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Old 04-20-2015, 12:47 AM   #1
WeekenderNutJob
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Going to rebuild the VANOS...should I also replace the timing chain tensioner?

Should I preemptively replace the timing chain tensioner when rebuilding the VANOS or would it just be a wait of time and money?

I have got a 330xi with M54 engine and 143K miles, manual trans. It came with only ok service records but the price was right and I do all my own work.

I know the Valve Cover Gaskets/brakes were just done about 10K miles ago. I am planning on doing the VANOS soon and just did all the other things (water pump/radiator/reservoir/hoses/thermostat/fluids/filters). It makes some ticking noises but I am guessing its either the VANOS or just normal sounds of the lifters...nothing too bad. I figure since I will have the Valve Covers off anyways, I might want to consider the top timing chain tensioner? Anything else I should consider besides the typical VANOS kit?

If I cant get to it from just having the valve covers off I don't plan to do it. So I don't plan to replace the actual chain or any guides or do any adjustments to head unless I find serious problems once I am in there.

I hope this is not a repeat thread, I tried searching could not find much on the timing chain tensioner failure....but then again that may be my answer, they don't fail?

Last edited by WeekenderNutJob; 04-20-2015 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:03 AM   #2
David F
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Does the chain rattle? If not, leave well enough alone. It is not a big deal to change the tensioner regardless of doing the VANOS or not. Neither is related/dependent on the removal of the other in order to change. Also, you don't hear about cam chain tensioner (top) failures, if ever. So, I wouldn't do it either. When you have the valve cover off, push hard on the top chain tensioner...it should be very firm. Ticking noise maybe the injectors you are hearing.

The VANOS can cause a "rattling" noise, not usually a "ticking" noise.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:47 AM   #3
Loaded325i
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You will know you need a timing chain job. At 143 I doubt you do.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:32 PM   #4
Sansho
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Agree, unless there's an issue, you don't need to fuss with it.
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