timing chain yellow marks off 2 links to the right - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Corolla 9th Gen/1st Gen Matrix (2003-2008) 9th generation Corolla and 1st generation Matrix discussion.

 
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-19-2019, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question timing chain yellow marks off 2 links to the right

I bought a 2007 Toyota Matrix with 266k miles on it 3 months ago. I'm currently replacing my valve cover gasket because it leaked. While I've got the valve cover off, I'm checking on stuff. I've determined that my valve clearances are within tolerances, so now I'm looking at the timing chain. I've watched a number of videos about how the yellow timing marks are supposed to line up. Here is a video by Peter Finn:


It took me some rotations to get the EX dot on the left cam, to line up with the dot on the right cam, with the 2 yellow chain marks at the top and visible. I figure all these parts have some period of rotation and it took a couple of tries to get things lined up. With EX dot lined up, my yellow marks are 2 links right of where they should be. I can't figure out how to inline my images, so please see attached thumbnails.

I'm a bit lazy and have not removed a spark plug to tell if my #1 piston is top dead center. I'm still going up a bit of a learning curve. I believe I have already found something wrong. Did the chain jump at some point in its lifetime? What would be the consequences of that?

The only symptom of any kind of problem anywhere, is I've got mild vibration when the car is idling. It's slight, but it's consistently noticeable and there. I've read in the archives that this is a common problem for people with this car. I have not thoroughly evaluated my motor mounts to determine if there's anything wrong with them.

Per another thread, I had a funny noise coming from my accessory drive belt area. The drive belt was very old and replacing it made the noise go away. The drive belt tensioner is an OTICS and might be original from the factory. I know that tensioners can cause vibrations as they fail, but I haven't determined whether this one does. Again, lazy. I know that if I remove the belt, I could narrow it down further, but I kinda wanted to pat myself on the back about that job and call it done.

So I'm really asking, what are the likely consequences of a chain having jumped 2 links to the right? Need to do triage on the urgency, if any.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg yellow marks 2 to the right.jpg (132.6 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg exhaust and intake marks line up.jpg (97.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg exhaust cam mark.jpg (96.2 KB, 8 views)

working on new-to-me 2007 Toyota Matrix

Last edited by bvanevery; 05-19-2019 at 07:20 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-19-2019, 10:17 PM
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Crank pulley and chain cover should have marks.
Check everything and reinstall chain or replace it. You don't want bent valves.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 07:47 AM
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Ignore the chain marks. The ones that matter are on the camshaft sprockets and crankshaft pulley. If they all line up at TDC and then stay lined up when you crank it by hand for several revolutions you are good.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 12:05 PM
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Last month, i adjusted the valve clearance of my 2008 CE with 150K by using 10 new lifters and relocating 6 of my old ones. It takes several turns to match yellow marks with exhaust and inlet sprockets dots. Just take you time. It took me like 30 turns to set all the timing marks before remove the camshafts.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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With advice and poring over yet more videos, I finally found the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley. Boy I sure had trouble deducing that from internet videos! I could have used my old fashioned timing gun a couple months ago if I had known, but I hadn't done that sort of thing in ages, and it wasn't easy to see down there. Anyways, when the EX dot is aligned per my earlier photos, the timing is at 4 degrees. I don't know if that's good or not.


I haven't done top dead center testing with the #1 spark plug removed yet. When I removed it, I was quite surprised to find the electrode was deeply eroded and worn out. The gap is between 0.060 and 0.080 inches, I'm going to say 0.070 inches. That's way out of spec, and all 4 plugs are worn like this. There's also a black carbon ring around all the plugs. I wonder if that's a sign of overheating? None of the internet plug charts have commented upon a black ring specifically.



I'm surprised my car is running mostly ok, although I don't really have a basis of comparison for what it should be like. These are NGK Iridium BKR5EIX-11 plugs, mileage unknown. Of course they will be replaced. I wonder if I'll get any improvement in the vibration at idle when I'm done.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EX dot aligned at 4 degrees.jpg (55.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg eroded plugs have black rings.jpg (127.9 KB, 9 views)

working on new-to-me 2007 Toyota Matrix
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 03:22 PM
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Your timing is indeed off. I would fix it and replace your spark plugs with the OEM iridium plugs (NGK/denso) that are spec'd for the car. They last for 120K miles.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
With advice and poring over yet more videos, I finally found the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley. Boy I sure had trouble deducing that from internet videos! I could have used my old fashioned timing gun a couple months ago if I had known, but I hadn't done that sort of thing in ages, and it wasn't easy to see down there. Anyways, when the EX dot is aligned per my earlier photos, the timing is at 4 degrees. I don't know if that's good or not.


