I'm no expert here.
I think the cam lock tool is more of an idiot proof appliance.
I don't think anyone here will recommend you do it without the tool.
You seem to sound fairly confident.
If it was me and I had a non running car with doubts with respect to the timing of the engine, I would be pulling the timing belt and cam chain and following a best practice guideline for retiming everything.
Just as a heads up, chain slack should be at the top. Chain should be tight underneath.
I could see this being possible to do without the cam lock. .... in theory but I'm definitely not a pro and have never have to fully retime an engine so I'm kinda talking out my ass at this point.
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