If you’re mechanically inclined enough to tackle a timing belt or chain, you probably know that when you’re replacing a timing belt or chain, it is absolutely critical that the camshaft(s) and crankshaft be synced and timed properly. This is usually done by a series of marks on each timed gear or sprocket that line up with a corresponding mark on the engine block, cylinder head, or other fixed object. Many times, the belt or chain will have marks on it which also correspond to the timing marks, making your job a little easier.
When you’re done lining everything up the manufacturer usually recommends that you spin the crankshaft by hand two full revolutions (two crank revs, one cam rev) and double check your timing marks. However, some longer and multiple chain setups do not provide any timing marks on a fixed point on the engine. With these designs all you can do is line up the painted or plated links and hope for the best…unless you make your own timing markers.
Below you’ll find a series of pictures from a Chrysler 2.7 V6 engine in a Chrysler 300. Because the boys in the Chrysler engineering department nixed the timing marks on the engine for whatever reason, I made these out of a coat hanger to double check the timing before we put the whole mess back together. The painted links on the chain will not line up with the marks on the sprockets every engine revolution, but the marks will line up with your new pointers which will allow you to verify camshaft timing.
Next time you find yourself with no way of double checking your work, keep this handy little tip in mind. It may just save you from having to redo the job (for free!) because you’re one tooth off. If this helped you, let me know in the comment section or send me a message!