How to Replace a Timing Chain for Carsby Contributing Writer
Unlike most modern engines, the 302 was never equipped with overhead camshafts. The camshaft was instead inserted through the center of the block and a timing chain was used. The purpose of a timing chain is to connect the engine's crankshaft to its camshaft, and to ensure that both components spin in a precise sequence. Over time, the chain stretches, making it difficult to set the ignition timing. Fortunately, because the 302's distributor does not have to be removed, replacing the timing chain on a 302 is easier than on many other types of engines.
Under The Hood:
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on a 1994 Saturn
- How to Change the Timing Chain on a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire
- How to Change a Timing Chain on a Chevy
- How to Change the Timing Chain on a 1996 Chevy Cavalier
- How to Change the Timing Chain on a 1999 Chevy Tahoe
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on a 2005 Toyota Corolla
- How to Change the Timing Chain on a 1988 Toyota 22RE
- How to Replace a Timing Chain for a 302
- When to Change the Timing Chain on a BMW E36?
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on an Oldsmobile Cutlass
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on a 300D
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on a 2000 Mustang GT
- How to Replace the Timing Chain on a Ford F-150
- How to Replace the Timing Chain in an Expedition
- How to Change the Timing Chain on a Ford Focus
Removing the Timing Chain
Set the Top Dead Center position for the number one piston. Remove the spark plug wires, pulling the boot off of each spark plug. Place the car in neutral. Attach a socket to the bolt threaded onto the camshaft vibration damper. Put a finger over the number one spark hole, which is the hole located closest to the timing chain end of the engine. While holding your finger over the hole, have an assistant rotate the socket on the vibration damper clockwise. When you can feel air pressure on your finger, have the assistant stop rotating the damper. Place a drinking straw into the hole and begin rotating the damper slowly, which while bring the piston up and force the straw up from the hole. Keep rotating the damper until the straw fails to rise. When the straws fails to rise, the number one piston is at Top Dead Center position.
Place an automotive jack under the front of the vehicle and raise it, placing jack stands under the frame to support it. Remove the jack once the vehicle is supported by the stands.
Drain the engine oil. Place a engine fluid container under the oil drain fitting on the bottom of the engine block. Loosen the fitting with a wrench until fluid flows into the container. Tighten the fitting when fluid has finished draining.
Remove the passenger-side lug nuts holding the front wheel in place with a socket wrench and remove the wheel.
Remove the splash shield from inside the passenger-side front fender. Use wire cutters to pull up the center of the fasteners. Do not use force when pulling up the plastic centers to ensure they aren't cut. Pull the shield away from the fender once the fasteners are removed.
Remove the crankshaft vibration damper and pulley. Place a pry bar through the damper and slip the end under the engine block to hold the damper in place. Remove the damper retaining bolt with a socket wrench. Place a crankshaft puller on the shaft and remove the damper and pulley.
Remove the accessory belt tensioner. Place a socket wrench on the bolt on the center of the tensioner pulley and turn it counterclockwise to remove the bolt and pulley. Remove the two tensioner bracket bolts with a socket wrench and remove the tensioner.
Remove the three water pump pulley bolts with a socket wrench and remove the pulley.
Place a block of wood on the automotive jack and place the jack under the engine oil pan. Gently raise the engine, gaining just enough room to access the timing chain cover on the passenger side of the engine.
Remove the four bolts holding the oil pan to the timing chain cover with a socket wrench, then remove the rest of the remaining timing chain cover bolts.
Remove the timing chain cover. Place a large socket over the crankshaft to keep the front crankshaft seal in place while pulling the timing chain cover slightly away from the engine block. Once the cover has been moved an inch away from the block, remove the socket and pull the cover from the block.
Remove the sprockets, tensioner and timing chain guides. Remove the two bolts holding the tensioner in place with a socket wrench and remove the tensioner. Remove the bolts holding the guides in place and remove the guides. Place a mark on both sprockets to ensure they are installed in the same position. Ensure the sprockets do not remove while removing the retaining bolt on both the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets. Remove the retaining bolts and remove both sprockets and chain.
Installing the Timing Chain
Install the camshaft sprocket temporarily, placing the sprocket onto the shaft without the retaining bolt, using the marks made previously to install it in the same position from which it was removed. If the sprockets have not been turned since setting the Top Dead Center position for the number one piston, the dimple on the sprocket should be at the 12 o'clock position. Use the long end of an Allen wrench, sticking it through the small hole at the top of the sprocket and placing it through the alignment hole on the cylinder head. This will ensure the camshaft sprocket is properly aligned.
Place the crankshaft sprocket onto the shaft, using the marks made before removal for installation. Turn it 90 degrees to align the dimple on the crankshaft with the mark on the engine block, which should be at 6 o'clock.
Remove the camshaft sprocket slightly and place the timing chain over the camshaft sprocket. One of the bright links on the timing chain will be installed over the dimple on the camshaft sprocket tooth at the 12 o'clock position.
Place the timing chain over the crankshaft sprocket. One of the bright links on the timing chain will be installed over the dimple on the crankshaft sprocket tooth at the 6 o'clock position.
Place the camshaft sprocket onto the shaft and install the camshaft sprocket bolt with a torque wrench, tightening it to 75 foot-pounds, ensuring the sprockets do not rotate during installation.
Lubricate the timing chain guides with engine grease.
Place the timing chain guides into position and replace the mounting bolts with torque wrench, tightening the bolts to 19 foot-pounds.
