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2G Mechanical Timing

98gstJames

Proven Member
78
15
May 25, 2022
Virginia
So I’ve done a lot of work on my car and it’s almost starting, I got it to turn over one time and now it’s just crank, I know it’s my timing because I lined up the gears and they didn’t line up right, it wasn’t off by a lot but I know the slightest miss in the timing won’t allow it to fire, so I’m basically just wondering honestly how to do it, I’m familiar with the system and have the Haynes manual but it’s not really too much in detail about basically how to start the timing process, so I was hoping someone could walk me through the process. Thank you
 

98gstJames

Proven Member
78
15
May 25, 2022
Virginia
I agree the timing marks are on but equally important is the tensioner protrusion. This has to be right or you risk the belt jumping time. If your tensioner arm has a divot in it grind it flat.
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I couldn’t figure out how to tighten and loosen the tensioner so I just pulled it off to get the belt off and just put it back on while holding the belt tight. How do I adjust the tensioner if I grind the divot flat if it has one?

From here is looks like you have the mechanical timing right.

You are missing the upper balance shaft belt. I assume you have deleted them so you don't have to worry about the phasing of the lower balance shaft in the mechanical timing.

If you haven't you'll need to start over so you can put that belt on first, then make sure the oil pump sprocket is in the correct phase before putting the main timing belt back on.
The previous owner did the “delete” he didn’t do it right though he just took the belt off how it looks because the balance shaft is still in the block.
 

curt-s

Proven Member
1,547
312
Dec 21, 2008
Winnipeg, MB_Canada
Then you have one balance shaft being driven by the pump, and one that's not driven at all.. OR they did the proper delete with the correct stubby shaft and just left the front shaft in which is another viable method.

Given that you also have to install a new bearing for the rear that's rotated to block the oiling hole, I find it hard to believe they wouldn't just do both at the same time if they spent the time on the oil pump driven one.

Can't say what running one balance shaft does for vibration and harshness as I've not experienced it.

I'd say either put the belt back on the front shaft and pray it doesn't break in the future or remove the rear shaft and replace it with a stubby shaft with the oiling groove and install a new bearing rotated to block the hole.


Note: it's a total PITA when the engine is in the car.
 

Vegas Smith

Proven Member
4,885
2,740
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
I couldn’t figure out how to tighten and loosen the tensioner so I just pulled it off to get the belt off and just put it back on while holding the belt tight. How do I adjust the tensioner if I grind the divot flat if it has one?
You don't loosen or tighten the tensioner. You set the belt tension with this tool:
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Before you set the tension you load up the compression on the tensioner so that it doesnt effect your belt tension. Use this threaded rod to do that:
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and keep the timing gears in place with this tool:
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these are all must have tools to set the timing correctly. It still takes me 4-5 tries to get the belt tension perfect even after all these years.
 

dwb

Proven Member
193
76
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
I couldn’t figure out how to tighten and loosen the tensioner so I just pulled it off to get the belt off and just put it back on while holding the belt tight. How do I adjust the tensioner if I grind the divot flat if it has one?

The previous owner did the “delete” he didn’t do it right though he just took the belt off how it looks because the balance shaft is still in the block.

You have to compress the tensioner with a vice and slip the grenade pin (or some other pin) into the hole to hold the tensioner in place. Then reinstall it and set the tension per the FSM.

The way you have it now, the tensioner is fully extended and will likely lead to a slipped timing belt sooner than later. I've personally never re-used a tensioner, but the FSM does have the procedure to compress and re-use one.

While you have the tensioner out take a minute to pull the t-belt off the the oil pump sprocket, spin it by hand and see if it feels weighted. If it is weighted, a BS delete was never performed and it will vibrate like a SOB without the corresponding rear shaft/belt and likely lead to catastrophic failure. So in this case you either need to perform a proper balance shaft delete or reinstall the balance shaft belt.
 

