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How to Replace the Timing Chain and Water Pump on a Ford 3.5L

Step by step instructions of how to replace the timing chain and water pump on a Ford 3.5L engine

Article Contents

Required Special Tools

Timing Chain Removal

  1. Follow service information to remove the engine timing cover to gain access to the timing chain.
Tip : Access to timing cover is minimal, engine removal is highly recommended
  1. Rotate the crankshaft and align the mark on the crankshaft sprocket to around the 4 o'clock position Watch
Tip : Colored chain links will not line up with crankshaft or camshaft sprocket marks during removal
  1. Check that the timing marks on the camshaft pulleys are in the correct location as pictured below Watch
    If marks are not visible, turn the crankshaft an additional 360 degrees
Tip : Timing marks on camshaft sprockets may be hard to see. It is recommended to mark them with a paint marker or equivalent as pictured below
  1. Install the camshaft holding tools to lock the camshafts and verify the correct engine timing Watch
  2. Remove the VVT housing assembly on both banks Watch
  1. Remove the 2 timing chain tensioner bolts and remove the timing chain tensioner Watch
  2. Remove the two larger timing chain guides Watch
  1. Remove the timing chain

Water Pump Replacement

  1. Remove the 8 bolts that attach the water pump to the engine block Watch
  1. Remove the lower bolt and loosen the upper bolt on the right bank smaller chain guide. Swing the chain guide out of the way and remove the water pump Watch
  1. Clean and inspect the water pump sealing surface
  2. Install the new water pump and the 8 bolts. Tighten the bolts in two stages using the sequence below Watch
  • Stage 1: tighten to 89 inch pounds
  • Stage 2: tighten an additional 45 degrees
Tip : Make sure to reinstall small chain guide and tighten to 89 inch pounds

Timing Chain Installation

  1. Inspect timing chain guides and replace all guides that show signs of wear
  1. Install the camshaft holding tools to lock the camshafts in place and to set the camshaft timing for chain installation
  2. Install the timing chain aligning the two identical colored links with the camshaft sprocket timing marks and the odd colored link with the crankshaft sprocket timing mark Watch
Tip : You may need to rotate the engine slightly to remove slack from the timing chain in order to get the chain to align
  1. Reinstall timing chain guides and torque bolts to 89 inch pounds Watch
  2. Install timing chain tensioner and torque bolts to 89 inch pounds Watch
Tip : If reusing the old timing chain tensioner, you must reset it by rotating the locking lever counterclockwise and compressing the plunger with a soft jawed vise. Then align the hole with the hole in the tensioner housing and install a suitable locking pin
  1. Double check that timing chain marks are lined up and the chain is seated correctly. If ok pull the pin on the timing chain tensioner Watch
  1. Remove camshaft holding tools and rotate the crankshaft around two complete revolutions Watch
  2. Recheck the engine timing by reinstalling camshaft holding tools Watch
Tip : Colored chain links WILL NOT line up with crankshaft or camshaft sprocket marks after turning engine over, this is normal
  1. Reinstall the VVT housings and torque bolts to 89 inch pounds using the sequences below
Tip : Before installing VVT housings make sure to inspect and replace any O-rings that show signs of wear or damage
  1. Reverse procedure to reinstall timing chain cover and engine components

For more information, questions, or help diagnosing your vehicle, contact the GoTech technical support team via phone or chat below.