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Thread: Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement (M62TU)

  1. #1
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    Post Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement (M62TU)

    Here's a DIY Garrett wrote up for replacing the Main Timing chain tensioner for M62TU motors. I pulled it out of a thread for easier reference in the E39 DIY section.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Dog 20/20 View Post
    Here is the very complicated procedure:

    1. remove air box. One visible bolt holds the box to the chassis. One hose clamp to the hfm and one hose clamp to the intake tube (down under the box).





    2. remove tensioner. the tensioner is down below the valve cover on the left side of the motor. There is an A/C line that runs right in front of it (making it a bit difficult to access).



    Put a rag under the tensioner, as it contains oil and some will spill. Using a 19mm socket (long or short w/ wobble extension), unscrew the tensioner.



    It is under some spring and hydraulic pressure so it will kinda pop out once it is unthreaded. Remove it, the old seal ring and the rag. Clean-up any spilled oil on the motor (even a little bit will stink once baked).


    3. replace tensioner.


    Take the new tensioner with new seal ring and try to place it in the bore without getting the new tensioner dirty with crud as you feel around for the bore.


    The new tensioner is under a bit of spring pressure, so you will have to press it into the bore with some force and compress it to the point where the threads will engage, while at the same time turning it clockwise to screw it in. This takes a little bit of dexterity/coordination, but you'll get the hang of it. Once tight, give your wrench a good solid tug to get her "good-n-tight" and deform the seal ring.



    4. replace the airbox.





    5. start the motor. You'll hear a bit of noise for a few seconds and then it should quiet down nicely. Let her idle for a little while and then check to make sure there is no oil leaking from the seal ring.
    Tag team fixed.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 06-02-2009 at 09:53 PM. Reason: M62TU clarification.

    1999 540it - Schwartz II/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Conti DWS 235/45 tires, Billy HD/Sports, Stoptech S/S BL, F1 Pinacle 35% tint, Zionsville Cooling kit
    1998 318ti Cali Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 23
    1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 68 ,

    1995 318ti Active - Alpineweib III/Schwartz, squared style 32
    1994 325i - Bostongrau/Tan, Billy Sports, H&R springs
    1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff, Bilstien HD, Z4 3.0 SS, Magnaflow, S/S Stress bar, x-brace, M20 FW, Elipsoid/HID, K&N

    BMWCCA# 160411

    1995 318ti Sport Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz - Sold
    1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold

    1984 533i "Max" - Schwarz/Schwarz, - Sold
    1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

  2. #2
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    Awesome, I'll be doing this soon. Can a mod move to the DIY section?

  3. #3
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    Excellent job!!!
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 06-02-2009 at 09:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    is M62 the same?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    is M62 the same?
    Orkhan,

    From some of the threads I read on this, I believe the guide rails are slightly different, but I don't know about the tensioner. I'll PM Garret and see if he knows and post back.

  6. #6
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    Orkhan,

    From some of the threads I read on this, I believe the guide rails are slightly different, but I don't know about the tensioner. I'll PM Garret and see if he knows and post back.


    James, that is for the input man - you always come through (: would you also happen to know the part number for the tensioner? This way I could check if it's the same for all years. Sorry for being lazy, I'm posting on my phone (:
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    James, that is for the input man - you always come through (: would you also happen to know the part number for the tensioner? This way I could check if it's the same for all years. Sorry for being lazy, I'm posting on my phone (:
    NP, man!
    Both Garret and Rich didn't know for sure if the procedure is the same for the M62, but they both thought it would be similar.
    I couldn't find the part number either because I ran out of time. I'm building a play set for my kids right now and they are demanding it be done last week.
    One thing is for sure. I never stop learning on this forum. I just discovered that the E39s up to 9/1997 have the M60. I didn't know that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    NP, man!
    Both Garret and Rich didn't know for sure if the procedure is the same for the M62, but they both thought it would be similar.
    I couldn't find the part number either because I ran out of time. I'm building a play set for my kids right now and they are demanding it be done last week.
    One thing is for sure. I never stop learning on this forum. I just discovered that the E39s up to 9/1997 have the M60. I didn't know that.
    I have 5/97, its M62
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  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Thanks for this!!!

