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Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 1810
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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I am currently performing a timing chain and cam actuator

Customer Question

I am currently performing a timing chain and cam actuator replacement due to noise. I have made the mistake of taking the chain off when the engine was 180 degrees out. Basically, it is not in top dead center. I have already removed the actuator. Can any
one guide me to a series of steps I can take to make sure the actuator is where it needs to be. My fear is that once the actuator is put back on the cam and the timing chain it will be off. Yes, I marked the actuator as per the instructions. The problem is
that the crank is 180 degrees off. I don't want to turn the crank to top dead center, get the car up and running only to find out that once the actuator is activated the valves will hit the pistons
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

What year, model, and engine are you working on? I'll see if I can get you back on track. The chain is completely removed, or just removed from the cam gear?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The chain is completely removed. I also remove oil pump chain and I fear that it may be out of alingment as well. 2006 Mazda Speed 6 4 cylinder turbo
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I can get you some diagrams on how to put it back together, but this engine is a real bear to get the timing right on.

Mazda lists some very specific tools that are needed and a number of mechanics on the repair forums insist that it is absolutely necessary to use those tools.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

To get the crank in TDC initially you will have to rotate it a little, then rotate the cams a little then rotate the crank a little and so forth until you get everything close. You won't be able to just turn the crank without it interfering with the valves unless you have pulled both of the cams.

From there you should be able to follow the repair diagram.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's not my biggest concern. My concern is to get properly set the Intake Actuator on the camshaft. Once the actuator is activated and if it is not properly aligned, the valves will hit. I know how to monkey around things to make it work, but in this case I want precision.
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Here is a TSB from Mazda on how to get it set correctly. Mazda put it out because so many technicians were struggling with it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please OPT out from this question. My issue is not finding the bulletins. I am aware! I have it! However, I removed the timing chain when the crank was 180 degrees. I can monkey my way around the problem. However, I need guidance on how to properly align the actuator to the cam. I know how to turn the crank with out letting the valves hit the pistons! Please understand that you are taking my question away from some one who can actually help me with my problem
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Everything you need to know is in that bulletin. I'll opt out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To completely clarify problem. Is there anyway to set an actuator without any previously drawn marks before removal. Yes, I marked my actuator however the crank was not timed. I do not want to use that same mark if there's another way to properly align camshaft with actuator. This is what I am asking
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

By the way, it doesn't matter how the sprocket goes on the end of the camshaft as long as it doesn't create slack between the two cam gears.

Tech Tip from Mazda: If the cam was not indexed before sprocket removal, the sprocket can go on in any position and still function properly. The important thing is to make sure that it doesn't get installed in a manner that would create any slack in the timing chain in between the two cam gears. Other than that, it doesn't matter how it is positioned on the end of the camshaft.