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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:09 am 
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I was wondering if anyone could give me a run down on how to replace the chain tensioner on my 79. I realized that it was busted after hearing and investigating severe slapping. also how critical is this, should I not be driving it in its current condition?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:39 pm 
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chaitobar wrote:
I was wondering if anyone could give me a run down on how to replace the chain tensioner on my 79. I realized that it was busted after hearing and investigating severe slapping. also how critical is this, should I not be driving it in its current condition?

i wouldnt drive it at all. if your timing chain is loose like that you may run into the problem of the cam coming out of sync with the crank or skipping a tooth.
to get to the tensioner you need to pull the timing cover, im pretty sure you have to get the head off to get it outta there, and the front 2 bolts on each side of the oil pan are also connected to the cover. and the distributor is connected to the crank on a gear so you should probably pull that too.
also while your in there you should buy the tensioner from a g200 they use metal where the g180 uses plastic, seems a lot more trustworthy :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am 
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so I got everything disassembled and found that both the guides had been torn off and were in the oil pan, and I was near to a complete catastrophic failure because the mounting post for the chain tensioner had been chewed up and was about 50 miles or so from being non existent.

I am mainly returning to this post to get help with aligning the cam and crank shaft for proper timing. I set the engine at TDC before disassembly on the No. 1 Cylinder however I fear I may have moved it a little, so that being said, how do I find tdc and get it aling without the sprockets attached? Or what is the next step.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:17 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12104

This helped me!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:23 am 
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ok, thanks for the link. I have one last question. Do I HAVE to replace the chain with #4 cyl. at TDC because I accidentally have my #1 cyl. at TDC after disassembly? Also the hardware for my drivers side chain guide is missing, the bottom mounting hole has the bolt broken off in the hole and the top one is clear but I cant find it in the oil pan, anyone have the specs on the two bolts?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:05 pm 
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I would follow the instructions to the letter, because it takes longer to do it twice than it does to do it right the first time.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:08 pm 
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You really need to do the install to number 4. Understand this is not the norm but it works.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:22 pm 
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There are two setting plates on the chain, one aligns with a notch on the crank gear with the gear in a particular position, the other aligns with a mark on the cam gear with the gear in a particular position. This particular position happens to be when the engine is at TDC #4. When these setting marks are all aligned the crank and cam are synchronized properly. I don't know how to synchronize the crank and cam without using these setting marks, so IMO the best thing is to put the engine to #4 TDC and then install the chain.
It's not that hard, you need to set three things, the crank, the cam & the distributor.
The pictures in the link show you what it should look like as you set each.
Since you have the front cover off I assume you have the oil pan dropped and the head off, if not report back quickly, there are some things that must be done differently with either the head or the oil pan in place than if they are removed.
Basically you are going to rotate the crank and cam to #4 TDC independently of each other to allow correct installation of the chain, then the correct installation of the oil pump will also install the distributor.
DO NOT ROTATE ANYTHING IF THE HEAD IS STILL ATTACHED TO THE BLOCK, THE PISTONS WILL CONTACT THE VALVES.
Report back.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Thanks for all the feedback guys! I do have the head off and the oil pan dropped. So considering I am currently at TDC for # 1, all I have to do to get it to TDC # 4 is turn the camshaft 180* and the crankshaft 360*. Once in this position the chain mark plates should line up with the marks on the gears. then I can set the oil pump in the right position and set the distributor to the #4 firing position.

