Timing chain replacement - Cobalt SS Network



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Old 11-23-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Timing chain replacement

Anybody know how often the timing chain is supposed to be replaced? Are there any aftermarket upgrades to the factory one or is that the only option?
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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Why would you want to replace it?
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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I don't want to replace it, but I know that it is recommended to change timing change after a certain amount of miles. I'm just trying to find out what that maintenace schedule is. That is something I would much rather replace before it snaps.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kenhebe View Post
I don't want to replace it, but I know that it is recommended to change timing change after a certain amount of miles. I'm just trying to find out what that maintenace schedule is. That is something I would much rather replace before it snaps.
that goes for timing belts not chains..ur chain should be just fine 4 as long as the engine is in good standing...its usually only changed wen it skips or breaks other than that our chains are pretty reliable
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:17 PM   #5
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its not a fun task either lol!
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
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oh it's not that bad
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:11 PM   #7
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I can't find anything in GM service information about scheduled timing chain replacement . I would do it at 100K miles if it were me. Or at least do the tensioner . It is a pain in the ass to replace the chain thou.... GM pays 4 hour's for warranty so straight time is prolly more like 6 . While your in there might as well do the guides too ... so it can turn into a decent sized bill by the time you do guides , chain and tensioner.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
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Timing belts get changed every 80-100k, a timing chain should last the "life" of the engine. 200k+ miles.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:31 PM   #9
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I will revive this as people are coming up to high mileage... I'll also add some insight.
I had a 2004 Cavalier L61 Ecotec. Maintanence called to replace the chain at 100K.... I didnt... and kapooyah at 102K.
With our motors being interference motors, running boost, and far more power than an NA L61 Ecotec... I'd say better safe than sorry and change it at 90K
When that thing breaks bye bye motor... you will get pistons clapping valves which will force a complete overhaul.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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I see a lot of ecotechs with broken chains and bent valves anywhere between 50k to 150k and up. the biggest variable is how often you change your oil. the more the better. The oil life monitor system was a big waste of money imo. if anything its designed so that you change your oil "just enough" that problems wont start occurring until your just out of warranty.
If you change your oil regularly (semi or full syn every 3-4k) id recc changing the chain somewhere between 90k and 125k WITH GUIDES AND TENSIONER. sprockets should be ok till about 200k but inspect them anyway to be sure. If you change your oil to the oil life monitor or
every 5-6k on dexos id recc not going over 60k on your chain, guides, and tensioner.

The best way to check your timing chain life is to pull the valve cover and check for slack between the cams. 1/4-1/2in up and down is okay, anymore and your getting close to the chain being able to jump a tooth.

GM claims that the chain is "for the life of the engine" which to them is basically is about 150k miles, after that they intend on you trading it in
for dirt and buying a new car. They don't want you to realize that if you do proper "preventative" maintenance it will be cheaper than buying a new vehicle every five or so years. So then they decided certain fluids and procedures are "fill for life/life of the engine" and just don't tell you how to make your car last longer.

Last edited by Kolt; 08-14-2015 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:50 PM   #11
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I see a lot of ecotechs with broken chains and bent valves anywhere between 50k to 150k and up. the biggest variable is how often you change your oil. the more the better. The oil life monitor system was a big waste of money imo. if anything its designed so that you change your oil "just enough" that problems wont start occurring until your just out of warranty.
If you change your oil regularly (semi or full syn every 3-4k) id recc changing the chain somewhere between 90k and 125k WITH GUIDES AND TENSIONER. sprockets should be ok till about 200k but inspect them anyway to be sure. If you change your oil to the oil life monitor or
every 5-6k on dexos id recc not going over 60k on your chain, guides, and tensioner.

The best way to check your timing chain life is to pull the valve cover and check for slack between the cams. 1/4-1/2in up and down is okay, anymore and your getting close to the chain being able to jump a tooth.

GM claims that the chain is "for the life of the engine" which to them is basically is about 150k miles, after that they intend on you trading it in
for dirt and buying a new car. They don't want you to realize that if you do proper "preventative" maintenance it will be cheaper than buying a new vehicle every five or so years. So then they decided certain fluids and procedures are "fill for life/life of the engine" and just don't tell you how to make your car last longer.
The Ecotec's aren't the only car that has timing chain issues past 120k.

Last edited by Viperoni; 08-17-2015 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #12
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The Ecotec's are the only car that has timing chain issues past 120k.
I wouldn't say only, just the most common atm due to the fact there have been so many variants that have been put in so many gm vehicles over the last 15 years.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:57 AM   #13
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:58 PM   #14
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Only if your making big power and track or race your car alot do u need to worrie about the chain streching or breaking. Metal stretches so yeah after time its gonna need replaced but after like 125k mabe. As far as aftermarket i think sombody was working on a thicker chain for our cars might have been just some BS i read on here years ago tho.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:53 AM   #15
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Lots of koolaid drinkers in here....
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:21 AM   #16
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I wouldn't say only, just the most common atm due to the fact there have been so many variants that have been put in so many gm vehicles over the last 15 years.
Sorry, that should have said "aren't" - it's a minor issue on the Nissan VQ35 as well, but tends to happen later (125-200k) when it does.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #17
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Sorry, that should have said "aren't" - it's a minor issue on the Nissan VQ35 as well, but tends to happen later (125-200k) when it does.
I'm now the proud owner of a VQ35 with timing chain issues.

My gf took her dad and brother on a test drive of an 04 Maxima. They told her the chain noise was "normal".

Yeah she drove up and it was audible. Ridiculous. I was not happy. That was a fun fight. But I think the VQ35 suffers from oil loss which doesn't help the situation.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:40 AM   #18
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I'm now the proud owner of a VQ35 with timing chain issues.

My gf took her dad and brother on a test drive of an 04 Maxima. They told her the chain noise was "normal".

Yeah she drove up and it was audible. Ridiculous. I was not happy. That was a fun fight. But I think the VQ35 suffers from oil loss which doesn't help the situation.
They're nice engines but they have their issues.
The oil loss issue was a problem with the rings, something about the metallurgy not being right and wearing out prematurely.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #19
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They're nice engines but they have their issues.
The oil loss issue was a problem with the rings, something about the metallurgy not being right and wearing out prematurely.
Mine is an external leak I have yet to diagnose. Loses about 1.5 quarts per 5k miles so I just fill it whenever.

Previous owner disabled the CEL as well. ******.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #20
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Mine is an external leak I have yet to diagnose. Loses about 1.5 quarts per 5k miles so I just fill it whenever.

Previous owner disabled the CEL as well. ******.
My dads had a problem with the #3 cylinder valve cover to spark plug tube seal. Nissan doesn't sell the spark plug tube gaskets separately either, it's a single PN for the whole valve cover with spark plug tube gaskets... $270 CAD.

Did they tune the ECU or cut the wire/remove the CEL bulb?
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:55 AM   #21
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My dads had a problem with the #3 cylinder valve cover to spark plug tube seal. Nissan doesn't sell the spark plug tube gaskets separately either, it's a single PN for the whole valve cover with spark plug tube gaskets... $270 CAD.

Did they tune the ECU or cut the wire/remove the CEL bulb?
I don't even know yet. How do they even tune the ECU on the maximas?
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