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    Thread: DIY - Replacing timing chains, tensioners and guides on a 12v VR6

    1. Member Grabbit's Avatar
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      03-27-2009 10:18 PM #426
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      8 hours would be VERY fast if it's your first time. I would give yourself a solid 12 hours the first time just to be safe.

      well in about an hour and a half I have the front end off, radiator out and valve cover off. I forgot how long this crap takes. Anyways, the top guide rail and tensioner looks fine. Just as they did about a year and a half ago when I put cams in.
      I get the rattle at about 1200-16-1700 rpm on both rev up and rev down. My question is, would a falty tensioner bolt cause the rattle alone if everything else is kosher?? Does the bottom chain make as much noise?? I was thinking maybe low oil pressure or a blocked oil passage to the tensioner bolt

    2. Member Grabbit's Avatar
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      03-28-2009 02:31 PM #427
      So I ripped everything apart and I got the valve cover off thinking I would see the guide rail missing some pieces. Well its still intact, in fact everything is looking pretty good. I put cams in about a year and a half ago and while I was in there I replaced the tensioner bolt just to be safe, everything else was kosher.
      The only thing I can think of that might be causing the noise is that I may have got some sealer in the oil passage to the tensioner bolt. I also looped the oil cooler coolant lines together because of a leak, could thia have caused excessive oil temps/low pressure to the tensioner causing slack? On cold starts you can hear the timing noise a lot les but its still there. I'm kinda hesitating to tear anymore into it if everything looks good




      Modified by Grabbit at 11:33 AM 3-28-2009

    3. 03-28-2009 04:45 PM #428
      Things like this are very difficult to diagnose, especially over the internet. Timing chain noise is normal. It's the nature of the beast. Excessive noise is not normal. The tough thing is how do you determine what's normal and what's excessive?
      Since you've gone this far, I would remove the upper cover and check for a blocked oil hole. You could also then check the lower parts. Unless you find something wrong, going any further than that is probably not necessary.

    4. Member Grabbit's Avatar
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      03-28-2009 05:48 PM #429
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      Things like this are very difficult to diagnose, especially over the internet. Timing chain noise is normal. It's the nature of the beast. Excessive noise is not normal. The tough thing is how do you determine what's normal and what's excessive?
      .

      Well I know what it was like just after the swap and I have noticed it getting proggresively worse. I know its difficult to diagnose over the internet but let put it this way, after reading all these threads seeing carnage and even listening to sound clips I was very supprised not to see more damage. I'm off to pop the upper cover off............

    5. 03-28-2009 06:01 PM #430
      Quote, originally posted by Grabbit »
      How long should this take with basic hand tools?? I comlpeted my swap in my MK2 and installed cams but thats as far as I've been. I figure a couple hours to drop the tranny, another couple to get the chains out and back in. An hour making sure everything is kosher and another couple getting it buttoned back up. So about a full 8 hours working non stop.

      If the chains are for your MK2, i would highly suggest thinking about pulling the motor. I've come to find out that its not very easy to get the trans back into a mk2 VR6.

    6. Member Grabbit's Avatar
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      03-28-2009 08:28 PM #431
      Quote, originally posted by WeeZFan69 »
      If the chains are for your MK2, i would highly suggest thinking about pulling the motor. I've come to find out that its not very easy to get the trans back into a mk2 VR6.

      Well I did the swap and have sinced parted with my engine hoist. It shouldn't be that hard, I dont have any power stearing lines or Ac bulls hit to get in the way.
      I ended up pulling the upper timing chain cover only to find everything intact. The only spot of wear was some discoloration of the upper tensioner, no grooves.

    7. 03-28-2009 09:09 PM #432
      Does the upper tensioner bolt look OK?

    8. Member Grabbit's Avatar
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      03-29-2009 01:35 PM #433
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      Does the upper tensioner bolt look OK?

      Yes, i replaced it about a year and a half ago when the cams went in. I'm going to replace it again just as a precaution.

    9. Member DubZmk3VR's Avatar
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      03-30-2009 02:41 PM #434
      bump great thread

    10. 04-08-2009 08:30 AM #435
      Hello, at me a question, whether it is possible old top tensioner bolt and upper cover to replace with the new sample (plastic)? What of them is more reliable?



