Please Help: 2001 2.7 timing chain tentioner - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Please Help: 2001 2.7 timing chain tentioner

Hey everyone,

I have an01 w a 2.7. Today I began hearing a rattling sound and it sounds like its coming from under the front of the left valve cover.

Last year I did replace the timing chain and the water pump myself. Right now my only guess is that the tentioner is failing and the chain is a little loose.

I am going to check the ac pully, pwr steering pully, etc but i think it's more serious...

Any advice is always welcome... Oh and is it is the tentioner, can I replace it w/o taking the engine apart? I know that I can take the tentioner out but I'm afraid it'll mess up the timing...

Thank you!

-Matt G.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 06:31 AM
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If the tensioner was not extending, I know from when I did my timing chain and rotated the engine before releasing the tensioner, the tensioner guide would knock from one position to the other and make a knocking noise - of course that was at slow speed (me turning the crank with a ratchet). Not sure how it would do at idling speed or higher as far as making the noise - but probably would make some. I think I've read on here that a person once did the chain job and didn't properly release the tensioner - symptom was a knocking noise (I'm thinking it was that tensioner guide flopping). So maybe that's a clue.

Regarding if you could take the tensioner out without timing jumping from cam rotational pressure (engine not runing), I'm not 100% positive. Before the tensioner is released in the chain install procedure, the cams are putting rotational pressure against the chain, and the tensioner guide is free to flop around (i.e., the tensioner is applying *no* pressure to the guide and chain). My only concern is that removing the tensioner completely *may* give enough *additional* movement to the tensioner guide and additional slack to the chain to allow things to slip a cog or two. Remember that the guide has less flopping-around room with the tensioner installed but not released than with it not installed because you pry against the guide to release the tensioner. My guess is that you could take it out and be OK, but it's not me taking the risk. Tough call.


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Last edited by peva; 03-05-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:37 PM
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maybe the rattling sound is comisng from a guide chain.. remove both valve covers and see if the guides are ok.. and the tensioner..

I put a spring ( a valve spring) in the tensioner so.. if the tensioner fail the spring retain a little bit of tension in the chain and dont bend the valves..

just to feel safe in case
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 09:30 PM
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I came across this a while back, It's a chain guide stop block.
What it does is upon tensioner failure, the chain guide will bottom out against the stop block and prevent the chain from jumping which will cause bent valves, or possible complete engine failure!
And for about $30 bucks it's well worth it!

Go to fix27engine.com for more info.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks for the advice...

One thing i noticed was that it was 1/2 quart low on oil and i just switched to full synthetic. Since ive topped off the oil it sounds better (as good as a 2.7 can sound). But if there's any chance of damaging the valves, chain, etc i'm going to keep a close eye on it.

She's at 192,000+ miles and I'm hoping to keep it going.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 01:16 PM
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A local mechanic has told me that he's replaced main tensioners on a few 2.7s in recent years. Just the tensioners. Some of them were less than a year old and needed replacing again. Same sound that you're reporting.

To replace the tensioner properly, you would have to remove the passenger side (right side) valve cover so you can unlock the tensioner from it's fully depressed position after it's installed.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va3ux View Post
A local mechanic has told me that he's replaced main tensioners on a few 2.7s in recent years. Just the tensioners. Some of them were less than a year old and needed replacing again. Same sound that you're reporting.

To replace the tensioner properly, you would have to remove the passenger side (right side) valve cover so you can unlock the tensioner from it's fully depressed position after it's installed.
It can be done....I did mine as stated above.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va3ux View Post
A local mechanic has told me that he's replaced main tensioners on a few 2.7s in recent years. Just the tensioners. Some of them were less than a year old and needed replacing again...
Darn, Phil - I could have gone a long time without knowing that scary fact!

Quote:
To replace the tensioner properly, you would have to remove the passenger side (right side) valve cover so you can unlock the tensioner from it's fully depressed position after it's installed.
Good point - I didn't think of that in my previous post. But apparently you are saying that you can safely remove the tensioner without fear of the timing moving on you while the tensioner is out? Good to know.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 08:20 PM
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Sorry Bill. Having just replaced all my stuff just last summer, I haven't been able to forget the mechanics comment.

If you remember when you did yours, you did all the stuff with the colored links and timing marks first, and the last thing you did was install the tensioner (locked in the fully depressed position), tighten the tensioner cover and then release the tensioner using a long screwdriver by applying pressure against the tensioner arm - which is done through the right valve cover opening. At that point - and before you get the tensioner installed - the chain is fully engaged around all the sprockets and gears and I don't think you can mess up the timing with the slack that is left in the chain. Perhaps we had to rotate the crankshaft slightly clockwise to make sure the chain is taught and all the slack is in the right side near the tensioner arm (I;d have to go back and look at the manual). So if you had to replace just the tensioner again, you only need the right valve cover off (and the intake plenum too of course). No need to fiddle with any timing marks at all. It doesn't matter what position the crankshaft is in or where any of the colored links are. This assumes that the chain hasn't jumped position at some point, and that you're just addressing some re-occuring chain slap during start-ups.

I hate to tell you this, but mine has already done it twice during some real cold weather start-ups. I recognized the sound and it only lasted for 10 or 15 seconds. But that tensioner is only 9 months now and it's already got me thinking about getting a spare. This never happened once with the original tensioner with 217K miles on it.

Last edited by va3ux; 03-19-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:24 PM
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Phil - IIRC, the FSM procedure had me get everything assembled (timing marks, colored links, etc.) with the bolts out of the cam sprockets - so there was zero cam torque (from valve spring pressure) applied to the sprockets before the tensioner was at least installed. *THEN* (after the tensioner was installed - maybe not released, but installed and therefore reducing the available chain slack some) the cams were rotated (using 3/8" breaker bar in the front ends of the cams) to line up the cam flange and sprocket holes to put the bolts in - at *THAT* point, there was torque in the cams.

Compare that with taking the tensioner out with everything else together. In that situation, you have cam torque but all the slack that's possible with *no* tensioner in place. So the question - at least in the context of just those two scenarios (tensioner totally removed vs. tensioner in but not yet released) - is: Is that last little bit of slack (tensioner totaly removed) enough to mean the difference between a cam sprocket slipping in the chain and a cam sprocket not slipping in the chain (from cam torque caused by valve spring pressure)?

Quote:
I hate to tell you this, but mine has already done it twice during some real cold weather start-ups. I recognized the sound and it only lasted for 10 or 15 seconds. But that tensioner is only 9 months now and it's already got me thinking about getting a spare. This never happened once with the original tensioner with 217K miles on it.
Well - then maybe it's a good sign that I have not heard even a hint of anything anomalous. I hope yours doesn't give you any problems.


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Last edited by peva; 03-19-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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