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Old 02-26-2018, 07:17 PM   #1
Antman
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Newbie chain tensioner question

I have done multiple searches and looks like I might be ok. I have a 2013 with a build of 2012/October. Looks like there may have been multiple revisions so am I ok? I plan on having it checked out but having a good idea will help me plan my summer mods. Love the car just didnít do my research first or I would have looked into it before I bought it. Hopefully o donít have to fork out the cash for one. I plan on better tires (came with all seasons that arenít that good), a stage 1 tune with plugs and coils, possible clutch depending on how stock holds up, and turbo back exhaust if clutch holds up. What a great car. Now I see why it makes the top 10 list every year. I am very happy with it. The only issue is this tensioner. I think VW should have taken care of that issue for people as itís something that can cost a rediculous amount of cash if it fails. Thatís all about that as Iím sure people are sick of that topic. Any help with my build date would be much appreciate. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:23 PM   #2
Allchokedup
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My chain tensioner took a dump and jumped time. It still ran and i drove it to my friends shop. $1100 later its all better, i got very lucky..
As for clutch, when i went stage 2 mine started slipping. The rear main seal was partly to blame. Put in south bend stage 2 with new flywheel. Life is good...
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:05 PM   #3
Antman
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I read somewhere that if your car was built 2012/06 then it needs to be replaced. Iím just not sure if thatís the first revision or the final one. Hopefully itís the final update as I would have just snuck in there.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:15 AM   #4
CHerna
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I don't remember the build date on my car, but it is a 2012.5. I had mine inspected and it has the updated tensioner. You should be fine.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:28 AM   #5
Antman
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Originally Posted by CHerna View Post
I don't remember the build date on my car, but it is a 2012.5. I had mine inspected and it has the updated tensioner. You should be fine.
Nice. So I should be ok with my 2013. Thanks for the reply. Looks like more money for other stuff.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
GreyGti1990
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It's also not hard to check the tensioner yourself. You just gotta jack up the front end of the car. Get under it, take off the plastic belly pan and towards the passenger side of the vehicle, where the underdrive pulleys are, there will be a black rubber plug. Take the plug out and either use a mirror or your phone and take pictures. Its a tight fit for sure but I was able to use my Iphone 6 plus to take a picture of the tensioner and post it up on here and the forum powers to be told me if it was old or new.

Mine was old and i had to have it replaced. Replaced that and the cam bridge at a very experienced shop for $1,500. Probably could have it done cheaper. But I didn't want to worry about it being done improperly or any of that nonsense. I believe I replaced it at 80k miles. Mine is a 2011 Gti.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:08 AM   #7
dustbunny227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyGti1990 View Post
It's also not hard to check the tensioner yourself. You just gotta jack up the front end of the car. Get under it, take off the plastic belly pan and towards the passenger side of the vehicle, where the underdrive pulleys are, there will be a black rubber plug. Take the plug out and either use a mirror or your phone and take pictures. Its a tight fit for sure but I was able to use my Iphone 6 plus to take a picture of the tensioner and post it up on here and the forum powers to be told me if it was old or new.

Mine was old and i had to have it replaced. Replaced that and the cam bridge at a very experienced shop for $1,500. Probably could have it done cheaper. But I didn't want to worry about it being done improperly or any of that nonsense. I believe I replaced it at 80k miles. Mine is a 2011 Gti.
Getting nervous.. I have a 2011 with almost 120k miles. I should probably check my tensioner.... It had 50k when I bought it...
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #8
GreyGti1990
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Originally Posted by dustbunny227 View Post
Getting nervous.. I have a 2011 with almost 120k miles. I should probably check my tensioner.... It had 50k when I bought it...
I'd probably at least check to see if you have the updated tensioner or not. I believe some 2011's do; mine didn't. And I replaced it for peace of mind. No idea if it was close to failing or not. The shop didn't make a big deal over it so it probably looked fine but that just me assuming. At 120k miles you mind as well just do a full timing chain job. Chains, guides, tensioners as chances are that the chain may be starting to stretch.

I'll probably be doing this all again around 120/30/40k miles depending on how things run/sound by that mileage.

I really want to keep this thing and see 200k then rebuild it eventually... when i have the proper space to do so and the tools.

Also, stupid CBFA engines!! My secondary air injection system (the thing that makes all the noise on cold starts) stopped working and is throwing a check engine light... only on CBFA cars! So I gotta figure that out next.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by GreyGti1990 View Post
I'd probably at least check to see if you have the updated tensioner or not. I believe some 2011's do; mine didn't. And I replaced it for peace of mind. No idea if it was close to failing or not. The shop didn't make a big deal over it so it probably looked fine but that just me assuming. At 120k miles you mind as well just do a full timing chain job. Chains, guides, tensioners as chances are that the chain may be starting to stretch.

I'll probably be doing this all again around 120/30/40k miles depending on how things run/sound by that mileage.

I really want to keep this thing and see 200k then rebuild it eventually... when i have the proper space to do so and the tools.

Also, stupid CBFA engines!! My secondary air injection system (the thing that makes all the noise on cold starts) stopped working and is throwing a check engine light... only on CBFA cars! So I gotta figure that out next.
Yeah, Ill have to take it to my buddys shop... I only let one shop work on my car if I'm not doing the work. I hate my CBFA... I didnt know I had it until I started shopping around for parts and saw there was a CCTA and CBFA so I went looking for that secondary air filter... Everything is like $30 more just because it has that motor...
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:53 PM   #10
StorminNorman
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I have a 2013 with a build of 09/2012 and it has the new tensioner also


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Old 02-27-2018, 05:02 PM   #11
Antman
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Originally Posted by StorminNorman View Post
I have a 2013 with a build of 09/2012 and it has the new tensioner also


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Nice so thereís a good chance I have the new one. Iím going to double check and if so thatís an extra grand for a turbo back. Thanks for the replies. Not counting on it being the New one until I see for sure but feel a lot better about it.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:33 PM   #12
PhthaloType
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MY13, 7/12 build date (motor and vehicle), new revision tensioner.

From what I gathered while researching the topic before buying a GTI, there was no "hard" cutoff date where they changed the part. It's been said they used up existing stocks of the old one while they phased in the new one, so for mid-2012 builds it's kind of a gamble. One of these days when I'm bored enough, I want to do a thorough search and make a table to prove or disprove this theory.

Yours is probably good, but definitely check anyway just for total peace of mind.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:45 AM   #13
Yadadameans
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I have a 2011 and just did my timing chain tensioner at 133k miles. Mine looked fine still but it's just a peace of mind to get it changed. If you're in the bay area, I got a friend that can do the install for 250$ and you buy the parts. He was a VW tech for a long time, done over 20 timing chain tensioners for us and has the special tool.

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Old 02-28-2018, 09:31 AM   #14
Crusader10143
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Anyone know where to find the month for the build date? Mines a 2012 but not sure what month it was built in.
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