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Replacing timing chain.

Mopar Muscle
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Replacing timing chain.

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 05/09/13
11:44 AM

Ok, so I realize I need to replace the timing chain/gears on my 360. Not something I look forward to, but it needs to be done. Since I've never done this before I would like to get some tips.

A] Since my engine only has about 15.000 miles on it, do I need to look for something that may have caused premature failure of the chain? May be just a crap quality timing set, just curious if something could have caused this. I read something about 'grinding out an oil channel' otherwise you would destroy the cam gear. Can anyone explain this in detail?

B] Anybody has experience using a timing chain tensioner? [Cloyes 9-5387 or MP 5007709] I read pro's & con's about this. Somebody on the internet said they add it to every small block they bould, somebody else said he used one but later had to remove it because the thrust plate was getting worn since it wasn't hardened steel. Wasn't the same quality steel [softer] as an OEM thrust plate.
Personally I wonder if the plastic [nylon?] piece that rubs against the chain will wear faster than the chain itself.

C] I'm thinking about getting a Cloyes timing set. Summit catalog says they have 3 types, the hex-a-just, original and street. Prices are 157, 117 and 48 bucks. I assume this varies because of the materials used. Obviously I want one that will last a long time, I don't need all that adjustability and don't want to complicate things. Any advise?

D] What about all this stuff with a degree wheel? If I remember correctly the timing set that's on the engine right now was mounted 'straight up' [if that's the correct term...]; dots lined up.

Sorry for so many questions in one post but like I said, I've never done this before. Lots of wrenching experience, but not in this area. Just don't want any nasty surprices...

waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 127 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 05/09/13
09:26 PM

some auto parts stores have them for under 30 bucks...  price around..

if your engine has only 15,000 miles... you have an issue somehow...

did you end up with a lot of slack..?? when you rotated the crank back and forth and feeling where the timing chain slack vanished or the distributer starter to turn the other way...

i usually have to push a plastic bag over the end of the socket to tighten the fit.. hammer on the breaker bar to tighten the fit.. and a plastic bag over the square drive to push the socket onto to tighten it up...
this reduces any slop and allows me to get a true feel..


dodges also have a drip pointer that catches oil and dribbles it into the timing chain on the gear side/inside of the chain.. for lube...

degreeing the cam... hmm... when building a race motor.. or even a performance motor.. where max performance is required...

verifying the cam is in the proper relationship to the crank is what's going on...

if you have a big cam. this is part of assembling the engine.. to verify the valves and pistons DO NOT CLASH...

if the cam is advanced... the low end may be better.. if the cam is retarded.. the top end may be better..

what??   at low speed with an advanced cam.. the air and fuel can get in sooner at a lower engine speed..

at higher engine speeds.. retarded cam kinda holds the valves open later and gives better power at these high speeds..

get it as designed.. and you get the best of both worlds..  or according to cam grind and centerline  spread ground into the intake and exhaust lobes.. there are a LOT of variations..

there are a bunch of articles around the various magazines on degreeing a cam...

hotrod.. carcraft... popular hot rodding..  circle track.  should be one or two here in the archives or tech section..  

waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 127 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 05/09/13
09:48 PM

here is just one of several i saw..  

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 05/10/13
02:01 PM

Thanks...I see what you mean with tightening the fit of the socket. However I wachted this very closely and there is slack on the chain for sure. Like to say otherwise but there is clearly play; the rotor doesn't move when turning the wrench either way for more than an inch or so.
Tha camshaft in this engine is a Speed Pro CS-1006R, I understand this is a mild cam, close to stock. In this case I can just install the timing gear in the stock setting and don't use a degree wheel, correct? [The timing set that's in there right now is installed in the stock position and I don't feel the need to change that]
The manual shows an 'oil tab' [drip pointer] behind the cam gear in front of the thrust plate, I assume this thing catches oil and directs it to the chain, right?

