Trouble getting timing chain on the camshafts

I can get one sprocket on , but not both . I suppose it points to the top chain not seating properly . But how can I free it ??? Had the head off once , after torquing it down !!! Not doing that again ! Help please guys .

Have you loosened the chain adjustment cam to it’s most loosened position?

Hi Kris , that’s always been a bit of an enigma ! You don’t have to move it very much before it tightens up again .

In tough cases, and assuming that the sprocket adjustment is at its loosest, I have had to use a center punch to lever the cam sprocket itself up and over the cam face: then I would take and put the serrated plate in on top of that after checking timing.

Hi Paul , I did think of brute force , but decided to ask first ! I already have one of the serrated plates loose from my first attempt . That’s another issue . When the sprocket is on the camshaft , the plate can be detached from the serrations easily , but when it’s not , it’s a bugger :smiling_imp:

Job One is to see if the sprocket can be levered up, onto the cam flange.

Nothing more forceful than a hand-held lever, NOT a 3-foot crowbar!

Aye aye cap’n , over and out !

I assume you have one side mounted and the other isn’t cooperating. Maybe try taking them both off the cam shafts and starting with the other side first if all else fails.

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Tried that Kris . They should go on quite easily , I will replace the adjuster plate and circlip and try again .

No go ! Something must be wrong . It’s got to go up an eighth of an inch , too much to lever !

Well crap. Are these new chains? Was the bottom chain also tight? Any chance they got switched?

No, original chains , must be doing something stupid :slightly_frowning_face: got the head off again . Damn sure the chain is fine at the bottom !

If so…and it was torqued, time for a new gasket.


Not torqued Paul , just sitting there . Can the camshafts bend ?

Not in any meaningful way, once bolted onto the head.

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That is a HARD NO!

It would take a lot of digging now, so many years after the event, but one of the pictures of the debris field of the truck that got used in the Murrah building bombing, in 1995, showed the camshaft from the engine. It was bent like a banana, which amazed me, given the cast nature of it.

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Original chains so it’s either the adjuster is not up all the way, or the head gasket is too thick. Try fitting head without the head gasket to find out how much more slack you need. I had this same issue with my engine BUT with NEW chains. I shimmed up the head from the block(without gasket) until the chains were tight, then ordered a head gasket with the proper thickness. Oh, and I also had the head shaved some since the calculated C/R was still below 8 to 1 on my engine.