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Saturday, September 17, 2011

STEP BY STEP AUDI TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER REPLACEMENT

I will start out by stating that you DO NOT HAVE TO REMOVE THE TIMING BELT TO REPLACE THE TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER. As so many guides including the Audi manual itself states that you have to essentially remove everything, timing belt, bumper, radiator, etc.. just to replace the timing chain tensioner. This is not the case at all and I have performed the repair multiple times in under an hour. The symptoms of a worn out timing chain tensioner are caused by one of two things: The first is the wearing out of the pads or deterioration of the high strength plastic they use. This will cause a consistent grinding, rough idle, low power, and the valves will not be correctly timed at all rpm's. The second type of failure is the hyd piston itself. If this fails it the timing chain will be fluctuating from completely compressed to complete extension. This will typically cause the timing chain to scrape against the valve cover. If you put your hand on the top of the valve cover you will easily be able to feel the metal on metal scraping.  I will give a general walk through below:

  1. Remove plastic Audi cover
  2. Remove all wiring and coil packs from top of valve cover
  3. Remove bolts that connect the metal pipe to the left side of the valve cover
  4. Disconnect any air or vacuum lines making it very easy to remove the valve cover. When removing valve cover it must be lifted straight up off the studs and can not be angled.
  5. After the valve cover is removed loosen all of the caps for both camshafts.
  6. Remove the first 3 camshaft caps that are nearest to the timing chain tensioner
  7. Be sure to keep tension on the timing belt to avoid any slipping
  8. Remove the bolts that are holding the timing chain tensioner in place
  9. Carefully angle both cams upward lifting the timing chain tensioner with them. This will take a little bit of time to finagle it out but it will come out without damaging any of the cam bearings as long as you take your time. You have to trust me though because the first one I removed this way seemed almost impossible until I stepped back and took a look, it reminds me of a the brain teasers you used to play with when you were young. 
  10. Once the old tensioner is removed slip the new one in and make sure it slides in level with the base it is bolted too because a high pressure oil line runs from the head into the tensioner itself. 
  11. When laying the cams back into place do not use force (pressure will be holding them up a small amount) 
  12. Once you have the bolts started for the cam caps SLOWLY start to tighten each cap a very small amount moving from one end to the other. It will damage the cams if you do not tighten each cap bit by bit to bring the camshaft to its normal position. 
  13. Now that the cam is lying in place and the tensioner bolts are tight you can proceed to torque the camshaft bolts to the proper torque depending on what DOHC engine you have. 
  14. Install the valve cover 
  15. Connect all vacuum lines and bolt the metal antifreeze line back to the valve cover
  16. Install each coil pack and connect the corresponding harness (the coil packs are not cylinder specific so you can mix them up)
  17. I would recommend an oil change before initial start up
  18. Start it up and after about 10 seconds the tensioner will build pressure and be back to new!
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to comment!

23 comments:

  1. I would defiantly say the timing chain tensioner with 1/2 moon seal and Valve cover gasket is a hard job for most mechanics that are not familiar with the service of Audi and Volkswagen's . We repair Valve cover gaskets every week that were supposed repaired by pros. Take your time clean everything twice and don't use to much silicone it will just clog up other oil passageways.

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  2. WHICH ENGINE WAS THIS DONE FOR, I HAVE THE ATQ 2001

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  3. This was done for the 1.8 but the same principles apply for the 2.7, 2.8 and 4.2 Liter engines.

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    Replies
    1. Will this work for a 2005 a6 4.2 also?

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  4. Does the Audi A4 B6 2.0L ALT engine also have a cam chain tensioner?..
    Been told it does'nt, but i have the very same distinct sound of the rattling chain for first 2 secs on cold start up..
    Any help appreciated..

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    Replies
    1. I have an ALT 2litre and it has a CCT I bought one from Audi and will be replacing it soon.

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  5. This works, how ever, remove the cam sensor on driver side for 2.8. I broke it when lifting cams. Thanx for time saver!

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  6. As I remember. For 4 or 5 cylinder, this was right. but for V6, V8, only apply to right bank.left one was much more trouble.

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  7. Does this apply for Audi A6 2005 3.2 V6 engine?

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  8. I need to replace the tensioners on my '98 AHA 2.8 and am puzzled by part of your procedure. I realize your model is a 1.8. However, when trying to tilt the cams, wouldn't you have to loosen all the caps and end cap to a certain extent to avoid nicking or stressing the cam or bearings or seals? Although I've done plenty of other repairs, including timing belts and head replacement on a SOHC 2.0L, I've never had to replace a tensioner before. Tilting the cams makes sense. Just trying to make sure I get my research done before opening the tool box. Thanks.

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  9. what are the consequences of not replacing the timing chain tensioner? I have ordered the parts and I hope it is just as easy as you've explained here in this Blog. I will be comming back to you to let you know how it went. Alfredo

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  10. I would really like to know, as an earlier Anonymous guy, if it is also applies to the Audi A6 3.2 Engine from 2005? Is it possible to change the tensioners in a "simple" operation? I am being told by the Audi-shop that they need to take apart Engine, gearbox and so on with a final bill of 8-9k USD as a result to get this fixed...

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  11. I recently replaced cam chain tensioner pads on the passenger side on my 01' a6 2.7t. I only removed the exhaust cam shaft to get the tensioner out. All went smooth but when I went to start the car up it turned but didn't fire up. I made sure to mark the chain for both cam shaft sprockets and double checked to make sure there were 16 chain links between the arrows. However, I did not set the engine to TDC so I am wondering if that may have something to do with it. So I guess my question is, do you have to set engine to TDC when only removing the exhaust camshaft?

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  12. i cannit lift one of the cams because its attached to the timing belt gear on the drivers side . do i have to take the belt and gear off 4.2l audi 2001 quatro

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    1. I am also trying to remove a tensioner on a 2001 A6 4.2, but on the passenger side. I have taken all the caps off of the intake cam but cannot seem to get then tensioner out. Also are you going to get an Audi tensioner or one of the cheaper ones on EBAY?

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    2. I took all the intake cam caps off and the cap on the exhaust cam by the tensioner. Then I was able to lift the intake cam and the tensioner out.

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  13. i remove my valve cover and i found one the the pads broken and the timing chain was scraping against the valve cover.Do i only have to replaced the pads

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    1. It is very difficult to replace just the pads on the timing chain tensioner. In regard to it scraping against the valve cover, that is very common and one of the first signs that it is going out. Did it wear the two groves very deep in the valve cover? I would recommend replacing the entire tensioner. Replacing the pads is still not cheap, takes time and a lot of times the worn material from the pads will damage the timing chain tensioner hyd system. Thanks and I hope that helps!

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  14. Replies
    1. No, you do not have to pull the engine when replacing the starter motor. Thanks!

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  15. No, you do not have to pull the engine when replacing the starter motor. Thanks!

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  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvAABeSflMA

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