Replacing a Ford V6 Timing Chain

aReplacing a Ford V6 timing chain is a fairly difficult task if you don’t know what you are doing.  It can become a head ache if you don’t do the procedure correctly.

The timing chain is what drives the camshaft and in Ford’s case the camshaft position sensor.  If you have a timing chain that is worn or stretched it can cause a lot of problems.

This procedure is a basic outline of what most Ford V6 timing chain’s are like.  This should give you a good idea of how to replace it. I recommend investing in a service manual before you decide to undergo this task for your specific applications.  This procedure works for most latemodel Ford V6 engines that use pushrods.



The Procedure

  1. Park your vehicle where it can sit for at least a couple days.  This is for if you break something or need a part.  That way you have a couple days to work on the vehicle.
  2. Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery; this will prevent you from accidentally shorting out any wiring.  It is also a good idea to remove the positive cable as an extra safety precaution.
  3. You will now need to locate what all is in front of the timing cover.  Generally you will need to remove the alternator, A/C compressor, power steering pump, and water pump.
  4. Once you look at what all you have to remove buy a timing cover gasket kit that should contain the gaskets for your application.
  5. I recommend a good metric socket set for this task.  If you don’t have one this ATD1380 106 Piece Socket Set should contain the majority of sockets that you will need.
  6. Start at the top which is generally the alternator.  Remove the cable on the back of the alternator.
  7. Remove any other electrical connectors in the way of removing the alternator.
  8. Remove the bolts that hold the alternator in place.
  9. It is now time to remove the alternator.  You will need either a dead blow hammer such as this ATD4082 3pc Dead Blow Hammer or a pry bar such as this WMRW2025 5pc Pry Bar Set.  If you are using a hammer hit on one side of the alternator trying to pop it up and out.  If you are using a pry bar pry up and under the alternator, just make sure to pry on something solid.
  10. With the alternator out of the way the next step is to remove the A/C compressor.  Remove any electrical connectors connected to the compressor.
  11. Remove the bolts holding the compressor in place.
  12. Gently lift the compressor out of the way.  Be careful so that you don’t damage any of the A/C lines and set it out of the way in the engine bay.
  13. Now keep working your way down.  It is time to remove the power steering pump.  I recommend leaving the lines connected and removing all the bolts.  Then supporting the pump out of the way.  This is the best method since power steering lines tend to leak once you have removed them.
  14. Now you should only have the water pump and timing cover remaining.  You will have to go onto your radiator and loosen the drain plug.  Use a catch pan such as this LIS17952 4.5-Gallon Drain Pan to catch the coolant.
  15. Once the coolant is drained you can retighten the drain plug.
  16. Now remove the upper and lower radiator hose.  It helps to use a hose clamp pliers such as this AST9409 Hose Clamp Pliers.
  17. With the hoses out of the way you can locate the water pump.  You will have to remove any electrical connectors that are located in the way and remove anything else that is preventing you from removing the water pump.
  18. Remove the water pump bolts and set the pump aside.  If you have a vehicle with a lot of miles on it and the original water pump, now would be the time to replace it as some preventative maintenance since you have everything all apart.
  20. Ford uses a camshaft position sensor that is run in the timing cover and it runs the oil pump.  There is a very specific procedure for removing this.  The best method is to locate top dead center on the compression stroke.  Use your manual or other articles that I have written to determine TDC on the number 1 cylinder.
  21. Mark the outside of the camshaft position sensor with a marker.  Mark it with a line that goes onto the cover.  Everything has to go back perfect otherwise you will have to take your vehicle to Ford and have them recalibrate your camshaft position sensor.
  22. You can remove the bolt holding the sensor in place.  Make sure that you have marked the outside.  DON’T REMOVE THE SENSOR YET OR MOVE IT AT ALL!
  23. As you pull the sensor out you will want to make alignment marks all the way down as you pull the sensor out.  There is a long shaft that needs to stay in alignment.  So pull gently up and out marking the shaft the full length with an alignment mark.
  24. CAREFULLY SET THE SENSOR ASIDE MAKING SURE THAT THE SHAFT CAN’T BE SPUN OR TURNED.  It would be a good idea to tape the shaft to prevent it from rotating.
  25. Remove the bolts holding the oil pump in place and remove the oil pump.
  26. Remove the front harmonic balancer bolt.  You will need to use an impact to remove the main bolt.  If you don’t have an impact this ING2130 Impact Wrench will remove the bolt.
  27. Remove the bolts holding the pulley on using the same impact and the correct socket.
  28. You will now need a balancer puller kit to remove the balancer pulley.  This KDT41600 Puller Kit will work.  Follow the instructions in the puller kit on how to remove the pulley.
  29. You are now ready to remove the camshaft position sensor.  Set that aside.
  30. Remove the timing cover bolts.
  31. You will now need to work the timing cover off.  Use your pry bar and a dead blow hammer to gently remove the timing cover.  It is a pain to remove sometimes.  Make sure to not pry on the gasket surface.
  32. Now you are looking at the timing chain and gears.  Make sure the timing marks line up.
  33. Remove the bolt holding the gear in place.
  34. Remove both gears and the chain together at the same time.
  35. You can now follow the instructions on installing your new timing chain and gear.
  36. Before installing any item you will need to scrape the gasket surfaces cleaned.  I recommend using a gasket scraper such as this ATD8560 3pc Scraper Set.  Scrape the surfaces clean and feel free to use some brake cleaner to aid in the cleaning.
  37. You are now ready to reinstall everything.  Make sure the gasket surfaces are clean.  Apply a thin bead of silicone gasket maker to the oil pan part.  Make sure to get in the corners.
  38. Make sure the timing gears are positioned like they were when you removed the camshaft position sensor.  You can then reinstall the timing cover with the new gasket.  Torque the bolts in place using a torque wrench.  If you don’t have a torque wrench this ATD101M Torque Wrench.
  39. Now install the camshaft position sensor.  Make sure that all the alignment marks are lined up and that you didn’t turn the sensor at all.  Make sure it doesn’t turn during the installation as well. Tighten the hold down bolt.
  40. Reinstall the oil pump make sure that you line up the camshaft position shaft with the oil pump don’t turn the shaft but line up the gears on the oil pump and torque that in place.
  41. Now reverse the rest of the installation process.  Make sure to clean and dry any gasket surfaces and install any gaskets that you get in the kit.
  42. When everything is completely installed you can go ahead and fill the radiator.  You will need to bleed the cooling system.
  43. Remove the bleed screw that is on the heater hose and start the vehicle.  Once coolant comes out of the bleed screw, close it.
  44. Then open the radiator and top it off.

You just finished installing a new timing chain.  Make sure that you take it easy for a little while making sure everything is broke in.  Also check for leaks and repair as necessary.

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