Also, while the head is off is their any other fixes/replacements/inspections ya'll recommend. I have already got new gaskets for everything, but that is a given.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:39 pm 
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If you have the oil pump off you don't need to rotate the crank, the only reason to rotate the crank is if you are trying to re-index the distributor drive to #4 rather than #1 with the oil pump installed. As long as you are re-installing the oil pump just make sure it is aligned as in the pictures in the link, the slot for the distributor drive must be offset to the front as shown for the distributor to be at #4.
Put the crank so that #1 & #4 pistons are at the top of the stroke, the keyway for the crank gear should be straight up and the timing notch in the gear should be straight down.
You can turn the cam by hand using the cam gear loosely installed with the head off the engine. Rotate the cam until the cam gear alignment dowel is straight up to put it at #4 TDC, there are also marks on the cam and the first rocker shaft bracket that match at this position.
Now the marked chain links should align with the setting marks on the gears & the engine is at #4 TDC.
When you drop the distributor in the rotor should point to the #4 plug wire terminal in the cap- as long as you installed the oil pump correctly.
Make sure you check the rocker arm shaft torque, then set the valve lash while you have the cover off.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:12 pm 
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So I got the parts today and installed them, but to no avail. Actually it turned over but did'nt start and made very loud knocks and occassionaly a bursting sound, is it possible I have done any damage to the engine? Man this is frustrating.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:47 am 
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Check to make sure your distributor is not 180 out, that will give the symptoms you describe.
Put the front cover timing mark at 0 degrees, pull the valve cover see whether #1 or #4 is at TDC, then check that the rotor is pointing to the correct post and that the wires are going to the right plug.
If the plug wires are correct & the dizzy is out then swap the #1 & #4 and the #2 & #3 wires on one end. If this fixes it make sure to remember how it's timed the next time you work on it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:21 pm 
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wow, I wish I had read your post a few hours ago. I just disassembled everything again. I made 100% sure this time that it was at #4 TDC and that the mark plates were on the cam and crank timing marks. I think my problem is coming from my oil pump alignment, what i did and have just done again is (while the timing cover is off, of course) line up the slot/hole(I assume these are the correct alignment marks) on the oil pump shaft with the hole on the near the bottom of it. Now from my understanding the oil pumps alignment is crucial in that its correct alignment will in turn position the distributor rotor.

Now, after aligning the oil pump and re-installing the timing cover, I slide the distributor into place and the rotor points closer to 3rd than it does 4th firing position (the slot for the distributor shaft on the oil pump which can be seen from outside the timing cover and should be lined up with the head is indeed - not, it is roughly 30 degrees off counter clockwise). From what I have gathered, the rotor should point directly at the #4 firing position. Could this be my problem, and if so could I just re-position the distributor so that the rotor does point to the 4th firing position?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:51 pm 
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The dizzy will only mate to the drive one way, that offset slot determines whether it is in correctly or not. If it's not oriented properly the oil pump drive is not aligned properly.
Look down into the distributor hole, with the crank & cam at #4 TDC is the slot parallel with the front of the engine? And is the slot offset to the front or rear? Slot to the front, rotor points to #4. Slot to the rear, rotor points to #1 & you need to swap plug wires.
The head of the dizzy will rotate a bit when installed while the rotor remains stationary- this is how you advance the timing. It may be that you have head turned so much the rotor can't physically point to the correct terminal.
Report back what you find.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:40 pm 
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well the slot on the oil pump for the dizzy shaft is not lined up with the front of the engine it is about 30 degrees counter clockwise. Can't I compensate for the misaligned oil pump by simply rotating the distributor body as need, in this case so that the rotor is at #4 firing position?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:24 pm 
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SO! I got it back together, and it started up! Once it started I tweaked with the distributor/ advanced the timing and it seems to run fine. However it is very loud it sounds like a Harley, I am guessing that this has more to do with my head bolts/intake and exhaust manifold bolts not being tight enough, meh? (edit/addition) - so now the bolt that connects the the cam sprocket to the cam snapped in half inside the cam, I have already got a new one on order, but I don't know if it comes with the bolt??? anyone got specs for that bolt?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Did you torque the head bolts with a torque wrench?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:58 am 
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No, I should really get one... 10mm allen/cheater bar/cross my fingers, for the time being...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Correct torque on the head bolts is not optional. "Close enough" is not even close. The head gasket will need to be replaced at minimum. It is crucial that the head bolts are torqued to exactly the correct amount, in exactly the correct order or the gasket will crush unevenly and leak. The head can be warped by uneven torque as well.

How did you snap that cam bolt? Tightening or loosening? That is another good place to use a torque wrench. And all the bolts that hold down the rocker arms, and just about every other bolt you tighten on this motor. The book has torque specs on most of them.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:35 pm 
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oh boy... well now I know. the cam bolt snapped while tightening. Does anybody know if the new beck arnley camshaft comes with the bolt, and if not what the tpi/length/diameter?


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