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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Timing chain replacement advice

Hi all. From what I'm reading, it looks like I'm due for a new timing set on my 307. It's got 90,050 miles on it, so I'm right in the middle of the range where those plastic gears start to go bad.

I have the CSM for the car, and have replaced a timing set on the Pontiac before. I do have some questions, some related to the special tools refd. in the CSM may not be available.

1. Does anyone know offhand what the socket size is for the balancer bolt?
2. What is the best way to told the flexplate?
3. Do I really need special tools to remove the balancer and crank sprocket? If the GM "J" tools are not available, what else can I use? On the pontiac motor, once the balancer bolt was off, they both slid right off.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You will need a balancer puller,and a jaw type puller for the crank gear. Will need a balance install tool to put it back on. Don't remember the crank bolt size, it is large, a socket will do it, I think about 1 1/16? You can take the trans cover off and use a large screwdriver to hold the flex plate ,and hold the engine from turning. May have to have a buddy hold it in place as you take off the balancer.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1 1/8 for the balancer bolt. That's the one.
Get a steering wheel removal tool, balancer removal tool. Vatozone will rent them, at $15, you should just buy it.
3 crowbars will only damage the balancer, and you will still have to get the tool.
It's a tight one.
If you have air tools, you won't have to use the buddy system, otherwise, do as Harv said above.
Most Oldsmobiles will have the plastic start to disappear at 60k miles, if you got 90k, you should buy a lottery ticket.
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Last edited by Warhead; February 15th, 2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have air tools, you won't have to use the buddy system, otherwise, do as Harv said above.
Air tools may help get it off, but you can't torque the bolt back on that way. I got an old crank pulley, welded a bar to it, and made my own engine holder. it also gives you a nice lever to work against when you don't have an impact wrench to loosen the bolt and instead have a piece of pipe over your breaker bar.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Air tools may help get it off, but you can't torque the bolt back on that way. I got an old crank pulley, welded a bar to it, and made my own engine holder. it also gives you a nice lever to work against when you don't have an impact wrench to loosen the bolt and instead have a piece of pipe over your breaker bar.
Very true, Joe.
Make sure that when you assemble, the crank bolt torque is over 160#.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have air tools. I love the idea of making an engine holder from a spare crank pulley. I think I can dig one up! Between the two, I think that should be pretty easy. I've got a steering wheel puller and 3-jaw puller. Does anyone have a part number for the balancer install tool, or could the homemade holder work for that, too?

Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate it!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Heat up the balancer in a pot of water on the stove and it expands the steel just enough to slide it on. Do it fast or it can stick halfway and you'll have to get the puller out again. Old timers have been doing it that way forever, we had the hot dog boiling/swiss miss cocoa water/balancer heating pot always on the ready on a hotplate in the back room at the gas station. Harmonic balancers give just the right flavor to any dish or drink.
I don't do them very often but it's always worked for me.
Attach a piece of wire or something to take it out of the pan, use potholders or oven mitts to hold it.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 05:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Most Oldsmobiles will have the plastic start to disappear at 60k miles
60K??? Does not sound like a good design.
My 86 has 69K on it now. I guess I have been lucky. I only put about 200 miles a year on it, guess I better reduce that.
Any warning signs before it fails? I am guessing not........
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Old February 16th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Does anyone have a part number for the balancer install tool, or could the homemade holder work for that, too?
Google "balancer installer". This was simply the first link that came up. There are others available for less money.

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/cal388.html
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Old February 16th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When I put mine on awhile ago, I rented a "all in one" kit from autozone that include the HB puller, installer, and a generic pulley puller. I believe it was a $100 deposit, but you got it all back if you return it within 30 days. It also came with a bunch of different bolts and adapters to fit a wide variety of apps.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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60K???

Any warning signs before it fails? I am guessing not........
I had a timing chain fail on a Buick 455, it would crank over but not fire up.

