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2007 FJ Cruiser 4x4
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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my '07 FJ early this summer; it had thrown a rod and had two half-dollar sized holes in the block. Spent a few days, put a new motor in and it's driving fine (rebuilt in Texas with family, drove it with a trailer back up to Wyoming where I live).

Recently its begun starting slow, and occasionally idles roughly. I had assumed this was likely an injector issue as I didn't replace them with the new engine (all looked good) but its begun to start even slower though the idling issue has not grown. There are a few confounding factors though: it starts almost instantly on a cold start first thing in the morning, and if I start it back up within 5-10 minutes of turning it off, it starts quickly as well. Recently, its begun throwing a check engine light, but only immediately after filling up on gas, and the light goes away within 20 miles or so of driving. If I clear it, it stays off as well, no pending codes or anything.

The code its throwing is P0012 - "A Camshaft Position Timing; Over-Retarded Bank 1". While I understand this can be related to the Oil Control Timing Valve, I had issues with the Bank 1 Valve and replaced it when I installed, so I'm confused why the new one would be the issue and not the old one. I've been using 5W-30 just as instructed and as is stock on these motors. I'd considered still trying to do the fuel system check, seeing if I have an injector leaking, but I don't see how a bad injector could contribute to inconsistent start issues and the P0012 code.

Any thoughts, experience, or starting points of investigation?
 

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トヨタ Master
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Just because the part is new doesn't mean it's not faulty. More diag will be needed but I'd start with the flow chart for P0012. You stated that the valve was replaced. How about the camshaft timing gear assembly? You look to be in northern CO as well as here in WY. What elevation are you at and what octane of fuel do use? I have trouble with 85 octane ethanol fuels here in Laramie at 7200' and I also fill up with the engine running, which will trip the light occasionally, but it goes right off. Typically I run non ethanol 85 or 87. Also, how many miles are on your FJ?

Hello from WYO also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply @CabinCruiser...I apologize in advance for my ignorance: where would I go to refer to the P0012 Flow Chart? The timing gear assembly all came with the new motor. The only things that are from the old motor are the valve covers (which I thoroughly cleaned) and above (coil packs, injectors, air cleaner/throttle/manifold assembly). The pulleys on the front of the motor are also the originals, except for the water pump.

I'm actually here in Laramie as well, and been filling up with 85 from the Tumbleweed. The body and transmission have about 146k, motor is from Jasper.
 

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トヨタ Master
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Oh, now I see the picture of your FJ, I actually had a small part in that over at Highland Auto. I actually bid on it and lost, apparently to you! I'll PM you some info.

0122201034.jpg
 

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Need clarification to diagnose the P0012 ... when you say you installed a "new engine", was this in fact a complete "new" Toyota factory crate engine, a new Toyota factory short block, an engine 'rebuilt' by some 3rd-party engine rebuilder, or simply a used engine pulled from a wrecked donor vehicle?

1. When you say "its starting slow" and "it's begun to start even slower", what exactly does that mean? The engine cranking speed is slow, or the engine needs to be cranked for a longer-than-normal period of time before it fires and runs?

2. If the "new engine" is actually a used engine, before purchasing the engine did you check how far the primary cam chain tensioner was extended? The degree of extension directly correlates to the degree the timing chain has elongated (worn) and the degree to which the timing chain guides have worn. 2007 engines seem to have a higher incidence of problems related to elongated timing chains than later years did.

3. Assuming no problem with the oil control valve or oil supply to the cam phasers, the P0012 code is frequently a symptom of an elongated timing chain. The code shows up first on Bank-1 (passenger side) cam timing sensor before it shows up on Bank-2 sensor because there is a substantial additional length of chain between the Bank-2 and Bank-1 cam sprockets. The degree of cam timing 'retardation' due to an elongated chain is greater on Bank-1 simply because there is a greater length of chain involved from the crankshaft sprocket to the B-1 cam sprocket.

