires; it runs very poorly, and shakes like a wet dog), some for evaporative emissions, some I simply cleared and didn't bother to look up :-(

I have already tried the easy things like changing the oil (twice), cleaning and replacing the VVT sensors, Oil Control Valves, Cam sensor, Crank sensor, and I have replaced the electrical connectors on the Bank2 intake OCV and sensor. All engine compartment wiring is clean and nice. If I let the truck sit for a couple days, it will generally be fine afterwards until the next "seizure".

I have run the Techstream diagnostics on it, and during the problem periods, it appears that the bank2 intake camshaft phaser is stuck at fully retarded. Running the same diagnostic routine after sitting for a spell, it will be fine.

I am reluctant to undertake the task of replacing the phaser w/o a more convincing/repeatable failure mode, but I'm fresh out of ideas otherwise. I would love to try on a junkyard ECU, but apparently this is impossible due to the Immobilizer BS. One thing I had thought to do is simply disable the VVT system, leaving the cams fully retarded. As my only real need for this truck is towing a horse trailer, having the engine stuck in "torque" mode is fine by me. I'm actually considering finding a good used engine for it, as it appears to be far easier/saner to simply do an engine swap rather than futz with the engine internals:
Swap engine: A couple-three work sessions; probability of successful outcome: High :)
Replace camshaft phaser: Terra Incognita, at least a few work sessions; probability of successful outcome: Modest at best :-( (And then I get to swap engines anyway.)

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated. TIA! Steve
 
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Steve, someone posted a Toyota engineering paper about the 1UR-FE engine when it was first introduced. This document should work for your purposes; there IS a chart illustrating the variable valve timing early on.

The post was by one of our more cerebral members (can't remember who), but my cursory search turned up nothing...it may have been an explanatory post buried in the middle of a thread, and therefore, impossible to find.

I have it saved to my computer as a pdf file. Message me your email address and I can send it old school, or tell me how to get it to you by TT message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Steve, someone posted a Toyota engineering paper about the 1UR-FE engine when it was first introduced. This document should work for your purposes; there IS a chart illustrating the variable valve timing early on.

The post was by one of our more cerebral members (can't remember who), but my cursory search turned up nothing...it may have been an explanatory post buried in the middle of a thread, and therefore, impossible to find.

I have it saved to my computer as a pdf file. Message me your email address and I can send it old school, or tell me how to get it to you by TT message.
OldGuy43, that is a seriously valuable piece of literature, thanks for sharing. Anyone who hopes to attempt their own service on one of the newer Tundras (1UR-FE, 3UR-FE) _needs_ to study and absorb this information. Do you mind if I post it here? And moderators, you might want to "sticky" it somewhere. Really; a "Must Have".

Steve

PS: Shot a big hole in any plans to "simply" disable the VVT, tho :-(
 
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...Do you mind if I post it here? And moderators, you might want to "sticky" it somewhere. Really; a "Must Have"...
Not at all, it's not my paper. It was posted by one of our member techs, or someone that recognizes a valuable document when they see one.

Having it here as a "sticky" would be nice. It would be even nicer if the OP's original post were found, so they could get some well-deserved props. My cursory search to find it again came up empty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here she be:

This sez "1UR-FE", but the 5.7 is very similar. Highly recommended.

. . .

Well, Darn; that's inconvenient :p
I have Acrobat on my desk PC; I'll try to split it in two later on today. But for now, I gotta go feed my Large Children.
 

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If it is similar to the FJ v6 vvt system, which it is, the actuators can become sticky. That is likely your issue.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If it is similar to the FJ v6 vvt system, which it is, the actuators can become sticky. That is likely your issue.
Yea, I agree. What baffles me is why it only does it once in awhile. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to dump a quart of Kerosene in the oil, warm it up, and "exercize" the VVT system to try and de-gum the phasers internals. Maybe I'll give that a shot the next time I feel like messin' with it.
It's running great at the moment; hauled Georgie, and my wife's horse Indy up over Monument Hill, and into the next county for a club ride yesterday. That involves a fairly steep pull both going, and coming home, and it was a breeze.
I just _hate_ intermittent problems :p
 
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Trans fluid is actually great at "Cleaning". It is more viscous than kerosene, and lubricates better.

