22RE Head Install - Looking for some help...

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May 7, 2007
Minneapolis MN
Hey guys - I'm not on this board very often, but usually find a ton of good info, so I am hoping someone here can help me out.

I'm installing a reman cyl head on my 1986 4Runner (22RE). Everything is going as planned until the new head is on, and the timing chain gear won't line up with the camshaft. The timing chain gear seems to be about 1/16" too low, and I can't get it to line up.

The head bolts are all torqued down now, so I am hesitant to undo everything at this point, because I've heard it's bad to re-use a "crushed" head gasket.

From the intake side of the head, it looks like the head and block are fully seated. The exhaust side is bit harder to see. Maybe I'll try tomorrow with a mirror just to be sure.

Has anyone else encountered this? Am I missing something with that timing chain gear?

Thanks for any help or ideas!
you might have to get a long screwdriver, and flash light, use the light to look inside the timing cover then use the screw driver to decompress the timing chain tensioner, then put the timing gear onto the cam.
Is the timing cover on?

Yes, it sounds to me like you need to compress the tensioner. This is why I prefer doing the chain from the top down if possible. Put the head on, install the chain, then the timing cover. Unfortunately you have to remove the oil pan to do it this way.
Wow! Thanks for the quick responses! I'm pretty sure you got it - the tensioner. I was able to find it and push it back with a long screwdriver. Then I almost got the gear onto the camshaft. It was really close - but I couldn't get it done with two hands. I'll wait for tomorrow when I can find a helper to hold that tensioner back enough to finish the job.

I knew it had to be something like that, but I had completely hit a wall trying to understand what it could be. Thanks so much for the help!
unless I'm missing something... You can walk the cam gear on the cam by gently prying on it and moving the crank slightly left and right...

unless the chain has slid past the tensioner snubber?

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