[V8] Dodged a major bullet

Dave Head v8q at bellsouth.net
Sat Jul 2 21:04:08 EDT 2005

I've been holding off posting until I got the car running. Started it 
today and breathed a major sigh of relief...

About 2 weeks ago I had to go in and replace the water pump. Since I was 
in a hurry I didn't approach it like a full timing belt job. My first 
mistake was in not pulling off at least one valve cover to check the TDC 
marks on the cam chain gears.
I ended up with the belt off and 180 out. By the time I had it figured 
out, I had one of the cam pulleys lose. Didn't realize that the cam 
locks were offset and wouldn't seat correctly with it out 180.
In tightening down the drivers side cam lock, I heard a 'tink'... To my 
horror I had broken the distributor mounting tab off of the last cam 
bearing. I was looking at doing a head replacement.
Talked with Keith and Bruce. Bruce stood by to ship me a head and 
gaskets if needed. Since it was a clean break we decided to try and have 
it welded up. The rear cam bearing has no real load on it (it isn't even 
listed in the torque procedure in the manual). It took me a few days, 
but I found an 'old time' machine shop. Dirty as hell, 2400 square foot 
building with 3+ of every machine tool, lathe and milling machine ever 
made (all in use) and a 6'x6' office. Not a guy there under 50.
The guy I talked with was worried the heat would warp it - I told him I 
wouldn't be out anything if it didn't work...
Came back the next day and he had done a great welding job. Owner asked 
me if I was paying 'cash, check, or charge'. I know this game!
"Need a receipt?"
"15 bucks."
"I'll give you 20..."

Took it home and put it on. I was quite worried as it didn't go on as 
easy as it came off. Had to wait about 10 days as the rain down here has 
been unrelenting. Finally got it together today. Whee! Good as new! What 
a frikkin relief!

FYI - if you are still having distributor oil leakage, take off the 
distributor mount (2 torx bolts - T27 I think)) and use some silicone 
gasket sealer on the flat gasket in there. I always thought it was 
leaking at the o-ring gasket on the distributor itself. It was actually 
always leaking at the mount seal!

Highly relieved.

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