On Alfa number 15
AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Re: how does the variator work
The variator works from oil pressure to alter the cam timing. Basically the relationship between the cam pulley and the cam changes depending on the RPM.
The slots are there to enable you to set the valve timing and belt tension correctly when you change the belt.
You need to slacken the bolts off to allow the pulley to move in relation to the variator, then lock the cams using cam locks when fitting the belt. You then set the engine at TDC on cylinder 1 and tension the belt. When you have tensioned the belt you tighten the bolts to lock the cam pulley in the position it has settled it.
There is also some movement in the exhaust cam pulley for the same reason, and you need to slacken the center bolt off before tensioning the belt.
I take it you are using the cam lock, and not trying to do the job without? If you don't use the locks you will never get the timing correct which leads to loss of performance or damage..
You will never be cool driving a Vauxhall.