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Old 03-21-2012, 11:43 PM
 
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I can't find any info on how to care for chains,as I don't have timing belts.
Does that make it harder to repair the engine if I have chains?
Are they cheap to replace? Do they even have to be replaced?
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
I can't find any info on how to care for chains,as I don't have timing belts.
Does that make it harder to repair the engine if I have chains?
Are they cheap to replace? Do they even have to be replaced?
In answer to the question, one is a belt and one is a chain.

The reason you don't "do maintenance" on timing chains is that they're an internal part of the engine, and are lubricated by the engine oil.

As a general rule, timing chains will last MUCH longer than a timing belt - perhaps even outlive the life of the engine. But when timing chains DO need to be replaced, they're far more expensive to fix.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:53 PM
 
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Difference Between Timing Chain and Timing Belt | Difference Between
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quite literally speaking, one's a rubber belt, one's a chain (think really thick bicycle or motorcycle chain), just like their respective names apply. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. The benefit of a belt is that it's less up-front manufacturing costs, less mass sapping power from your engine and it's quieter. The drawback of a belt is that they have to be periodically changed; anywhere from every 60K to 100K miles or so at a cost of anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and up; also, if they break before their service time is up or if you neglect to change it and it wears out, chances are your engine will be destroyed when it lets go.

The benefit of a chain is that, unlike a belt, it is not a wear item and it will last the serviceable life of the car 97% of the time without needing to be replaced; the drawback is higher manufacturing cost (which means higher purchase price on car), noisier, and more mass sapping power from the engine, and substantially higher replacement cost than a belt in the rare event that it needs to be replaced. In my experience, the additional noise and power loss is negligible unless there's something wrong with the chain itself or the guide or sprockets.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Ontario, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
The benefit of a chain ... the drawback is higher manufacturing cost (which means higher purchase price on car), noisier, and more mass sapping power from the engine, and substantially higher replacement cost than a belt in the rare event that it needs to be replaced. ...
Really how much more could a chain add to the manufacturing cost? An extra $10? $50? Certainly not the $400 or $500 it costs to replace a timing belt each time. If a there was a option offered, kinda like a like a sunroof package, offered a choice I would much rather get a chain then a belt, even it it cost a few hundred dollars more.

Are there car brands or lines that usually have timing chains instead of timing belts?
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:50 AM
 
3,252 posts, read 6,010,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Quite literally speaking, one's a rubber belt, one's a chain (think really thick bicycle or motorcycle chain), just like their respective names apply. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. The benefit of a belt is that it's less up-front manufacturing costs, less mass sapping power from your engine and it's quieter. The drawback of a belt is that they have to be periodically changed; anywhere from every 60K to 100K miles or so at a cost of anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and up; also, if they break before their service time is up or if you neglect to change it and it wears out, chances are your engine will be destroyed when it lets go.

Tell me about it. I had the serpentine belt fail on a 928S4 about 300 miles after I had it replaced. I now have 32 engine valves that are good for going around corners (interference engine), and a much lighter wallet (a new motor was $25K, rebuilding the current one was over $10K).

To replace the timing belt, you had to pull the motor.

The benefit of a chain is that, unlike a belt, it is not a wear item and it will last the serviceable life of the car 97% of the time without needing to be replaced; the drawback is higher manufacturing cost (which means higher purchase price on car), noisier, and more mass sapping power from the engine, and substantially higher replacement cost than a belt in the rare event that it needs to be replaced. In my experience, the additional noise and power loss is negligible unless there's something wrong with the chain itself or the guide or sprockets.

The timing chain may last about forever, but if they used the aluminum gears with plastic over the teeth... Well, then I have another story to tell (after the pieces of the plastic teeth get lodged in the oil filter bypass valve, and you start the car on a cold morning).

Mine in red.
For all the motors I have built, I used neither a belt nor a chain. Two gears, one on the crank, one on the cam (this is not dual-overhead) Yes, the cam has to be ground backwards, and the distributor needs a reverse cut gear, but the setup is virtually indestructible.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,440,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
Really how much more could a chain add to the manufacturing cost? An extra $10? $50? Certainly not the $400 or $500 it costs to replace a timing belt each time. If a there was a option offered, kinda like a like a sunroof package, offered a choice I would much rather get a chain then a belt, even it it cost a few hundred dollars more.

Are there car brands or lines that usually have timing chains instead of timing belts?
A timing chain lives inside the engine so it can benefit from engine lubrication and remain free of dirt and moisture. It needs mechanical components to maintain proper tension - since the chain will wear over time. Without proper tension the engine timing will be off and the chain could "hop" a tooth. So the complete cost of a timing chain is much more than the cost of the chain itself.

A timing belt is usually run by just a toothed pulley on the bottom of the engine and a toothed pulley on the camshaft. It will have a tensioner. I can see why many engines have them. The belt is quiet, probably holds its original length for a very long time (compared to a chain), and is mechanically more efficient.

The replacement interval on Hondas with timing belts is now about 105K miles. As much as some people rant about timing belts, they don't fail often.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:01 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,776 posts, read 14,000,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSparkle928 View Post
Mine in red.
For all the motors I have built, I used neither a belt nor a chain. Two gears, one on the crank, one on the cam (this is not dual-overhead) Yes, the cam has to be ground backwards, and the distributor needs a reverse cut gear, but the setup is virtually indestructible.
I think your blowing a little smoke here. Gear drives have been used in racing applications for most American V-8's for years, no need for reverse ground cams and special distributor gears.

Pete Jackson Gear Drives

For over 30 years, Pete Jackson has made gear drives for hot rodders and high horsepower race cars. They are the originators of the ultra-tough dual idler gear timing system. Pete Jackson Gear Drives install as easy as a timing chain and you can still buy the quieter version or the noisier gear drive that sounds like a supercharger whine.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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You saw the introduction of the timing belt when the overhead cams became a common place in engines, these were forund on the majority of the Japanese vehicles. Most V8's have an internal cam and are driven by a chain. If your a decent do it yourself mechanic you can replace a timing chain in a few hours, a good timing chain will run your about 50.00. On my 350CID, I rebuilt a while back I used the gear driven setup elimanating the need for a timing chain.
Yes, timing chains do wear, and will get slack in them, one this happens all it takes is one lead foot jack rabbit start and you can slip a tooth on the chain. Most engines that run timing chains do not run tensioners due to the tight fit of the chain in the first place, with the exception of the old dual overhead cam engines that used chains instead of belts.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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If you find yourself having to replace the timing chain, the prices can vary from 15.00 to 75.00, just remember you get what you pay for. I'd go for the chainless setup any day, I have the one the PDD posted about, Pete Jackson drive gears.
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