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Northstar timing chain tip
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 12/12/2006 5 Replies

With 4 cams, 3 chains & 6 sprockets, these Northstars can be a bit tricky to set up. One tooth off on any of the camshafts & you will know right away on startup... usually you will get misfires on the WHOLE bank. Easiest way to tell with the misfire graph on the Tech2.

The cam sprockets come marked LE - left exhaust, LI - left intake, RI - right intake, & RE - right exhaust. The RE has the dowel pin for the camshaft sensor trigger & must be positioned with the RE mark up!!! The LE & LI sprockets are the same & can be flipped around to fit the position you need. The RI sprocket has both the RI & RE marks on it, but (believe it or not) can only be fitted on the right intake cam!!!

Now to line these things up when setting up your chains. The intermediate sprocket & crankshaft sprockets should be lined up like this: [1996 Cadillac Eldorado, Engine/Propulsion Photo]

All the cam dowel pins should point 90 degrees from the top edge of the head. We use a piece of plexi-glass with a straight edge to check the camshaft positions. Makes it a lot easier to see if everything is straight... especially if you have to reset the camshafts in the car.

The best position to check your marks is straight in front of the camshaft you are checking.

Here is an pic. [1996 Cadillac Eldorado, Engine/Propulsion Photo]

Here's a top view, just as if it was in the car (there is very little space when the engine is in the car). [1996 Cadillac Eldorado, Engine/Propulsion Photo] The white marks are for your benefit.

An another pic [1996 Cadillac Eldorado, Engine/Propulsion Photo]

Juan from California

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