I haven't done top dead center testing with the #1 spark plug removed yet. When I removed it, I was quite surprised to find the electrode was deeply eroded and worn out. The gap is between 0.060 and 0.080 inches, I'm going to say 0.070 inches. That's way out of spec, and all 4 plugs are worn like this. There's also a black carbon ring around all the plugs. I wonder if that's a sign of overheating? None of the internet plug charts have commented upon a black ring specifically.



I'm surprised my car is running mostly ok, although I don't really have a basis of comparison for what it should be like. These are NGK Iridium BKR5EIX-11 plugs, mileage unknown. Of course they will be replaced. I wonder if I'll get any improvement in the vibration at idle when I'm done.
I don't think new spark plugs will improve anything. I would try to adjust spark plugs, center electrode is fine.

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Now I've tested with a pencil for top dead center. It always comes when the EX dot lines up. The crankshaft pulley marks have read 2.5 degrees or even 0 degrees, it seems to vary a little. For all I know, that could be the accuracy of how much I turn the crankshaft and perceive the pencil to be up and the Ex dot to be nearing its position. I don't know what the specs are, but this doesn't sound like a timing problem to me. Someone please explain if I'm missing something here and these readings are supposed to be super precise when I turn this by hand. I'd like to see how it does fully reassembled with a timing gun.

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car5car View Post
I don't think new spark plugs will improve anything. I would try to adjust spark plugs, center electrode is fine.

For the timing check, at this point it doesn't matter if they do or don't! I'm not convinced I even have a timing problem. Could be it just takes 30 to 50 revolutions to get those yellow marks where they're supposed to be. Saw a video about timing belt (not chain) stuff that said they were designed to hunt, to not engage the same teeth every revolution. Theory sounds good to me, and hey, I'll see what the timing gun says when it's all back together again.



This is the most worn out I've ever seen spark plug electrodes. I don't know if my photo is doing them justice, as it was awfully difficult to get my camera to focus on them. All of the tips are seriously dipped out and eroded to a cupped point. Those things start life as a rectangular piece of metal.


In my previous car I had a bunch of electrical problems that got me stranded for 10 days somewhere. I spent 10 days living out of my car doing field heroics, including taking off my intermediate pipe that didn't have anything wrong with it. Ultimately I had to replace spark plugs, spark plugs wires, my ignition coil, and my ignition control module. I believe the dying ignition coil caused all the damage. This taught me not to mess around with electrical stuff that's obviously wearing out. If you'd go ahead and risk the extra electrical strain from plugs that are so far out of spec, that's up to you. But I wouldn't, and I don't think people generally should. $22 worth of the same plugs ordered off of Amazon, should be here soon.


I would love it if new plugs ends my mild vibration at idle problem. I'd call myself lucky in that case.

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 06:59 PM
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Op, have you inspected the PCV and throttle plate? How about the intake manifold gasket?

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2012 Mazda 5

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 08:00 PM
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Your timing is fine, those links only line up when you're first installing the chain and then they'll only re-align once every million miles roughly lol.



Those spark plugs are worn out, the center electrode might be fine but that ground strap is badly eroded. Get some Denso TwinTip Iridium plugs, they run really nice in the ZZ engines.


At those miles the engine mounts were worn out 100,000 miles ago. Replace the passenger side mount with a new part from the dealer and it'll help with the idle an incredible amount.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
With advice and poring over yet more videos, I finally found the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley. .
there should be marks on cylinder head, you can also count chain links between cam sprocket marks.

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post #13 of 14 Old 05-30-2019, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I replaced my valve cover gasket and put everything back together again. Replaced the spark plugs. Haven't done lots of test driving but everything is working right. Car might be peppier from the new plugs.


I wanted to use my timing light to test the timing, but my light is "old fashioned" and expects a spark plug wire to be available to put the magnetic coil inductor around. No such thing on this engine. I have seen a video of someone taking out the #1 coil and adding some kind of an extender in between, along with a test light. However my test light alone doesn't reach far enough, as there's only so much play in the wiring harness. I can't for the life of me find this kind of extender online at any of the usual auto parts stores or Amazon, nor can I figure out what the thing is even called. Maybe if I go to a physical store I'll have better luck.


Or maybe someone here knows what the darned thing is called and where to buy it? I've marked this video so it starts when the extension tool is shown.



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Last edited by bvanevery; 05-30-2019 at 04:48 PM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-30-2019, 04:44 PM
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You will need a scan tool with live data monitoring to check timing
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