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How-To: Cruze/Sonic 1.4L Turbo LUV/LUJ Timing Adjustment

193262 Views 153 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  VegasSonic
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.


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Timing adjustment tutorial is complete. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
Is there any way to do this without them tools
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