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Author Topic: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...  (Read 605 times)

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Offline rob289c

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Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« on: October 06, 2022, 10:23:14 AM »
I am about to change my timing belt and tensioner.  I found that when the dot on the crank timing belt sprocket is dead on the notch in the timing belt cover, the cam sprocket triangle is not lined up with the pointer.  Should I assume it was last installed incorrectly and is one tooth off, or maybe it jumped timing at some point?  The engine didn't run when I bought the car but after a good deal of ignition troubleshootin g, I found and fixed the problem and got it to run.  I could get it to idle but I can't say it ran great.  The exhaust was bad and very loud. 

My question:  When I put it back together, should I leave the pulleys in their current position which I think is wrong, or put it back together the way I think the pulleys should be lined up.  The crank pulley does seem to point at the TDC marking better when the cam position is the way it currently is so I do believe the cam sprocket is wrong, not the crank sprocket. 

Just looking for reassurance from you experts!  I am in the middle of the job now and will likely be done before I get an answer, but if anyone is lurking, I would love to hear your opinion.
rob289c

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2022, 12:31:16 PM »
I always, Always, ALWAYS mark the existing belt and pulleys with a dot of paint (different colors on each pulley) so I know where it was originally. I then transfer the dots to the new belt for alignment. I find on a lot of cars the directions are confusing and  the marks are ambiguous. If your engine ran poorly, you suspect the marks are not proper and you have already removed the belt then you have a different (difficult) situation.

My recollection is the cover used for the alignment mark shifts around on the 2.3. I would put the mark where it "seems" like it should be (putting a dab of paint on the pulley and the belt as reference), then moving it one notch to either side. Go with the position that seems closest. My recollection was that the mark was never right on, only "close."

Offline rob289c

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2022, 06:33:03 PM »
Good advice.  I have removed the old belt and tensioner.  When I replace, I will line up the marks as I think they should be.  It ran but not well and the distributor was pretty much at the end of its travel (one way or the other).  I had a lot of cleaning and degreasing inside the timing belt housing so I haven't put it together yet.  I primed and painted the oil pan, timing belt housing, timing belt cover, water pump, thermostat housing.  I am going to replace the crank, cam, and aux shaft seals while it is apart.  All pulleys and sprockets required heat to get them off.  I haven't taken the cam sprocket off yet. From what I remember about doing one of these 40 years ago is that the aux shaft doesn't need to be in any particular position as long as when I put the distributor in I have it pointing at #1 with the crank and cam in the right positions.  Is that true?
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Offline davidpinto

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2022, 06:43:10 PM »
AFTER ALIGNING MARKS- ROTATE MOTOR SEVERAL TIMES WITH SPARK PLUGS OUT,BEFORE TIGHTENING TENSIONER .CHECK ALIGNMENT,SHOULD BE GOOD TO GO.BE SURE TO PUT SOME SEALER ON CAM SPROCKET BOLT.
D BARHAM

Offline rob289c

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2022, 09:06:12 AM »
Thanks David...
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2022, 06:36:52 PM »
Assemble it the proper way. Don't assume that the person before you did something right even if it was working. Another way to do it that doesn't require a timing cover being present is the string method:

https://www.allfordmustangs.com/threads/1993-mustang-4-cylinder-na-timing-troubles.233176/post-2042291

Crank key at 12:00 and align the cam and aux shaft sprocket marks to a string that passes between the sprocket centers.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2022, 08:46:37 PM »
I will be doing this part of the job tomorrow (Sunday).  I plan to line up all the marks correctly, then after I am sure it is right, I will check it with the string method.
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2022, 09:16:25 PM »
I should also add that yours doesn't look like it's a tooth off, but maybe a half tooth. That can only really happen when the drive side of the belt is too long by that much. It could be wear, elongation, or just manufacturing tolerances. A new one could line up slightly off as well.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: Timing Belt Sprocket Position Question - In Work Now...
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2022, 05:18:33 AM »
I was able to get the crank and cam sprockets right on their marks. I didn't install the distributor yet but will get it lined up with the rotor pointing at #1 tower.  I didn't snap a pic of both crank and cam sprockets and timing mark positions but in this one you can see the cam sprocket is right on the pointer.
rob289c