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2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T 3.6L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Came across this forum about a week ago when trying to research a valvetrain ticking sound in my wife's 2016 Grand Caravan with the 3.6L. As I quickly learned from all the threads on rocker arm failure, this is something that is definitely not unknown among Pentastar drivers, but I was encouraged to see many repair tips/links posted by folks who have been there before. I felt pretty motivated to knock it out myself given that the ticking only started very recently, and so I was crossing my fingers that not too much wear had been done to the affected cam lobe. I became extra motivated when our local mechanic confirmed the ticking as a failed rocker arm and said replacing the whole engine was the only reasonable option.

To make a long story short, I resolved to change out all of the rocker arms and lifters on the right side, and I purchased a set of cam phaser locks and timing chain holders with the plan to remove one cam at a time in order to be able to get at the rockers/lifters relatively quickly and easily using a technique demonstrated in a Youtube video that showed removing the oil control valve from one cam and with the cam phaser lock wedge still in place, sliding the phaser back just enough to clear the end of the cam. Everything went fine with the intake cam, both with the removal and the re-installation of everything. But when I went to do the same with the exhaust cam, upon sliding the phaser off of the camshaft the silly timing chain holder slipped off of the tensioner arm which caused the timing chain to pull the phaser out of the phaser lock.

I was immediately super grateful that I had initially hand-cranked the timing to TDC on #1 and put paint marks on the timing chain, as I was under the impression that all I needed was to reposition the timing chain holder and make sure of the marks. BUT, no matter what I have tried, after hours and hours, I can't get the timing chain around both phasers and get the loose phaser back on the end of the camshaft. I've tried every way I can think of to confirm that the timing chain holder is correctly positioned and fully engaged with the tensioner arm (including buying another one, this time stamped Mopar for $90). I've tried taking the intake phaser off, installing the exhaust phaser first and then the intake phaser, with no luck. I ended up taking the left side cylinder head cover off just to make sure that I really was correct about the timing. I've taken both right side camshafts back off, removed the rocker arms, and put the cams back in place in the hopes that maybe the lack of pressure from the valve springs would make a difference, with still no luck. Every resource that I have consulted (including TechAuthority after buying a few days of a subscription) implies that there should be enough slack with the timing chain holder in place to get the phasers back on the cam ends, but there just isn't. Nothing that I can find suggests that it should even be hard, so I'm at a loss as to what to try next. I really really don't want to have to pull the timing cover, but I'm afraid that may be my only option. Really hoping that one of y'all has a tip that can save me from that heartache, though!

Attaching a picture of the closest I can get the second phaser to it's camshaft end (intake in this case). Thanks y'all!

Johnny

Gear Automotive tire Engineering Rim Auto part
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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That right side is a bit of a pain at times. Same thing happened to me when changing my cam. Since you have the rear cam on, all you need to do is rotate the crank backwards slightly to relieve the pressure. From there gentle prying should be all you need. Get the OCV started in the hole before you get too worried about aligning the cam to the phaser. On all of mine the marks are not perfectly lined up, so don't freak out if it's close but not on the mark. Best thing is you marked the links, so you don't have to count links like I did. :p
 

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2016 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T 3.6L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Sienile You, sir, are the hero that I desperately needed. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to turn the crank backwards to get the slack around to the front of the chain, but that did the trick! The super tight clearances still ended up making it a real pain, but the final technique that I ended up using was to back out the OCV on the rear phaser enough to allow me to slide just barely off the exhaust camshaft end so that I could position the other phaser next to it and put the phaser lock in place between them. I had the timing chain on the exhaust phaser and then had held sort of in place in front of the intake phaser with a bungie cord that was hooked around the windshield wiper. Once I got the phaser lock all the way seated between both phasers I put a really big white nylon zip tie around the phaser-lock-phaser sandwich and cinched it as tight as I could get it. Then I slid the whole thing back along the exhaust OCV until just before the phaser seated on the camshaft end and wiggled the intake phaser under the timing chain, which got me pretty much to the same place that I was in when I took the picture last night, except with the phasers locked together and spaced just right. Then when I leaned counterclockwise on the crankshaft just a little, the intake phaser rotated up just right and both phasers slid onto their respective camshafts at the same time. Spun the crank around two full revolutions and the timing marks were all still dead on!

For anyone else thinking about tackling this repair, I would still endorse the method using the timing chain holders and phaser locks so that you can pull the cam and swap out rockers and lifters without having to squeeze them out from under the lobes in place (and then pop the replacements back in the same way). BUT, here's the crucial caveat that I didn't learn until after consulting the TechAuthority service information: when putting the timing chain holder in place on the right side, you have to put a wrench on the exhaust cam and turn it clockwise just a hair in order to put tension on the timing chain which compresses the chain tensioner just a little and allows the timing chain holder to move into place very easily to compress the tensioner the rest of the way. The Youtube videos that I watched beforehand were really great, but they missed out on this detail for some reason. If you try to just push the right side timing chain holder into place the way that they show without compressing the tensioner just a little with the chain, you're going to have a bad time, especially with the cheap Chinese repro tools which are flimsy as ****. Also, if you're going with the technique where you have the phaser lock in place and slide one phaser off its camshaft at a time, do yourself a favor and put a zip tie around the whole thing as well; it might save you several hours of hair pulling. Also, I think that especially when doing it on the exhaust cam, the risk of having the chain guide shift on its mounting pin and the timing chain holder slipping out of place is pretty high unless you plan ahead and put a shim or something to keep the chain guide from moving. If I had a zip tie in place around both phasers when this happened to me while sliding the exhaust phaser to clear its camshaft, it probably would have kept it all together and prevented most of my issue, but the chain holder falling out of position isn't just an annoyance, so I'd say go ahead and shim/wedge just in case. And of course, take the time to find TDC on #1, confirm that the indicator marks are arranged as they should be, and put paint marks on the chain links and bearing caps to correspond with the appropriate marks, just in case the worst should happen.
 
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