Rattling noise - Cam Chain Tensioner or Timing Belt
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  1. #1
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    Rattling noise - Cam Chain Tensioner or Timing Belt

    This is mostly of a public service announcement. I know I'm preaching to the choir but if your car is making any noises, its best to get to the bottom of it. I noticed a rattling noise that I was ABSOLUTELY SURE was the cam chain tensioner. Parked the car and ordered parts. Changed the cam chain tensioner and...nope that wasn't it. noise actually went away on a test drive but came back the next day. So being catious, I parked it and kept digging. After checking the accessory belt pulleys/tensioners (and about 100 other things), I finally figured it had to be the timing belt tensioner...especially since the noise got louder when I pulled the timing cover back. I pulled the front end apart and got to the timing belt and tensioner...

    Video - I don't think this is good...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm00TsvMwbw

    In this picture - You can see the tensioner roller on the top, part of the roller below it, one of the bearings that was siting on the tensioner when I pull it off, and a whole boat load of metal shavings on the tensioner itself...


    So don't ignore any noises. Especially not any coming from our engine. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had driven it even 1 more mile.

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  3. #2
    PZ
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    I've not seen one of them fail before. With the V6, the idler roller is about the size of your tension roller. Mine came apart in similar fashion. I had ball bearings dropping out when I pulled the timing belt cover.

  4. #3
    Motel Room Moderator VAGguy's Avatar
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    Can that be replaced without having to pull the front end out or removing the belt entirely?

  5. #4
    PZ
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    The belt does not have to be removed, but the lower tensioner bolt is behind the lower timing belt cover.

    I have not tried splitting the lower cover (it really is 2 parts) to see if it can be reached without removing the lower pulley and cover. It probably would work, but it would be tight with the fan in the way of the middle right bolt (just above the crank pulley).

  6. #5
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    Paul, I'm just glad the belt didn't go. Glad I parked it. And at least I know what the problem was. Just waiting for the parts to arrive tomorrow and I can finish up. Free shipping is great but it sucks to wait a week for parts.

    VAGguy, I'd say changing it without putting the front end into the service position would be extremely difficult at best. I'd rather go ahead and change the belt at the same time anyway. And of course the water pump while your in there.

  7. #6
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    Parts came in yesterday and I finished last night. Runs perfectly and no more rattling noise.

  8. #7
    PZ
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    Cool. I keep a slightly used tensioner on the shelf in case someone local has one fail. I've seen several just locally.

  9. #8
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    Shhh, no more bad mojo, bad mojo begone!!!

  10. #9
    PZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister T View Post
    Shhh, no more bad mojo, bad mojo begone!!!
    "What turbo rattle"


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