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Discussion Starter #1
TL;DR: When you start the cold engine (sometimes) it makes a sound as if the engine has thrown a rod or spun a bearing. Video of the engine making the sound is attached.


So about 7-8 months ago my engine (2ZZ-GE) started to make a sound. when i start it when its cold, sometimes (2 times out of 10 maybe) the engine makes a very bad sound for only a second. Sounds just like when you spin a rod bearing (I have had the unfortunate pleasure of hearing that)
The sound is there for only a second and it disappears. no matter how many times you try to start it again it doesn't make that sound. I was with a mechanic once for this issue but the damn car just wouldn't make the sound so he could analyze it. So gave up.

It still does the sound every now and then.
The car drives perfectly normal,
I change the engine oil religiously at around 2500 miles,
No CEL,
No Oil warning light,
Oil is perfectly clear since the last 1000 miles after changing it,
and the oil level is full.

Im stumped. I scraped an engine because it spun a rod bearing and this sounds just like that and it scares me. I dont want this engine to be scrapped as well, as this is my daily. Any diagnoses? I have caught it on camera, watch this few seconds clip where you can clearly hear the sound.


Any help would be very much appreciated as my finances would not allow me to have another scrapped engine.
Thank you!
 

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That is the VTC/VVT actuator/cam gear rattling before it gets oil pressure. Very common issue for any cars with variable valve timing. I believe the intake cam has to be removed to get the VTC gear off for replacement. My 2ZZ does it too and has for the past 20k miles. I'll probably replace it the next time I have more than one reason to pull the valve cover.
The original engine in my Acura did this too.... Only on cold starts, for near 90k miles until the timing chain stretched enough to jump a tooth.
VTC rattle is likely not good for your timing chain, cam, rockers, etc.
Supposedly you can usually avoid the rattle by priming the oil system by bumping the starter without starting the car. Haven't tried it yet myself.
 

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VVT lock pin noise.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
That is the VTC/VVT actuator/cam gear rattling before it gets oil pressure. Very common issue for any cars with variable valve timing. I believe the intake cam has to be removed to get the VTC gear off for replacement. My 2ZZ does it too and has for the past 20k miles. I'll probably replace it the next time I have more than one reason to pull the valve cover.
The original engine in my Acura did this too.... Only on cold starts, for near 90k miles until the timing chain stretched enough to jump a tooth.
VTC rattle is likely not good for your timing chain, cam, rockers, etc.
Supposedly you can usually avoid the rattle by priming the oil system by bumping the starter without starting the car. Haven't tried it yet myself.
THANK YOU. I was scared for my rod bearings. Okay I understand now. So I can just swap out the intake pulley and be done with it? Like you would on a 4AGE? Those things had this issue too i think. It was simple to fix tho just take the belt off and replace the intake cam pulley. Is it similar to that in essence? Or is it more complicated? And thank you so much for your info on this you just made me happy, i couldn't figure it out and had lost a lot of sleep over it thinking on it haha
 

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Discussion Starter #6
VVT lock pin noise.
Thank you so much!, Also is there a way to just swap out the lock pin? or any other relatively easier way that im not aware of? (I've heard cleaning the intake cam gear with WD40 or a carb cleaner will do the trick BUT that feels very sketchy to me) I haven't seen this particular intake cam gear upclose so i don't know if that is possible or not. Or do i have to replace the whole cam gear? Is there any other way to fix this that im not aware of?
And again, Thank you so much for the quick help i truly do appreciate it.
 

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There is an updated VVT assembly. Last I knew, the new p/n was 13050-22012. There is a TSB for the correct installation procedure.
 
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There is an updated VVT assembly. Last I knew, the new p/n was 13050-22012. There is a TSB for the correct installation procedure.
Thats a ton of help. Thank you.
On a different note do i have to get my valves adjusted? I've been meaning to do so but 3 mechanics, friends of mine said that these Toyota engines do not need any adjustment whatsoever. I find that hard to believe.
 

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On a different note do i have to get my valves adjusted?
Usually, no. Unless something "happened". You can measure them. Under normal circumstances, the valve lash is factory set & good for the life of the engine. There isn't an "adjustment" per se, like older engines. It requires changing bucket "shims" to get the correct gap. PIA
 
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