2011 CX-9 timing chain

So. I attempted and seemingly failed to tackle the whole 'successful water pump replacement' task.

All seemed to go according to the John can fix anything utube vid...except I couldn't get the camshaft sprockets loosened even while using the cam tool. Not sure if I even got the correct tool at this point to be honest, because any torque I was putting on the cam bolt was causing the tool to rise up out of where it was doing its work. No matter - the smaller cam chains looked okay. I figured that the best thing to do is be fine with a replacement water pump and main timing chain. parts replaced: water pump, main chain, main chain tensioner, main chain guides, gaskets and seals for valve covers, plenum, spark plugs.

The only other 'out of the ordinary' thing that happened was I took this metal disc cover off the end of the bank A camshaft hockey puck looking thing (OCV plugs into this hockey puck looking thing) to see if there was something behind there that could help remove the camshaft bolt and this little orange plastic dohicky and a spring came out - which I put back in before replacing the metal disc cover. Am I concerned this has something to do with the issue I am now experiencing? 50-50.

After rebuilding: P0020 CEL came on. I rooted around and realized the connector to the top of the bank B OCV wasn't connected. Connected, cleared the code, viola! Next morning P0016 came on but the car runs fine. At least it runs fine until I really REALLY listen close to the engine while it idles...then I can hear the slightest of occasional stumbling. I also drove it an hour each way with seemingly no issue being created by the 16 code. The next day - I even reset it, drove it, parked it and started it which yielded a clear dash.

I wouldn't mind getting some input as to what the general consensus is. I suppose I could at least get back down to the valve covers being opened up, roll things around to where the timing marks are visible and see if the cam timings seem correct based on the colored chain linkages. I can test the sensors to see if for some reason those were damaged in the process of tear down/rebuild. I can pray like the dickens that the orange plastic thing and little ballpoint pen spring don't have something to do with it, because I don't know really what those do at all. I realize that logic dictates that the exact work I did pretty much results in there being a timing problem, but wanted to get a few opinions.

TIA,
Bill
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
Although I don't know this engine, I'm guessing the spring that popped out pushes the OCV plunger back in and keeps it there, whenever the ECM isn't activating the valve. The OCVs I'm familiar with include the spring inside the valve, but I wouldn't expect there to be a reason it can't be external to the valve as well.

That P0016 is a correlation code, which fits perfectly with an OCV issue, provided that the bank you fiddled with (A or B) matches the code doc. So do you think it's possible that there was also a small spacer or other object that came out along with the spring that you didn't notice? If not, then perhaps something about the way you replaced that assembly is not quite right, resulting in the spring not working correctly, Just speculation on my part, based on the code and what you wrote.
 
So do you think it's possible that there was also a small spacer or other object that came out along with the spring that you didn't notice? If not, then perhaps something about the way you replaced that assembly is not quite right, resulting in the spring not working correctly, Just speculation on my part, based on the code and what you wrote.
ANYTHING is possible. I believe I caught both things that came out, but either 1. something else came out or 2. I didn't rebuild this exactly correct are both potential scenarios. The orange thing had a funny-shaped head on it that looked similar to a gear with a shaft that fit into the spring. I put it on the spring and it went spring-first back into the hole it came out of.
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
The gear-like part probably engages the OCV and/or stabilizes the spring, and it sounds like you probably reinstalled it correctly. Did the OCV slide back into that port nice and easy, or was there any resistance or 'catch' as it was going back in?
 
Did the OCV slide back into that port nice and easy, or was there any resistance or 'catch' as it was going back in?
No issues with the OCV going back in. And I felt confident about it's rebuild...except that this did happen to be on the exact bank that is now throwing the 0016 code.
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
I thought of one additional thing after my last post. Were you able to see inside the port far enough to see what the 'inside' end of the spring was making contact against? I'm wondering if the spring needs to lock into a stud or opening, in order to prevent movement on that end, and perhaps did not do that.

Aside from that, other than ripping it apart again, one fairly easy thing you could try is to remove both OCVs and gently probe the spring assemblies with a thin metal object - very small screwdriver or whatever works the best for this. You'd be trying to determine if the resistance of the spring feels identical at both ports. You could also send an inspection camera into the ports - probably not going to show anything, but it is another very easy thing to do. Not necessarily expecting anything from this testing, just passing along stuff that I would try if I were in your shoes.
 
I thought of one additional thing after my last post. Were you able to see inside the port far enough to see what the 'inside' end of the spring was making contact against? I'm wondering if the spring needs to lock into a stud or opening, in order to prevent movement on that end, and perhaps did not do that.

Aside from that, other than ripping it apart again, one fairly easy thing you could try is to remove both OCVs and gently probe the spring assemblies with a thin metal object - very small screwdriver or whatever works the best for this. You'd be trying to determine if the resistance of the spring feels identical at both ports. You could also send an inspection camera into the ports - probably not going to show anything, but it is another very easy thing to do. Not necessarily expecting anything from this testing, just passing along stuff that I would try if I were in your shoes.
I believe I cannot get the OCVs off without removal of the timing chain cover...which basically takes me pretty far down the rabbit hole...BUT, I believe I could get some good info by taking things down to the valve covers being removed. I can run the crank around enough to reveal the colored timing chain spots and make sure that at least those are still in time as they sit now on the cam sprockets.
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
Being a CX-9 engine, I guess not having direct access to the OCVs shouldn't be a big surprise. PITA nevertheless, and I hope you find the problem without having to tear the entire blasted thing down again.