conkitchen

timing chain replacement "tricks"

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I have replaced the chain on many cars while the engine is apart and out of the car. I know it can be changed whilst in the car too. 

 

Although I have never conducted the "in-car" procedure, It appears fairly straight forward. 

 

Simple question here: 

 

What's the best practice method to fish (maybe say snake) a new chain without taking the front cover and cam gear off? 

 

Anyone? 

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I'm sure its something thats possible, but do you want to trust a master link timing chain?  These days they use two teeny tiny circlips instead of the big single horseshoe shaped one.  One guy had a couple of the teeny circlips pop off and found them in the oil.

I have changed the timing chain twice though in the car, by just removing the front cover.  Wasn't that big of a deal.  I think I may have removed radiator too, and I just use the starter to remove the crank bolt (big ole ratchet carefully wedged under the battery tray).  Be careful with the loop of oil pan gasket and headgasket that goes below and above the front cover.  

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(edited)

Well I do have the better style master link chain. 

 

Thinking of breaking the old chain, connecting it to the new one and rotate it in, and around the lower sprocket on back up.    

 

Just curious if someone has a "trick" like connecting both ends of the old and new chains together and holding the chain above the cam gear while rotating the crank. 

 

something like that in detail.  

 

I'm not opposed to pulling the upper cover and cam gear, but if no need then why not.  

 

I should do a video perhaps. 

Edited by conkitchen

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You'll need a chain beaker and a repair link (unless your chain has a link) split both chains and connect one chain to the other with the link and feed the new chain around the drive sprocket by feeding enough chain to clear the sprocket the pulling the other side tight repeat until the new chain can be connected to itself and fit the link with out dropping any of the pieces of the link down the chain well and if your guides aren't worn out bleed the tensioner  and your good to go. This will take much more time than pulling the covers and just replacing the chain the normal way but it can be done.

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We used to do this all the time.  You can do it with just the valve cover off and a chain breaker.  Stick a couple of rags between the cover and the chain holding it on the sprocket. Take the cap off of the tensioner and release the spring.  Split the chain at the top of the sprocket and attach the new chain to the end of the chain that runs down the exhaust side of the engine.  At this point it is a lot easier if you have someone that can help you.  While making sure the chain stays engaged to the sprocket  so the cam turns along with the crankshaft remove the rags and turn the crank slowly (plugs out really helps) and feed the new chain as you keep tension on the end of the chain coming up the intake side.  When you have completely run the new chain all the way to the top of the engine you can install the new master link using the cam sprocket to hold the chain in place.  Put the tensioner spring back in and tighten the cap.  We used to do them in less than 45 min.  I am not the biggest fan of master link chains, even though I have never had one fail, and I don't use them in my race engines.  If you are replacing the chain because you have run out of adjustment and it is loose it could also be because the sprockets on the cam and crank are worn.    

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(edited)
30 minutes ago, Preyupy said:

We used to do this all the time.  You can do it with just the valve cover off and a chain breaker.  Stick a couple of rags between the cover and the chain holding it on the sprocket. Take the cap off of the tensioner and release the spring.  Split the chain at the top of the sprocket and attach the new chain to the end of the chain that runs down the exhaust side of the engine.  At this point it is a lot easier if you have someone that can help you.  While making sure the chain stays engaged to the sprocket  so the cam turns along with the crankshaft remove the rags and turn the crank slowly (plugs out really helps) and feed the new chain as you keep tension on the end of the chain coming up the intake side.  When you have completely run the new chain all the way to the top of the engine you can install the new master link using the cam sprocket to hold the chain in place.  Put the tensioner spring back in and tighten the cap.  We used to do them in less than 45 min.  I am not the biggest fan of master link chains, even though I have never had one fail, and I don't use them in my race engines.  If you are replacing the chain because you have run out of adjustment and it is loose it could also be because the sprockets on the cam and crank are worn.    

Thanks Byron, 

It's a street car I drive maybe 1000 miles a year. 

The chain currently rattles at idle and is wiggly when stationary. The sprocket(s) may be worn out too. I might go ahead and replace the cam gear if it's teeth are really gaped but I'm looking to do a simple quick fix for the noise it makes at idle. 

