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· Administrator
14,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cruze/Sonic 1.4L Turbo LUV/LUJ Timing Adjustment

There's a surprising lack of articles on this subject, so I'm writing an article on how to adjust timing on the 1.4L Turbo. This will need to be done any time you have to remove a cam, a sprocket, or the timing chain for any reason. Most enthusiasts will need this in order to upgrade valve springs. This tutorial is designed to help you understand what needs to be done to adjust timing and in what order and assumes that you are disconnecting the camshafts. Any time the camshaft bolts are removed, timing has to be adjusted.

If you're here reading this, it is assumed you have some mechanical aptitude and aren't intimidated by removing the cams, or you can afford to have your car inoperable for a weekend. This thread is intended to help you understand the function of each of the tools you are going to be using to set the timing. Ultimately it doesn't matter how you take apart the valvetrain or in what order, but it will certainly help to move things along smoothly if you follow the order I'll describe here.

Tools Required:
- 1.4L timing tool kit. You can get this on This tool kit is absolutely required. You can find identical tool kits in blue boxes or use the Kent-Moore tool if you're lucky enough to find someone who has it or have deep pockets, but this low-cost option works perfectly.
- 22mm wrench
- Assortment of torx bits up to T50
- Ft Lb and In Lb Torque wrenches
- 24mm socket and extension

Parts Required:
- 2 x GM Camshaft Bolts, 55562224; Available on These are TTY and MUST be replaced.

In order to do this job, you will need to buy the tool kit I listed or get the Kent-Moore equivalent (for several times the cost). I've marked each of the tool with a letter to make this easier.

Tool D is the crankshaft fixing tool, which holds the crank at perfectly TDC.
Tool E is the timing chain tensioner fixing tool, which locks the timing chain tensioner in a compressed position.
Tool B is the camshaft locking plate, which holds the camshafts aligned in the correct position relative to the crank at TDC.
Tool C is the intake sprocket holding tool. This is used to hold the intake sprocket in place in addition to maintaining the correct tension on the timing chain.
Tool A is the exciter ring positioning tool. The exciter rings have grooves in specific locations which are used by the sensors on the timing cover to read camshaft position and allow the ECU to manage valve timing. The exciter rings are not marked or grooved and are held in place by the clamping force of the TTY cam bolts.

First thing you need to do is remove the valve cover, tutorial for that is here:

Once you do that, you need Piston 1 (passenger-most piston) at approximately TDC. Easiest way to do this is is to remove all of the spark plugs and stick a straw down into the piston, then turn the crank. You can use the 22mm wrench on the cam to turn it, or give the alternator pulley a good twist with your hand. When the straw is at at the top, you're at approximately TDC.

Next, we're going to use Tool D, the "crank fixing tool". Get under the car and look for the following torx plug on the forward facing side of the engine just above the oil pan. Don't need to drain oil to do this.

Remove the plug and insert Tool D to lock the crank at TDC. The tool should go all the way in as shown below. If it doesn't, reach your hand up and turn the alternator pulley until the tool slides all the way in.

Next, go to the driver side of the engine. Right above the belt, but below the crankshaft position actuator solenoid valve, you'll find another torx plug. Remove this as well.

Remove the timing chain guide (the orange plastic thing between the sprockets held down by two bolts).

Place the 22mm wrench over the cam as shown below and pull toward the front of the car to stretch the chain against the tensioner.

While holding tension on the cam, insert tool E, the "timing chain tensioner fixing tool". This part is a bit tricky since you can't see anything in there and don't even know if you're going in straight. Just keep working at it. This picture will show you where you should be going. There is an upside-down "U" shape you need to slide the pin through.

You now have the crank locked at TDC and the timing chain tensioner locked in the compressed position. You are now ready to remove the camshaft position actuator solenoid valves from the side of the engine, remove the camshaft bolts, and do whatever else you might need to. Once you remove the camshaft bolts, the sprockets will simply rest on the timing cover, allowing you to work with the rest of the valvetrain easily.

Camshaft removal and reinstall will be outlined in another thread. During disassembly, be careful to organize all of the parts you take off so they can be placed back in exactly the same location. This includes camshaft rotation, rocker arms, and bearing caps. You will need to place everything back where it was before.

Next post will describe how to set timing during re-assembly.


· Administrator
14,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Install new camshaft bolts hand-snug to hold everything together.

With the 22mm wrench on the intake cam, pull toward the front of the car to apply tension to the timing chain. While holding tension, remove Tool E to unlock the timing chain tensioner and apply tension to the timing chain, slowly releasing the 22mm wrench.

Rotate camshafts so you can slide tool B, the "camshaft locking plate," into the grooves on the ends of the camshafts to lock them in place.

Rotate cam phasers in the following alignment:

Install Tool C, the "intake sprocket holding tool." This tool will maintain proper tension on the chain while holding the intake sprocket in place. Start with the sprocket holder at the bottom-most position, bolt the tool into place, then push the holder toward the sprocket and tighten firmly. You can see where the sprocket holder is marked with an arrow on the back side below. Install Tool A, the "exciter ring positioning tool." All bolts on the tools need to be tightened to 71 lb in. Make sure there is no clearance at the two outer mounting points on the exciter ring positioning tool.

You can now tighten the camshaft bolts. Be sure to hold the camshaft with the 22mm wrench while tightening. The timing tools are intended to be used for alignment, not to hold everything in place while cam bolts are being tightened. The torque spec for the cam bolts is 37lb ft + 60 degrees. For reference, 60 degrees is the distance from one corner of a hex socket/nut to the next. I didn't have a specific tool for this so I printed an angle on a paper, cut it out, and had someone hold it up to the wrench for me.

Once cam bolts are tightened, remove Tool A, B, and C.

Install the timing chain guide, tighten bolts to 71 lb in.

Rotate engine 720 degrees, set back to TDC, and double check timing with tools A, B, and D.

Remove all timing tools.

Reinstall the two plugs you removed and tighten to 30 lb ft.


· Administrator
14,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you! Another excellent tutorial!

Question: In Part 2; can I turn the crank shaft in either direction (clockwise or counter clockwise)? I've heard that turning it in the wrong direction (counter-clockwise?) will cause damage to the engine.

Thanks again!
Fairly certain it won't cause damage, but I'd just turn it the normal way. I believe engine normally operates clockwise, so just do that.

· Administrator
14,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great tutorial, but when rechecking the timing, after rotating the crank 720°, did you mean to use tools A, B, and D, instead of A, B and C.
Yes, that was my mistake. I'll update that.

· Administrator
14,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Thanks for the tutorial, I am doing a head gasket job on my 2011 Chevy Cruze and will be reinstalling my cylinder head this week. I had issues with my cylinder head bolt removal and had to drill them out and ended up removing my camshaft to create more space. Does anyone have any information on these camshaft bolts (are they TTY, where to get them/part number)? I appreciate any help.
They're TTY.

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