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Old 10-08-2017, 04:43 PM   #1
Wrldtrvlr01
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Default Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Have a 1996 1.9 DOHC. Purchased a head that had 1/8 inch shaved from piston side. Installedled new timing chain kit and timing chaon tensioner. Drove it for about 1000 miles when tensioner broke and plastic chain guide with metal support broke. Would shaving that amount from the head have an effect on the timing chain failing due to not enough tension.

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Old 10-08-2017, 06:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Are you sure it was shaved 1/8"s of an inch? That is an very large amount to shave a head.

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Welcome to SaturnFans, Wrldtrvlr01! I'm sorry to learn of your difficulties here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrldtrvlr01 View Post
Have a 1996 1.9 DOHC. Purchased a head that had 1/8 inch shaved from piston side. Installedled new timing chain kit and timing chaon tensioner. Drove it for about 1000 miles when tensioner broke and plastic chain guide with metal support broke. Would shaving that amount from the head have an effect on the timing chain failing due to not enough tension.
^ rb6667 is correct to question whether or not this cylinder head had 1/8" of surface removed. Resurfacing of cylinder heads are measured in the thousanths of an inch (i.e., 4/1000" = .004") and not in the in the tenths of an inch (i.e., 1/8" = .125"). The FSM for my engine states that if warpage of the cylinder head is greater than .0039" then it must be replaced (that is 1/10,000" greater than .004"). The removal of 1/8" of surface is more than 30 times what is allowed by the manufacturer for my car's engine and I'm utterly certain Saturn wouldn't have allowed it for your engine either. Please verify the information you were provided.

If your statement above is verified as accurate please answer the following questions:
1) was the information provided to you verbally or in writing, and
2) do you have a receipt for the purchase of this cylinder head?

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

I agree. 1/8th of an inch is 0.125 inch and a very large amount of head shaving. This also creates higher compression that may create new problems of engine running. You'll certainly feel more power if the EFI system allows it as there may be severe knock problems with the EFI system retarding spark timing to prevent pre-detonation/knock. The chain tensioner is hydraulically operated. Hydraulic pressure from the oil pump is used to push the chain tensioner outwards against the chain guide. If the chain tensioner wasn't adjusted when timing was done, the tensioner may have failed to move into correct position the first time the engine started up after the rebuild. Shortening the cylinder head or block results in the same dimensions of a little more slack off a new chain was used but may be taken out when the tensioner sets up on the first start up. A thousand miles is a lot before things broke. There are limits to a rebuild and 1/8th inch of metal removal may be outside the limits of the chain tensioner and compression.

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Old 10-09-2017, 11:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Ok I will check the amount shaved from the head.

Also does the timing chain cover need to be shaved on the top to account for clearance when head has been resurfaced and metal shaved from it?

Will this also account for the fact that cylinder 3 is not firing and has high carbon buildup?

Last edited by Wrldtrvlr01; 10-09-2017 at 11:58 AM..

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Old 10-09-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrldtrvlr01 View Post
......does the timing chain cover need to be shaved on the top to account for clearance when head has been resurfaced and metal shaved from it?
It's conceivable, but was there a problem with reinstalling the cover such that it did not line up evenly at its top?
Remember, what you've described is highly irregular in cylinder head machining. Be cautious and don't jump to any conclusions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrldtrvlr01 View Post
Will this also account for the fact that cylinder 3 is not firing and has high carbon buildup?
I don't know. There are threads in the S-Series Forum area which discuss this particular concern.

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Old 10-14-2017, 01:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Head resurfacing caused timing chain to fail

Shave off too much from the head and you need custom cam gears to fix the cam timing back to proper. Even the "standard" 0.003 gets you darn close to requiring the custom cam gears, it's almost as bad as installing a '91-'92 crankshaft in a '93+ car.

ANY amount shaved off the head needs to be taken off the top of the timing cover (just the part of the flange for the valve cover, you want to keep the top mount flange the height it is) as well for proper fitment of the valve cover. If you've actually taken 1/8" off the head, there's no way you could have sealed the valve cover on to keep oil in the engine without using a TON of RTV and I'd expect much over .004 to offset the timing cover holes to the head enough that they'd be close to not threading in at all.

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