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Official Timing Chain Tensioner failure thread

zrickety

The Fixer
My buddy with the 09 GTI had a failure. It was running and driving, he parked it. One hour later it turns over and won't start. 178k.
Have confirmed ALL the intake valves are bent. Pistons seem to be moving normally. Tensioner moves in and out with a screwdriver, chain has slack. We are in the process of removing the head, going to rebuild it. Looks like about $900 in parts.
I'm going to make a new thread documenting the rebuild, to show this is possible.
 

Tony48

Ready to race!
My buddy with the 09 GTI had a failure. It was running and driving, he parked it. One hour later it turns over and won't start. 178k.
Have confirmed ALL the intake valves are bent. Pistons seem to be moving normally. Tensioner moves in and out with a screwdriver, chain has slack. We are in the process of removing the head, going to rebuild it. Looks like about $900 in parts.
I'm going to make a new thread documenting the rebuild, to show this is possible.
Good on ya. Please post lots of pics and info, I'll be following the thread! I haven't seen many threads that detail head removal and/or overhaul on the TSI engine.
 

svickstc

Go Kart Champion
Good on ya. Please post lots of pics and info, I'll be following the thread! I haven't seen many threads that detail head removal and/or overhaul on the TSI engine.
I should of taken more pics and videos of my rebuild would of been a sweet help document.
let me see what I can dig up that might help out
 

svickstc

Go Kart Champion
What did you find during the rebuild? How much did you spend on it? I'm curious.
I forget the exact total as the first shop I took my head to get resurfaced and new valves installed absolutely ripped me off and didn’t do the work they claimed and sucker me paid in cash to work with them and get a steep discount (fooled me good) and this was supposed to be a reputable vw tuner shop.l and that was 450 dollars cash wasted on the rebuild. They cleaned it up so good I couldn’t tell the valves were not properly seated until we poured some water into it and it seemed right through and we only did this before install becusse the “resurface” looked like they took a grinder to it.

So ended up sending my head out to a performance shop who specializes in head rebuild for high end sports cars and had it competely decked and new valves and a port and polish and I honestly forget that total since it was a friend of a friend who wanted to help out after he heard about my misfortune.

i want to say I had around 1800 dollars into it with the tools and new timing chain kit from ECS. I’ll dig through my receipts but around there and that includes the 450 wasted
 

zrickety

The Fixer
Thanks for the reply. That sounds accurate. I bought the timing tools awhile back, I might have a couple hundred in them. Everything else I've priced from ECS including a new intake manifold that he already needed. I'm going to do the valve install myself, just clean up the head assuming there is no other damage. $900 price includes exhaust valves, though we might not need them.
 

Dans GTI1

Ready to race!
I had the new style tensioner failure on my car. I replaced the tensioner about 2.5 years ago and put about 40k miles on it. Had a bad rattle coming from the engine, after tear down i found that the spring in the tensioner broke apart and somehow damaged the tensioner as i can barley press the tensioner in. It appears that timing was not thrown off, if im lucky ill get away with a standard timing job/tensioner replacement.
 

zrickety

The Fixer
If you can't press the tensioner in, that's a good thing. When it moves easily, that is the problem. I almost have my friend's engine apart...I have taken a few pics. I'll post a new thread when the head is completely off the car.
 

Dans GTI1

Ready to race!
If you can't press the tensioner in, that's a good thing. When it moves easily, that is the problem. I almost have my friend's engine apart...I have taken a few pics. I'll post a new thread when the head is completely off the car.
I figured that, looks like the spring/metal peice that goes into grooves prevented catastrophic engine damage. I measured my timing marks on the camshafts and it’s within spec. I can only assume the aftermarket vaico tensioner failed somehow.
 

kosmaras

New member
I figured that, looks like the spring/metal peice that goes into grooves prevented catastrophic engine damage. I measured my timing marks on the camshafts and it’s within spec. I can only assume the aftermarket vaico tensioner failed somehow.
Ahh, so the "new" tensioner was not an OEM part...Good to know.
 

Dans GTI1

Ready to race!
Changed out the timing chain, guides, and tensioner. The car runs very well. This is the most complex and difficult DIY job I've done to date. I highly recommend that anyone who does this job purchase the camshaft locking tools (they are $20 on amazon) without the cam lock tools the job would've been very difficult as the camshaft wants to jump when you put tension on the chain causing the chain to jump a tooth. Also i highly recommend purchasing a strong sealant for the timing cover. I originally purchase peramtex ultra black but didn't want to risk an oil leak so i ended up purchasing a grey sealant from my local Mercedes dealership.
 
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