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My local mechanic said I might have a faulty cam variator. Anyone has this problem? please advise?
 

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Yup, not that uncommon. It fails internally and cause cam timing to change enough to damage the valves.

I recommend getting it repaired.
 

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Yes, it's a known problem that so far has typically shown itself on the QP Duo and 4200 models. If you hear top end noise / clicking etc that is persistant (i.e. not just for a minute or two at startup) or get a related code pop up on your car, get it fixed right away.

Many times you can diagnose wheter it's the variator itself or the sensor by disconnecting the plug to the sensors and driving the car, if the noise quiets, the car has reverted to it's default / safe timing and it's likely going to be the sensor.

However if it still makes noise, you may have a fault in the variator itself or you may have already caused a bit of damage and even though the variator positions to the default / safe position the noise will persist.

Hope that helps!

Best Regards,
-- Jeff
 

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I would not attempt the repair by yourself unless you are quite used to working on modern cars, have the tools and skills necessary to complete the job and understand the problem / solution I've described.

i.e. By the small amount of direction I've provided... you can say, no problem, I can do that.

If you're not sure, take it to a quality service center and let them know a hint as to what the problem may be... they may not be familiar with this problem for the Maserati, but they will understand how to fix it based on their industry training.

Best Regards,
-- Jeff
 

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Jeff, is this something a decent DIY guy can do

Not a good idea unless you are proficient in timing Ferrari engines.

Complaint - chatter on cold start that gets progressively worse, can sometimes fade with engine warm up but never really goes away. Sometimes can hear a misfire through exhaust.

Repair - cam variators and variator solenoids removed. Variators sent to MNA, they send to their machine shop and repair, then send back to dealer. New solenoids and repaired variators installed - engine re-timed. Car will be down for several days. Once MNA gets the variators it can be as quick as a two day or as long as 5 days to see the parts again. We have not noticed any reoccuring symptoms once this proceedure has been done.
 

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OK, experienced mechanic here, but not experienced with this type of set-up.

Does anyone have a shop pic or actual picture that shows how this technolody is deployed on the Mas? Is it for two or four of the cams? Is is electriconally driven or inerita (the solenoid word makes my think electical but struggling to imagain how that would be integrated into the taiming system)?

Jeff, where are the sensors you are referring to?

Any known contributors alluded to by MNA? Oil change frequency, oil grade, faulty selenoids, not enough warm-up time, desingn flaw?

Are the parts that are returned for reinstalllation "improved" or just new?

Are we talking potentially bent valves and the need to pull heads here??!!

Thanks.
 

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Jeff- What code would likely be pulled if the Variator was the issue?

You may want to check with a scanner first before bringing to another mechanic.
 

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Amending my post above.

The variator and solenoid will be a new part, the cam bearing cap will be sent to MNA to be machined and sent back to be put back on the motor.

Usually it is a misfire code, then we have to check the electronic timing values to make sure they are within spec.

There is no clear indication as to why this occurs. I have seen cars come in that barely exhibit the "chatter" , and I have seen them where there is a clear audible misfire in conjunction with the chatter. I have also seen cars that the client states there is a chatter, but when it gets here.....nothing. We keep the car for a couple days to perform cold starts and have a video recorder on it every time we start it. It may be three or four days before we can get the car to do it.

If your car does this intermittently, I recommend recording your cold starts to catch it in the act. This will save a great deal of down time with your dealer.
 

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How many of the cams are we talking about here? Are two affected or all four?

I've heard reference to a twenty hour job on the forum. Is that if you need to pull the heads for valve damage or is this just speaking to peulling the valve covers and making the updates to the variators and solenoids?

Thanks.
 

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How many of the cams are we talking about here? Are two affected or all four?

I've heard reference to a twenty hour job on the forum. Is that if you need to pull the heads for valve damage or is this just speaking to peulling the valve covers and making the updates to the variators and solenoids?

Thanks.

Two cam variators, easy 16 hour job. We have not seen valve damage on any car as of yet.
 

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So that's 16 actual or 16 book hours? Do you have a procedure that you can post for us? I'd love to look it over and know upfront if this is something that I could handle.

For example, does it involve pulling anything other the the valve covers and timing system apart and then removing the cams? Does the washer system need to come out to get access?

Thanks.
 

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I'll post something up when I get to the store tomorrow. All of the variators we have done have been on warranty cars. If you are to do this yourself, how are you planning on machining the cam caps? Doing this without that step may lend this job to another failure down the road.
 

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Awesome. Thanks. I appreciate it!

I assume one could do all the assembly/disassembly loabor and send out the cams, right? Also, why is their machining needed for the cam caps? I guess I just don't understand the design on this system so the photos and procesure will be very enlightening.
 

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Cams are not removed. They are held in place while the variators are removed, then cap removed.

Think of the cap as a double arched bridge that is bolted down over the cam ends. One arch for intake cam and the other for exhaust.
 

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In the mean time, heres what i found on google.

Though it is not numbered, the cap is between pn/43 and 45.

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/userImages/106/Medium/106_004.gif


Variators are pn/ 25

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/userImages/035/Medium/035_005.gif


(note this is for a 4200, but the same process and parts)
When doing this work are there improvements performed/parts replaced that will stop this common problem from happening again? If a vehicle has had this work done, I would assume its one more thing under the cars belt to not go wrong again...
 

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When doing this work are there improvements performed/parts replaced that will stop this common problem from happening again? If a vehicle has had this work done, I would assume its one more thing under the cars belt to not go wrong again...
Yes, this is the million $ question. Does anyone know if the machining of the cams prevents the problem from happening again (or in the first place if we proactively pull them off and have them machined)?

Was this issues addressed in later in production years (07-08 for example)?

Honestly, this is grounds for a class-action suit. Any attorney's on the forum? Who would we work through in gov to pursue a lemon-related class-action suit like this?
 
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