We use it often when operators of O.P.E. come in with sludgy black thick oil. It cleans, but lubricates while it is doing it.


Most fj owners with the issue were lacking on maintenance, and would manually pull the actuator, clean them, and re-install. I don't think they are too expensive to replace.



Were you good on your maint sched, or lacking? And are you the original owner?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And are you the original owner?
Nope: just got the truck a few months ago. Carfax looked OK, not that _that_ means anything.

When you say "actuators", are you referring to the Oil Control Valves, or the actual phaser/hydraulic thingie on the end of the camshaft? Servicing the 3UR-FE phasers, or timing gears, or whatever they call 'em, looks to be a seriously ugly job, 'specially with the engine in the vehicle. If I'm gonna have to pull the engine, I'll just source a lo-miles used one, drop it back in, and be done with it. I want to drive the truck, not get romantic with it ;-)

Anyway, the OCV's are all clean and working. The insides of the valve cover where the OCV's live was also clean; a little discolored, maybe, but no varnish-y looking areas. Swapped those, _and_ the VVT sensors bank1 to bank2 as well to see if the DTC followed. It didn't. Replaced the electrical connectors on the Bank2 Intake OCV, and Sensor, too, just in case . . . I thought that maybe I had it linked to the oil viscosity, but . . . ? I was planning to dump the 0W20 I just put in, and refill with some 10W40 to test this theory; that's why I thought maybe a shot of solvent before draining the oil would be a good thing. ATF is better, tho? How much for an 8qt oilpan?
 
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I don't know the technical term, but the modules that control the cam variation were known to be an issue on the fj's.


I have not kept a tundra past 43k miles yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I have not kept a tundra past 43k miles yet.
Wow. I've never owned a car with 43,000 miles on it. Most closer to 143,000, and many with far more than that. At 80K, my 2010 Tundra _is_ a "new" car as far as I'm concerned :-D

Current DD is an Outback with close to 300K. A recent build from "junkyard" parts, it's clean and nice, and runs like a Swiss watch. My T-100 (another "builder"; has a 4Runner engine and tranny) is bumping 200K, and is still being tasked with pulling my horses around because I don't trust the damned Tundra enough to want to take it far from cell-phone coverage and a tow truck. I'm just finishing up on replacing the motor in my CSP Autocross Miata, after finishing off the stocker by upping the rev-limiter to avoid third gear in long straights ;-) It made it thru two seasons like that, but I guess 8,000RPM is just too much; I'll dial it down to 7,500 before the upcoming season, and just let it bump the limiter if it comes to that; probably still faster than shifting, and in CSP, milliseconds count.

I have never, nor will I ever pay someone to work on one of my toys. (Aside from things like tire mount/balance, or windshield replacement.) I guess the best way to avoid that is to buy new, and trade in early, eh? Guess that's what I'll have to do when I get too old to pick up a wrench.

Steve
 
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PS: Shot a big hole in any plans to "simply" disable the VVT, tho :-(
You can disable the vvti system by unplugging all 4 oil control valves.
The truck will throw codes, but will run fine and will not go into limp mode.
You will lose some torque/hp over the entire RPM range (I dynoed the truck with the vvti disabled before).
This will help you narrow down on what is causing the problem.
If you unplug the OCVs and the problem disappears, then your issue IS somewhere in the vvti system.
BTW, it is not that hard to replace the camshaft gears - it takes me around 4 hours per side, but it is somewhat tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
You can disable the vvti system by unplugging all 4 oil control valves.
The truck will throw codes, but will run fine and will not go into limp mode.
You will lose some torque/hp over the entire RPM range (I dynoed the truck with the vvti disabled before).
This will help you narrow down on what is causing the problem.
If you unplug the OCVs and the problem disappears, then your issue IS somewhere in the vvti system.
BTW, it is not that hard to replace the camshaft gears - it takes me around 4 hours per side, but it is somewhat tricky.
Hi Viktor!

