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Old 03-15-2020, 01:14 PM   #1
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VarioCam Tensioner (97 boxster)

Would anyone happen to know what size bolt is used to compress the Tensioner for removal. I know there is a special tool for it but would think you could make your own for a lot less money.

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Old 03-18-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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I am sure not all years are the same but the one for my 2001 had reverse threads.

Try here: Vario Cam Adjuster Plunger question re: P1324 code
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:46 AM   #3
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It is reverse thread, it's identified as a special tool 9632, tensioning screw
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:56 AM   #4
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This post is quoted from the thread that Dsallean linked, with Bold and Blue added for emphasis:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
Brilliant work ! Love the turnbuckle.
Later cars are different :
1. Beware of changes to Variocam Actuator internals according to year
2. in 2000 (?) the r.h. 10-32 thread was changed to 5mmx 0.8 LEFT hand !
You can find 5mm brass rod, M5x0.8 L.H. die and steel nuts on EBay but from China ! I do not think there is enough material on the Variocam to enlarge to M6x1.0, Right Hand.
3,Make sure the pad with the 'o' ring and 2 holes is correctly oriented .It will fit in the wrong position very well ! Note the OP's photo that shows this well.
4. Check many times that the "7 link" spacing has not slipped or you will be chasing ghosts and doing over eventually . A dot on the two chosen links from a paint pen is helpful.
5. Consider temporarily screwing in some aluminum rod into the lower cam cap/cam cover holes to support the cams when positioning them
6. Beware of falling exhaust lifters
7. Apply Assembly Grease to the cam bearings, cam caps and lifter tops to avoid a 'dry' start.
8. Apply the 1mm bead of 3Bond or similar to the cam cover, not the cyl head.
9. Consider applying just a little thread sealant(not locker !) under the heads of the cam cover bolts to prevent leakage. Torque down in stages and use a click/beep t.wrench for the final.You can not see the wrench
10. Look carefully at the bolts . Those that thread into steel are 10.9. Those that thread into aluminum are 8.8. That is a huge clue to the correct torque.
10.9 grade 6mm bolts are torqued to 10 ft/lbs = 13Nm. -only in to steel not aluminum !!
* 8.8 grade 6mm bolts are torqued to 7.5 ft/lbs =10Nm* . For aluminum. Don't muddle the steel vs. aluminum or you will be Helicoiling. For both, tighten in at least 3 progressive stages.
11. If you use a zip tie - beware that the entire force of the big spring in The Actuator is trying to bend the tint plastic tang that engages on the little ribs of the plastic zip tie. When that inevitably fails....be ready or use a threaded rod as described above.

I'll do a write up for the later cars when I get mine fixed.
I can verify that the variocam adjuster pulled from my '01 was left threaded M5 0.8, but I don't think that's what you want for a '97 according to what Gelbster posted. Trust the Gelb'.

I am not an attorney, mechanic, or member of the clergy. Following any advice given in my posts is done at your own peril.
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