Timing tools are simple components, usually in the form of locking pins and plates or blocks. When used properly, they help set or maintain camshaft timing in your vehicle. Not if you use them incorrectly. Use the following tips to make sure your engine or camshaft timing tool is installed correctly.
Always use proper timing tools. Many automotive timing tools come with a manual on how to plug in the tools they contain. To avoid improper installation, use the correct tool for a specific part, always refer to the manual and know the identification of each tool in the kit. Some kits provide generic applications. However, this does not mean that they are suitable for all engine types.
Never force a timing tool into place. Never use force or leverage to insert a locking pin or locking plate, no matter how tempting it may be. Doing so risks damaging the tool or even locking up the timing gear. Instead, install them gently. If you have to force it into a slot or any other opening, you may also be using the wrong type of timing tool, which is not advisable.
Never start the engine with the timing tool in place. The engine timing tool locks the timing gears and other components in place. Therefore, starting the engine with the tool in the holes and slots may cause damage to the tool itself and the locked components. Before starting the repair process or tool installation, make the necessary preparations. These include shutting down the engine and disconnecting the battery.
Remove all timing tools after use. When you're done servicing engine parts or replacing a timing belt or chain, it's critical to make sure you don't have any locking tools installed. To avoid this, always refer to your timing tool kit and manual for each types of automotive tools in the kit. This way, you'll easily identify missing parts and avoid damaging your car's engine components.
All car timing tools are not created equal. There are thousands, if not hundreds, of locking tools in terms of shapes and sizes. Don't expect tools from different engines to look the same. A timing toolset from one manufacturer will also not match another's. In addition to differences in design, the number of tools in a set or kit varies widely, with some having fewer than ten pieces and others having more.