The harmonic balancer walked back and wore a ring in the timing chain cover resulting in a major oil leak. Therefore, I removed the cover to replace it with new. Upon removal, found the timing chain to be a bit stretched (136K miles) so seems like a good time to change it. I rotate the engine in an effort to line up the timing marks on the cam and crank gears prior to removal. Not happening, when I get the mark on the crank gear in position the cam gear mark is a whole tooth off. I have rotated the engine a number of revolutions and they never line up. I even backed the crank gear up against the slack thinking that it might be enough to line them up, not working.
My thought process is that the slack in the chain is the reason that the marks are not lining up, so the cam is essentially slightly retarded in reference to the crank. SO, if I get the marks as close as possible, remove the chain and gears, then re-install the new set in the same configuration than I will not have gained anything. OR, when I go to install the new set(with the timing marks lined up), the new cam gear will not line up with the indexing tab on the camshaft. The engine ran fine before dis-assembly, BTW. I just want to be sure that I have my ducks in a row before removing the old gears without the marks lined up. I have searched every post and video on this and they all get the marks to line up prior to removal. Any knowledgeable advise on the matter?