Compress the plunger on the tensioner all the way into the tensioner and put the tensioner in place, keeping the plunger compressed during installation. Install the two tensioner mounting bolts with a torque wrench, tightening them to 168 inch-pounds.
Clean the mating surfaces of the timing cover and engine block with a gasket scraper and a towel soaked in acetone.
Place a coat of RTV sealant approximately 2 mm thick over the timing chain cover. Place a coat of RTV sealant approximately 4 mm thick to the front of the oil pan.
Place the timing chain cover against the engine block and install the timing chain cover bolts with a torque wrench, tightening the lower-center bolt to 89 inch-pounds, the upper bolts to 22 foot-pounds and the other bolts to 19 foot-pounds.
Place the camshaft vibration damper/pulley onto the shaft and install the retaining bolt, tightening the bolt with a torque wrench to 159 foot-pounds.
Lower the automotive jack supporting the engine.
Place the water pump pulley onto the water pump and install the three water pump pulley bolts with a socket wrench.
Place the accessory belt tensioner bracket against the engine block and install the two mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Place the tensioner pulley onto the bracket and install the pulley mounting bolt. Place the belt over the pulley and tighten the tensioner, tightening the tensioner pulley bolt with a wrench.
Place the splash shield under the fender and push the fasteners into the holes on the fender and splash shield. Push the centers of the fasteners in to engage them.
Place the wheel onto the wheel studs and install the lug nuts with a torque wrench, tightening the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds.
Support the vehicle with an automotive jack, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle.
Fill the vehicle with engine oil, using the dipstick to check for the appropriate level.
Items you will need
Engine fluid container
Crankshaft pulley puller
Block of wood
Removing the Cover of the Timing Chain Housing
Drive the Sunfire onto a a pair of drive on lifts to raise your 1996 Pontiac Sunfire securely off the ground. Make sure you use the emergency brake to keep the car from rolling off the lifts.
Loosen and remove the negative battery wire using your hands. Using a socket wrench, remove the oil pan. The serpentine drive belt is removed using the flathead screwdriver. Remove the power steering pump from its housing with the Phillips screwdriver, but do not disengage the attached hoses. Remove the generator from its housing with the Phillips screwdriver, but again do not disengage the wires attached to it. Remove the drive belt tensioner using the socket wrench.
Using the tire iron, remove the the drivers side front wheel. Take off the engine splash shield with the socket wrench.
Remove the bolt from the center of the crankshaft pulley and also remove the three crankshaft pulley bolts with the socket wrench. Remove the crankshaft pulley hub with the socket wrench then remove the bolts and take off the front cover with your hands.
Removing the Timing Chain
Line up the timing marks from the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets with the tabs from the chain tensioner.
Remove the timing chain tensioner upper bolt and loosen but do not remove the timing chain Torx bolt with the socket wrench.
Remove the camshaft bolt with the socket wrench. Remove the camshaft sprocket with the sprocket puller as well as the timing chain with your hands.
Using the sprocket puller remove the crankshaft sprocket
Replacing the Timing Chain
Replace crankshaft sprocket using sprocket installer. Make sure that the sprocket is secure against the crankshaft. Compress the chain tensioner spring and place a cotter pin or a nail in the hole of the tensioner
Install the camshaft sprocket and the timing chain making sure to align the sprocket marks with chain tensioner tabs. Align the camshaft sprocket hole with the cam shaft dowel pin. Install the camshaft bolt and tighten to specification using the socket wrench.
Replace and tighten the chain tensioner upper bolt and tighten down the Torx bolt to specifications. Remove the nail or cotter pin from the chain tensioner then lubricate the timing chain
Replacing the Front Cover
Place the cover back on and tighten the bolts down to specification. Replace the crankshaft pulley as well as the four bolts that hold it in place.
Replace the engine splash shield as well as the driver's side front tire.
Replace the drive belt tensioner as well as the belt attached and make sure it is at the correct tension. The correct tension is when the belt goes over all the pulleys and there is no slack in the belt. Put the generator in its housing and put the power steering pump in its housing as well. Put the oil pan and serpentine belt back in their respective places. Make sure that the serpentine belt is at the correct tension. Put the negative battery wire back on the negative battery terminal and slowly lower your car back to the ground.
Items you will need
Hydraulic lift or drive-on lifts
Full set of sockets
Oil or WD-40
Unfasten the negative battery cable of the Chevy S10 with an open end wrench and move the cable out of the way being careful not to touch any metal parts with the cable.
Unhook the air filter housing hose that attaches to the fan shroud using a flat head screwdriver to loosen the clamp and pulling the hose straight off by hand.
Locate the sensor at the bottom of the air filter hose and unclip the sensor by hand.
Remove the air filter housing hose from the air filter using a flat head screwdriver to loosen the clamp and take the hose completely out of the engine compartment.
Remove the upper fan shroud with a socket wrench by detaching the four bolts holding it in place.
Locate the overflow coolant hose and detach it from the clips by hand that are holding it in place.
Detach the lower fan shroud using a flat head screwdriver to undo the clips between the fan shroud wall and tab, removing the shroud from the engine compartment.
Unfasten the four bolts that are holding the fan/clutch plate on using an open end wrench to undo the bolts and remove the fan/clutch plate.
Loosen the pulley bolts on the water pump with a socket wrench just enough to let you slide the belt off the pulley and set it aside in a safe place.
Remove the water pump pulley using a socket wrench to undo the bolts holding it in place.
