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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone

I have a 2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8l LUW Manual Trans 148k. Unfortunately I had a spark plug shoot out of my cylinder head not once but twice stripping the spark plug threads beyond repair. So I decided to replace the cylinder head. The car is 95% back together just a few finishing touches I have not started it yet an I’m having second thoughts.

Im worried about timing. Although I got the timing marks correct I had to uninstall the cam sprockets from old head and reinstall on new head. If anyone here is familiar with the timing tools on a 1.8 there is a bar you slide in to a channel on the ends of both cams. After I torqued the new cylinder head to the block I realized one of the channels of the cams was perfectly horizontal and ready for the timing bar to be inserted while the other was almost vertical and cam would need to be turned in order to get the channel in position for the timing bar. It was the cam nearest the front of the engine I believe it’s the exhaust cam. I turned it clockwise until the channel in the back was able to accept teller timing bar. My question is how do I know this is tdc for the top end of the motor?

Additionally, I know I have the bottom end at TDC because I could see the pistons to verify/ timing marks lined up on crank gear and block/I used a flywheel lock to ensure the pistions would not move. But now I read about getting it at tdc on the compression stroke but I’m not sure if I was on the compression stroke when I locked the pistons at TDC. My question is how big of a deal would it be if I was not on the compression stroke but still at TDC when I start the motor for the first time?

between the two questions I’m worried that I might have gotten the timing wrong and could cause catastrophic damage when I try to start. Im almost done with putting the car back together just need spark plugs/ fluids/ install air filter box but if I need to tear it back down to the timing belt to get it right I will. Any help is appreciated.
 

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The piston is at TDC. There's no stroke.

The position of the cams is what determines the stroke. The cams either neither to be exhaust closing intake opening. Or 180* both closed.

Generally speaking. But the actual cams lining up might be different positions.

There used to be marks to line up. Apparently that method isn't used anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay so I feel better about the bottom end just need to sort out the top end. A little more detail I aligned the can channels and put the bare in to lock the cams then installed the cam sprockets with the timing marks aligned and sprockets where locked with locking tool before I torqued down the cam sprocket bolts. so the engine timing marks are fully aligned top end and bottom end .. I’m just worried if the position of cam was correct when I installed thr sprockets
 

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2015 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.4L Turbo
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I don’t believe e so I was able to turn the sprockets freely without the cams moving before I put the sprocket bolts on. It’s just a circle so you can insert the sprocket anyway you want
Is there a timing alignment tool kit for the 1.8L LUW?

That's how the timing is set on the 1.4L LUJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I have the timing tools they are different than the 1.4… in the 1.4 you remove a bolt on the side of the head to lock the timing sprockets. 1.4 is chain driven and 1.8 is belt driven. On the 1.8 you have to pieces of metal with teeth on one side and interlocking peice in the backside. They slide into the teeth on each cam sprocket and the lock together locking both sprockets from moving. My problem is I had to remove the sprockets and reuse them on the new head so I can time the motor based on timing markings (which I have done and everything lines up) but just because the cam sprockets timing marks line up doesn’t mean the cam is in the right spot because the sprockets could have been installed at the wrong cam orientation. So what looks right may not actually be right… or it may be right that’s why I’m having this conversation because I’m not 100% sure. This is an interference motor so I can’t get this wrong or it’s gonna be a problem.
 

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As a rule of thumb, when all of the valves are closed, the factory cams are normally in the correct orientation. Do the 1.8L cams have slots in the back like the 1.4L cams?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes there are slots just like 1.4.. the slots are slightly off center so you can have the channels horizontal at two different points but at the lower point the channels are too low and they sit below the surface of the head so you can’t get the timing bar in… so really there is only one position for the cams to be in in order to get the tool in. However I can’t see the valves anymore since I already installed the head so there is no way for me to verify visually. Is there some way to test timing without starting the engine? Like turning it by hand? If the valves are gonna hit the positions I’d rather it be with my hand than trying to start the car and slamming them into the pistons over and over
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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This is what the cam channels look like on the 1.8… notice it is off center of the circle. So the channel must be completely horizontal at its highest point to allow the timing tool to slide in.
 

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The timing set is how you verify timing. Install all of the timing tools with everythingin the correct position. Tighten the cam bolts to spec. Replace them if the are torque to yield. Remove all of the timing cools. Rotate the engine 2 full revolutions by hand. Verify the timing marks are in the correct location. If they are, re-install the timing tools. If the timing tools fit after the engine has been rotated, then the engine is in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you this makes complete sense. Maybe I am over thinking it. That is exactly how I installed the cam sprockets with everything aligned. so I will turn the motor 2 full revolutions and check the timing marks and reinstall timing tools to double check. Thanks again 👍
 

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Thank you this makes complete sense. Maybe I am over thinking it. That is exactly how I installed the cam sprockets with everything aligned. so I will turn the motor 2 full revolutions and check the timing marks and reinstall timing tools to double check. Thanks again 👍
Your welcome.
 
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