I tried running with just the bothersome OCV disconnected (bank2, intake), and it wasn't happy about that, but didn't think to try all four. That's easy enough; I will do so the next time it acts up, thanks for the suggestion. Getting it to run reasonably well, _reliably_, would be a huge bonus, and screw the CELs, as long as it doesn't go into limp mode.

Did you do the camshaft gears with the engine in the vehicle, or on a stand? With it in the truck, it looks like four hours worth of work just to get to the timing chain cover :p And then the oil pump and coolant systems are involved with removing the cover. That's what discourages me; if you get that far, and then have issues with those, you have opened a potentially nasty can of worms. How bothersome was that during re-assembly? Did you need to mess with the oil pump, or just leave it in the cover?

In any event, I suppose I will find out, but probably not before warmer weather returns; my garage isn't heated, and my hoist is outside in the weather. (Snowing hard in Palmer Lake at the moment.) I suppose if I get it apart and have real issues, most of the disassembly would be the same as that required for a simple engine swap anyway. We can do engine swaps; no worries :)

Thanks again for your input. Anything else you might care to pass along appreciated.

ByeBye! Steve

(edit) PS, maybe you know: If I get an ECU at the salvage yard, _and_ the Immobilizer module from the same vehicle (and a matching key too, I suppose), will I be able to swap the pair in and have it work? Grasping at straws here, but if it comes to that . . .
 

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Hi Viktor!

Did you do the camshaft gears with the engine in the vehicle, or on a stand? With it in the truck, it looks like four hours worth of work just to get to the timing chain cover?
I had a couple sets of custom ground camshafts made for the truck and have done the camshaft swap twice before, with the engine in the truck.
http://www.tundratalk.net/forums/tu...dra-camshafts-finally-here-ready-testing.html
It takes me around 7 hours to replace all 4 cams, but if you just do one side, it is about a 4 hour job, if you know what you are doing and have the right tools.
The repair manual tells you to remove the timing cover but if you are really sneaky, you don't have to, just remove the valve covers, that's all.
If you remove the timing cover, you are looking at 2 days worth of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It takes me around 7 hours to replace all 4 cams, but if you just do one side, it is about a 4 hour job, if you know what you are doing and have the right tools.
The repair manual tells you to remove the timing cover but if you are really sneaky, you don't have to, just remove the valve covers, that's all.
If you remove the timing cover, you are looking at 2 days worth of work.
That's interesting. So, what; undo the nut on the camshaft gear and the cam bearing caps, carefully lift out the cam, then the gear? Yea, buddy; that looks like a _lot_ less bother, and a lot less chance of f_____g something up. Obviously there is enough slack in the chain to allow this, or you would never get the cam back in place. I'd imagine you would need to be very careful not to let the chain go slack and lose the position on the crank sprocket. This would make the job reasonable to the point where it would be worthwhile to try a used eBay part ($50) to see if it fixed the problem. I'm all for that.

What "special" tools did you need? I have a pretty complete set as far as standard hand tools; been collecting 'em for awhile.

And yea, the service manual has page after page of "remove this; remove that"; probably like 100 fasteners, in 50 different sizes :p Dauntingly complex.
 
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So, what; undo the nut on the camshaft gear and the cam bearing caps, carefully lift out the cam, then the gear? Obviously there is enough slack in the chain to allow this, or you would never get the cam back in place. I'd imagine you would need to be very careful not to let the chain go slack and lose the position on the crank sprocket.
Yea, I have always left the gears laying in the engine after unbolting the cams, but I am quite confident you should be able to take the chains off and remove the gears.
You have to back off the primary chain tensioners and pin them to hold them in the retracted position to get slack in the chain.
As I mentioned earlier, it is "tricky".

