AfterMarketNews Auto Care Pro AutoCareCareerHub Auto-Video.com Brake&Frontend BodyShopBusiness Counterman EngineBuilder Fleet Equipment ImportCar Motorcycle & Powersports News Servicio Automotriz Shop Owner Tire Review Tech Shop Tomorrow's Tech Underhood Service Speedville

Work Smarter With Procedures, Measurement And Accountability

You’re working harder and faster today to stay ahead of the competition and boost profitability in a challenging business environment. You’re providing the highest quality repairs and top-notch customer service so that your shop’s car count...

Read more...

Are You Ready For Some Auto Repair?

A game is being played every day that doesn’t have many fans filling the bleachers. It’s a battle between man and machine. Yes, on playing fields across the country — whether it be one-bay garages, 12-bay shops or maybe just some far-off...

Read more...

Radiator Specialty Shop Hits 100 Years In The Business

One hundred years is a long time for anything. Think of all the innovations and changes to society in the past 100 years – heck, the past 10 years. That’s what’s great about this feature on the Radiator Hospital in Detroit. This small, independent...

Read more...

Audi: Vibrates at Idle

Complaint The customer says that the check engine light is on and that the vehicle vibrates at idle. Cause The customer’s complaint is confirmed, with the vehicle vibrating at idle, but the vibration was not felt at high speeds. A scan tool found...

Read more...

Step-by-Step Lexus Fuel Pump Replacement

We will use a third-generation 2006 Lexus LS430 as our case study for this fuel pump assembly replacement. First, discharge the fuel system pressure, disconnect the negative battery terminal and drain the fuel. Be sure to remove the rear seat cushion...

Read more...

Nissan: Squeak From Fuel Pump

Customer may report a squeak noise that is: • Coming from inside the vehicle; • Happens after driving for 30 minutes; • Is coming from under the vehicle or from the left rear area of the vehicle. If you confirm that a “squeak” noise...

Read more...

Nissan Maxima Brake Job Tips

Called the four-door sports car by Nissan, the 2004-2008 Maxima brake system is easy to service with very few complaints of brake noise or pulsation. The system used the same brake pads, rotors and calipers on all models. There were some changes in...

Read more...

Get Inside the Mind of a Modern Transmission

The transmission game has changed. Solenoids, sensors and computers have replaced vacuum lines, governors and kick down cables on modern automatic transmissions. The tools have also changed: Scan tools, scopes and meters have replaced pressure and...

Read more...

Saturn: Hesitation Between 35-50 mph

Condition Some customers may comment on a flat spot or hesitation between 35-50 mph (56-80 km/h) speed range. Cause The existing transmission calibration is programmed to maximize fuel economy and requires a greater throttle input than some customers...

Read more...

Midtronics Launches Informational Microsite

  Midtronics, Inc. has launched an informational microsite — or mini website — to provide customers with detailed information about the company’s newest diagnostic platform — the DSS-7000 Battery Service Diagnostic System. The microsite...

Read more...

German Tool Specialist KC Tool Announces Addition of Gedore Tools

As of August 1 KC Tool became the first certified reseller of Gedore Tools in the United States already adding more than 2,500 Gedore tools to its selection of German made tools. KC Tool plans to add an additional 6,000 Gedore Tools over the next few...

Read more...

United Stationers Expands Into Auto Aftermarket

United Stationers announced Sept. 11 that its wholly owned subsidiary, United Stationers Supply Co., signed an agreement to acquire MEDCO, a U.S. wholesaler of automotive aftermarket tools and supplies, and its affiliates including G2S Equipment de Fabrication...

Read more...

