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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who've done timing chain replacements, and used a masterlink-type chain, what did you use to crimp in the masterlink (and perhaps get the old chain seperated, if it had a masterlink too)?

I know there's a Saab tool out there for that job, but they're hard to find. I can probably borrow one though the car I need to do a timing chain replacement on (the 1992 2.1 hatchback - it's tensioner was 12 mm out before I pulled the engine to deal with the dead HG issue) needs that done before it can be driven anywhere, though I could put the engine back together leaving the current chain in it and just be careful until I can get it to a place that can do the chain for me.

I have a new 16V chain (a nice IWIS one) with a masterlink ready to deploy if I can get the right tool or if there's a reliable shadetree method.

Craig.
 

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I have used a Ball pein hammer to mushroom the rivets over the master Link . About as shadetree as you will get , Reliable ? I was nervous about it 4 years or 100 k ago .

If you have the engine out of the car , and you are not confident of the above or similar , fit an endless and keep the Roll in for when you need a roll in .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I found the equivalent to the genuine Saab chain crimping tool at Pelican Parts:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/TOOL/POR_TOOL_SAABTL_pg12.htm

with pricing that is aimed at a workshop not a home mechanic of course. Probably a very good product though.

That motorcycle chain tool looks ideal.

If the current chain is endless I'll just grind one link away.

Craig.
 

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You can use the motorcycle tool to punch out the rivet in an endless chain (or cut it if you don't want to purchase the tool). Keep in mind that if you cut the chain, you will have to have a means of attaching the new master-link chain to the old chain so that you can roll it through (or take the timing cover off).

I'm with Aussie though, if you have the engine out for a headgasket job, just pull the timing cover and replace the chain with an endless.

As far as peening the pin, I used a big flat head screwdriver and some vice grips. Worked like a charm and is still fine after 30,000 miles. I tried to use the motorcycle tool but the one I had wouldn't fit correctly around the chain.

Dustin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a small ball-pein hammer in one of my metal ammo boxes that I carry with my tools in-car all time time, and I have a steel punch so I could use them as needed.

I'd like to get the correct tool (the Pelican one) though can't justify for one chain job.

Craig.
 

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+1 for the hummer, it is the rivet after all, rivet will hold equally good if punched with hummer or pressed with rivet tool. Some of members would not agree I know...
 

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i just cut my old one off with bolt cutters, i bought an endless one, but thats only because i pulled the motor for rebuild :) much easier!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok I bit the bullet and have purchased the proper tool and adaptor bit from Pelican Parts and also a valve spring compressor for 16V engines. They're all made by Sir Tools and their stuff is top quality. The timing chain tool is actually sold as a Mercedes special tool, but the adaptor bit works with Saab single-row timing chains.

Why go the proper tool route - simply because I'll most likely need to do timing chains in my 9k and also my 81 turbo sometime soon as they're both rattly (and 9k's tensioner is almost 11 mm out last time I checked it).

Craig.
 

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I bought the harbor freight tool to remove that pin and the infamous coupler pin. If I was installing, I would just grab one of my bucking bars and a rivet gun with an appropriate hammer face to match the rivet head. I can also use a "C" rivet compressor tool. Work with what makes you comfortable. Between bikes, motorcycles, and equipment, I don't have much fear either way with roller chains. Hy-Vo style make me a bit more cautious, just from lack of experience.
 

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I had this problem as well, about 3 years ago, and posted here without getting much of a response. I also didn't want to shell $200 for a tool I was just going to use once, along with the $30 adapter. A regular chain breaking tool is useful for getting the chain apart, but not for putting it back together again; it will pop the pin out fine, after which I used a zip tie to link the new and old chains together at roughly the same spacing as a single link would allow, so that rolling in the chain is seamless. So what I ended up doing was peening it as d_ames did, with vice grips and a screw driver, applying enough pressure on the pin that pulling the screw driver out from under the grips would slowly peen the edge of the pin. The screw driver wasn't hard enough, unfortunately, so I eventually used an open wrench edge to do this.

Although I was confident "enough" on the replacement, and it ran fine for 2 years (~50k kms), when I did my engine rebuild last summer I decided I'd replace it with an endless link anyhow, since I wasn't 100% confident in it. If for nothing else, if that $200 + adapter cost - the cost of a second new chain is < the amount of work to replace the dubious chain with a good one (whether that be a master link chain done correctly or an endless chain) + the peace of mind of a chain job done correctly, then get the tool. I'm not saying I would have bought the tool for sure, but if I knew I was doing an engine rebuild 2 years down the road, I would have held off (the chain was at the maximum point, 11mm extension, but hasn't surpassed it yet).

li Arc
 
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