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1992 Coupe de Ville 4.9L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

While doing my timing cover gasket on my beloved 1992 Coupe de Ville, I noticed that my timing chain was stretched. I ordered a Cloyes timing set, easy. But, when I read the procedure in the FSM, it tells me I have to remove the cam sprocket thrust button to get the cam sprocket bolt and discard it. Then, when reassembling it, it wants me to replace it with a new one. That wouldn't be a big problem if it weren't for the fact that I called 3 dealers who confirm that part isn't available anywhere (part # 01637031). There doesn't seem to be any aftermarket ones on RockAuto or anything, either! 🤷‍♂️

Is there any harm in reusing the old one? Is there maybe some aftermarket/generic solution to this?

Most importantly, if I were to reuse this one, how do I get it off without damaging it? I'm sorta new to tinkering with the actual guts of my engine, so I appreciate your patience.

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By the way, the car has 118,000 miles, just for the record.
 

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70 Deville 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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The gears look fine and the chain doesn't look that loose. Most people run these over 200k miles with no problems. It's not like Japanese cars that need a timing belt every 90k miles. I have never had a vehicle yet that used one time use bolts but I have heard of them. I wouldn't have a problem re-using one. They can't make steel that cheesy can they? If it's a common thread I would just buy a real bolt at a hardware store. Just my .02
 

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1992 Coupe de Ville 4.9L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The gears look fine and the chain doesn't look that loose. Most people run these over 200k miles with no problems. It's not like Japanese cars that need a timing belt every 90k miles. I have never had a vehicle yet that used one time use bolts but I have heard of them. I wouldn't have a problem re-using one. They can't make steel that cheesy can they? If it's a common thread I would just buy a real bolt at a hardware store. Just my .02
Hey Al,
Thanks for the reply. I was taken by surprise when I checked the chain too, but it would explain why my timing mark jumps around when I set the ignition to base timing, even after double, triple, quadruple checking for vacuum leaks.

Here's a vid of the slack in the chain, you can actually hear it when you tap it!

I wasn't quite referring to the cam sprocket bolt, though, I was referring to the cam thrust button. Apparently, it's necessary so the camshaft doesn't walk from side to side.
 

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70 Deville 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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OK I see the problem now. If you could find the part number for that button you may be able to google it and find it on ebay or something. If there is no replacements available then you will have to be very careful and try to re-use the one you have. I have never seen one that looks like that. You can't run it without it either. If you got a stock replacement timing chain you could re-use that top gear or both gears and not disturb the cam button.
 

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1984 Eldorado Biarritz, 1983 Sedan deVille
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There are none of them available unfortunately. You can reuse it with no problem. Remove it with care!

The slack is normal and the new chain will develop the same condition as soon as it breaks in.
 

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1992 Coupe de Ville 4.9L
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys. I'll do a double-take on the wear by hand-turning the crank and checking the actual slack between the gears. If it's good enough I won't touch it. I'll just seal the timing cover up and forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hey guys, just following up on my timing cover adventure here. Al and Smokus were totally right, there doesn't seem to be any delay in the cam rotating whenever I turn the crank. The timing chain is perfectly fine and the two marks land directly in time with one another.

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Sadly, when I went to seal up my timing cover, I learned the hard way I had a defective gasket! I torqued everything to spec and when I got back from a break to put my tire on, it looks like someone squished blue Skittles underneath my bolt holes! Grrrr.. It's cracking from around the bolts. I was hoping it was just the Hylomar I used oozing out, but I confirmed it was indeed gasket material.

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The good news is that NAPA has another Fel-Pro timing gasket set for my car available Monday, so no biggie, I guess. Good thing I used Hylomar so I can just get the old junk off with carb cleaner.
 

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1984 Eldorado Biarritz, 1983 Sedan deVille
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It might be in your interest to just try some regular RTV (if you want to add any sealant at all) and let it set up before torquing. Looks like whatever you're using is making it too slippery and the seal is moving. The timing cover is not torqued on that tight at all, so maybe the sealant is causing the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It might be in your interest to just try some regular RTV (if you want to add any sealant at all) and let it set up before torquing. Looks like whatever you're using is making it too slippery and the seal is moving. The timing cover is not torqued on that tight at all, so maybe the sealant is causing the issue.
Sounds like a plan. What's crazy is that the top bolts had a much higher torque spec (30 ft-lbs) than the bottom Torx screws (17 ft-lbs), yet the top part of the gasket is intact while the bottom is screwed. I wanted to try using sealant like Hylomar because I discovered the PITA that is trying to scrape ancient paper gasket while changing out the water pump.