Unfasten the serpentine belt tensioner pulley by removing the bolts with a socket wrench and detaching the pulley from the engine.
Locate the pulley in front of the timing chain cover and use a socket wrench to remove the three bolts and then undo the center bolt with the socket wrench.
Detach the pulley from the timing cover using a seal puller to remove it and undo the bolts that are holding the timing cover in place using the socket wrench.
Unfasten the timing cover by using a flat head screwdriver in between the cover and the engine block, pulling back and breaking the seal, working your way around the cover until you can pull it off the block.
Remove the chain tensioner with a socket wrench and use the seal puller to undo the small sprocket.
Place a towel over the oil pan opening to prevent any debris from falling into the pan and remove the timing chain from the sprockets, being careful not to move the sprockets out of place.
Place the new timing chain in position and remove the towel from over the oil pan opening.
Reattach the small sprocket, sliding it back into place and secure the chain tensioner with bolts using a socket wrench.
Secure the timing cover with bolts and slide the pulley back into place, fastening it with the center bolt and the three outer bolts using a socket wrench.
Attach the serpentine belt tensioner pulley by sliding it into position and securing the bolts with the socket wrench.
Attach the water pump pulley and slide the pulley belt back into place, checking to verify that the belt is correctly positioned around each of the pulleys.
Secure the fan/clutch plate with bolts and place the lower shroud back into position, fastening the clips to attach it to the vehicle frame.
Connect the coolant overflow hose to the clips and attach the fan shroud, securing it with bolts.
Attach the upper fan shroud to the lower shroud, connecting it with for bolts and connect the air filter housing hose to both the air filter and fan shroud securing the clamps with a flat head screwdriver.
Attach the negative battery cable to the Chevy S10 battery, securing it with an open end wrench and check the oil level, adding more oil if necessary.
Items you will need
Open end wrench
Socket wrench set
Place a wrench over the tensioner bolt and turn it clockwise to release tension on the drive belt. With the tension released, pull the belt off of the pulleys and out of the engine bay.
Remove the power steering pump mounting bolts with a ratchet wrench and remove the pump. Brace the power steering pump out of the way without disconnecting the power steering hoses.
Detach the wires from the back of the alternator. Remove the alternator mounting bolts with a ratchet wrench and remove the alternator from the engine bay. Remove the alternator bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench and remove the alternator bracket.
Support the front of the engine from above with an engine hoist. Remove the four mounting bolts holding the front engine mount in place with the ratchet wrench then remove the engine mount from the engine bay.
Remove the water pump pulley mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench and remove the water pump pulley from the engine bay. Unscrew the engine accessory bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench then remove the accessory bracket from the engine bay.
Raise the vehicle with an automotive jack and support it on jack stands. Pull both the right engine splash shield and exhaust shield away from the vehicle and detach their retaining clips.
Disconnect the electrical connections running to the starter. Remove the starter mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench and remove the starter from the engine bay. Remove the starter bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench and remove the starter mounting bracket.
Loosen and remove the engine strut mount bolts with the ratchet wrench and remove the mount. Remove the bolts holding the strut mount bracket in place with the ratchet wrench then lower the bracket enough so that the oil pan can be removed.
Place an oil drain container under the oil pan and loosen the drain fitting with the ratchet wrench. Once the oil has finished draining, tighten the drain fitting. Remove the oil pan mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench then remove the oil pan and oil pan gasket.
Loosen and remove the crankshaft pulley bolts with the ratchet wrench then remove the pulley. Remove the hub nut with a wrench and use a hub puller to remove the crankshaft hub.
Remove the timing chain cover bolts with the ratchet wrench then remove the timing chain cover. Temporarily install the crankshaft pulley hub and hub bolt. Rotate the crankshaft until the timing marks on the crankshaft sprocket and camshaft sprocket align with the marks on the tensioner housing. Push the spring on the timing chain tensioner back and insert a drill bit into the hole to leave it in the retracted position. Remove the camshaft sprocket bolt with the ratchet wrench. Pull the camshaft sprocket off of the camshaft dowel pin then remove the camshaft sprocket and timing chain from the engine bay. Remove the crankshaft pulley hub and hub bolt.
Place the camshaft sprocket back onto the dowel pin along with the new timing chain. Run the chain over the crankshaft sprocket, ensuring the timing marks on both sprockets are still lined up with the timing chain tensioner. Install the camshaft sprocket bolt and tighten it with a torque wrench to 96 ft.-lbs. Press the timing chain against the tensioner and remove the drill bit and spring to place tension on the chain. Lubricate the chain and sprockets with engine oil. Rotate the engine through two complete revolutions and ensure the timing marks are lined up. Install the timing chain gasket and timing chain cover, tightening the timing chain bolts with a torque wrench to 97 inch-pounds.
Replace the crankshaft hub and hub nut with a torque wrench, tightening it to 77 ft.-lbs. Replace the crankshaft pulley and crankshaft pulley bolt, tightening the bolt with a torque wrench to 37 ft.-lbs.
Apply a thin coat of RTV sealer to the oil pan sealing flanges and the oil pan's front cover surface. Apply a thin coat of RTV sealer to the ends of the rear oil pan seal. Press the oil pan seal into position and install the oil pan: finger-tighten the bolts to hold it in position. Tighten the oil pan bolts with the torque wrench, tightening each bolt to 89 inch-pounds. Fill the engine with oil, using the dipstick to check the oil level.