      P.S. I apologise for my English

    11. Banned VRsuper6's Avatar
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      04-08-2009 08:32 AM #436
      yes you can replace the old style with the new style. but for you, you need to keep the older style if you have a distributor, since it has the hole in it. also the new tensioer bolt will fit in the old cover [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    12. 04-08-2009 08:39 AM #437
      Yes, I know. Disturbs reliability of plastic?

    13. Banned VRsuper6's Avatar
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      04-08-2009 08:40 AM #438
      the new ones are metal also

    14. 04-08-2009 08:51 AM #439
      New cover metal inside???

      art. VAG 021 109 509 E
      Mine upper cover




      Modified by asdVR6 at 7:14 AM 4-8-2009

    15. Geriatric Member need_a_VR6's Avatar
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      04-08-2009 09:35 AM #440
      You can use the new tensioner/bolt if you thread your distro side cover the whole way through. You need a BIG tap to do it, I modded a used new style tensioner bolt into a tap by grinding three flats in the threads and just did it myself. Pain in the rear but it worked fine.
      -Paul
      1995 GTI VR6 - Retired - 12.90@106 R32 power - 12.833@106 12v power
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    16. 04-08-2009 03:15 PM #441
      Quote, originally posted by VRsuper6 »
      the new ones are metal also

      The older upper rails are phenolic (?) riveted to a metal backing. The newer upper rail is all plastic.
      There are actually two versions of the newer rail. The first one was black and did not have a metal sleeve in the pivot hole. The second version, which is the one that's currently sold, is yellow and has a metal sleeve in the pivot hole.

    17. 04-09-2009 01:47 AM #442
      Thanks for your answer.

      And,
      the sizes and the pivot hole upper rail (plastic ) and its tensioner R32 V24 differs from upper rail and its tensioner VR6 12 (with double Timing chain)?
      I wish to upgrade the VR6 to 3,0L and to establish cam-shafts shrick. I wish to establish a new upper rail together with tensioner bolt for reliability.
      It will turn out to establish the new tensioner bolt and upper rail from R32 V24?




      Modified by asdVR6 at 10:55 PM 4-8-2009

    18. Member GinsterMan98's Avatar
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      04-09-2009 10:50 PM #443
      Even though I have a Mk3, this write up was a great guide for this job. Thanks to all who made this DIY.
      Dan
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    19. 04-23-2009 10:48 PM #444
      I just did a timing chain job on my daughter's 2000 GTI VR6 @127K miles. The symptoms were clattering sounds that came and went, and eventually a VAGCOM code 17748 "Camshaft position sensor / Engine speed sensor incor. correlation". The code was due to the chain skipping a tooth, probably on the small intermediate sprocket. I did a compression test, which was OK.
      When I pulled the upper chain cover, the upper guide rail was completely gone except for 1 inch at the upper mounting bolt. I could see that the guide pin (inside the lower cover plate) was loose and had grooves in it, and I pulled out a few chunks of guide plastic that were floating around.
      When I pulled the lower cover, I found that the lower chain guide was split in two pieces but the pieces were sitting "in place". I found small chunks of plastic wedged into the spaces of the lower chain. Apparently these pieces got dragged into the guide causing it to split.
      I also found that the smaller sprocket on the intermediate shaft had a broken tooth and also a lot of wear. It looks like the upper chain went out of alignment and was not rolling straight onto the sprocket. The guide pin that holds the lower end of the upper plastic guide rail had deep grooves in it where the chain had been dragging over it. The broken sprocket tooth probably was caused by plastic that fell on top of the sprocket and got chewed up, causing the chain to skip as well.
      I decided to drop the oil pan to see what was in there, and found several tablespoons full of plastic chunks and the sprocket tooth. Much of the plastic was up in the input screen area of the oil pump. The plastic does not seem dense enough to count on it staying in place in the bottom of the oil pan. In all, there were hundreds of plastic fragments, the largest about an inch square.
      The other tension rails were slightly grooved, but each had deeper pitting in one area.
      The lesson here is if this problem is suspected, don't wait too long before fixing it. It would be really bad to damage the sprocket on the crankshaft, or for the chain to skip enough to cause valve damage. Also just because the clattering noise subsides, it does not mean the problem has gone away. The big plastic chunks that were bouncing around may have gotten chewed up.

