Cam timing followup
The car, EA '88
ok, while you can get the timing case off without touching the head or sump by gently levering it out, don't bother. As some of you will know the bottom guide will not go into place with the sump done up. If you take all sump bolts out back to the gearbox braces and loosen the next 3 or 4, you can pull the sump down far enough to pop the case back on. If you leave the head alone, you can have the entire timing setup in place which makes it a lot easier to check.
My suggestion if your going to do anything with the timing gear is to do it in the following order- 1. pull the radiator, 2. harmonic balancer, if you don't have the puller to get it off, get one. 3.water pump pully, pump can stay, 4. alternator bracket, 5. power steering pump (can stay in car, just let it rest on the exhaust), 6. power steering idler pully and a/c idler, 7. rocker cover and sparkplugs, (plugs out makes it piss easy to turn by hand), 8. DON"T forget to pull the hydrolic tensioner, big issues if it's left in, 9, now, unless you've got access to a hoist, you can climb under and do the sump. You'll need something to wedge it down, i used a braker bar handle. If your careful your gaskets may survive. 10. By now you should only have just 4 bolts holding the case to the engine, pull them out then pull the timing case out and down. The bottom guide is a dodgy setup, try not to drop it in the sump, it's a pain to fish out. Pull the cam gear and now your ready to set the timing.
Every gear has a mark on it. The crank gear has to line up with the dot punched into the block, must be spot on. The mark on the oil/dizzy drive you can ignore. The cam gear MUST be set dead level with the head and on the intake side, this is the bang stroke on no.1 so you can set the dizzy to no,1 lead. If the cam dosn't line up then you will have to jump a tooth on the crank, don't move the crank just the chain, then reset the cam. Take up the slack with the tensioner, then use the balancer to turn the crank 2 or 4 full turns forwards only, line up the crank with the punch mark (if you go to far, go right round 2 turns to get back to the bang stroke) If the cam is spot on then you can put it all back together. just be careful with the bottom guide, it really can be a pain in the arse,
well that's all i can say, good luck and don't look for shortcuts, trust me, shit gets busted that way.
ps If you've got a/c, you should be able to work around it, if you can't - tough. And sorry about the length of this thread.