How to Measure Timing Chain Wear on a Chevrolet

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    • 1). Clean the timing marks with the parts cleaner spray. Use a toothbrush to scrub oily build-up away from the timing tab located on the timing chain cover, and the timing mark on the harmonic balancer or crankshaft pulley.

    • 2). Mark the TDC (Top Dead Center) mark on the timing tab with white crayon to make it easier to see. Mark the timing mark on the harmonic balancer as well. The TDC mark is sometimes labeled as 0 degrees on the timing tab, and the timing mark is a notch cut into the balancer.

    • 3). Rotate the engine in a counterclockwise direction, with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a 13/16-inch socket, until the timing mark and the TDC mark line up. As the marks begin to get close, reduce rotation. If you turn the engine too far, rotate the engine clockwise a few turns and try again. The goal is to take all the slack out of the chain in one direction and stop as the marks line up.

    • 4). Remove the distributor cap and note the position of the ignition rotor underneath it. Watch the rotor closely as you slowly turn the engine, with the ratchet and socket, in a clockwise direction. Stop turning as soon as the rotor begins to move. The engine will not turn very far to cause the rotor to move. The amount of rotation that the engine undergoes, before moving the rotor, indicates the amount of slack in the timing chain.

    • 5). Look at the timing tab and note the number of degrees indicated by the timing mark. Anything more than 10 degrees is considered to be excessive, and the chain and gears should be replaced.

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