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Gene
Gene, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3560
Experience:  ASE Master 23 years experience, Ford Trans Tech/SMT, Toyota, Mitsubishi,Hyundai Tech.
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1998 ford mustang: the 3.8 liter v6 and i..rebuilt..timing..cranks

Customer Question

i got a 1998 ford mustang with the 3.8 liter v6 and i rebuilt the motor and now it is off of timing how would i set the cam sensor insync wit the crank so it runs and actually cranks up because there is nothing on the motor that isnt new other than the pistons and the rings was fine and the cylinder walls wasnt scarred at all. Please help me
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.

3.8L Engine

See Figures 1 through 14

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.

  2. Remove the timing chain cover.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 1: Familiarize yourself with the components related to the timing chain prior to disassembly


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 2: Exploded view of the timing chain and gear mounting on the 3.8L engine


  1. Remove the camshaft sprocket retaining bolt and washer, then remove the distributor drive gear from the end of the camshaft.

If the crankshaft gear is difficult to remove by hand, remove the camshaft gear and timing chain, then use two large prybars positioned on either side of the gear to carefully slide the gear off of the crankshaft.

  1. Slide the camshaft and crankshaft gears, along with the timing chain, off of shafts at the same time.

  2. Remove the timing chain tensioner (vibration damper) from the front of the engine block, then pull back on the ratcheting mechanism and insert a pin through the bracket hole to relieve the tension.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 3: Remove the engine front cover for access to the timing chain and related components


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 4: Turn the crankshaft until the timing marks (arrows) on the timing chain gears are aligned


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: Note that the keyway (arrow) is in the 12 o'clock position when the crankshaft is properly positioned


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 6: It is important to ensure that the timing marks on the gears are properly aligned prior to disassembly so that the timing chain can be correctly assembled later on-note that the engine is inverted in this illustration


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 7: Loosen the camshaft gear mounting bolt ...


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 8: ... then withdrawal the bolt and washer from the end of the camshaft


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 9: Slide the distributor drive gear off of the end of the camshaft ...


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 10: ... then remove the camshaft gear, crankshaft gear and timing chain together as an assembly


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 11: If the crankshaft gear is too difficult to remove by hand, use two prybars to carefully work it off of the end of the crankshaft as shown


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 12: Remove the tensioner, then compress it by hand ...


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 13: ... and insert a sturdy pin or properly-sized Allen wrench (as shown) to hold it in this position


To install:

  1. With the timing chain tensioner in the compressed position, install the tensioner and retaining bolts on the engine block. Tighten the bolts to 71-123 inch lbs. (8-14 Nm).

  2. Rotate the crankshaft, as necessary, to position No. 1 piston at Top Dead Center (TDC) and the crankshaft keyway at the 12 o'clock position. Temporarily install the camshaft gear, then rotate the camshaft so that the keyway on the camshaft is in the 6 o'clock position.

  3. Lubricate the timing chain with clean engine oil, then install the camshaft gear, crankshaft gear and timing chain at the same time.

The timing marks should be aligned with each other; if not, remove the gears and chain and reinstall them so that they do.

  1. Slide the distributor gear onto the end of the camshaft.

  2. Install the camshaft sprocket retaining bolt and washer. Tighten the bolt to 30-36 ft. lbs. (40-50 Nm).

  3. Pull the pin out of the timing chain tensioner to properly tension the chain.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 14: After installing the timing chain, remove the pin to allow the tensioner to apply pressure to the chain


  1. Install the engine front cover.

  2. Connect the negative battery cable, then start the engine and check for oil, coolant and fuel leaks.


REMOVAL & INSTALLATION


3.8L Engine

See Figures 3 through 7

If the camshaft position sensor housing does not contain a plastic locator cover tool, a special service tool such as T89P-12200-A, or equivalent, must be obtained prior to installation. Failure to follow this procedure may result in improper stator alignment. This will result in the fuel system being out of time with the engine, possibly causing engine damage.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  2. Remove the ignition coil, radio capacitor and ignition coil bracket.

  3. Disengage the wiring harness connector from the CMP sensor.

Prior to removing the camshaft position sensor, set the No. 1 cylinder to 10° After Top Dead Center (ATDC) of the compression stroke. Note the position of the sensor's electrical connection. When installing the sensor, the connection must be in the exact same position.

  1. Position the No. 1 cylinder at 10° ATDC, then matchmark the CMP sensor terminal connector position with the engine assembly.

  2. Remove the camshaft position sensor retaining screws and sensor.

  3. Remove the retaining bolt and hold-down clamp.

The oil pump intermediate shaft should be removed with the camshaft sensor housing.

  1. Remove the CMP sensor housing from the front engine cover.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 3: To remove the 3.8L engine's CMP sensor (arrow), first locate it at the front of the engine block ...


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 4: ... then detach the wiring harness connector from the sensor


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: Remove the hold-down bolt and washer ...


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 6: ... then pull the sensor and housing out of the engine front cover


To install:

  1. If the plastic locator cover is not attached to the replacement camshaft position sensor, attach a synchro positioning tool, such as Ford Tool T89P-12200-A or equivalent. To do so, perform the following:

    1. Engage the sensor housing vane into the radial slot of the tool.

    2. Rotate the tool on the camshaft sensor housing until the tool boss engages the notch in the sensor housing.

The cover tool should be square and in contact with the entire top surface of the camshaft position sensor housing.

  1. Transfer the oil pump intermediate shaft from the old camshaft position sensor housing to the replacement sensor housing.

  2. Install the camshaft sensor housing so that the drive gear engagement occurs when the arrow on the locator tool is pointed approximately 30° counterclockwise from the face of the cylinder block. (The sensor terminal connector should be aligned with its matchmarks.)

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 7: When installing the CMP sensor and housing, ensure that the sensor terminal connector is situated 30-36° from the face of the block (or 54-60° from the engine block centerline)


  1. Install the hold-down clamp and bolt, then tighten the bolt to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).

  2. Remove the synchro positioning tool.

If the sensor connector is positioned correctly, DO NOT reposition the connector by rotating the sensor housing. This will result in the fuel system being out of time with the engine. This could possibly cause engine damage. Remove the sensor housing and repeat the installation procedure beginning with Step 1.

  • Install the sensor and retaining screws, and tighten the screws to 22-31 inch lbs. (2-4 Nm).

  • Attach the engine control sensor wiring connector to the sensor.

  • Install the ignition coil bracket, radio ignition capacitor and ignition coil.

  • Connect the negative battery cable

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