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996 cab 06-29-2011 09:13 PM

Issue with P253 camshaft timing tool
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Trying to install the P253 camshaft timing tool to remove hold camshafts down while removing the cam cover on side 1-3. It seems the black inserts' diameters are too large. Engine is at TDC with 5/16 pin inserted. This is the same method Wayne used in 101 projects for Boxster. What am I missing here? This is a 2001 Carrera Cab.

Do I need to loosen the cam cover some first??

logray 06-29-2011 10:36 PM

NO, do not loosen any bolts on the cover until the tool is installed properly.

Try rotating the engine 360 again and install the pin. Then see if it fits.

I'm not sure if that version of the tool can rotate to align with the slot in the end of the cam, if not - and it is "fixed" it is possible your timing is off enough so that it won't fit unless you are not at TDC. Although judging by the set screw at the top, I am guessing the top insert can rotate to accommodate the cam slot position.

You might also have the tool upside down. From your picture, that looks like 1-3 and the timing groove is on the exhaust cam (bottom).

ivangene 06-29-2011 10:42 PM

+1 for rotate 360

996 cab 06-29-2011 11:58 PM

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Thanks guys, I understand what you are saying but I understand this an already tried both ways to make sure I am not crazy. My problem is the actual diameter of the black portion of the tool is slightly larger than the bore in the cylinder head. Anyone have an engine and or tool they could measure for me? I'll get my measurements but trying to figure if my engine is out of spec or the tool.

logray 06-30-2011 12:13 AM

Does the slot on the tool fit into the slot on the cam?

Does the hexagonal shape at the bottom in the lower picture fit just inside the outer flange on the end of the cam?

If so, then you are ready to go.

Basically, when you remove the covers the camshaft end "outer flanges" (not the expansion plugs) need to be secured from popping "outward" toward the cam cover. As long as the tool is inserted far enough you are done.

It does not need to go in "all the way" as long as the above statements are "true".

If you can't fit the slot on the tool into the slot on the cam end, nor can you fit the hexagonal shape into the end of the cam (but not butting too closely up against the expansion plug), then I would say there is a problem with the tool.

ivangene 06-30-2011 12:19 AM

it looks like the bolt to hold the tool aligns with the hole in the block? if you can screw it in, the tool is in... albeit maybe the tool is wrong?

996 cab 06-30-2011 12:24 AM

If you look here the black portion is supposed to go 2-3mm into the aluminum bore. In my case it will not go in like this. I even took the hex piece off the p253 tool and tried to see how/if that would fit but it does not. Once I find my calipers I'll let you know how much interference there is in case another poor soul has this same issue.

ivangene 06-30-2011 10:17 AM

where did you get that tool?

I thought the 4 sided piece had a center... otherwise what holds the cam? (have not looked at that tool in over a year...)

logray 06-30-2011 12:14 PM

Somewhat ironic that pelican touts this tool, yet he also use a home brew version in their procedure:


rb101 06-30-2011 03:19 PM

996 cab, I had the same problem on mine, I took a file to that end and just took off the paint/power coat (what ever they used on it). Worked fine after that...

Logray, that's the cam lock, not the cam end hold down fixture.

Dharn55 06-30-2011 07:37 PM

That is the cam timing tool not the cam hold down tool. The hold down tool (#216 i believe) has two bolts that fit into the end of the cams. The timing tool has the large sort of oblong end piece that fits into the opening in the head by the intake cam, but does not fit into the end of the cam. The other end with the round piece with the straight extension fits into the groove on the end of the exhaust cam. The tools are different and are not interchangeable. I would send you a picture and diagram of the tool you need but I am on a road trip right now. I can send it to you on Sunday when I return home.

logray 06-30-2011 08:20 PM

Doug is correct that is a timing tool and I believe Wayne at Pelican suggests you can use the timing tool to substitute as a hold down tool. There are quite a few threads on this...

There are more that I could dig up...

I opted to just use a hold down tool because I chose to re-time differently than using a timing tool...

chenschel 06-30-2011 11:15 PM

The timing tool will reallynot function as the hold down tool. It really does not hold down the exhaust cam well, just fits into the groove, and does not fit in the end of the intake cam at all.

logray 06-30-2011 11:55 PM

I'm not experienced with the Pelican tool. Nor on the Boxster and whether this translates to the 996, but Wayne's cam removal DIY at this link does spell out ...

"With the plugs removed, now install the camshaft timing tool, P253 onto the end of the camshaft. Normally, you would use Porsche tool 9624 to hold the camshafts onto the end of the motor (see Photo 3 of Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Engine Teardown), but I found that the camshaft timing tool also pretty much did an adequate job of holding them in place as well. While I personally have most of the tools listed as required in the Porsche factory manuals, I like to try to recommend places where they may not be 100% absolutely necessary. This is one of those cases: use the P253 tool instead."

And here is a blurb from Doug in this post on the different versions of the tool.

"...The ZDmax/SIR tool is a little different than the OEM tool. The OEM tool locks into the intake cam access hole, not the cam itself, and them fits into the grooves on the exhaust cams and allows you to rotate the cams into position (assumes that they are relatively close to the correct position. So you lock the engine at TDC, fit the tool, loosen the sprocket and rotate the cam to the correct position. then you tighten the sprocket bolts to set the position of the cams. This is done on one side, the the crank is rotated 360 degrees and the other side is done.

With the ZDmax/SIR tool it just locks in the cams with the grooves straight up and down so you have to rotate the crank until the grooves are straight, install the tool, them loosen the bolts on the sprocket, move the crank to TDC and tighten the sprocket bolts. Then do the other side..."

Dharn55 07-04-2011 12:33 PM

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Just got back from a motorcycle road trip and thought I would go ahead and post the diagrams and pictures for the cam hold-down tool. You will see that it is quite different than the timing tool. The are definitely not interchangeable. This is a homemade version and when I made mine I used round head bolts to fit into the cam ends better. Also, be careful how far into the cams the heads of the bolts go, you don't want to press against the expansion caps and damage them.

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