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As I was getting ready to install the cam cover today I double checked my timing and realized things were very off. I had installed the cams with cylinders 2&3 rather than 1&4 at TDC. So, I reinstalled them with the '14' T lined up with the mark (1&4 TDC) as my Haynes manual called for. Then I turned the motor over by hand to double check. When I came around, the cams appeared to be misaligned. Where the 'IN' mark on the intake cam and the Z7EX mark on the exhaust cam were parallel with the gasket surface before I put the caps on, the In mark was hidden and the Z7EX mark was angled forwards.

So, I unbolted the cams once more. After reinstalling very carefully, I clamped down the cams and checked again. No dice; same problem as before. What I surmised is that when the cams depress the valve springs, their position shifts, upsetting the alignment set before torquing them down. What I'm wondering is when the alignment is most important. The Haynes manual mentions nothing about this; it just explains where the marks should be before bolting down.

I'm wondering if I should try to adjust the timing such that the marks align properly after bolting the cams down or if the alignment prior to torquing is what's important. My manual ha nothing to offer here and I don't want to risk improper timing. While the engine does turnover by hand with not problem, this seems to be off.
 

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keep at it you'll figure it out. there should be a number in the book of how many chain link pins between the marks, if you clamp it down and are off just move it one link at a time. good luck.
 

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Thanks for the motivating words custer..
I reinstalled the cam today with cam tensioner completely removed (It had been turned all the way out in prior installations—its an APE manual variety). Further, I started with the exhaust cam and then moved on to the intake. After torqueing the alignment marks were still in place. grea,t yeah?
Well, I went on to instal the cam chain tensioner and turn the engine over a couple of times. When I came around to the "1&4"T mark the cams appeared a bit retarded; so I moved the crank a bit further, until the marks were flush with head surface. The two cams were still at the appropriate link distance and the marks on the sprockets lined up just right with the head; furthermore, cylinders 1&4 seemed to be at TDC even though the mark which is meant to indicate this position was about .75'' past where it should be. Anyways, I'm confused once again. All I can think of is that I didnt have the cam chain tensioner tight enough and the chain slipped a tad and the links between the cam sprockets somehow stayed the same; but then the pistons did seem to be at TDC. I guess I'll give it another go tomorrow, with the tension turned in more for manual rotation.
 

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Thanks for the motivating words custer..
I reinstalled the cam today with cam tensioner completely removed (It had been turned all the way out in prior installations—its an APE manual variety). Further, I started with the exhaust cam and then moved on to the intake. After torqueing the alignment marks were still in place. grea,t yeah?
Well, I went on to instal the cam chain tensioner and turn the engine over a couple of times. When I came around to the "1&4"T mark the cams appeared a bit retarded; so I moved the crank a bit further, until the marks were flush with head surface. The two cams were still at the appropriate link distance and the marks on the sprockets lined up just right with the head; furthermore, cylinders 1&4 seemed to be at TDC even though the mark which is meant to indicate this position was about .75'' past where it should be. Anyways, I'm confused once again. All I can think of is that I didnt have the cam chain tensioner tight enough and the chain slipped a tad and the links between the cam sprockets somehow stayed the same; but then the pistons did seem to be at TDC. I guess I'll give it another go tomorrow, with the tension turned in more for manual rotation.
Always start with the exhaust cam timing first. Once you have that set & links counted & aligned on the intake, then install the tensioner. This has worked for me over many years. The marks should be still flush with the head & the (1-4) TDC should be aligned as well. I suspect the tensioner is what is causing you issues.
 

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Another thing you should observe is that the notches in the ends of the cams are parallel with the casing and pointing toward each other.
42375
 

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I learned along time ago first step before doing any work requiring cam timing be it chain or belt is to verify timing marks before disassembly. A worn chain will be slightly longer. Also there are slight variations in manufacturing. I have seen several cases where the marks will be slightly off even though the cams are properly timed. If you do not know this going in you can drive yourself crazy trying to make the marks line up perfectly.
 

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Another thing you should observe is that the notches in the ends of the cams are parallel with the casing and pointing toward each other. View attachment 42375
Another thing you should observe is that the notches in the ends of the cams are parallel with the casing and pointing toward each other. View attachment 42375
This looks correct to me. Remember there is a guide in the valve cover that takes up slack too. The valve cover needs to be installed before you install the tensioner on the block.
 

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This looks correct to me. Remember there is a guide in the valve cover that takes up slack too. The valve cover needs to be installed before you install the tensioner on the block.
If you don't use this procedure, the cam chain could possibly get too tight & cause it to stretch.
 
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