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Problem: Timing chain problems

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[gti-vr6] VR6 timing chain service AWE16VR6@aol Wed, 24 Jun 1998 18:46:17 EDT
Re: [gti-vr6] VR6 timing chain service Arthur Emerson <emerson@eideti> Wed, 24 Jun 1998 22:22:32 -0400
[gti-vr6] lifter noise VW Motorsport <KWX8@MARISTB.MARIST> Sat, 07 Nov 1998 23:36:14 EST
[gti-vr6] got her back VW Motorsport <KWX8@MARISTB.MARIST> Wed, 09 Dec 1998 11:51:49 EST
[gti-vr6] Possible Timing Chain Woes?? Uwe Ross <Uwe.Ross@pobox> Tue, 23 Nov 1999 17:41:33 -0500



From AWE16VR6@aol Wed Jun 24 18:46:17 EDT 1998
From: AWE16VR6@aol
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: [gti-vr6] VR6 timing chain service
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 18:46:17 EDT
 
I just finished a timing chain service on a customer's 92 Corrado SLC.  He
initially came in with a loud clatter from the driver's side of the engine,
which had him worried that he had something majorly wrong internally.  The
sound and location made me think timing chains, and sure enough I was right.
I pulled the upper tensioner (located near the EGR, or at 2 oclock position
from oil cap on non EGR VR6s) and inspected it.  There were score marks on the
tip which pushes on the rear chain guide.  A visual inspection through the
tensioner bore with a dental mirror showed unusual marks at the contact point
on the back of that tensioner.  I installed a good used tensioner and fired up
the engine, and the noise was greatly abated.  However, I warned the customer
that it was most likely a temporary fix.  
Sure enough, two weeks later, the clatter was back.  To replace the affected
upper rear chain guide, the lower chain guard has to be removed, which entails
dropping the trans.  Unfortunately, I had recently rebuilt his trans and
replaced his clutch!
Once the trans, intake and valve cover are removed, replacing the chains and
guides is straight forward (as long as you pay close attention to mechanical
timing).  His upper guides were both shot, and the lower guide was also
cracked.  He was lucky that the chains did not skip teeth and cause valve
damage.  
During a conversation with a European contact, I mentioned the chain overhaul
and he said this was becoming a more common problem on the older VR6s.
Remember that Europe got the VR6 almost 2 yrs before we did, so they have a
jump on uncovering mileage related problems on these engines.  From now on I
will recommend chain service to customers having their clutches replaced near
the 100k mile mark.  SLC above has 102k.  
Total chain related parts (guides, tensioners, double row 92-95 upper chain
and single row lower, rear main seal) is about $340, with an extra 3.5 hrs to
remove the intake and perform the chain service itself.  Add the cost of
removing the trans, and this becomes a $1k job.  However, if you're in there
already to do a clutch...

Todd
Air & Water
VW Tuning
1-888-565-2257
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From emerson@eideti Wed Jun 24 22:22:32 -0400 1998
From: Arthur Emerson <emerson@eideti>
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] VR6 timing chain service
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 22:22:32 -0400
 
&#65;WE16VR6&#64;aol<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15> wrote:
> 
> I just finished a timing chain service on a customer's 92 Corrado SLC. [snip]

> I pulled the upper tensioner (located near the EGR, or at 2 oclock position
> from oil cap on non EGR VR6s) and inspected it.  There were score marks on the
> tip which pushes on the rear chain guide.

Is this deja vu or what?  I was over at our local VW guru's shop on
Monday, and he had a Corrado SLC with 110K miles in for timing chain
tensioners too.  He said that he's recommending 100K service on them,
as they aren't lasting much longer.

He was just starting work, and only had the upper one exposed.  The
chain had cut through the tensioner, and I don't even want to think 
where the tensioner shreds went.  Hopefully, VW improved on the
design for our distributorless cars.  One of the reasons why I
bought the VR6 was to avoid 60K timing belt changes, so I'm not
happy to hear about the higher expense of a chain tensioner on
the horizon.

> From now on I
> will recommend chain service to customers having their clutches replaced near
> the 100k mile mark.

I'd recommend it any time the tranny is out, if even only changing
the tensioners.....

- -Arthur

1995 Black GTI VR6 #16 GS PSCC/NYR-SCCA/HVCSCC


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From KWX8@MARISTB.MARIST Sat Nov 07 23:36:14 EST 1998
From: VW Motorsport <KWX8@MARISTB.MARIST>
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: [gti-vr6] lifter noise
Date: Sat, 07 Nov 1998 23:36:14 EST
 
my friend has a 1997 glx with 20,000 miles....
there is a tapping when the motor is warm../.does this make sense
to anyone..??....also his timing chain sounds horrible..
loud...and grindy//?????

anyone else have these experiences ever,...??
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Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 23:20:36 -0600 (CST)
From: Andy Nguyen <aqn>
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] lifter noise

VW Motorsport wrote:
> my friend has a 1997 glx with 20,000 miles....
> there is a tapping when the motor is warm../.does this make sense
> to anyone..??....also his timing chain sounds horrible..
> loud...and grindy//?????
> 
> anyone else have these experiences ever,...??

