Timing chain replacement

Engine, Transmission & Driveline

  1. V Scott Senter

    V Scott Senter New Member

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    I'm going to be confirming a need for a replacement timing set for my '69 Chrysler 383 w/ 100K. About 10-15* of slop in the chain before the distributor rotor moves....

    The Factory Service Manual says to use a camshaft holding tool C-3509 to prevent the camshaft from contacting the plug at the other end of the block when installing the timing chain. Are there other options to getting another one-time special tool for this job? What about leaving just leaving the distributor in to act as holding tool and being gentle when installing? Options?

    Thanks
    Scott
     
  2. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    That tool has been obsolete for many years and I doubt you would be able to find one. You do not really need that tool. The valve springs will usually provide enough tension on the cam to keep it from sliding backwards. Start the top gear on the shaft by hand and put the center bolt for the gear back in. You can use the bolt to carefully draw the gear tight on the camshaft. The main thing you want to avoid is pounding on the gear to seat it as that could move the camshaft rearward. Leaving the distributor in place on a big block will not help as it does not directly engage the camshaft. That is done by the intermediate shaft that drives the distributor and the oil pump. Leaving the distributor in place would keep the intermediate shaft in place, but you would still not want to pound on the timing gear as you would run the risk of breaking a drive tooth off the camshaft.

    Dave
     
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  3. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    From experience and observation, no real need for that special tool. The "plug" is a core plug that fills the hole at the rear of the block, which was needed to machine the cam bearing holes in the block. Just do NOT push rearward on the camshaft, as there's no real need to do that anyway. I never did see a dealership tech use any special tools to do the timing chain job.

    As mentioned, just don't push rearward on the camshaft. Once the sprocket is attached, as mentioned, the back of the sprocket is the travel limiter against the cylinder block. Plus the valve lifters themselves against the slight taper of the cam lobes.

    DO put some moly paste cam lobe assembly lube on the backside of the sprocket, where it will contact the cylinder block. Plus, when the new sprocket(s) and chain is installed, douse some cam assembly lube/STP-type oil on the chain and sprockets. All that part of the motor gets for "lube" is splash from the crankcase, usually, so initial lubrication can be important.

    BE SURE to get the timing marks on the sprockets lined up EXACTLY as it's reasonably easy to be "just a bit off" rather than "dead on".

    Remember, too, that you'll need a harmonic balancer puller (the multi-bolt type and NOT one that grabs onto the edge of the balancer) to get to the timing cover to remove it. Add a thin layer of lube onto the crankshaft seal in the timing cover when you put it back together. This would also be a good time to put a new seal in the timing cover, and/or "a sleeve" on the nose of the crankshaft (which it seals against) IF there is any wear/oil seepage from that area.

    Just some thoughts and observations,
    CBODY67
     
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  4. V Scott Senter

    V Scott Senter New Member

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    Thanks for the info! I will be careful not to apply too much force on the cam gear when installing it and some moly lube. I'm planning on putting the gears and chain in a zip lock bag of oil to get it well pre-lubricated. And a new front seal of course!
     
  5. swisherred

    swisherred Well-Known Member

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    I just changed mine and it slipped right onto the cam with minimal drag...the bolt snugged it easily. No special tools. Lots of lube on everything mentioned above.