The rough idle might be related to the P0012, but the starting issues probably are not. Any relationship between the P0012 and filling up the gas tank are probably purely coincidental.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Need clarification to diagnose the P0012 ... when you say you installed a "new engine", was this in fact a complete "new" Toyota factory crate engine, a new Toyota factory short block, an engine 'rebuilt' by some 3rd-party engine rebuilder, or simply a used engine pulled from a wrecked donor vehicle?

1. When you say "its starting slow" and "it's begun to start even slower", what exactly does that mean? The engine cranking speed is slow, or the engine needs to be cranked for a longer-than-normal period of time before it fires and runs?
The cranking speed is really pretty normal, it's just begun to require a higher number of cranks before it finally kicks off and will sustain itself.

2. If the "new engine" is actually a used engine, before purchasing the engine did you check how far the primary cam chain tensioner was extended? The degree of extension directly correlates to the degree the timing chain has elongated (worn) and the degree to which the timing chain guides have worn. 2007 engines seem to have a higher incidence of problems related to elongated timing chains than later years did.
I didn't check the primary cam tensioner, the motor was bought factory rebuilt from Jasper with a 3yr/100k warranty with all new chain, tensioners etc. and they've always tested the engines in-house before selling so I didn't even consider that an issue. It also seems that if it was a chain elongation issue that it would resolve itself or be intermittent? Maybe that's just ignorant.

3. Assuming no problem with the oil control valve or oil supply to the cam phasers, the P0012 code is frequently a symptom of an elongated timing chain. The code shows up first on Bank-1 (passenger side) cam timing sensor before it shows up on Bank-2 sensor because there is a substantial additional length of chain between the Bank-2 and Bank-1 cam sprockets. The degree of cam timing 'retardation' due to an elongated chain is greater on Bank-1 simply because there is a greater length of chain involved from the crankshaft sprocket to the B-1 cam sprocket.

The rough idle might be related to the P0012, but the starting issues probably are not. Any relationship between the P0012 and filling up the gas tank are probably purely coincidental.
 

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トヨタ Master
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Need clarification to diagnose the P0012 ... when you say you installed a "new engine", was this in fact a complete "new" Toyota factory crate engine, a new Toyota factory short block, an engine 'rebuilt' by some 3rd-party engine rebuilder, or simply a used engine pulled from a wrecked donor vehicle?

1. When you say "its starting slow" and "it's begun to start even slower", what exactly does that mean? The engine cranking speed is slow, or the engine needs to be cranked for a longer-than-normal period of time before it fires and runs?

2. If the "new engine" is actually a used engine, before purchasing the engine did you check how far the primary cam chain tensioner was extended? The degree of extension directly correlates to the degree the timing chain has elongated (worn) and the degree to which the timing chain guides have worn. 2007 engines seem to have a higher incidence of problems related to elongated timing chains than later years did.

3. Assuming no problem with the oil control valve or oil supply to the cam phasers, the P0012 code is frequently a symptom of an elongated timing chain. The code shows up first on Bank-1 (passenger side) cam timing sensor before it shows up on Bank-2 sensor because there is a substantial additional length of chain between the Bank-2 and Bank-1 cam sprockets. The degree of cam timing 'retardation' due to an elongated chain is greater on Bank-1 simply because there is a greater length of chain involved from the crankshaft sprocket to the B-1 cam sprocket.

The rough idle might be related to the P0012, but the starting issues probably are not. Any relationship between the P0012 and filling up the gas tank are probably purely coincidental.
He indicated that the engine is from Jasper, a large remanufacturing facility of OE engines. They use a lot of used parts from my experience but most rebuilders do. Probably not the chain and tensioners.
 

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Ah, got it. I didn't realize that Jasper was an engine rebuilder.

OK, then all the cam drive components should be brand new, including the cam phasers. Therefore, timing chain elongation or chain guide wear should not be possible causes for the P0012.

You said that you had "issues" with the Bank-1 oil control valve, and replaced it. What were the issues? Did the valve you removed look like a brand-new part, or a 'used' part?

