Re: 99 contour timeing issue
I was gonna say...but Fonz took the words out of my mouth.
You can have piston 1 on Top Dead Centre, but the plate will only slide in if it's on the compression stroke. The cut-out at the back of the camshafts is off-centre, and when piston 1 is on TDC compression they'll sit above the edge of the cylinder head, which is why you can slide the plate in. You can also look at the cams and tell by which way they're pointing if it's in compression or not.
I also wanted to point out that the cam gears where the belt goes are NOT keyed to the camshafts. This means that if you loosen the Torx bolts (T55 frm memory) that hold them in place, they can go back in on an infinite number of positions, that's why you need the plate at the back and the peg. This peg not only helps you find piston 1 TDC but will also prevent the crankshaft from turning, which makes the whole job a lot easier. Having said that, it's perfectly possible to do a timing belt change without using any of these tools. We do it all the time. cheers