98gstJames

Proven Member
78
15
May 25, 2022
Virginia
Then you have one balance shaft being driven by the pump, and one that's not driven at all.. OR they did the proper delete with the correct stubby shaft and just left the front shaft in which is another viable method.

Could driving just one balance shaft be an issue? If I’m better off getting rid of the other one then I’ll just do that.

You have to compress the tensioner with a vice and slip the grenade pin (or some other pin) into the hole to hold the tensioner in place. Then reinstall it and set the tension per the FSM. The way you have it now, the tensioner is fully extended and will likely lead to a slipped timing belt sooner than later. I've personally never re-used a tensioner, but the FSM does have the procedure to compress and re-use one.
While you have the tensioner out take a minute to pull the t-belt off the the oil pump sprocket, spin it by hand and see if it feels weighted. If it is weighted, a BS delete was never performed and it will vibrate like a SOB without the corresponding rear shaft/belt and likely lead to catastrophic failure. So in this case you either need to perform a proper balance shaft delete or reinstall the balance shaft belt.
The oil pump sprocket feels weightless, so should I get a new tensioner to put on there? The tension feels the same as it did before I touched it.

You don't loosen or tighten the tensioner. You set the belt tension with this tool:
You must be logged in to view this image or video.

Before you set the tension you load up the compression on the tensioner so that it doesnt effect your belt tension. Use this threaded rod to do that:
You must be logged in to view this image or video.

and keep the timing gears in place with this tool:
You must be logged in to view this image or video.


these are all must have tools to set the timing correctly. It still takes me 4-5 tries to get the belt tension perfect even after all these years.
Alright I’ll look into getting these tools on Friday when I get paid. What should the tension be like?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

steve

DSM Wiseman
14,575
1,468
Feb 3, 2002
Boulder, Colorado
Given that you also have to install a new bearing for the rear that's rotated to block the oiling hole, I find it hard to believe they wouldn't just do both at the same time if they spent the time on the oil pump driven one.

You have to rotate the bearings on the upper shaft but I don't recall having to do so on the lower. I think it is drilled and gets oil from the front bearing to lube the rear bearing. The stubby shaft solves that.

Could driving just one balance shaft be an issue? If I’m better off getting rid of the other one then I’ll just do that.

Just deleting the belt will cause real issues. the balance shafts normally create vibrations in the engine that cancel out the inherent motions of a inline 4. without both working it's worse than not having any. First you need to figure out what's been done.
 
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spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,222
719
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
The oil pump sprocket feels weightless, so should I get a new tensioner to put on there? The tension feels the same as it did before I touched it.

If the oil pump sprocket feels weightless, that balance shaft may have been deleted. However, to be absolutely sure, there's a bolt on the intake side of the engine at the bottom where the balance shaft would be. Remove that bolt and you should have a hole into the block. Insert a screwdriver and then turn the sprocket. If something hits the screwdriver, you still have a balance shaft installed. If nothing hits, no balance shaft.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,124
2,690
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Alright I’ll look into getting these tools on Friday when I get paid. What should the tension be like?
I posted what the tension should be above. You have to measure the protrustion of the hydraulic tensioner after you have tightened down the eccentric pulley. Many of use use the grenade pin as a guide. When the pin starts to slide the eccentric pulley has been rotated enough and can be tightened down. My favorite method is to use the threaded rod tool to compress the hydraulic tensioner until the pin slides. Then I back it off a thread. That way I'm very close. When I then address the eccentric pulley I can get it set correctly, tighten it down and I'm done. Oddly I sometimes use a ratchet above to torque the eccentric then reach under the fender and use a wrench to tighten the bolt. This can be done with one person and it isn't difficult. It's weird but not difficult. If you get it wrong the first time, loosen the bolt and go again. After all this you double check it by rotating the motor around 6 times (not really necessary for no balance shafts) but 6 full turns of the crank brings all the marks back on point. Then you double check the protrusion. It's either right or it isn't. If it's wrong you loosen the eccentric and do it again.
 

curt-s

Proven Member
1,547
312
Dec 21, 2008
Winnipeg, MB_Canada
You have to rotate the bearings on the upper shaft but I don't recall having to do so on the lower. I think it is drilled and gets oil from the front bearing to lube the rear bearing. The stubby shaft solves that.



