Timing chain symptoms

i have a 87 lin town car 302 v-8 110,00mi. i know your going to tell me with the mi. it should be changed i’m waiting for my stimulus ck. so i can help the economy, did i hear someone laughing, i would like to know what symptoms to key on if timing chain isn’t acting right thanks

There are few if any symptoms of impending failure with timing chains…You can remove the distributor cap and watch the rotor as you rotate the engine back and forth by hand. Rotate the engine a little clockwise until the rotor begins to move. Then rotate it counter-clockwise until the rotor begins to move again. The delay in rotor movement is the slop in the chain…Ten degrees of rotation is OK, but you don’t want too much more than that…Many 302 Fords go 200K without chain failure. They seldom fail by the way, they just get so loose they start jumping teeth (which may be plastic) the engine goes out of time and stops running or refuses to start.

caddyman thanks for the very helpful info i will give it a shot. the reason why i asked was in the morning if i don’t let the car warm up when i go down the road and step on the gas i get a shuttering,for a couple of mi. at a certain speed then it is fine the rest of the day.i cleaned out the throttle chamber i guess i will start changing the dis, rotor, wires and plugs and hope it’s not one of the sensors? i already changed the coolant sensor thanks again you guys are great

You will know something is wrong by a large possibility of symptoms. Hot engine or stalling when you hit the gas. Low power or backfiring through carb. Lots of possibilities. Your engine doesn’t have a specific change interval. They mostly wait until it has problems.

i’m pretty certain that the timing gears on your vehicle are steel. i have an 86 and an 87 5.0 and both had steel gears. an excessively worn chain may rattle, the engine may idle erratically, etc.

the best way to determine if the chain is worn is to connect a timing light and watch the timing mark. if the mark is steady the chain is fine; if the mark wobbles around the chain is worn.
with only 110k miles my opinion would be that the chain is more than likely good and it should outlast the car.

IF, you actually need a chain set then the aluminum timing cover should be inspected very closely where it mates against the engine block. age/old coolant often erodes the aluminum away and they will leak coolant. this may often be misdiagnosed as a faulty water pump.
hope that helps.

pleasedodgevan and ok4450 thanks for the expert help, i’m feeling a lot better

I had a 75 pickup with a 302 and a vacuum gauge mounted on the dash for economy driving. I decided to put in a new timing chain and gears (they were cheap) when I replaced a leaking front seal. My vacuum increased over an inch. I had no signs of a problem, just was looking for a little project.