1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2021.09.11

Next up is the timing chain. This is critical to get right and I have several chances to make sure it's done right by rotating the engine with the head assembled to check that there are no valves hitting pistons and stuff like that, BEFORE the engine is started for the first time.

Before installing the lovely timing chain and gear setup you see below, I had to tend to some rusty bits that I neglected to treat before today. Namely, the camshaft bolt and washer, the crankshaft/harmonic balancer bolt and its washer, and the oil slinger that sits on the crankshaft in front of the small timing gear.

Nice new timing chain and gear set. This looks to be more sturdy than the stock setup, which used a plastic camshaft gear.

Several hours of sitting in rust converter transformed these pieces into what you see here. Looked like undersea wreckage before - forgot to take "before" photos.

All lined up as far as I can tell. Hopefully, it's pretty hard to screw this up since being off one tooth in either direction shows an obvious misalignment of the punch marks.

Side view - looks to be parallel with the engine block.

Once I got the timing chain and gears aligned and installed, I placed the timing cover gasket and the cover on to, well, cover things up. I didn't seal and tighten this down yet as I need to install the harmonic balancer to be sure the cover is aligned so that the oil seal over the crankshaft is riding evenly on the spindle of the harmonic balancer. Basically, let it align itself before clamping things down.

More AMC Blue.

AMC logo and a part number, I'm guessing (left). Timing reference marks (right).


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