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Old 04-02-2021, 05:15 AM   #31
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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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Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 04-02-2021 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:46 PM   #32
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Thanks SciFi! This is all useful information. I hope though that I can get the timing cover off w/o removing the oil pan. I can probably loosen it up a good bit by removing most of the screws, but the front differential is too much of a barrier. I bought a new timing cover because I think that the timing chain has scored a hole in it that is allowing the coolant to leak into the engine. I'll post again once I get the timing cover off and can see what the damage is. I'll post some pics too.
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:55 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Hoseman1958 View Post
Thanks SciFi! This is all useful information. I hope though that I can get the timing cover off w/o removing the oil pan. I can probably loosen it up a good bit by removing most of the screws, but the front differential is too much of a barrier. I bought a new timing cover because I think that the timing chain has scored a hole in it that is allowing the coolant to leak into the engine. I'll post again once I get the timing cover off and can see what the damage is. I'll post some pics too.
It is possible to remove the front cover without completely dropping the oil pan, especially if you get good drop in the front. But...then there is a chance the pan might leak once the gasket is uncompressed, and then re-compressed. Might want to shoot some gasket sealer around the pan lip as much as possible before putting those ten mm bolts back to it.

You have the Factory Service Manual for this truck, right? If not, drop me a message at adventurebooksofseattle AT Gmail dot com and tell me the year of your truck.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:39 PM   #34
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OK, I got the timing cover off. There is thin line scored into the metal on the outside of the coolant passageway barrier. On the inside of that barrier, corresponding directly to the scored line on the other side, is a line of yellow shmoo. If I did it right, pics are below.


This first pic doesn't show the complete absence of drivers side chain guide.




The 2nd pic below shows the driver's side with missing chain guide near coolant passageway.




The 3rd pic below shows the scored line below the lip of the coolant passageway on the inside of the timing cover driver's side.










4th pic below shows line of "shmoo" on inside of coolant passageway which corresponds directly opposite to the scored line shown on outside of passageway shown above.






Before I started this, I thought that my head gasket was blown and I ran a half bottle of "Bars Leaks" through the system. That yellow stuff could be some residue from that. If I am successful in replacing timing chain parts including cover, I hope to be able to do some type of compression test to rule out the need for removing the cylinder head and replacing head gasket.










Last edited by Hoseman1958; 04-04-2021 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Pics weren't working
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Old 04-04-2021, 12:52 AM   #35
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I think the link to the images aren’t copied correctly. I tried editing the post to see if I could fix it but the only one that I can copy/paste the link and get to the image is the one that shows up here.

If it appears the coolant passage has been breached you’ll need to replace the timing cover.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:55 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
I think the link to the images arenít copied correctly. I tried editing the post to see if I could fix it but the only one that I can copy/paste the link and get to the image is the one that shows up here.

If it appears the coolant passage has been breached youíll need to replace the timing cover.
A - I edited the post above so that it now shows the other pics. It looks like you were "spot on" about a scored timing cover being at least part of the problem. Is it too early to ask how far into the "reassembly process" I need to be before I can do some kind of compression test on the cylinders to try and rule out a blown head gasket?
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:07 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XoXSciFiGuy View Post
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.

SciFi - I used a mallet tapping the handle end of a ratchet wrapped in a rag with the ratchet head wedged into rounded areas near the distributor opening on driver's side, and the thermostat opening on the passenger side. Thanks for the advice. For the removal part, I only needed to remove 4 front facing screws on the oil pan.



Regarding the "scotch brite," I have a new timing cover that looks like it has some burrs on the mating surface. How would you recommend removing those (they look like magnet filings along the inside edge?)
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:35 AM   #38
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Clean EVERYTHING. It will be your only shot to do it.
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:49 PM   #39
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It’s a bit of a coin flip on the compression test. It is possible that the loss of coolant into the crankcase could have caused the truck to run hot and blow the head gasket. If it were me I would take the chance that the head gasket didn’t blow. Put everything back together enough to do the compression test. Otherwise you’re left with just replacing the head gasket without knowing. I’d definitely do the compression test before I tried to start the truck but I wouldn’t change the head gasket until I knew.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:10 AM   #40
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Thank you A! I was hoping to hear something like that....but I'm committed now and will tear it all back down again if I need to.
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