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sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 22646
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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Dodge Dakota 2Dr 3.9L: I am working on my son's 2001 Dodge

Customer Question

I am working on my son's 2001 Dodge Dakota with 3.9L engine. Truck is 2wd & automatic transmission. Removed fan shroud, fan pulley, water pump, alternator and AC compressor to remove and replace timing chain, timing sprockets and chain tensioner. I suspect that I did not have the rotor pointing to the #1 position when I removed the sprockets and chain. Got it back together and it would not fire. Have taken it apart again and I am down to having just removed the timing cover. Rotor cap pints to #1 position but marks on sprockets do not line up.
Question: Can I rotate the engine using the crankshaft sprocket and timing chain to rotate until the marks line up. Or do I have to find the Actual TDC of #1 piston. I have not taken off the valve covers yet but I did remove all the spark plugs.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Eric replied 2 years ago.
Just rotating the crank sprocket until the marks line up will put it at TDC, but not necessarily at the compression stroke.
Because of this, you need to set it to TDC on the compression stroke at #1 cylinder. Place a wad of paper in the #1 spark plug hole and rotate the crank until the piece of paper blows out of the #1 spark plug hole. You are now at TDC on the compression stroke.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Don't you also get some compression during the exhaust stroke?
Expert:  Eric replied 2 years ago.
While there is a bit, it doesnt blow the paper out the tube. There is a huge difference in the pressure between the compression and exhaust strokes. I have set TDC on compression stroke this way for over 20yrs.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay I found TDC for piston #1 and the mark on the crankshaft sprocket is a 12 oclock but the camshaft mark is at 11 o'clock. How do I move the camshaft to get it to 6 o'clock for alignment. Wooddruff key will only allow it to go on one way. Do I turn just the camshaft keyway until the alignment mark is at 6 o'clock and then slip both sprockets back on?
Expert:  Eric replied 2 years ago.
Yes, just turn it until it is at the 6 o'clock position and then slip the sprockets back on. That is all there is to this.
Please remember to rate service using the rating page so that I may receive credit. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I tried turning the camshaft clockwise to align the keyway with the sprocket when in the correct position. Camshaft turns about 15 degrees and then locks up will not turn anymore. How much pressure should I see when rotating just the camshaft?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!
When turning the cam you it will get tighter and looser through the rotation due to valves opening and closing. If it's completely stopping though it's because there is a valve hitting a piston. When the engine is out of time and you're turning one component by itself valves will hit pistons on an interference engine. What you'll need to do is carefully turn the cam and crank at the same time if you get to an area where one of the two stops. If it's hitting where the crank is now then you can back the cam up a bit, turn the crank in one direction or the other a small amount, and then try the cam again. You'll need to work back and forth this way until the crank dot is at 12:00 and the cam is at 6:00.