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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2013, 04:13 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Timing Chain Tensioner Spring DIY

So I was inspired by BlueBee and Doru and their discussion found here....http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=6169504

My ZHP has 189k miles on it now and I figured I'd do mine. I have already done Beisan seals and the rattle fix, but what could it hurt? And the parts only cost me $5.00.

The original post shows an E39, however the E46 is obviously identical and the tensioner spring is in the same spot. Funny how all these years working on these things and I NEVER noticed that little hump under the check valve on the head.

All I did was remove my windshield washer fluid reservoir for added clearance and used my 1/2 breaker bar with a normal sized 32mm socket (my deep well one was too big). Once the initial hold is broken, it is easily unscrewable with your hands. I was surprised that my spring was as compressed over time as it was. It would appear slightly more worn down than the one from the OP. I replaced it, put the new copper washer on it, and tightened it to 70nm. Started the car and checked for leaks. None to be seen.

All in all it took me 20 minutes. I wish I could say I was rewarded with noticeable improvements, but for my car (which idled quietly and drives just fine) there were none. Nothing but a satisfaction of another small maintenance item that could POTENTIALLY help me avoid disaster some day when buzzing around at 6800rpm.

This is no harder than replacing an oil filter so don't fret, just do it!
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2013, 06:35 PM
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I should do this too. 197,000 miles.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:11 PM
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Timing Chain Tensioner Spring DIY




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Old 08-05-2013, 10:10 AM
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Humm doesn't seem to difficult and not a bad idea to change it out. Maybe I'll do this soon to, thanks for the post!.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
Humm doesn't seem to difficult and not a bad idea to change it out. Maybe I'll do this soon to, thanks for the post!.
I use to replace the timing chains completely with Pete Jackson gear drives back when I used to street race. Timing would jump all over the place after about 10k on a new chain, but was rock steady with the gear drive setup. I don't believe there was a tensioner back then. You just replaced the chain when it became sloppy. I had a few cars that had phenolic sprockets for the chain from the factory. What a joke. There was a thriving business in steel replacement sprockets. Judging by how much smolck's spring fatigued, I think you guys are doing the right thing. Chain flop leading to failure would be catastrophic.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
I use to replace the timing chains completely with Pete Jackson gear drives back when I used to street race. Timing would jump all over the place after about 10k on a new chain, but was rock steady with the gear drive setup. I don't believe there was a tensioner back then. You just replaced the chain when it became sloppy. I had a few cars that had phenolic sprockets for the chain from the factory. What a joke. There was a thriving business in steel replacement sprockets. Judging by how much smolck's spring fatigued, I think you guys are doing the right thing. Chain flop leading to failure would be catastrophic.
I had gear drives on my 5.0 mustang race motors. Loved that gear whine!
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:30 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
I use to replace the timing chains completely with Pete Jackson gear drives back when I used to street race. Timing would jump all over the place after about 10k on a new chain, but was rock steady with the gear drive setup. I don't believe there was a tensioner back then. You just replaced the chain when it became sloppy. I had a few cars that had phenolic sprockets for the chain from the factory. What a joke. There was a thriving business in steel replacement sprockets. Judging by how much smolck's spring fatigued, I think you guys are doing the right thing. Chain flop leading to failure would be catastrophic.
Especially in my situation with the type of power and the way I drive my car. I should change it asap. I'll be doing an oil change, oil filter housing gasket, valve cover gasket, PS lines and AFR gauge hookup soon. I'll do this while I do that.
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Last edited by MalibuMafiaV; 08-05-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I had gear drives on my 5.0 mustang race motors. Loved that gear whine!
Does make everyone look, that's for sure. Then they ruined it by making a non whining version! I don't imagine they sold too many of them. Can't sell if you don't advertise! Great mod though.
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