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BJ8 Timing chain alignment - please check me!

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aosuk72 Gold Member Austen Stanley
Saline, MI, USA   USA
Please check I have it lined up correctly before I close things up. Thanks!

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petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, NY, USA   USA
This is how you do it.

Looks like you might be off by a tooth.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-22 06:38 PM by petnatcar.

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Tining Chain1 .jpeg

RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Austen,

You noted a Lotus Elan in your heading with no mention of a Healey. Since your post is in AHExp and your picture appears to be that of an AH6, it is an assumption. If you are not referencing an AH6, please do not accept our comments.

Although its difficult to see the indicator marks within your pictures, as far as I can tell, Peter seems to have correctly identified you could have placed the chain 1 tooth off. Austen, when looking at Peter's picture, you will note the marks are positioned in the center of the bright link and not at one end. As I see it in your picture, the mark seems to be positioned at one end of a link (I can't tell but must assume you placed it at the bright link) and, as Peter has indicated, would be 1 tooth off.

I suggest you recheck your chain's positioning as per the manual.
Happy Holidays and a Happy and Prosperous New Year,

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-25 10:32 AM by RAC68.

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cpcooper Craig Cooper
Chico, CA, USA   USA
This is such a whacked way to set cam timing! Wonder how it got designed that way, rather than like just about every other pushrod, or flathead for that matter, motor where you align the mark on the cam sprocket with the one on the crank sprocket and you're good. OK, I just Googled "timing chain bright links" and there are mentions of Toyota, Nissan, and Saab. But still... I will dutifully count the links when I assemble my 3000 motor, but will also check it with a degree wheel on the crank and dial indicator on a valve, in accordance with the cam specs.

Since Austen mentions a '65 Elan, I can't help myself from adding the cam timing on that motor can be a little tricky as the intake and exhaust cam sprockets are nearly identical, the only difference being the timing mark is in a slightly different place. Get them reversed and it seems to run fine, but no power. Switch them to where they belong and have a YIPPEE moment.

Randy Forbes Avatar
Parrish, FL, USA   USA
1957 Austin-Healey 100-Six
1999 BMW M Coupe "Blue Car"
1999 BMW M Roadster "Black Car"
2001 BMW M Roadster "Gray Car"
Some more visual aids...

GregPoo Greg P
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
HEALEY BJ8 Crankshaft & Cam Timing

Yes, it can be a little tricky if you don't have marks or shiny links on the chain .. so here is the definitive method.

When installing the timing chain there are a lot of mistakes made. You need to have 13 links between the dots on the opposite side of the timing chain tensioner. This would work out to 15 links in total from dot to dot.

The easiest way to set it up is to:-

i. lay the chain out on the bench and mark any one link with WhiteOut;

ii. then count out a further 13 links and mark the next (ie the 15th) link with WhiteOut);

iii. then mark the two dots on the gears;

iv. then install the chain with all the white marks and dots lined on the short side opposite the tensioner.

[Refer also to the service manual, page A16.]

When standing in front of the engine, the links of the chain and the dimples on the gears will be on the (right) side of the cam and crankshaft, opposite the tensioner. There needs to be a total of 15 links of timing chain from dimple to dimple. This is the correct position of the cam & crank and will result in TDC power stroke on #6 cylinder.

You're looking for 15 links on right side (as viewed from the front of the donk) from dot to dot.

Another way to check, beyond counting and marking links, is this: on a 6-cylinder Healey motor the cam and crank are in correct position relative to each other when the keyway on the crank and the keyway on the cam both point straight up. If you look at the photo on the factory manual it's only obvious if you know that the link locating dot on the cam sprocket is directly above the keyway. So you can rotate your 2 shafts to “keyway up” and fit the chain and sprockets. This leaves you timed at TDC power stroke #6 cylinder (not on #1!), so one crank rotation is necessary to bring the timing to #1 cylinder; then check that the distributor rotor button is facing #1 plug lead position.

GregPoo Greg P
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
i should also have added .. when fitting the timing cover it is essential that the front pulley shaft is fitted before the cover is fully installed. That is, offer up the cover then slide the pulley drive into its seal on the cover then install as many bolts as you can and tension them; then remove the drive and tension the (previously) inaccessible bolts; then finally torque all bolts. If you don't use this method (which the factory did not, hence huge oil leaks past the cover's seal!!) you'll only reproduce the crap workmanship of the manufacturer.

robcadle Rob Cadle
Redondo Beach, CA, USA   USA
I’m in agreement with the others. You are off one tooth. Attached is a photo from my engine. You’ll have to zoom in to see the timing mark on the cam sprocket. I was extremely paranoid about being off on timing but confirmed with is right with the degree wheel and dial indicator.

Also good advice on properly reinstalling the front cover. This is also the method described in the Bentley manual.


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