Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Adjusting the camshaft and crankshaft for the timing chain

asked by on

I have both the camshaft gear and the crankshaft set on TDC but I cannot get the gear back on because the tensioner is on too tight, any advice on compressing it or anything I could do to make reinstalling the cam gear easier

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: I believe the "official" procedur...

I believe the "official" procedure for these M30 engines is to:

  1. Leave the tensioner until last

  2. Install the chain with the crank and cam sprockets on TDC, and the chain tight on the driver side of the chain

  3. Use the chain guide, tied with a plastic tie wrap to keep pressure on the tensioner side of the chain

  4. Install your timing cover (w/ the tensioner bore)

  5. Carefully insert the tensioner piston, engaging the slot to the guide rail

  6. Remove the tie wrap

  7. Insert the tensioner spring and install the cap with new sealing ring (yes, it's hard to do with oily fingers)

  8. Tighten cap.

  9. Rotate crank as many times as necessary to check yourself that both crank and cam are still TDC together.

NOW - to recover from where I think you have things - you will need to remove the tensioner cap and spring, stuff a rag or something between the timing cover and chain guide to maintain "some" tension - all while trying to bolt the cam sprocket to the cam without jumping time with the chain. It's possible, then do steps 5-8 from above, just a bit trickier.

If you're overwhelmed by this, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your location to inspect and service your vehicle.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Gas filler neck rejects fuel immediately.

Your fuel neck has a restriction in the hose. The filler neck has a big hose on the out side and a smaller hose on the inside. If someone tried to siphon gas from your truck they may have knocked...

Q: Intake Camshaft Position Timing

Hello. This is one of the most important aspects of your engine. If the cam timing is off enough it can keep the engine from running and even cause catastrophic engine damage. If the timing is just slightly off, then...

Q: My Expedition vibrates a lot when stopped at a slope

Hello and thank you for your question. This symptom is not related to the engine but rather the transmission. If you drive the vehicle around and the engine runs just fine, then either the engine oil is low, causing the...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.