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Old 04-02-2021, 05:15 AM   #31
XoXSciFiGuy
 
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 3,175
Vehicle: 1997 D21 King Cab XE 2WD
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'I was trying to be so careful and made a careless mistake....but I'm committed now and will take my time to try and do it right. Any additional advice about getting the timing cover off would be helpful.....and thank ya'll so much for taking the time to help me get this far!'
Timing covers are brittle as hell because of the thousands of heat-ups, (running truck) and cool-downs, (sitting truck) over so many years. DO NOT DROP THE COVER. It will crack for sure. Some people lay an old blanket on the ground...just in case.
  • You have to remove the oil pan. You probably knew that already.
  • Don't use a screwdriver to try and pry it loose. It will leak afterward for sure. Or crack or break.
  • Rubber mallet works best. First one side gently, then the other. Go all around. Easy doing this, no hard whacks.
  • You can use a Stanley knife blade to 'gently' free up the old sealant, and a ball peen hammer, but keep the blade straight and try not to nick into the metal. You get the blade in there and work it in a downward direction. I would lock the blade down with a small vise grip and then tap tap tap gently.
    You are better off using Scotch Brite pads to clean up the mating surface on the timing cover side, rather than trying to scrape it with a blade. On the block side you can use a blade.
  • When you put the timing cover back ON...don't overtighten the bolts. Biggest mistake people make. You will definitely crack the cover, especially on the bottom corner bolts.
    I think it's 10 pounds max on the cover bolts. That's factory-new numbers. I have done no more than 8 pounds and let the sealer and the gasket do their job. No leaks. No need to overtighten.
  • The best way to set Top Dead Center is to remove the Number One spark plug and stick your finger over the hole. Use your big wrench to bring the crank pulley around. When the air pushes your finger out of the way, you are on the compression stroke. Put a skinny screwdriver in the spark plug hole and turn the crank pulley this way, then that way, just a little bit each way. You will feel the top of the piston coming up by feeling with the screwdriver. When it reaches the top of the stroke, just move the pulley back and forth a tiny bit more until you know the piston has reached the very top of the compression stroke.
    Then...stop. You are at TDC on the compression stroke. From there, everything just goes back in normally.
  • If you finish everything, start the truck, and it rocks, rolls, and backfires on you...this means you are off a tooth on the oil pump gear. One tooth off when shoving that pump up the engine's wazoo is equal to TWENTY degrees of timing. (Sixteen teeth on the gear, equals 20 degrees of timing for each tooth.)
  • If you have an assistant looking down the distributor hole with a flashlight...from above...while you are trying to install the oil pump...to make sure the shaft is installed correctly...this is MUCH easier than getting up and down off the ground to look all the time.
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1997 King Cab XE, 5-sp, canopy, AC/PS, KA24E, 129,000 miles. Need a technical manual? Drop me a message. Chilton's for amateurs.

Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 04-02-2021 at 05:23 AM.
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