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Old 05-16-2018, 12:50 PM   #1
cdinges
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Default Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Todays project was going to be replace the timing chain in my 97 sl2 with 160K miles. Figured it is about time to do it.

I read the forums and watched some youtube videos and everyone has a loose timing chain to start with. When I pulled my valve cover I found my chain tight as could be. Timing is still correct and there is absolutely no slop or movement in the chain. it cannot be lifted from the cam gears or up and down movement where the upper guide is. The links and teeth on the gears look new.

Am I safe to say it is still good to go? I have used Schaeffers full synthetic since I bought it at 30K miles, maybe the extra cash in oil changes was really worth it?

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
BillyP
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Why are you replacing it? There are people with over 500k miles on the original timing chain. It should be tight. The brand new one I just put on my rebuilt engine is tight after running it.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:12 PM   #3
Kaervak
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

192k on my 99 SL2 with nothing but regular dino oil changes and I'm on the original timing chain with no issues. Smooth idle, good fuel economy, nice and quiet.

...
It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:21 PM   #4
Nekomimi
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdinges View Post
Todays project was going to be replace the timing chain in my 97 sl2 with 160K miles. Figured it is about time to do it.

Am I safe to say it is still good to go? I have used Schaeffers full synthetic since I bought it at 30K miles, maybe the extra cash in oil changes was really worth it?
My chain guides decentigrated and the chain started grinding against the steel bolts that held them on, around 180k, but it was super obvious when it happened, but I didn't know what it was at the time. It broke at 220k. So unless you have rattling at idle and it's not the tensioner, you should be good.

Also it's awesome to see someone else runng Schaefer's

...
'96 SL1 Originally the family car, passed on to me as my first. "Hellcat" 240,000+ miles and purring smooth.
My Mug is filled with the lost souls of imports.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
cdinges
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyP View Post
Why are you replacing it? There are people with over 500k miles on the original timing chain. It should be tight. The brand new one I just put on my rebuilt engine is tight after running it.
Just do to the mileage of the car. From the searches I found that many cars have them needing replaced by now. Im more of a preventative maintenance person so I tend to do stuff before it gets bad while I have the time and money.

The car is 21 years old, by now there should be something that needs replaced besides filters and fluids.

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Old 05-16-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekomimi View Post
My chain guides decentigrated and the chain started grinding against the steel bolts that held them on, around 180k, but it was super obvious when it happened, but I didn't know what it was at the time. It broke at 220k. So unless you have rattling at idle and it's not the tensioner, you should be good.

Also it's awesome to see someone else runng Schaefer's
Well the car is plastic so the entire thing rattles like crazy. Im sure in my younger years my dual 12" subs didnt help that. But the engine is smooth, good compression, burns a little oil (quart every 3000 miles)

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Old 05-16-2018, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

The timing chain in my SL2 still had life in it at 204K when I rebuilt it.

...
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'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 05-16-2018, 04:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdinges View Post
From the searches I found that many cars have them needing replaced by now. Im more of a preventative maintenance person
Usually, the cars that need chains replaced are the opposite of that

Mine was rattling at 102k on the SL2. My SC2 chain is still in good shape at 140k miles
Quote:
But the engine is smooth, good compression, burns a little oil (quart every 3000 miles)
That synthetic was worth it, that's a decent rate. Maybe try the fixed orifice PCV valve?

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 05-16-2018, 05:43 PM   #9
BillyP
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdinges View Post
Just do to the mileage of the car. From the searches I found that many cars have them needing replaced by now. Im more of a preventative maintenance person so I tend to do stuff before it gets bad while I have the time and money.

The car is 21 years old, by now there should be something that needs replaced besides filters and fluids.
Timing belts need replaced generally, chains are usually good until the tensioner is maxed out or a guide is broke. When I pulled mine apart, 265k miles and the guides had hardly any wear at all.

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Usually, Maybe try the fixed orifice PCV valve?
I didnt know anything about it until you mentioned it. Sounds like its a popular oil burn fix and worth a shot.

Glad to hear so many chains are lasting a long time. Peace of mind for me knowing the engine should last for years.

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Just noticed, I forgot to mention my SL2 needed a timing chain at 102k miles due to previous owner neglect.

As you can see from my avatar picture, the previous owner used duct tape as body work

my '02 SC2 has the original chain at the mileage listed above; also forgot to mention my '97 SC2 has the original chain and it is fine at 200k miles.

Different make, but my '02 minivan has its original timing chain at 240k miles.

Life with a well maintained timing chain is good

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 05-17-2018, 02:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdinges View Post
Just do to the mileage of the car. From the searches I found that many cars have them needing replaced by now. Im more of a preventative maintenance person so I tend to do stuff before it gets bad while I have the time and money.

The car is 21 years old, by now there should be something that needs replaced besides filters and fluids.
Most cars are not the Saturn S-Series 1.9L engine family, either.

These cars were built to compete with imports, which were holding a far better reputation for reliability than GM brands, back when Saturn released in 1991.

With that being said, GM focused on three main areas of these vehicles:

Reliability
Serviceability
Customer Experience

There should be slack in the chain, ONLY during the exhaust stroke part of the rotation. On compression strokes, the chain will be tight against the gears and the slack will be below the tensioner. The tensioner is self-adjusting, az the guides wear down..

You will be fine with only 160k on that chain. I have 187k on my factory chain, and it was fine when I pulled it off my blown engine(burnt exhaust valve in the #3 cylinder).

...
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"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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Old 05-18-2018, 08:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Timing chain still good after 160K miles?

My car has had synthetic oil from new and I am at 445,000km, original chain, no noises.

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