Great site. How many hours does it usually take to change the timing chain and gears on a 66 Lincoln A/C car with the motor in the car? Or is there any way [other than removing the timing cover] to check if they have been up graded to the steel set. My car is running fine, just a slight miss, worried it may still have the nylon gear set. 52,000 verified original miles.
Hi Greg –
The book time to replace the timing chain and gears is 4.8 hours and this time quote includes R and R the oil pan. If the oil pan is removed during the operation it can be cleaned and the timing gear plastic pieces can be removed if necessary. The actual time that the job will take can widely vary and is always dependent on the skill and experience of the mechanic.
Some owners have claimed that the condition of their gears can be seen by rotating the crankshaft CW and CCW while observing and looking for a corresponding movement of the distributor rotor. What you observe may only be normal timing chain wear though. If you have no knowledge or history of the engine’s maintenance and are sufficiently worried then you would need to remove the front cover and check the condition up close to be sure. With the cover off you also should consider the condition and age of the water pump, fan clutch, damper pulley and the power steering pump seals etc. When deciding whether or not to embark in this operation you should of course consider how you are using the car. If you are using it around town and not too far away from home then the choice to proceed would of course be much less urgent. If you are driving on long trips and concerned of a timing gear failure then your better choice may be to inspect the gear to put your mind at ease. It is a personal decision. Hope this helps.