It's a 36mm socket to turn the front pulley.
Make sure you put rags under the chain BEFORE you start pulling the master link. If the chain drops into the engine it's not hard to get it with a long magnet but lose a part of the master, lose one of the 4 small pieces that make up the master link and you will be in for an engine pull.
Yes, that's normal for a 20 plus year old VVT that had or has an oil leak from the small o-ring. Might as we'll change it while the VVT is off.