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When installing the cam sensor in 3.5 SXT how do you know how much gap to
have between the wheel and tip of sensor? Or does it matter?
 

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The camshaft position sensor should come with a paper spacer at the point of contact between the sensor and the wheel. When installing the sensor, the paper spacer should touch the wheel, giving you the right amount of spacing between the two.
 

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What he said. And it does matter. You don't want the body of the sensor to contact the spinning timing wheel, and you have to give it room to allow for expansion and contraction of the surrounding metal as they go from cold to running temperature, from the coldest winter climates to Death Valley's hottest days.

Put the cam sensor in, put the retaining nut on, screw it down most of the way, but don't tighten it. Let the sensor settle down to the timing wheel, tighten the retaining nut, and you are done.

The sensor is pretty forgiving, it does not have to be placed perfectly to do it's job, and the one thing to watch out for is that it is not too close to the timing wheel.

Jim Snover


The camshaft position sensor should come with a paper spacer at the point of contact between the sensor and the wheel. When installing the sensor, the paper spacer should touch the wheel, giving you the right amount of spacing between the two.
 

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What I did when I installed the sensor is I put the sensor in and apply very light pressure from the back with one hand to make sure the paper is touching and put the nut on with the other hand until the sensor is immobile. Then tighten it. Hopefully that's correct.
 

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It's only critical in that one regard: the sensor body must not be allowed to touch the timing wheel when everything is up to temperatures. You would most likely have known pretty soon if it came into contact as it all warmed up. If it's been running since then, sounds like you got it right!

Jim Snover

What I did when I installed the sensor is I put the sensor in and apply very light pressure from the back with one hand to make sure the paper is touching and put the nut on with the other hand until the sensor is immobile. Then tighten it. Hopefully that's correct.
 

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It gets torn up. Or at the least, its useful life is greatly reduced. In the worst case, it could damage the timing ring and the new sensor, and throw jagged chunks of plastic into the timing belt, doing it no good, either.

Not as bad as "crossing the streams," from Ghostbusters, but definitely something to be avoided.

Jim Snover

what happens if the sensor touches?
 
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