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timing chain.....is there a trick to this

This is a discussion on timing chain.....is there a trick to this within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Is there some trick to getting timing chain on the cam/crank gear? I can get it on but either when ...

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    timing chain.....is there a trick to this

    Is there some trick to getting timing chain on the cam/crank gear? I can get it on but either when the dots are lined up I can't get the bottom portion on or I get it on perfectly but the dots are off by a tooth! It's pissing me off I tried for 1.5hr last night and it kept falling off I screwed it prevented me from lining it up. It was hot so maybe the heat was getting to me.
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    Did you put the crank @ TDC via the damper mark BEFORE you started with the old sprocket dots aligned?

    After setting the crank so that #1 cylinder is @ TDC put the new sprockets on without the chain..

    Check timing mark alignment to be sure the crank/cam are still aligned , take the spokets off again..

    Put the sprockets in the chain, turn them in your hands till the dots are aligned within the chain,

    slide the whole thing on pushing on both sprockets at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Did you put the crank @ TDC via the damper mark BEFORE you started with the old sprocket dots aligned?

    After setting the crank so that #1 cylinder is @ TDC put the new sprockets on without the chain..

    Check timing mark alignment to be sure the crank/cam are still aligned , take the spokets off again..

    Put the sprockets in the chain, turn them in your hands till the dots are aligned within the chain,

    slide the whole thing on pushing on both sprockets at the same time.
    Okay I didn't do tdc I guess that is my problem. I an not replacing the sprockets, just the chain and the pump, does this change anything? Should I do the pump before or after lining the dots up. Also my pump came with a bluish teal o-ring and a black one. It also came with a plug and a spring are those just rebuild parts?

    I thought you could leave the crank gear on to do this.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 09-09-2012 at 11:40 AM.

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    A trick would be (if the cam won't stay put) is take the key-way out of the crank.

    Put your new chain and sprockets on and the secure the cam sprocket on the cam.

    Rotate the cam sprocket till the marks are aligned (crank sprocket will turn freely without the key-way) and hold it there, (helps to have a buddy), if the crank key won't go in at this point,

    you'll need to "wiggle" the crank so the key will drift in via the cranks king bolt.

    DO NOT ROTATE THE ENGINE BACKWARDS..

    If the difference is too great, rotate the crank in the dirrection it normally turns when the engine is running and try to get the key in again.
    Last edited by Smittro; 09-09-2012 at 11:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    Okay I didn't do tdc I guess that is my problem. I an not replacing the sprockets, just the chain and the pump, does this change anything? Should I do the pump before or after lining the dots up. Also my pump came with a bluish teal o-ring and a black one. It also came with a plug and a spring are those just rebuild parts?

    I thought you could leave the crank gear on to do this.
    That's okay, using what I posted in #4 you can get where you want to be.

    Sorry can't help you with the o-rings and pump, you'll need someone with more experiance with the LS1 than I.

    I posted the basics,,,basicly.. From years of working on SBC and so forth.

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    About the sprockets.

    Personally I always do chains and sprockets together as it's a wear item.

    But you don't always have too. Although if they are of higher mileage I would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    A trick would be (if the cam won't stay put) is take the key-way out of the crank.

    Put your new chain and sprockets on and the secure the cam sprocket on the cam.

    Rotate the cam sprocket till the marks are aligned (crank sprocket will turn freely without the key-way) and hold it there, (helps to have a buddy), if the crank key won't go in at this point,

    you'll need to "wiggle" the crank so the key will drift in via the cranks king bolt.

    DO NOT ROTATE THE ENGINE BACKWARDS..

    If the difference is too great, rotate the crank in the dirrection it normally turns when the engine is running and try to get the key in again.
    What is the crank key? When the key is out and I am aligning the dots the timing chain should be in place on both sprockets right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    What is the crank key? When the key is out and I am aligning the dots the timing chain should be in place on both sprockets right?
    The crank key is that that little piece of or shank of hardened metal (sometimes it's square or a half round piece of metal) sitting in the groove of the crank where the timing sprocket sits..

    This is what makes the crank sprocket (timing sprocket) turn with the crank.

    Without it the crank would'nt be able to turn the cam sprocket.

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    Example..:





    Last edited by Smittro; 09-09-2012 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    What is the crank key? When the key is out and I am aligning the dots the timing chain should be in place on both sprockets right?
    The crank key is that that little piece of or shank of hardened metal (sometimes it's square or a half round piece of metal) sitting in the groove of the crank where the timing sprocket sits..

    This is what makes the crank sprocket (timing sprocket) turn with the crank.

    Without it the crank would'nt be able to turn the cam sprocket.
    So it should just pull right out? I will check it out when I get home.

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    Yep. May have to tap it a bit with a punch and a rubber/plastic mallet..

    Last edited by Smittro; 09-09-2012 at 12:44 PM.

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    Place your punch @ the front of the key and CAREFULLY drift it towards the engine.

    As you can see in the pic, the back side of the groove is sloped as the groove is ground into the crank rafter than milled..

    As you drift the key it will rise out of it's groove.

    No He-man shit here though go easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Place your punch @ the front of the key and CAREFULLY drift it towards the engine.

    As you can see in the pic, the back side of the groove is sloped as the groove is ground into the crank rafter than milled..

    As you drift the key it will rise out of it's groove.

    No He-man shit here though go easy.
    Anything else I can use other than a punch? I don't have one. I have a rubber mallet though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    Anything else I can use other than a punch? I don't have one. I have a rubber mallet though.
    Sure can. But a punch is best.

    A good phillips head screw driver will work in it's place. Use a name brand one though.

    Cheap driver handles may split or even shatter..

    You can get a small punch cheap at a hardware or sears. May even get one @ china mart..

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    Okay another question. I think I got it lined up but it is hard to tell. The minimum you can be off by is one tooth right? To me if I am up close it looks slightly off but not by one tooth more like 1/8th of one or less. But if I stand back and look at it, it looks like it is lined up. Here is a picture which actually makes it look like it is off by more than it is if it is at all.



    Am I good or do I need to line it up again?

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    Looks like you nailed it to me..

    You don't want to be off a tooth in either dirrection.

    If you are,,, it may not even run, if it even starts it won't run good, as you will be many degrees off retarded or advanced in timing depending on which dirrection from center you're off.

    The 1/8 inch or less could be the old spockets showing their age.

    You can use a strait edge to check the marks are in line with the center line of the crank & cam.

    Your chain tensioner should take up the slack for any minor wear difference, but not for a whole tooth difference.

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    That is assuming your engine has a tensioner some have chain dampers instead.
    Last edited by Smittro; 09-11-2012 at 09:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Mine had nothing....so I need that. I didn't use a ruler but a straight wrench and it looked very slightly off but no where near a tooth off.

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    from what i can tell its lined up enough if its just a tiny bit off itll be just fine.
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