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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 34770
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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I replaced a camshaft synchronizer after it failed. And now

Customer Question

I replaced a camshaft synchronizer after it failed. And now the engine sounds like it is firing at the wrong time. To replacsee the camshaft synchronizer, I placed the engine at TDC and marked where the original synchronizer was at. The vehicle ran great and went out with no warning
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question,

Where you having this problem before you replaced the synchronizer?

Did you also replace the sensor as well use the alignment tool when you did this repair?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK here's the whole history.... the vehicle ran great and all of a sudden the check engine light and oil light came on... I stopped the engine and checked it out as best I could. ... no obvious signs ... drove the vehicle down the street about 2 miles to auto zone and ran a diagnostic on it
... it said camshaft sensor... replaced cam shaft sensor and still running rough.... then pulled camshaft synchronizer and found the teeth striped out on it. Rotated engine to tdc on number 1 and put new synchronizer in using marked I made from previous on... final placement about 30 degrees off center of engine... I used the special alignment tool when putting it in.... restarted vehicle and it sounded funny for a few seconds then started idling fine.... drove it home and it squeaked one time... and then started running rough a few min later.... got it home and repulled the synchronizer to check the new one and then reinstalled it properly using same procedures as before. Everything appears fine...... but what I noticed is when it first starts the ignition adv is at 8 degrees and everything sounds great. But a few min later it jumps to 19 degrees and sounds and runs terrible. .... and thus is at idol
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like your synchronizer is still off and that can affect the timing. I would go back in and recheck the synchronizer alignment. See the factory steps in the link below, look then over and make sure these are the steps you are following and recheck the install.

Copy and paste the link to your browser to open and view the link.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/104923897/synchronizer%20Oct%2012.pdf

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
those are the procedures I followed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could I be 180 out.... I'm fairly certain I'm not especially with it starting up and running fine for the first few min
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Well then I would go back and line everything back up and recheck the alignment, its not likely your 180 out because it would not run, its more likely your a tooth off. One tooth off would affect base timing just like you are describing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should my ignition adv be jumping like that.... also could my cam shafts themselves need realignment for the synchronizer to act properly
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

No it should show steady at Idle and advance after when you raise the RPM

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about my camshafts them self can they get out of alignment and then they synchronizer will not do what it needs to do?
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

If the camshaft where out of time it would affect engine compression and in most cases the engine would not run or barley run .

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok.... what about the crankshaft sensor... could that be doing anythin??? The current codes are only showing cam sensor p0340
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

The code P0340 will set every time if the synchronizer is misaligned or the sensor is bad . If the sensor is new then Its not likely the problem, it sure sounds to me the the synchronizer is off .

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I'll lone everything up again and pull it again.... and reset it and see what happens... I get with u in a bit
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Okay, I'm here if you need me.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
U know before doing a insane thing cause by now I've done this process about 5 times... let me verify tdc.... and how to find it with u.... I started off pulling the number 1 sparkplug which is front passage side of the engine .... I inserted a screwdriver and rotated engine till screwdriver was pushed up and stopped... marked crankshaft sprocket... kept rotating till screwdriver went down and then marked again... split the difference and made a mark... it's 5 teeth past the area with the gap and lines up with a mark on the crankshaft cover... however I've read other places that it should line up with the crankshaft sensor.... or rather that 5th tooth should
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

The best way to located TDC on the #1 cylinder is to have a helper bump the engine over while you hold your finger over the empty spark plug hole till you feel compression air coming out, once you feel compression then place your screw drive in the hole and turn the engine by hand and once the screw drive is all the eay p and not moving down then you are at TDC. You should also see the timing mark on the harmonic balance which should read 0 when the piston is at TDC on the compression stroke. With engine at top dead center the synchronizer with the alignment tool installed will only fit one way.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I did it all again and now it seems to idle fine but I've got a dull knock when accelerating that get louder with more acceleration... I can not hear it at idol
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Where does the knock sound like its coming from, The lower end?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wanna say top of engine... not really sure... I'm frustrated and walked away for a bit
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

I have to wonder if you have a problem with the oil pump especial if the gear on the synchronizer was stripped out. Something had to stop turning to usually make this happen. The cam gear turns the synchronizer and the oil pump.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When everything first went down the oil light came on... the synchronizer has been coated in oil when I've repulled it and oil light has not come back o
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Noise sounds like low and in back of the oil pan sorta
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

You may be okay if it has not seized again. I just hope the loss of oil pressure did not damage any of the engine bearings. Cant say for sure because I can not hear the knock , just my first guess. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Very dull sound at idol
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Does it speed up with RPM?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its too loud to ignore
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

From your description it does not sound like you dont want to ignore it for sure. Usually that sort of noise is caused by a rod bearing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would that have destroyed the first synchronizer
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

No but if the oil pump seized, the cam would have kept turning as well as the synchronizer and that would normally shear the gear on the synchronizer. If the oil pump did seized up you would have lost oil pressure and if it was drive to long that would damage the bearings and that could be the knock your hearing as well.