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Old 02-28-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
je_saturn
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Default Timing Chain Tensioner

Need to replace timing chain tensioner. Can I change it out with out removing the valve cover? Also when installing the new tensioner is it just a remove old and install new. will it set itself or do I have to do anything myself?

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Old 02-28-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

The tensioner is located on the side of the engine nearest the firewall and next to the timing chain cover. It has a 32mm hexagonal head. You just unscrew it and pull it out. You can inspect it for wear or sticking, free it up and put it back in. It has a spring loaded strut to keep it extended somewhat when there is no oil pressure. You need to "arm" the spring strut before reinstalling the tensioner. Push in on the strut and engage the last hook, so it stays retracted. It will automatically extend when it gets oil pressure after the engine is started.

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

I am having fun trying to get the old tensioner loose from the block. Anyway got a new tensioner same brand cloyes. So I am assuming is already armed being it is brand new. Do I just remove the old and put the new in and start up. Read some places I have to tap the new tensioner with a rubber ended tool to engage? figured would have to remove valve cover to do this?

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Old 03-01-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by je_saturn View Post
I am having fun trying to get the old tensioner loose from the block. Anyway got a new tensioner same brand cloyes. So I am assuming is already armed being it is brand new. Do I just remove the old and put the new in and start up. Read some places I have to tap the new tensioner with a rubber ended tool to engage? figured would have to remove valve cover to do this?
I belong to another forum specific to the ecotec engines... but with that being said, i have the old style tensioner (and at 108k miles, Im getting nervous) so Ive been researching this.

The new style tensioner does need to be 'reset'. Ive read that you must set it, install it into the block, then tap the tensioner guide with a tool (long screwdriver) to make the tensioner release and apply pressure to the guide. You, of course, would have to do this with the valve cover off.

I havent performed this yet. But I would definitely be positively sure because you do NOT want to start that engine, have it not apply tension, and then jump time. You could bend valves.

Let us know what you did and (if and how) it worked. Please research this more before you go forward.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

In theory you shouldn't have to "bump/tap" the timing chain guide. The notch in the tensioner should engage into the guide, while you are tightening the tensioner it "should" twist and release the tensioner.

I think the Taping on the guide is a "Just to double check" type of thing.
If the tensioner doesn't release, it can get very expensive.
Best to pop the cam cover off and tap it with a dowel.


To reset the timing tensioner I wrote up this post.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=158586

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Sorry for the newbie question but how do you know if the tensioner has to be replaced? Or is it just one of those 100K mile things? I have the 2.2 in a 02 L200 I bought a year ago. It now has 128K on it and just wondering if its something I should be worried about.

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

depends if it has ever been replaced.

If the engine is that old and hasn't had any timing work to it. The issue with the timing was the oiler and tensioner. But they fixed that around 02-03.

I fixed a broken timing issue on a 2000 saturn. Gave them my family discount.

Here's my thought. Spend 35 bucks now. Or spend 1500+ later when the timing jumps on the interstate.

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

There has never been any timing work done that I know of. Thanks for input. I've done all this reading about replacing the chain, guides, tensioner, etc. but didn't really want to dig into it if I didn't have to. At the same time it would be cheaper to be proactive rather than reactive in this scenario. Just a catch 22 I guess.

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

My tensioner is extended. Can I install it this way or why would I need to arm it again. Then extend it again? Sorry if dumb question but never messed with Tensioners before? Thanks for the help so far everyone.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

You can't put in the extended tensioner, you will damage the guide and/or tensioner.

You need to reseat the tensioner then screw it in.
Look in the post a few above this, you'll see how I reset the tensioner.

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzStPoint View Post
In theory you shouldn't have to "bump/tap" the timing chain guide. The notch in the tensioner should engage into the guide, while you are tightening the tensioner it "should" twist and release the tensioner.

I think the Taping on the guide is a "Just to double check" type of thing.
If the tensioner doesn't release, it can get very expensive.
Best to pop the cam cover off and tap it with a dowel.


To reset the timing tensioner I wrote up this post.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=158586
2 things.

1.) Did you replace the guides when you replaced your tensioner?

Ideally, Id like to just replace the tensioner on my 2002 L200. I'd rather not take off the cam cover, but Im seeing that as an important step in making sure the tensioner releases tension while you are installing it.

2.) Is it just me, or does it seem complicated to reset the new tensioner? did you oil it because I see oil on it. Are there directions included with the new tensioner?

