Quick and easy timing belt check

This is how the factory wants you to check you cam and distributor timing- You have to tear off the front of your motor and it's a large pain in the ass. Want to know a easier way?

Gary's way.

1) Remove upper timing cover and distributor.

1) Remove the number one spark plug and rotate engine by hand till the piston is at the top of the bore and the small hole in the cam sprocket is more or less pointing up.

2) Line up timing mark on transmission housing at TDC.

3) Look at the cam sprocket- (In the above picture ignore the number of big holes, they vary from year to year) see the little hole over the big one? Good. If you still have the timing cover on and your cam timing is correct you will see it will be centered in the timing cover hole. If you have the cover off there's an arrow on each side of the cam sprocket and they should be pointing to the seams in the head where the cam caps meet the cylinder head. (You may need a mirror for this operation)

4) Ok now look at your oil pump gear below where the distributor sits. The gear should be exactly left to right, east to west, parallel to the deck surface.  If it is your distributor timing is correct.

What if one of them is off?

1) loosen the timing belt tensioner and slide the belt off making sure not to disturb the engines TDC setting at the timing mark in the bellhousing. 

2) If cam is off- tweak the cam forward or backward with an 18mm wrench till the sprocket lines up.

3) If distributor is off- turn the oil pump gear with a large screwdriver till it's as shown in the last illustration.

4) Slide the belt back on taking care to do the FRONT side first (which should be snug) and then the rear. After getting the belt back on tug on the belt ON THE BACKSIDE of the motor to make the front part taunt and then use your timing belt adjuster tool to adjust the belt tension. Recheck your timing marks! Now drop your distributor back in with the rotor pointing at 10:30 and the flat part of the distributor body more or less parallel to the block and the car should fire right up.

Thank you for visiting Donovan's Dodge Garage