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Old 07-10-2021, 07:32 PM   #1
WeldonS
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Default Steel timing gear destroyed

Hello all. I'm new to posting on the forum. Bought a '29 CCPU several months ago and the forum has been a big help in "fixing" the "little" things that had to be done to be able to drive it around town. It was getting close until one day this week when it died on the way home from the grocery store. My son towed it home and I started looking for the problem. First thing I found was the distributor was not turning. Removed the distributor and found there was no drive. Thought it may be the oil pump or cam, but discovered the valves were not operating. Removed the timing gear side cover and found the timing gear chewed up. Looks like the gears were not properly meshing. Is there something besides an oversized timing gear that could cause that? Haven't removed the front timing cover yet to check crankshaft gear. Should I assume a complete engine tear-down will be required to remove the metal shavings? i appreciate all the expertise that is available on this forum..
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Old 07-10-2021, 08:16 PM   #2
alexiskai
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

I remember a similar case recently where the root cause turned out to be that the previous owner had made changes to the oiling system, and as a result the timing gear did not get lubricated as it should, and the teeth were worn down rapidly. This was an aluminum timing gear. The owner ended up pulling the pan and cleaning it out, but didn't find any metal shavings elsewhere in the system and thus didn't need a rebuild.

Pulling the timing cover is definitely the next step, and likely the pan as well if you're reasonably sure there are metal shavings coming off the timing gear.
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:43 AM   #3
john charlton
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

You will have to remove the front and little side timing cover . You will have to remove the front engine mount and support the the engine with a jack under the front of the oil pan . You MUST remove one bolt each side at the rear engine mount so the engine can tilt as you jack the front up a bit for better access . I you do not do this you can crack the flywheel housing ,trust me . The failure of the fibre timing is common the "Celeron" ones ones can be 90 or so years old . The steel crankshaft gear is normally OK and good to go . Before you fit the new timing wheel take a drill and deepen the timing "doke" a little bit makes it easier for the timing pin to engage . I would not bother with aluminium or fancy oversizes just a regular parts house gear will do just fine . Over thousands of miles I have never had a new cheapy one fail (touch wood !!!)

John in Suffolk County England.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:35 AM   #4
midgetracer
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

I have never seen a steel timing gear... only fiber, bras or aluminum.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:15 AM   #5
WeldonS
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

As brittle as it seems to be, could it be cast iron? What was original?
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

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Put a magnet on it and find out.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

Quote:
Originally Posted by john charlton View Post
You will have to remove the front and little side timing cover . You will have to remove the front engine mount and support the the engine with a jack under the front of the oil pan . You MUST remove one bolt each side at the rear engine mount so the engine can tilt as you jack the front up a bit for better access . I you do not do this you can crack the flywheel housing ,trust me . The failure of the fibre timing is common the "Celeron" ones ones can be 90 or so years old . The steel crankshaft gear is normally OK and good to go . Before you fit the new timing wheel take a drill and deepen the timing "doke" a little bit makes it easier for the timing pin to engage . I would not bother with aluminium or fancy oversizes just a regular parts house gear will do just fine . Over thousands of miles I have never had a new cheapy one fail (touch wood !!!)

John in Suffolk County England.
this is all sound advice, I am curious as to why removing only one engine mount bolt on each side....thanks
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

Timing gears often get chewed up by lack of lubrication to the distributor. Eventually, the distributor shaft seizes up. With pressure still on the system, the timing gear (cam gear) becomes the path of least resistance (again, usually fiber, bronze, or aluminum rubbing against a steel crank gear) and the teeth on the it start to get chewed up. This can be a slow process over time or happen immediately when the distributor seizes.

The other standard culprit is a pitted steel crank gear. While we like to believe these vehicles never saw any rough service or periods of disuse, after 90 years, most of them have had periods (short or long) where they have been laid up. this results in condensation inside the engine, settling of lubricant on anything that rests above the "full" line in the oil pan, and then rust sets in. I've pulled down my share of oil pans in running vehicles where everything inside looks factory fresh only to find crank gears with significant pitting on some or all of it's teeth. Even though the cam gear has a steady flow of oil flowing over it from the valve chamber, the pitting on the crank gear will eventually take it's toll on the softer cam gear.
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:18 PM   #9
john charlton
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

You only need to remove one each side which allows the rear of the engine to pivot as you lift the front . If you take both out the engine will become unstable as you lift the front .Leave both in you will distort the flywheel housing as you lift the front which could crack it .

John in Suffolk County England .
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Old 07-11-2021, 06:49 PM   #10
WeldonS
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

Gear is not steel. Non-magnetic. Will remove the front timing cover tomorrow, clean up, and check the condition of the crank gear. Distributor and oil pump shaft are not lubricated, but not seized.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

You have an aluminum gear then. I thought so too because I have never seen a steel timing gear only aluminum, bronze, or fiber.
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:33 PM   #12
WeldonS
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

Timing gear cover removed and crankshaft gear looks new, no damage or wear. The question now is whether or not I should remove the pan to check for metal particles, or did they come out in the oil?
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Steel timing gear destroyed

Feels like the potential risk (metal shards getting sucked into the oil pump or tossed into the bearings by the slingers) far outweighs the cost (replacing the pan gasket). And you still haven't identified the root cause that led to the timing gear getting no lubrication.
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