Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Grosse Pointe, MI
Jim's right but since I'm on vacation I've got nothing but time.
More than likely when you removed the timing chain you first loosened the idler gear and then tapped the chain to introduce some slack. The intake cam rotates away from the timing mark on the cam. Make note of the position (actually you did since you took a picture).
There are a couple of ways to time the cams. The correct way is to remove the nut and bolt from the veneer wheels (The series of holes around the cam sprocket). Then loosen the 22mm nut at the front of the cam which then allows the cam to rotate independent of the sprocket. With the crank already set at TDC, tighten the chain and idler gear and then move the cams to line up with the marks on the cam caps. Once there, tighten the 22mm nut (don't forget to bend the lock tab). Now, the trick is to find the holes in the veneer wheels that line up so that the bolt you removed will fit. This will likely require you to rotate the motor. Reinstall the small bolts (don't forget cotter pins or safety wire for the castle nuts) and rotate the motor thru a couple revs and verify that the cam marks and crank marks are all in agreement. Remember, this is an interference motor which means that if you've got something really off the pistons can hit the valves. Don't force the crank when rotating...
The other way (assuming the cams were in good timing to start) is to not touch the veneers. Install the exhaust cam with the mark a little to the outside of the cam mark. lay the timing chain on the sprocket and then rotate the cam until the chain tightens. If you got it right, it will fall into alignment. If not, rotate back move the cam back one tooth on the chain and repeat. Make sure you don't pull too hard and disturb the TDC position. Once the exhaust cam is aligned, move on to the intake side.
With the idler gear compressed all the way in, adjust the intake cam so the alignment mark is to the inside of the cam cap (look at your picture above to get a clue as to how far in). Now lay the chain across the sprocket and with luck you have enough slack to attach the two ends of the chain with the master link. Don't bother to install the link fish yet as more than likely you'll need to do this a couple of times.
Release the idler gear and pull the chain snug (never over tighten a chain, it needs a little slack to operate properly). Tighten the Idler gear, The intake cam should rotate back into alignment. That's the goal anyway. If not, loosen the idler gear again, remove the master link and adjust the intake cam and try again.
Although the second method sounds more fiddly I find it easier and quicker then the proper method - SO LONG AS THE CAMS WERE ORIGINALLY IN GOOD ALIGNMENT. If the chain was replaced, head shaved, and/or different thickness head gasket it will be different and you must use the veneer approach.
My biggest issue with the veneer approach is the opportunity to drop something down into the bowels of the motor. This may be my own private hell but I try to avoid it.
BTW, when it comes time to set the valve to tappet clearance (lash), it's way easier to do with the head on a bench...
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Last edited by gprocket; 06-01-2019 at 12:17 PM.