I totally agree. Pay $35 now or $xxxx.xx later. I dont have any noise at all right now ((and yes, Im knocking on wood as I say that)) but I do in fact have the original old style tensioner, and that makes me nervous.

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Old 03-03-2011, 09:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Partymmudasti View Post
2 things.

1.) Did you replace the guides when you replaced your tensioner?

Ideally, Id like to just replace the tensioner on my 2002 L200. I'd rather not take off the cam cover, but Im seeing that as an important step in making sure the tensioner releases tension while you are installing it.

2.) Is it just me, or does it seem complicated to reset the new tensioner? did you oil it because I see oil on it. Are there directions included with the new tensioner?

I totally agree. Pay $35 now or $xxxx.xx later. I dont have any noise at all right now ((and yes, Im knocking on wood as I say that)) but I do in fact have the original old style tensioner, and that makes me nervous.
With this one, (when I took the tensioner pics)
I replaced: Cam gears, crank gear, timing chain, timing guides, timing tensioner, balance shaft tensioner, 8 valves, 4 lifters. Off the top of my head. This one had the chain let go.

It was previously installed when I got the car, The previeus mechanic put the chain on and couldn't get it running. Finally brought it to me. Every thing came off because it had bent valves.


It's not hard to reset the tensioner. You can use 2 vice grips and can reset the tensioner in less then 45 seconds. It's that easy. You just have to squeeze the tensioner in and twist at the same time.

I would take the time and pull the cam cover. Just in case. After the tensioner is reset and screwed in place, and cam cover removed. you'll take a dowel or other heavy object and press on the guide the tensioner rests on. If it springs back on you, then your're set. if it doesn't you'll have to either press real hard or rap the dowel with a hammer.

We didn't buy just he tensioner alone, this was bought with a full timing set so I dont know if it comes with instructions. If I were to guess, I'd say no.

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

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Originally Posted by BuzzStPoint View Post
It's not hard to reset the tensioner. You can use 2 vice grips and can reset the tensioner in less then 45 seconds. It's that easy. You just have to squeeze the tensioner in and twist at the same time.
Ok is it really that easy? In your write up, you had it all taken apart and were talking about snap rings, using a lock ring from your drill, and a socket.

This might be my 'project' for the weekend. My L200 has 108,000 miles on the original tensioner and we are driving the car to the east coast in April; I dont want any problems with the old tensioner.

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Old 03-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

well took the old tensioner out. was in three pieces. main bolt section, bottom half w/spring and the top half that presses on quide. I noticed it is alot different then the cloyes tensioner i got. Does this matter? As the old one had no locking ring or rubber seals in it. Where the new one has a locking ring and two rubber seals. plus the old style arm that pressures on the guides is about 2-3 times the size of the cloyes. Should I put the cloyes tensioner in our go to a GM dealer to order a replacement?

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Old 03-07-2011, 03:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Just put the new one in and fire it up. You can check to see if it has sprang out by taking it out again after putting it in. Course you will have to reset it again.

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Old 03-17-2011, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

well got the old tensioner out. came out in five pieces. So thinking this one is shot. Put the new tensioner in but the piston is much smaller then the original .580" dia. piston. It took some of the noise out but seems to still allow some slack in the chain. Is this because the guide doesn't match up to the new tensioner. Anyway looking all over for the old style made by PCI. Found it directly from them and going to try it. This was all to no help from the two local GM dealers I had look at it.

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Old 08-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Do I have to remove a lot of stuff to be able to access tensioner? I can't really find any instructions on this.

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Old 08-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

I don't think there's anything blocking your access to the tensioner. As you're standing at the front passenger fender looking at the engine, look to the lefthand side (towards firewall) at the front of the cylinder head and follow it to where it would mate with the block. Just beneath the head you should see a large hex head against the block, but not holding anything on to it. That's the tensioner with the aforementioned 32mm hex head. It's removed and installed as if it were a bolt. The Haynes manual states that the installed tensioner should be torqued to 55 ft. lbs. Be sure and pay attention to the resetting of the tensioner prior to installation.

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: Timing Chain Tensioner

Thanks, actually I was mixed up, I need to reset the balance shaft tensioner, due to water pump holding tool not helping me to avoid whine after water pump replacement. That looks a bit more complicated, like I have to remove a bunch of stuff just to get to timing cover.

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