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Old 06-05-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
robertburns3
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Default Who changes their timing chain?

I always thought one of the best things about GM 4 cylinders is their unusual timing chain. Considering many engines will be blown due to a timing BELT breaking, (ahem…Honda) and knowing that many big V-8's have hundreds of thousands of miles on their timing CHAINS, I always felt secure knowing I had a chain instead of the belt.

Now I am rethinking. My L-200 with the 2.2 Ecotech is nearing 100,000 miles. Should I change the chain?

Some engines shut down when a timing belt/chain breaks to save the engine. Does the Ecotech do this?

Please let me know if you changed yours as a maintenance item, or worse: blew an engine due to one breaking.

Bob in Michigan.

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Old 06-05-2006, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertburns3
I always thought one of the best things about GM 4 cylinders is their unusual timing chain. Considering many engines will be blown due to a timing BELT breaking, (ahem…Honda) and knowing that many big V-8's have hundreds of thousands of miles on their timing CHAINS, I always felt secure knowing I had a chain instead of the belt.

Now I am rethinking. My L-200 with the 2.2 Ecotech is nearing 100,000 miles. Should I change the chain?

Some engines shut down when a timing belt/chain breaks to save the engine. Does the Ecotech do this?

Please let me know if you changed yours as a maintenance item, or worse: blew an engine due to one breaking.

Bob in Michigan.

There is no service interval for the timing chain. If you regularly change your oil, it will probably outlive the engine.

Cheers,

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Old 06-05-2006, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

I rolled the dice and never changed the timing chain in my old SL2, and I put 220,000 miles on it without a problem. Still had the original alternator as well (and only the second battery).

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Old 06-05-2006, 07:54 PM   #4
Sky King
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

The main reason the engine stops with no damage is that most US engines, (before I get flamed, not ALL engines) are not interferance engiines. Meaning that there is enough room at the top for the valves to be open when the pistons come up. They stop because without the timing chain, the cam stops thus the valves stop and so on.

I don't know if the engines in the L cars is an interferance engine or not. If it is, if the chain breaks or fails the likelyhood of doing damage to the valves and/or pistons is good.

The engine in the S cars IS an interferance engine. But as posted, it is designed to last the life of the car provided the routine maintenance is kept up. Most imprtantly, the oil changes and oil level. Regardless of whether or not the engine is an interferance engine or not, keeping up with oil changes and level is paramount to engine longevity.

I have changed the timing chain in my SC-2 mainly because I had other reasons to be in there and at 100K miles it just didn't seem right to go back together without replacing what would be considered a wear item.

...
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:02 PM   #5
10W30
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertburns3
I always thought one of the best things about GM 4 cylinders is their unusual timing chain. Considering many engines will be blown due to a timing BELT breaking, (ahem…Honda) and knowing that many big V-8's have hundreds of thousands of miles on their timing CHAINS, I always felt secure knowing I had a chain instead of the belt.
I've changed my timing chain on my current Saturn, and it's no big deal. 4 hour job...max.
I've changed dozens of timing belts also. The fact "many engines will be blown" due to a timing belt breaking" is NOT the vehicles poor engineering, It's "OWNER NEGLIGENCE". A timing belt on any vehicle should be checked every 30,000 miles to see IF it needs changing. Then it's recommended to change it anyways at 70,000 miles.
Most people are stupid, ignorant creatures when it comes to cars. Most people WON'T do any kind of routine maintenance check ups if the "Idiot Lights" don't turn on.
I know alot of people who drive Honda's, and pretty much everyone I know says the same thing about them. They have this misconstrued notion that Honda's last forever. That's BULLLLLSH**. They only last a long time if you take care of them by doing the routine maintenance check ups when the handbook says to.
A vehicle does'nt last longer due to a timing chain, that's plain BULLSH**. I'll never believe it. Vehicles last a long time due to the owner being responsible towards the vehicles maintenance.........cut-n-dry.

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Old 06-06-2006, 02:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertburns3
I always thought one of the best things about GM 4 cylinders is their unusual timing chain.
GM? What GM 4-cylinders, other than Saturn, are chain-timed?

