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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Stuck bolt preventing access to timing belt

Hello. The crankshaft pulley/harmonic damper bolt on virtually all engines is often tightened to 200-400 ft lbs of torque. On the Honda, the specification is a mild 14 ft lb, but FOLLOWED by 90 degrees of additional twist. Bottom line...

Q: Replaced cam shaft P sensor. Less than 2 weeks. Now its bad again. What else could i replace before i buy another sensor?

First I would make sure you replaced the cam sensor on the driver's side of the engine. This is bank 2. Now you have a noise in the motor, and it is rattling and running rough. I would point you...

Q: My car has a diagnosis code of P1381 and needs a new VCT solenoid.

Sent billing question to CS for replacement of the variable camshaft timing control solenoid and an oil change.

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...