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Old 11-04-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
waltowen
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camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

Does anyone know the proper install of new dorman camshaft sync with alignment tool? 2004 freestar 3.9
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

It can be done with out pulling the plenum but it will be a lot easier with the plenum off. Once that and the harness that runs over it are out of the way remove the sensor (2 5.5mm bolts) Rotate the crank (wrench or socket on the crank pulley bolt) until the tool supplied lines up the old one. Once its aligned remove the bolt that holds it it. Install the new one so that it is facing the same direction as the old one (the inner shaft will spin as you pull out the old one note how far it spins and start the new sychro with the inner shaft in the same spot. Once the new one is in it should be really close to the same position as the old one. Install the alignment tool. Install the hold down bolt. Reinstall the other parts and your good to go.
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MinnieRolltide (01-24-2013)
Old 10-21-2010, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

After replacing the cam shaft sync in my 2004 freestar and searching on the internet for all different ways to do it. I decided I would post here just in case someone runs into the same situation.

the fact is most people will tell you, you must have cycl 1 at TDC before doing anything. Obviously those people do not own a 2004 freestar as good luck getting to it. second they will tell you to use the tool, well that is great if you can get to TDC which i couldn't. Finally i ventured out to the garage bond and determined to get this thing fixed. I had the dreaded squeal and then occassionally it would die on me. order the new part on line, paid overnight shipping total was 80 bucks, and it did included the alignment tool (which i never used).

First thing i did was disconnect the battery, drained the radiator (broke the plug by the way) and then disconnected the serp belt. I then began to disconnect the power steering pump as it would be in the way once you get the sync partialy out due to the great desgin of this engine. removing the power steering pump was difficult as two of the bolts (4 total) are behind the pump and you can not see them. Eventually i figured out a 10mm wrench one that actually ratchets was perfect but still took forever. Then it was on to disconnecting two coolant hoses in the way (hence the need to drain the radiator). One of the bolts is in front of the powersteering pump (close to the sync sensor) the other is directly behind the power steering pump back right bolt (hence removing the ps pump first). I had a difficult time getting the front hard coolant pipe out of its location, but a block of wood and a pry bar assisted and eventually got it.

Now it was on to the sensor and sync. before doing anything i marked the body of the sensor, it is hard to see where the old body meets the engine but you will see a bolt holding a washer, and the washer is holding the sync in place. I marked it so when i put the new one in it would be in the same place. i used the little hole on the front of the body as my place to mark it. then i removed the actual sensor (2 small bolts either 5 or 5.5 mm). sensor came of easy and now i could see inside the sync and there is a little tab in there that circles around which is what the sensor reads, have seen it called a blade, finger. etc. I marked the exact location of where that was sitting (mark it good) and finally i took off the bolt holding the sync.

To my surprise the sync did not take a lot of effort getting loose i simply gave it a little tug, however, there is a rod at the end of the sync, which does not come with the new one. and it is impossible to get the whole unit out because of the angle and the length of the sync with the rod it hits the underside of the body. I put a vice grip on the rod, so it would not fall into the engine and be lost and used another set of pliers to disconnect it from the sync. left the rod there, threw away the old sync. By the way my gears looked fine, it was inside the body that i could feel it grabbing and making noise, must be a bushing or something inside. I then reconnected the old rod to the new sync and lined up the body of the new sync with my mark and then held the tab in the correct place (see note below) and it slipped right in. Button everything up in reverse, curse ford for putting those bolts what in the back and you are good to go

Note on the tab, although i marked mine before pulling it out it shifted as soon as i started pulling out, probably about 1/8 of a turn. When i put the new one in, i shifted the new one 1/8 to match and when i dropped it in, if fell right into place of where my mark would have been on the old one. lucky maybe, but works, in face seem to have more HP now.

I was frustrated with the right way to do and no one giving me a work around which is why i posted here, just hope this helps someone. by the way i am not a mechanic, rather a sales person who is going through money issues and didn't want to pay to have the work done. Good luck message me with any question.
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MinnieRolltide (01-24-2013)
Old 12-18-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

having the same problem with my 04 freestar now Gopony ! Thanks for the post. It is easier to remove the CS if you take the outside air box off first. Every thing else on this vehicle is a pain in the A**
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MinnieRolltide (01-24-2013)
Old 01-24-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

This well described and I follow these instructions without any issues. I will add a little more advise to get to the power steering pump easily....

I removed the wiper blades....just two 15mm nuts. Then the plastic cover under it is just held on by @ 4 or 5 plastic screws under the hood and then some clips next to the windshield. You will need to unplug the tubing going to the wiper fluid jets. Next you can remove the "crawl" (that is what the automotive store guy called it) it is the metal piece between the hood and the windshield. It is held on by 8-9 each 10mm bolts. I then unplugged the wiper motor and removed this easily. This allowed me to get to the back bolts of the power steering pump, but more importantly I was able to remove the tube on the end of the synchronizer, thus no concern about it falling into the engine.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it is also useful when you need to change the back plug wires, coil, power steering pump, water pump, etc.

Again other than the above, I followed the instructions exactly with great success. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

Next you can remove the "crawl" (that is what the automotive store guy called it) it is the metal piece between the hood and the windshield.

It's a "cowl", (kaul). Man, that's some southern accent! But very good post.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaP View Post
Next you can remove the "crawl" (that is what the automotive store guy called it) it is the metal piece between the hood and the windshield.

It's a "cowl", (kaul). Man, that's some southern accent! But very good post.

Yep and he had a large glass of sweet tea in his hand as well. Thanks, I stand corrected.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

Ha,ha...Glad ya had success with the repair.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

I replaced mine this weekend in my '05 Freestar. What I did was rotate the crankshaft manually until the tooth on the old sensor was aligned with the opening so the alignment tool would fit. I then installed the replacement with the alignment tool on it so that it was properly aligned. No need for marking.

This is not a tough job -- just a time consuming one. Definitely remove the wipers and cowl cover to make it easier.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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Re: camshaft synchronizer replace 2004 freestar

Thanx Much for the info above, used it to replace my camshaft synchronizer- Much Appreciated!

A few additional comments that may help:

Definitely remove the 2 piece cowl and the cabin intake duct (2 10mm nuts on the firewall) to make the access much easier (don't forget to reconnect the wiper motor and washer fluid connections when reassembling).

Easy to get to/lock the serpentine belt tensioner w/ a 13mm open end wrench from under the car.

The coolant hose next to the sync extends about 1 inch into the block. I used a pinch bar to move it up a bit, then a thin open end wrench, then a thick open end wrench to get it out.

In addition to marking the sync a lot, I found it very helpful to take plenty of pictures of the camshaft sensor and sync at each step of removal. Made it much easier to align it than the markings (used nail polish to mark, but it's difficult to mark it well).

If you don't have a 5.5 mm socket to take off the 2 sensor bolts, a standard works also (7/32 I think).

The rod on the bottom (that drives the oil pump, I believe), lifted out w/ the old sync.

Before installing the new sync, coat it with plenty of new motor oil, making sure to turn it and get inside the sync so it's well coated.

It took several tries to align the sync when installing.

Make sure the serpentine belt is properly routed and aligned (may be a good time to replace it, if you haven't or if it's worn) before releasing the tensioner (and release it slowly...).

Also, w/ the cowls and cabin intake duct removed, it's a good time to replace the spark plugs if needed.

Good luck!
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