Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
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demetk
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Joined: Aug 09, 2007 8:58 AM
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Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

Since the 8 535is is down because of a blown a/c hose and while I'm still waiting on the parallel flow condenser to replace the puny oem condenser that BMW decided was just fine, I decided to reseal the front of the engine.

The condenser was already out so it was a simple process to go from this,

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to this,

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And sure enough, in the classic e28 tradition of what else can go wrong, when I pulled the top front cover off I saw the guide rail in pieces.

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OK then, now I had to pull the bottom front cover to get to it. And, as we all know about the nightmare of what is the crank nut, my blood was now starting to boil. So I figured what the hell, let me try this HarborFreight sucker.

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The damn thing zipped the Jesus nut off in 10 seconds flat! So much for worrying about it. The hub came off with this puller.

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I already had a m30 tensioner and guide rail handy so I figured I was going to make short work of it. Nope, not a chance. The tensioner and guide rail don't fit the existing pins. The holes are too small.

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If you've read this far, my question is what's going on? Do I have the wrong parts? I've ordered another set just in case they're the wrong parts in the right packages.

cheers.
Last edited by demetk on Aug 18, 2018 8:02 AM, edited 1 time in total.
tn535i
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Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by tn535i »

No help but an idea. Maybe you happen to have the S38 tensioner components by mistake in which case I will be happy to take them off your hands. ;) Can you measure the hole diameters? I actually have the part you show for the S38 and could check to see if it matches the S38. I don't have the slide rail but if yours is the S38 and not the M30 I am serious and I'd be happy to purchase it from you. I'm collecting the parts to do mine someday. I'm hoping neither my M30 or S38 looks like yours.
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

I'll followup when I get the other parts in maybe tomorrow.
tn535i
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by tn535i »

The mounting tabs and hole size look just like the S38 part but the rest is different. So wild guess is they have remade the pieces at a new supplier but somehow got the drawing/tooling mixed up.
HealeyBN7
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by HealeyBN7 »

I think it is just a poor aftermarket part. 11311253236 is the correct BMW part number and according to Yoyoparts.com the 2061051 number cast into the part you have does cross to the right BMW part number. Interesting that BMW used the same tensioner on the 1600. It's been in production for a long time. Maybe that's why they are $5 from Tisher. I would just get the part from BMW.

11311308495 fits the M5.

Dean
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

HealeyBN7 wrote:I think it is just a poor aftermarket part. 11311253236 is the correct BMW part number and according to Yoyoparts.com the 2061051 number cast into the part you have does cross to the right BMW part number. Interesting that BMW used the same tensioner on the 1600. It's been in production for a long time. Maybe that's why they are $5 from Tisher. I would just get the part from BMW.

11311308495 fits the M5.

Dean
You were absolutely right. The tensioner I had was just a bad part. Even with cleaning up the mounting pins one of the holes was just too small to slide on. A little filing later and it fit. But I didn't use it, I used the SWAG part shown below the POS whatever it is.

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All buttoned up.

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Thanks everyone for your comments.
Last edited by demetk on Aug 18, 2018 8:04 AM, edited 1 time in total.
BRRV
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by BRRV »

And thank you for a nice write-up. I've been dreading this particular repair and now I think I know enough from your hands-on post to try this. By the way, did you replace the tensioner piston/spring? And, how many miles on this engine?
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

BRRV wrote:And thank you for a nice write-up. I've been dreading this particular repair and now I think I know enough from your hands-on post to try this. By the way, did you replace the tensioner piston/spring? And, how many miles on this engine?
Sure thing. 180k on the engine but by looking at it you'd think it had 500k miles. Here's what permeates every pore of this engine. I have not seen anything like it.

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Anyone know how you can get rid of this crap other than a cleaning tank at a machine shop?

I spend the better part of the today dropping the oil pan because the plastic chain guide rail came out in pieces and because I did not recover all of the pieces. I assumed they fell into the oil pan and I was right. The found the remaining pieces crunched up into tiny little pieces and embedded in the oil pickup. Luckily there is a screen which prevented them from being sucked into the oil pump and beyond. But it was a little disconcerting to see them there. So if you find your rail broken I advise that you drop the pan and clean everything up. You won't have an option there.

