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Installing a Timing Chain

The timing chain is used to align and make sure the camshaft and the crankshaft are working together at the same time. If you timing chain breaks, your car will not run and you can actually risk damage to your car.

This operation can be done with the engine in the car or out. Generally it is easier with the engine out, but there is no reason to pull your engine for timing chain replacement.

Tools Needed:
Socket Set
Rubber mallet
Assembly Lube


Note in the above picture the nob on the camshaft (on the right) and the key way on the crankshaft (on the left). Also note my engine is upside down on the stand.

1) Oil the end of the cam shaft a little. It makes the gear go on easier. Note that the big gear goes on the camshaft. The gear should have a notch cut out for the Nob, otherwise you have the wrong gear. Using a rubber mallet, gently tap in place.

2) Here is kind of tricky. Put the crankshaft gear on, without the chain on it. Rotate the crankshaft or the cam shaft (either will work) until the black dot on the camshaft gear is lined up with either the keyway on the crankshaft gear or the 0 degree mark on the gear (if your timing chain gear set has timing marks).

I set mine to zero since my 260H Comp Cam was already advanced by 4 degrees BTDC by design. I didn't figure it would help me to advance it any more. If you advance it, you will gain upper end power at the sacrifice of low end torque. I love torque and since torque is the savior of the 200 I6, I prefer to have that.

3) Once the gears are lined up: remove the camshaft gear and pull the crankshaft gear just enough so the chain clears the end of the camshaft. Put the camshaft gear in the chain now.Make sure the marks are lined up as before (step 2). Slowly push (or tap) the gears into place. Do both equally so that you don't stretch the chain out. Once in place, put the camshaft gear retaining bolt back on.
4) Apply some assembly lube, especially if it is going to be awhile before firing the engine up. Rotate the block and make sure you do not have any binding. If so, something is installed wrong.
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