Cam chain tensioner problem - Nord - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Cam chain tensioner problem - Nord

Onwards and upwards....., we had hoped to finish installing the Alfetta head today but couldn't join the cam chain because the tensioner wouldn't slide any further in to its hole, we used as much force as we dared but it felt like it was coming up against a stop, it moves in and out quite freely so isn't jammed and the locking bolt works fine The tensioner was from the original head (spider) which we transferred to the new head so questions are

Is it possible the tensioner is different between heads?
Do we need to use a lot of force to get it to get it to retract, like jemmy type force?
Would getting the large hex plug out of the head to have a closer look be worth doing?
And finally any ideas why the bleeding thing wont slide all the way into the hole, its about 15mm proud.

I'll post some pics but cant at the mo cos I need to get rid of some first
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 08:58 AM
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Are you sure the little square the bolt locks into is still in place and not behind the tensioner?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 09:30 AM
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Are you SURE that you did not lose one chain link under the crank sprocket? It's easy for assembly chain slack to make chain ends TIGHT from the sprocket with a loop of one link under the sprocket.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalino1300 View Post
Are you sure the little square the bolt locks into is still in place and not behind the tensioner?
Yep we checked it with a torch before locking it up.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 09:43 AM
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The tensioner should bottom out in the head. Since it doesn't, I would remove the tensioner, wedge and spring. Then look in the hole for any obstruction. If all good, I'd see if the tensioner bottoms out without spring and wedge installed and go from there.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Are you SURE that you did not lose one chain link under the crank sprocket? It's easy for assembly chain slack to make chain ends TIGHT from the sprocket with a loop of one link under the sprocket.
I'll check but pretty sure its tight, doesnt explain why the tensioner wont go all the way back tho...

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 09:49 AM
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Be sure to stuff lots of shop towels down into the opening so nothing can fall down into the engine sump.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:05 AM
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I'll check but pretty sure its tight, doesnt explain why the tensioner wont go all the way back tho...
Often it does not need to go all the way back. How far back is "all-the-way"? Did it go further back, spring and locking mechanism removed, bare head on the workbench?


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:33 AM
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How far has the tensioner bolt screwed in? If its almost bottomed out then its not engaged in the wedge.

From the amount of space between the tensioner body and the head. I'm betting on the wedge being behind the tensioner barrel. It happens if the bolt is unscrewed to far and the tensioner is moved.

Removing the tensioner with the head on can be done with the head on the car. As posted above use lots of rags below the tensioner. When you get it all out. You can use wheel bearing grease to hold the wedge in place while you put the tensioner back in. Have an extra pair of hands and a mirror to see when the hole in the wedge is centered in the tensioner bolt hole. Once there screw the bolt in until it engages the wedge then finish pushing the tensioner all the way in.

The tensioner bolt once put together correctly never needs to be loosened more then 1/2 and turn or so to free the tensioner enough to move in or out. More then that you run the risk of it disengaging from the wedge again.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, I think I undid the bolt too much and now the wedge is stuck behind the tensioner, what a PITA, first time I've done a DOHC, I'm used to simple pushrods and to think Chevy still uses them....
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 12:51 PM
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question for the experts:
how easy is it to remove the big hex, remove the spring and see if you can get at the wedge (and maybe put it back where it belongs!) from behind?

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
question for the experts:
how easy is it to remove the big hex, remove the spring and see if you can get at the wedge (and maybe put it back where it belongs!) from behind?
All the spring pressure is behind it. I doubt you would be able to put it back in without pulling the tensioner out.

Sometimes they chew up the threads coming out.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 04:55 PM
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Sometimes they chew up the threads coming out.

Yep... seen that a few times and sometimes the front and back plugs on the head.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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OK so its head back off and relocate and lock the tensioner so its most compressed, wish I'd thought to do that first time but live and learn..

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 11:06 PM
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OK so its head back off and relocate and lock the tensioner so its most compressed, wish I'd thought to do that first time but live and learn..
You don't need to pull the head. Just take the intake cam out to give you more room. Stuff a bunch of rags under the tensioner so nothing will drop down the engine. use a pry bar against the tensioner then loosen the bolt and take it out. Slowly release the pry bar letting the tensioner move out. Once the tension is off. Remove the tensioner and spring. It usually comes out with the tensioner. Once out you can either feel for the wedge in the hole with your finger or use a small magnet to get it. To put it back together. Push the spring into the tensioner and then put wheel bearing grease at the end of the slot then push the wedge into the grease at the very end. Slide tensioner into the hole and push in using the pry bar. Have someone with a mirror watching for the wedge through the hole. once the hole of the wedge is centered in the bolt hole install the bolt until snug then push tensioner all the way in and tighten down.

If you need more room to see the wedge through the bolt hole. You can try removing the radiator.
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