Are the OTC cam tools required for chain replacement?

Discussion in '96-04 - 4V Specific' started by SNAKEIZ, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    It seems like it would be a common question but a search turned up nothing.

    I'm about to replace the timing chains in my all stock 97 Cobra. I'm going to use the Ford M-6004-A464 kit. I understand that with this kit I will have to reuse the cam sprockets. What I am wondering though, is do you really need to have the OTC 6498 cam timing tools? Sometimes specialty tools are recommended and sometimes they really are required. I'd like to avoid the $140 expense if possible since the tools will only be used once.

    Thank you for any insight you can offer.
    Jeff,
     
  2. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra Active Member

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    I've never used the tools when doing the cams on my engines. I just lined up the marks like the manual said.
     
  3. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    Ah, so you've done this more than once 01yellercobra. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I kind of thought that may be the case, but wasn't sure. I did see the tool kit comes with a crankshaft holder that might be handy but I think I can figure a way around that. Thanks again I appreciate your input.
     
  4. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra Active Member

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    I built the engine in my 01 three times. Not by choice mind you. And helped a buddy replace one of the heads in his 99. I never used the tools and never had any issues.
     
  5. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    Thanks again 01yellercobra. I apologize for the lateness of my reply. I thought I was going to get an email when replies were posted but I guess not. I ordered the chain kit and am kind of looking forward to this project. Any tips? Suggestions on other items to purchase and have on hand for the job? I have read that the cam/valve covers and front cover gaskets are reusable?

    Thanks for your time. It is appreciated!
    Jeff,
     
  6. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra Active Member

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    No problem at all.

    I would at least change the valve cover gaskets. You don't want to deal with those in the car. I had a set of the grommets that seal the plug wells go bad. That wasn't fun.

    I'm not sure where you're at in the build, but I pulled all my rockers before removing the chains to keep the cams from spinning. I put them back after putting the chains on.

    Really just take your time and spin the engine by hand a few revolutions to make sure everything is good. My buddy tried to time his 99 and it would stop spinning about 3/4 of a turn because of piston to valve contact. If he had spun it with a starter those valves would've bent. Oh, and don't expect the timing marks to line back up right away. With that much chain it takes a lot of turns for it to happen.
     
  7. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    Thanks. I'm not rebuilding, just replacing chains @ 98K because of slight rattle at start-up and occasionally when driving. Good point about give'n her some spins by hand to confirm no contact. I'll get some valve cover gaskets as well. Do you think I'll be able to do this with the radiator in or does it have to come out?
     
  8. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra Active Member

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    You could probably leave the radiator in, but I think I pulled mine. Made it easier to remove the crank pulley and I didn't have to worry about it being damaged. Plus I drained the system to get the reservoir off so a couple more bolts to pull the radiator didn't hurt.
     
  9. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    It's time for a flush and fill anyhow. And a little more room is a good thing. Valve cover gaskets are ordered. I remember when a valve cover gasket was like $3, just a tad more now.
     
  10. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra Active Member

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    Lol. I remember those days too. But theres a lot more to them now. Remember to take your time putting them in. It'll seem like the gasket won't fit, but it will with some work.
     
  11. Burninriverdiver

    Burninriverdiver Well-Known Member

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    I can second this (but on a 2v). I didn't have the patience to get my new gaskets crammed into place in freezing weather but the old ones fit pretty well and don't leak. I'd have a better peace of mind if I got the new ones in place
     
  12. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    Thanks guys. I appreciate the tips!
     
  13. Jakespeeds

    Jakespeeds Member

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    I have the tools. They make everything easier. But as long as you are careful and take your time I doubt they are really needed. If you don't see yourself doing this all the time and constantly messing with the engine then it would be a bit of a waste of money.

    Jake
     
  14. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    I don't mind taking my time and being careful. That's my normal way of doing things. And I sure hope I'm not doing this all the time. Chains and gaskets have arrived I just need to get a few things done on the house before I can get at this project.

    Thanks for the tips everyone, I appreciate it.
    Jeff,
     
  15. OLD H2S

    OLD H2S Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    The timing marks only line up once every 172 revolutions. New chains will get you a little bit tighter, it is the guides that are worn out and the tensioners that need to be checked. If the chains are worn out then the sprockets are done too. You will not know until you take a look and really compaire new to old parts. Just changing out the chains may not gain much... the new chains will wear the teeth out with a new pattern fast. A floppy chain means you must look at every thing they touch, a tight chain adjuster from high RPM blasts wears out the 1st. cam bearings, teeth, and soft guides before the chain is the problem and starts early in the cars life because that is what the car was bought for. Cams usually have 2 degreese of advance in them new so as the valve train wears in and starts to retard the system into the spec. wanted. SO... the first thing to check is the primary guide rails surfaces and how far out the main tensioners are, then the secondary guides maybe all that need to be replaced, which does not need any chain work at all. Look at the total system. Is the oil pressure not pumping up the tensioners? Lot of entropy going on on old engines.
     
  16. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    At least I'm getting email notifications of new posts now. Thanks for chiming in OLD H2S. I should have been more specific, I did get the entire Ford Performance kit with chains, guides, tensioners, sprockets and bolts. No way I was going to go through this much work without changing everything. ~ Holy Crap! ~ 172 revolutions! Maybe I'll get lucky and it's at 171 revolutions when I turn the key off ;)
     
  17. OLD H2S

    OLD H2S Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Every time you touch the crank and rotate the engine you must start over at TDC to check that the chains did not jump. It is easy and I recommend at least getting the crank TDC tool. The problem is number 6 cylinder, It is at TDC too but 360 out of sync. so the valves are opening and just a few degrees change and a bent valve happens. This is why people take the rockers out so the valves are all closed. The crank timing marks will be at 6 o'clock and the crank key way will be at 10 or 11 ish, and that is what Ford says... not really that accurate but good enough... but the crank tool is perfect every time, a blind monkey will get it right every time and it will really show how far off the cam marks are. Then I use a pen and put extra marks on the cams to show the true zero because under tension the cams want to move/jump just a bit right at true TDC.
     
  18. SNAKEIZ

    SNAKEIZ New Member

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    I ordered the crank positioning tool. I couldn't see spending $80+ on the OTC version for one use so I took a chance and ordered a china one for $14. Hopefully it will suffice. Thanks for the tips OLD H2S. The more I learn the more comfortable I am to get wrenchin on this thing.

    Sorry about the delay in my responses. No cable internet in my area yet because of hurricane damage. I am relying on my phone for internet access and it is SLOW and unreliable.
     
  19. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Get the tapatalk app! Ill be in the worst cell reception and still be able to post.

    About the stock timing chains...ill run the used stock over new any day. A few reasons why..1.used chains are worn to the point of really not wearing anymore over new the wear factor is high. 2.stock chains do not break! So their really is no reason to replace chains, so you the coin for better chain tentioner, cause those break!!!
     
  20. tbird462002

    tbird462002 New Member

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    I don't understand how some guys are saying your didn't use the tools at all, you need something to keep the cams from moving...

    I just did mine because of a shattered key on the crank and after we pulled the tensioners then chains the cams instantly tried to spin around.

    Luckily my father in law who has a shop and has done hundreds of these chain/tensioner replacements because he services the local cop cars said to put vise grips on both cams. We braced one cam against the intake manifold and the other against the shock tower.

    You could easily have that cam spin 180 and if you don't know or get it lined up right you will put the valves right into the piston when you start it up.

    Having the motor at tdc for chain replacement doesn't matter. If you can lock everything in place just remove it, line up the links on the chain with the factory timing marks and you're good to go.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019