Broken timing chain - Third Generation Forum

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Broken timing chain
Saturday, June 04, 2005 4:13 PM
I've got a 2000 Cavalier with a 2.2L OHV engine and 140k miles. The timing chain tensioner actually broke causing the lose piece to bounce around in the timing chain housing for a little while. It then jammed the chain at the crankshaft at idle and broke the chain across one link.

Has anyone else run into this problem?

I've wracked my brains trying to anticipate additional damage in the engine. Any ideas of what else I need to look for before I close it back up and return it to service?

Thanks for your responses.

Re: Broken timing chain
Sunday, June 05, 2005 6:06 AM
These engines ARE interference. That means the pistons and valves collide when the chain snaps. Valve damage is more than likely.




- 2004 Cavalier - 124k, owned since new



Re: Broken timing chain
Sunday, June 05, 2005 10:46 AM
I thought there was space between the pistons and valves on the OHV engines, so if the chain broke, it wouldn't damage the engine.



Re: Broken timing chain
Monday, June 06, 2005 8:44 PM
Actually the 2.2/2200s are NOT interferencce engines in stock configuration. I've had mine break about 3 years ago(fixed it my self) then about 6 months later step sons did the same. Neither had any valve damage.

I have since rebuit the entire engine(1.6 rockers, surfaced block and head), while checking the Valve-to-piston clearance, I checked for interference w/o the timing chain, and they just barely touched while turining by hand. If the engine were running then there would be bent valves and holes in the pistons. (Used a bore scope, neat tool, but i doubt I'll ever get one of my own.)





Re: Broken timing chain
Monday, June 06, 2005 11:18 PM
MadJack,

That is what I'm suspecting since the car was near idle when the chain gave up. I suspect I would have heard some kind of impact sound if it had been an interference engine but it was just like someone had turned the switch off. No noise, no power.

I'm also thinking that even if the valves and pistons mixed it up, there would be some relief because of the hydraulic lifters. If the piston were pushing on the valve, then the lifter would empty itself of oil and collapse adding the additional travel to the valve. On an overhead cam engine, the valves would just impact the camlobes and lock up I think.

I'll let you all know what I run into since I've got to finish this repair. Thanks for your input.
Re: Broken timing chain
Tuesday, June 07, 2005 3:36 PM
They do hit,trust me.
The easiest way to find out is to pull off the valve cover and look for "loose" rockers.
Expect to find 6 to 8 bad ones.

Graham
Re: Broken timing chain
Tuesday, June 07, 2005 8:54 PM
graham kane wrote:

They do hit,trust me.
The easiest way to find out is to pull off the valve cover and look for "loose" rockers.
Expect to find 6 to 8 bad ones.

Graham


I have the cover off and have checked for loose or bent pushrods. None have been found and all components seem to be snug without slop. Keep in mind the chain did not jump time, it flat broke and completely stopped the camshaft. I think this is why I am not seeing any obvious problems on the engine. Also I would expect the impact of a valve into the piston would make a rather harsh noise. Again, there was no noise at all. The engine shut down like you had turned the ignition off. It was running near idle at the time.

Like I said earlier, I will let you know what I run into as soon as I have made some more progress on the repair.
Re: Broken timing chain
Tuesday, June 14, 2005 10:10 AM
If your worried about it do a compression test.




Re: Broken timing chain
Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:58 PM
Well, it is finally done. I may get to liking this little engine after all. I am running a completely stock 2.2L OHV engine. After much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands we decided to bite the bullet and replace the timing chain without removing the head.

Because of the arrangement of the oil pan and timing chain cover, we had to drop the oil pan to replace the chain. We found just a few shavings in the pan and no large pieces of anything. Once the timing cover was off and we had an opportunity to complete the research, we found the timing chain had probably jumped a tooth or two moments before it broke entirely. That means that the pistons had no real force behind them during their freewheeling. Also once we had mounted the new cam chain sprocket we turned the camshaft and crankshaft deliberately out of time to see if we heard any noises from contact of the valves and pistons. There were none.

The job including the various checks we ran, was about 10 to 12 hours total. The chain went on without a hitch and once everything was reassembled and reinstalled, the car started on the first try after sitting since mid-May.

The timing chain on this engine should not be replaced by itself. You should replace the chain, both the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets and the chain tensioner. This is the ONLY way to be certain of the timing. These parts are available as a single kit at most of the parts houses.

As far as the interference / non-interference design question, the only thing I can be certain of is this engine is a non-interference engine when there is no oil in the hydraulic lifters. Now for the next 150k.
Re: installing a timing chaine
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 12:53 AM
I REPLACE THE HEAD GASKET ON MY 2004 CHEVY CAVALIER 2.2L L4 DOHC 16V.BUT IM HAVING PROBLEM INSTALLING THE TIMING CHAINE...PLEASE HELP?THANKS ALOT..
Re: installing a timing chaine
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 5:57 PM
A little bit more info than 'im having problems' would give us some more information...

Re: installing a timing chaine
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 6:40 PM
and posting on a thread that isnt 8 years old would be great too.



Re: installing a timing chaine
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 6:57 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb....

Angel, put the gears in the chain and with the chain wrapped around them push them onto their respective locations. If you try to run the chain on after installing the gears like you would a bike it will not fit.



"In Oldskool we trust"
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