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Timing Chain Getting Replaced - Should I Do Chain Aswell ?


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#1 jaygee82

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:05 AM

Hi everyone,

first up what a great site, so much info !

I have just purchased a 2003 Mondeo mk3 with the 90ps duratorq engine.

I saw the car twice before i purchased, unfortuantly both times it was hot and making no noises.

long story short i have decided to replace the cam chain tensioner as that end of the chain is making a horrible noise for the first 15 minutes of operation each day, the car has 140 000k on it.

Should i be changing the chain aswell ??? what about the plastic guide peices on the tensioner arm or the other plastic guide peices around the inside of the chain ???

Would love to hear from people who have done this exercise, ultimately would love to hear that only the tensioner need replacing as its turning into a very costly job !

bearing in mind i am in brunei, where labour is cheaper and parts must be ordered all the way from the UK. So on one hand could say "might aswell spend the extra 50 pound and put a new chain in" but I am really keen to get the car back on the road asap, and it will be another part that I must wait on.

Thanks in advance, any comments welcome !

PS ive just realised i made a mistake in my thread title, been running around all day speaking with mechanics in the hot sun - think it got to me, sorry !

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#2 mondy-man

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:06 PM

You could just replace the tensioner, and that might stop the noise. But its possible that it won't as the chain may have stretched. As a matter of course since the chain is likely original and has done 140k miles and probably needs replacement anyway, i'd always change it on that sort of job. There's no point skimping on the chain because if it goes, you'll kill the engine (which would cost a lot more to fix than the cost of a chain). You'll probably get away with the guides though, but check their condition anyway. Hope this helps!

#3 jaygee82

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:44 PM

You could just replace the tensioner, and that might stop the noise. But its possible that it won't as the chain may have stretched. As a matter of course since the chain is likely original and has done 140k miles and probably needs replacement anyway, i'd always change it on that sort of job. There's no point skimping on the chain because if it goes, you'll kill the engine (which would cost a lot more to fix than the cost of a chain). You'll probably get away with the guides though, but check their condition anyway. Hope this helps!


thanks for your input ! i think your right, i might as well get a chain it will be only a few more minutes labour charge.

does anybody know if my mechanic will be able to do this while th engine is in the car ? i looked at it tonight and it looks like a tight squeeze to get tools in there - but can anybody comment on being able to do this in situ ?

#4 mondy-man

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:57 PM

thanks for your input ! i think your right, i might as well get a chain it will be only a few more minutes labour charge.

does anybody know if my mechanic will be able to do this while th engine is in the car ? i looked at it tonight and it looks like a tight squeeze to get tools in there - but can anybody comment on being able to do this in situ ?


I haven't done it on that engine in situ, but it should be possible, just a bit fiddly!

#5 jaygee82

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 02:43 PM

I haven't done it on that engine in situ, but it should be possible, just a bit fiddly!


thanks again.

one last question - do you think i should source the steel guide arm (my best description) or is it highly unlikely that at 120 000 kms the chain would have worn first all the way through the plastic cover and then through the steel arm ?

thanks for your comments !

#6 mondy-man

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 07:32 PM

thanks again.

one last question - do you think i should source the steel guide arm (my best description) or is it highly unlikely that at 120 000 kms the chain would have worn first all the way through the plastic cover and then through the steel arm ?

thanks for your comments !


Seems unlikely, so I wouldn't bother unless that actually has happened - it's just more money out of your pocket! All those guides really do is keep the chain in place and dampen any rattling, they don't apply any real pressure onto the chain. Since yours is high mileage the plastic would have worn a bit but there's a good 5mm of plastic on the metal. Don't buy any of that unless you've seen the part needs replacing. Hope i've helped!

#7 Snapper

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:23 AM

A mechanic could, if access was tight, undo one of the engine mounts and lift/tilt the engine. I did this with a Galaxy VR6 engine.
Brunie, I made a couple of films there in the mid 90's, Jungle base camp and Training Team Brunie, loved it, wish I could have stayed a while longer.

#8 jaygee82

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:48 AM

A mechanic could, if access was tight, undo one of the engine mounts and lift/tilt the engine. I did this with a Galaxy VR6 engine.
Brunie, I made a couple of films there in the mid 90's, Jungle base camp and Training Team Brunie, loved it, wish I could have stayed a while longer.


hi snapper thanks for your reply, yes brunei is beautiful - the army units you speak of are just down the road from me, im in Kuala Belait. i did find a guide on the net on how to do this by tilting the engine in situ - thanks for the tip. it just so happens that i need to replace both engine mounts anyway so they can do it at the same time.

if you guys have a chance can you look at my other thread and comment on the sound. Its not doin the pinging sound (i think you guys call that pinking in the UK) that is does sometimes, but it still is incredibly loud IMHO. I will try and get a video of it pinging, its such a horrible noise.

Does the cam chain pack this noise ? i would think it would be more of a rattle i have heard on motorcycles before.

Perhaps it is this crank pully that gives everyone grief ?

thanks to all the readers and posters so far, this has been tremendous help - i know you might think im wasting everyones time and i could just go down my mechanic and ask but i cant, this car in unfamiliar here and there are no ford delearships within 1 hour drive (even then they are unable to get parts for me in a decent time). local mechanics dont want to pull the car down because they know it could be months waiting on parts through ford agent here.

thanks !

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