Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Timing Cover, Chain, Counterbalance Shafts, and Tensioner

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



The following outlines are the recommended removal and installation procedures for the timing chain or belt. Some modifications to the procedures may be necessary due to added accessories, sheetmetal parts, or emission control units and connecting hoses.

The timing chain case is cast aluminum, so exercise caution when handling this part.

1971-77 1597cc Engine and 1974-75 1994cc Engine w/o Silent Shaft


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Fig. Fig. 1 Exploded view of the chain and tensioner-1597cc engine



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Fig. Fig. 2 Exploded view of the chain and tensioner-1994cc engine



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Fig. Fig. 3 Aligning the camshaft sprocket on the 1597cc engine



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Fig. Fig. 4 Exploded view of the timing cover and oil pan on the 1597cc engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the coolant. Disconnect and remove the radiator hoses. Remove the radiator.
  2.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Remove the alternator and accessory belts.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the crankshaft to bring No. 1 piston to TDC on the compression stroke, by aligning the notch on the crankshaft pulley with the T mark on the timing indicator scale.
  4.  
  5. Remove the crankshaft pulley and bolt.
  6.  

Do not move the crankshaft when removing the pulley. If the crankshaft is turned, return the shaft to the original position as in Step 3.

  1. Remove the crankshaft pulley and bolt.
  2.  
  3. Remove the fan blades and the water pump assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cylinder head assembly. (See cylinder head removal information).
  6.  
  7. Raise the car and support it safely on jackstands.
  8.  
  9. Drain the engine oil and remove the oil pan, oil pressure switch, oil filter, and oil pump.
  10.  

Undercar splash pans may have to be removed to gain access to the oil pan.

  1. Remove the chain tension holder, spring, and plunger, on the right side of the chain cover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the timing chain cover from the engine block.
  4.  
  5. Remove the oil slinger and crankshaft gear from the crankshaft. Do not loose the woodruff key from the crankshaft.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets with the chain attached, from the engine block.
  8.  

To install:

  1. If needed, remove the chain tensioner lever and side guide.
  2.  
  3. If removed, install the chain tensioner lever and side guide, with the jet of the guide toward the chain and sprocket meshing point.
  4.  
  5. Be sure the No. 1 piston is at TDC. Using a new gasket, install the cylinder head assembly.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the camshaft until the dowel pin in between the 1 and 2 o'clock position on the 1597cc engines and at the 12 o'clock position on the 1994cc engines.
  8.  
  9. Position the crankshaft sprocket and the camshaft sprocket so that the punch marks on the sprockets align with the chrome or buff plated links of the timing chain.
  10.  
  11. Install the woodruff key on the crankshaft and while holding the timing chain and sprockets in position, install the sprockets onto the camshaft and the crankshaft.
  12.  
  13. If the dowel pin does not align with the hole in the camshaft sprocket, bump the camshaft on the projects provided to align the two. Install the camshaft sprocket bolt and tighten to 36 to 43 ft. lbs.
  14.  

The chain must be fitted in the guide groove and against the tension lever.

  1. Install the woodruff key, crankshaft gear with the F mark toward the front on 1597cc engines, and with the C or A mark toward the front on the 1994cc engine. The oil slinger must be installed with its concave side facing the front of the engine.
  2.  
  3. Install a new gasket and seal on the front timing cover case and install the case on the engine block. Tighten the bolts to 11 to 13 ft. lbs.
  4.  
  5. Install the tensioner lever plunger and spring into the case and torque to 29-36 ft. lbs.
  6.  

Because the timing chain is supported and stretched by the tensioner lever, it is important to align the marks on the sprockets and chain.

  1. Install the oil screen and oil pump.
  2.  
  3. Install the oil pan, oil filter, and the oil pressure gauge sender. Fill the oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Install any splash pans and lower the car to the floor.
  6.  
  7. Align the oil pump shaft in a vertical position on the 1597cc engine and in a horizontal position on the 1994cc engine. Align the distributor marks to fire No. 1 cylinder, and install distributor.
  8.  
  9. Install the crankshaft pulley and torque the bolt to 43-50 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the water pump, fan blades, alternator and belt. Adjust the belt.
  12.  
  13. Install the radiator and radiator hoses, add coolant to the system, and connect the battery ground cable.
  14.  
  15. Refer to the Cylinder Head Installation information and adjust the valves as for a cold engine. Temporarily install the rocker arm cover, start the engine, and warm it up.
  16.  
  17. Stop the engine and remove the rocker arm cover. Adjust the valves to the hot specifications.
  18.  