Anyway the tensioner piston was in good shape with no wear, so I just reused it. To prime the piston I bolted the bottom and top covers on and poured oil down the right side of the top cover. This filled the little reservoir with oil and I used a long screwdriver to push the tensioner in and out until the piston started to make squishing sounds. This meant that the piston wanted more oil, so I poured more oil into the reservoir and kept on with pushing the tensioner in and out until finally the piston became stiff. When that happens, you have installed the piston correctly.

cheers.
Last edited by demetk on Aug 18, 2018 8:05 AM, edited 1 time in total.
Merv
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by Merv »

Seafoam
BRRV
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by BRRV »

My reason for asking you questions about this repair centers on the plastic guide rails you mention. Years ago, while installing a new head, I had the timing chain replaced, and I'd assumed that the guide rails and so on would also be replaced, but of course that didn't get done. I worry that my engine, at 296,000 miles, probably has bad guide rails as well. I'm not looking forward to doing this repair, honestly, especially in light of your experience. I appreciate your comments and insights.

Seafoam I think would help; but I think using a heavy duty engine oil and MMO (or SeaFoam) and very short oil changes would help clear this up. I will tell you that my M30 engine, on a strict diet of Redline (or Mobil 1) since new shows absolutely no sludging or even discoloration, so perhaps moving to an HDEO in a synthetic and doing changes at no more than 3K for a while would work. It certainly wouldn't hurt! My last tip would be anecdotal, but it's true - I ran FIATs and Alfas before moving to BMWs, and I never used synthetic oil - but I did add a quart of Rislone every change (3,000 miles at that time!). Engines were always spotless, using Castrol GTX as my fill oil, and they ran forever (I sold the X1/9 with more than a quarter of a million miles on the original engine).
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

Thanks for the suggestions. So Seafoam in the crankcase and run it for a few miles? I've heard of Rislone from others as well. I'll look into it.
Eromitlab
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by Eromitlab »

Hi there,

I'm bumping demetk's thread because it turns out my tensioner guide broke too and I'm getting parts ordered and questions answered before starting in on this. When this happened (while pulling away from a stoplight) the engine jumped timing and the #5 rocker was also damaged so I have a lot of work in front of me, including pulling the head to check for more damage and dropping the oil pan.

First question though for you is, it sounds like you didn't replace either the chain itself or the crankshaft sprocket, correct? Or did you? Seems like if you go to all the fort to disassemble everything to get there it would be worth replacing these components but it's also more parts to buy and the Bentley also suggests a new crankshaft sprocket must be heated in an oil bath to be properly re-seated. This is going to be a driveway job so that's a bit impractical, but might not even be necessary. The motor only has 126k miles on it. I'm sure the tensioner guide failure is just due to age and brittle plastic parts.

Also unclear to me from the Bentley how exactly you replace the guides if not removing the chain and this sprocket. I'm still disassembling things but could use some advice on this before ordering parts.

Realize pics help...will post up one or two of the chain and sprocket in situ shortly.
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

Hey,

No I didn't replace the sprockets or the chain. I'm a cheap bastard. :) But I did inspect them and I found no appreciable wear on them even at 180k miles. You can tell if the sprockets are worn down by the sharp teeth that will be evident on a very worn one.

You will need to pull the chain off to install the chain guide and that is easily done by simply unbolting the cam sprocket.

Install the chain so that it's tight on the right side and loose on the left.

I also waited till I had the top cover back on before I poured oil into the tensioner piston reservoir to pump up the piston.

Good luck on yours.
Eromitlab
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by Eromitlab »

Very helpful -- thanks, might have more questions at some point but I have plenty of things I know I have to do first. Need to get this all done before summer is out or it isn't getting done.
Hffvdbl
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by Hffvdbl »

Demetk, thanks for posting this, it was super helpful.
ahendra
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by ahendra »

I know it is a 4 years old thread what a great write-up but sadly not able to see the pictures. Any help? Engine sputters badly above 2000 rpm after installing new starter. Car has 200k. Suspect timing jumped may be due to broken tensioner rail/chain guide. Demetk was using some kind of harborfreight tool to zip the dreaded jesus nut off in 10 sec. What kind of tool is that? Anyone has any experience with this flywheel lock tool while attempting to remove the J nut. Any specific puller needed to remove the balancer?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-Flywheel-l ... Sw~bFWOUIi

Thanks All for the help.
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

Pics have been updated.
ahendra
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by ahendra »

Thanks so much demetk, worry sick about the J nut until I read your thread. Also need to be extra careful not to ruin the head gasket. You are right about this job could snowball easily. Need all the courage there is to do this repair.
demetk
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by demetk »

Good luck. Hopefully you won't be going down any rabbit holes like I did. :)
SlickDizzy
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Re: Timing chain tensioner - a while I was there thing.

Post by SlickDizzy »

I went after the nut of our lord and savior with no flywheel tool or anything, just a shitty Harbor Freight impact, a 36mm socket, and some ear plugs.

After three 60 second-ish bursts I heated it up a little bit and it came right off on the 4th burst. Not as big of a deal as I expected. Now, tightening it on the stand...different story. Gonna re-torque that when it's back in the car...
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