Home Engine ServicingSolutions: Chain Reaction…Timing Chain Replacement on Toyota’s 22R Series Engine

Print Print Email Email

Toyota’s 22R series four-cylinder SOHC engine has survived and thrived in its cars and trucks for nearly 30 years, and is a desired powerplant for its power, torque and reliability. The basic design is a continuation of the engine that preceded it, the 20R, which was used in cars and trucks in the mid 1970s. Last month, we highlighted servicing head gasket issues on the 20/22R series 4-cyl SOHC engine. This month, we’ll take a look at timing chain and oil sludge issues for the 22R.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
The incidence of timing chain failure on this series of engines seems to have increased over the last few years. We seldom saw a failure until 175,000 to 200,000 miles. Now, we often see failures under 150,000 miles. We’ve concluded that the use of lower viscosity oil has had a detrimental effect on timing chain life.

Although there is still some disagreement on what is the ideal oil for all conditions, the fact remains that, on this engine, viscosity and oil pressure have a significant impact on timing chain life (more on this later).

There are, however, a couple of other problems that can significantly shorten chain life and cause other failures. Oil sludging, due to lack of maintenance and overheating, can damage any engine over time. Unfortunately, there is one other cause that is usually the direct result of an improper repair for a common oil leak.

A common sequence of events in the failure of a timing chain on this engine often goes like this. The engine has a serious oil leak at the front pulley area. The leak is partially at the front crank seal, but the thin, odd shaped O-ring that seals the oil pump to the front cover is also leaking.

The oil pump is removed, the seal is replaced (a repair sleeve is sometimes needed on the pulley), and everything is cleaned and reassembled. The engine starts, runs fine, oil pressure is normal and no warning lights are on. But, there is a light “ticking” noise from the front cover area. The noise doesn’t change significantly with engine speed, so the vehicle is returned to the customer, only to return in a short time with serious noises from the front cover and water in the oil — lots of water in the oil.

So what happened?

The top center retaining bolt for the oil pump housing was replaced with one of the other retaining bolts that is less than a quarter of an inch longer. That blew the bottom out of a blind hole (see Photo 1) in the front cover, allowing the bolt to rest on the plunger pad of the chain tensioner. The oil pressure couldn’t move the plunger, and the chain ran loose and beat on the guide until it broke. Then the noise got worse, mostly upon acceleration.

Within a few hundred miles, the timing chain destroyed the long, straight guide on the distributor side of the engine, the chain chewed a groove in the front cover (see Photo 2) and coolant started disappearing in great amounts, winding up in the crankcase.

The front cover is still available from a number of sources. The timing chain components are sold in kit form and the replacement can be performed with the engine in the vehicle and without pulling the cylinder head. If the head is off, a close inspection of the timing components, as noted above, is advisable.

Teardown and Replacement
Timing chain replacement without head removal goes like this. The less bending and prying you do, the better the repair will come out. Depending on accessories, the repair will take more or less time, due to the mounting brackets.

  1. Remove the fan, shroud, drive belts and any bracket attached to the front engine cover. You will also need to remove the valve cover. Set the engine on TDC, disconnect the battery and hide the keys to the ignition.

  2. Remove the lower engine shield, then drain the radiator and crankcase. Remove the lower radiator hose from the water pump. You don’t need to remove the radiator, but it’s usually easier to see what you’re doing with it out of the way; it’s your call.

  3. Remove the crank pulley, oil pump housing and drive gear.

  4. Remove the oil pan bolts that screw into the front cover. Loosen, but don’t remove, the oil pan bolts on both sides of the crankcase.

  5. Use a sharp, stiff putty knife to separate the oil pan gasket from the bottom of the front cover. Try to keep the gasket as intact as possible to prevent small pieces from falling into the oil pan.

  6. Remove the ignition distributor, drive gear and fuel pump eccentric, and separate the camshaft sprocket from the camshaft. Remove the sprocket and let the chain settle into the chain guides.

  7. Remove the small bolt that goes into the top of the front cover (remember, it’s probably in a pool of oil so you can’t easily see it).

  8. Remove the bolts holding the front cover to the block, and the water tubes to the back of the front cover. Organize the bolts in a way that it will be obvious where they go on reassembly.

  9. Use the putty knife again to separate the front cover from the front part of the head gasket. Use great care here. Unless you want to pull the head later, try to not separate the head gasket from the bottom of the head.

