Well hello all. I am new to the forum and am trying to figure out an issue on my 2003 Chev Cavalier with 2.2 Ecotec. It has 98,000km and was running fine up until about a month ago. The ticking frim the timing chain housing started. It is good on start up until I take it out and drive it and she warms up. I can slighty hear it on start up but very faint. It also seems worse when letting off the throttle and it seems maybe it gets a little slack and ticks inside.
I took it to 3 shops and my father in law who is a mechanic all said the ticking is definitely a timing chain area sound. So I took the easier rout first and purchased the updated style of timing chain tensioner and it was definitely different. Unscrewed the old one and noticed that the new one was shorter from the seat to where the tip would fully extend. This worried me as it would not be long enough to hit the tensioner on start up. I know there are a lot of guys that said only the old style tensioners had to be tapped and released but this one you just stick in and a way you go. I took it upon myself to release it before I stuck it in. It took one little tap on the end and she popped out and was now as long as the old style tensioner. Also when pushing on it, it now had spring tension on it, where it didn't before it was released. My father in law who is a mechanic said that the spring is still the main use for tension on the guide but the oil port on the new style fills the tensioner and acts as a cushion for the ram along with the spring.
I was also told that screwing it in with it released, the curved tip when you screw it in will automatically seat as it turns freely and not to worry. Well I put it in and she started up with no ticking but unfortunately once out for a drive there is still some sort of ticking coming from the same area. My guess is that there may have been a little more damage in there from driving it with it sloppy for a while. I guess I will now have to rip it apart and do a inspection and see what I can find!!
So back to the drawing board. After ripping her all apart and replacing the chain,cam and crank sprockets,bolts,the three guides, oil nozzle,timing chain tensioner, and balance chain tensioner with all GM parts she still has a mysteriuos chatter once warmed up. It definately does only sound more pronounced when the rpm,s are lower and engine is warm. My next step was to maybe check my oil pressure as it maybe will need that extra bit to tension those two chains?
My dash does not have a oil pressure guage so does anyone know where and exactly how to attach a pressure guage to the car somewhere? I was thinking if there would maybe be a port to attach to as I have access to a pile of different guages here at work. Also the size of threads and epected pressure would help so as to make up some kind of fittings and know where i should be at.
Also if anyone has any other ideas what this annoying noise could be that would help? My father in law did take his mechanics stethescope and he as well as three other mechanics feel it is definately coming from the timing chain area. I also pulled the serpentine belt off and ran it to see if the noise dissapeared thinking it may be just the tensioner pully going bad but no such luck.
I just replaced my chain components. you will have to take off your valve cover if your just doing the tensioner. when you screw it in you will have to go in with a long extension between the cams and press firmly onto the tensioner guide to engage the tensioner. on another note. you also have your water pump on the drive chain system. it is located near the firewall str8 down from the back cam. yu may be getting noise from here. because I was replacing the chain the drive belt tensioner was also bad come to find out and allowed the chain to hit the timing cover on the port that brings oil to the oil pump. oil pump is on the front cover. I know its a bit of work but you may want to pull the cover to check this tensioner as well. its not as bad as you might think. at least on a Malibu you don't have to lift the engine or anything to get it off. take note that the tool to remove the water pump its importand. the drive chain sprocket is held in place by the water pump. pull the water pump without the tool and the sprocket falls. if you remove the cover and your not doing the water pump you wont need it. if you do open the cover look at the oiler form the timing chain. its black and plastic at the button juct above the drive chain tensioner. they are know to plug up. remove it and clean it good.
I'm looking into just putting in the updated timing belt tensioner on my 2.2 ecotec (2003 Alero). Car has 130K on it, but I don't hear any rattle yet. I have read that you can just install the new part after activating it (fully extended) and just screw it in while applying pressure. This avoids the hassle of removing the valve cover. Has anybody done this or have a recommendation?