Edited by conkitchen

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17 hours ago, conkitchen said:

Thanks Byron, 

It's a street car I drive maybe 1000 miles a year. 

The chain currently rattles at idle and is wiggly when stationary. The sprocket(s) may be worn out too. I might go ahead and replace the cam gear if it's teeth are really gaped but I'm looking to do a simple quick fix for the noise it makes at idle. 

Try bleeding the tensioner piston first. My tii was noisy for 12+ years even after replacing the A/C idler pulley, alternator, oil pump/shims and valve clearance adjustments. If you remove the tensioner piston, the old nasty oil will drain out of the little timing cover reservoir.  If the ball inside the piston doesn't rattle when you shake it, soak to free it up, then dunk the piston in fresh oil prior to reinstalling.  Carefully pour oil down from above then use a long screwdriver to bleed the piston.  You will have to do this a few times to bleed all air from the piston.  I didn't even have to remove the upper timing cover to perform this.

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(edited)

If your engine has lots 'o miles, the sprockets are probably worn as well as the chain.  When I rebuilt my 73's engine at 204k, I compared the old and new sprockets--the old ones had teeth that came to a point, while the new ones had a definite flat spot atop each tooth.  

 

On the other hand....my '69 now has 226k miles on the original chain, tensioner, sprockets and guide rails, and is nice and quiet.  So...your results may vary.

 

New chain + old sprocket = continued rattles.  But as was pointed out, bleed the tensioner first...And if you do have to replace the chain, you really should at least inspect the tensioner shoe and the plastic guides.  They wear too, and when the tensioner shoe's rubber is all worn away, the chain will hit the metal backing and also cause noise...

 

mike

Edited by mike

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A750CFC0-D2B2-46BD-A9F5-6DCF92FFA7C7.thumb.jpeg.8aab356839c7443fa48de56fcee2c17b.jpeg

 

according to my father’s patent application paperwork this is designed to work on 4 or 6cyl engines.

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UPDATE: 

I have a "trick" that I figured out today whilst doing the chain replacement. 

Short story long- I set upon my car to change the timing chain, cause it was very noisy. I had in hand my new double row chain and a replacement cam gear just in case.  Open up the engine and I find it's been converted to a single row chain.  SO having now to switch to a single row chain I was faced with no master link. However the double row chain I had did in deed have a master link.  

Got to thinking, what if I use the double row master link and just double up the one section of chain.  

 

For the record there is enough room forward of the single row chain gear to pass through the chain guide, around the lower sprocket, and back up around.  

 

It works.  Cal it a hack, maybe a trick, or whatever. If you want to do an engine-in timing chain and don't have a master link for a single row, this will work. 

 

But what do I know. 

IMG_6139.JPG

IMG_6140.JPG

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1 hour ago, conkitchen said:

UPDATE: 

I have a "trick" that I figured out today whilst doing the chain replacement. 

Short story long- I set upon my car to change the timing chain, cause it was very noisy. I had in hand my new double row chain and a replacement cam gear just in case.  Open up the engine and I find it's been converted to a single row chain.  SO having now to switch to a single row chain I was faced with no master link. However the double row chain I had did in deed have a master link.  

Got to thinking, what if I use the double row master link and just double up the one section of chain.  

 

For the record there is enough room forward of the single row chain gear to pass through the chain guide, around the lower sprocket, and back up around.  

 

It works.  Cal it a hack, maybe a trick, or whatever. If you want to do an engine-in timing chain and don't have a master link for a single row, this will work. 

 

But what do I know. 

IMG_6139.JPG

IMG_6140.JPG

 

I want to not like that... but I can’t. 

  • Haha 1

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8 hours ago, Simeon said:

 

I want to not like that... but I can’t. 

Right? it's wonky and a lil amateurish, but sound 

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Is the crank sprocket single or double row teeth?

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8 minutes ago, jimk said:

Is the crank sprocket single or double row teeth?

single 

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Hope the extended master link doesn't catch on anything or it could be disaster, not only for the engine but for the occupants if it locks up the entire drivetrain if the engine locks.

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