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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Alfisti,
I have a question for the experts out there. I had a head gasket leak that I am attempting to fix. When I removed the head, the engine was not quite at TDC, the cam markings were about 1/4 '' out and the crank "P" mark was about 1.5'' off from the pointer. I figured it would be close enough. the front cam lobes were pointing out and a tad downwards. I though that i could put her back together the same way. :(

Question, can I bring the block to TDC with the cam timing chain disconnected and cams removed, then place the cams back and reconnect timing chain?

Also, does the fact that I just installed and cold torqued the head with new head gasket make any difference?
Should I pull the dizzy?

As an aside, i dropped a flat cam journal washer into the sump....without taking the lower pan out, any suggestions on how to flush it? Perhaps with oil?

Thanks in advance...
 

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Question, can I bring the block to TDC with the cam timing chain disconnected and cams removed, then place the cams back and reconnect timing chain?
That is the safest way of doing it.
Also, does the fact that I just installed and cold torqued the head with new head gasket make any difference?
No
Should I pull the dizzy?
No. Just make sure that the rotor arm is pointed to #1 plug wire with #1 piston at TDC on the compression stroke.

As an aside, i dropped a flat cam journal washer into the sump....without taking the lower pan out, any suggestions on how to flush it? Perhaps with oil?
That is your call. The probability of the washer getting into a bad place is pretty low.
 

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Thanks Ed for the quick reply. As for the washer, I am a bit concerned as it fell towards the timing chains. I thought that it could get caught up and cause some severe damage.
 

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I have a long magnetic telescoping parts retriever I've used to fish around the sump with to retrieve a cotter pin I dropped. I probably could have left the pin in the sump, but felt better when it was out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thats how I feel Tom! I might try and flush it out with oil. I have a magnet as well, but it wasnt long enough to get into the sump.

Thx for the reply.
 

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One of the best tools in my kit is a pencil-type magnet on a short handle. I have lengthened it from time to time by taping it to a piece of dowl.

All of us who've done what you did -- which is pretty much all of us -- learned to stuff rags down under the timing chain before taking anything small off the cylinder head. It's amazing how fast nuts and washers can jump out of a hand and dive into the sump.
 

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Hi Howndog sounds to me like you have it pretty right .Just one thing I get the motor to running temp and then let it get cold overnight .Once it's cold retorque the head . The first head gasket I did failed and a friend of mine gave me this advice . He worked a lot on alfas in the 70s and 80s . Never had a fail since (2 motor builds and a head swap )
P.S. I'd feel a lot better with that washer out, easier and cheaper to drop the sump pan than the alternative. If the washer is not in the sump then it is somewhere it could do the most (pain nasty damage hurt pull out hair scream swear ......... you get my drift
Best of luck John
 

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Thanks Ed for the quick reply. As for the washer, I am a bit concerned as it fell towards the timing chains. I thought that it could get caught up and cause some severe damage.
though reading your other ongoing thread "timing chain too short!", I would make double sure it hasn't somehow been mangled on a tooth of the lower cog....;)
 

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does the fact that I just installed and cold torqued the head with new head gasket make any difference?
Not sure I understand this question - make any difference about what? Was the head milled or were the valve seats reground while you had it apart? Or did you just remove the old gasket, drop in a new one, and left it at that?

You may need to play with the vernier adjustments at the fronts of the cams to get them properly timed. Even a thicker/thinner replacement gasket will alter the cam timing.

If you did anything with the valves and seats, the valve clearances will need to be re-set using shims.

i dropped a flat cam journal washer into the sump....without taking the lower pan out, any suggestions on how to flush it? Perhaps with oil?
The internal design of the oil sump is pretty complicated. It has a labyrinth to keep oil from sloshing on turns and acceleration. That structure tends to trap small parts and prevent them from flushing out with the oil.
 

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Yup I seriously doubt you'd be able to flush it out. Somewhere on here there's probably a picture of the inside of an oil sump and you'll see what we mean. Long telescopic magnetic retrieval tools are cheap and available from Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Ace and most auto parts stores. Be patient and keep fishing around and you'll probably get it.
If not it's just gonna lay in there eternally and not cause any trouble, just make sure it's not hung up on the chains or gears.
 

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Yup I seriously doubt you'd be able to flush it out. Somewhere on here there's probably a picture of the inside of an oil sump and you'll see what we mean. Long telescopic magnetic retrieval tools are cheap and available from Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Ace and most auto parts stores. Be patient and keep fishing around and you'll probably get it.
If not it's just gonna lay in there eternally and not cause any trouble, just make sure it's not hung up on the chains or gears.
Picture of the said sump. I think for peace of mind, drain the oil. If you lucky, it will come out. If not, pull the lower oil pan (sump) and should be there.

IMG_3077.jpg

The last time I pulled the lower pan, the seal I had didnt fit so I used a thin layer of Ultra Grey and no leaks.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks boys for the comments and pictures. Ive actually replaced the oil pump a couple of years ago, I am familiar with the design of the pan. guess i was hoping that someone would tell something different!
I'll probably pull the pan for the sake of it, not difficult and cheap insurance i guess. Anyone know if ill be able to see and touch the lower gear that the timing chain wraps around? Im having another separate issue where it seems the chain is too short.
THX ALFISTI!
 

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Anyone know if ill be able to see and touch the lower gear that the timing chain wraps around? Im having another separate issue where it seems the chain is too short.
No, not even close. Your upper chain wraps around the intermediate gear, which is some distance above the gear on the crankshaft. You may get a peek of the lower chain on the crankshaft gear, but not the upper chain.
 

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The only way the chain is too short is if the washer is jammed in between the tension gear and chain ,if it drops into the lower pan the baffles will stop it from going out the oil drain or it will stick to the magnet on the plug, personally drop the pan and make sure.
Short chain, First release the pressure on the tensioner push it in as far as you can then tighten the locking nut down. Position the chain to the master link,This should put you at TDC stuff a rag into the opening use a tiepewrap and lock the 2 ends, then remove the master link,make sure the center link does not drop down into the engine (you did stuff the rag into the opening right).
feed a new tiewrap around the outside of the cams so you can retrieve the chain when it drops down into the engine, it will ,no biggy. Now check the position of your cams and adjust accordingly Im not going to get into that in this thread.Since your into it this deep get the feeler gauge out and check your clearances now. When installing the master link use a tiewrap to put tension on the chain and install the master link, don't forget the center link, you may have to move it back and forth a bit to get everything to line up properly Take your time its a close fit.Hope this helps
 

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Thx for the replies!
I ended up and removed the cams, turned the engine to TDC with a 22mm wrench on the alternator bolt to the P mark on the crank pulley.
I then reinstalled the cams to their markings on the cam journals. After that it was good to go.

I have a telescopic magnetic that I used to fish around, with no luck recovering the washer. I am satisfied that by playing with the timing chain, quasi removing it altogether that the washer is not in the gear system. I am willing to bet that it fell into the pan. I am not going to drop the pan just yet as I've just completed the head gasket change. After a few miles I will probably change the oil in the event that it is a bit contaminated with antifreeze from the aforementioned leak. Hopefully it is either attached to the plug, or it will seep out with the oil. I am not very hopeful of either. If I don't get it out I will drop the lower pan..
Thank s everyone for your help with this!
 
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