Question about 1987 Buick LeSabre

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Timing chain installation

87 buick lasabre 3.8L need to find tdc.....#1 cyl at on bottom gear is at the bottom....

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  • jmichgunn May 21, 2009

    doesn't it have to be top dead center on #1 cyl for dots to line up?

  • jmichgunn May 21, 2009

    doesn't it have to be top dead center on #1 cyl for dots to line up?

  • jmichgunn May 21, 2009

    I have turned the crank several times, checking position of piston...cannot seem to get piston TDC & dot on long as piston is TDC, on #1, can't dot on bottom on bottom, and top gear dot (bottom position) be lined up vertically? This is tuff!

  • jmichgunn May 21, 2009

    I think you might have solved this! Is that a confirmation that the #1 piston is 1st one on right, facing front of motor? If so, I was told it was 1st one on left....and this could be the whole trouble....If this is it....I will be happy to leave you AWSOME feedback!

  • jmichgunn May 21, 2009

    I appreciate your help.



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You need to rotate your crankshaft 360 and bring the dot to the top so it corresponds with the dot on the camshaft, once youve got the two dots together you should be good to go.
hope this helps
good luck and please leave your feedback it you would please.

Posted on May 21, 2009

  • 3 more comments 
  • Keith Petersen May 21, 2009

    yes it does, but the crankshaft has to turn 720 degrees for a complete cycle, so with the #1 piston at TDC could be the beginning of the intake cycle or the begining of the exhaust cycle.

    so if you #1 piston is ATDC and the dot is at the bottom then you are on the beginning of the exhaust cycle, rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees will put the piston to the top and the dot to the top.

    I hope this helps,

  • Keith Petersen May 21, 2009

    i just looked up the timing setting for the camshaft in my chiltons manual, and it doesnt say anything about having the piston atdc, you just need to get the dots adjacent to each other,

    cranshaft dot to the top, camshaft dot to the bottom so they are facing each other, that is the correct timing for the camshaft.

    good luck,

  • Keith Petersen May 21, 2009

    you know before you put this all back together let me double check on this, but i think thats right, but hang on and ill get right back to you.

  • Keith Petersen May 21, 2009

    ok, i thought that the #1 piston would be ATDC with the timing marks aligned, the #1 piston is on drivers side closest to the radiator, so i assume this is the one your calling the #1 piston.

    anyway the manuel says to match the dots up, the dots should be looking at each other, if the number one piston is not atdc dont worry about it, just get the cam in timing w/ the crankshaft and youll be fine.

    let me know how it runs when you get done.

    i hope this solves your problem,

    would appreciate your feedback


  • Keith Petersen May 21, 2009

    yes the #1 piston is on the drivers side closest to the radiator

    have fun my freind.

    thanks for letting me serve you.



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