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How do you set cam timing and crank timing with out a timing tool on a bmw e36 318i m42engine?and also what does tdc mean?

Posted by Greesen on

  • myxelpyxel May 12, 2019

    I forgot to add that the timing marks must be facing each other to properly set the valve timing



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  • 43 Answers

On any engine you should find timing marks on the end of camshaft which line up with Mark on the crankshaft. TDC is top dead center which is when the first most piston is on it's compression stroke. When you move the crank to TDC the firstmost or number one piston will be on the compression stroke. Turning the camshaft to align with the timing mark on crankshaft will put the engine in proper valve timing.

Posted on May 12, 2019


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Dave C

  • 1050 Answers

SOURCE: 318 timing chain setting m42 engine with out bmw tools

Remove the cam cover, remove the spark plugs, turn the engine to number 1 TDC, put a pencil in spark plug hole number one and twist the crank back and forth and make doubly sure you are at TDC. Now loosen the four bolts at the front of each cam sprocket, check TDC again with the pencil and rocking the crank, now take the pencil and lay it across the flats at the back of each cam. Twist the cams very carefully so that the pencil sits flat on each cam square. Snug up the sprocket bolts and use the pencil to check TDC again! Now check the cams again. Repeat the procedure until you have the cams flat and the engine at TDC.

Posted on Apr 06, 2009

Testimonial: "worked perfect"



  • 10 Answers

SOURCE: timing zx2 escort TDC ?

The cams have a notch in the back of them (facing driver's side) in which fits a flat piece of steel to lock the cams in place. The notches are not exactly centered on the camshaft, meaning that it's impossible to set them 180 degrees out, because then the flat piece of steel that is supposed to be inserted to lock the cams in place simply won't fit because the top of the cylinder head will get in the way. I highly recommend getting a Hayne's or Chiltons manual if you don't already have one. It should explain this process under the Timing Belt Replacement instructions. The cam lock tool (that flat piece of steel) can be purchased at

Posted on Jun 29, 2008


  • 37 Answers

SOURCE: 1991 mazda b2200- timing belt changed

The keyway and or the dot on the crank should be line at 12 oclock. You will see a point on the oil pump housing to go by. On the camshaft the pointer will be at 12 oclock also. Use the O on the camshaft to the top at mark. Be sure to look at the dist. roter to make sure that it is pointing at the #1 spark plug wire. I could get 180 out of time. If you do it right it should start up right away. then you can use a timing light to finish it.
Good Luck [email protected]

Posted on Dec 13, 2008


  • 9 Answers

SOURCE: 1999 Plymouth Breeze 2.0 SOHC

When changing the timing belt you need to place the cam shaft a TDC( clock wise), then rotate the crankshaft to TDC (clockwise), then back off the crankshaft (counter clockwise) THREE TEETH then back (clockwise) 1/2 tooth before TDC place your timing belt arround the crankshaft- water pump- and camshaft finally putting arround the tensioner pulley, holding 25 flbs of torque on the tensioner pulley to get the correct tension then push up on the hydrolic tensioner and tighten and you should have it.... rotate the crankshaft twice, if the camshaft pulley ends back on TDC then you have it correct.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009


Alexander Mimun

  • 3092 Answers

SOURCE: 94 nissan pathfinder. 3.0V6. timing belt change,

Hope this help's you.2632ba3.gif

Posted on Jun 28, 2010

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How do you lock the crankshaft at TDC on a Ford Fiesta 14 Duratec engine

Unless you are removing the timing belt or dismantling the entire engine, locking the cams at TDC will also lock the crank in place using the timing belt. You will need a specialist tool for this.
If you have the gearbox removed there are also tools available that you can use to lock the flywheel which locks the crankshaft.
If you have removed the timing belt use the timing marks to reposition the crank and cams.

Oct 06, 2018 | Ford Cars & Trucks


Timing belt replacement Zetec engine with VCT. Part 1

IMPORTANT The ZX2 Zetec is a non-interference engine. This means the valves are not capable of touching the pistons at any time. If your belt breaks, there will not be any valve damage. There are reliefs cut into the top of the pistons that allow clearance for the valves if the belt breaks. Most engines are interference and will cause several hundred or even thousands of dollars of damage when a timing belt breaks. Most shop manuals list the ZX2 as interference but it is not. Many people seek out this how-to because a mechanic has informed them that they have valve damage and quoted a repair price over $1000.
This can be done by people that can change their own oil. But, if you have any doubts about yourself then it would help to have someone more experienced then you to help. The average you can save doing this yourself, $250-350.

