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Old 02-15-2014, 04:19 PM
 
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What are some of your opinions on this? What's better and why?
I ask because I have a high mileage car (97 Sidekick Sport 1.8l) and I have been worried about the timing belt snapping because it has over 150k and I don't know if previous owners ever replaced it. Now, I did my research online to find that my engine actually has a chain and not a belt.
The car runs strong with no engine noise. I don't know if I should worry about getting this done or not. Suggestions?
Also, are many auto makers still using chains, or are most using belts now?
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:25 PM
 
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timing nchains also break, just not with the regularity of a belt. that said however, since your motor has 150k miles on it, i would replace the chain and gears, its time.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Prosper
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I would check the service manual to see if a timing chain replacement is ever recommended. I highly doubt it, it's a 1.8l engine that doesn't produce much power or torque, so it isn't putting much stress on the timing chain.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
timing nchains also break, just not with the regularity of a belt. that said however, since your motor has 150k miles on it, i would replace the chain and gears, its time.
I would not agree. We don't do Euro vehicles at my shop, but our experience with Asian and domestic vehicles is that timing chains are lifetime and not considered a maintenance item by any vehicle manufacturer I can think of. There are some exceptions -- certain Ford PUs had lots of bad timing chains simply due to weak design. A Toyota or Nissan 4 cyl engine from the 80s can develop timing chain slap and rattle at high mileage. But, by and large, keep the oil full and clean and don't worry about timing chain replacement on a modern vehicle. Before a timing chain does break it generally gives plenty of warning by non-rhythmic low rpm rattles -- particularly on start up.

Don in Austin
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:38 PM
 
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I had to replace the timing chain on my 93' Toyota 2wd pickup (22RE engine) at 170K.
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
I would check the service manual to see if a timing chain replacement is ever recommended. I highly doubt it, it's a 1.8l engine that doesn't produce much power or torque, so it isn't putting much stress on the timing chain.
Your statement about power or torque is a little misleading. The timing chain does not handle either power or torque, but opens and closes valves. A motor built for high torque could have a conservative valve profile that would put a relatively low load on the camshaft(s) and hence a low load on the timing chain. There are all sorts of factors such as type of rocker arms, etc. There is also a huge range in the width and design of a timing chain, so there are no universal rules re' timing chain longevity.

Don in Austin
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:44 PM
 
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There is nothing in my owners manual that tells me when to change the timing chain. I also Googled it and read some things saying they last the life of the car. But their definition might be 100k, while my definition is "until the wheels fall off"
Are any of todays cars being manufactured with chains?
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Colorado^ View Post
I had to replace the timing chain on my 93' Toyota 2wd pickup (22RE engine) at 170K.
That is an engine I referred to in my previous post. The latter 22r series engine had a single row timing chain while the earlier ones were double row. With a simple change of the oil pump drive spline you can replace a single row setup with double row. But either one can wear out at high mileage. This is an older design motor without roller rocker arms, which, all else being equal, means more work for the timing chain. Most modern engines use roller rockers.

Don in Austin
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Challenger76 View Post
There is nothing in my owners manual that tells me when to change the timing chain. I also Googled it and read some things saying they last the life of the car. But their definition might be 100k, while my definition is "until the wheels fall off"
Are any of todays cars being manufactured with chains?
Many vehicles are moving back to timing chains from belts. Some popular models: 4cyl Toyota such as Camry, Matrix, Corolla, Hondas, and many others.

I don't know of ANY owner's manual that tells when to change a timing chain, because I know of no model where it is considered a maintenance item by the vehicle manufacturer. But my shop is domestic and Asian only so what do I know about British or Euro?

I am not aware of any make where the timing chain typically breaks without rattling -- usually for months or even a year or two -- first. That is not to say every owner will pick up on the warning noise.

Don in Austin
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:04 PM
 
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Thanks Don. My car IS Japanese, not German though. Suzuki Sidekick Sport with the 1.8L. Runs great so I don't think I'm going to get it changed. Hearing others experiences with this does help give me some much needed insight. Thanks everyone.
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