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2000 Grand Vitara 2.5L auto 4wd. 2006 grand Vitara 2.7l auto 4wd
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, Suzuki Forum. I’m Scott and I’m in the Seattle area. I have used this forum for years for info and to pick up tips but just yesterday created an account to ask some questions and post some info and pics of my project.

I have a US 2000 Grand Vitara, 2.5 liter, V6, auto with 4WD. No modifications other than a tow package. My folks towed it occasionally behind their RV. The car currently has 103,000 miles on it. It has been maintained routinely.



My current project that I need help with concerns the very common and dreaded timing chain rattle. I have the car stripped down to the valve cover gaskets.
99832


I am installing new valve cover gaskets and semi circle plugs to repair a few leaks with the front passenger side semi circle plug being the worst.
For the past year, my car has had a loud rattle/ticking sound at the front passengers side valve cover. It only occurs after the car has sat all night and is cold. The rest of the day, it does not occur, even if it has sat for a few hours. At first, it only lasted a minute or less. Now it lasts 5 or more minutes. I obviously suspected the lower left tensioner or even a clogged oil passage way keeping one of the front lifters starved of oil. However, revving up the rpm does not increase the ticking/rattling sound so I am doubting the dry lifter theory. Upon removing the passenger side valve cover, I noticed that the chain around the two camshafts was very loose and hit the metal guard/guide surrounding it.

My main questions/thoughts to everyone are -
I can turn bolts like any fool and even put it all back together again but I have never worked on a timing chain or set a car to TDC, etc... I can replace alternators, fuel injectors, egr, etc... but no experience with internal or major repairs.
Can I open up the timing chain cover and replace the lower left tensioner without disturbing the rest of the timing system? Maybe even swap out the water pump and those two gaskets while I’m in there - making sure I don’t bump or move anything?
Could I carefully lift the two camshafts up and replace the tensioner underneath without disturbing the timing?

I am a bit unconfident in setting the timing myself since I have no experience doing it before. I took it to several Seattle and Bellevue area shops and they wanted approx $3000 + parts to do the job. Actually, they really did not want the job. I was told it was very time consuming and that the shops don’t really make a lot doing it. They tie up a mechanic for 14.4 hrs book time and they work on the car when things slow down in the shop so it is there a long while. I was also warned about the difficulty in finding quality timing chain kits and parts. They said those $135 - $200 kits on the web that also sometimes include a water pump or even an oil pump are junk. Most are used parts that are cleaned up. Used sprockets and tensioners with new plastic pieces. They just don’t last like the genuine parts which are becoming very hard for them to locate affordably. I was also told that almost every single 99-2004 grand Vitara that they see come through the shop needs the timing chain done due to that lower left tensioner. Both shops also said that every GV has the drivers side oil leaks due to the two o-rings/gaskets being ruined (often referred to incorrectly as oil pan leaks). I found those comments from the shops interesting and thought I would pass them on to others. By the way, I was told most people don’t repair the leaking gaskets or tensioner issue due to the high cost. Each repair approaches the value of an older GV is why both Mechanics thought.

If anyone is local (Seattle Bellevue, Wa. area) and wants to earn some money after I have it tore all down just helping with installing the timing chain, sprockets and setting the marks, I would be very interested in that. I have a warm garage here. Send me a message ASAP.

Thanks for everyones help in advance.
Scott
 

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If you can handle those other jobs, you can handle timing chains. Download the appropriate manuals (look in the FAQ section above). Be aware that the chains in the aftermarket kits are most likely NOT marked correctly with respect to the factory manual. But, if you can follow the directions and use the marks on the cams/gears/block/heads then you'll be fine.
OEM parts are available, but very spendy. I ordered some for my Bazuki project and it took 4 months to arrive.
(Edit now that I watched the video)
No, you can't replace tensioners without disturbing the system. MAYBE the primary chain tensioner (down low on the left), but that's the only one. No you don't have a link or two of leeway. You have it right, or you don't. I can say that just looking at how you laid out the parts you have already removed that you'll be just fine doing the timing set though. Seattle is a bit far, but if you hit a snag jump back on here and let us know, we can get you through it.

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2000 Grand Vitara 2.5L auto 4wd. 2006 grand Vitara 2.7l auto 4wd
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Discussion Starter #3
Skills4lou - Thanks so much for your comments and encouragement. I followed your Bazuki thread with great interest so really appreciate hearing from you. My confidence is boosted so I am going to order up a timing chain kit and start this project immediately. I will begin tearing down the front engine while waiting on the kit to arrive from Amazon.

I’ve narrowed it down to these 3 kits in case others are interested. They are in stock and ship ASAP. All the others arrive in a month or so - shipping from overseas. There is really no consistency with these kits I found. DNJ brand contains an extra sprocket and an unneeded timing cover gasket but you do get the seal.. Evergreen seems to throw in the chain to the oil pump and the very common Moca brand kit is as basic as it gets. I was also surprised to see the two small idler sprockets not included unlike certain kits on Rock Auto though. Those do appear to be in the chain pathway.

Evergreen timing chain kit Amazon

DNJ Premium timing chain kit for H25a

Moca timing kit Amazon

I’m going for the Evergreen kit. It has all the basic components needed. The two passengers side cam sprockets (intake and exhaust) appear to be part of the cams themselvesI. That threw me for a second. I will also order up a water pump because none of the kits that ship ASAP had them included. For $25 more I could have gotten a water pump and oil pump in certain kits but shipping is way out into mid March.

The only questions/concerns I can immediately see have to do with the lack of colored links on the kit chains compared to the stock chains. Will this be a big problem for me when installing? I’ve read all the material available here on the forum and elsewhere and everything references the colored links when lining up the timing marks. That is where I am lost. I am not at that stage yet but already thinking about it.

Sorry for the long post. I am trying to be as informative as possible in case anyone else has similar questions in their minds.
 

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Colored links won't be a problem, as long as you are very careful to follow the manual regarding the other marks.

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2000 Grand Vitara 2.5L auto 4wd. 2006 grand Vitara 2.7l auto 4wd
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Discussion Starter #5
Colored links won't be a problem, as long as you are very careful to follow the manual regarding the other marks.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
Thanks for the reply, Montana 👍 This forum is such a helpful resource for Suzuki owners.
I will update everyone once my kit arrives this weekend and I finish the tear down. No issues yet other than a few stubborn bolts and a lot of oil leaks to clean up as expected.
Thanks again!
 

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Can I open up the timing chain cover and replace the lower left tensioner without disturbing the rest of the timing system? Maybe even swap out the water pump and those two gaskets while I’m in there - making sure I don’t bump or move anything?
The answer to this question is yes. This is exactly what I did, in 2019. Actually I've done this on two separate 2.5L engines with the same result. They run as quietly as new. And i'm doing the same right now on my 2.7 swap.

This by the way is exactly what Suzuki recommends in its TSB on the subject (see FAQ thread). Replace the #1 adjuster and leave the other timing components alone. Except of course in cases of obvious wear. I replaced the #1 adjuster, what guides I could reach, all o rings particularly on the oil pump, I cleaned everything thoroughly including the valve covers, and yes I replaced the water pump. Very pleased with the results and that car is now my daily driver.

I'm in Kitsap County BTW.
 

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Rev. Here are two key directives, sourced from the FAQ Tech Pub section that detail chain assembly as well..

 
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