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James, is there a way other than ripping the engine apart on a 3.8 to tell if the car jumped time? It has all the classic symptoms, yet with 60,000 miles I find it hard to believe it happened. The sensor brackets are intact, so I ruled that out, but without a distributor, I know of no way. I am assuming that using an ohm meter on the sensors you might be able to track this problem down.

Pull number one spark plug and turn engine by hand until the piston is TDC ( Top Dead Center) on the compression stroke. You may want to hold your finger over the spark plug hole to make sure you are on the compression stroke of the engine. Once you have the piston at TDC remove the CAM sensor from the timing chain cover. You should see the magnet on the cam sprocket that signals TDC to the computer. (Top Dead Center) If you see the magnet in the middle of the hole then your chain has not slipped. I have seen the harmonic balancers become "loose" on these models to cause similar symptoms to a slipped timing chain. Just make sure that the "harmonic balancer" is tight on the crankshaft and has not caused this problem

 

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