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i am hopeful for some advice on a potential repair. i was told my chain tensioner is worn along with my timing chain on my 1971 2002 which is causing #2 #3 cylinders to leak along with a clicking noise at low idle. what is the best approach to this issue? As i am fearing that the job is very involved? anyone who has been through this and can share practical advice would be greatly appreciated.

thx

rob

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Interesting that timing affects only two cylinders. Have you checked & adjusted valve lash?

 

Taking lower timing cover has some labour. There are usually also worn sprockets. New chain does not last that long with very used gears so maybe it's time to change those too?

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The timing chain tensioner is pretty simple to replace.  I would carefully remove it and inspect it for heavy wear and also shake it to see if the ball inside the tensioner can move.  
Replace it with a new part, along with the spring if worn out. First soak the new tensioner in a jar of fresh oil before installing it. There is a bleeding procedure for this item.

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Tensioner piston or rail? 

I too have difficulty understanding the problem and the proposed solution. More detail on symptoms eould be helpful. I'd be getting second opinion.  what is the car doing?

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well a good amount of clicking at about 1500 rpm anything higher and the engine runs normal. valves where at .008 and then set to .006 both setting produced the clicking at just above idle. 

compression test

1 155 psi 45% leak past ring

2 120 psi 80% leak past ring and exhaust valve

3 120 psi 90% leak past ring and exhaust valve

4 155 psi 13% leak past ring

 

also minor popping in exhaust

 

report said tensioner fully extended and timing chain worn

 

crazy thing this is the second major problem this car has had since 1996!

thx

rob

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If the chain was really loose, you would probably hear it running along the casing and taking metal with it. The side effects are odd, a timing chain issue should effect all four as you cannot shift the timing for 2 cylinders, but maybe it has already skipped a tooth and is off by one tooth in total. Removing the cover to get at the chain is not that difficult, but if you remove the valve cover and check whether the valve timing is correct and control the valve clearance would be a first step. Looking from the valve cover, you might be able to see if damage is being done to the casing or to the plastic guide that the chain runs on. These are things you can check without getting too deep into the innards. If the timing chain wasn't done right at the last rebuild and you have not put a lot of miles on it, I would not be surprised if the jack chain that runs the oil pump was also not tensioned properly. Worth checking if you have to do the timing chain.

Why? My engine had these faults with both a bad tensioner and incorrectly set up oil pump chain...thanks to a PO in the very distant past.

Andrew

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It's interesting that the two lower compression cylinders are adjacent...perhaps there's a minor leak in the head gasket joint between the two?

 

chains take a long time to wear out--my '69's is still original after 226k miles, and my 73's was still in good shape after 204k,  However the sprockets were worn and it didn't make sense to not replace them as part of a general engine overhaul.  

 

Replacing chain, sprockets and tensioner isn't a terribly hateful job.  The most difficult part will be accessing everything--you'll have to pull the radiator and grilles to gain working room for removing the crankshaft pulley, lower timing cover and crankshaft timing chain sprocket.  You'll need a puller for the crankshaft sprocket.  Once that's done the rest isn't too bad.  You can only install two sprockets one way, and so long as you don't move either the cam or crank, you won't disturb the valve timing.  And you'll want to change the front crankshaft seal while you're in there, just on general principles.

 

But as is pointed out above, make sure that's what you need before you delve deeply into the engine; it may just be a tensioner...

 

A shop manual (factory or aftermarket) will be most helpful.  

 

mike

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thanks everyone for the feedback. ( extra thanks to Mike Self, as you and i have spoken via email over the years and the last email in my file i have from you is 2007, so its brand new! ) very helpful. As i just put a bunch of work into the 02 over the winter and wouldn't ya know it this happens! For now I'm just going did drive it gently over the summer and then come fall i will have the entire engine rebuilt. As this little car has been in the deferred maintenance category for 6-7 years and given the fact how little this car has cost me in my 26 years of ownership I'm not gonna complain.

thx

rob

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