Timing set help


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Sep 12, 2018
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Clinton, NY
My Car
1973 Grande
I started my car a couple of weeks ago and noticed that the water pump pully was wobbling a bit so I decided to replace it before the bearing failed and a potential disaster happened. While I was in there I noticed the harmonic balancer was look pretty ratty so I decided to replace that also. I figured I might as well replace the timing set too because I'm not sure if it's the original or not but mostly because I wanted to get the 4 degrees of timing back that Ford stole in '73.

I pulled the water pump, damper and the timing cover off but when I went to align the dots on the cam and crank gears before I removed them I couldn't find any dot on the cam gear. The closest thing I could find is an arrow but no matter how many times I rotated the crank I couldn't get the arrow on the cam gear to line up with the dot on the crank gear.

I assume this is still the original timing set because the cam gear has FoMoCo stamped on it (can't really see it in this picture) and it's a single roller, but the crank gear has a blue dot on it which I didn't expect.

So I don't know where to go from here. Do I just find TDC on cylinder 1, pull the old gears off and then put the new gears on with the dots lined up?

In case it makes a difference the engine is a 302.

I'm putting on a Cloyes adjustable double-roller set.

Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated.



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With the crankshaft gear dot at 12 o clock put a mark on the cam gear at 6 o clock then rotate the engine 360 degrees until your mark is at 12 o clock, now look for a dot at 6 o clock on the cam gear.
Bring the arrow on the camshaft gear to 6 o clock. by doing this, it should put the keyway on the crankshaft gear very near 12 o clock.
If you have 4 degree crankshaft gear that should put the crankshaft gear dot just to the left of the keyway (never heard of a blue dot on an OEM Ford crankshaft gear) and I changed plenty of them at the dealership.
look a little harder at the crankshaft gear near the keyway with the arrow of the Camshaft at the 6 o clock position (it is there)
perhaps clean the crank gear with a wire brush to remove the oil residue.
When you get the marks to line up and finally remove the chain and both gears as a set, now take the new cam gear and lay the chain on
it with it's dot at 6 o clock, then set the crank gear in the chain with it's dot at 12 o clock, this is exactly how it goes back on the engine.
you will find that the crankshaft gear will be off a little (4 degrees)
move the crankshaft (and only the crankshaft} with no gears attached until you can line up both gears , then slip the chain and gears {still as a set) and holding the set by the camshaft gear, onto the keyway
now look at the small offset hole on the camshaft gear, it has to line up with the small dowel protruding from the camshaft.
If you fumble with the gears, and lose track, just remove the assembly and re hang in your hand, cam gear at 6, crank gear at 12.
Just an addition to the conversation..., be aware that you have a two-piece fuel pump excentric, which requires a timing set cam gear that has an offset raised pad around the center of the gear, to allow the outer ring of the excentric to rotate freely when the center excentric cup is torqued down. If I remember correctly, the Cloyes gearset, although being a very good gearset, has a flat faced cam gear, which doesn't work with the two-piece fuel pump excentric . You may have to purchase a different timing set if you run into this. I'm using a double roller set from Summit.
You were correct the blue dot was not the timing mark. I put the arrow at 6 o'clock and the key way lined up with it, and the crank gear dot is right above the keyway. That blue mark on the crank gear really threw me off.

I feel better about moving on now.

Thanks again for your help.



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