Home Forums Articles How To's FAQ Register
Go Back   Xoutpost.com > BMW SAV Forums > X5 (E53) Forum
Arnott
User Name
Password
Member List Premier Membership Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Xoutpost server transfer and maintenance is occurring....
Xoutpost is currently undergoing a planned server migration.... stay tuned for new developments.... sincerely, the management


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-20-2020, 05:34 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 135
Squiggy is on a distinguished road
M62TU timing chain tensioner - which is best?

I came across a video blogger 'Timms BMW Repairs' who said the M62 can do hundreds of thousands of miles without replacing the timing chain guides IF two important rules are followed. (1) change your oil at regular intervals with good oil to keep the timing chain tensioner functioning properly (so that it does not get gummed up and fail to tension the chain as it should) and (2) replace the tensioner at regular intervals. He said the guides fail not because they become brittle over time, but because improper chain tension causes the metal chain to slap against the plastic and break it apart. I don't know how accurate his statements are, but I have decided to follow his advice regardless of whether I also replace the timing chain guides.

There seem to be a few different tensioner choices out these days. Primarily the OEM style and newer 'longer spring' style. I heard the longer style has a weaker spring so I'm not sure if it's actually better then the OEM tensioner. I guess when in doubt go with OEM but thought I would ask you guys your thoughts. Thanks
__________________
2003 X5 4.6is. Imola Red. Black leather. Style 87 wheels.
Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links

  #2  
Old 12-20-2020, 11:41 AM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 6,909
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
Use only OEM. Buy from the likes of fcpeuro.com.

If you ever hear chain rattle at start turn off the car order the part and don't run the engine again until New part comes.

The guides break because lost tension not from age. I've done the job twice and it's very apparent how the failure happens and it can likely be indefinitely avoided.

If I had m62tu I would change at 100 k miles and every 50 k mi. after. I've found examples of 400k with original guides and zero examples where people didn't notice "weeks" of the telltale startup rattle before destruction.

M62 has a giant single chain and about 3-4' is unsupported, and held up into the main bottom chain guide only by tensioner.

When tension gets low, as you drive over a bump in the road, inertia of the chain holds that several feet of chain down as the engine is pushed up. The chain is slapped back up into the plastic shoe of the chain guide which is very very brittle and cracks.

Once cracked it snowballs quickly.

It does not need to happen I've read of half a dozen original guides lasting over 1/3 million miles.

Make sure you replace the crush washer. My buddy that refused to believe me paid for it in a quart of oil per week until he replaced it after the fact.

Some tensioners don't come with.
__________________
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-20-2020, 01:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 251
c-bass is on a distinguished road
Judging by my experience with the other plastic bits on these cars I call bull.

We've all seen what happens to the valve cover rubber after some time?

These guides are plastic and BMW isn't really known for their durable plastic bits. Why would these be any different?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-20-2020, 01:37 PM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 6,909
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
Plastic not rubber. There is virtually zero wear at 160-180,000 miles on the plastic guide parts on the two m62tu I rebuilt. The only problem was the plastic shattered because it's stupendously brittle. Until there is an impact from chain slap there is virtually zero wear because oil pressure sets up an oil film layer.

If you have a better theory than mine based on post mortem disection of a couple different high miles M62tu I'm all ears.

Facts:

1) Some m62tu have gone > 400,000 miles on original guides

2) the plastic is stupendously brittle probably before 100,000 miles

3) most common symptom of shit hitting the fan is startup rattle that goes away; this in every case I'm aware of preceded destruction

4) in 3 cases that I've helped with the startup sound happens, fiber-optic camera confirmed guides not broken, replaced tensioner and rattle went away 100%. (120-180,000 miles)

When I took out the old guides, every piece of plastic was brittle like dried mud; I could easily crumble, but the pieces that didn't shatter yet were still 100% complete until I took them off and crumbled in my hands.

Dimensionally they were nearly identical to new, there was no wear save a couple 1/10000 of an inch where the edge of the chain rubs a little bit during the start and no oil pressure to generate the oil film.