I do remember something...when this engine was build some 10 years ago...the guy who put it together used Speed pro cast adjustable rockers with corresponding push rods. These rockers failed in a few 100 miles...At the time I replaced the rockers for stamped steel OEM rockers and never had a rocker problem since then. I did check for oil suply by cranking the engine and watching oil coming on top of the heads. This has probably nothing to do with the timing chain but I just thought I let you know.
Just trying to rule out a few things...

Should I opt for a timing chain tensioner?

Thanks again.  

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 05/26/13
04:49 AM

For a piece of mind I just did a compression check and it looked fine to me:
cyl 1: 130 psi
cyl 2: 130
cyl 3: 130
cyl 4: 140
cyl 5: 125
cyl 6: 130
cyl 7: 130
cyl 8: 130

So 6 cylinders are the same, the other two just a little bit higher and lower.
At least this means there are no bend valves or wiped off cam lobes, correct?
So on to the timing chain...  

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 06/14/13
12:10 PM

Ok, I have removed everything from the front of the engine. Now I can see the chain really has too much play. The manual says to use a 'camshaft holding tool' [which fits in the distributor hole] to prevent the camshaft from being pushed it too far. I don't have this tool, so is there another way to do this?

Also, is it too risky to mount the balancer with just the bolt or do I really need a balancer installing tool?


waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 127 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 06/14/13
04:55 PM

balancer installation tools can be borrowed from many parts stores by leaving a 45 buck deposit...

at az  loan a tool #27144  

you do NOT need to have a special tool to LOCK the cam.. i did not even think they made one to jam the distributer drive section...

edit... oops.. to prevent driving the cam thru the rear plug and causing a MASSIVE oil leak... aah...
use care to NOT Drive the cam in too far...

the cam gear does slide off.. usually fairly easily...  and installs the same way...

please... preset the engine before removing the timing sprockets or cam bolts...

this prevents needing to rotate the crank and cam individually  that can bend valves in some motors...

A tip.. if you ever have to rotate the cam with the rest of the valve train hooked up.. you must turn the crank to position the pistons part way down the bore on all cylinders... this would be exactly 1/8 of a turn on a V8... as 2 pistons come to the top ever 1/4 turn..  this pulls the pistons down just enough to rotate...

just incase you have ended up with a multi groove cranksprocket


got pictures... post to photobucket and link them here..  

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 06/15/13
09:14 AM


Borrowing this tool may get difficult in my country, no AZ Loan's here...
Maybe I can have this made at my work, since it is basically a longer bolt.
I will ask.
Anyway, I tried to line up the marks/dots on the crank and cam sprockets.
When the 0 mark on the crank sprocket was on top [12 O'clock] the O mark on the cam sprocket was down, but not all the way. It was, say, just before the 6 O'clock position. I rotated the crank by hand for one full revolution, then again for a second full revolution. It came out the same: Mark on crank sprocket at 12 O'clock, mark on cam sprocket just before the 6 O'clock position. Like it's off exactly one tooth. Could it have skipped a tooth while running? That would be really bad.
But as I mentioned earlier, compression is fine on all cylinders, so I assume there is no damage done.
Anyway, here's what I did: With the 0 mark on the crank sprocket on top I removed the timing gear.
Then I used the cam sprocket and rotated the camshaft a few degrees, just enough to get at the 6 O'clock position. Then I installed the new timing set. It is a Cloyes double roller set. I have soaked the chain in oil before installing and I used the stock setting of the 3 different keyways. [Factory keyway with the round dot] I did watch the camshaft and it did not move in or out. Now the dots line up like it should. At his point I haven't rotated the engine yet. I still need to figure out how to put pictures on here....
If I missed anything I'd like to hear it. Thanks again.  

waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 127 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 06/15/13
10:00 AM

Inch and a half to two inches longer with a stack of flat washers to avoid bottoming. The bolt but having at least ten treads in at that size.  Hint grease the washers and the threads also. If u pick up a nut . You can keep it together for next time  

yvdz yvdz
User | Posts: 118 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 06/15/13
11:24 AM

Thanks for the fast response. I will look into that tool/bolt.
I should be ok with the timing, correct? Just thought it was weird to see the dots not line up perfectly on the old set.