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Unread 07-26-2002, 06:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 35
Timing chain replacement

Here goes-

I think I may need a new timing chain and sprockets.

I did a crude test by seeing how many degrees my 258 engine will turn before making the rotor in the distributer move. I measured 12 degrees slack (actually, the harmonic damper moved 3/4" before the rotor began to move. Based on the size of the damper, it calculates out to be 12 degrees slack). I'm told this is excessive and that I need a new chain and sprockets. If it were only 3 - 5 degrees it would be OK.

Does this sound like an accurate diagnosis? Any other way to be sure? Is this job a hump or what? Any tips?

Let me add that I can turn the distributor shaft slightly- like the gear at the bottom has some play between the teeth. Maybe about 1/8" rotor movement free-play. Is this normal or am I looking at a new distributor too?

1983 CJ8 Scrambler with 80,000 miles.

Please let me know what you think.


Black '83 CJ8
258 I-6
Half hardtop
Rustproof plywood floorboards and bed upgrade.
Lots of work, but working on it.
CJ8DV8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-30-2002, 10:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Rhode Island
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I'm not sure of the diagnosis, but I have changed timing chains that have needed it in 80,000 or so, so i would bet it is ready anyway. Sure, you can get more miles out of it, but it is so easy, and I bet it needs it anyway. They tend to stretch (stock ones) easily on the 4.2s.
4wheeler4CJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-30-2002, 10:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Western Maryland
Posts: 70
pull the distributor first, it's an easier job.1/8 sounds like a bit much, and I doubt your moving any timing chain or sprockets by turning the rotor with your fingers. Just be careful that you put the distrib. back on exactly as you took it off, you don't want to mess up the timing. Take it slow, and use a scribe or pen to mark everything(inside & outside dist.). The gear on the bottom of the distributor will most likely turn during removal-and installation due to it's design.
treedodger is offline   Reply With Quote
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