Timing chain and tensioner worth replacing while cylinder heads are off?

While my engine is out I think it makes sense to replace everything as I have the luxury of amazing access to everything! I am going to remove at least one cylinder head due to white smoke coming from the left bank.

While I have the timing chain cover off and engine out it would be comparatively easy to replace the timing chain and tensioner. However I wasn’t quite prepared for the price of the tensioner!

My car only shows about 59k miles though I am not convinced that’s true and highly unlikely for a 1976 car so I’d be better off saying I don;t know the real mileage.

The chain wasn’t noisy when the car was running. How do you know if the tensioner and chain need doing?

I understand the time the tensioner is likely to fail is when it gets disturbed or worked on like I’m about to do…!

Cheers as always. Malc

Worn chain links manifest themselves in a “stretched chain”, so take a look at other tensioner threads on this site to look at how far across to the centre of the engine the tensioner has pushed the chain.

Unless the tensioner shows significant wear on its plastic surface, I don’t see how you can immediately judge whether it needs replacing.

kind regards

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Thanks Marek. Guess I should view it first. Malc.

I’d replace it because they crack suddenly when you’re screwing around with them. $236 at SNG Barratt for C30465# is the best price I’ve seen lately.

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I would definitely replace it. It is 44 years old plastic part. You’ll never know when it will give up. I replaced mine when I had my engine out. Better be safe then sorry :wink:

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I may as well. I don’t plan on taking the engine out again! Plus the more I replace the less likely I am to have a failure anywhere.


By the way do you have my aluminum half-moon seals and upgraded oil feed banjo bolts? Good time to replace them while engine is out :wink:

John, are you the chap I bought my auxiliary air valve from for my 1976 V12?


Yes that’s me :wink: all good with AAV?


I have this new one left over, I’ll never use.

$125 plus post?



Sorry about late replies: John, AAV looks great but engine is out so haven’t tried it yet. It appears my rough running was more likely due to 3 dead injectors and other injection problems but my old AAV was stuck too.

Rob: may take you up on that. I want to make sure I can get my pulley off and then the front cover. Not sure what shipping will be like at the moment but looks like a great deal if shipping isn’t too expensive.

Thanks all, Malc