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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Head gasket / Timing issues

Im waiting to purchase a repair manual, so I need soome help setting and checking my timing.

I am not sure where the number one piston is. Im not sure where the timing marks are located. Can someone give me some directions for the 3.8

Thanks.

Last edited by CincyT-Bird; 09-12-2005 at 06:09 PM. Reason: change subject..
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 07:14 PM
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Your timing marks should be on the harmonic balancer. And there should be a couple notches on the timing cover that show TDC (top dead center) and If memory serves 10 or 15 degrees BTDC. (Atleast that's how it was on the SC.)

#1 is the forward most cylinder on the passenger side.


That's for ignition timing however. Cam timing (according to haynes, lol) is a much simpler affair.

Which didi you need the walkthrough of?

Last edited by SanDiegoLXBird; 09-08-2005 at 07:21 PM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 07:23 PM
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If you want to set the timing the easy way, go to autozone and buy a vacuum gauge for about $20. Hook it up to any vacuum line on the intake and start rotating the distributer. The vacuum will increase and decrease depending on where you move it. Find the spot where the vacuum peaks and lock the distributer down there. That will be within a couple degrees of where it is supposed to be. Personally, I prefer to use this method than a timing light because the marks from the factory are not always exactly where they are supposed to be.

Mike

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL
If you want to set the timing the easy way, go to autozone and buy a vacuum gauge for about $20. Hook it up to any vacuum line on the intake and start rotating the distributer. The vacuum will increase and decrease depending on where you move it. Find the spot where the vacuum peaks and lock the distributer down there. That will be within a couple degrees of where it is supposed to be. Personally, I prefer to use this method than a timing light because the marks from the factory are not always exactly where they are supposed to be.

Mike
Nice trick. I'll have to remember that.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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The thing is I think the car may have jumped time. The guy told me it had a blown head gasket but I wanted to try to get it to start before I started ripping the head off.

It seems someone else was also messing with timing because the distributor is loose. So this makes me think it may have timing issues.

I tried adjusting the disributor when turning the car over but it didnt even come close to wanting to start. There is a scratch on the distributor like a notch where someone marked it before loosining it. I started there and got the most activity out of the engine around that mark but only a couple puffs. Nowhere near wanting to start.

I checked for spark and the car is getting gas. I can see it in the TB and can smell it also. I can here the fuel pump kick in when the car is turned on.

Another wierd thing is that if the key is on and I turn the distributor by hand I hear a click, like a spark as if some wires are grounding out, and then the fuel pump kicks in. I think it is a fuel pump. It is coming from directly below the engine somewhere (near the tranny). The arcing (clicking) sound is coming from beneath the intake. Anyone know what this might be?

Basically I need to check both cam and ignition timing. I am hoping to get this done tomorrow.

Hoping somone can give me some detailed steps. Like I said I dont have a manual yet, but need to figure out if it is the head gasket, timing, and whether the engine can be saved or whether I must buy a new engine.

I have never had an engine that had a blown head gasket and wasnt able to start. I'd like to actually hear the engine run so I can listen for rod knock or other major internal problems.

Im already getting the parts together for a headgasket replacement and plan on getting new gaskets on a junkyard engine if I go that route.

Thanks for the input.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Forgot to also mention I have located the timing marks on the harmonic balancer.

On the left is ATC (advanced) and on the right BTC (retarded). Of course in the middle is 0.

When the #1 piston is up on compression stroke the 0 on the harmonic balancer should be lined up with the 0 on the timing chain cover. The distributor cap would be pointing at the number one spark plug wire (which is???) if it had 0 advance. SInce this cars are set at 10 BTC it will be pointing just to the left of the one spark plug wire.

Cams mark should be line up with the marks on the cover or pointing straight up.

That is all I can really remember about setting timing without looking at the book.

I am close on this?

Guess I need to know if this car is overhead cam. Dual overhead cam? Does it have a timing chain or just gears? I think I read somewhere that this is a push rod engine so no overhead cams. Does it have one cam per head or two? As you can probably tell Im used to working on jap cars lately.

Can I pull timing chain cover off easily to check the cam markings? Im assuming I have to remove fan and accesory belt. Anything else I would have to remove? Can I run car like this without oil going all over? (For trouble shooting purposes only)

Last edited by CincyT-Bird; 09-08-2005 at 09:37 PM.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 10:25 PM
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Removing the timing cover on an NA is a piece of cake. You can leave the water pump attached. Your car is a Pushrod V-6 with a single cam in the valley. The cam is driving off of the crankshaft via sprokets and chain.

To remove the timing cover you will need to remove the water pump pulley, belts, and the harmonic balancer. Be very careful, there is a bolt that is damn near impossible to see. I wish I could take a picture of it for you or get an image scanned up.. maybe somebody will post a picture of the front cover from a manual.