1976-79 1994cc Engine and 2555cc Engine W/Silent Shaft


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Fig. Fig. 5 Exploded view of the timing chain and gears on the engines with a silent shaft



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Fig. Fig. 6 Balance shaft and timing chain installation specifications



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Fig. Fig. 7 Silent shaft chain timing mark alignment-1994 and 1997cc engines

  1. Disconnect the battery ground (negative) cable. Drain the coolant. Disconnect and remove the radiator hoses. Remove the radiator.
  2.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Remove the alternator and accessory belts.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the crankshaft to bring No. 1 piston to TDC, on the compression stroke.
  4.  
  5. Mark and remove the distributor.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crankshaft pulley.
  8.  
  9. Remove the water pump assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the cylinder head. (See cylinder head removal section).
  12.  

It may be possible to replace the timing chain without removing the cylinder head, however removing the head will make the job easier.

  1. Raise the front of the car and support it safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Drain the engine oil and remove the oil pan and screen.
  4.  


CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

  1. Remove the timing case cover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the chain guides, Side (A), Top (B), Bottom (C), from the B chain (outer). See illustration.
  4.  
  5. Remove the locking bolts from the B chain sprockets.
  6.  
  7. Remove the crankshaft sprocket, counterbalance shaft sprocket and the outer chain.
  8.  
  9. Remove the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets and the A (inner) chain.
  10.  
  11. Remove the camshaft sprocket holder and the chain guides, both left and right. Remove the tensioner spring and sleeve from the oil pump.
  12.  

For further service to shafts and oil pump follow step 16 and 17.

  1. Remove the oil pump by first removing the bolt locking the oil pump driven gear and the right counterbalance shaft, and then remove the oil pump mounting bolts. Remove the counterbalance shaft from the engine block.
  2.  

If the bolt locking the oil pump driven gear and the counterbalance shaft is hard to loosen, remove the oil pump and the shaft as a unit.

  1. Remove the left counterbalance shaft thrust washer and take the shaft from the engine block.
  2.  

If the tensioner rubber nose, or chain guide show wear, they should be replaced.

To install:

  1. Install the right counterbalance shaft into the engine block if removed.
  2.  
  3. Install the oil pump assembly if removed. Do not lose the woodruff key from the end of the counterbalance shaft. Torque the oil pump mounting bolts to 6-7 ft. lbs.
  4.  
  5. If they have been removed, tighten the counterbalance shaft and the oil pump driven gear mounting bolts.
  6.  

The counterbalance shaft and the oil pump can be installed as a unit, if necessary.

  1. Install the left counterbalance shaft into the engine block if removed.
  2.  
  3. Install a new O-ring on the thrust plate and install the unit into the engine block, using a pair of bolts without heads, as alignment guides.
  4.  

If the thrust plate is turned to align the bolts holes, the O-ring may be damaged.

  1. Remove the guide bolts and install the regular bolts into the thrust plate and tighten securely.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the crankshaft to bring No. 1 piston to TDC.
  4.  
  5. Using a new head gasket install the cylinder head.
  6.  
  7. Install the sprocket holder and the right and left chain guides.
  8.  
  9. Install the tensioner spring and sleeve on the oil pump body.
  10.  
  11. Install the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets on the timing chain, aligning the sprocket punch marks to the plate chain links.
  12.  
  13. While holding the sprocket and chain as a unit, install the crankshaft sprocket over the crankshaft and align it with the keyway.
  14.  
  15. Keeping the dowel pin hole on the camshaft in a vertical position, install the camshaft sprocket and chain on the camshaft.
  16.  

The sprocket timing mark and the plated chain link should be at the 2 to 3 o'clock position when correctly installed. The chain must be aligned in the right and left chain guides with the tensioner pushing against the chain. The tension for the inner chain is predetermined by spring tension.

  1. Install the crankshaft sprocket for the outer or B chain.
  2.  
  3. Install the two counterbalance shaft sprockets and align the punched mating marks with the plated linds of the chain.
  4.  
  5. Holding the two shaft sprockets and chain, install the outer chain in alignment with the mark on the crankshaft sprocket. Install the shaft sprockets on the counterbalance shaft and the oil pump driver gear. Install the lockbolts and recheck the alignment of the punch marks and the plated links.
  6.  
  7. Temporarily install the chain guides: Side (A), Top (B), and Bottom (C).
  8.  
  9. Tighten Side (A), chain guide securely.
  10.  
  11. Tighten Bottom (B) chain guide securely.
  12.  
  13. Adjust the position of the Top (B) chain guide, after shaking the right and left sprockets to collect any chain slack, so that when the chain is moved toward the center, the clearance between the chain guide and the chain links will be approximately 3.5mm. Tighten the Top (B) chain guide bolts.
  14.  
  15. Install the timing chain cover using a new gasket, being careful not to damage the front seal.
  16.  
  17. Install the oil screen and the oil pan, using a new gasket. Tighten the bolts to 54-66 inch lbs.
  18.  
  19. Install the crankshaft pulley, alternator and accessory belts, and the distributor.
  20.  
  21. Install the oil pressure switch, if removed, and install the negative battery cable.
  22.  
  23. Install the fan blades, radiator, fill the system with coolant and start the engine.
  24.  

 
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