2.3 timing chain tensioner problems? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
focustech
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2.3 timing chain tensioner problems?

ok first i will give the back story on the car

It was involved in an accident where the young lady driving rear ended a truck, when this happened it pegged the throttle wide open. she tried to place the car in park and ended up in reverse where it went full throttle until she hit a pole.

2004 zx5 2.3l auto, 51k miles

my Dad purchased the car for my younger brother and I have been rebuilding it. when we purchased the car the intake and tb had been replaced.

to make a long story short I got the car back together and running great. tried to start it one day and on the first crank it turned over what i thought was slow second try it fired right up. This last saturday I got it road ready so me and my dad went on a test drive. went down the street stopped and put in fresh gas it started back up no problem. did 20 miles at different speeds checking for squeeks, rattles, or other abnormal noises all was great. had plenty of power, trans shifted great, every thing was fine.

left it alone sunday to clean the garage. I went out monday after work and it cranked abnormal again, checked battery passed, replaced starter same problem. it ocasionally pops through the intake. pulled plugs and the compression is low. I will get concrete numbers when I take my compression tester home tonight.

my question is I have rear about problems with the timing chain tensioner at high rpm going to closed throttle breaking the teeth on the ratchet part of the tensioner. has anyone had or heard of this happening and know what the symptoms of this failure are?

I need to get this car going as soon as possible his 02 spi has 195k on the original stock motor and we all know about spi's


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Old 07-17-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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An update on compression
#1 10psi
#2 10psi
#3 5psi
#4 0psi

But sometimes when I first start to crank the first 1-2 engine revolutions the compression will jump up to 70-100 psi before it goes back to no compression. Since this engine doesn't have vvt I am really suspecting a damaged timing chain tensioner.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Be quick to suspect the compression tester too, they often give fits. Check both the release valves out-the inside one must seal yet at same time come open at the drop of a hat. The jump to 70-100 should have been trapped by the gauge, it may be leaking down.

Something seriously wrong there somewhere.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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Honestly, never heard of them getting damage from high RPM. However, I always replace mine when I build a new engine, so I've never gone more than 20k on a tensioner.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
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Ok an update, pulled the valve cover and the intake cam is locked up, removed cam caps one at a time and everything looks ok. The cam bolt was already loose so I backed it off to attempt to remove the cam, no luck. Trying to put the bolt back in it snaps, it was stretched and appeared it had tried to shear when the cam locked up. So now I can remove the cam. 7 of the 8 intake valves are froze up.


So long story short, is there a shop that is competent enough to rebuild my 2.3 head in the DFW area?
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