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Super Moderator
1998 TLS; 2001 TLR; 200X TLRSF
4,699 Posts
...... I pulled the valve covers off, and found that the previous owner timed the rear cams to the F/T mark. Haven't pulled apart the front yet, but I am pretty sure I am going to find the front timed to the rear. There was also absolutely 0 valve clearance.
Newbie, I am fairly certain if the cam timing were that far off (that is, the rear cylinder timed to the F/T mark, and the front cylinder timed to the R/T mark) the engine would not run. Yet, in your first post you say it idles, albeit poorly.

Please have another look at the cam installation diagrams on pages 3-72 through 3-75 in the manual. You will see that BOTH cams are installed relative to the F/T mark, but with one crank rotation of separation between them. The markings on the cam gears are for the installation process, and they will not necessarily line up with the head on the TDC marks. Well, with the F/T mark, yes, with the R/T mark, no.

Notice the position of the cam lobes on the rear head during cam installation. The lobes are not at the TDC (R/T) position, and that's OK because the crank has just been turned 360 degrees to the F/T mark, so the front cylinder is again at TDC. The F/T mark is used for the installation of both cams because it provides state where things can be assembled without fighting spring tensions, and the alignment of the critical components can be marked and verified in a static state (without moving any parts to induce variables).

Well, that's my take. I know I had to look at things for quite some time the first time I had the cams out of mine.

I know I haven't covered all the bases here, but I suspect your situation is not as dire as you might think.

Have another look and let us know what you find.
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