In 2005, my 1999 V6 Grand Vitara started making a very pronounced rattling noise. People were asking me if was a diesel! In July 2005, I decided to investigate this noise. As the noise seemed to be coming from the front of the engine a quick search on the web produced a report that said the timing chain tensioners were probably to blame.
My knowledge about engines is non-existent but my good friend Andy knows a lot about them. With me acting as the gopher we took this engine apart.
Timing chain cover removed
Despite being assured by my local Suzuki dealer that the bolt on the harmonic balancer was reverse threaded, it bloody isn't. It's a normally threaded bolt that has to be unscrewed counterclockwise. Taking the radiator out, there's just enough room to get a power tool on this bolt.
If you're going to do this without removing the A/C condensor radiator be very careful. As the bolt unscrews it's going to push the power tool against that componant and possible bust it. The power tool we used is rated at 350 ft lb and it took most of that to undo that bolt.
Be careful of the tightness of some of the bolts especially those that have a red or blue marking on them. These appear to have been sealed using something like Loctite or other thread sealer and can be very difficult to remove. Andy had to have several stitches in his hand after a wrench slipped on the water pump pulley bolts.
Once the zillion bolts holding the chain cover on were removed the cause of most of the noise was obvious. One of the tensioner tracks had disintegrated into about a dozen bits. Not only are the chains not being tensioned but it looks like the bits of the wrecked tensioner were being thrown all over the place.
Disintegrated timing chain track
Here's where the chain track was supposed to be
While the engine was opened like this rather than just change the No1 tensioner and the broken chain track I decided to change all of them. The part numbers and approximate prices are...
012771-85FA0 - Timing chain guide - $12
012772-85FA0 - Timing chain guide - $14
012773-85FA1 - Timing chain guide - $23
012774-85FA1 - Timing chain guide - $13
012775-85FA0 - Timing chain guide - $26
012811-85FA0 - Tensioner - $55
012831-85FA7 - Adjuster - $79
012832-85FA0 - Adjuster - $93
012833-85FA3 - Adjuster - $79
Because of the amount of force needed on some of the parts, like the crank (harmonic balancer) bolt and because they were now accessible some other items were also replaced...
012615-85FA0 - Crank bolt - $12
017670-77E11 - Thermostat - $31
This page created 27th July 2005, last modified 27th July 2005