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Timing cover & chain sets ??

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  • Timing cover & chain sets ??

    With a few frozen water pump bolts, I get the sinking feeling that I may wind up with the timing cover off the vehicle in the next year or so.

    Thinking ahead... What do I need to look out for on the timing cover as far as needing to repair / replace it while it's off?
    Summit Racing sells two different covers, both with pretty poor reviews stating leaks from something to do with the oil pump on one and distributor holes that don't line up on another.
    I know Bulltear sells one but at $300 I'd rather fix or reuse the OEM if at all possible.
    Then, timing chains, I think SC397 prefers the Cloyes? Or if you see this, SC, do I recall that you sell chains with the cam gear brazed over / slotted correctly ?

  • #2
    The repops are junk. Bulltear takes a turd and polishes it. it's still a turd in my book.

    pits in the water channels can often be welded up. if your oil pump cavity is decent run with it. if not find a better original.

    The timing chains are a non issue, any of them will work but I like Cloyes. just make sure you check the oil groove on any of them .


    • #3
      I had someone tell me that Street Cloyes is not available any more. I just detailed a timing set and looked over a new timing cover for the same guy. I will post up pictures on what to look for when I get a chance but I am like 440sixpack, I prefer to rework a stock timing cover if at all possible.

      FYI - I just bought a couple of the stock Summit sets and a couple of the double roller Milodon sets and both are just SA Gear units reboxed.
      Last edited by SC/397; 09-26-2017, 06:45 AM.
      The Squeaky Wheel gets replaced in my world


      • #4
        Ok, good to know. I won't drop the extra coin if it's the same parts.
        What exactly is the issue with the oil groove? I notice some cam gears are cut with more slots, some with fewer. I think it was two slots on the OEM part..? The units with too many grooves cause a problem?


        • #5
          This is the Summit single chain Timing Set. You can see the "SA" on it so it is basically a re-boxed SA Gear unit. I don't like the 6 grooves in front. Way too big and not needed. It is just a leak path. They are there to throw oil out to the chain but there is pleanty of oil at the bottom of the chain - if you remember to put the oil slinger back on.
          SummitTC by Rick Jones, on Flickr
          Here is the Milodon part with the same "SA" on it. Again, I ddon't like the 6 grooves in front so, I will braze 5 of them shut. I leave the 6th one at the key way alone.
          MilodonTC by Rick Jones, on Flickr
          After I brase the grooves shut.
          GearRework by Rick Jones, on Flickr
          This is a Isky cam. I had a old drill bit that I ground to a point to use as a indicator. I stick the indicator in the oil hole in the cam that feeds the distributor gears and then locate the timing gear on the woodruf key in the cam. The oil cavity in the Timing Gear is pretty close on this one. I will just touch it up a bit with my die grinder. Some are off half a slot depending on brand timing sets and brand of cam.
          Milodon1 by Rick Jones, on Flickr.
          I also clean out the oil transfer slot through the gear to the distributor gear. Some of these are really bad.
          Mildon3 by Rick Jones, on Flickr
          Last edited by SC/397; 09-26-2017, 06:16 AM.
          The Squeaky Wheel gets replaced in my world


          • #6
            Here is what I look for in regard to after market timing covers. I believe that is one from Bulltear. Regardless, I check them all out the same way.
            The first thing I do is bench fit the distributor and oil pump with no gasket under the distributor.
            Tcover1 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            The oil pump gear and the distributor line up ok in this cover. I have had to use 2 distributor gaskets on one of the after market distributors before it wouldn't bind on the oil pump gear. This stock dizzy is ok.
            Tcover2 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            Then I temporily mount the timing cover to the block and stab the distributor and oil pump gear. Everything seems fine with no binding. If the cover was bad, I wouldn't be able to install the distributor. The distributor should not have to be forced to go in to the cover and mesh with the cam gear.
            Tcover4 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            This is one area that I don't like on the after market timing covers. This little chamfer is nothing but a leak path and shouldn't be there. I help the issue out a little by hand lapping the surface.
            Tcover5 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            I hand lap the gasket surface to get near zero end clearance with the gasket installed.
            Tcover6 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            With the oil pump cover installed, the gear should spin easy by and and have very litle end play (up and down).
            Tcover8 by Rick Jones, on Flickr

            The last thing I do is chase all of the threads with a tap - even on a brand new one.
            Tcover7 by Rick Jones, on Flickr
            Last edited by SC/397; 09-28-2017, 08:33 AM.
            The Squeaky Wheel gets replaced in my world


            • #7
              Beware there are 2 aftermarket covers

              1. Taiwan
              2. China

              Any cover under $200 is a chinese knock off or a bad taiwanese cover. Even the taiwanese cover has evolved many times. It will have a batch code in the form of a letter on top the probe hole casting area.
              AMC/Jeep Forum
              Custom machined AMC/4X4/Race
              "We offer performance, reliability and customization for your AMC V8"


              • #8
                I wonder what the difference in metalurgy is between the OE and the aftermarket ones.
                The Squeaky Wheel gets replaced in my world


                • #9
                  Hard cheddar vs mild cheddar
                  Originally posted by Hankrod
                  Ristows right.................again,

                  Originally posted by Fasts79Chief
                  ... like the little 'you know what's' that you are.

                  Originally posted by Fasts79Chief
                  I LOVE how Ristow has stolen my comment about him ... "Quoted" it ... and made himself famous for being an ***hole to people. Hahahahahahahahahha!

                  It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting...and knitting...and knitting...and knitting...


                  • #10
                    This is an interesting thread. Thanks to SC/397 for posting all the pictures and discussion.
                    Tim Reese
                    Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
                    Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
                    Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
                    GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
                    ECO Green: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk


                    • #11
                      I've had good luck with the carquest double roller. Really good quality, appears to be made by cloyes
                      1983 Cherokee Laredo. 360/ 727/ np228/ Junkyard 7427 TBI/ Msd ignition


                      • #12
                        SC/397...What is your opinion on using the steel mid plate between the timing cover oil pump housing and the oil filter housing?
                        1988 GW (2)
                        1980 Cherokee Laredo
                        1979 Wagoneer
                        1976 J10 401
                        1977 Wagoneer 401
                        1977 J10 4 speed
                        1969 J3000 (2)
                        1955 CJ3B
                        1964 Wagoneer


                        • #13
                          I don't use them but others have used them successfully. There is always going to be some ware either on the plate (or aluminum oil pump cover) or the gears. My opinion is that I would rather have shards of aluminum going through my engine over steel or stainless steel ones. Again, this is my opinion.
                          The Squeaky Wheel gets replaced in my world


                          • #14
                            Wow. I never said thank you!
                            Thanks! A bunch!
                            I made a .PDF of this page in case the linked pictures ever go dead. If anyone reads this in that dystopian future - PM me


                            • #15
                              Thanks so much SC397! You are a stunning wealth of information and I sincerely appreciate how much you freely share it. I've owned my CJ7 for 21 years and getting ready to build a 360 to drop off in it. The 258 simply will not die so it will be kept should it ever be needed but I picked up a clean 360 out of a 79 grand Wagoneer that is currently sitting on my motor stand.