Replace the strut mount bracket onto the engine strut mount and install the bracket bolts with the ratchet wrench. Replace the engine mount strut by reinstalling the mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench.
Place the starter mounting bracket into position and replace the bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench. Place the starter onto the bracket and replace the starter mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench. Reconnect the electrical connections to the starter.
Push both the right engine splash shield and exhaust shield back into position and attach the retaining clips to the vehicle. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle with the automotive jack.
Replace the engine accessory bracket and reinstall the bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench. Reinstall the water pump pulley into position and reinstall the water pump pulley mounting bolts with a ratchet wrench.
Put the front engine mount into place and install the four engine mount bolts with the ratchet wrench. Remove the engine hoist.
Put the alternator bracket into place and reinstall the bracket mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench. Reinstall the alternator and its mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench. Connect the wires removed in Step 3 to the back of the alternator.
Put the power steering pump into position and reinstall the power steering pump mounting bolts with the ratchet wrench.
Place a wrench over the tensioner bolt and turn it clockwise to install the belt. Place the belt over the pulleys according to the routing diagram on the radiator support. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to place tension on the drive belt.
Items you will need
Oil drain container
Place a drain pan underneath the Tahoe and loosen the drain plug with a socket wrench to drain the cooling system. Open the hood.
Remove the crankshaft pulley and damper by pulling them out of the Tahoe.
Unfasten the bolts securing the timing case cover to the block with a socket wrench. Remove the cover and gaskets.
Pry off the old seal from the timing chain cover with a flat-head screwdriver. Remove the timing chain cover.
Crank the engine until the timing-marks on both of the sprockets are closest to each other and in the middle of the shaft centers. Uninstall the bolts, securing the timing chain to the engine. Lift it out of the engine compartment and install a new timing chain. Reattach the bolts and the timing chain cover.
Reattach the damper and crankshaft pulley. Tighten the drain plug and lift off the radiator cover cap. Pour the coolant from the drain pan into the radiator. Reattach the cap and close the hood.
Items you will need
Accessing the Chain
Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Make sure the parking brake is on and the gear shift is in "Park."
Remove the drive belt and alternator from the engine.
Raise the front end of the car and support it on jack stands. Remove the right front wheel and the right splash shield from the wheel well.
Drain the cooling system by removing the drain plug on the radiator and draining the coolant into a large container. As the coolant drains, unbolt and disconnect the power steering pump without disconnecting its lines. Tie it to the body with something strong like an untwisted coat hanger.
Raise a floor jack underneath the engine to support it, placing a wood block on the jack to prevent it from damaging the engine.
Removing the Chain
Position the number one piston at the top down center (TDC)--put the gear shift in neutral, attach a breaker bar and socket on the bolt in front, and turn the engine clockwise.
Remove the crankshaft pulley/vibration damper by removing the bolt from the front of the crankshaft and pulling off the pulley with a puller that can bolt to the pulley hub. Make sure you don't rotate the engine off the TDC position as you do this.
Remove the passenger-side engine mount, the drive-belt tensioner, the engine mount bracket, the crankshaft position sensor from the timing chain cover, the water pump and the bolt securing the crankshaft position sensor wiring harness.
Disconnect the timing chain tensioner from the rear side of the timing chain cover by removing its mounting nuts. Remove the cover's fasteners with a Torx wrench and pry the cover off the engine.
Slide the crankshaft position sensor reluctor ring off the crankshaft, remembering that the side with the "F" mark faces outward. Remove the chain's tensioner pivot arm/chain guide, which is on the left side of the chain, by removing the pivot bolt.
Lift the timing chain off the camshaft sprockets and remove it from the engine with the crankshaft sprocket as an assembly. Pry the socket off with multiple flat screwdrivers if it won't come off by hand.
Remove the stationary timing chain guide that guided the chain on the right side of the engine. Remove the camshaft sprockets by loosening their bolts while holding the camshaft lug with another wrench.
Installing the Chain
Install both camshaft sprockets to their original locations by aligning the sprockets' dowel pin holes with the camshaft dowel pins; these pins must be in the 12:00 position. Tighten the bolts to 40 foot-pounds while holding the lug with the wrench again.
Reinstall the stationary timing chain guide.
Loop the replacement timing chain onto the crankshaft sprocket, aligning the Number One colored link with the mark on the sprocket. Install the chain and sprocket on the engine. Slip the chain into the stationary guide's lip and around the exhaust camshaft sprocket, removing all slack from the chain's right side.
Remove the slack from the chain's left side while installing the timing chain tensioner pivot arm/chain guide, tightening the pivot bolt to 168 inch-pounds. Make sure the tab on the pivot arm doesn't move past the stopper on the cylinder head.
Install the crankshaft position sensor reluctor ring; the "F" mark must face outward.
Apply RTV sealant to the sealing surfaces on the timing chain cover and place the cover in position on the engine. Tighten the bolts evenly in multiple steps to 120 inch-pounds if they have 10 millimeter heads; if they have 12 millimeter heads, tighten them to 168 inch-pounds.
Reconnect the water pump with its O-ring and the engine mount bracket, applying a small amount of RTV sealant to the threads on the engine mount bracket bolts.
Resetting the Chain
Reload and lock the timing chain tensioner by raising the ratchet pawl and pushing the plunger inward with your fingers until it bottoms out and then engaging the hook on the tensioner body with the pin on the plunger.
