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Setting Cam Timing on the 2.2 and 2.5 Liter Engine

I have advanced the cam on two 2.2 engines, one in a 87 Daytona (turbo), and one in a Shadow (NA). The results were the same on both. More low end torque, and better gas mileage. [Webmaster note: these results are reported by many other people as well, but none provided us with details on how to do it!]

The advance was accomplished by moving the cam gear one belt tooth clockwise, being sure not to slip the belt on the crank gear.

To advance the cam timing the cam gear must be moved forward clockwise from its normal alignment position while all other gears remain in their normal alignment position. Moving the cam gear one tooth clockwise advances the cam timing 9 (nine) degrees.

This can be easily accomplished. The following procedure will get it done without major teardown.

1. Remove the timing belt cover.

2. Rotate the engine until the cam is in the alignment position. (Refer to alignment details in a repair manual for this information if needed.)

3. Remove the distributor cap and mark the location of the rotor so it can be rechecked after advancing the cam gear.

4. Remove the cam bolt.

5. Scratch a small mark on the timing gear and belt so a reference will exist indicating original position.

6. Slide the cam off the shaft, holding the belt and cam together. Be sure to keep the belt in tension so it will not change its location on the crank and distributor gears.

7. Carefully move the cam one notch clockwise from its original location on the timing belt, and reseat the cam gear on the cam shaft. This will require starting the cam gear on the cam shaft and rotating the engine using the cam gear to realign the camshaft key and timing gear keyway.

8. Re-install the cam bolt and tighten to specifications.

9. Rotate the engine until the rotor is located at the same place it was prior to cam advance.

10. Check the location of the cam gear and verify it is now clockwise the distance of one notch from where it was when originally aligned.

11. Start the engine. It should sound normal, with perhaps a little better off idle throttle response.

12. If problems are encountered starting the engine, the belt may have slipped on the distributor or crankshaft gear. This will require a realignment of these gears. This can be accomplished by removing the number one spark plug, and rotating the engine until pressure is felt at the spark plug hole. Then using a plastic spray can tip extension or similar item for a feeler in the spark plug hole to follow the piston position, continue to rotate the engine until the feeler stops moving up and then starts down. Rotate the engine back until the piston is at top dead center. (Slight rotation of the crank does not move the piston.)

13. Check the location of the rotor, and verify it is at the marked location prior to advancing the cam.

14. Check the cam alignment and verify it is one notch clockwise from original location.

15. If there are any deviations from these locations the gear that moved will have to be repositioned. Usually if movement occurs it will be the distributor gear. If it has moved, it will have to be realigned. The belt will have to be removed insuring the cam gear and crankshaft are not moved. Then with a screwdriver or similar device, rotate the distributor gear to move the rotor to the marked position. Reinstall the belt.

16. Normally the tensioner will not have to be readjusted unless the belt seems loose.

Good on ya'all.

Additional notes on cam timing

Ric DiDonato wrote: I read Leon Wizorek's technique published on allpar and used it to advance my timing yesterday. I had a problem that I'd like to point out to any future DIYers. After advancing the cam and making certain that all other items were within spec as stated in the instructions, I started my car and it shook like crazy and billowed black smoke out the exhaust. I spent about four hours disassembling things and trying to figure out what was out of whack. Since I hadn't done anything else to the car I assumed it was acting this way because I'd slipped the belt on the other gears. It turns out that I had inadvertantly disconnected a vacuum line while taking the timing belt cover off. I did not see it because the connection was wrapped inside the wire loom behind the valve cover. Lesson learned.

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