Solving waterleaks and installing a new timing chain
I noticed some major water leaks coming from both sides of the timing chain cover. On one side, the water was actually spraying out and on the other side, a constant small stream of coolant came from between the engineblock and the timing chain cover. So before I could ride again, these issues had to be addressed first.
Drove to the best and my personal favorite carshop in Holland: Six-Pack Speedshop.
To replace the timing chain cover gaskets on a 360LA smallblock, you need to remove the clutch fan, belts, hoses and the waterpomp. I did not removed the radiator but next time, I will..:)
And since that all had to came of anyway, I might aswell could replace the timing chain. So I purchased gaskets, a Comp Cam double roller timing chain, some belts and a block off plate for my fuel pump, as I only drive on LPG anyways.
And the good news was: Six-Pack Speedshop had it all stocked!
Time for the disassembly
I started out with draining the radiator and removing all of the hoses and the belts. Then, I removed the clutchfan that was connected to the waterpump, the steeringpump bracket and the alternator bracket as they were all connected to the waterpump housing bolts.
I removed the waterpump and gave it a good inspection.
The waterpump itself was in a very good condition so no need to replace that. I noticed a hole on the underside of the waterpump housing. Anyone knows what this hole is for? I removed, cleaned up and labelled all the parts that came off from the engine and made alot of pictures with my cellphone to make sure I assembled everything in the right place again.
I took off the timingchain cover and scraped off the old gaskets and cleaned everything up with brake cleaner. I also purchased a new timingchain cover seal and pressed that in. The old timingchain was very loose so it was a good thing to replace it. It was a stock single roller chain and I upgrade it with a Comp Cams Double Roller that I also purchased at Six-Pack Speedshop.
The installation went smooth and I had alot of help from my Mopar friends, which guided me though the process on my cellphone.
Did the stock timing setting on it, so I alligned the dots from the upper and lower gear, no “badass” settings were done 🙂
I had some trouble with the harmonic balancer back on, but my friend Mario gave me an excellent tip for a specialised tool at Rockauto.com, which I purchased right away. Or you can buy a much cheaper one on Amazon here.
I spray painted both the timingchain cover, the waterpump housing and some of the brackets black before I bolted them back on. Installed the fuel pump block-off plate and let the RTV on all the new components sit for the night. I tightend all the bolts handtight, just for the RTV to set in. I used this: Loctite RTV
The next day, I torqued everything to spec.
I had never replaced a timing chain it it was pretty time consuming. But it was alot of fun and I leaned so much from it. I was glad that I took the step to actually do it and not bring the Fury to a repairshop to had it done for me. Opened up the radiatorcap and poured the coolant in, which was a scary moment for me 🙂 Did I torqued anyting right? Did I forgot something? I inspected everything a 1000 times before I fired it up: hoses, radiator, and offcourse the timingchain housing and waterpump, but no leaks.
Started the engine and let it sit for 15 minutes while I was running around like a rabbit to constantly check for leaks.
After several miles, the car runs great an no leaks at all! So a big succes for me 🙂
Some of the things I learned:
- I thought that the uppergear bolt from the timinggear was damaged because it was totally out of allignment. But its supposed to be: it is pushing the fuelpump rod this way. 🙂
- Never use to much RTV because it just pours out and gets everything messy. Just a slight film will do the trick also.
- Still don’t know what this hole in the waterpump housing is for…
UPDATE: Got a Facebook message from Kustom Bart regarding the hole in the waterpump housing.
“There are seals on the shaft of the water pump to keep the coolant in. The hole in the bottom of the waterpump lets you know when the seals are worn, coolant will drip out.” | Thanx for sharing this info Bart!
Big shout out to Hans from Six-Pack Speedshop as he is always thinking with you and provides great service. If you need parts, advice or repairs, Six-Pack Speedshop is THE shop to go. Ive added the link to his shop to my link section on the right, but for the lazy ones, its also here