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Thread: Did I screw the timing up?

  1. #1

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    Did I screw the timing up?

    Replaced the valve stem seals in my truck and now it cranks+no start. I was meticulous during the process, or so I thought. Not getting too far in diagnosing the reason sadly. I seem to have fuel (can smell it on the plugs) , spark, and cylinders have even (+/- 5psi) compression. Distributor was not removed during this process.

    Then I read in the Chilton manual about removing the rocker assembly:

    "Have an assistant hold the camshaft firmly in place as you remove the rocker assembly. The tension of the timing belt will try to pop the camshaft out of its journals; this must NOT be allowed to happen. If this should happen, you'll need to reinstall the camshaft and timing belt."

    I didn't see this blurb since I was referring to my Haynes during removal. My camshaft *totally* lifted as I removed the rockers. Then I saw this after I put it all back together with the new stem seals:

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    One tooth off at the cam with the crank at TDC. I'm almost positive that I didn't turn the camshaft when I removed the rockers. I had the belt marked in two places.

    Could this somehow be preventing me from starting? Do I really need to reinstall camshaft and timing belt?

    Thanks for reading.
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  2. #2

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    Hey alkaline~

    It's certainly possible you screwed the timing up. And it looks like TWO teeth instead of one.

    Hey, forgive yourself and if need be, re-set the belt. Make sure the distributor is in the proper position. REMEMBER the timing mark is below the top of the head.

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  3. #3

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    Thanks roy. Looks like I have some work to do this weekend!

  4. #4

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    Best place to start is get everything to TDC and see if, in fact, the timing is off. Once at TDC, check your distributor position.

    As it stands, you might be able to get it to run by loosening and twisting the distributor to one extreme or the other. If you can, (at the extreme) then it's likely you are off with the belt. If not at all, I would say the timing sucks.

    What condition is that belt in? You might do well to replace it, anyways. RockAuto sells a kit, somewhere around $89 which includes the tensioner.

    Let us know how you make out.

    (I make out by first kissing the cheek, then working my way arou...oh...wait. Sorry: wrong WordPerfect 5.1 file).

    (My bad).
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  5. #5

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    I recently did the same thing. Was super careful when pulling the rocker assembly and was positive nothing moved. Couldn't get it to start and realized timing was off.

  6. #6

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    Roy: Timing belt is less than a year old. When I bought the truck I had a guy put it in for me before I decided to learn about the wonderful world of automotive repair. I may replace it soon anyway with new tensioners so I know everything is up to scratch. Not sure if he did the balance shaft belt either, now that I think of it!

    sleezak: damn! I guess it's more finicky than we anticipated.

    Gonna start on it after work tonight.

  7. #7

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    The balance shaft belt comes with the kit.
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  8. #8



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    The cam crank belt last between 60-80K miles under normal conditions. The smaller belt should be changed the same time as the larger one, but can virtually last forever as far as my experience with them has been. The OEM pulleys are also extremely resilient and last very long unless rust or contaminationn finds them. I certainly would not tear the motor apart just for that smaller belt. Also, if you do a balance shaft removal, think of the consequences that a shaft removal does in compare to leaving them in. Some love it, some don't, though they were installed for a reason by the factory for those that do normal day to day driving.

  9. #9

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    When I opened the 2.0 timing cover on my parts truck, the B belt (silent shaft) was non-existant, except some of it's mangled remains. I saw the same thing on RamBam's engine, and heard about B belt disintegration on some other threads. I wouldn't dismiss the importance of replacing the B belt if you're going that far with assuring reliable timing. If a B belt breaks, there's plenty of opportunity for it to get caught in the Primary timing belt.

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  10. #10

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    Made out. Then adjusted the distributor and it started - awesome! Running very poorly though, so I've ordered that kit of timing belt components.

  11. #11



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    Keep in mind that the timing mark is not the top of the head. It's slightly below about 1/4 inch. So if it runs but won't throttle up it's most likely off By 1 tooth retarded.
    there's a good picture in here. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...am-Timing-Mark
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  12. #12

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    Good news. I installed the distributor *again* and now it fires up instantly and initial idle is not bad. When it gets warmer it starts to surge so I think I need to adjust the rotor a bit more as it doesn't seem to go away by rotating the distributor.

  13. #13


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    You need to set the base timing correctly. The ECU varies the timing based on load etc...

    you have to ground the pin in the plug in the below picture to put the ECU in Timing Mode, then set the base timing using a Timing light to 3-7 degrees BTDC


  14. #14

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    Thanks Mike! That's actually what I've been doing (but did not mention). I've managed to set the distributor too advanced or retarded in my attempts. I think I'll get it just right today.

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