Timing Procedure for the 97 -03 Two valve 4.6L & 5.4L Modular Engines
Posted by Dynotech
In regards to cam timing. Remove cam covers, damper and front cover. Do not remove chains,chain tensioners, or guides yet. Now rotate the crankshaft so the crank keyway is at 12:00. IMPORTANT! Do not move the crankshaft again until both chains,tensioners and guides have been reinstalled and tensioners released. Now remove the chain tensioners and chains. The pistons will all be low enough in the bores with the crank in this position so you can reinstall heads and rotate the cams to set the timing without bending valves. Two ways of finding the correct links to place on the crank and cam timing marks. Look carefully and you should be able to find two darker links on each chain each 180 degs from each other. Those would be the original copper colored timing links. The best way is to lay each chain down flat on a table and pull them lengthwise so you have two parallel rows of links tight against each other. At each end you will have one link facing the opposite direction of the two rows of links. There will be an equal number of links in each row making these end links the two you want to mark with a paint pen. They will be the links that are placed on the timing marks, one on the cam gear and one on the crank gear timing mark. Install the cam timing gears and crank timing gears. Now place the driverside chain with paint marked link on the crank timing gear mark. Holding the chain move it up to the cam gear and while rotating the cam timing gear only NOT THE CRANK! align the other painted chain link up with the cam gear timing mark and place it over the timing gear and into place aligned with the cam gear timing mark. The chain should now be in place with paint marked links one on the crank gear timing mark the other on the cam gear timing mark. While holding the chain tight install the chain tensioner under the chain guide and tighten both tensioner bolts. Now perform the same operation to the passenger side chain. Now visually inspect the painted links making sure that all 4 are lined up with the timing gear marks, two on the crank timing gear and one on each cam timing gear. Now remove the chain tensioner retaining pin allowing the tensioners to extend and put pressure against the chain. Reinstall HDR wheel, front cover, etc. Remember not to move the crankshaft through out all this leaving it's keyway at 12:00 through out the entire process. This is one of those things that once you do it you and get the hang of it it's quite easy. No need for special cam locks and or anything else. Good luck.