Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I don't know how to reinstall my camshafts.

asked by on

I took out the camshafts so I could take off the heads to do a gasket replacement. But I didn't mark where the camshafts were pointing. But while I had the heads off I turned the crank and made it so two of the pistons were all the way up, is the a way I can just put the cams in relating to where the pistons are? If not how do I do it?

My car has 144000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Usually everything is timed at top dead center when doing jobs like this. You should turn the engine until cylinder number 1 is at top dead center, then install the camshafts so the lobes for cylinder 1 are in position for top dead center as well. The camshafts on the other cylinder head should also have marks for where to line it up for top dead center, so you can set the camshafts there as well. As you’re installing the cylinder heads, make sure that there are no open valves that will rest on top of a piston at the top of its stroke. If you’re going to finish this job, I would strongly recommend getting a factory service manual to ensure you have all the correct specifications and information. You can usually find one online from Amazon or eBay. Once you have the car back together, you should turn the engine over twice by hand, to make sure that there is no contact between valves and pistons. If you feel any firm resistance, double check your timing marks before cranking it over. If you want to have all the timing marks checked before trying to start it, you can have a qualified professional such as one from YourMechanic.

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

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: It lost power and now won't start

It sounds like the battery is dead from the alternator not charging. This would account for the gradual loss of power and why the battery is dead and you have no lights. Have the battery charged and tested. Afterwards, start...

Q: Fuel cutoff switch light is on

Ok here is what I found about the fuel cutoff switch. Sometimes the connectors to the inertia switch located in the trunk become corroded and need to be cleaned and re-terminated. I would recommend having a technician come out and...

Q: 96 Mercury mystique rough idle dies when I put it in reverse when I come to a stop at has to go in neutral filled up the gas last

Hi there. Rough idling engines can typically be caused by ignition system or fuel system failures. This can be things like spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, distributor rotor, the distributor itself, fuel injectors, fuel filter, fuel pump, etc....

Related articles

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...
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.