    This is what I needed! I'm in Europe and it's hard to get information and parts....at least not as easy as in the states!

  10. #10
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    I have 5/97, its M62
    Yeah. I double checked on realoem and they are all M62s. WTF? Nevermind.

  11. #11
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    I am curious as to the success rate for folks that replaced this, if it solved the cold start rattle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by f355spider View Post
    I am curious as to the success rate for folks that replaced this, if it solved the cold start rattle?
    not really, however the old one had less tension than the new one. Then again, everything new WILL have more of an original characteristic than anything used, so idk. For $50 bucks and 10 mins, I say do it.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the write-up. Which part number did you use. I am looking to replace this part as my 540i does also make the rattling/grinding noise on startup. However when I search timing chain tension I get a few options.
    2009 135i/6 | Cobb Stg 2+ | VRSF Downpipes | aFe Intake | Evolution Intercooler | Evolution CP | Apex ARC8s | BMW Performance Spoiler | Carbon Fiber

  14. #14
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    what website have you guys been going through to get the tensioner?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky540m View Post
    what website have you guys been going through to get the tensioner?
    I got mine at www.eactuning.com. I had questions and spoke to Jared, who's always real helpful...

    1999 540it - Schwartz II/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Conti DWS 235/45 tires, Billy HD/Sports, Stoptech S/S BL, F1 Pinacle 35% tint, Zionsville Cooling kit
    1998 318ti Cali Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 23
    1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 68 ,

    1995 318ti Active - Alpineweib III/Schwartz, squared style 32
    1994 325i - Bostongrau/Tan, Billy Sports, H&R springs
    1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff, Bilstien HD, Z4 3.0 SS, Magnaflow, S/S Stress bar, x-brace, M20 FW, Elipsoid/HID, K&N

    BMWCCA# 160411

    1995 318ti Sport Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz - Sold
    1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold

    1984 533i "Max" - Schwarz/Schwarz, - Sold
    1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

  16. #16
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    Took me about 30 mins earlier today to get it done. Best part is it solved my cold rattle/grinding noise 100%!
    2009 135i/6 | Cobb Stg 2+ | VRSF Downpipes | aFe Intake | Evolution Intercooler | Evolution CP | Apex ARC8s | BMW Performance Spoiler | Carbon Fiber

  17. #17
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    Just finish installing my new timing chain tensioner on my 540i. Now when I start up my car. It is rattle free and it only took 10 mins to installed!

  18. #18
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    Update: Car still rattles on startup
    2009 135i/6 | Cobb Stg 2+ | VRSF Downpipes | aFe Intake | Evolution Intercooler | Evolution CP | Apex ARC8s | BMW Performance Spoiler | Carbon Fiber

  19. #19
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    ny plastic debris in your oilpan?

    1999 540it - Schwartz II/Sand Beige, style 5 rims, Conti DWS 235/45 tires, Billy HD/Sports, Stoptech S/S BL, F1 Pinacle 35% tint, Zionsville Cooling kit
    1998 318ti Cali Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 23
    1997 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, staggered style 68 ,

    1995 318ti Active - Alpineweib III/Schwartz, squared style 32
    1994 325i - Bostongrau/Tan, Billy Sports, H&R springs
    1991 318ic - Schwarz/Anthratz Stoff, Bilstien HD, Z4 3.0 SS, Magnaflow, S/S Stress bar, x-brace, M20 FW, Elipsoid/HID, K&N

    BMWCCA# 160411

    1995 318ti Sport Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz - Sold
    1985 635CSI - Schwartz\Sand - Sold

    1984 533i "Max" - Schwarz/Schwarz, - Sold
    1984 318i - Champagne/Tan, Stock - Sold

  20. #20
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    FYI:
    I was able to do it with a deep socket and without using a wobble extension
    for those without a wobble extension, you dont need to buy one.

    but if you have one it makes it easier so you should use it

    also
    a small tip for using a wobble extension most mechanics know and do,, and that is to put some tape around the wobble knuckle so it only wobbles a little and not a lot
    some people will know what i mean when trying to use that extension and it binds on itself cause it moves too much

  21. #21
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    Bought the new tensioner weeks ago and finally got motivated to put it in last night. Very easy, about 30 minutes of work. I was motivated to do it by some of the testimony and info on this board which helped a lot, even though I didn't think I had any noise from my car.

