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Discussion Starter #1
To continue my saga on my 2012 LS, I reassembled the engine and charged the battery. I just want to see if it will start. There is no coolant in it but it does not need coolant to start. It just won't run it long enough to get hot. It has enough oil in the pan. I set the cams the best I could. The #1 was at TDC, well maybe 10 to 15 degrees beyond it. I set it to #1 power stroke, the Exhaust cam to #4 exhaust just closed and #3 intake just opening. I couldn't fine tune it as it would turn in sections because of the springs.

Then I cranked the engine. It cranked but no signs of starting. I checked the plugs and it has fuel. So no ignition or no compression. I suspect the head gasket is bad which would account for the no compression. A compression tester will check that.

But could there also be a no ignition problem. No power to the spark plugs? Is there a way to test if it is sparking, if there is power to the spark plug or if the Ignition coil module is bad or if I missed plugging something in or messed something up? With a volt meter? If there is uncompressed air with fuel in the chamber, and a spark would it burn, not leaving unburnt gas on the plugs?
 

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At true TDC all the valves should be closed.
 

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Well first thing I'd notice is that with #1 15* ATDC into powerstroke, you shouldn't have the #3 intake just opening. In this scenario #3 would be 15* ABDC into compression stroke, so opening the intake valve should be closing here, not opening.

Anywho....why not just use the nice little timing marks the factory provided and be done with this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well first thing I'd notice is that with #1 15* ATDC into powerstroke, you shouldn't have the #3 intake just opening. In this scenario #3 would be 15* ABDC into compression stroke, so opening the intake valve should be closing here, not opening.

Anywho....why not just use the nice little timing marks the factory provided and be done with this?
I took the gears/sprockets off to get the cylinder head off and lost the timing marks. It is hard to set TDC using the starter. I didn't have an Torx 18 to do it by hand on the crankcase pulley. Maybe #3 intake was just closed, I forget, I'll check in daylight. I made a chart of 1324 - PCIE and set the cam by that.
 

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The firing order is 1342. The stroke progression would be PEIC.

It's gonna be very fiddly and time consuming to set the timing without the tools. You need to lock the cams in relation to each other via the flats cut into the rear of them, and then position the sprockets to with timing marks in proper spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The firing order is 1342. The stroke progression would be PEIC.

It's gonna be very fiddly and time consuming to set the timing without the tools. You need to lock the cams in relation to each other via the flats cut into the rear of them, and then position the sprockets to with timing marks in proper spots.
My chart has
1342
PCIE
EPCI
IEPC
CIEP
for each cylinder as it goes through the strokes. That way I understand the theory of what is going on.

I get it. If I use the flat tool to lock the cams when the slots at the end are horizontal, then they jerk to the next setting with the springs. I use the flat head of a prybar to turn them for the leverage.
 

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My chart has 1342
PCIE
EPCI
IEPC
CIEP
for the progression of each cylinder and the cams

I get it. If I use the flat tool to lock the cams when the slots at the end are horizontal, then they jerk to the next setting with the springs. I use the flat head of a prybar to turn them for the leverage.
Okay, so here's what you need to know. Lock the cams, position the sprockets and tighten them. The firing order and stroke progression lettering is worthless.
 

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I wouldn't worry about
ABCD
DCBA
1342.

None of that changes.

I'd just worry about alignment of the marks.

And they don't disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wouldn't worry about
ABCD
DCBA
1342.

None of that changes.

I'd just worry about alignment of the marks.

And they don't disappear.
But what marks? The marks on the gear? When I take the gears off, the marks are gone. That is why I wanted to learn about aligning the cams themselves.

The way I understand it, is to put #1 at TDC, then at the opposite ends there are slots and set those horizontal and put a metal bar to hold them that way and then they will be lined up. And set the cams by the 1342 PCIE to make sure the cams are not 180 degrees off. The hard part would be to get TDC set when not using the starter motor.
 

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But what marks? The marks on the gear? When I take the gears off, the marks are gone. That is why I wanted to learn about aligning the cams themselves.

The way I understand it, is to put #1 at TDC, then at the opposite ends there are slots and set those horizontal and put a metal bar to hold them that way and then they will be lined up. And set the cams by the 1342 PCIE to make sure the cams are not 180 degrees off. The hard part would be to get TDC set when not using the starter motor.
It kinda sounds like you should have paid a technician, like @Ma v e n or @snowwy66 , to do this for you. I kinda get the idea that you don't know what you are doing. You don't have the right tools to do the job correctly. Do you have a service manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It kinda sounds like you should have paid a technician, like @Ma v e n or @snowwy66 , to do this for you. I kinda get the idea that you don't know what you are doing. You don't have the right tools to do the job correctly. Do you have a service manual?
The problem is: It won't start so I can't take it anywhere to have it worked on or diagnosed and it's more difficult to go and get tools or parts. So I'm trying to diagnose everything with what I have to get to the root cause(s) before I replace parts. I've never timed a cam before, but it shouldn't be too hard.