Got some backfires through the carb just before it failed, which will get your attention quick!
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ok, so I got everything off, including the timing chain. The old gears actually looked ok, but the chain was pretty stretched. I started to put the new chain on last night. The cam gear should go on easy, but I couldn't get the crank gear very far. Is it appropriate to tap the gear on with a hammer and socket or piece of pipe? The CSM doesn't say much, other than to install the timing set. Thanks in advance.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 02:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, so I got everything off, including the timing chain. The old gears actually looked ok, but the chain was pretty stretched. I started to put the new chain on last night. The cam gear should go on easy, but I couldn't get the crank gear very far. Is it appropriate to tap the gear on with a hammer and socket or piece of pipe? The CSM doesn't say much, other than to install the timing set. Thanks in advance.

Yes, use a very large socket or piece of thickwall pipe and a fine adjustment hammer. Be sure there are no burrs on the crank or the ID of the gear first, however.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 05:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Would it be possible for you to post a picture of the old gear set when you are done? I am curious to see what these plastic-infested parts look like, particularly at your mileage.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 07:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Would it be possible for you to post a picture of the old gear set when you are done? I am curious to see what these plastic-infested parts look like, particularly at your mileage.
Will do next time I get into the garage.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 08:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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wow i didnt know about the plastic timing gears my cars at 132,000 miles maybe i should get then taken care of
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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wow i didnt know about the plastic timing gears my cars at 132,000 miles maybe i should get then taken care of
If it's original with that many miles, I definitely would. If for no reason other than the normal chain stretch that happens.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 02:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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132K? Oh boy- Life on the edge!
I bought a balancer bolt that is 1 inch longer than factory, for an installation tool.
If I have to tap a bit, it is with a 2X4 between the hammer, and balancer. Hurts the wood, not the balancer.
I will set the balancer in the sun (AZ sun!!) to warm it up.
The older cars with more valvespring pressure will destroy the timing set faster. The newer engines with roller cams have less spring pressure, that will be FAR more forgiving than earlier engines.
I would not go to 132K miles though.
Jim

Last edited by Warhead; February 22nd, 2010 at 02:50 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Does the oil pan have to come off, I have to do mine someday, I'm at 78 K.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 07:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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On my 350, I tried to replace the timing set w/o removing the pan and it created a leak. The front seal on the pan is the bottom timing cover seal and trying to do this w/o removing the pan will result in a leak.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 09:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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There is nothing in the GM Chassis Service Manual that states the oil pan needs to come out. Your lower seal might have slipped when putting the cover back on.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 09:20 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Just wanted to update progress. I got the new chain on. I'm taking the timing cover to get sand blasted tomorrow. Hope to have it all back together later this week. After that, so much more to do!
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 06:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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wow haha then i better get on this i bought the car used and no one kept up with big maintenance like that if the wear out between 80,000 and 1000,000 i'm surprised mines still good, everything in the car is original except a window motor and antenna
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 08:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well, here it is. Guaranteed this is original. To my surprise, the whole cam gear isn't plastic, only the ring gear, which is pressed on the outside. The inside is metal, looks like aluminum. The crank gear is all metal, presumably iron. The teeth don't look too bad, but man was the chain stretched! The new true double roller went on easily and looks great. Infinitely more beefy than the stocker.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:28 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting that picture...
I am amazed that your set looks so good. Hopefully mine looks like that - I have no desire to change it. I have the dreaded roller lifters, so hopefully it will last longer.
Are the new replacements all metal?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I had a Caddy chain jump at 120 K, it shed portions of the nylon. Bottom gear was just worn in to match the chain.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting that picture...
I am amazed that your set looks so good. Hopefully mine looks like that - I have no desire to change it. I have the dreaded roller lifters, so hopefully it will last longer.
Are the new replacements all metal?
Yes, this is what I used:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CLO-9-1113/

I don't blame you for not wanting to do it, not fun, but not too bad of a job. Lucklily, I had most of the tools. I did want to mention that I didn't have an extra crank pulley, so I made my own engine holding tool using the following items:

-Drill press
-5/16 drill bit
-1/2"x2"x36" solid steel bar
-Soap stone
-Bench grinder
-Chop saw

I used the pulley reinforcement ring as a template and marked it with soapstone. Then I drilled, sawed, and ground away. I simply bolted the bar to the bottom of the balancer and let the bar hit the ground. Worked like a charm! Made it into a one-man job.

