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Timing belt woes (Exhaust cam off slight, crank off, and tensioner troubles)

squid267

Proven Member
158
3
Jan 14, 2012
Worcester, Massachusetts
Doing my first timing belt job, aswell as 6 bolt swap. I have numerous VFAQ, and other tutorials and I just want to confirm a few things

1) My exhaust camshaft is off by the slightest bit. It was lined up as seen here

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Rotate crank 6 times and this is how it looks

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Is this the exhaust natural tendency that the faqs and tutorials were talking about or something else?

2) My crank after 6 rotations.

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is off or am i being too ocd

3) The hydraulic tensioner after 15 mins does not raise that much. and i can still push a grenade pin thru. some faqs say its okay, some dont. whats the correct answer here :confused:

Thanks! hope to get back on the road asap
 
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EC17PSE

Freelancer
5,647
2,994
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
In the first pic it seems as of both need to be turned in 1 more tooth! It does look slightly Off but its not a whole tooth out from what I can see
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,424
2,946
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I concur, both cams gears appear off one tooth. exhaust needs to go clockwise one tooth and intake counterclockwise one tooth.

BTW you'll have a much easier time with the belt covers if you remove the studs on the motor mount.
 

born2tune

10+ Year Contributor
917
35
Dec 30, 2009
clarksville, Tennessee
that plastic guide is upside down face flipped. basically the cam marks will line perfectly if you have the plastic guide installed right, which in the first pic, it is not.
 

squid267

Proven Member
158
3
Jan 14, 2012
Worcester, Massachusetts
It's the Jay Racing tool, website says face arrow up

Jay Racing Timing Belt Tool, Fix Cam Gear Position [TBT3] - $25.00 : Jay Racing

Edit: redid it few more times. everything lined up nice.

this was cams before

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but then rotate crank 6 times...
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exhaust cam is off. is that natural tendency bs?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,424
2,946
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
The plastic piece is not wrong in the first pic, teh cams are just not in the right place. The orientation of the tool was correct. As for this latest pic rotate six times, line up the crank dead nuts (hint: don't look at the came at all) and then look at them. They should be dead nuts also. My guess in that last pic if you're very slightly off on the crank mark so it appears it's off when it really isn't. Basically, I think you have it right.
 

97grnrs

Proven Member
124
2
Nov 3, 2004
reading, Pennsylvania
removal of the leaves and oily residue would be a good idea. i learned the hard way
 

Dsmkauai

Proven Member
4,662
421
Feb 20, 2010
Kauai, Hawaii
So non of your pics show the cams in the right position. Imagine a straight line or better yet get a ruler and use it as your guide. The cam marks should go straight across and pretty much should go straight across where the valve cover meets the head if your looking straight on ( hope that makes sense). You need to redo your timing till its dead nuts on everytime you rotate and check. Get the cams perfect with the plastic cam tool then wrap the timing belt around over the idler then oil pump them crank pulley then tensioner pulley. Do you have the other tools for the timing kit? What are you using to tension the tensioner. If this isn't done right you will mess up your engine no way around that bro!!
 

Cdc1221

Proven Member
1,513
1
Feb 16, 2012
Jackson, Georgia
Not necessarily. Mine I redid three times, started the engine, had idle surge, then did it again. I couldn't get all four timing marks to lay out straight. At all. It just seems like its a half-tooth off. But technically it can't be. You want to rotate the exhaust can to where its already starting to push two valves, then rotate the intake can back so that the marks align, then use the belt with two clips to hold the tension while you route the belt as described above.
 

Dsmkauai

Proven Member
4,662
421
Feb 20, 2010
Kauai, Hawaii
You only need to worry about the two inside marks lining up perfectly straight. Which in the o.p's situation hasn't happen yet from what I see. But in all honestly all 4 should make a straight line like in this pic.
 

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Cdc1221

Proven Member
1,513
1
Feb 16, 2012
Jackson, Georgia
Yea that's what kept making me reset mine. I could get the two inside marks to line up, but then all four wouldn't be in a straight line. But you're right. By the the first set of pics, ex can was retarded one tooth. Couldn't see the second set.
 

squid267

Proven Member
158
3
Jan 14, 2012
Worcester, Massachusetts
All set guys. Here some tips for other people in this situation

1) Even with plastic tool you may need to rotate exhaust, and possibly intake inward a little bit (Depends on how exact your tool is)

2) Ziptie both exhaust AND intake cams, so the slack is between exhuast cam and tensioner pulley

3) if there slack between oil sprocket and crank you will be out of phase when you tension the pulley.

If you're having issues just come back it later, you wont get perfect first try. Took me 3 days!

Good Luck!
 
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