Install the tensioner into the timing chain cover with the hook facing up, lubricating the O-ring with a small bit of engine oil. Install the crankshaft pulley/vibration dampener.
Set the chain tension by rotating the engine clockwise slightly; look for the hook on the tensioner to to release itself from the pin and allow the plunger to spring out. If it doesn't do this, press the pivot arm downward and release the hook with a screwdriver.
Rotate the engine clockwise until the number one piston is back at the TDC position on the compression stroke.
Install all other parts in the reverse order of removal; this will include the power steering pump, right front wheel and splash shield, alternator, drive belt and battery cable. Refill the engine coolant.
Items you will need
Very strong wire (like an untwisted coat hanger)
Breaker bar and socket
Disconnect the cylinder head with a socket wrench. Drain the coolant from the radiator, and store it for later use. Remove the radiator from the vehicle.
Remove the alternator from the engine with a socket wrench. Disconnect the oil pan. Remove the mounting bolts, drive belt and hoses from the air pump, if your vehicle is so equipped. Disconnect the air pump and its bracket from the engine.
Disconnect the water pump assembly and cooling fan from the vehicle with a socket wrench. Remove the mounting bolt for the crankshaft pulley, and detach the pulley with a gear puller.
Disconnect the water bypass line and the fan belt adjusting bar. Detach the outlet line from the heater. Remove the mounting bolts for the timing chain cover with a socket wrench, and disconnect the cover.
Detach the timing chain from the damper of the camshaft, and detach the timing chain from the camshaft sprocket. Remove the camshaft sprocket from the camshaft. Pull the crankshaft sprocket from the crankshaft. Disconnect the spline for the oil pump from the crankshaft.
Rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the key on the crankshaft points straight up, and mount the crankshaft sprocket onto the crankshaft. Place the new timing chain on the crankshaft sprocket, and align the single bright link on the timing chain with the crankshaft sprocket's timing mark.
Place the timing chain on the camshaft sprocket. Mount the camshaft sprocket to the camshaft so that the camshaft's timing mark is between the two bright links on the timing chain.
Install the oil pump spline to the crankshaft. Mount the timing chain gasket to the engine block, and take up the slack in the timing chain by turning the camshaft sprocket counterclockwise with a socket wrench.
Connect the timing chain cover, and use a torque wrench to tighten the 8mm bolts to 9 foot-pounds. Torque the 10mm mounting bolts to 29 foot-pounds. Coat the gaskets for the timing chain cover and oil pan with sealer. Connect the fan belt adjusting bar, and tighten its bolt to 9 foot-pounds.
Attach the water bypass line. Mount the pulley onto the crankshaft, and tighten the mounting bolt. Connect the water pump and compressor for the air conditioner with a socket wrench. Install the oil pan, radiator and cylinder head in that order.
Replace the oil and coolant to their proper levels. Start the vehicle and check for fluid leaks.
Items you will need
Socket wrench set
Gear puller for crankshaft pulley
Gear puller for crankshaft sprocket
Drain the antifreeze from the radiator by removing the petcock plug at the base of the radiator with a wrench. Tighten the plug into the radiator once the radiator has finished draining.
Remove the vibration dampener from the crankshaft. Remove the single bolt located in the center of the dampener, then bolt a vibration dampener puller to the dampener with the bolts supplied with the puller kit. Rotate the threaded rod in the center of the puller in a clockwise direction with a wrench until the dampener detaches from the crankshaft.
Disconnect the bottom radiator hose, the heater hose and the intake manifold hose from the water pump. Each hose connects to the water pump with a band clamp secured with a screw. Twist each screw in a counterclockwise direction with a screwdriver, then pull the three hoses off of the water pump.
Remove the water pump and the timing chain cover. Remove the bolts that secure the water pump to the timing chain cover with a wrench, then pull the water pump off of the cover. The timing chain cover is also held in place with several retaining bolts. Note that four of the cover's bolts enter the bottom of the cover through the front of the oil pan. Remove each bolt and pull the cover off of the engine to expose the timing chain.
Turn the crankshaft until the two marks on the timing chain's gears align. Removing the timing chain with the gears in alignment will avoid having to set the engine's ignition timing later. A small circle has been stamped into one edge of each timing chain gear. The marks are in alignment when the mark on the larger gear is in the six o'clock position and the mark on the smaller gear is in the twelve o'clock position. Insert the bolt used to secure the vibration dampener to the crankshaft into the tip of the crankshaft, then turn the bolt in a clockwise direction to rotate the gears.
Remove the oil thrower ring from the crankshaft and the fuel pump eccentric from the camshaft. Surrounding the tip of the crankshaft is a thin metal disk, called an oil thrower ring. Slide the ring off of the crankshaft. Bolted to the center of the camshaft's timing chain gear, which is the larger of the timing chain's two gears, is a circular metal piece approximately two inches in diameter. This piece is called a fuel pump eccentric, and is used to operate the fuel pump. Remove the single bolt located in the center of the eccentric, then pull the eccentric off of the timing chain gear.
Remove the timing chain. The bolt used to secure the fuel pump eccentric to the upper timing chain gear also held the upper timing chain gear to the camshaft. Since the eccentric has already been removed, simply pull the upper timing chain gear off of the camshaft. With the upper timing chain gear removed, the chain will go slack. Pull the lower timing chain gear off of the crankshaft.
