does it matter when the cams are removed what TDC (top dead center) the crank is at?

To my understanding cylinder 1 at TDC with the timing mark lined up, then installing the cams will then set what stroke the engine is on (which I figure it will set to TDC on compression on number 1).

FYI the engine is a F18D3, installed in a Daewoo Lacetti/Holden Viva. I have checked the flywheel and can not find any marks to indicate correct TDC.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Dec 17 '19 at 22:48

On a 4-stroke engine, when #1 is at TDC, it's at TDC. It doesn't matter at that point if the cam(s) are not connected. Once you align the cam timing mark(s), then you'll set which stroke you are on.


Be careful when you're setting the timing and moving the crank without the cams connected. You run the distinct risk of damaging something if it is an interference engine, which I'm assuming your engine is (cannot find definitive proof it is, but I'm going with it). You have to ensure the valves are not open when you bring the piston(s) up to TDC or you can bend/damage the valves.

  • Awesome Paulster2, head is on but cams are not so all valves closed at this point. crank is set at TDC. next step is fitting cams and timing belt which i didn't want to do until i cleared this up Dec 18 '19 at 2:05
  • @DavidJohnPeters - Wasn't sure on that point, so the reason for the caveat. Dec 18 '19 at 2:06

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