Q: What to do when crankshaft wont turn with wrench to line timing chains

asked by on October 30, 2016

What would cause the crankshaft not to turn with a wrench to set the timing chains?

My car has 137000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

If you are trying to turn the crankshaft while the timing chain is off, you may have an open valve that is hitting a piston. This can be a big deal and you can damage the valve if you try too hard. Normally you would set the engine up on the timing marks before removing the timing chain, and not turn the crank or camshaft until the new chain is installed. If the crank and cam are out of sync the valves can interfere. You can get everything lined back up by setting the crank in a position where all the pistons are down. 90 degrees off of TDC works for this. If you can’t turn it in one direction try the other. Then and only then can you turn the camshaft to get it into timing position. After the cam is set, you can bring the number one piston up to TDC by turning the crank. If you don’t have a lot of experience working with overhead camshaft engines, it’s easy to get into trouble working on the timing chain. It may be best to get professional help by contacting a mechanic and having someone look it over and help you figure out what to do.

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