Ok, I'll stop gloating now.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #28 (permalink)
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There is nothing in the GM Chassis Service Manual that states the oil pan needs to come out. Your lower seal might have slipped when putting the cover back on.
After looking at my Olds service manual again, to remove the front cover, item 4 says " Drain oil and remove oil pan".
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Yes, this is what I used:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CLO-9-1113/

I don't blame you for not wanting to do it, not fun, but not too bad of a job. Lucklily, I had most of the tools. I did want to mention that I didn't have an extra crank pulley, so I made my own engine holding tool using the following items:

-Drill press
-5/16 drill bit
-1/2"x2"x36" solid steel bar
-Soap stone
-Bench grinder
-Chop saw

I used the pulley reinforcement ring as a template and marked it with soapstone. Then I drilled, sawed, and ground away. I simply bolted the bar to the bottom of the balancer and let the bar hit the ground. Worked like a charm! Made it into a one-man job.

Ok, I'll stop gloating now.
You should have posted a picture of that rig - shame on you for not revealing your secret!

So that timing set was adjustable... What did you set it at?
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Lady's interior makeover Rally Pac stuff
Front end job Underhood resto
1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - "Pristine"
1978 Ford Pinto (Old Faithful) a.k.a. "the Tramp" - in the family since new.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Funny you should mention that. I took a picture of it the tool other night. I will be posting it today or tomorrow! In fact, I made an additional modification to it so that it's a balancer install tool as well! Stay tuned...

Since it's just a wheezy 307, I installed the timing set "straight up". I didn't want to mess with the cam timing. I got that specific timing set for durability. Ok...don't shoot me, but doing the timing chain on the Olds V8 was a more difficult job than on the Pontiac V8. I don't want to get into any kind of brand war, but on the Pontiac, The Crank gear and balancer were a slip fit. The timing cover is easier to put on, too. Anyway, the Ninety-Eight is running again, but I've still got a lot of work to do before It can be driven. The motor sounded great with new timing set!
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Old March 5th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Rob, you asked for it. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Going from left to right:

Sort of top view, side view, "Lola" AKA "Miss Dummypaws", "dumdums", "diggerdog", "diggerz"

Sorry, couldn't resist...
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Old March 5th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Rob, you asked for it. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Going from left to right:

Sort of top view, side view, "Lola" AKA "Miss Dummypaws", "dumdums", "diggerdog", "diggerz"

Sorry, couldn't resist...
Okay, nice looking tool!
How does it, uh....., how does it work??
(Consult the book of armaments!! )

Do you need the dog also? Are you supposed to trip over her so that you fall on the tool to provide extra turning force??
I was hoping for a picture of the tool in use. Can you go repeat the job and get a picture of the tool in action?
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Funny you should mention that. I took a picture of it the tool other night. I will be posting it today or tomorrow! In fact, I made an additional modification to it so that it's a balancer install tool as well! Stay tuned...

Since it's just a wheezy 307, I installed the timing set "straight up". I didn't want to mess with the cam timing. I got that specific timing set for durability. Ok...don't shoot me, but doing the timing chain on the Olds V8 was a more difficult job than on the Pontiac V8. I don't want to get into any kind of brand war, but on the Pontiac, The Crank gear and balancer were a slip fit. The timing cover is easier to put on, too. Anyway, the Ninety-Eight is running again, but I've still got a lot of work to do before It can be driven. The motor sounded great with new timing set!
I did the timing set on my 307 last summer while I was swapping motors.I was thinking the exact same thing. I remember it being an easier job on the old Pontiac motors.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:20 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Does the tool fit on like this??

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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:38 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady72nRob71 View Post
Does the tool fit on like this??

Click the image to open in full size.
It bolts to the bottom two holes. Otherwise that's exactly the idea. In that position, you would be loosening the balancer.

The dog is resident saboteur. She runs around and attempts to steal my tools.
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Last edited by henryk8398; March 5th, 2010 at 09:42 AM.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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