Just deleting the belt will cause rear issues. the balance shafts normally create vibrations in the engine that cancel out the inherent motions of a inline 4. without both working it's worse than not having any. First you need to figure out what's been done.

You are entirely correct. Stubby shaft replaces the long balance shaft which had an oil hole that carried oil down its length and exited between itself and the bearing. I regret providing this crappy info.. this will allow the front shaft to remain in. It's not a "perfect" deletion, but the hole will be blocked -- that's what counts.

Just doing the stubby shaft while the engine is in the car is entirely within the realm of possibility, though it's potentially going to be annoying to actually remove the shaft.
It's going to require a lot of cleanup and brake cleaner to remove the oil on the gasket surface of the block before reassembly. I'd suggest, if possible, to slightly tip the engine or car passenger side down for cleanup and reassembly as this will help prevent oil from spilling over and ruining the just-cleaned surface. It won't be perfect but it will be something. Just use an actual jack stand and physically prevent the car from rolling forward or reverse. Perhaps take the pump off and let the car sit overnight while protecting the area from dust and blowing debris -- a garage is best -- to help clear out some oil in the galleys and such.



A quick spin with the drill and a socket on the oil pump sprocket bolt should also be pretty telling of whether there is a balance shaft. You'd definitely be able to feel the difference in resistance once those lobes start spinning. Just spin it clockwise so you don't inadvertently back off the nut.. though unlikely since the whole assembly is still pretty light.
 

98gstJames

Proven Member
78
15
May 25, 2022
Virginia
If the oil pump sprocket feels weightless, that balance shaft may have been deleted. However, to be absolutely sure, there's a bolt on the intake side of the engine at the bottom where the balance shaft would be. Remove that bolt and you should have a hole into the block. Insert a screwdriver and then turn the sprocket. If something hits the screwdriver, you still have a balance shaft installed. If nothing hits, no balance shaft.
Alright I’ll check when I get to it again, if there isn’t a balance shaft what should I be looking to do?

I posted what the tension should be above. You have to measure the protrustion of the hydraulic tensioner after you have tightened down the eccentric pulley. Many of use use the grenade pin as a guide. When the pin starts to slide the eccentric pulley has been rotated enough and can be tightened down. My favorite method is to use the threaded rod tool to compress the hydraulic tensioner until the pin slides. Then I back it off a thread. That way I'm very close. When I then address the eccentric pulley I can get it set correctly, tighten it down and I'm done. Oddly I sometimes use a ratchet above to torque the eccentric then reach under the fender and use a wrench to tighten the bolt. This can be done with one person and it isn't difficult. It's weird but not difficult. If you get it wrong the first time, loosen the bolt and go again. After all this you double check it by rotating the motor around 6 times (not really necessary for no balance shafts) but 6 full turns of the crank brings all the marks back on point. Then you double check the protrusion. It's either right or it isn't. If it's wrong you loosen the eccentric and do it again.
Alright so I’ll definitely get the tools, you think when I put the belt on even tho it looked on time when it tightened up, did it rotate out of time do you think?
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,124
2,690
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Alright so I’ll definitely get the tools, you think when I put the belt on even tho it looked on time when it tightened up, did it rotate out of time do you think?
If you put some binder clips on the cam sprockets it will likely stay in place. Doesn't really matter. Once you get the belt on and you're ready to tension you'll know if it's right or not. If it isn't you mess with it until it is then tension.
 

dwb

Proven Member
193
76
Sep 9, 2021
Broomfield, Colorado
Could driving just one balance shaft be an issue? If I’m better off getting rid of the other one then I’ll just do that.
Yes, if only one is rotating.
If the oil pump side is replaced with a stub shaft and the front bs is left alone with no belt, you should be OK but not ideal.
One benefit of properly doing a bs delete with removal of the front shaft is increased oil pressure.
The oil pump sprocket feels weightless, so should I get a new tensioner to put on there? The tension feels the same as it did before I touched it.
Yes it would be wise to replace it (tensioner). At that point why not replace the belt, wp, and pulleys too, if budget allows?