It's no guarantee that regular replacement of the tensioner will prevent the chain slap; you may hit a big enough pot hole to overcome the chain tension.
__________________
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-20-2020, 01:52 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 251
c-bass is on a distinguished road
I well aware that it's plastic and I'm sure your experiences are valid and no I don't have any experience with those guides. All I'm saying is that I personally don't believe that plastic in an engine compartment with a chain running over it is made to last.

If it's "stupendously brittle" to my basic understanding would indicate that material has been compromised from what the original might have been.

That's just my opinion and it really doesn't matter what I think but since the OP asked for our thoughts...I shared mine
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-20-2020, 05:21 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: reno nv
Posts: 592
x5Alpine is on a distinguished road
Dontas forget about the Vanos rattle on startup. I would guess most cases of startup rattle are attributed to wrong oil filters (OEM is different than Mann or others) and the Vanos depressurizing after sitting.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-20-2020, 06:07 PM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 6,909
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
M62TU timing chain tensioner - which is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by c-bass View Post
I well aware that it's plastic and I'm sure your experiences are valid and no I don't have any experience with those guides. All I'm saying is that I personally don't believe that plastic in an engine compartment with a chain running over it is made to last.



If it's "stupendously brittle" to my basic understanding would indicate that material has been compromised from what the original might have been.



That's just my opinion and it really doesn't matter what I think but since the OP asked for our thoughts...I shared mine


BMW was forced by asinine EU regulations to use shitty plastics and rubber (So they can be biodegradable) was the word I heard .

Glass is brittle, ceramic is brittle, not a certain failure mode. The opposite of brittle will be soft and would not last 160,000 miles.

As long as there's no impact, brittle plus hard can last a very very long time.

All the M62 chain guide failures I've followed were original tensioner well over 100,000 miles.

I'm not remotely saying they shouldn't have used better material just like the vanos seals that fail because they used buna vs. viton, etc but there is no particular lifespan of the gain guides; treat them well with gentle starts, good oil and filter and regular replacement tensioners and they can last 300-400,000 miles.
__________________
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-20-2020, 06:25 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 135
Squiggy is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
Use only OEM. Buy from the likes of fcpeuro.com.

If you ever hear chain rattle at start turn off the car order the part and don't run the engine again until New part comes.

The guides break because lost tension not from age...
Thank you Andrew and everyone. I will probably replace the guides in the not too distance future but that is not something I can do right now due to my living situation. Here is why I feel I may need to replace the tensioner...

Three years ago at 98,000 miles I replaced my leaking valve cover gaskets, upper timing chain cover gaskets, and timing chain guide tensioner (man was that difficult for me to reach! but I have since purchase better tools). And of course changed the oil. I used a genuine BMW oil filter from Bav Auto (RIP) and Castrol Synthetic Extended Performance 5W-30. I live in a mild climate. It rarely gets too hot or cold here. I changed the oil from the bottom by draining through the pan. A year and 5,000 miles later at 103,000 miles (I don't put that many miles on my 4.6) I changed the oil again because it was turning black. This time I changed from the top with an extractor. It was my first time using an extractor. And I used a MANN oil filter. I don't think the extractor did a very good job because the oil was black again within a week. Lazy me has now waited another 2 years and 8,000 miles (now at 111,000 miles). I am about to change the oil again, from the bottom this time, as well as the tensioner. I think the tensioner might be getting gummed up. Once in a while (not every time) on a cold start I hear what I interpret as guide chain rattle. Mostly mild. Something a passenger might not notice. But every now and then the sound is more pronounced, enough that it has me concerned and I am taking evasive action. Also, I hear a very mild tractor like? sound at idle when I stand outside the car. I cannot hear in from inside the cabin. I can't recall if the sound has always been there. Maybe. But this whole deal is messing with my mind so who knows. I had not considered some of the sounds might be VANOS rattle. Will have to look into that too. Here is my plan for now...