What "special" tools did you need?
We have a special tool to loosen/tighten the camshaft nut, but I think you could grind down a 17mm socket to make it shallow enough to fit in between the bolt head and timing chain cover.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hi Viktor!

I read thru that cam thread you posted earlier. First, congratulations on the new baby girl (new: close to a year, now), and really congrats on the impromptu delivery; I'll bet you have a real special feeling of ownership about that one, now and in the future. Good Job Daddy.

I'm sorry that your performance cam project didn't work out. Modern "Multi-physics" design simulation software is very good, everyone uses it these days, and optimized is _Optimized_; there just isn't anything left to do; clean up manufacturing tolerances, maybe. But you are definitely The Man as far as getting the cams in and out; probably almost do it in your sleep :)

Anyway, (I'm such a pest; last time, I promise.), I have another question about getting the timing apart w/o disassembling the timing cover. When you say that you retracted the primary chain tensioner, I'm assuming you mean the one below the exhaust cam gear? "Tricky" being reaching in from above with a long pry-bar and a 90˚ pick of some description to collapse the "plunger" and set the "stopper plate"? (See attachment from the manual.) I can't imagine how you would get a pin into it; a long, Long, forceps, maybe, but perhaps it isn't necessary?

No problem at all to make a tool to do the cam bolt; weld a socket to a length of small angle stock and grind to fit. I have a MIG, and large belt grinder that makes short work of that sort of task. (I also have a magnetic retriever to recover the bolt after I drop it down in there ;-)

From looking at your fotos of the head with the cam gears loose (thanks for those, BTW), it does appear that once both gears are loose, one could readily slip the chain off of the intake gear and lift both of them out of the engine. Reassembly would mostly be a matter of recovering the timing alignments and replacing the bolts. Does this sound right?

Thank you so much for this Most Excellent suggestion. I will put it to the test the next time we have a window of nice weather. Give the little one a kiss from "Grandpa Steve" in Colorado.

ByeBye, Steve
 

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Hi Viktor!
First, congratulations on the new baby girl (new: close to a year, now), and really congrats on the impromptu delivery; I'll bet you have a real special feeling of ownership about that one, now and in the future. Good Job Daddy.
Thanks man, it was definitely an experience one could never forget :)

When you say that you retracted the primary chain tensioner, I'm assuming you mean the one below the exhaust cam gear?
The engine has 4 timing chains and tensioners. The primary ones are the long chains and the tensioners that are behind the timing cover.

"Tricky" being reaching in from above with a long pry-bar and a 90˚ pick of some description to collapse the "plunger" and set the "stopper plate"? (See attachment from the manual.) I can't imagine how you would get a pin into it; a long, Long, forceps, maybe, but perhaps it isn't necessary?
Thankfully, it is not that hard. Toyota has provided us with 2 access holes in the timing cover that are plugged with 2 short fat bolts (plugs). See picture below for location.

No problem at all to make a tool to do the cam bolt; weld a socket to a length of small angle stock and grind to fit.
That should work just fine

I also have a magnetic retriever to recover the bolt after I drop it down in there ;-)
You won't be able to drop the bolt, there is not enough space between the cam gear and the timing cover for the bolt to fall out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks man, it was definitely an experience one could never forget :)
Thank _You_, Viktor!

I have ordered a pair of used, but supposedly good (they appear to be clean, anyway) camshaft gears from an eBay seller in Denver. $100. Armed with those, I'll see if I can't do a swap the next time we few a few days of nice weather lined up. The prospect of being able to do this w/o disturbing the timing cover, or intake manifold is highly motivating.
I'll come back here with a report, maybe even a write-up and some fotos when I get it done.

Steve
 
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