How to Realign a Crankshaft Gear

  • 2-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 35-60
What You'll Need
Socket and ratchet wrench
Retainer bolts
Timing belt

In order for the engine to work efficiently, it is important to realign the crankshaft gear and the camshaft gear when you plan on changing the timing belt. The timing belt is part of the internal combustion engine. Although it usually lasts for some thousands of miles, it is best to change the timing belt every 60,000 miles. Changing the belt regularly prevents the damage that can result in the engine if the belt wears out and snaps. Keep in mind that there is seldom any indication that the timing belt has worn out or is about to break, so it is best to do this at defined intervals. Replacing the timing belt is easy and does not require much time; however, it does require precision and some basic knowhow. If the crankshaft gears are not aligned properly, the engine will have trouble starting. To ensure that you realign your gears correctly, follow the instructions given below.

Step 1 – Installing the Sprockets

Before you begin realigning the crankshaft gear, it is important to install and tighten the sprockets. First, disconnect the negative battery cable and place the sprockets on the size appropriate shafts. Then, install the retainer bolts and tighten them. Next, turn on both the tensioner pulleys. This step is important because this is when you can check for any signs of bearing wear.

Step 2 – Aligning of Timing Marks

Align both the crank gear’s key and key way with the crankshaft’s key way. The crankshaft has certain timing marks on it. Align the timing marks of the crankshaft and the silent shaft sprockets to match the timing marks of the front case. When that is done, wrap the timing belt tightly around the sprockets. There should not be any tension in the upper portions of the belt.

Step 3 – Reinstalling the Tensioner Pulley

Once your pulley has been installed, use your hands to move it so that the longer side deflects to about ¼ of an inch. Then, bring the timing belt tensioner closer to the water pump. Tighten the bolts to keep it in place. The upper end of the spring in the tensioner should be close to the body of the water pump.

Step 4 – Aligning the Camshaft and the Crankshaft

The timing marks on the sprockets of the camshaft, the crankshaft and the oil pump should be aligned with the corresponding marks. Install the timing belt around the sprocket of the crankshaft, the oil pump and the camshaft. There should be no slack in the belt, with the exception of the sprockets where the tensioner will be installed.

Step 5 – Checking the Installation

Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery, turn the ignition on and run the engine. Keep running the engine till the thermostat of the engine opens up. Once the thermostat opens up, check the ignition timing. If the ignition timing is not proper, you will need to readjust the timing.