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Old 12-26-2009, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default j20a timing chain

Hi. I'm new to the forum...I've just purchased a grand vitara j20a engine with 160000miles on it...engine sounds good ..don't seem to be any noise's on start up...but would like to know ...how do i know if the timing chain etc needs to be replaced...thanks
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would monitor your engine noises and be prepared to at least change the chain tensioners at the first sign of lower engine ticking. I learned the hard way that the tensioners were worn out at 188K.

Started to get an ticking noise in lower part of the engine that would come and go. Then on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner at the top of the exit ramp the engine would not run at idle but no other problems/sounds. Two blocks home, pulled into garage and it still would not run at idle; next morning nothing. Motor would spin easily but would not catch. Towed to mechanic and one of the tensioners was worn thru and allowed the chain to jump enough teeth to prevent any of the valves from closing. Luckly it seemed to have happened while trying to start it because there were no bent valves, piston or head damage. My mechanic and I speculate that it may have jumped one tooth the night before causing it to run poorly and then I finished the job the next morning. I back up and rolling again but $1400 poorer.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks sniper..is there anything else i should look out for?
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In your original post you said you purchased a "grand vitara j20a engine with 160000miles"; for that I would assume you just purchased the engine, correct? If so I would make a list of items you would feel comfortable replacing while the engine is out of the truck.

Things that would come to mind would be the timing chain tensioner, water pump, belt tensioner. Most everything else is easy to get at once the motor is installed. Now of course funding will play a big part of this so think it through and price the parts out. The two biggest things for me would be the timing chain and the water pump; if either of them fail you are stranded.

If you purchased a complete Grand Vitara then the same would apply but getting it done will require more time. The only other weak link I have had to deal with is a bearing set in the manual transmission. If yours is equipped with an auto never mind. The bearing set I believe has to do with 2nd and 3rd gears; when it starts to make noise it is failing and will then basically take out the transmission when failure occurs. This is not something that has been in many forums but my transmission guy has rebuild or replaced many manual transmissions all with the same issue.

Hope this helps and I hope it warms up a bit so I can take some photos of my track for the forum.
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