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Old 07-27-2021, 08:54 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 14
simt is on a distinguished road
Timing the camshafts with engine at TDC

Hi all,
I'm wondering how close to TDC I need to be when I'm timing the crankshaft with the camshafts?

I've finished changing the timing chain on my BMW X5. It's a M57N2 diesel engine. The procedure gets you to lock the crankshaft by putting a pin into a special hole on the flywheel. This locks the engine at TDC. Then you can take the old chains off, put the news ones on, and you've kept your timing (You can also check and adjust the timing alignment on the camshafts whilst the engine's locked at TDC.)
Here's my problem though:
Name:  timingTDC.jpg
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The pic above shows how to lock the flywheel. But I ended up using a much thinner pin to lock it. Meaning I've got a bit of play and can go between positions 1-3. The procedure would state that the position at which I align camshafts and crankshaft would be #2. But from observing the first cylinder, it's actually closer to TDC at position #3.

Not sure whether to go with position 2 or 3. It's only a few degrees, does it matter?

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Old 07-28-2021, 09:45 AM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 10,861
andrewwynn will become famous soon enough
I would definitely get the correct size pin in there. Use a drill bit so you can step up in size until you find a perfect match
2011 E70 N55 (me)
2012 E70 N63 (wife)
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Old 08-18-2021, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 465
Russianblue is on a distinguished road
yeah you definitely need the correct pin. I just got thru doing this (TWICE) and even with the correct pin, there is a scant amount of play that could throw off your timing a degree or two.

2005 X5 3.0i - 71k mi (9.2018) -> 81k (9.19) -> 100k 9.21
SOLD : ( 2003 X5 3.0 - 177k mi (9.2018) -> 186k (9.19) -> 205k (9.21)
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SOLD : ( 1988 528e w/ Bullseye s256 / MS2 Extra / GC Coilovers / Yukon Coils ~ 300+ HP
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