EL Falcon Hybrid Camshaft Timing
Last week we came across an interesting fact – a number of early 1998 model EL Falcons were fitted with a ‘revised’ I6 engine which would eventually be the engine of choice for the AU Falcon.
The reason that this came to our attention was that we had a reader (Hi Ron!) who was following the E-Series Falcon Head Gasket Replacement Tutorial and had trouble with setting the camshaft timing.
Ron was able to send through some pictures of his engine which showed that the camshaft lobes were not in the correct position when the timing was set using the ‘normal’ straight six Falcon method. Also of interest was the two yellow links in the timing chain itself.
And the incorrect cam lobe positions -
After a bit of digging around we were able to locate some information that explained the differences in Ron’s engine compared to most other E-series Falcons. Here is the email that was sent to the Ford dealers around the country -
4.0L Engine Revision
As of January 1998, EL Falcon will be fitted with a revised I6 engine. The revision will be completely transparent as far as the Customer is concerned (no change to engine appearance, power output fuel economy, service requirements, etc). It will also be transparent to you as far as basic engine maintenance and diagnostic procedures are concerned.
However, where internal engine repairs are to be performed, it is important that the Technician realises the difference and is aware of the unique engine re-assembly procedures and specifications.
Interchangeability of parts between the old and the new level engines is not possible except where replacement part numbers are unchanged. Do not attempt to fit new level parts to the new engine, or vice versa.
There will be a period during January 1998 when both the old and the new level engines will be used at the Assembly plant. Thus the vehicle build date may not necessarily identify the level of engine fitted to the vehicle.
Old level engines can be identified by a 95DA of 95DT casting on the cylinder head and a 96DA casting on the engine block.
New level engines can be identified by a 96DA or 96DT casting on the cylinder head and a VR2A casting on the engine block.
Note: Approximately 1,600 of these new engines will have the old level head and valvetrain fitted. The same idetification method may be used to individually identify new/old level heads.
Generally speaking, the engine dissassembly/assembly procedures are unchanged. The main difference is the size and shape of various internal components. It is important that only new level components are used as replacement parts as in many cases the old level parts will not fit or will lead to the failure of other components.
With respect to major engine repairs, the main points that you will need to keep in mind are:
-revised hardware tightening torque specifications (some components are now ‘torque to yield’).
-revised bolt tightening sequences.
-revised camshaft-to-crankshaft timing procedure.
Lash Adjuster Removal
The procedure for lash adjuster removal is unchanged. However the retaining ring has been deleted so that the piston may separate from the main body during removal if care is not taken. It is still recommended that the lash adjuster not be dismantled.
The following list identifies the upgraded parts used in the Falcon I6 engine
-Engine Block (identified by VR2A casting instead of 96DA)
-Idler Sprocker Bolt (black finish)
-Crankshaft Main Bearing Caps
-Con Rod Nuts & Bolts (WR2A stamped on bolt) – torque to yield
-Flywheel Bolts (auto trans only)
-Cylinder Head (identified by 96DA or 96DT casting insted of 94DA or 95DT)
-Camshaft Sprocket Bolt (black finish)
-Inlet and Exhaust Valves, Guides, Springs and Stem Seals
-Rocker Arms and Washers
-Rocker Shafts and Supports
Torque To Yield. Components MUST be discarded and replaced if removed or loosened.
-Con Rod Nuts : 25Nm, then rotate an additional 90 degrees.
-Camshaft & Idler Sprocket Bolts : 20Nm, then rotate an additional 40 degrees.
On the chance that another one of our readers has one of the 1600 or so EL’s fitted with these ‘revised’ engine I asked Ron if he could supply some images for an article and thankfully he agreed.
So basically the only changes that will be seen by someone following our guide will be the change in the procedure for setting the camshaft timing, the camshaft sprocket bolt torque setting, the presence of two yellow links in the timing chain and the fact that the lifters or lash adjusters are not a sealed unit and are able to be dismantled.
The image below, although very ordinary I admit,?shows the correct camshaft timing settings. Instead of lining the mark up with the left-hand side of the cylinder head deck the timing mark is centred between the two yellow links. Further down you will see Ron’s engine with the cam timing set correctly.
And the CORRECT cam lobe positions looking from both sides of the engine-
The jury is still out on timing chain tensioner adjustment and setting procedure, as of this time I have not been able to find out weather or not there is any change from the ‘old’ engine but the investigation is on-going.
So if you have a late-model EL and are contemplating doing this job yourself please be mindful of these changes and if you spot a timing chain with two pretty yellow links in it be sure to follow the timing procedures set out here.
A BIG Thank You goes out to Ron for taking the time to supply these images.