Install the new timing chain. Separate the replacement timing chain from its upper and lower sprockets. Slide the lower timing chain gear onto the tip of the crankshaft. Note that the tip of the crankshaft features a raised metal piece that extends down the length of the crankshaft. This metal piece is designed to slide through a small cutout within the lower timing chain gear. Position the lower timing chain gear onto the tip of the crankshaft, then rotate the gear until its slot slides over the raised metal piece on the crankshaft. Wrap the timing chain around the lower gear, then onto the upper gear. Make sure that the small circle on the upper timing chain gear is at the six o'clock position. Position the upper timing chain gear onto the tip of the camshaft, then install the fuel pump eccentric with its bolt into the center of the upper timing chain gear to secure the timing chain assembly in place. Slide the oil thrower ring onto the tip of the crankshaft.
Install the timing chain cover and the water pump. The timing chain cover must be installed first, as the water pump bolts to the front of the timing chain cover. Install both components with new gaskets coated with gasket sealer.
Connect the radiator hose, the intake manifold hose and heater hose to the water pump. Slip each hose onto its respective fitting on the water pump, then tighten the three hose clamps with a screwdriver.
Install the vibration dampener onto tip of the crankshaft. The dampener is installed similarly to the lower timing chain gear. Like the lower timing chain gear, the dampener also features a slot that slides over the metal pin on the tip of the crankshaft. Twist the dampener until it aligns with the pin, then install the dampener's retaining bolt with a wrench.
Fill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of new antifreeze and water.
Items you will need
Vibration dampener puller kit
Timing chain cover gasket
Water pump gasket
The timing chain on an E36 is fastened to the camshaft with sprockets. using a timing chain is a much more durable method of ensuring the timing on the engine than using a timing belt. A timing belt is a pliable belt that needs to be replaced periodically.
The timing chains that E36s use are generally considered reliable for the life of the engine, so it most likely will never need to be replaced. However, any mechanical part can fail. If the engine in question has very high miles (250,000 or more), it may be prudent to replace the timing chain as preventative maintenance.
Though the timing chain itself may never need to be replaced, the tensioner that is responsible for keeping the chain tight when the engine is running may need to be replaced. The tensioner can be responsible for a noisy timing chain and replacing it will usually solve any noise problems
Removing the Timing Chain
Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the front timing chain cover. Align the marks on the camshaft sprocket with the crankshaft sprocket.
Remove the timing chain tensioner upper bolt. Loosen the timing chain tensioner Torx bolt but do not remove it.
Remove the camshaft sprocket and timing chain. Remove the crankshaft sprocket using a General Motors specific pulling tool or equivalent.
Installation of the Timing Chain
Using a GM pulling tool or equivalent, install the crankshaft sprocket. Make sure that the sprocket is fully seated against the crankshaft.
Compress the tensioner spring and insert a nail or cotter pin into the tensioner hole to hold it in place. Align the crankshaft and camshaft timing marks with the tab on the tensioner.
Install the tensioner bolt. Install the timing chain onto the camshaft and crankshaft sprocket.
Align the camshaft dowel with the dowel hole in the camshaft sprocket and install the sprocket. Fully seat the camshaft sprocket to the camshaft by hand.
Tighten the timing chain tensioner to 18 ft. lbs. and the camshaft sprocket bolt to 77 ft. lbs. Remove the pin or nail from the timing chain tensioner. Replace the timing chain cover and connect the negative battery cable.
Items you will need
GM pulling tool
Remove the spark plugs with a socket wrench, and disconnect the valve covers.
Clamp the timing chain to the camshaft gear. Plug the opening in the cover for the timing chain with shop rags. Attach a chain-breaker to the master link on the timing chain. Separate the master link by using the chain-breaker. Release the clamp from the camshaft gear, and remove the shop rags from the hole in the timing chain cover.
Attach the master link on the new timing chain to the master link on the old timing chain. Turn the crankshaft clockwise with a socket wrench as you pull the old timing chain through the camshaft sprocket. Maintain tension on the old timing chain, and stop turning when the master link on the old chain is in the 12 o'clock position on the camshaft sprocket.
Disconnect the master link on the old timing chain from the master link on the new timing chain, and remove the old timing chain from the camshaft sprocket. Connect the free end of the master link on the new timing chain with the other free end of the timing chain. Make this connection from the rear of the camshaft sprocket, so that you can see the lock washers on the timing chain.
Turn the crankshaft clockwise to align the timing mark on the crankshaft with the timing mark on the crankcase. This will close the master link on the new timing chain. Turn the crankshaft at least one full turn clockwise to ensure the new timing chain is properly seated.
Items you will need
Socket wrench set
Clamp for camshaft gear
Purchase right and left timing chains, camshaft positioning tool adapters and a camshaft positioning tool specifically for the 2000 Ford Mustang GT from an auto parts store or online. Drain the cooling system and oil before removing or disconnecting tubes and other components to avoid creating a messy work environment. Catch cooling system fluids and oil using drip pans.
Lift the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable. Locate and disconnect or remove the following to reach the front cover that covers the timing chains: cooling fan and shroud, water pump pulley, power steering pump and reservoir, oil pan, crankshaft pulley, front crankshaft seal, valve covers, idler pulley, crankshaft position (CKP) sensor connector, camshaft position (CMP) sensor connector and CKP sensor pulse wheel. Refer to your owner's or vehicle service manual to locate these parts. Try to keep all parts and their components separated so you can easily reattach after installing new timing chains.
Locate the crankshaft and rotate so the No. 1 cylinder sits at Top Dead Center (TDC).
Insert the Camshaft Positioning Tool Adaptors and the Camshaft Positioning Tool into the flats of the camshaft.