As far as tension, you are max extended right now. So *any* strech of the belt and it has no way to compensate.
 
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1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
9,261
5,056
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
If you decide to recompress the old tensioner, compress it SLOWLY, LITTLE BY LITTLE, in a vice until you can put a pin or nail in it. That is the point the tensioner should be close to or on the money when your tension is correct on the belt. If you compress it to quickly, you risk it leaking from then on out and it really didn't look too bad, although I always replace them when doing a timing job. Since that component is getting harder to find, I would recommend trying to save it if just for use later.
 

waltah

Proven Member
369
153
Mar 2, 2011
fairfield, Virginia
If the balance shafts aren't installed and operating the engine will have noticeably more vibration. Some people care about this, some don't.

I don't see why running just one balance shaft would mean more vibration than with none. The shafts run at different speeds and thus cancel the built-in vibrations at different multiples of crank RPM; with only one shaft only one of those harmonics would be canceled but that's still better than no cancellation at all. Of course this assumes that the one shaft is properly timed.

I've driven a Mitsubishi with incorrectly timed shafts -- that's not something you would want to do.

I think balance shaft deletion makes good sense for engines that will be run at high RPMs a lot -- racing etc. It's one more thing that can fail and that failure is likely serious plus when it's done right you get some extra oil pressure. For engines in normal sports car service I wouldn't do it. Not only is the increased vibration noticeable, other things on the engine -- wiring harnesses, mounts, piping, etc. -- aren't designed with that in mind.

Basically it's a design trade off that you should make according to how you see things.
 

98gstJames

Proven Member
78
15
May 25, 2022
Virginia
If you put some binder clips on the cam sprockets it will likely stay in place. Doesn't really matter. Once you get the belt on and you're ready to tension you'll know if it's right or not. If it isn't you mess with it until it is then tension.
So if I lined it up right then I tensioned, that won’t mess with the time? I just am unsure

Yes, if only one is rotating.
If the oil pump side is replaced with a stub shaft and the front bs is left alone with no belt, you should be OK but not ideal.
One benefit of properly doing a bs delete with removal of the front shaft is increased oil pressure.

Yes it would be wise to replace it (tensioner). At that point why not replace the belt, wp, and pulleys too, if budget allows?

As far as tension, you are max extended right now. So *any* strech of the belt and it has no way to compensate.
I’ll see about getting a new tensioner and pulleys, I already have a new timing belt for it and it has a brand new wp on it already so should be no problem to get the others.

If the balance shafts aren't installed and operating the engine will have noticeably more vibration. Some people care about this, some don't.

I don't see why running just one balance shaft would mean more vibration than with none. The shafts run at different speeds and thus cancel the built-in vibrations at different multiples of crank RPM; with only one shaft only one of those harmonics would be canceled but that's still better than no cancellation at all. Of course this assumes that the one shaft is properly timed.

I've driven a Mitsubishi with incorrectly timed shafts -- that's not something you would want to do.

I think balance shaft deletion makes good sense for engines that will be run at high RPMs a lot -- racing etc. It's one more thing that can fail and that failure is likely serious plus when it's done right you get some extra oil pressure. For engines in normal sports car service I wouldn't do it. Not only is the increased vibration noticeable, other things on the engine -- wiring harnesses, mounts, piping, etc. -- aren't designed with that in mind.

Basically it's a design trade off that you should make according to how you see things.
The balance shaft on the front is still in but the one next to the oil pump is deleted and has a stub, the other still has the sprocket on it just no belt but it’s lined up with the mark if that means anything since it has no belt.

Once the tensioner is compressed, how does it get uncompressed? Is that what the grenade pin is for? To hold it in place to get the belt on?
 

