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Timing Chain Change

New 10/12/2004

Ed Note - Sometimes the smak just has to be included to get the full benefit of the thread. Here in all it's glory is.......

How easy/hard is it to change a timing chain on 96 SHO??

Bill T.

I can't say how long, but curiosity makes me ask ..........

Why would you need to change the timing chain ?.

Rick Glass

Requires about 3 to 4 hours, removal of the timing chain cover, harmonic balancer pulley, idler pulley, degasser tank, and several hidden 8mm bolts not to mention a very good understanding of multi-cam timing as well as a very good description or picture of the crank-counter-balance-shaft-all and the primary sprocket positions or tool. The chains ratcheting spring loaded self adjuster is lots of fun to properly set up to.

Carter Fuji

Do you need a Smack for this one? Poor Form Sir. :-(
3 - 4 hours? Puh - LEEEEEZE !
Try 30 - 40 hours for the average SHO Owner? More like it.
Maybe you can. Maybe Kirk can. Maybe I can. That's about it for the under 20 hour clan.
(Ok, Maybe Scott and 3 or 4 others)
Start by asking if the candidate even HAS a deep well 12 mm socket.
Eric Lehmann

The Front cover has to come off the motor. All the pulleys come off and then the cover.  Why? The timing chain is NOT an issue on these motors. The cams ARE.

Eric Lehmann

Who said I was doing the job????

Bill T.

Even WORSE. At least we can talk YOU through it.  Furd Mechanics no everything and CANNOT be taught. They DO, However, Charge a MIGHTY Hourly Rate  Not to mention the "Secret Agenda" of Silence that the Furd Dealers seem to subscribe to With Regards to SHO V8's.

Eric Lehmann

20+ hours labor, need a lift & special tools.


....ziiippp got to be the worst sound in the whole galaxy!!!

Larry Eck

When I was a Fud mechanic the stealer advisor agenda regarding SHO was to price it high and hope it went elsewhere, same thing with contour SVT V-6 cars. Apparently most of the owners were as much a pain in the arse as their cars were to work on they just didn't want to deal with any of it.


Not to mention the proper ratcheting end wrenches.. I could probably swing it in the car in 12 or so as a guess...


You do not need a lift and you do not need any special tools. The timing cover can be removed with the engine in place, just need to lower the sub frame to get the damper pulley off the crankshaft. The timing cover is removed with one of the idler pulleys in place, because the bolt is too long to remove from the cover (hits the body of car). You have to pry the cover off, as it is sealed with silicone. I have removed the cams from two cars. The first time was long, because I was unsure how hard to pry on the timing cover to loosen it. The second time was much quicker. Three to four hours is right.

As far as replacing the chain, you can carefully mark the existing chain and then transfer the marks to the new chain. It is very hard to keep all the sprockets from turning, as the cams are linked with chains and the valve spring pressure can cause the cams to move ever so little. The description of setting the timing from scratch is confusing and I would not want to try and replicate it.

I am not saying this is an easy job and it certainly appears intimidating. But, with some mechanical skills and patience, you can be successful.



The Middle Idler (I think that is the one) that hits the body of the car... It can be removed, just use an end wrench to finish it off, leave the sub frame bolted up to the car and it will come out (May have to jack the engine slightly or loosen the A/C lines along the passengers frame rail to get the head of the bolt past the line and then out). One tip here, if you are using non-reversible ratcheting wrenches don't back any of the idlers out so far that you can't get the wrench off, because then you are somewhat stuck, unless you can get creative with inferior tools (like a needle nose vise grips and such to turn the bolt back in to get your wrench off).

Also on my 96 I left the sub frame in place to do everything, including pulling the Crank pulley... Maybe this is only possible on 96's which have the different sub frame position by 1/2". I've never pulled the crank pulley from the 99....

This will make getting the timing cover off much easier as there isn't any extra space to wiggle it out of there.

Scott Krietemeyer
99 TG
96 MG

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