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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if any of you folks had any input to the pros and cons of having a timing chain versus a timing belt. I noticed from my shop manual
my 91 Trooper has a chain in the the 2.8L where as all others are belts.
I know all my previous trucks had timing chains and I have never had issues with them even after 150k+ miles.
Thanks!!
 

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Belts..

Pros..
Quieter
Cheaper to make
Easier to make
Usually dont stretch much

Cons..
More frequent changes needed
Usually will break without warning
Can cause lots of damage when they break

Chains...

Pros...
Long lasting
Usually have some kind of warning before they fail completly

Cons..
Noisey
Can stretch quite a bit causing timing issues
Might stretch far enough that interferance engines will smack the valves
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any idea when a timing chain might be ready for replacement on the V6?
I've got 120k on her now and she purrs like a kitten. What would be a hint for me to think about making the change?
Thanks!
 

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Take the distributor cap off and then rock the crankshaft harmonic balancer/pulley assy to and fro. See how much 'lost motion' there is between you moving the crankshaft and the rotor turning. If more than a couple degrees you've got quite a stretched chain. You'll be able to feel the slack in the chain if it's extreme. Replace the timing damper when you're in there as the rubber 'slippers' on the damper will harden with age then break. This will eventually lead to a broken timing chain.

Good News is, a 2.8 with stock cam and rocker arms is not an interference motor. All bets are off, however, if you've changed to a cam with more lift and/or 1.6:1 rocker arms, for increased performance. I don't know anyone who can say for sure whether or not pistons will kiss valves in that case.

The chain broke on my '90 LS (now a 3.4) and before I did the engine swap, the timing set and damper were replaced. No crunched valves or anything.

You can take the timing cover off while in the vehicle, best access is to remove the radiator also. Use the Breaker-Bar-Against-the-Frame-Rail-Then-Bump-the-Starter technique to bust loose the crank nut, then the harmonic balancer is removed with a puller. Do yourself a favor and get a set of Torx bits as you'll need them.

HTH, hopefully with Low Low 120K on the clock she'll be as tight as new......ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Ed!
I checked the chain as you said and there is no slop or wasted motion at all. Nice and snug that's good news. I have not had any issues but had seen some posts on the belt issue and found I had a chain and thought I'd throw out the question. Really appreciate your help!
Mike
 
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