  No, sorry, never had 'em.

  About the tapping sounds, do they emanate from the valve
  cover/head area?  I would have thought that noisy hydraulic cam
  followers would only be noisy when cold?  The noise would be
  caused by blocked or restricted oil ways in the followers
  preventing cold oil from getting into them & pressurizing
  them.

  In any case, the timing chain noise doesn't sound like good
  news.  Y'all are sure that it's the timing chain that's making
  the racket? I.e. the noise is coming from the driver's side of
  the engine?  Could it be that one of the chain tensioner is
  shot?

  The Bentley book says that the upper timing chain's tensioner
  can be removed "from the camshaft sprocket cover".  The
  diagram of the exploded view of the chains & tensioners seem
  to show that tensioner as a bolt-like thing that is screwed
  into the back of the engine.

  The book is somewhat sketchy on the lower chain's tensioner.

- -- 
Andy Nguyen \ &#97;qn&#64;tivoli<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15> \ Tivoli Systems, Austin, TX \ 512.436.8229
"vi":   :map ^V^X^V^B [[!%cb^V^M  (macro: beautify the current routine)
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From gti-vr6-owner Wed Dec 9 10:51:52 1998
From: VW Motorsport <KWX8@MARISTB.MARIST>
To: <gti-vr6@dev.tivoli>
Subject: [gti-vr6] got her back
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 11:51:49 EST
 


last week on tuesday i dropped my vr6 off for a timing chain prob, at
20,000 mi...??!!...well they took the motor apart and found the entire
chain/assembly was destroyed...it was from a tensioner that failed, and
it messed everything up...(chain reaction..:).)..well they also found
the timing chain guides failed and this caused the cams to be tarnished
from the guides scraping...
bottom line...

new factory cams...and timing assembly..everything...!!! all under
warranty..!!..it would have cost over $2600..!! ouch...

i also just got the turn 2 mount installed...holly sh.. that thing made
the whole car feel more in sync with itself...thanx list for the advice
about the mount..

## DAN ##
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From Uwe.Ross@pobox Tue Nov 23 17:41:33 -0500 1999
From: Uwe Ross <Uwe.Ross@pobox>
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: [gti-vr6] Possible Timing Chain Woes??
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 17:41:33 -0500
 
> Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 11:28:14 -0500
&gt; From: "Luke White" &lt;&#108;ukewhite&#64;emeraldis<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;
> Subject: [gti-vr6] Possible Timing Chain Woes??
>
> Everyone,
>
> I hate to (re)-beat a dead horse, but is there any definitive information on
> the source of the "clatter" I hear occasionally from the upper right of the
> engine (facing the front - driver's side).  I have heard it is "normal" but
> I still don't like it.  Is this something I need to address?  The noise
> comes and goes (however, I haven't been able to establish a pattern) and
> doesn't seem to affect performance in any way.  Where I live it is an hour's
> drive and at least a half day off work to go to any of 4 possible
> dealerships, so I'd like to know what's up before I decide to make the trip.

Don't bother.  They will just tell you "That's normal".

> Has anyone had any work done to their car to correct this noise?  Can the
> timing chain tensioner be replaced without rearing the engine down?

Refer to this picture:
http://wso.net/ross/Uwe/VR6/Service/timing_chains.gif

The hydraulic tensioner (part number 11) that applies pressure to the upper
chain guide can indeed be replaced without disassebmling ANYTHING else.  But
in order to replace any of the other parts, you need to separate the tranny
from the engine.  A new tensioner looks like this:

http://wso.net/ross/Uwe/VR6/Service/Chain_Tensioner_1.jpg
http://wso.net/ross/Uwe/VR6/Service/Chain_Tensioner_2.jpg

> Does the tensioner work similar to a hydraulic lifter?

Yes, pretty much.

> (BTW, I have a stock-engined '97 GTI VR6 with 21,000 miles)

It strikes me as highly unlikely that a 1997 with 21k miles on it is making
timing chain noise.  Most 1997's have a single-row upper chain and and a
solid polymer upper chain guide like this:
http://wso.net/ross/Uwe/VR6/Schrick/97_chain_a.jpg

That makes the "classic" VR6 chain guide problem extremely unlikely:
http://wso.net/ross/Uwe/VR6/Service/chain_guide.jpg

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