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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 16831
Experience:  ASE Master...30+ years...Shop owner..engine builder..collision structural repair
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Jeep: timing chain..the distributor..crankshaft..manuel

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How do I set the timing chain on a jeep 4.0 liter motor, to make sure that the distributor, cam gear and crankshaft sproket line up together? Please help, can't find my manuel !!!

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.


Just to be sure, what year is it?


Did you take the distributor out?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Would that be a 2002?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No, the distributor is still in the same place. It's a 1987 jeep comanche 2wd 5 speed

This is the procedure on it.





NOTE: Assemble the timing chain, crankshaft sprocket and camshaft sprocket with the timing marks aligned Fig. 5 .

  1. Apply Mopar(TM) Silicone Rubber Adhesive Sealant to the keyway in the crankshaft and insert the key With the key in the keyway on the crankshaft, install the assembly on the crankshaft and camshaft.




Install the camshaft sprocket retaining preload bolt and washer Fig. 6 . Tighten the preload bolt to 108 N.m (80 ft. lbs.) torque.








  • To verify correct installation of the timing chain, turn the crankshaft to position the camshaft sprocket timing mark as shown in Fig. 7 . Count the number of chain pins between the timing marks of both sprockets. There must be 15 pins. NOTE: Installation of the timing chain with the timing marks on the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets properly aligned ensures correct valve timing. A worn or stretched timing chain will adversely affect valve timing. If the timing chain deflects more than 12.7 mm (1/2 inch) replace it. The correct timing chain has 48 pins. A chain with more than 48 pins will cause excessive slack.
  • Install the crankshaft oil slinger.
  • Replace the oil seal in the timing case cover.
  • Lubricate the tension spring, thrust pin and pin bore in the preload bolt with Mopar(TM) Engine Oil Supplement, or equivalent. Install the spring and thrust pin in the preload bolt head Fig. 6 .





  • Install the timing case cover and gasket.
  • With the key installed in the crankshaft keyway, install the vibration damper, washer and bolt. Lubricate and tighten the bolt to 108 N.m (80 ft. lbs.) torque.
  • Install the serpentine drive belt and tighten to the specified tension, Refer to Engine/Drive Belts, Mounts, Brackets and Accessories/Drive Belt/Service and Repair for the proper procedure.
  • Install the fan and hub (or Temporal fan) assembly. Install the shroud.
  • Connect negative cable to battery

    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    Where should the distributor be pointing at when I do this?
    I thought you said the distributor was not removed. It will be pointing to where it always was. If you like you can take the #1 spark plug out and bring the piston up on compression stroke, (once the chain is on of course) and see if the rotor is pointing to the #1 tower on the cap.
    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    With it being pointing to the #1 piston, the timing marks should be lined up right. If not I should line the camshaft spocket mark to the crank sprocket mark, right.

    No. You will have to see when the #1 cylinder is ready to fire. Sometimes the marks will be in the opposite direction. Let me see if I have anything on that.



  • Remove No. 1 spark plug.
  • Place finger over No. 1 spark plug hole and rotate the engine crankshaft slowly until compression is felt.
  • Align the timing index mark on the vibration dampner with 0°(TDC) on the graduated timing degree scale on the timing gear cover.
  • Turn the distributor rotor to point between No. 1 and No. 2 spark plug terminals on the distributor cap.
  • Install the distributor cap and spark plug wires.
  • Install distributor and connect distributor leads.
  • Start engine and check timing - set to specifications.
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