Compressed air, fuel and spark. If one or more is missing, it won't run. I'm trying to rule out the spark as I already know it needs a new head gasket. The ignition coil could be bad
 

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The problem is: It won't start so I can't take it anywhere to have it worked on or diagnosed and it's more difficult to go and get tools or parts. So I'm trying to diagnose everything with what I have to get to the root cause(s) before I replace parts. I've never timed a cam before, but it shouldn't be too hard.

Compressed air, fuel and spark. If one or more is missing, it won't run. I'm trying to rule out the spark as I already know it needs a new head gasket. The ignition coil could be bad
That's what tow trucks are for.

I'm guessing you probably don't have it timed properly. Engine timing isn't hard if you follow the proper procedure and use the proper tools.

If your worried about spark, buy a new coil. At 250,000 miles it's probably seen better days anyway.

I'm assuming by your post, you don't have a second vehicle or one you can borrow?

Do you have a service manual? If you don't, I do. I could scan the section on engine timing if you would like. But I'm pretty sure the 1.8L requires specific timing tools like the 1.4L does.
 

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If you pull all the spark plugs out. The crack turns really easy. Might need a ratchet and socket.

Line up the crank pulley. And both cams.

Belt on..

Spin crank 2 rotations and confirm everything is lined up..and button that baby up.
 

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Again there's no need to try to figure out the stroke progression or firing order, or what cylinder is at TDC.

You position the cams with the slots in the rear so that the tool would slide in properly(if your 180 out the slots will be upside down and below the valve cover mating surface) hold them there, and then position the sprockets and bolt them in place.

There's a sub $20US tool kit that allows you to do all this with virtually zero drama and no guessing. There's pictures of the proper orientation of the cams and gears and crank in other threads you've posted in. I'd recommend you stop f#cking about, stop trying to figure it out the wrong way and wasting time and effort. You can't reengineer the engine to start with the cams and sprockets in a different location that's convenient for you. LOL

All the information you need to have gotten this done in about 10 minutes is on this forum multiple times. You've chosen to ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's what tow trucks are for.

I'm guessing you probably don't have it timed properly. Engine timing isn't hard if you follow the proper procedure and use the proper tools.

If your worried about spark, buy a new coil. At 250,000 miles it's probably seen better days anyway.

I'm assuming by your post, you don't have a second vehicle or one you can borrow?

Do you have a service manual? If you don't, I do. I could scan the section on engine timing if you would like. But I'm pretty sure the 1.8L requires specific timing tools like the 1.4L does.
Tow trucks cost money. I'm not working and don't have money but I have time.
Autozone is a mile walk away.

mechanics cost money. Having a mechanic do it, I won't learn anything in the process also

I Macgyvered it. I figured out that the ignition is working by pulling the ICM out and putting a plug in the boot and then connecting a jumper cable to it and then the other end to ground. I cranked it and saw sparks on the sparkplug.

Setting TDC was easy that way too. Just raise one wheel. I already had the right one off. Put it in high gear. Using a four pronged lug wrench and an extension pipe, I got it precisely on TDC. And the cam was just a few degrees off. The way suggested on here works but it is good to verify and understand how things work.
 

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Tow trucks cost money. I'm not working and don't have money but I have time.
Autozone is a mile walk away.

mechanics cost money. Having a mechanic do it, I won't learn anything in the process also

I Macgyvered it. I figured out that the ignition is working by pulling the ICM out and putting a plug in the boot and then connecting a jumper cable to it and then the other end to ground. I cranked it and saw sparks on the sparkplug.

Setting TDC was easy that way too. Just raise one wheel. I already had the right one off. Put it in high gear. Using a four pronged lug wrench and an extension pipe, I got it precisely on TDC. And the cam was just a few degrees off. The way suggested on here works but it is good to verify and understand how things work.
Does it start?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Does it start?
Not yet. This afternoon I took the cylinder head off. I got the new head gasket. I rented a torque wrench and compression gauge from Autozone too. I'm going to clean the surface tomorrow. Then put the new gasket on.

I wasn't sure how much difference new head bolts make. They say the bolts should be replaced, but I want to make sure that it starts first. I'd hate to spend $40 on new bolts only to find that the engine won't start. I'm wondering if it will make a difference in whether it will start or not. If it starts, I'll replace the bolts with new ones.
 

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Not yet. This afternoon I took the cylinder head off. I got the new head gasket. I rented a torque wrench and compression gauge from Autozone too. I'm going to clean the surface tomorrow. Then put the new gasket on.

I wasn't sure how much difference new head bolts make. They say the bolts should be replaced, but I want to make sure that it starts first. I'd hate to spend $40 on new bolts only to find that the engine won't start. I'm wondering if it will make a difference in whether it will start or not. If it starts, I'll replace the bolts with new ones.
Head bolts are torque to yield. They need be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The bolts won't keep it from starting. But running it for any length of time should be avoided.
That's what I needed to know. If it runs, then I will make the fixes, such as new head bolts, new oil and coolant, coolant overflow canister, vacuum and pcv lines that broke. Oh, and I somehow lost a throttle body bolt. I'm not sure the effect that will have but will have to get another.
 
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