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When should a timing chain be replaced?



  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I once owned a 76 Mercury Capri with the 2.8L V6 and a 4-speed manual. Fun car to drive. The engine had one of those lovely sprockets with nylon teeth bonded to a steel wheel (a quieter design so I was told).

    One day that little nylon gear disintigrated (the car had 130,000 miles on it) and left me stranded. They had to pull the engine to fix it, so I sprung for a new water pump and oil pump while they had it apart. $500 to a college kid in 1983 was pretty painful, but the car was well maintained and I had no warning it was about to break.

    Sometimes cars just break without warning. I've owned lots of cars, most went well over 100,000 miles, and that is the only time I lost a timing chain/gear/belt. Don't waste money chasing down problems that don't exist, but don't wait to fix an apparent problem. And don't skimp on maintenance. Aside from that, accept that cars break sometimes, and if you drive them long enough it will happen to you.

    You could change that timing chain, and something else horrible can happen the next day. That same car of mine destroyed a pilot bearing just weeks later and took out the synchros for 1st and 2nd gears. I grew to hate that car.
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