    20. 06-03-2009 01:08 AM #445
      Hi, and thank you so much for posting this DIY. Its been very helpful and very accurate. I would send some beers your way but im short on what would normally pay for this job to be done. And I have a minor question I hope you experts could definitively clarify (your expert assumptions are better than my inexperienced ones thats for sure). And I REALLY appreciate anything.
      So my question. Its more of an oddity than problem (though 'something' is or was wrong).
      What I have done. I have removed the upper cover to the upper timing area, and found this: Upper guide rail has a hairline crack half way down, and the top of the bolt hole is missing (on the lower hole of the upper rail).
      The oddity: Ok so when sitting in the driveway I rev the engine and hear nothing but engine (no noises at all, sounds good - reason why I cannot produce a sound clip). I put in first and start to drive. I then start to hear a very light clicking noise (hard to describe, but maybe more of a tap, but every 1 second repetitively) starting @ ~ 12-1500 rpm. It gets louder with the rpm's going up (consequently due to the engine louder as well).
      Heres the real odd: The noise completely disappears RIGHT after 4000rpm. I keep in 2nd (does in all gears) and stay @ 4200, then let off the gas so it drops back to 4000, instantly bringing back that tick noise.
      Question: Could that missing piece cause the noise to appear ONLY in gear [somehow???]? Or maybe that hairline crack makes the chain hit the edge when in gear (maybe pressure?)
      Car has 113,988 miles.
      Please, im wondering if I really need to spend the 5-600 for the lower section to be looked at when that piece essentially fell into the oil pan already, and replacing the upper guide rail will solve the noise.
      Thank you for reading, and hope you can give me your best guess (whether its bad or good I need a better opinion than my inexperienced one).
      Mainly stock:
      2001 VR6 Jetta GLS
      Cold Air Intake

    21. 06-03-2009 07:44 PM #446
      Heh and actually I have no idea how to get the upper rail in with the engine in there...the fuel injector pump (silver) is directly behind the timing area, and I tried every which way to get that upper rail in but to no avail. That little silver pump looking thing is completely in the way and I dont know if its safe to remove (undo clips and pull off).
      Can I please get some help or is this thread loss of visitors now...


      Modified by theslamforevryone at 4:46 PM 6-3-2009
      Mainly stock:
      2001 VR6 Jetta GLS
      Cold Air Intake

    22. 06-03-2009 08:55 PM #447
      The noise you're hearing is from the intake manifold "shifter rod" and not the timing chains - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1976181.

    23. 06-03-2009 10:10 PM #448
      Even while in gear? I had another topic where I found out one noise was definitely that. But I didnt know it would happen only in gear and stop at 4000.
      And any idea how I can get around or over that fuel cylidrical piece? You put the upper guide rail in from below the gasket because you had the tranny and such out, well I just have the upper cover off, nothing else. Here is the exact image: http://img36.imageshack.us/img...z.jpg where you can see that silver fuel pump type thing, and the rail can only go over it (I cannot figure out any other way, there is a major bracket below it that does not bend so it cannot go below.).
      I Really APPRECIATE the posting, I have been working on this for several days now and need my car back up running soon...so any help, helps!
      THANKS.
      Mainly stock:
      2001 VR6 Jetta GLS
      Cold Air Intake

    24. 06-04-2009 08:40 AM #449
      Are you talking about the fuel pressure regulator? That shouldn't get in the way of replacing the upper guide.

    25. Banned
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      06-04-2009 08:53 AM #450
      Quote, originally posted by need_a_VR6 »
      You can use the new tensioner/bolt if you thread your distro side cover the whole way through. You need a BIG tap to do it, I modded a used new style tensioner bolt into a tap by grinding three flats in the threads and just did it myself. Pain in the rear but it worked fine.

      I've used the new style upper tensioner rail and bolt on all three of my distro VR6's and it was plug and play. No tapping of anything. I just torqued the tensioner bolt to spec. All three cars have been running for years since then.
      Am I missing something here? Were there two different upper timing covers on distributor VR's. This isn't the first time I've heard of this.

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