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Hey guys, there is something that I learned today that I want to share with you. I condemned a new Spider owners vvt solenoid that we couldn't get to activate when applying 12v to it.

He sourced a new one, and the the dead one stayed on my shelf. Tonight my curiosity took over and I decided to take the plastic end cap off, and started poking around. I eventually realized the guts would come apart and was surprised and excited to find the parts were so gritty feeling as they came out. So I cleaned the parts, lubed them up and put them back in, and tested the solenoid and it works!!! Also, did you know that putting a simple 9v battery to the blade terminals of the solenoid is enough to test it (no need to jumper 12v to it from somewhere else on the car).

So although the vvt can still fail electronically, if you test it and it doesn't trigger, check to make sure the guts aren't binding from a build up of internal crud.
 

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Hey guys, there is something that I learned today that I want to share with you. I condemned a new Spider owners vvt solenoid that we couldn't get to activate when applying 12v to it.

He sourced a new one, and the the dead one stayed on my shelf. Tonight my curiosity took over and I decided to take the plastic end cap off, and started poking around. I eventually realized the guts would come apart and was surprised and excited to find the parts were so gritty feeling as they came out. So I cleaned the parts, lubed them up and put them back in, and tested the solenoid and it works!!! Also, did you know that putting a simple 9v battery to the blade terminals of the solenoid is enough to test it (no need to jumper 12v to it from somewhere else on the car).

So although the vvt can still fail electronically, if you test it and it doesn't trigger, check to make sure the guts aren't binding from a build up of internal crud.
Hi Mike,

Nice picture. Thanks for sharing.

Glad to hear that the VVT is working and was just needed a cleaning.

I can see the little pin that comes out of the VVT when activated and the spring that is around the pin to retract it.

Dangerous here, but I am assuming that the big pin pushes the little pin.

If I am correct, does anyone know how that big pin pushes the little pin out?

I dont understand how that little pin gets pushed out.
 

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Hey Vince,
Yes, the big pin pushes that little pin.
I'm guessing the power to the solenoid creates some kind of magnetic field that advances the big pin, and then the little spring on the little pin retracts when the power is cut off to the solenoid.
I couldn't believe how those pins were border line seized inside there.
 

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Seems like someone could start a cottage industry, cleaning and refurbing these (and maybe similar other parts ??) on an exchange basis, so that cars get back on the road quickly...and costs stay in line.
 

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Seems like someone could start a cottage industry, cleaning and refurbing these (and maybe similar other parts ??) on an exchange basis, so that cars get back on the road quickly...and costs stay in line.
That's funny, a co-worker that I share my Alfa repair and learning experiences with, said the exact thing to me yesterday. Here's an idea... you supply the cottage and I'll supply the labour!!!
 

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that's a good bit of info Mike!

Mine is from an S4, and looks slightly different (white end cap, and inside there is sort of a shoulder over which a small O ring fits.......perhaps an improved version?;))

anyways, just went out and took the end off my VVT (OK mine was working, but just to check....kinda preventative medicine if you will!).........all OK, pops in and out as smooth as silk....oily in fact, although none is leaking out.

some photos just to show the small O ring in there and the thin rubber seal around the end cap, which one shouldn't lose;)
 

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I found that out as well. This morning I took apart another solenoid (white end cap), which in speaking and confirming with what Vince has on his car, I concluded the white one were on S4's. Yes, it has the additional o-ring and I also noticed the larger pin also has a flat down its length. Like you said, perhaps improvements.

I hope this info helps save un-dead solenoids from finding their way into the garbage.
 

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Mike,

I have an 87 Quadrifoglio and verified my VVT solenoid does not work when a 9v battery is attached to the spade terminals. I removed it and took off the black plastic end cap just like your original picture. How did you remove the big pin? I tried grabbing mine with pliers, but it won't budge.
 

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try to avoid scoring up the pin with naked pliers, use a bit of leather and mole grips (vice grips I think you call them) and try twisting it whilst gently pulling and pushing and spraying release lubricant like PB or similar.

It should move freely, that's why it aint working in your case (unless the electric solenoid has also given up the ghost)
 

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Thanks very much Dom. I was able to get the big pin out using your instructions. Once I cleaned it up, I was able to verify the solenoid works with a 9v battery. I will install it in my car tomorrow.
 

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that's a good bit of info Mike!

Mine is from an S4, and looks slightly different (white end cap, and inside there is sort of a shoulder over which a small O ring fits.......perhaps an improved version?;))

anyways, just went out and took the end off my VVT (OK mine was working, but just to check....kinda preventative medicine if you will!).........all OK, pops in and out as smooth as silk....oily in fact, although none is leaking out.

some photos just to show the small O ring in there and the thin rubber seal around the end cap, which one shouldn't lose;)
Good evening-I just did a inspection on my VVT and mine is lacking the small O ring and the thin rubber seal around the end cap. It pops in and out very smoothly. Also ran 12 volts and heard the clicking sound. I would like to replace both the O ring and the rubber seal at the end cap would anyone know the correct size or any recommendations on where to find replacements.
Thanks In Advance,
Chuck
 

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Good evening-I just did a inspection on my VVT and mine is lacking the small O ring and the thin rubber seal around the end cap
there is also an O ring behind the VVT mount where the little "T" plunger goes through the cam cover....that O ring is size: A-007
(I know it's not what you are asking about, just VVT info for this thread!)

Somewhere I have a brand new solenoid, if I find it I will have a look.
 

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That's funny I didn't notice that O-Ring either. I guess the previous owner had this apart and forgot to reinstall with the rings(not surprised) Amazon does sell the A-007 O-Ring that would be great if you can find that other solenoid lying around so I can replace both at the same time. Thanks again Dom.
Chuck
 

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Chuck,
well I found it eventually:)

Strangely it did not have the cover gasket (but it is NOS, as those screws were in there really tight, and had a slight threadlock on them!)
the little O ring that fits on the brass sleeve is really very flimsy but I measured as carefully as I can and came up with:

ID (inner diameter): 10.16 mm
CS (cross-section): 1.05 mm

closest O ring in metric to that would be called:
1mm CS x 10mm ID
1mm CS X 10mm ID (NBR) Buna-N 70 Duro Metric O-Ring [N1.00X010] : The O-Ring Store LLC, We make getting O-Rings easy!

the 'ceramic' cover (material is similar to a ceramic fuse) has a little bevel (my jewellers screwdriver is pointing to this bevel in the 2nd photo) that accomodates this O ring when it is all screwed tight together, and even the male spade connectors are sleeved in plastic or rubber.

VVT ceramic cover.jpg

VVT O ring.jpg

Dom
 

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That is strange that your NOS didn't have a cover gasket also. Thank you for taking the time and supplying me with that O-Ring information I really appreciate it. The funny thing is I see no signs of any oil leaks new or old but I will install them as preventative maintenance.
Thanks,
Chuck
 

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tbh I cannot see how oil would leak from there anyway.
I think it is more to keep water/dust out and keep the small amount of factory lubricating oil in!

If the O ring in the cam cover leaked, it would leak downwards before travelling along the pin, jumping over to the solenoid pin and into the solenoid;)
 
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