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Timing chain tensioner

1891 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bwood1
Whats up e39 enthusiast. So my topic today involves the 540i's lower timing chain tensioner. I've read its recommended to do so especially since recently at cold start up i have been gettin that annoyin slappin sound. My question to you guys of knowledge is if it is required to replace both camshaft tensioners as well and are there two or one spring loaded screw tensioner. Thanks!!
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I'd say that most likely it is not the problem of the tensioner(s), but timing chain plastic guides disintegration. This is very common on M62TU with 100K+ mileage. Drop the lower oil pan and check for plastic debris. Pics are here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=636775
I replaced oil pan gasket 7k ago nd at d time i was looking for any plastic debris but all was clean nd no ectra pieces around. About 3k ago i heard the rattling only at cold start ups nd under 800rpm.. Severak threads lead up to the lower tensioner screw like. My question is how to kno to replace tensioners to camshaft?
The timing chain tensioner is quick and easy job. 10 mins or so. Certainly worth doing for peace of mind.

The cam tensioners is much much bigger job. I be not heard of many failing. So I'd leave alone and handle it when/if you do the guide rails.
I have a 2002 540i M Sport and the guides gave up at 185k. My wife pulled in the driveway and I heard that chain slapping and knew it was time. Pulled the oil pan and there were lots of small plastic pieces. Pulled the valve covers and found big pieces wedged between the chain and the block. You replace the cam chain tensioner when you do the chain guides (like doing the cooling overhaul). When I took off the upper timing chain covers, I could see where the loose chain had started eating away at the back of the aluminum cover.
Thanks guys.. I will replace tensioner once arrival.. As for the chain rails i had no pieces of plastic when i dropped the oil pan. The slappin recently started so hopefully the tensioner fixes it.
Had you ever previously replaced the timing chain tensioner? I replaced mine around 100k and again at 165k. I am at 185k now...
I have a 2002 540i M Sport and the guides gave up at 185k. My wife pulled in the driveway and I heard that chain slapping and knew it was time. Pulled the oil pan and there were lots of small plastic pieces. Pulled the valve covers and found big pieces wedged between the chain and the block. You replace the cam chain tensioner when you do the chain guides (like doing the cooling overhaul). When I took off the upper timing chain covers, I could see where the loose chain had started eating away at the back of the aluminum cover.
No thats oem tensioner at 170k.. Thats y i figure it wud help a lot replacing it.
If yours is original it would be worth changing. BMW changed the spec on the spring, it is higher tension (and longer) now. Be sure to order a new aluminum sealing washer too. Removal is a snap. You need to be careful upon installation to ensure you are square with the threads and do not cross thread. As you mate up, reverse turn a couple times, before starting to tighten, that will ensure you are lined up right. I do the same when I install spark plugs.
No thats oem tensioner at 170k.. Thats y i figure it wud help a lot replacing it.
Thanks for the tip. I ordered one from oembimmerparts.com i think part brand "febi".. Any idea on part quality?
To 540 M-Sport

I bought the car from an indie with a blown transmission and 182k and no history (customer walked away from it). I have been slowly replacing everything on it. After putting in a transmission, the timing chain guides went. Did most of the cooling system (water pump, thermostat, hoses) while I was in there (wish I had known about the valley pan) and then the radiator gave up. I still have some seat twist and side view mirror and rear shock issues, but we are close to 100% again.
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