Getting the Right Aluminum and Plastic Timing Chain Guide
The timing chain guide serves as a track for the chain connecting the crankshaft and camshaft. Because of the load and stress it has to support, it tends to break and split into pieces. This will lead to inefficient power transfer and possible damages on the other engine parts to follow. That's why whenever you buy a replacement timing chain guide, aim for one that's the strongest and toughest for your engine and driving needs.
- Aluminum: This is the simplest and most basic timing chain guide in the market. It is rarely recommended for modern applications for a couple of reasons. First is its cost. Aluminum is almost two times more expensive to produce than more advanced chain guide. It is also significantly heavier than others, which makes it unsuitable for racing uses wherein less weight is a key to success.
The next two types are the usual recommended materials for more advanced and modern applications:
- Delrin?: As one of the modern materials used for guides, this plastic was designed to strike get a smooth flow between plastics and metals ? a quality vital for chain guides. Among its other good points are its high durability and endurance. Although a big improvement compared to aluminum, this type is criticized for not being able to handle very extreme working temperatures.
- Stanyl?: This is an alternative option to Delrin? guides. Used by many notable car manufacturers, this nylon guide has huge benefits compared in terms of cost, strength, weight, and packaging. It also boasts reliability even under extreme temperatures.
Drive chains run and creep all over the engine. With that in mind, multiple chain guides are located in different parts of the system to keep it in place. These aren't sold in kits that have all the pieces your engine will need. When buying replacement chain guides, read the label properly to know where it's supposed to be installed.
How to Install a New Timing Chain Guide
If you own a single overhead camshaft engine (SOHC), then you're familiar with the timing chain guide. This part helps the timing chains connect the crankshaft and camshaft. However, due to wear and tear, it eventually breaks. Once it's damaged, engine noise will increase, and your car's overall performance will be compromised. If you want to learn how to repair this part so you'll be prepared in the future, this guide will teach you how you can do it at home.
Difficulty level: Difficult
Things you'll need:
- Replacement timing chain guide
- Camshaft positioning tool adapters
- Camshaft positioning tool
- Crankshaft holding tool
- Right and left timing chains
- Ratchet set
- Torque wrench
- Locking pins
Step 1: Disconnect the black battery cable. Once it's disconnected, drain the engine coolant and oil.
Step 2: Carefully uninstall these parts using your torque wrench: power steering pump and reservoir, idler pulley, oil pan, crankshaft pulley, valve covers, front crankshaft seal, water pump pulley, cooling fan and shroud, accessory drive belt.
Step 3: Remove the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor connector, camshaft position (CMP) sensor connector, and front cover to access the timing chains.
Step 4: Turn the crankshaft. Make sure that the first cylinder is at the top center of the compression stroke.
Step 5: Put the camshaft positioning tool and adapters inside the camshafts.
Step 6: Using your ratchet set, uninstall the tensioner arms, timing chain sprockets, timing chain tensioners, timing chains, and timing guides.
Step 7: Put the new timing chain guide in place. Make sure that it's properly aligned so that the left and right timing chains can be installed properly.
Step 8: With your torque wrench, tighten the timing chain bolts to 70 to 106 inch-pounds. Afterwards, install the camshaft sprockets.
Step 9: Using the ratchet, hold the timing chain tensioner. Then, put the locking pins inside the tensioner's top holes.
Step 10: Connect the left and right tensioner arms to the tensioners. With the torque wrench, fasten the tensioner bolts to 15 to 22 foot-pounds.
Step 11: Hold the timing chain guide and tensioner arm using a C-clamp. Then, turn the clamp until the chain is straight enough.
Step 12: Uninstall the locking pins. Once they're removed, tighten the bolts of the camshaft sprocket using a torque wrench to 81 to 95 foot-pounds.
Step 13: Remove the crankshaft holding tool, camshaft positioning tool, C-clamp, and camshaft positioning tool adapters. Afterwards, put the front cover and CKP sensor pulse wheel back in place.
Step 14: Reinstall the following parts: CMP sensor connector, CKP sensor connector, front crankshaft seal, idler pulley, valve covers, and oil pan.
Step 15: Put the crankshaft pulley in place. Tighten its bolts to 66 foot-pounds. Then, twist them again to 90 degrees plus 36 foot-pounds.
Step 16: Connect the accessory drive belt, cooling fan and shroud, and water pump pulley. Afterwards, reconnect the car battery's black cable, and refill the engine oil and coolant.