One other thing about chain- vs. belt-timing: a chain will usually give you some warning. And AFAIK, it's typically not the chain itself that goes, but the guides and/or tensioner. The result is the same, but there's considerable audible warning. When a timing belt snaps, it just snaps.

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Old 06-06-2006, 08:15 AM   #7
robertburns3
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

[QUOTE=madpogue]GM? What GM 4-cylinders, other than Saturn, are chain-timed?

All the old Saturn engines and all the 4 cylinders from the Quad 4 on to the current Ecotechs were chain timed I believe, but I could be corrected by a more knowledgable person.

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Old 06-06-2006, 08:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10W30
Vehicles last a long time due to the owner being responsible towards the vehicles maintenance.........cut-n-dry.
Amen. That maintenance just cost more with a belt.

...
Mark
'99 Civic Si

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Old 06-06-2006, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
GM? What GM 4-cylinders, other than Saturn, are chain-timed?

One other thing about chain- vs. belt-timing: a chain will usually give you some warning. And AFAIK, it's typically not the chain itself that goes, but the guides and/or tensioner. The result is the same, but there's considerable audible warning. When a timing belt snaps, it just snaps.
The 1.8,2.0,2.2 used in the J body for 25 years [except for the 2.0 in the Sunbird which was a Brazilain OHC that used a belt] The 2.5 Iron Duke used a timing "gear".
And I must agree about maintenance: once again my brother MURDERED a car by driving it without oil: the 95 SL1 that I fell in love with and prompted the purchase of my own. He sold it back to the dealer for $350.00. Started his serial killing with a 66 Corvair and continues to this day. Shameful. They're out there.
In general, timing chains don't need replacement except at overhaul. Honda started requiring this as a maintenance item in the early 80s when it was discovered that their CRX was snapping it's belt like clock work at 60,000 miles. They quietly added it to their owner's manual as a service item for the 60,000 mile service.Call it CYA [cover yer a**].Others seemed to follow after that.This was in an Auto Issue of Consumer Reports sometime in 83-84 or so in a report on "Secret Warranties", not something I am making up for entertainment value.
I do not remember any interval being suggested with the 2.3 Pinto engine or the Vega OHC of the 70s though.
Was there one on the Pontiac OHC 6, one of the first [if not THE first] engines to use a rubber timing belt ? It was pretty revolutionary at the time [for a US vehicle and a first for Pontiac [rubber timing belt] IIRC].

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Old 06-06-2006, 08:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Robertburns3: I always liked the yestertech GM 4s with their OHVs and timing chains/gears. Old fashioned but they worked and no $300.00 service every 60,000 miles [or 5 years]. And while that's not a lot of money saved over the life of a car...... NOT having to do it is a more satisfying option than fussing over it at any mileage.
On the older Hondas the valves had to be adjusted every 15,000 miles too. Doubt it's that way today, but just another area where people could screw up a car by not keeping up with the servicing.

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

This is one of the main reasons why i got rid of my honda prelude(91) the timing belt..if u can get it changed for 300 bucks then keep ur mech..ave cost around here and honda stealership was 500-800 dollars..of coarse they tried to do waterpump as well...but! timing belts in a very small car with small room to work is extremely difficult...one of the main things i fell in love with this car (VUE) was timing chain and the self adjustin valves..why havent honda switched to this is beyond me..u think if they are making saturns with chains why not hondas? everytime i see a redline or 05 v6 sometimes i get a little pissy...i wanted this great suv with an awesome honda reliabliy..(going by my honda exp..never had a saturn) but then i think about the timing belt and having to adjust the valves and that makes me more than ok with this 2.2lecotec...the one thing i will take my hat off to saturn for..just a little side note..are these 2.2l ecotec compared the same to the quad 4,s in the early ninties cutless? my dad found a nice silver early 90s cutless..small 2 door thang..it said on side QUAD 4. and omg did that car fly..i mean up against some muscle cars..was just wondering if the ecotec was the newer replacement for it..sometimes when i think my car has no balls..i rev it up past 4 grand then i feel the power!!!