Loosen and remove the right and left timing chain tensioners, tensioner arms, chain guides, old timing chains and sprockets. Keep parts separate for easy reattachment.
Reconnect the timing chain guides using a ratchet or torque wrench. Tighten timing chain guide bolts to 71 to 106 inch-pounds (8 to 12 Nm). Reattach camshaft sprockets, but do not tighten the bolts. Reattach the crankshaft sprockets. Attach the new left timing chain by matching up the timing marks found on the chain and on the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets. Attach the new right timing chain by matching up the timing marks found on the chain and on the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets.
Pinch the timing chain tensioners using a ratchet and insert locking pins into the holes at the top of the tensioners. The ratchet should be flush with the tensioner body face. Reconnect or install tensioner arms and tensioners. Tighten tensioner mounting bolts using a torque wrench to 15 to 22 foot-pounds (20 to 30 Nm). Attach the crankshaft holding tool to the crankshaft. Remove the locking pins.
Reduce slack from the timing chains using a C-clamp. Place the C-clamp on the tensioner arm and turn until the timing chain is taut, but not too tight. Use a torque wrench to tighten the camshaft sprocket bolts to 81 to 95 foot-pounds (110 to 130 Nm). Remove the crankshaft holding tool, camshaft positioning tool and adaptors and the C-clamp.
Reattach the CKP sensor wheel. Replace the front cover and tighten bolts using to torque wrench to 15 to 22 foot-pounds (20 to 30 Nm). Reattach the CKP sensor connector, CMP sensor connector, idler pulley, valve covers, front crankshaft seal and the oil pan.
Reattach the crankshaft pulley and tighten bolts using a torque wrench to 66 foot-pounds (90Nm). Then loosen the bolt with one turn and tighten again to 36 foot-pounds (50Nm) plus 90 degrees. Reconnect the power steering pump and reservoir, water pump pulley, accessory drive belt, cooling fan and shroud and the negative battery cable.
Add fresh oil to the crankcase. Start the engine to determine if it is running correctly.
Items you will need
Right and left timing chains (4.6L SOHC engine)
Camshaft positioning tool adapters T92P-6256-A
Camshaft positioning tool T91P-6256-A
Drain the radiator and the engine oil. To drain the radiator, turn the drain wing-nut located at the bottom of the radiator on the engine side of the radiator in a counterclockwise direction. To drain the engine's oil, turn the bolt located at the bottom of the oil pan in a counterclockwise direction with a wrench.
Disconnect the radiator hoses and remove the radiator. The radiator hoses are attached to the radiator with hose clamps. Loosen the screw located on each hose clamp with a flathead screwdriver, then pull the hoses away from the radiator. Newer F-150s are equipped with electric fans that attach directly to the radiator. Trace the electrical wires from the fan to the fan's plug, then unplug the fan. Remove the bolts that hold the radiator to the engine bay with a wrench, then lift the radiator out of the engine bay.
Remove the engine's accessory belts. The Ford F-150 uses different belt configurations, depending on the year the truck was produced. Older F-150s use one belt per each accessory, such as power steering, the alternator and air conditioning. Newer F-150s use one belt to power all accessories. Regardless of which belt setup is installed, removal begins with loosening the component's brackets to slacken the belt. Systems that use one belt require that only one accessory bracket be loosened; systems using multiple belts require each accessory bracket to be loosened. Locate the adjustment bolts on the accessory's bracket, then loosen them with a wrench. Once loosened, slide the belt or belts up and over the fan assembly if so equipped.
Remove the fan (and the fan's pulley if working on an older F-150). The fan is held in place with four bolts located through the center of the fan. Remove the bolts with a wrench, then pull the fan away from the engine to remove it. Once the fan has been removed, slide the pulley off of the water pump.
Disconnect the heater hose from the bottom of the water pump and remove the water pump. The heater hose is the smaller of the two hoses, which are attached to the water pump. The water pump is attached to the timing chain cover with a series of bolts around the pump's circumference. Once the bolts have been removed, pull the water pump away from the engine.
Remove the crankshaft pulley and the harmonic balancer. The crankshaft pulley is attached to the face of the harmonic balancer with several bolts. Remove the bolts and pull the pulley away from the harmonic balancer. To remove the harmonic balancer, first remove the large bolts that run through the center of the balancer, then attach a harmonic balancer puller to remove the harmonic balancer from the nose of the crankshaft.
Remove the timing chain cover and the timing chain. The timing chain cover can be pulled away from the engine once the bolts surrounding the face of the cover have been removed with a wrench. Remove the timing chain by first removing the large bolt in the middle of the top sprocket, then sliding the timing chain sprockets away from the engine.
Position the new timing chain over the camshaft and the crankshaft. Note there are two circular indentations on the face of each of the two timing gears. The mark on the bottom gear must point straight up, and the mark on the upper gear must simultaneously face straight down. It might be necessary to turn the crankshaft to achieve this positioning. If so, insert the crankshaft bolt removed in Step 6 and turn the bolt with a wrench.
Insert the bolt through the center of the upper timing chain gear and tighten it to 30 to 35 ft. lbs. of torque with a torque wrench. Clean the surface of the timing chain cover where the cover meets the engine block, then place a new gasket onto this surface with a gasket sealer. Rest the timing chain cover over the timing chain, then insert and tighten the timing chain cover's bolts to 12 to 15 ft. lbs. of torque.
