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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Adjusting the camshaft and crankshaft for the timing chain

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: Q: Car stalls when stopped

If the car starts that would eliminate the starter as a problem, I would suggest enlisting the help of one of our certified mechanics at YourMechanic, and have them do a complete inspection to find the cause of your stalls...

Q: Camshaft position sensor keep failing after i replace it. after 2 miles the check engine comes back on for that sensor 2003 BMW 745Li

Hello - you don't mention the specific problem codes you are getting, but the problem you are having may not be the cam sensor itself. Rather, the problem could be the "v-shaped" timing chain guide between the cylinder banks. This...

Q: Camshaft position sensor error code P0343

Hello. The P0343 code indicates there is no signal from the passenger side cam position sensor (Bank 1 actually). Given you have changed the sensor, this would suggest a wiring or connector issue. Your mileage would also make me anxious...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.