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Old 07-22-2010, 10:40 AM   #12
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Cool Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Ihave a 04 vue awd 3.5 v6. AN aquaintance said he would do the jobb for me and got into it then flew the coop.Now i know he is educated enough to complete the job properly,but that be a moot point.I decided to tackle this job myself and am having a basic problem of deeing the location,exactly,where the various pulleys,idler,etc. .Surf is right it is a very tight job,however if you take the time to remove alot of the item,it's not so bad,thus far anyways.Icould use a good frontal view of locations(parts).Any ideas?

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citation84 View Post
The 2.5 Iron Duke used a timing "gear".
Starting in 1990 on some of them, they used a chain. Those Iron Dukes also had a unique force balancer down low in the oil pan... they were smoother and had a unique sound, but still redlined at 5,500 RPM and sounded like death warmed over when being pushed over 4,500 RPM.

I had one in my first car... I loved that engine. Torquey and relatively refined when it was warmed up - and it had grunt when you needed it.

...
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioVueBoy View Post
Starting in 1990 on some of them, they used a chain. Those Iron Dukes also had a unique force balancer down low in the oil pan... they were smoother and had a unique sound, but still redlined at 5,500 RPM and sounded like death warmed over when being pushed over 4,500 RPM.

I had one in my first car... I loved that engine. Torquey and relatively refined when it was warmed up - and it had grunt when you needed it.
My RWD '80 Sunbird (somewhat solidified stepchild of a Vega) had an Iron Duke that could chirp third gear. One of the few "double-duty" engines that was originally designed as longitudinal, but was re-purposed as a transverse engine. Friend had one in an '82 Citation; autotragic in it must've been a POS, because that motor sure didn't perform in that car the way it did in my Sunbird.

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Old 07-28-2010, 01:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversurfer13 View Post
one of the main things i fell in love with this car (VUE) was timing chain and the self adjustin valves..why havent honda switched to this is beyond me..u think if they are making saturns with chains why not hondas?
because honda = import. Imports in general = belt*.

*: I've read that newer Civics are actually CHAIN driven

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

I just did the chain in my '96 SL2 It was a PITA, but doable in the vehicle. Worst part was getting the chain cover back in the car without smearing the RTV sealant. Other than that, not too horrible a job.

I think it failed because the tensioner seized up. My guess is that allowed the chain to start stretching. It does give ample audible warning when it starts to go... mine sounded like an out-of-tune diesel engine toward the end. Turns out the chain was rubbing against the upper chain guide, which BROKE OFF, and punched a hole in the valve cover, which shot oil like a geyser... god, what a mess!!! Now it runs nice and smooth - and much quieter!

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Old 08-31-2010, 06:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
because honda = import. Imports in general = belt*.

*: I've read that newer Civics are actually CHAIN driven
I've owned a few Nissans and they are all timing chain. Thank god!

...
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

I laugh when I see the comment about all cars last forever with proper maintenance, and that the only reason why a Honda will last forever is because its owner changes the belt.

Well, the timing chain might last a whole lot longer on your Saturn, if you also don't mind changing the piston rings every 150-200,000 miles, 'cause you're going to start burning a whole lot of oil! ...And that's something a Honda typically won't do.

Also, regarding having to adjust valves, that's only if you let the oil get bad. In an OHV design, the valves shouldn't need adjusting if the engine is being lubricated properly. At 258,000 miles my friend's 1990 Civic's valves still measure factory clearances, and have never been adjusted. Hydraulic lifters start ticking and don't work properly with time, and need to be changed.

....But the timing chain is a nice idea. Still, if you retension your timing belt periodically, it can last a very long time. When it starts showing signs of cracking and wear, then it needs replacement.

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Old 06-25-2011, 08:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

Retension the timing belt? I've owned or worked on a dozen or so 1.7 and 2.2L Chryslers (well, the 1.7 was a VW, technically), and a couple of 1.5L Mistubishis (Colts), and not one of them had a timing belt tensioner.

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: Who changes their timing chain?

My old GMC they just checked the stretch in it and if it was good, they put it back in. My Ford though I've changed the timing chain a few times as its a fairly simple swap.

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