how to tell if timing chain was installed wrong?

It was my first time changing a timing chain and I ran into some problems. How would you be able to tell if the timing chain was installed at tdc on cylinder #6 instead of cylinder #1? Is there a way to tell, and if so what has to be done to fix it?

9 Answers

  • Holey Mufflers
    1 month ago

    You all are making it more complicated than it is!

    essentially “Fivetoze” is right.

    if you set the cam/crank index correctly your only concern is ignition timing with the intake stroke.

    two steps.


    setting tdc compression stroke;

    two ppl job.

    pull the #1 plug. put your finger in the plug hole. turn the crank until your finger pops out. the crank should be a few degrees btdc or at tdc. this puts it at tdc on the *compression* stroke.



    indexing the ignition timing.

    after the steps above to set tdc compression, remove the distributor cap. the rotor should be pointing at the #1 plug hole on the cap. if not, pull the distributor, do not turn the housing, just enough to turn/index the rotor to the #1 plug hole. reinstall. do ensure you have the correct firing order (wires) starting at the #1 plug hole on the cap.

    or you can do the wire swap as “Fivetoze” suggests. if you have enough wire length. start your firing order at the plug hole the rotor is pointing at when your at tdc on compression.

    i prefer things on their marks.

    you should be ready to start and hit with your t-light.


  • Johann
    1 month ago

    Lets get started.

    Read all the instruction here, before you get started !

    Your # 1 cylinder is the closest to the pulley.

    Turn ignition key off and disconnect the battery cables.

    Take all the spark plugs out, that makes it easy to turn the engine with a ratchet.

    Use a stiff metal wire or metal rod, like an antenna or stainless steel rod. I recommend NOT to use copper, aluminum or wood.

    Put the metal rod in the spark plug hole of the # 1 cylinder until you feel something you hit with the rod, this is the top of your piston.

    Turn the engine with the ratchet and socket very very slowly clockwise while holding the rod on top the piston.

    The rod will go up and down while you turn the engine. Stop turning the engine if the rod is in the most top position.

    You should be close to your TDC mark on your crank shaft pulley. Now make your fine adjustment by turning the engine to your mark on the crank shaft pulley.

    Check your mark on the cam shaft on the cylinder head, it should be on line.

    Now you have TDC on # 1 cylinder.

    NOTE: While turning the engine with the rod in the spark plug hole, if you feel a stop of the engine do not force the engine to turn, make sure the rod did not get into a bind.

    If the mark on your cam shaft on the cylinder head is not right, do not turn the engine. But turn the cam shaft on your cylinder head to align the marks.

    Re-check all your timing marks.

    After your work is complete turn your engine 2-3 turns by hand to make sure nothing is binding up.

    You may want to get a Haynes manual. Also has a repair section on there website.

  • bandit_60
    1 month ago

    1 way you can tell. put number 1 piston all the way up, take your hands and turn the crank to ( 0 ) top dead center on the timing scale and look at the rotor under the cap. if the distributor was,nt out then the rotor should be pointing to number 1 plug wire on the cap.

  • ?
    1 month ago

    there should be timing marks on the gears. If not you need to find out which plug is number 1 and take it out and take that cylinder to top

  • ?
    1 month ago

    What motor? Usually the only thing that would be off would be a dist ,by 180 degrees. Remember that every second rotation of the crankshaft is only 1 rotation of the camshaft(s) but ,can put your timing off if it is camshaft driven dist. Again , what motor?

  • ademoye
    5 days ago

    at the start, bent valves might fail a compression try. 2d you will possibly have the potential to pay attention the valves. third, pull the valve covers. The timing chain/belt is placed in the back of the water pump and drives the cam shaft. Valves are below the valve covers and are interior the heads.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    youre OK, if you did that, no need to remove it, just set the distributor cap 180 degrees out… so, put no6 in no1 spot, and work round… its a common fault, ive seen dissy caps jammed on 180 out just because morons try to replace the HT leads… and havent got a clue… and imagine the fun they have with a V12…

  • Lionell H BEY
    7 days ago

    had new motor rebuilt in gmc 1500 1993 5.7 small still running sluggish could that be in the timing chain

  • try_again41
    1 month ago

    First of all what are you working on?

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