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Old 05-17-2005, 06:59 PM
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Installing Timing Chain for First Time.

Hi, how ya guys doin.
I just bought myself a pretty nice very solid 71 Chevelle and it came with a 402Big block with a Gear Drive in it.
After driving it home for 8 hours STRAIGHT it drove me nuts..
I need to get that thing out of there, from what the guy told me it is a dual idler gear design.

I have never done this sort of thing before and i have no idea how to go about it.
Money is tight about now so i cant afford to have someone do it for me, besides that wouldnt get me any wrenching experience.
I was planning on throwing a double roller style chain on there just to quiet things up a bit.


So what I need help with is 3 things actually,
One How hard is it for a novice with no motor building skills to do this sort of thing?
Two, Say i had 2-3 people helping me out with it, how long would it take me to actually do the swap? This is my daily driver for the summer and I obviously need it right away.
Three What type of chain would you suggest, i would want to stay under $100 but I want a high quality unit.

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Old 05-17-2005, 07:56 PM
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69ChevelleAddict,

The last question is the easiest. Go to a good parts house and buy what you need from them.
The other two questions get a bit harder.
Depending on the manuf. of the gear drive you may need a stock timing cover to replace what you take off during the gear drive swap out.
And about people helping you that could be a headach too. If they are as knowlegeable as you, all of you might be working on this change over for a long time. But if you find an engine person it could take as little as 2.5 hours or maybe being on the safe side 4 hours, take your pick.
If you know the manuf. of the gear drive you might give them a call and see if there is a way to quiet the gear noise down so you can play your stereo without having the volume set for full volmue.

Good Luck
Scholman
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:13 PM
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Really easy for anyone that can keep there cool and likes to work on cars.

Shouldn't take more then a night to do it unless something else gets run into...
You want to know what I really suggest if your doing this for the 1st time... get a haynes repair book for the chevelle. I got one and it has come in handy more then once. It will list everything im going to post and with pictures!

But for starters...

I used a cloyes double roller timing chain. It's around $30 check out summit.
also you want a new timing chain cover gasket ( I just buy the fel-pro engine set but I believe they make a cam change kit.

Pretty simple though...

Pretty simple steps...
Set engine at TDC (check mark on timing pointer and with #1 spark plug out have a buddy hold his finger in the hole till he feels all the pressure against it. to double check you can look at the dis. rotor to see if it is pointing towards #1)

Remove anything in your way to getting to the timing chain (water pump, fan, belts, upper and lower pulleys) the 71 (my car) is easy to get into so just pull out the rad while your in there it does provide more room to work and makes sure you won't damage the rad.

Get a dampener puller and easy off the dampener.

You'll have to lower the front of the oil pan to get the timing chain cover off.
Just unscrew till you can get the timing cover off...

Once off remover the upper sprocket bolts and take it and the chain off.

Get a puller out and remove the lower sprocket off the crank

Get out your new timing chain and such and READ where the marks are to line up. The cloyes i used had 3 seperate timing setting.

You will want factory setting for the timing so find the (dots) on the sprockets.

Install the lower sprocket on the crank (goes on crank key way only one way)also make sure it is all the way on

Then install the upper sprocket and chain at the same time (only way you will get this on) making sure the dots line up with one another on cloyes the upper sprocket will be a 6 o clock and the lower will be at 12

Use loc tight in the sprocket bolts and TQ them down.

Check for slack in chain
Check for any clerance problems around the block

Reinstall a new seal for the timing chain cover (get a fel pro engine set)
There is a seal in the cover (looks like a bearing) you can pop that out and install the new seal(make sure not to bend the cover)

Get cover on and then bolt back up the oil pan and use silicon to sleak around the entire end seal of the the cover and pan esp. in the corners.

Install dampener

Install rest

*If there is anything I forgot please add it someone!*

Enjoy!

Chris

Last edited by strikingthematch; 05-18-2005 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:33 PM
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One thing I would recommend you do when doing the gear/chain swap is to bag and label all your bolts, washers, shims, spacers etc so you know where they go when it comes time to reassemble everything. It also wouldnt hurt to take a couple pictures of the front of the engine assembled before you tear into it.

I would highly recommend you find a buddy with some experience in this.
It will make things go a lot smoother as he/she is barking orders to you and your friends as what to do.

Other then that Striking gave you a good plan of attack and I would definitley take his advice and get a haynes manual for the car. They are relatively cheap at around $15 and will come in handy in the future also.

Good luck and keep us posted how it turns out
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:53 PM
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If you don't have any tools, this could be a nightmare. At least you won't be contending with metric sizes. Other than the standard rachets and wrenches, you'll need a balancer puller and an installer. You can rent these from AutoZone, but sometimes the stuff they rent has been bashed and gashed by people who didn't know how to use them or didn't care.

I also totally agree with the recommendations above about reference books and some experienced help. This is not a major operation, but things can go wrong and you need someone who has been there before.

Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2005, 11:13 PM
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Does it have a roller cam? If so you'll need a cam button (which could and/or should already be installed) to limit camshaft travel. Be cautious many people put one in and don't need it on flat tappet cams. So if there's a button on the cam sproket double check to see if its a roller or not.
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:34 AM
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If it is a flat tappet cam, which i am pretty sure it is (stock 402 from 1970)
and i end up installing a cam button on accident will it hurt anything?
How would i tell for sure what type of cam i have.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:27 AM
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chain

First off good job on wanting to do it your self!!!!!!

Most of what chris wrote is right on..

I would add a few things.

1. The big block chevys do not need the pan bolts removed to get the timing cover off.. Just make sure you remove the 2 bolts that come up through the pan into the timing cover....

2. when installing the seal in the timing cover put some grease around the spring on the back of the seal. Many times this spirng will pop out when installing the seal into the cover...

I would strongly suggest that you get one other person to help. I can remember how it allways turned out when me and 5 or 6 of my buddies would do a job.......Being it's your first time i doubt that it will be a fast job. Maybe 5 or 6 hours for you.

Keith

Keith
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for fixin up what I said keith,
I agree as well get a few buddies one thing though that I have learned is get someone that LIKES to work on cars having a person there that just wants to talk all the time or that can't hand you the correct kind of screw driver can be more of a pain then a help! Don't worry about it just go slow and think BEFORE you do each thing and everything will go A-OK


Chris
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:58 PM
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Thanks for the help, and yes i agree a buddy helping me out would make it go much faster and be more enjoyable.
I have asked one of my work friends who is into this type of stuff for some help and he jumped on it, said hed love to even.

As for the actual timing set what do you think about This
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:10 PM
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That looks good I used one just like THIS

at $38 it is much easier on the pocket and the work on it was great. Mine looked very good and well made the casting was perfect. The only real diff would be in the steel and chain but for any street engine I think your fine. IMO

I saved the money and I feel fine about it.

Chris

Last edited by strikingthematch; 05-19-2005 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:03 PM
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Looks to me like you linked to the same page as I did earlier.
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:10 PM
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Fixed the link, sorry.

Chris
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Old 05-27-2005, 08:39 PM
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My timing set just came in today, i ordeded a speed pro timing set that came complete with the timing set plus all the seals i would need to install it.
But when it arrived it only had the timing set in the box, all the seals are still on their way.

This was the perfect weekend to do it to! 3 days off all sunny!
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Old 05-27-2005, 08:45 PM
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isn't the noise part of the experience
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