The P0012 code is pretty specific. There is a crankshaft position sensor that picks up signals from a tone wheel on the nose of the crankshaft, and camshaft position sensors that picks up signals from a steel 'reluctor' on the front of the cam phaser. Your DTC indicates that the cam sensor is receiving its trigger pulse LATER than expected (outside the normal range of positions that indicate proper crank-cam relationship). But with everything in the cam drive new, how can the camshaft position be 'retarded'?

The tone wheel on the crank is pressed on, and any handling damage could potentially bend it slightly or shift its angular position. Likewise, the reluctor on the cam phaser has been known to crack, or to get bent very slightly so it is not perfectly aligned with the nose of the position sensor.

Forum member OldMattB had a very similar problem with crank/cam correlation errors, and finally traced it to a very slightly bent reluctor on one of his cam phasers. Exactly how the reluctor became bent is unknown, but the leading edge of one of the segments had a clear witness mark from hitting something.

Here is a technical article discussing crank-cam correlation errors in 1GR-FE engines, and some of the conditions that can trigger these error codes. One of the cases discussed is with an '07 FJ Cruiser that is displaying the exact same symptoms as your engine.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
You said that you had "issues" with the Bank-1 oil control valve, and replaced it. What were the issues? Did the valve you removed look like a brand-new part, or a 'used' part?
So the sensor itself sits on the inside of the valve cover on both sides (forward of where the intake manifold mounts to the block). THere's only one bolt holding the solenoid/sensor assembly, and when I removed it on the driver's side (Bank 2) it simply slid out and I could move it over to the new motor. On the other side, it was stuck into the valve case and broke when I tried to remove it. I bought the replacement from O'Reilly - I'll see if I can find the exact part and brand. I believe it was this one: (https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...a/fj-cruiser?q=oil+control+timing+valve&pos=2) - though O'Reilly seems to not have applied the purchase to my account so I can't track it for sure.

The P0012 code is pretty specific. There is a crankshaft position sensor that picks up signals from a tone wheel on the nose of the crankshaft, and camshaft position sensors that picks up signals from a steel 'reluctor' on the front of the cam phaser. Your DTC indicates that the cam sensor is receiving its trigger pulse LATER than expected (outside the normal range of positions that indicate proper crank-cam relationship). But with everything in the cam drive new, how can the camshaft position be 'retarded'? Yeah that's really been my biggest frustration is figuring out what the issue could be if it's not just residual of old injectors, plugs, coils etc. The original motor threw a rod and then sat for over 6 months so I expected some performance issues with injectors or fuel pump just from sitting but it doesn't seem those are sufficient explanations. at some point I suppose I could just throw new injectors at it but I don't like the idea of throwing parts and seeing what sticks.

Here is a technical article discussing crank-cam correlation errors in 1GR-FE engines, and some of the conditions that can trigger these error codes. One of the cases discussed is with an '07 FJ Cruiser that is displaying the exact same symptoms as your engine. The article was super interesting and helpful - thank you. At the same time, there are some differences. There's no mention of starting or idling issues, and they're P0016 code seems to have more implications on Camshaft to crankshaft timing than mine implies. I haven't noticed a terrible decrease in power (I pulled a trailer all the way up from Texas to Wyoming), it's really just the starting and idling (the idling roughness is nearly negligible). I could include some of the live data I've pulled. While the code was on the truck Long-term trim from Bank 1 was between 5.3%-6% while the Bank 2 was normally (-2.5%)-(-1%). I do have a code reader so if y'all feel more helpful information could be gleaned through that, let me know and I'll gladly provide it.

Thanks again for your help so far.
 

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Wait ... so the "rebuilt" engine from Jasper wasn't a complete, running engine ... it was an incomplete engine, and needed you to transfer all the engine sensors, fuel injectors, etc. from the dead engine to the 'rebuilt' engine?

That adds a lot of variables to the list.

For the P0012 valve timing issue, you are going to need a multi-channel oscilloscope (or an automotive diagnostic test unit) to look at the timing signals from the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensors.

