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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, ok, ok... had some chain rattle and decided to check the tensioner out today. I might have goofed up here and need to know if I did a bad thing.

I removed the chain tensioner with a 27mm socket WITHOUT removing the 12mm bolt/spring first. I know, it was a bonehead move but I totally forgot to remove it first. Call it being anxious to dig into the car, call it careless, but what's done is done, I removed it from the car without removing that 12mm bolt first.

When I got the tensioner out and onto the workbench it was fully extended (15 clicks on the leg). I removed the 12mm bolt on the workbench, removed and inspected the spring, plastic insert and o-ring - all looked ok.

When I went to reassemble, I could not get the leg to catch when I depressed the ratchet and pushed the leg back down. It would keep popping back up no matter what I did.

I wound up giving up after 15mins of trying to get the leg to catch on the ratchet, and put the tensioner back in the car.

When I started the car up, and the motor knocking is gone, but I imagine this is because the leg of the tensioner is fully extended and tensioning the hell out of the chain right now. The car ran strong, but has a medium pitched whirring noise during acceleration (kind of a 'Rrrrrrrrr' sound on accel).

Someone please tell me if I should park the car, order a new tensioner, and not drive it until I replace it or If I'm fine with what I did for now.

I am planning a chain and guide replacement in the fall, and just wanted to see if the tensioner was out of it's safe 10mm zone, but I also don't want to drive the car with a faulty tensioner and mess something up inside the motor before then.

Thanks in advance,
Captain Clumsy (aka zen)
 

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Did you put the tensioner back in with the 12mm bolt in place? If so you may have damaged the tensioner. You say that the leg keeps popping up no matter what you do - that sounds like you've got the 12mm bolt in place. Just in case you're not sure, you need to put the 27mm part in first without the 12mm part and with the extendable part pushed all the way back into the tensioner body (i.e. as short as possible). Once the 27mm part is in then you can put the 12mm part in (the spring with the little plastic part at the followed by the 12mm bolt).

I would avoid running the car until you've got this sorted - if the tensioner is under stress it could break and you could be running the engine with no tensioner. This could lead to very nasty consequences e.g. timing chain jumps on the sprockets, valves hit pistons etc. etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes. I installed it back in with the 12mm bolt in place.

I'm assuming from your message I should remove the 12mm bolt (in situ), loosen and remove the 27mm tensioner assembly, push the leg down, put the 27mm section back in the car, then put the 12mm bolt with the spring and plastic insert to tension the belt correctly. Yes?
 

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Yes - that's right. Check to make sure that you haven't bent or broken the tensioner leg. If there's any sign of damage I would go get a new one.
 

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Remove the tensioner and inspect it for damage. Remove the spring and retract the tensioner. Insert the tensioner first and then insert the spring.

If the spring is in, the tensioner will not remain retracted. The spring pushes the tensioner out and the ratchet pawl only keeps the tensioner from retracting once it has been allowed to move out. The fact that the tensioner would not stay in with the spring in place is correct operation.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok cool, I just did all of that and took a quick test drive. All seems to be as it was. The whirring noise is gone. The knocking is lessened.

So once the car cools down from the test ride, I'll remove the 12mm nut and then the 27mm assembly and check the gap on the leg to see if it's +/- 10mm to determine how slack the chain is.

Thanks for your help everyone, I knew something wasn't right when I did this an hour ago, and thank God for this forum for when that happens!

-zen

Yes - that's right. Check to make sure that you haven't bent or broken the tensioner leg. If there's any sign of damage I would go get a new one.
 

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Hmm, my car makes that same noise...similar to the chain whine a motorcycle makes. I rebuilt the engine a few thousand miles ago, but its since spun a rod bearing...I'll have to try that when I get my engine all the way out and repaired.
 
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