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timing belt shift = low power?

2583 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  auspilot
Okay, a shop replaced a leaking cam seal on my '98 a while ago and ever since the car seems to have low power. Not a huge difference, but still noticeable. Particularly in lower rpms, say around 2k.

So I go in to check valve clearance and this is what I see: With the crank pulley at the TDC mark, the cam shaft TDC mark is not exactly pointing up. Maybe 3/4 of a tooth advanced relative to the top. I'm just wondering if it should be exactly up. Another piece of info is that the spark timing does seem to be right where it should be (12 deg BTDC) when I check that with a timing light. Going the other way, if I make the cam mark point up exactly, the crank pulley is at about the 12 deg mark.

Crank pulley looks like this - shoult be at TDC (I added white paint at 12 deg BTDC mark to make timing more visible):

When crank pulley looks like above, cam looks like this:

Here's another view trying to show how the two marks that align with the head are off - you can just barely see them:

Would really appreciate any expert advice!!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll update this in case it might help someone later on. I took the car back to the shop and to make a long story short, the tech had used the 12 deg BTDC mark to line up the cam gear when replacing the timimg belt. (Apparently the white paint on the mark was the first thing that caught his eye instead of the correct TDC mark.) So it was 1 tooth off. Symptom was low power at lower rpm's, but not extremely low -if you had never driven the car before you might just think it was naturally sluggish.
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