I don't believe the timing cover is a dry space. Where there is a chain there is usually oil. Most imports have a belt drive, so the timing cover is a dry space.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 05:07 AM
 
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Yes, there is oil in the timing cover. I believe that the timing set is splash lubricated, and even if it isnt, the oil pan sticks out to the end of the timing cover. It's not an easy task, and I wouldn't personally do it unless I had to. Besides, the timing set on these cars is a chain and it does have a tensioner. Jumping time on the chain would probabaly take alot.

I can't recall which post on the distributor is #1, but the #1 cyl is the front pass side one. Follow the plug wire. Usually #1 is marked, but it's been a long time since I messed with my plug wires so I can't remember.

I'd drain the oil and look for coolant. It'll have a milky-greyish coloring where there's coolant. Coolant is really bad on your bearings also, so I'd drain it just to be sure. There is also a test kit most parts store will have that can test your coolant for exhaust gases and etc. Never used one, but I've seen em before.

I'll have to drag out dad's shop manual (its for a 94, but I'm pretty sure the 3.8s didn't change much between 89 and 93). I have a 1990 one but it got shipped to my mom's in TN (where I'm about to move back to).


EDIT:

Ok According to the shop manual:

Mark the position of the #1 post on the distributor (so you can see where the rotor needs to be). If you're not sure which, follow the wire out to it.

Turn the crank so that #1 is at TDC on the compression stroke (you can verify that it's the compression stroke if you pull the valve covers. Both valves will be closed.) Theres a pointer on the timing cover and marks on the harmonic balancer to see where you are.

Then you need to install the distributor so that the rotor blade points to the mark you made.

That's all it shows. If you need it, the firing order is 1-4-2-5-3-6 (where 1 2 and 3 are the passanger side cylinders front to back and 4 5 6 are the driver side front to back), should be clockwise around the distributor.

Last edited by mn12sc35th; 09-09-2005 at 05:30 AM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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For some reason I can't find the timing mark on the timing chain cover. I see a little pole sticking out from it is that it?

I was thinking it would be at a 90 degree mark this "pole" seems to be at about 135 degree or 45 if going counter clockwise).
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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That should be the timing pointer.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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for the harmonic balancer do I have to remove the pulley first or can I just take it off by lossening the big 22 mm bolt?

Also Should I set engine at TDC firsat or are there grooves on it to line it up correctly?

Finally do I need a puller to remove it or can a big hammer or wiggling get it off?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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I just about gavbe up on trying to start it. I set the timing and nothing. Not even a back fire.

I decided what the hell and have started removing all the parts to get to the heads. Im working on getting the timing chain cover off first to check that as a last ditch effort to try and get her to start, but meanwhile am removing all non-crucial elements from the engine bay.


A problem I ran into was removing the ac and fuel line hoses. There are some strange connectors holding them together. They are round and have a spring on the inside of them. Do these need a special tool to get them off? I somehow removed the return feed fuel line, but not sure if it was on there correctly.

Im about an hour and half into it and got the radiator, fan, shroud, belt, intake tubing, and some hoses off the car.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 07:47 PM
 
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The fuel and A/C lines do require a special tool, you can find a cheap attempt at one in most parts stores (they work... but I had to fight the sucker).

When you pull the timing cover, you probabaly will need a puller for the HB (I did). I don't think you need to pull the oil pump off the timing cover, but you'll need to pull the water pump off, and there is a hex bolt in one of the bottom corners. I had a hell of a time getting the sucker off once the bolts were all off. It was stuck to the studs for the water pump or something. Just be careful prying on it if you have to, it is aluminum.

The timing set has a couple keyways on it, if you rotate the crank so that the key is pointing straight up, the cam key needs to be straight down.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 08:02 PM
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I usually just unbolt the fuel rails from the intake and unbolt the AC compressor from the engine, and lay the both of them off to the side. Personally I find it easier that trying to deal with those stupid "quick" disconnect fittings.

Mike

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok. I set checked the cam timing, checked the ignition timing and they are both ok. The car is getting gas into the fuel rail, can see gas on the spark plugs, and the spark plugs are sparking. The car still won't start though.


Could a bad head gaskets make the car not start or could it be something else. In my eperience a bad headgasket will still run but run like crap. What do you guys think?
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 09:38 AM
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Have you done a compression check? Also how did you determine that the plugs are firing?

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
-"Your buddy Mike is INSANE!" -ClintD's dad
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Never got around to doing a compression test. The previous owner told me it had a bad head gasket. I just wanted to hear the car run to make sure it did run.

As for checking for spark, I pulled one of the spark plugs and turned over the car. I could see the spark on the end of the plug.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2005, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok I got the heads off tonight. Both sides were blown between two cylinders. I am taking the heads to a machine shop next week to be checked out.

Everything looked good to me. A couple of the pistons (and coresponding plugs) were pitch black though. Im assuming the car was burning some oil somehow, but the valves looked good and no HG breaks on those pistons.



