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Tools Required:

  • M6 stud
  • Slide hammer
  • Blow torch
  • Hammer

If you are rebuilding your engine it is worth replacing the relatively cheap items while you have the engine in bits. The timing chain tensioner is pretty tough but if it is looking a bit worn or if you want to re-skim the head then we suggest replacing it.

To get to this starting point, you will need to have the cylinder head off the engine. For details in how to do this, this guide will help you.

With the head off the car, turn it upside down so that the cam side faces down on a bench. Protect the surface by resting it on newspaper or similar. Using an M6 stud (a 599cc turbo manifold stud will work), wind it into the thread on the pin. Try to get it as far in as possible. Then using a slide hammer, pull the pin free.

If the pin doesn't shift, apply a little heat to the cylinder head in the area shown by the red patch in the picture below. Try pulling the pin again. Repeat until the pin comes free. Avoid applying too much heat as you may warm the head!

Remove the tensioner from the head and compare the wear with that of a new one.

At this stage, it is good practice to get the head re-skimmed at an engineering workshop to ensure the head is perfectly flat. In the following picture, the head has been skimmed and the new tensioner has been fitted. The valves can remain in place during reskimming but ensure that all the swarf has been thoroughly cleared away.

Check that the tensioner is the correct way around before fitting the pin back in place. Push the pin as much as you can by hand before winding the M6 stud back in to the end. Use a hammer on the stud to hit the pin fully home. When complete, remove the stud and check the tensioner pivots freely before refitting the cylinder head.

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