Cam Installation and Timing - 1996 3.5l DOHC


New member
Hello guys,
I'm on the finishing side of a top end rebuild. On the re installation of the passenger side camshaft, I had some issues with getting the sprocket to match the timing mark. The FSM shows dowel placement upon installation and this is how I installed them. This is a 6g74 from a 1996 Montero SR with a 197k.
Screenshot 2021-07-01 19.19.24.png
Now for the left bank (drivers side I'm assuming), the dowel placement put the sprockets pretty close to proper alignment. PXL_20210702_010952109.jpg
Now for the right bank, the intake cam is correctly placed according to the manual, but the exhaust cam is about 45 degrees off. With a cam sprocket holder, I will be able to align the timing marks when I do put the belt on. But they are pretty far off. When I originally installed them correctly, the marks were on opposite sides, just way out of wack. PXL_20210702_010946281.jpg
Does anyone know if this is ok as long as the marks are aligned when the belt is on? Or will this cause the timing to be off, despite the aligment?
Thanks in advance!


Expedition Leader
Not 100% sure this is your issue, but the cans won’t stay at the timing mark because the spring lifters are pushing them to rotate. You need to hold the cams in place manually with a simple box end wrench on each cam. Do NOT use a ratchet! With dual cams, some people zip tie them together while feeding the belt on, or set one cam, zip tie the belt to it, then, using the belt, set the second cam and zip tie that one on. The third mark should fall into place if you’ve been living right But it’s critical that all the timing marks line up and nothing is offset or out of phase.


New member
Thanks for clarifying that, but the issue I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is whether the dowel placement as is, with the timing marks being correct, safe or not.


As long as you have the cams in the correct locations, and the pulleys on the proper cams, it will all line up properly when putting the belt on. The passenger side head is a pain as it's very close to the "tipping point" (when the valve springs push it over and it rotates as NWoods indicated). I use small C-clamps to clamp the pulley and the belt together as I progress around the belt.


Well-known member
There are some sweet little toothed tools made to hold the sprockets in the proper location. I no longer try to fudge the job.
The marks cast in the heads and notches in the pulley are there for a reason.

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