Just to make sure


Jan 26, 2004
Ok...I've been in the (slow) process of changing the timing chain on my 87 GN when I get time off work, and I want to make sure everything is right before I reassemble.
I know the cam and crack gears spun independent of each other when the teeth in the gears broke off.

So, here is what I've done:
-I aligned crank keyway to point at cylinder #1 and dot at 12 o'clock.
-Then I rotated cam gear to 6 o'clock.
-Removed gears, put chain on gears, and put gears w/chain back on in the same position.
-Turned the crank once, putting the cam dot at 12 o'clock.
-Installed oil slinger and cam button.

Is that right?
Should I set the cam sensor next?

Yes, roughly, that is ok. The cam and crank sprockets go "dot to dot", and this will put the crank keyway at the 1 o'clock position. If you want to degree the cam, this is the time to do it, but your method is the correct way for the shade tree home mechanic. I set the cam sensor after assembly of the motor with a sensor tool. Thanks, Rudy.
Did you inspect the gear on the cam that spins the sensor for chipped teeth?You should install the RJC Cam Sensor Repair kit while you have it out. Its like $22. Well worth it.
While mine was down I installed a new crank sensor also. 23 years old so it's a good insurance policy.
So I just got everything back together and it starts up fine. However, the engine sounds really loud and after 30 seconds or so smoke starts to come from the driver's side valve cover.
I don't know what the problem is...
Maybe I didn't set the cam sensor properly?
Any help would be great.
Got oil pressure?!! Were you able to prime the oil pump upon reassembly? You need to find out what is going on here asap. Do not run this thing until you take another look. Rudy.
Ummm..... did you pull the heads after the t-chain stripped the gear? These engines ARE interference engines...even in bone stock form.... meaning if the chain breaks, the pistons WILL (almost) certainly smack the valves.... unless you have the lottery winner luck... and even then..... bent valves on #5 perhaps? Hate to be the one.... :frown:
No I didn't pull the heads... I guess I will have to search on the forums to find out how hard it will be to pull the heads and check everything out.
Thanks for the help,
Did you clean the pan and oil pick-up screen? Did you use a stock type replacement t-chain and gears or double roller? If you used a double roller, you needed to remove the chain tensioner.
I put a new p/u tube and screen in, cleaned the oil pan, and got a stock timing chain.
Maybe I didn't set the cam sensor correctly? I don't have a casper's cam setting tool, so I set it w/a multimeter.
Smoke only comes from #5? Could it be that the valve cover's dripping oil on #5 header?

Do you have an oil pressure gauge, if so, what's the pressure?
I don't have an oil pressure gauge, and I just put new valve cover gaskets on.
I don't have an oil cooler b/c I am running an F body radiator, so when I primed the oil pump I went by the instructions in the chilton's manual and packed petroleum jelly in the pump gears to remove the air.
Is there anything else I can do to make sure it is primed?
No I didn't pull the heads... I guess I will have to search on the forums to find out how hard it will be to pull the heads and check everything out.
Thanks for the help,

Do a compression check... that should tell the story... not sure why the cam sensor would have anything to do with any of this? :confused: and if the low oil pressure lite isn't on, you have oil pressure... plus I'm sure you could feel it prime by the resistance on the drill motor?

You didn't pull the heads after a t-chain break.... you almost certainly have bent valves...
Did you use a drill to prime the pump? You can feel when the pump primes by the load on the drill.
I packed the oil pump gears w/petroleum jelly and then primed w/a long screwdriver.
I removed the driver's side valve cover after it started smoking and there is oil on and around the rocker shaft.

Is there a tool I can rent especially for priming?