Good morning all!
I recently inherited a 03 Outlander that was in non running condition. Previous owner (friend of mine) had stripped a few parts from it after it quit running. They stated that once they ran it dry, they were not able to get it started again. I immediately purchased a carb for it ($17 new off ebay) and started work. What I found was that it was pushing air out the carb/intake, and sucking air through the exhaust pipe. I figured that it had probably skipped a tooth timing wise. After removing the valve cover, I found the chain had what seems like excess slack in it (almost able to jump a tooth).
I do have a concern that the valves made contact with the piston. Prior to removing the valve cover, I would crank it over via the starter. It didn't seem to have any resistance (especially with the spark plug removed). Once the valve cover was removed, I turned it over by hand using the CVT input (removed the cvt belt cover and turned the input). What I found was that at TDC, it was hard to turn over. Once past TDC, it spun pretty freely.
I ended up removing the cam gear (leaving both intake and exhaust in a closed position), and the motor was able to spin freely. I intend to replace the timing chain regardless (only $70 on Amazon), but am worried that the skipped chain may have damaged a valve/piston. I did not check the valve clearances.
Lastly I bought the service manual, but could find anywhere to help identify TDC for the crank. The manual shows this for cam alignment:
My assumption is that the lines (marked "1") need to be horizontal. Removing the crank sensor, I am able to see two elevated notches, one 1/4" wide, and the other about an inch.
So to recap, is it worth pulling the head to check for damage on the piston / valves? How do I identify TDC for the piston? Do the timing chain guides need to be replaced?