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Old 04-27-2021, 03:25 PM   #61
Hoseman1958
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
Are your help and your neighbor the same person? That person might be giving you bad advice.

Do you have any good local Facebook groups that you could post in for advice? Like ask around for a mechanic or shop that specializes in these older vehicles. A tow to the shop doesn't cost that much, and you might be out a few hundred bucks for the work, but you will have your running truck back - and it's still going to be less than a monthly car payment.

Yes. neighbor and helper are the same person. At this point, I would not hesitate to use this forum to teach me how to remove the cylinder head and get it to a machine shop......but I think my neighbor can handle that part of it (he is retired mechanic from Ohio Dept. of Transportation.) My only worry is the whole Oil Pump / TDC / Timing process that would need to happen at the end. He tended to want to "deviate from the script" on that.....and I'm not sure what went wrong with the valves, but here we are.


I'm going to do some more research and try to make a sensible decision in the coming days. Thanks to all for the advice!
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Old 04-27-2021, 04:19 PM   #62
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If you are sure the distributor is in the correct position, put the engine at TDC on cylinder 1, then take the distributor cap off and mark the rotor and the body of the distributor. It'll save you a lot of time and guessing going back together the next time around.
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:45 PM   #63
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I should note that when I removed harmonic balancer with number one cylinder on tdc, the timing notches were way down at @ 9:00. I put a paint mark on the balancer at the actual spot where the pin sticking out of the timing cover was. I forgot about this, and when we realized it yesterday and aligned the harmonic balancer (new) to correspond to the paint mark on old balancer, we got our best result of the whole

Sounds like you were on the exhaust stroke
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:06 PM   #64
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I have a series going on YouTube about head gasket replacement. Search 'Nissan Hardbody [Patches]Head Gasket Repair'. I am currently at the point of putting the rocker arms back on.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:43 AM   #65
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These are great. Thank you!
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:11 AM   #66
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Sounds like you were on the exhaust stroke
OK, so it seems like this is the most fundamental and, in retrospect, devastating error to have made in this entire process. I just watched the videos for rocker arm and cylinder head removal from Pounding Rox Truck Shop.


I'm going to move forward with everything and will post an update when progress has been made. Thank you K!
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:38 AM   #67
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If you have replaced a chain or otherwise done timing related work that involved pulling off stuff...and your engine starts up bouncing around and backfiring, etc...usually the problem is the oil pump was not installed on the compression stroke, number one cylinder.

Another problem is if you DO get it to Top Dead Center on the COMPRESSION stroke as you should...and you install the oil pump but it bumps off alignment and puts the oil pump shaft one tooth off on the install. I think that puts the engine timing off by 20 degrees. (Exact degrees calculated by dividing 360 by the number of teeth on the oil pump gear.)

Some pictures will explain this better: (from the Factory Service Manual) Not necessarily in order. I just grabbed them from my images at Imgur dot com.







In the picture above, notice that the end of the shaft, the drive on it, is more toward the FRONT of the engine. If you look at the engine from the drivers' side fender....down into that distributor hole, it should look like the picture. The approximate position on it is the 11:25 clock position. Not 1120 or 1130 as you would view it on a clock. 1125. The problem is when you are underneath the truck and installing that pump...you line up the oil hole and the punch mark, right? You start pushing the oil pump up through the mounting hole from underneath, right?

And then nine times out of ten...the damn shaft will move off the marks a tooth on you. That's why it is good to have someone up above watching down the distributor hole. That way you don't have to stuff a bolt to hold the pump temporarily in place...and then get up off the ground to go look. Your assistant can tell you, and then you pull the oil pump back out...line up the marks again...try it again. Much easier than doing it alone. Once your assistant sees it is right, then you put in the oil pump bolts and you are good to go.

MAKING SURE YOU ARE TDC ON THE COMPRESSION STROKE, number one cylinder: My personal trick to getting it right...

1) Take out number one spark plug. Leave the other three in.

2) Have a skinny, long screwdriver ready to go.

3) Stick your finger into the number one spark plug hole.

4) Turn engine (crank) bolt clockwise.

5) Every second revolution, the air pressure from being the compression stroke should force your finger out of the hole.

6) When this happens, STOP turning the engine.

7) Take the screwdriver and stick it into the cylinder hole. Keep hold of the screwdriver.

8) Gently turn engine a little bit clockwise, a little bit counter-clockwise, but not very much.

9) While doing this little bit of back-and-forth, you will FEEL the top of the piston touching your screwdriver.

10) Turn engine clockwise and keep feeling with the screwdriver. Just a tiny bit of turn at a time will do it. Eventually, you will feel and know when that piston has reached the absolute TOP of the compression stroke. If the piston starts going back down a little bit...bring it back UP with the wrench until it is at the absolute top.

11) STOP turning over the engine when you reach that point. Don't let the engine move, don't let the truck roll anywhere, even if it is neutral.

12) You are THERE. The engine is now at absolute TDC on the compression stroke and you can install the oil pump.
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Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 04-28-2021 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:54 PM   #68
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SciFi- these magnifications of the pics in the fsm are great....and thank you for taking the time to "refine" your explanation about how to get precisely to tdc....so that an idiot could understand them. I am an idiot with dementia...but I still think that I understand.


I shoved the oil pump shaft up in there so many times that I have now fooled myself into thinking that I am "developing skills" at it. I think I can clearly visualize at this point how both tdc and the oil pump process need to be done.


I don't understand what I did to mess up the valves. Does a 115 compression reading on the 2nd cylinder definitely indicate that the valves are damaged.....or could it just be the head gasket?


I did not know that there were timing marks on the harmonic balancer when I made my original paint mark on it - and in several attempts to put the number one cylinder on TDC, the harmonic balancer was not lining up on the second notch in to indicate it was in sync. Why would this be if I installed the new crank sprocket in correct orientation with key way point straight up and the colored chain link down there aligned with the punch mark on it? I'm trying to figure out where we messed up so we don't do it again.


With all of this said, at this point I'm totally committed to getting this right. My poor neglected truck has served me well and I owe her an herculean effort on this!
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:27 PM   #69
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115 psi could be something broken or it could just be wear. Squirt some oil in the #2 cylinder and repeat the compression test. If there is an increase in compression when “wet” that is an indication of worn rings. Frankly, it’s not entirely necessary to rebuild even if that is the case.

When you place the #1 cylinder to TDC, how far off are the marks from the timing pin? Can you take a picture?
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:22 PM   #70
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I use magnets to hold the rotor at #1 cylinder as I put the pump back in.
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