Install the harmonic balancer by positioning the balancer onto the nose of the crankshaft and turning the balancer's bolt in a clockwise direction. The pulley can then be attached to the balancer with the pulley's bolts.
Install the water pump with a new gasket coated with gasket sealer, then tighten the pump's bolts to the front of the engine. Reconnect the heater hose to the bottom of the pump.
Slide the fan pulley over the water pump, followed by the fan (if applicable). Connect the fan to the water pump with the fan's four bolts.
Install the engine's accessory belt or belts. Place the belt around the appropriate pulley, then pull the accessory away from the engine while simultaneously tightening the accessory's bracket bolts.
Install the radiator into the engine compartment using the radiator's mounting bolts, then attach the radiator's hoses. Close the radiator's drain wing-nut at the bottom of the radiator and fill the radiator with antifreeze. If the fan attaches to the face of the radiator, pug the fan back into its outlet.
Insert and tighten the oil pan's drain bolt, then pour new engine oil down the oil dipstick tube. The oil lever should be between the "Add" and "Full" marks on the tip of the dipstick.
Items you will need
Wrench Flathead screwdriver Harmonic balancer puller Torque wrench Water pump gasket Timing chain cover gasket Gasket sealer Antifreeze Engine oil
Removing the Chain Cover
Disable the truck's ignition system by disconnecting the primary electrical connectors at the ignition coil pack. Disconnect the negative battery cable before you do this.
Take out the spark plugs by unplugging their wires and removing them with a socket wrench and spark plug socket.
Install a compression gauge into the Number One cylinder and use a breaker bar and socket on the crankshaft's damper bolt to turn the crankshaft. Turn it until the notch in the damper aligns with the TDC mark on the front cover and compression is noted on the gauge.
Drain the engine oil from the truck into a pan by removing the oil pan plug and remove the oil filter with a filter wrench.
Unbolt and remove the crankshaft pulley and vibration damper; mark their positions so they can be installed the same way. Avoid turning the crankshaft as you remove the damper.
Remove all accessory brackets connected to the timing chain cover by unbolting them. This includes unbolting the power steering pump; set it aside with its hoses still connected.
Disconnect the camshaft position sensor's electrical connector and remove the camshaft position sensor. Disconnect the electrical connectors for the crankshaft position sensor and knock sensor.
Remove the front bolts on the oil pan and the socket-head bolt--the latter requires an Allen wrench. Disconnect the heater hoses and then unbolt and pull out the heater outlet tube.
Separate the timing chain cover by removing its bolts. You may need to tap it with a soft face hammer if it's stuck.
Changing the Chain
Check and see that the timing marks on the camshaft, crankshaft and balance shaft sprockets are all aligned. If not, re-install the vibration damper bolt so you can turn the crankshaft clockwise to align the marks.
Remove the camshaft sprocket's mounting bolt and the camshaft position sensor's drive gear. Compress the timing chain tensioner with a screwdriver, hold the tensioner in the retracted position with a drill or Allen wrench and pull the sprocketed chain off the camshaft.
Turn the camshaft until the key is facing the 12 o'clock position (straight up).
Place the replacement chain on the camshaft sprocket, turn the sprocket until its timing mark faces 6 o'clock (straight down), position the chain over both sprockets with their timing marks lined up and slip the sprockets on the camshaft and crankshaft.
Install the camshaft position sensor drive gear by aligning its keyway arrow with the Woodruff key on the camshaft.
Install the camshaft sprocket bolt, applying a non-hardening thread-locking compound to the threads, and tighten the bolt to 30 to 36 foot-pounds.
Remove the drill or wrench from the timing chain tensioner and re-install all the other parts in the reverse order of removal. This includes adding fresh engine oil and a new oil filter.
Items you will need
Spark plug socket
Breaker bar and socket
Soft face hammer
Thread locking compound
Disconnect the front cover from the engine with a socket wrench. Compress the tension rod for the timing chain to align the hole in the tensioner housing with the hole in the tensioner rod. Place the end of a paperclip into the holes to keep the tensioner rod temporarily in place.
Remove the mounting bolts for the timing chain tensioner with a socket wrench and disconnect the tensioner from the crankcase. Disconnect the right guide for the timing chain, and detach the timing chain from the sprockets. Disconnect the left guide for the timing chain.
Attach a holding tool to the flats of the camshaft to hold it in place. Disconnect the mounting bolts for the camshaft sprockets with a socket wrench, and remove the sprockets from the camshafts. Remove the holding tool from the camshaft. Mount the camshaft sprockets to the camshaft, and fasten the mounting bolts by hand. Perform this step only if you need to remove the camshaft sprockets to install the new timing chain.
Mount the left guide for the timing chain, and tighten its mounting bolts to 89 inch-pounds with a torque wrench. Mount the timing chain to the crankshaft sprocket and camshaft sprockets. Connect the right guide for the timing chain, and tighten its mounting bolts to 89 inch-pounds.
Install the tensioner for the timing chain, and fasten its mounting bolts by hand. Pull the paper clip from the tensioner housing to apply tension to the timing chain. Tighten the mounting bolts for the tensioner to 89 inch-pounds with a torque wrench.
Attach the holding tool to the flats on the camshaft to hold the camshaft in place. Tighten the mounting bolts for the camshaft sprocket to 53 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Perform this step only if you removed the camshaft sprockets in step three.
Attach the front cover to the engine with a socket wrench.
Items you will need
Socket wrench set
Holding tool for the camshaft