I swear the drivers side bolts had to have been tightened down to at least 200 pds and I am not exagerating one bit. Took me at least 45 minutes to loosed all the bolts on that side. Big differences between the passenger side. They felt like they were down to about 70 or so.

The exhaust manifolds was a real pain in the ***. Loosening them was cake but they were still shoved against the heads even after the bolts were removed and the seal was broken. I messed around with it for at least three hours trying to get the manifolds to clear the lower head bolts.

This is what I did:
Looked at manifold to "downpipe" bolts, rusted. Didnt want to snap any bolts, especially since ford used studs between the exhaust clamps. WTF?
Thought I'd drop whole exhaust on car. Tried to pry the rubber hangers off. Managed to get one after about an hour or so.
After calling for prices (1.99) and saying **** it I ended up cutting the remaining two hangers.
Tried to slide the exhaust off the tube hangers under the tranny. Didn't work. Decided to unbolt the hangers from tranny. Bolts too damn tight and ended up getting **** in my eye. Flushed it out for about a half hour.
Looked at head bolts again. Somehow I had slide back the exhaust far enough to reach the lower bolts on the driver side. Tight fit but managed to get drivers head off.
Tried to do same with passenger side but no room. Realized that the manifold to egr tube was broke at this time. Also realized I'd have to take the manifold off now no matter what now to get to that damn tube.
Crawled under car and got one manifold bolt out. Looked at other one (the one hidden behind the starter) and again said **** it. (after about an hour of trying to get enough pressure on a socket to break the rust)
Pushed, pulled, and *****ed the exhaust manifold out of way just enough to get the lower passenger side head bolts off.

I didnt want to run the risk of snapping any exhaust bolts off so thought dropping whole exhaust would of worked. Ived never seen exhaust that was sooooo close the heads like this car. Usually you could unbolt them and move them around some. Mine were pretty much stuck right on the heads. I am not looking forward to bolting those heads back on like I got them off. How'd you guys do it?


Everything else went really well and didnt run into anyproblems.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-11-2005, 10:39 AM
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I would have just unbolted the downpipe, and if I broke any bolts, I would take the manifolds to a shop and have the old broken studs removed. It's much easier for them to do with the manifolds out of the car, so it probably wouldn't cost that much. New studs are only like $10 from ford if I remember correctly.

Mike

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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I was reading the instructions for tightening the headbolts. I am a bit confused about a couple of steps. Here is whatr I read:

from the autozone page,

TORQUE SEQUENCE
<-------FRONT of ENGINE
7 3 1 5
8 4 2 6



STEP 1: TORQUE IN SEQUENCE TO 37 FT/LBS
STEP 2: TORQUE IN SEQUENCE TO 45 FT/LBS
STEP 3: TORQUE IN SEQUENCE TO 52 FT/LBS
STEP 4: TORQUE IN SEQUENCE TO 59 FT/LBS
STEP 5: BACK OFF ALL BOLTS IN TORQUE SEQUENCE 2-3 TURNS
STEP 6: RETORQUE ALL BOLTS IN SEQUENCE 11-18 FT/LBS
STEP 7: ROTATE LONG BOLTS 85-105 DEGREES, SHORT BOLTS
65-85 DEGREES IN SEQUENCE
RECHECK FINAL TORQUE IN SEQUENCE


*** CAUTION *** ENGINE USES TORQUE TO YIELD HEAD BOLTS (TTY) THAT PERMANENTLY STRETCH DURING THE INITIAL INSTALLATION. NEW HEAD BOLTS MUST BE USED WHEN CYLINDER HEAD IS REPLACED OR RE-INSTALLED TO OBTAIN PROPER TORQUE.


Ok step 5 says to back off bolts 2-3 turns, should I got two or three?

Then step 6 say retorque to 11-18 ft bls....do I add that too the previous 59lbs that they were at because it seems that the bolts should already be tightened well above that....

Last two steps is says rotate bolts 85 - 105 degrees and 65-85 degrees.... what is best way to measure that amount? I was thinking something like just over a half turn for long and just under for short or should I get some tool to make it more accurate?

__________________________________________________ __________

I also dropped the head off to the machine shop today and got some bad news. The guy there saw some "bubbles" on the bottoms of the head inside the piston "zone". He said that it looks like the car got really hot and started melting the head a little bit. He went on to say that the pistons could have been cooked too and mentioned something about them heating up and expanding around the rings causing damage to the walls.

I looked at the pistons again and couldn't see any bubbles on top of the piston nor any bad grooves in the walls.

The guy also said that there is no real way to know and I am basically rolling the dice on this. He said the car could run, couldnt run, could make a lot of noise when running, and could run like ****.

Not sure what I should do now. Has anyone ran into any trouble like this?

Anyone?

Last edited by CincyT-Bird; 09-13-2005 at 10:40 PM.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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