A. Cam lock tool. Can be made from flat-bar stock (9" long, 3/4" wide, and 3/16" thick) or bought at some part stores.

B. Metric socket set and box end wrench set. You will only need the 8 mm, 10mm, and whatever size the crank pulley bolt is, I think that is 19 mm.
C. Jack and jack stand of course.
D. Lug nut wrench or equivalent socket to remove the wheel.
E. Large adjustable wrench.
F. Set of allen wrenches.
G. Haynes or similar manual for torque values.

Getting started:
1. Put the passenger side of the car on a jack stand and remove that wheel. Remove the plastic splash guard that covers the bottom of the car and the passenger side. These are 10 mm bolts.
2. Remove the serpentine belt then remove the crank pulley. This can be done without an impact gun. Use an impact gun if you have one, but if you don't, then follow this procedure. Use the correct socket for the crank bolt (I think it is 18 mm) with an extension and breaker bar. Put the breaker bar and socket on the bolt and brace the breaker bar against the lower control arm. I used another jack stand and a few small boxes. The idea is to have the bar snugly pressed against the control arm and propped up from underneath so it sits square with the crank bolt. Now, dis-connect the 3-wire connector at the ignition coil so the car won't actually start. Make sure the car is not in gear and no one is standing near the breaker bar. Bump the key about a second in the start position. This should break the bolt loose and now you can go remove it. You can view a video of how to do this here.

3. With the crank pulley off you can now see the timing belt gear. Remove the splash shied cover that is behind the crank pulley. It is held by two 8 mm bolts I believe. Also remove the upper timing belt dust cover. These are 8 mm as well.

4. Remove the valve cover. Start by dis-connecting the VCT connector on top and remove the spark plug galley cover if you have one. These are 8 mm bolts. The valve cover is held on by 8 mm bolts as well. The one on the passenger-firewall side has a stud on it and will require the use of an 8 mm wrench or deep well socket. Do not let the gasket touch the ground. Soak the gasket in WD-40 so it will swell back to original shape and you can reuse it.

5. Now we set the cams at TDC. TDC is Top-Dead-Center. It is the higest point in the cylinder that the #1 piston reaches on the compression stroke. If you have the cam locking tool, it will only slide into the back of the cams (driver side) when they are set at TDC. You may have to rotate the exhaust cam several degrees to get the cam locking tool to slide into the exhaust cam. This is normal because of the nature of the VCT. If you need to rotate the cams to get the locking tool in, then put the crank bolt back in the hole and turn the entire crank with that bolt. After the locking tool is able to fit into the intake cam (firewall side) then use a large adjustable wrench (or 15/16" open-end) on the exhaust cam (there are flat spots near the belt for the wrench to fit onto) to rotate the exhaust cam.


If you are replacing a broken belt or a belt that has otherwise skipped time, then you will have to set the cams at TDC and the crank at TDC separately. If this is the case, then follow the instructions outlined in step 5a. If you do not have a broken belt (you are replacing a belt before it breaks or otherwise fails) then you do not have to set the crank at TDC, it will be set when you set the cams at TDC

5a. If you need to set the crank at TDC separate from the cams then you can do so with a couple of methods. You can remove the spark plug from the #1 cylinder and insert and long screwdriver into the hole. Then you rotate the crank until the screwdriver is at its' highest point. There will be a point where you can move the crank just slightly and the screwdriver will not go up or down. This is TDC for the crank. One final method that has worked for me is to just set the crank key (the small notch the crank pulley slides over) at the 12 o'clock position. Notice that the engine leans slighty forward. Set it at 12 o'clock in relation to the engines lean. It'll look like 12:10 to you. Since each tooth on the crank pulley is about 16* of timing, it would be hard to be off a tooth and not notice.

6. Now with everything set at TDC you can remove the old belt. If the belt has already removed itself (broken) then you still have to loosen the tensioner. Below the intake cam gear you will find the tensioner. It has a small notch on the front with a place to put an allen wrench and a 10 mm bolt sticking out. You have to loosen the 10 mm bolt. It is a small space and this is where a long 10 mm box-end wrench comes in handy. Loosen it about 3 turns and push that allen slot down (it rotates) and this will release tension from the belt. Slide the belt off. To make belt install even easier, loosen the bolt enough to pull the tab out of the back plate. This will give you more slack to work with.

If you have a pre-99.5 with a two piece crank gear, replace this gear with the single piece gear. Part number is at the end of this how-to.

