Z24 cam timing - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old Oct 21st, 2005, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Z24 cam timing

i am looking for help with where the posion of the cam gear should be when the engine is on tdc

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post #2 of 7 Old Oct 21st, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Here is pic. There is hole where it goes on the cam sprocket. It has #2 above it. It should be at 12:00 position. Make sure your crank is at the right postition in you don't have the front cover off. I forgot to mention, the tensioner will be the hardest to keep in place. More than likely you need to take the front cover off to have enough slack to slide it on the dowel.

Last edited by ddude2uc; Oct 21st, 2005 at 07:02 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old Oct 21st, 2005, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up cam timing?

so dude, if i have the motor on tdc, i should be right following your tips, i will try it before i remove the front cover, if all else fails i will remove the timing cover
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post #4 of 7 Old Oct 22nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
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It is real hard to keep tension on the chain before the tensioner kicks out too far. I had to pull my head off to have some head work done (valve grinding) after a rebuild & still had to pull my front cover off, cause of the tensioner kicking out to far. The reason I say that is cause my cam & crank looked ok, but it was off & won't start cause it's off on a link. This motor is an "interface" engine, so it won't take much to bend a valve if your cam & crank isn't lined up perfect. I can't take chances on "eyeballing" it with the money involved on my motor.
One last thing, it is good investment to buy a timing chain kit. It has chain, guides, front cover gaskets, etc. If you can put that chain back on with no problem, your tensioner is probably worn out along with chain & sprockets. Just from my experience.

Last edited by ddude2uc; Oct 22nd, 2005 at 07:51 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old Oct 24th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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timing chain install (long)

I've pulled 2 valve covers in the last 2 weeks on Z24 single cam motors, and neither one had any markings other than a single dot (no number, either). Before you go spinning a cam around to get to #1, make sure that none of the pistons are at TDC lest you ding a valve.... The alternative is to install the cam with the rockers out - that way it's easy to turn the cam.

Having found at least a dozen "slipped" dampers (that otherwise look fine) in the last 20 years, before I pull any motor apart, I always check to make sure that TDC on the pulley is REALLY at TDC. Insert a very thin long blade screwdriver into #1 at a fairly steep angle with all 4 plugs out. Slowly turn the motor until the cam keyway begins to point upward (approaching #1 TDC) . Find the piston top with the screwdriver blade (don't let it wedge between piston top or bore and the hole) and carefully rotate the crank while holding slight pressure against the blade until you feel the blade go "over the top" and begin to fall back down a tiny bit. Roll the engine back and forth just enough to find the spot where the screwdriver stops moving at the exact top of the travel.
If the TDC marker on the crank pulley is not exactly centered on the pointer when the screwdriver is exactly at the top of the piston travel (and you are positive that the piston is at TDC) then make a new TDC reference mark and index the rest of the marks the same amount. If it's more than about 1/8" off from the existing mark, then the pulley may have rotated in the rubber damper ring and should be replaced (or at least kept watch on by painting a thin white stripe across the face - if it moves. you'll see a zigzag in the stripe.

Reassembly - with the cam's keyway pointing pretty much straight up, bring the crank around to TDC. If you leave the rockers installed, there is no chance of bending a valve. If you remove the rockers, you should at have a couple of upper cam journals snugged down but not torqued, using spacers, to keep the cam from moving off the bottom journals.
Once you have the crank and cam at TDC (as shown) install the crank and cam sprockets together with the chain as a single unit, worrying the chain around the tensioner. You should have the shiny link lined up as illustrated, but some cheapo chains don't have a "#1"link (mine had a tiny dot on it that was very hard to see). Also, my aftermarket camgear only had one dot on it. Paint the link that matches up to the dot (with the arrow) with nail polish or flat white paint, and once everything is in place, snug up the cam bolt and slide the damper on and rotate the engine very slowly (plugs out) 360*

The shiny or painted link indicated on the arrow should be installed so that it exactly matches the arrow in the illustration that shows a slightly darker link. It may take a few times to get the package in the right position, but it will go together exactly as illustrated.

When the cam and crank are back to where they belong, and the link still matches up, then pull the crank damper, slide the front cover over the crank and line it up with a couple bolts then check the pulley marks against the #1 timing mark, and the painted link against the dot. When there is no oil pressure against the tensioner, a loose chain can jump if you turn the motor too far against the direction of travel. I wedge a hard nylon "glass tool" against the tensioner so that I know it won't release tension. Try one last time to be certain that the timing is exactly right, using the screwdriver at to make sure that you are at TDC when everything comes around and lines up. This procedure basically works for anything from a 2.4 Nissan to a 4 cam Ferrari, it's just a lot quicker on the Nissan, and is far easier to do than to explain. At least the second time around
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post #6 of 7 Old Oct 24th, 2005, 08:08 PM
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That cam alighnment is for Z20, Z22, Z24 and Z24i engines.. Anyhow, that is another good method too. Taking the cam off will be a little more work, but safer than spinning the crank around & bending a valve.
Either way, you still need to take the front cover off to make sure your crank sprocket is lined up & install the tensioner.
There is no way of working around the tensioner either. You have to put the tensioner on after you installed the chain. That is if your "LUCKY" enough to have it stay in place with enough tension on it. Try fishing the spring tensioner out from oil pan once it kicks out to far. (called oil pan removal)
There is no oil pressure to keep the tensioner out, that is a spring loaded tensioner. The oil pressure that is there, keeps the chain lubed along with the tensioner.
Too each his own on what & how to do it.

Last edited by ddude2uc; Oct 24th, 2005 at 09:17 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old Oct 29th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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For anyone that thinks I'm full of shit.

Here is a post I found on this forum. No one replied to it cause it is almost impossible to put the chain back on without removing the front (timing) cover!!!

Originally Posted by Lo Cash John
I've just replaced the head gasket on a friend's 87 pickup. Now, as I'm putting it all back together I've run into a couple of stumbling blocks.

1. The timing mark I put on the timing chain with a Sharpie marker has...you guessed it, rubbed off!! Does anyone here have any advice that does NOT include removing the front cover? If not, I believe I have a workable solution if I can get this next problem solved. Which leads us to...

2. While I had the head off, I kept the the timing chain pulled tight so it would not fall down into the motor and off the crank gear. Now that I am trying to put the cam gear back on, it seems like the chain tensioner may have taken up some more slack. I CAN NOT for the life of me bring the timing gear (with timing chain on it) up high enough to get onto the end of the cam. Is there a way to get some slack here??

If this isn't the forum for this, please advise me which would be best. I'm gonna go ahead and put it in the normally aspirated motor forum too.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by ddude2uc; Oct 29th, 2005 at 12:04 PM.
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