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Discussion Starter #1
When I took the head off my 74 Spider, I discovered that the chain tensioner wedge was not in the tensioner. I ordered a new one from Centerline, and I cannot get the assembly to fit into the cylinder with the wedge attached. It hits the front of the cylinder and falls out. I’ve tried every trick that I’ve read on the forums, e.g., bearing grease and crazy glue, but have not removed the 17mm hex plug to attempt putting the wedge in from that side.

In the attached pics, does it look like the wedge is too thick which is preventing my installation? Directionally, does one end of the wedge need to go in first (one side is angled and one side is flat)? I just want to make sure the wedge is the correct size/orientation before I start filing it down or running to buy a 17mm Allen wrench.
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It is so easy when you pull the plug. Only thing that is a bit of a fight is compressing the spring when fitting the plug back. I couldn't even fathom trying it a different way....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ghnl, there’s nothing in the cylinder. I’ve cleaned the entire area and everything is greased in the hopes of making the assembly slide in easily. Skibu, my thought about removing the plug is: if the wedge is too thick, wouldn’t I still have issues getting the tensioner to slide into the cylinder?

It slides in easily until it gets to the wedge, which I think is fractionally too big. After past mistakes, I’ve learned to throw up a smoke signal and ask for help before I break anything 😁.
 

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It possible it still might be too tight but you have a lot better access and ability to see what you are doing.... this is only an assumption though, I have only done it through the access port.
 

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Did you screw in the bolt only enough to receive the wedge and then slide the sprocket plunger in carefully playing with the alignment of the wedge and the groove of the plunger without the wedge falling off the bolt.?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you screw in the bolt only enough to receive the wedge and then slide the sprocket plunger in carefully playing with the alignment of the wedge and the groove of the plunger without the wedge falling off the bolt.?
The bolt isn’t even in yet. I was leaving it out until I could get the tensioner in the cylinder area and was going to make sure the hole on the wedge was visible before I installed the bolt. I just can’t get it to that point.
 

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The bolt isn’t even in yet. I was leaving it out until I could get the tensioner in the cylinder area and was going to make sure the hole on the wedge was visible before I installed the bolt. I just can’t get it to that point.
Put the bolt in far enough to feel the pip that holds the wedge in place. .Then slide the wedge in with the hole over the pip and screw the bolt in only enough to bottom out on the wedge.. not a milli-millimeter more .. Like the perfect balance between in and not deflecting the wedge . ..then slide the plunger in CAREFULLY with your fingers holding a cigar. It's called faith in the blind. .. If it works you should be locked at only a slight compression of the spring as your test. . It's been a few decades so I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong... If you think you don't have clearance on the wedge .. just test it with the wedge in the plunger and try to insert it an inch or so regardless of how it is aligned with the bolt. It should slide in.
 

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Using the assembly as shown in picture 2, I would measure the vertical and horizontal to see if the vertical is more them the horizontal. You may have to grind down the surface on the wedge where the bolt makes contact .
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Put the bolt in far enough to feel the pip that holds the wedge in place. .Then slide the wedge in with the hole over the pip and screw the bolt in only enough to bottom out on the wedge.. not a milli-millimeter more .. Like the perfect balance between in and not deflecting the wedge . ..then slide the plunger in CAREFULLY with your fingers holding a cigar. It's called faith in the blind. .. If it works you should be locked at only a slight compression of the spring as your test. . It's been a few decades so I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong... If you think you don't have clearance on the wedge .. just test it with the wedge in the plunger and try to insert it an inch or so regardless of how it is aligned with the bolt. It should slide in.
I tried sliding it in without the bolt and without the spring, and it will not go into the hole. The wedge simply pops off, even when I tried the crazy glue and bearing grease tricks. I also just tried the other method above and could not get the wedge onto the end of the bolt. My short, stubby Italian fingers just cannot get it to work. I even tried a magnet pole to hold the wedge in place, and it didn’t work either.

I think I’ll grab a 17mm Allen wrench when I head off island tomorrow for a meeting and see if I can work it in from the plug side. I think I just may have gotten a bad/thick part from Centerline that will need to be filed down. It’s so frustrating considering I paid almost $40 in overnight shipping on a tiny $8 part in the hopes I could get the engine reassembled with new gaskets by the weekend and the part appears to be imperfect.
 

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It should slide in easily together. Since its not. You need to grind/file down the height of the wedge. I would do this before pulling the aluminum plug. With aluminum to aluminum you always run the risk of thread damage when coming apart.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
It should slide in easily together. Since its not. You need to grind/file down the height of the wedge. I would do this before pulling the aluminum plug. With aluminum to aluminum you always run the risk of thread damage when coming apart.
I think I am going to grind it down before I pull the plug. It’s clearly too thick, and I think I am going to have the same issue if I pull the plug and go at it from that side. At the rate I am going with this %$&#&#@!! car I love with all my heart, if I pull the plug, I will damage the threads, which will delay the head gasket work I started weeks ago and require more engine repairs that will delay all the other body, interior, and suspension work that also needs to be done😀
 

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Maybe some one can provide a thickness of a stock wedge as it may be the bevels that are off . But they may be harder to adjust accurately. Or maybe you just nead to round the uppet corners opposite the bevels.

Ken
 

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I suggest you grind the angled sides of the wedge so it sits a little deeper in the tensioner. Try to remove equal amounts so the hole remains centered.

Or grind of some material from the upper angled sides so it fits into the head.

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Discussion Starter #15
I suggest you grind the angled sides of the wedge so it sits a little deeper in the tensioner. Try to remove equal amounts so the hole remains centered.

Or grind of some material from the upper angled sides so it fits into the head.

View attachment 1631060

Thanks, guys. Here’s a straight shot of the wedge
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Discussion Starter #16
Another thought — does anyone have a tensioner wedge they can sell and overnight to me? I see an original set on ebay in Australia, but it wouldn’t get to Hilton Head until mid-June.
 

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As ghnl says, grind the angles first. I think I would tap the hole with an M3 or M4 whatever would fit the hole. Slide the wedge in and thread a long hex or Allen head into the wedge through the bolt hole. Now your safe and it won’t accidentally fall, try and mate the tensioner and wedge holding the screw attached to the wedge. Once you fit it together screw in the bolt, a slightly larger threaded hole shouldn’t make a difference in the wedge, the pin will still hold the wedge. Should work. Good luck. Peter.
 

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I'm guessing that wedge is hardened so not really threadable and to grind the wedge beveled without a machine would not easily be done accurately. Grinding off top best bet or get an original. K
 

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Should be 4mm thick. Distance top to bottom is 24mm with wedge in place

check dimensions but I’ll bet the wedge is ok dimensionally. when you slide the wedge/cylinder in, keep a little tension pulling forward to trap the wedge against the head. You are pressing against the spring so it’s not easy but I have done before on the car. It’s Pretty much by feelwith minor visual (use a mirror) if you leave the plug in
 

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