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Re: More to it than just the chain... (archive)

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Posted by Rupert Knight on April 26, 2002 at 05:48:41:

In Reply to: More to it than just the chain... posted by MarkD on April 25, 2002 at 15:12:45:

True, most sprint race engines are rebuilt on a regular basis. However, remember these engines were used in all of the 24 hour touring car races and were rev'd to 9000+. They were certainly a lot stronger than the cossie engines which regularly let go. I think the issue with the timing chain has been overblown, I think if the tensioner is in good nick and the sprockets are not worn then there should be no reason for the chain to break or jump teeth. However to determine if everything is in good condition you have strip down a fair amount of the engine. While it's apart you may as well replace those bits. The other thing is that these engines are very mechanical, sound wise. You very rarely hear a really quiet S14, it is the nature of the engine, because it sounds like a bag of nails at tickover I suspect people assume something is worn out so the first thing to get swapped is the timing chain and sprockets. I was told, by that notorious garage in Sussex (uk), that they had cars that broke their timing chain at startup. If that was the case I think we would have heard about this happening from someone else.

Roops

Presumably as the S14 engine needs to be driven at 5K+ revs for best performance it causes the extra wear and tear - though this is greatly influenced on how you drive the car - how many of us know how hard the car has been driven by previous owners?

From my experience when my chain got changed both the cam and crank sprocket wheels were getting well worn (at 79K miles) - these should be changed at the same time as the chains and preferably have the head checked over and new valve seals etc fitted.

Fitting an improved part like the E36 tensioner will probably help it to last longer, but in the end you will have to have the engine overhauled eventually. I suppose it depends on how long you want to chance your luck?

The other thing to bear in mind is the bearing shells - I've heard more bad things happen due to these than due to the chain breaking!

Mark

P.S. Just because it's basically a racing engine doesn't mean it's any stronger - most race engines have a very short lifespan.






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