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Hello, I have an 05 Reg Cab with a 2.8 - When I bought the truck from my brothers step son, it had the exact same issue, except they had taken half the engine apart:oops:. They installed a new VVT and drove it, until - UNTIL the guide snapped and dropped into the crank sprocket. all 8 Exhaust valves bent and it was done.
Well, I can tell you what I found - The Timing chain had eaten thru the Nylon guide pad and distributed the Aluminum shavings thru the engine....Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, lifters, Balance shaft bearings, Main bearings --- As you stated the VVT solenoid screens.... Everywhere! to save yourself some time and trouble, I suggest pulling the valve cover or at least try to see inside the fill hole. Get a good look inside!
I had to pull the engine, clean the block and head MULTIPLE times. My hardest challenge was the balance shaft Bearings -- The tools are not rentable, I had to make my own, The machine shop gave me dimensions of the bores. I will say Good Luck - Hope you the best - but I've been there... it may get messy
 
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