    My car just turned over 70k.

    Having the airbox out was a good opportunity to clean out some sand and grime sitting in the bottom of it, and refill my high intensity headlight cleaning fluid tank as well.

    Gearing up for the marathon valley pan gasket (and other "as long as we're in here" items) replacement soon, also using great info available on this forum.

  22. #22
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    Replaced today with new tensioner and aluminum sealing washer. Nasty noises on first start up. All is well after it filled with oil. Not sure if this will really save us from impending disaster of the timing chain rails, but for $54 in parts, what the hell, it may have bought a bit of "peace of mind"...
    2001 540 M-Sport (cdn), Bilstein B14 PSS coilovers, H&R 15mm spacers, M5 rear stabilizer bar, Strong Strut front upper strut bar, Dinan Stage 1 software, factory M-Audio subs, USA Spec Ipod intergration, factory bluetooth integration, Stop Tech SS brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads

  23. #23
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    very nice write up but when do i need to replace the tensioner?
    2000 BMW 528i / Manual Tranny / Sport & Premium package / Xenon headlight / Sport seats / Premium sound / DSC /
    2011 BMW X3

  24. #24
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    Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement: M62TU

    Hello All -

    Still bored and thought of providing possibly useful tidbits of information. I had the "marbles on startup" that plagues many M62s and on the advice of the search, replaced the timing chain tensioner.

    The job was simple. 4 clips on the airbox lid, 2 clips on the MAF and the lid comes off. Then there is one hose clamp and one 10mm bolt for the airbox bottom and it slides right out making plenty of clearance to access the tensioner. 19mm socket, 1" extension, and a 3/8" ratchet and it was out. 5 minutes out, 5 minutes in. Solved the problem!

    I did pause in the middle of the job to take a picture of old vs new. The way that the tensioner works is that it is supplied with oil pressure to press on a large plastic guide that the timing chain slides against. It's pretty much the same way timing chain tensioners have worked for a very long time. This maintains proper chain tension while the car is running. However, when the car is shut off, the oil pressure slowly drains out of the tensioner unit and develops slack in the chain. To combat this, the tensioner has a spring inside that takes up the slack when there is no oil pressure. In the new unit, this spring was robust. In the old unit, the spring felt non-existent. Check the difference in free-length! Old on the left, new on the right. It's pretty obvious the difference this will make in the function of the device.



    Sorry for the blurry pic. For some reason my camera wouldn't do a fill-flash so I went with the steadiest hand I could.

    On startup, it made quite a clatter for 3 of the longest seconds of my life, then immediately quieted down once it built pressure. In retrospect, I should have soaked it in oil like a hydraulic lifter to fill it with oil before install and it probably would have prevented the clatter.

    I am pleased to report that the cold-start marble effect is nearly eliminated. I say nearly because after sitting 3 days (I have been sick and haven't left the house) it made roughly 1 click on start up. It is almost imperceptible and is 99.5% better than before I did the job.

    This may be more than anyone has written about the timing chain tensioner, but I hope it proves useful to someone. Now that I know how bad the old one was, I wish I had done this job sooner.
    Last edited by billzcat1; 11-25-2009 at 01:48 AM.
    Richard
    BMW Convert

    Let us redefine "progress" to mean that just because we CAN mod a thing, it does not necessarily follow that we MUST mod that thing.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the nice writeup. Glad you're feeling better. However, this was covered 6 months ago in the DIY section by Rich aka BlackBMWs. It's a sticky there.
    Last edited by dvsgene; 11-25-2009 at 02:24 AM.

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