  10. Carefully pry the cover away from the front of the block, making note of the alignment sleeves and their positions.

  11. Remove the rest of the timing components, guides, tensioner and crankshaft gear. Carefully inspect the front cover. If the chain has started to chew only on the cover, it may be reusable. The best determining point is to look into the water pump cavity (see Photo 3) with the pump removed to see if the grooves have been imprinted there. Once there is a failure in this area, coolant, under pressure, is just redirected into the crankcase by the water pump.

Reassembly involves carefully cleaning the front of the block, mounting the new timing components and installing per the service manual. I use RTV on the mating surfaces of the pan and head gasket. Some of the timing kits come with a replacement piece of pan gasket that requires trimming off the front of the old gasket. If the original gasket survived the separation process, it may be better left intact. As a final check before putting the valve cover on, look down the chain at the tensioner plunger and make sure there isn’t a bolt pressing on it!

Oil Issues
As noted earlier, we have come to the conclusion that a lot of the timing chain failures on this engine can be eliminated by a different mindset on oil. It’s very obvious that engine noise is greater with thinner oil, the oil pressure indicated is lower and the benefits of thinner oil are negligible. So we have as a shop policy suggested stepping up to 15W/40 or 20W/50, depending on vehicle use. Since we don’t generally have the temperature extremes here in the Northwest that some of you see, you’ll need to educate yourself on the various properties of motor oil, and then determine what would be best for your part of the country.

Although there are different qualities for various viscosities of motor oil, there are also some anomalies where viscosity, thermal breakdown and low temperature pour ability are more dependent on additives than a particular weight rating.

The single most important factor in motor oil failure remains the lack of preventive maintenance. Remember that it isn’t the “oil” that usually breaks down in motor oil. It’s the failure of the additives that control oxidation, foaming and maintain viscosity that causes the oil to become ineffective. I suggest you get technical information from your lubricant supplier, and make your own determination as to the best compromise for a particular vehicle, based on the normal use it will see. We keep a photo record of various engine failures in a three-ring binder. It’s become a great tool for explaining the merits of maintenance, since a picture is better than thousands of words to some customers.

The following two tabs change content below.
Latest articles from our other sites:

Audi sees boost in U.S. sales during first eight months of 2014

The Volkswagen Group saw another jump in deliveries in August – 2.7 percent increase year over year – with sales topping 740,500. From the start of the year through January, deliveries are up 5.6 percent...More

Federated Free Fuel Fridays For Fall

Federated Free Fuel Fridays has returned this fall. Each Friday through Oct. 24, Federated will announce four winners of free gas cards on its Federated Auto Parts and Federated Car Care Facebook pages. The...More

Audi sees boost in U.S. sales during first eight months of 2014

The Volkswagen Group saw another jump in deliveries in August – 2.7 percent increase year over year – with sales topping 740,500. From the start of the year through January, deliveries are up 5.6 percent...More

Audi: Vibrates at Idle

Complaint The customer says that the check engine light is on and that the vehicle vibrates at idle. Cause The customer’s complaint is confirmed, with the vehicle vibrating at idle, but the vibration...More

Nissan Maxima Brake Job Tips

Called the four-door sports car by Nissan, the 2004-2008 Maxima brake system is easy to service with very few complaints of brake noise or pulsation. The system used the same brake pads, rotors and...More

Get Inside the Mind of a Modern Transmission

The transmission game has changed. Solenoids, sensors and computers have replaced vacuum lines, governors and kick down cables on modern automatic transmissions. The tools have also changed: Scan tools,...More

ACDelco Impact Wrench Offers Five Preset Torque Settings

The ACDelco ETC (Electronic Torque Control) ARI2044B 3/8” Angle Impact Wrench with Digital Clutch is designed with a compact size of 2-3/8” for engine or tight space applications. With five preset...More

Say Goodbye To Tangled Air Hoses with RoboReel

Great Stuff Inc announces its newest arrival: The RoboReel Air Hose Reel. Say goodbye to tangled air hoses and a messy, unsafe workspace. The RoboReel Air Hose Reel features smart microprocessor technology,...More