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Timing Chain & Gears / Cover Assembly

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Hi Guys:

I finally got my short block back from from the rebuilders and I'm ordering the parts to assemble the engine and I have a question about assembling the timing components onto the block.

Is it possible to assemble the timing chain, gears, and tensioner onto the engine block BEFORE installing the front cover onto the block? I've always had the cover on the block before installing the Cam gear, and it has always been a royal pain in the A$$ to get the gear w/ chain onto the snout of the camshaft. Also, the plastic tool that I got from MSA to hold the tensioner in check is SO HOKEY that it doesn't do a very good job, and is a complete bitch to remove when you do get it wedged into place.

I'd like to put the timing cover on AFTER everything is completely installed, and the tensioner tool removed. Does anyone have first hand experience doing this?? Thanks for any advice and information.


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On my last rebuild I assembled all the chain components then I put the cover on. You just have to make sure that the distruibutor drive sprocket thingy is properly alligned. I don't even own one of those cam chain tensioners. Just assemble it all with the cover off. Alot easier!

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