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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my car sat for about a year. Finally got around to working on it and I've figured out the problem, just want to be sure on the next step before I break something.

Backstory first. The car sat for a year but ran fine before that. New battery obviously. Wouldn't start. Alternator was seized up, so new alternator and serpentine belt. Still not starting. So a new starter went in. Bingo. It runs like crap and the dash is a Christmas tree. Codes for both camshaft sensor circuits and a random misfire. This is where I (and probably you) was thinking bad gas. So I siphoned all the gas out by disconnecting the rubber hose going into the tank from the filler neck. A few gallons of fresh gas went in. No difference, still runs like hot garbage.
Checked power to the cam sensors, test light lit up so harness should be good. New cam sensors went in along with variable cam timing sensors (intake one was stuck, that was fun) STILL runs like dog poop.

Sooooo, I diagnosed it as the timing being off. Took timing belt cover off, valv cover off, ordered timing kit with TDC pin, cam sprocket locking tool and camshaft locking tool. New timing belt, tensioner, water pump.

The timing tools came in today. I put the TDC pin in and rotated the crank until it got TDC. Tool a look at the cam sprockets and they are at about 11 o'clock. Should be at 12. So obviously the timing is off about 10 degrees. Great, this explains the problem.

So how do I tackle this?

Remove the belt and rotate the cams until I can fit the cam sprocket locking tool? I guess I'm just really trying to make sure I do this correctly.
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Are you absolutely sure you are on the correct stroke of the engine? As per the manual "Using the crankshaft pulley bolt, turn the crankshaft clockwise until the markings on the camshaft phaser and sprockets are at the 11 o'clock position. Then install the top dead center pin. Rotate engine until it contacts pin." At that point your VCT alignment tool should fit properly. If not then yes, your timing is out. I replaced the belt and water pump last year and its not a difficult job but it was more involved because there is no crankshaft key.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

It's definitely off. Top dead center actually hits the pin at about 1 o'clock on the cam sprockets and that is also where the piston is at it's highest point by my measurements. Exhaust stroke is down around 6 o'clock somewhere.

My issue is I'm not sure how to line up the cams at TDC. I also haven't taken the belt off yet as I'm still trying to figure out the timing. If I lock the crank at TDC by using the flywheel lock, I don't know if adjusting the cams will damage anything.

Really just being super cautious. I have the manual also but it doesn't actually mention what to do if the cam timing is off.
 

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I think you need to proceed as if you were going to replace everything. Use the pin to find top dead center, remove belt and adjust cams to be able to install locking tool and carry forward. When I did my belt I also used the flywheel locking tool. You remove starter and install tool. I wanted to make absolutely sure nothing moved when I torqued the crank bolt. I have the Ford service manual if you need any information.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. Yeah everything was getting replaced anyhow. All said and done it will be battery, serp belt, alternator, starter, plugs, timing belt, and waterpump.

I'm assuming locking the crank at TDC using the starter lock pin before cutting the belt would be the way to do it? Camshaft wrench flats look to be 21 mm. Can you confirm?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thinking about it more, couldn't I just lock the camshafts at the correct spot, remove the belt, and rotate the crank to TDC?
 

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Absolutely. As long as they both jumped a tooth together. Was going to ask you, which cam holder did you get? I used the one that looks like an H and pops into the cams.
 

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