Calvin, there won't be a paint mark on the chain, unless an owner of your car put one there.
Your best solution is a new timing chain from Gil. Yeah, I know it's more money you have to spend on your engine, but you KNOW that chain is important. You already have a few bucks in that motor, spending a few more would be a wise move. You're protecting your investment.
Checked a couple of Opel manuals on this subject just now out of curiousity. Chiltons 64-70 book, page 42, shows an illustration of the valve timing marks for CIH engines--figure no. 7 is "paint mark on front of timing chain", which looks like a white X. Very interesting, I've seen many 1.9 timing chains, and never seen a factory paint mark on any of them. Some say it doesn't matter which way the chain runs; Chilton (OK, I know, not the ultimate authority) says this on reinstalling a used chain:
"Make sure the front of the chain, marked with paint, is facing forward, and that it moves in the original direction if using the original chain".
So I guess it depends on who you listen to, Calvin. Another Opel matter of opinion. I'd get a new chain, myself, but that's just my opinion, FWIW.
I think the reason that they want you to put in the same way is the same reason that you always put lifters in the place you took them out of, if you were to reverse the chain it will most likely wear faster than it would if you put it in the way that it was "worn in"
I was doing a bit of housekeeping tonight (moving all the old posts from the original generic "Engine Forum" section into the correct forums and sub-forums.. four pages of posts done, six to go...), and I ran into this thread. It reminded me that I wondered what the correct answer was, when a new chain was installed. Is there a front and a back to a new chain? Or does a new chain and the old sprockets get "worn in" after the engine runs a while? When I re-assemble the two engines that I am building with new timing chains, should I take the time to paint the chains to show which is the new "front"? Anyone know for sure?
Keith, it couldn't hurt. Years of racing bikes, I never worried about that, I just pulled the chains, soaked them in oil and put them on for the next race day. But, just make sure the master link, if the chains have one has the locking clip closed end facing the direction of rotation.
Found this out the hard way when I rebuilt a non-Opel engine.
When it comes to the master link, insert it from the engine (or back) side of the chain. Then fasten the cap.
It's easier the other way, but if that cap comes off, the master link can back out a little and cut a groove into the timing chain cover; all the way around the path the chain takes. Eventually it will cut through the cover, resulting in a big oil leak, and copious amounts of metal particles spread throughout your newly rebuilt engine.
Heavy Duty Duplex Industrial chain is all that is needed if you have acess to a roll just "break" off 88 links and use a chain joiner link. You need the chain with solid rollers and not the cheaper type with the rollers formed from tube with a split along them. It can usually be bought from Industrial Transmission and bearing stockists in 10 foot lengths.
When fitting the Joiner link remember to old Biker mantra: " The fish (retaining clip) always swims up the river" - The closed end of the retainer clip should always point towards the direction the chain is travelling in.