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Ok first of all I am a NOOB and I apreciate all of the help that this board has been to me. I have a 2002 legacy gt and I am trying to finish up a head gaket change. Thi is my first time ever doing something this big and its a little scarry yet satisfying. I have gotten to the point of putting the timing belt on and I want to make sure it is done correct. The problem/question I have is with the driver side( I believe you call it the left side) camshaft sprocket does not want to stay in the position to be in alinment with the timing mark. When I took the belt off it sprang to the left rapidly, and now that i am trying to put it back on it wants to jolt to the right or the left a 1/4 of a turn. Is this normal for it not to want to stay in place? The other side moves freely with ease so it just worries me and im not sure if it is just because of the way that the rocker arm is sitting on the cam lobes. Any input on this would be greatly apreciated, this project has taken wayyyyyy longer then I thought it would and my wife is getting frustrated with me taking her car :) (Like im thrilled with it either it is a Ford Fusion...ugggg) Again I greatly apreciate any input on this, you guys rock and have helped me do something I have always wanted to try to do.




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I have 3 of the plier type plastic clamps. BTW DOHC's are worse (twice as many cams).


The cam you're having trouble with is loaded.


Make sure the crank is at TDC by looking at the notch.


I then sometimes "cheat" by clamping the TB to the cam sprockets with the clamps. The 3rd one is for the TB being help on the splined pulley at the crank (I also cut a hunk of old belt to put on the threads on the bottom to protect them).


The crank won't turn so easily. So now that you have all 3 places that need lined up "clamped" it gets easier.


Then personally I install the lower idler last after TB is strung.


Then release tensioner.


Them's my tips.

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There is a "sweet spot" in the middle where the cam will sit still but even a small bump could make it snap out of position.


Put a long wrench or breaker bar with a socket on the cam sprocket bolt and use that to slowly turn the cam to position.

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yeah just line it up carefully and it will stay. it's loaded by the valve train so it wants to spring out of position.


once you get used to it, it's actually really easy.


remove the passengers side lower timing belt idler pulley, it can be installed once the belt is in place easily and gives a little bit more play to install.


get the belt around the crank and the drivers side pulley first and have a helper or use a clamp, clothes pin, or something to hold the belt onto the cam - that will prevent it from moving out of place as you go about installing it the rest of the way around everything else.


once you get used to it, like i said, they go right on.

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