Edit: I also wanted to say that the gasket material also looked different than Fel-Pro's other paper gaskets. Like, it looked "grainier" and not cut as well. I didn't think much of it initially but now I realized this should have raised some red flags. Could I have possibly received a counterfeit?
 

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1984 Eldorado Biarritz, 1983 Sedan deVille
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Hmm, not sure. Maybe check the box when you buy the next one. As you're well aware now, this is a job that you'd rather not do twice!
 

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1992 Coupe de Ville 4.9L
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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70 Deville 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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Do you think the gasket was defective or was it squeezes too tight? Can you even fit a torque wrench in there? Personally I don't use a torque wrench on non critical components. With 40+ years of wrenching my wrist knows the torque needed. A novice that doesn't wrench every day should use a torque wrench to get it right. I have never trusted clicker torque wrenches due to bad experiences and I only use beam type torque wrenches. I have seen too many bolts snap waiting for the click. That is another issue for another day. Just be careful you don't strip any bolt holes and I hope the 2nd gasket goes in like it's supposed to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Alright guys, I did take two today with the Fel-Pro paper gasket set I got from NAPA. The gaskets looked much better this time around. I wish I had taken photos of the carnage on the old gaskets, they flaked apart like they were 20 years old.

Freakin' idiot me stripped the Torx screws off the water pump when torquing them because I used the wrong socket. T45's, people, not T40's! I made an emergency trip to the local junkyard and found that 1986-1991 Eldorados have those screws staring right at you. Easy as pie to remove after you've cut the belt and gotten the water pump pulley out of the way (remember to loosen the water pump pulley bolts with the drag of the belt before you cut it!), takes 10 minutes tops.

HOWEVER, the same thing happened with these new gaskets, the bottom 4 bolts hemorrhaged gasket material. I'm done with paper gaskets. I'll be ordering an actual ACDelco rubber-on-aluminum gasket now. Why didn't I do this in the first place? I'm hesitant to use General Motors gasketing. It always starts leaking too soon.

I hope I'm not warping the water pump by torquing it to spec and then removing it multiple times!

Do you think the gasket was defective or was it squeezes too tight? Can you even fit a torque wrench in there? Personally I don't use a torque wrench on non critical components. With 40+ years of wrenching my wrist knows the torque needed. A novice that doesn't wrench every day should use a torque wrench to get it right. I have never trusted clicker torque wrenches due to bad experiences and I only use beam type torque wrenches. I have seen too many bolts snap waiting for the click. That is another issue for another day. Just be careful you don't strip any bolt holes and I hope the 2nd gasket goes in like it's supposed to.
It seems to me that after 2 tries with Fel-Pro paper gaskets, they just don't cut it. I'm following the GM factory torque specs from the FSM and they still destroy themselves. The puzzling part is that they break at the spot with lower torque specs!

I can fit a torque wrench in there because I'm using an engine hoist to raise and lower the engine past the frame rail. I have a brand-new ACDelco digital torque wrench I'm using.
 

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I hope it's the 3/8 torque wrench and not the 1/2". It sounds like those bolts are getting too tight and they don't need to be very tight. GM makes a rubber gasket for that cover? cool.
 

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1984 Eldorado Biarritz, 1983 Sedan deVille
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Sorry to hear that. I think there’s too much torque going on here.

please let me know if you find a rubber gasket for this engine. I had no idea they made them.
 

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1992 Coupe de Ville 4.9L
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hope it's the 3/8 torque wrench and not the 1/2". It sounds like those bolts are getting too tight and they don't need to be very tight. GM makes a rubber gasket for that cover? cool.
Sorry to hear that. I think there’s too much torque going on here.

please let me know if you find a rubber gasket for this engine. I had no idea they made them.
The part number is ACDelco 03521905.

My torque wrench is an ACDelco ARM315-3A digital 3/8". Great little tool and a ridiculously detailed calibration cert.


I still say 30 ft-# is way too tight for a chain cover. Are you sure the FSM didn't say INCH #
I promise. Here's a pic from the engine specifications page.

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70 Deville 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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Well, if the gasket squeezes out again then your torque wrench must be off. I can turn 17 ft lbs with just my wrist on a regular size 3/8 ratchet and be close enough. I'll cross my fingers for you.
 
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