Drain oil from the bottom (do not use an extractor)
Replace oil filter with Genuine BMW
Add oil and Liqui Moly Oil Flush and run for 10-15 minutes *
Drain oil from the bottom again
Replace oil filter again with Genuine BMW
Add oil and Run Sea Foam completing the recommended process *
Replace timing chain guide tensioner and gasket with OEM
Cross fingers
Start changing oil once a year or every 5K miles from now on

* I realize using Liqui Moly and Sea Foam are controversial but I'm probably going to go for it anyway. The same guy who advised timing chain guides can last hundreds of thousands of miles also uses Liqui Moly Oil Flush. I will also use a scope to check for debris in the oil pan and see what I can see down the oil fill hole. Probably not much. A few years ago when I replaced the timing chain front cover gaskets I looked at the guides and they appeared to be in good shape. That parts I could see anyway. But I'm no expert that's for sure.

Added note: I drive the car like a baby over any and all bumps. To the point where other cars honk at me but I don't care. They are warm inside their cars listening to music and sucking on Starbucks. They can wait while I baby my baby!
__________________
2003 X5 4.6is. Imola Red. Black leather. Style 87 wheels.

Last edited by Squiggy; 12-20-2020 at 10:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-20-2020, 08:37 PM
andrewwynn's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 6,909
andrewwynn is on a distinguished road
With fiber optic camera you can see all the chain guides via oil fill.

Tensioner should last longer than you described but if not OEM definitely change it.

Vanos rattle definitely different sound take a recording and post to YouTube or something you can share a link.

Chain rattle not subtle. People describe like marbles or rocks rattling around
__________________
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-20-2020, 08:57 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 251
c-bass is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiggy View Post
Thank you Andrew and everyone. I will probably replace the guides in the not too distance future but that is not something I can do right now due to my living situation. Here is why I feel I may need to replace the tensioner...

Three years ago at 98,000 miles I replaced my leaking valve cover gaskets, upper timing chain cover gaskets, and timing chain guide tensioner (man was that difficult for me to reach! but I have since purchase better tools). And of course changed the oil. I used a genuine BMW oil filter from Bav Auto (RIP) and Castrol Synthetic Extended Performance 5W-30. I live in a mild climate. It rarely gets too hot or cold here. I changed the oil from the bottom by draining through the pan. A year and 5,000 miles later at 103,000 miles (I don't put that many miles on my 4.6) I changed the oil again because it was turning black. This time I changed from the top with an extractor. It was my first time using an extractor. And I used a MANN oil filter. I don't think the extractor did a very good job because the oil was black again within a week. Lazy me has now waited another 2 years and 8,000 miles (now at 111,000 miles). I am about to change the oil again, from the bottom this time, as well as the tensioner. I think the tensioner might be getting gummed up. Once in a while (not every time) on a cold start I hear what I interpret as guide chain rattle. Mostly mild. Something a passenger might not notice. But every now and then the sound is more pronounced, enough that it has me concerned and I am taking evasive action. Also, I hear a very mild tractor like? sound at idle when I stand outside the car. I cannot hear in from inside the cabin. I can't recall if the sound has always been there. Maybe. But this whole deal is messing with my mind so who knows. I had not considered some of the sounds might be VANOS rattle. Will have to look into that too. Here is my plan for now...

Drain oil from the bottom (do not use an extractor)
Replace oil filter with Genuine BMW
Add Liqui Moly Oil Flush and run for 10-15 minutes *
Drain oil from the bottom again
Replace oil filter again with Genuine BMW
Run Sea Foam completing the recommended process *
Replace timing chain guide tensioner and gasket with OEM
Cross fingers
Start changing oil once a year or every 5K miles from now on
Maybe it's the way I'm reading it but juuust in case I'll ask anyway.

After you drain the oil the first time, you are filling up with oil AND the Moly oil flush right? Their oil flush product is designed to be used together with oil and not stand alone.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 AM.
vBulletin, Copyright 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
2017 Xoutpost.com. All rights reserved. Xoutpost.com is a private enthusiast site not associated with BMW AG.
The BMW name, marks, M stripe logo, and Roundel logo as well as X3, X5 and X6 designations used in the pages of this Web Site are the property of BMW AG.
This web site is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with BMW AG or any of its subsidiaries.