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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Question.....what is the best practice / common wisdom on replacing or not replacing the timing chain when doing a head gasket replacement?

I am definitely encouraged to take this on, with the wonderful post from the Spider Technical FAQ Digest, for my 86 Quad with 107K miles.

Included pix.. One of it all shined up in the sun, the other with me and my son riding in it....You can see his enjoyment (yes, I know I am a bad parent for driving a kid around in a convertible with no ABS, airbags, roll bar, parachute, flame retardant driving suits, etc., but he, nor I would have it any other way.)

Thanks, JP
 

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Can't help you on the timing chain replacement question, but here is the picture shown in the thread.

Although both those boys look happy, pretty sure which one is thrilled!;)

Great picutre!

Vin

boy in car.jpg
 

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Oh the horrors!! A young boy riding in a car with his father A car that neither one will ever forget!! I take my 5 year old grandson out in mine all the time. We use a booster seat so he can see better, and I only have lap belts. You'll have to pick him up at school, a lot of cool factor there.
I don't know why you would have to change the chain. They seem pretty sturdy to me, plus the tension is adjustable, so slack wouldn't be a problem. Definitely change the master link. Just my humble opinion. Perhaps another BB member can convince us otherwise.
 

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How many miles on the car? Easy enough to change the upper chain, but not essential if the miles are low. The way to test it is to take out, hold it sideways to check its droop, and compare to a new one. All that's in theory. To change, wire the new chain to the old and feed it down around the sprockets as you pull the old one out.
The bottom chain is the one that needs changing more often because it doesn't have an adjuster. But normal mortals can't change it without removing the head, pan, and front cover.
Andrew
 

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Cools pics Vin!! :):cool: Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Vince, thanks for converting to a pic that would post...it was only a PDF on my end.

Car has 107,000 miles on it...Can certainly do the camparison.....
 

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That' a great pic. Thanks to the both of you!!
 

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it can't be that warm in canada??? summer photo?
 

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The way to test it is to take out, hold it sideways to check its droop, and compare to a new one.
Another means is to lay it out flat and straight on a bench next to a yardstick and stretch it as far as it'll easily allow, then compress it lengthwise as far as it will easily allow.
The difference between the two measurements is the amount of stretch, which in a new chain should be **** near 0 if not 0 outright.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Darren, Thanks for the suggestion. Makes sense and also makes sense to have a new chain on hand.

All, sory for the confusion on the photo. That is me and my son in NC. Vin was kind enought to help thoise of us (me) that are challenged in uploading pictures to the site. Thanks again, Vin.
 

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Theres probably not much point changing the top chain without replacing the bottom chain as well. that is the one that gets loose and noisey not having a tensioner. The timing cover has to come off to change that one. Ive never seen a chain failure on an Alfa engine. Maybe someone has though. Remember when assembling the timing chain removable link that "Little fishy swims upstream".
 

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I thought about changing the upper when i was in there last month but chaing was in really good shape and i did not feel like tearing down further to replace the lower chain. My engine has about 60k on it. I think Alfa used some really good double row chains on these engines so didn't sweat reusing the original. just my $.02
 

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I haven't had a full chain failure, but on an old chain the roller, split or not, can break and come off. I've seen it on both top and bottom chains.
On a low-mileage Spider I wouldn't expect a problem. You might look at the sprockets for obvious wear, but you kinda have to know what you're looking at to tell worn from unworn. Bent, very scalloped sprocket teeth are bad. If the tensioner doesn't have the "wedge" in properly, it can sit at an angle, then the tensioner sprocket teeth wear at an angle; I've seen this a couple times.
Andrew
 
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