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Old 07-11-2021, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default Perplexed by timing situation

1997 ka24e XE 4x4

My problem started when I replaced the tension side guide. I already installed Mr. Jim's adjustable tensioner piston to take care of start up rattle. When I put the chain back on, I believe I was off by a tooth. When I started it up, the engine was struggling and was shaking quite hard. I open up the valve cover and rotate by hand until I see my painted link near the lunch mark. It is off by a tooth. I adjust and set the painted link on the punch mark. Fire it up, exact same engine response.

I figure I'm out of time so I look at my marks. I get to TDC, I verify with a screw driver in the #1 spark hole, the distributor rotor is pointing at the #1 wire, the cam sprocket key is near vertical, maybe 12:15, and the timing pin on the crank pulley is on 15 BTDC.

Distributor drive shaft D is maybe slightly more rotated CW than noon.

I believe someone has done a timing job before i got the truck, maybe that is why the crank pulley is at 15 BTDC. The sticker on the hood says 10 BTDC.

If everything seems to be lining up, what could be the issue?
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Old 07-11-2021, 01:24 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have it a tooth off. It should be just shy of 12 at the distributor. If its past 12 towards the firewall it is off.
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Old 07-11-2021, 02:55 PM   #3
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Could that off tooth be showing itself on the crank sprocket? That would explain why I can line up my cam sprocket, but the engine still won't run right.

To fix this I assume I would need to pull the front cover and reset the chain. Can I leave the crank timing marks at 15 BTDC or will I have to put it back to 0? Would I have to do this with the timing chain off to not throw the cam off TDC.
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:34 PM   #4
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I’d start from scratch, realign everything to TDC, remove and reinstall the chain.
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:59 PM   #5
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That's going to be my plan. I appreciate your TC write-up by the way.

I'm currently struggling to get the front cover free from the block. I haven't dropped the oil pan, I don't want to drop the differential. I have broken the seal though because coolant was leaking through a cover bolt hole and there is coolant in my oil pan. I am damn sure I have all the bolts out; however, there appears to have been 2 bolts behind the oil pump. I removed one, the second was broken by whoever was in there before me. I know the cover isn't threaded, but I'm pretty sure the section of the bolt in the cover is, so it's acting as a stuck pin.

Regarding TDC and starting from scratch, I believe my cam and crank shafts are out of time. To fix this, do I get the #1 piston to TDC, take the TC off, put the crank pulley back on and turn it to the TDC notch? I know it is a must to avoid turning the cam/crank shafts independent of each other, but I'm already out of time. This question has be bugging me.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:40 PM   #6
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Finding TDC is based solely on the piston. The pulley is a nice visual reference but the piston is what matters. Take everything apart, then put the pulley bolt in to allow you to rotate the engine to TDC. Once the piston is at TDC and you’re on the compression stroke, then remove the chain and line up the links with the dots. If you have to move anything to align the dots, move the camshaft, not the crankshaft.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:03 PM   #7
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Because the crankshaft is what is putting the piston at TDC, not the camshaft, I gotcha. Just got the front cover off, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Fingers crossed I can get the distributor on correctly. The driveshaft was at 12:15ish which I realize is not correct. I'll mirror what is in the FSM. If things aren't perfect after it's all back together, provided I got the chain correct, that would just be a matter of dialing in ignition timing with a timing light and rotating the distributor slightly. Am I on the right track with this?
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:42 PM   #8
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Where the driveshaft WAS is not relevant now. Once the chain is correct, then you can set the shaft to the correct spot. If it isn’t on the correct tooth you won’t be able to adjust the timing to 10 btdc. You have to get the shaft right. But it’s not too hard to do. Just make sure it’s at 11:45 before you install the oil pump.
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Old 07-17-2021, 11:14 PM   #9
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So I've put everything back together and my engine still shakes when it runs and I have knock. Everything came together really well, though I haven't used a timing light yet and my crack pulley was still at TDC when everything got put back together and was started. Chain was put on correctly, oil pump and distributor lined up beautifully. Do I need to just let it run or am I taking things apart again....
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Old 07-18-2021, 01:28 AM   #10
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Use a timing light to set the timing to 10. If you’re able to adjust it to the correct setting, your problem isn’t timing related. Make sure to disconnect the TPS
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