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Timing chain guide question 

 

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 Post subject: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Hey guys, long time lurker first time poster. Unfortunately I've been driven to post due to an unfortunate incident a couple of nights ago, but first, an introduction of sorts:

The beast is a 1995 NF Fairlane 6 cylinder which I picked up a couple of years ago after a girl in a RAV4 thought that I had stopped at a red light by accident and that she would help me keep moving, which was the end of my first car. I've always liked the shape of the NF, so I splashed out and got one to help me through my grief.

I use it for towing, long trips and carrying four people and it's fantastic for all of those things. It's also stock as a rock except for the XR6 wheels, which I personally think are the pick of the bunch for the E-series cars, and a 2.5 inch exhaust which I got because the one that came with the car fell off and it was about the same price as a standard system. The car has done about 228000kms, 25000 of which are mine. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

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The car, right now.

Anyway, here's the depressing part. The other night, right as I was about to hit home, an expensive banging noise started. I could hear it over hail and the radio. Quickly stopped, noise continued. Damn, definitely the engine. Luckily I was about 200m from home, so I quickly limped back. Noise is consistent with revs, but running on all cylinders which was a bonus. It was dark, cold and wet, so I decided I would look at it the next day, and check out the forums for a cause.

I checked the noise in the morning and it's coming from the top, front part of the engine. Screwdriver stethoscope ruled out injectors. Used the search and decided it's either one of the lifters that's gone (yes please), or something to do with the timing chain (please god no). I got the rocker cover off, and the first thing I notice is a nice shard of something sitting there waiting for me. Plugged the leads back in and started her up to have a look and a listen to the lifters, which all seemed fine. Had a look down where the chain goes and... more shards. Awesome. Magnetic screwdriver wouldn't pick them up so they're either plastic or alloy.

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A shard, fantastic.

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More shards, harder to see here.

So I'm thinking definitely timing chain guides, but if anybody thinks otherwise feel free to let me know. If it is, can I fix them with the engine in the car, and how much is this likely to cost? Gregory's mentions a special tool for the timing chain tensioner that I don't have, is it necessary? I would describe myself as a pretty good home mechanic, I've done everything to engine/transmission swaps and I'm currently rebuilding a different motor from the ground up.
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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Setting the timing chain tensioner is easier than guides (pardon the pun) make it sound. Pretty sure you have to take the timing chain cover off the front of the engine to replace the guides though.

The chain tensioner can can reset with a 3mm allen key. To get the tensioner sleeve? (the bit that the tensioner plug screws into to seal the whole assembly) out, I used multigrips to grip the outside and undid the bolt.

Apart from that I don't have anything else to help you, sorry about that. Sucks that it's the chain guide, as far as I can see that's what it is.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Buy something like this and replace the chain and guides. Comes with a new tensioner as well.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/COMPLETE-For ... 2c62855ac0

Firstly rotate engine manually until it is at TDC. To get to the chain/guides, you have to remove the timing chain cover which involves removing pretty much everything from the front of the engine. So thermo fans, radiator (optional...but gives you much more room), crankshaft pulley/Harmonic balancer, power steering pump, serpentine belt tensioner and some other little things. Don't think you need to remove the water pump at all. Have to drop the sump to be able to remove the timing chain cover.

Then it's a matter of removing some bolts that hold the timing chain cover into place. Release the tension on the chain via the chain tensioner, pull cover off, remove old guides and chain and replace it all.

If you don't want to do this yourself, it'll be a bit more expensive to take it to the mechanic...maybe 3-4 hours labour? <--- taking a wild guess here.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:16 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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phongus wrote:
If you don't want to do this yourself, it'll be a bit more expensive to take it to the mechanic...maybe 3-4 hours labour? <--- taking a wild guess here.


Autodata times guide lists it at 7.15 hours

 

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Thanks for the prompt and helpful advice everyone. Yes, I'll be doing it myself, I don't like giving away money for labour as long as I can manage without any specialised tools. I didn't realise that the timing chain kit would be so cheap though! Who says timing chains are more expensive than belts?

I've got a kit on the way now, until it arrives I may as well see what I'm in for on the practice engine!

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:34 pm 
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I need mine replaced but am scared a mechanic is going to spend 7 hours on it and charge 800 bucks to fix. It's only a rattle but makes the car sound crap. Maybe DIY is the way!

 

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:38 pm 
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tickford_6 wrote:
phongus wrote:
If you don't want to do this yourself, it'll be a bit more expensive to take it to the mechanic...maybe 3-4 hours labour? <--- taking a wild guess here.


Autodata times guide lists it at 7.15 hours


ouch...

 

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Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:15 pm 
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It took me nearly seven hours just to get the tensioner housing out. As it turns out, my timing cover had broken into several pieces when the guide went bang, and the thread for the housing must have been so warped it wouldn't let go. I had to fabricate a tool for that one thing.

Anyway, it is possible to do without taking the radiator out but I strongly recommend against it. In fact, having changed one of these engines before, just take the whole thing out and do it on a stand. It would be far less trouble to take it out in one bit and then have space to drop the sump, remove the balancer, fit the chain etc.. it's just not worth it to try it in-situ, especially because you don't really have enough space to make sure the gaskets are all seating nicely. I am now looking forward to some extra oil leaks.

Here is the timing cover, hope this doesn't happen to you:

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:12 pm 
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I have seen that happen ( smash the timing cover ) after the cyl head had been put back on.....they had forgotten to remove the zip-tie off the cam sprocket......and yes, a zip-tie will break the chain guide, and in turn, the guide comes out the cover.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Timing chain guide question
Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:56 am 
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....or a broken pcv valve, when the internals of it drop into the chain
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