YOWZA: how do I get the camshaft aligment bolt in?

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Apr 2, 2006
I neglected to put an alignment bolt in my camshaft gears on disassembly for my head gasket job. I didn't have a bolt and it was late at night. I didn't want to stop and I hadn't read the thread that the valve cover bolts would work.

Fast forward to now, I can reach through the back of the gears from the camshaft side and use a torx screwdriver to align the teeth and the bolt hole but I can't get a bolt threaded in there.

I'm looking for ideas to get those gears aligned and get that bolt in there. I was thinking of using a screwdriver to pry the teeth but I'm scared I'll scratch them.

Any ideas? Strap wrench? Small animal sacrifice to the cruiser gods?
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Can you thread a bolt in through the back in the first place? If you can do that then you might be able to put it in through the front. I'm am really glad that I put that bolt in as I was pulling mine apart. This is just a suggestion to make sure that the hole you're trying to thread in to is actually threaded properly. Just out of curiosity, how far off are the two holes that you're trying to align?
WHEW, got it in there.

I could thread it from the back. Actually it's threaded in from the back right now. it's a valve cover bolt so it's pretty short.

what I did was reach in from the back with a thin torx screwdriver, twisted the two holes into alignment. it's basically one tooth off as it sits un-tensioned. If you look through the front gear you can see a sliver of the hole from the back gear.

I put the thin torx screwdriver in from the back, twisted the front gear into alignment.

Then I grabbed both gears with my left hand like a mother and held as tight as I could.

then I grabbed the bolt with my right hand and threaded it in from the back.

here's hoping it'll work from back to front and I'll be able to get it out later.

If not I'll have to do this all over again. it chews up the web of your thumb pretty good and hurts like mad but it works.
I just did this, I put a screwdriver in from the front , aligned it and then pinched the gears together with a pair of visegrip pliers while I put the bolt in from the front.

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