How much technical support will Jasper provide to help get the engine running correctly? No correctly-rebuilt engine should e throwing camshaft timing error codes if all the position sensors and their inductive triggers are good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wait ... so the "rebuilt" engine from Jasper wasn't a complete, running engine ... it was an incomplete engine, and needed you to transfer all the engine sensors, fuel injectors, etc. from the dead engine to the 'rebuilt' engine?
Yeah, injectors, coils, spark plugs, valve covers and all the intake/air cleaner components were original. Most of the sensors were already in place (just VVT solenoids had to be moved) and just required the harnesses to be plugged in. I'm sure there are some that i had to transfer on the top part of the block but if so, very few.

That adds a lot of variables to the list.

For the P0012 valve timing issue, you are going to need a multi-channel oscilloscope (or an automotive diagnostic test unit) to look at the timing signals from the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensors.
I'll look into how I might access one of those.

How much technical support will Jasper provide to help get the engine running correctly? No correctly-rebuilt engine should e throwing camshaft timing error codes if all the position sensors and their inductive triggers are good.
I'm sure they'll provide some; i haven't reached out to Jasper yet but whatever it is should still be covered under the warranty the motor came with (3yr/100k). Is there any possibility that it could be fuel related issues? I was talking to my dad and he was saying that last time he visited me up here, he got gas from the same station i filled up in last time that his truck threw codes now and then until he got some fresh gas in...no idea what codes he was throwing, he didn't have a diagnostic tool.
 

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No fuel-quality related issue is going to influence a cam timing problem ... that is a physical relationship between crank angle and cam angle.

I called Jasper to get some information on exactly what they do to 'rebuild' an engine, and it sounds pretty complete, but they do re-use the VVTi actuators. Toyota doesn't sell any replacement internal actuator parts, so it's not clear if Jasper does anything other than simply clean them and then reuse them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, thanks for looking into that, I was gonna try to reach out to them early next week if I could catch them open while I wasn’t at work.
That’s somewhat disheartening to hear about the actuators...so if that’s the issue then I couldn’t simply replace it, I’d have to pull the motor and hope they take it back under warranty and start over? Thanks again for all yalls help, I have no mechanical training but bought this truck needing a motor so that I could learn some basics, I’d be up a creek without y’all.
 

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Wait ... so the "rebuilt" engine from Jasper wasn't a complete, running engine ... it was an incomplete engine, and needed you to transfer all the engine sensors, fuel injectors, etc. from the dead engine to the 'rebuilt' engine?

That adds a lot of variables to the list.

For the P0012 valve timing issue, you are going to need a multi-channel oscilloscope (or an automotive diagnostic test unit) to look at the timing signals from the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensors.

How much technical support will Jasper provide to help get the engine running correctly? No correctly-rebuilt engine should e throwing camshaft timing error codes if all the position sensors and their inductive triggers are good.
Ish.nocowyo said:
I'll look into how I might access one of those.
I'm back in town now so we can O Scope this on my Snap-On Solus if you want to bring it by some time. I usually take lunch from 11:00 to noon. Give me a heads up at least a day ahead of time. I'd be happy to look at it no charge.
 

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Wow, thanks for looking into that, I was gonna try to reach out to them early next week if I could catch them open while I wasn’t at work.
That’s somewhat disheartening to hear about the actuators...so if that’s the issue then I couldn’t simply replace it, I’d have to pull the motor and hope they take it back under warranty and start over? Thanks again for all yalls help, I have no mechanical training but bought this truck needing a motor so that I could learn some basics, I’d be up a creek without y’all.
If there actually was a VVTi actuator problem you could just replace the actuator. However, the actuators are pretty simple mechanically, and there isn't a lot that can go wrong with them, although there are multiple reports of problems with the reluctor rings (cracked, bent, broken & missing segment, etc.). Any type of problem with the reluctors (they trigger the cam position sensors) can result in OBD codes that are very misleading.
 
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