6a. Ford put a TSB that fixed some of the issues with the new belt walking off of the cam gears. The problem is that the new belt would bunch up between the gears a bit when the springs loaded the cams and the VCT was being actuated. The fix is to set the cam gears neutral to the new belt. You'll want to remove the cam locking tool to prevent breaking the back of the cams out. Use a large wrench to hold the intake cam in place while you use a Torx bit (T55 I think) to loosen the intake cam bolt. You only need to loosen it enough so that you can move the cam gear free of the cam. Now, use the wrech and the same bit to remove the oil plug from the VCT hub. Put some rags below the hub to catch the bit of oil that will come out. Now, the exhaust bolt can be seen inside the hub. It is an 'E' (inverse torx) bit. I've always just used a 12-point 16mm socket. Loosen the exhaust cam bolt enough to move the VCT hub (exhaust cam gear) free of the cam. Put the lock tool back into the cams and continue with the next step.

Click for part 2

on Mar 05, 2010 | Ford ZX2 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

On 84 porsche 944 can the flywheel be spin around to ot without the camshaft spining since the camshaft is set to tdc.

crank shafts are set to tdc cam shafts are set for valve timing
if the crank shaft is turning but the cam shaft is not then the timing belt/chain has broken

May 01, 2016 | Porsche Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Where is the timing notches located on crank and cam on a 1991 ford escort 1.9 liter

Hi Virginia, There are slots on the rear of the cam shafts which require an alignment tool. The tool is fitted into the slots and locks the cams with the crankshaft at TDC. Regards John

Apr 21, 2013 | Ford Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How do i set the valve timing if i cant see the timing marks on a VW 1.8 20valve golf cylinder head timing chain , i can only find the one on the belt side i have put the cam on TDC for the ex-valve but...

The 2 cams are linked with a chain at the rear of the cylinder head.

The cams need to be set so the slots on the chain sprockets line up with the cam tower caps with 16 links between cam caps.

You cannot see the front crank pulley tdc mark so you need to lock the engine at tdc with a screwdriver jammed into the timing hole on the bell housing after setting engine at tdc or use a DTI
to check to tdc in the #1 spark plug hole.

If the cams have not been disturbed you only need to set the belt cam sprocket to the mark and crank to tdc.....all this means pulling the core support into the service position so the belt tensioner can be locked down and/or doing a complete belt job along with a coolant pump if over 70,000 miles..

Aug 20, 2011 | Volkswagen Golf Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How exactly should the intake cam be set and the exhaust cam be set on a ford 2.0 dohc with VCT.

There is a Camshaft Alignment Timing Tool that is made to hold the cams and another one to find TDC on the crank.

Feb 18, 2011 | 2001 Ford Escort ZX2

1 Answer

Cannot find timing mark on crank for a 1998 ford contour 2.0 DOHC 4door car any idea where to find?

Ford does not provide timing marks on this engine. There are special tools required to set timing correctly on this engine. However, it's been my experience that when the woodruff key is pointing straight up, you are at Top Dead Center (TDC) on cylinders 1 and 4.
In addition, you can remove the spark plug on the #1 cylinder and insert a long screwdriver into the hole so it contacts the cylinder. You can rotate the crankshaft until the screwdriver reaches the highest point and come extremely close to TDC in this fashion.
Note: you should set the camshaft timing with the cranshaft NOT at TDC because this is an interference engine, and you can damage valves if they contact the pistons. Therefore, set the crankshaft to TDC, then back off it a little to set the cam timing. When the cams are where you want them, bring the crank back to TDC for #1 and install the belt.
Hope this helps!!

Oct 20, 2010 | 1998 Ford Contour

3 Answers

1991 toyota p/u timings not right. If crack is at

If the crank is lined up to the mark, it is at TDC, meaning cylinder number 1 piston is at TDC.

Both cam pulleys should have marks, they just look a little different.
Here are the diagrams to help out.


Sep 12, 2009 | 1991 Toyota Pickup

3 Answers

318 timing chain setting m42 engine with out bmw tools

Remove the cam cover, remove the spark plugs, turn the engine to number 1 TDC, put a pencil in spark plug hole number one and twist the crank back and forth and make doubly sure you are at TDC. Now loosen the four bolts at the front of each cam sprocket, check TDC again with the pencil and rocking the crank, now take the pencil and lay it across the flats at the back of each cam. Twist the cams very carefully so that the pencil sits flat on each cam square. Snug up the sprocket bolts and use the pencil to check TDC again! Now check the cams again. Repeat the procedure until you have the cams flat and the engine at TDC.

Apr 06, 2009 | 1994 BMW 3 Series

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