Found this in a Mazdawg training manual....
Mind you this same manual SPECIFICALLY CALLS OUT THE 3.0L S AJ engine as being an interference engine and valves will be damaged if timing is off. IT DOES NOT say "interference" in the 2.0 - 2.3L section of the same manual. That could be as simple as people who wrote the different sections thus the wording is not alike. Read on if you will...
Excerpts from said manual...
Never turn the engine over using a socket on the crankshaft bolt. Turning the crankshaft bolt counter-clockwise will loosen the bolt and engine damage will result. Follow the Workshop Manual service procedure (01-10-24) for camshaft/crankshaft timing whenever the crankshaft bolt is loosened.
CAUTION: The crankshaft, camshaft and crankshaft sprockets, and crankshaft pulley are friction-fit components. Loosening any of these components requires retiming of the camshafts and crankshaft. Failure to properly retime the engine will result in severe engine damage.
CAUTION: Failure to position the #1
piston at top dead center (TDC) may result in engine damage. Only turn the engine in the normal direction of rotation.
Timing chain procedures must be followed exactly or damage to the valves and pistons can occur.
There is this: "CAUTION: Do not rotate the camshafts. Damage to the valves and pistons may occur." From: 2.0L-2.3L Timing Chain R&I released in 2005
TAKE AWAY; Ford designed the 3.0 AJ and Mazda designed the 2.0 - 2.3. As business partners Ford plastered their name all over the 2.3. This could be the simple reason why the 2.3L section does not include the words "interference". Yes, you can go look up "CAM BELT" replacement on these engines and it says NON-INTERFERENCE, but these don't have have belts so why believe a belt company.
Sadly, I'm still confused. However, this is the closest to fact I've seen but I'm open to proof from any direction. Obviously loosening or turning any major bolt like the cam or crank bolts CCW could screw your motor; i.e. damage cam tensioner, cam guides, cause friction fit to components to loosen, cause valve components to be out time with crank, engine not to run. This material says damage will result.
3.0L AJ V6:
On the following pages we will examine the 3.0L timing chain removal and installation procedure. Paying close attention to the steps in this procedure will ensure that you are able properly remove and install the timing drive components and set camshaft timing. Since this is an interference engine, failure to follow the proper procedure will result in severe engine damage.
TAG: 2.3L I4 Duratec Ford 2.3 Mazda 2.3, Timing, interference, valve piston, damage