CKOPOCT

Proven Member
90
50
May 27, 2017
North East, Maryland
So it sounds like you've got a Frankenscrewed 2G. With the primary O2 sensor missing and no MAF your computer has no way of knowing how the engine is breathing or burning so it can't meter the fuel delivery. Mechanical timing was way off - bad news in an interference engine. Plus you've got a bunch of add on and mod crap that was apparently done by someone who went to the movies and dreamed of Race Wars...

Start from scratch. Get back to basics.

1. Believe nothing about what you were told about the car.
2. Get your timing dead nuts on.
3. Perform a compression test.
4. Fix any known or revealed issues
5. Get all proper and necessary stock parts on and in good working order.
6. Attempt to start and run.
7. Fix and go from there until you are running right.

Might seem like a pita, but with what you have shared you need to start at the bottom. If you try to skip steps or assume things are fine you're liable to end up spending more $ and time chasing problems caused by improper mods and previous owner ignorance.
 

curt-s

Proven Member
1,547
312
Dec 21, 2008
Winnipeg, MB_Canada
So it sounds like you've got a Frankenscrewed 2G. With the primary O2 sensor missing and no MAF your computer has no way of knowing how the engine is breathing or burning so it can't meter the fuel delivery. Mechanical timing was way off - bad news in an interference engine. Plus you've got a bunch of add on and mod crap that was apparently done by someone who went to the movies and dreamed of Race Wars...

Start from scratch. Get back to basics.

1. Believe nothing about what you were told about the car.
2. Get your timing dead nuts on.
3. Perform a compression test.
4. Fix any known or revealed issues
5. Get all proper and necessary stock parts on and in good working order.
6. Attempt to start and run.
7. Fix and go from there until you are running right.

Might seem like a pita, but with what you have shared you need to start at the bottom. If you try to skip steps or assume things are fine you're liable to end up spending more $ and time chasing problems caused by improper mods and previous owner ignorance.
I started and ran my engine with no MAF connected and MAF type still set to MAF for some reason and the ignition timing was set to "best guess" as I had not yet timed it with a light. It not only started within a couple turnovers, but also never died out.. it just was impossible to get fuel delivery right for obvious reasons. My point being, just because it doesn't have a MAF doesn't mean it won't at least start and idle.
 

CKOPOCT

Proven Member
90
50
May 27, 2017
North East, Maryland
I started and ran my engine with no MAF connected and MAF type still set to MAF for some reason and the ignition timing was set to "best guess" as I had not yet timed it with a light. It not only started within a couple turnovers, but also never died out.. it just was impossible to get fuel delivery right for obvious reasons. My point being, just because it doesn't have a MAF doesn't mean it won't at least start and idle.
True. If the car won't start and at least idle, even if horribly, the diagnostic tree is relatively short (fuel delivery, spark, timing, compression). My assessment was that as this car is new to the OP and, from the pics and description, critical basic stuff has been eliminated without the functionality being compensated or made up for, plus the addition of bolt-ons - it would be best for the OP to start from square one.

OP - your mechanical timing was waaayyy off. At best your valves were open/closed in the wrong sequence frustrating ignition. At worst you have bent valves, preventing compression and ignition. At this point with the baseline being stuff missing, misinformation about the engine, timing issues, and history of what it took to get it to start, you need to treat this like an engine that you just pulled from a junkyard. Verify mechanical timing first. Next, compression test (because if valves are bent there's no point in going further until that's fixed). If that's all good, check and refresh your spark plugs. Next, replace all of the missing engine management components. Once your engine running/management components are all there and in good working order you will be in a good position to troubleshoot any starting/running problems.

In addition to pauleyman's link to no start troubleshooting, recommend going through the power upgrade path outlined here:
https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/basic-horsepower-ugrades-2g-4g63t.480196/
It will give you valuable info regarding bolt-ons and upgrades and how they can affect engine running.

Sorry you seem to have stepped into a mess with the 2G but we can help get you on the road in a reliable car. Just might take some time, sweat, blood, and money first...

.
 
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