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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Intrigued by these rigs but terrified by the timing chain issue. From what I've read this issue is with the 2007 model and into early 2008. I'm going to look at a 2008 model this weekend and I wanted to know if there is a way to tell if the vehicle has the defective timing chain. If it's a late model 2008, is it safe? Can you tell based on the Vin?

I can't afford a lemon here...

Thanks
 

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Give people a chance to log on and read your post, its only been a day. 2008 models suffered from a faulty tensioner on some units that was done as a TSB repair as required. It all comes down to how well they have been serviced and if the correct oil has been used.
Basically, if it has a good service history and doesn't rattle then chances are its ok. Very minimal rattle on startup and quiet when running is what you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I found the Vin number. Anyway to find out if it's a later model 2008 (and thus no defective timing chain)? I wish I could ask them if I could look at the center timing chain!

2S3DA417986118053
 

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thats a 3.6 CAMI manufactured one and not affected by the timing chain recall notice which was for 2.5 and 2.7 engines only.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2013GV - you are awesome my man. Just made my Friday! Going with a buddy to look at it at an auction tomorrow. I've got 4 kids and a rig like this would be great.

It has 150k miles. I figure a good price is something under $4k. Wish me luck.

And again, cheers to you!
 

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What recall number and description are you referring to? :unsure:
Suzuki TSB No. TS 07 04213R
YEARS: 1999-CERTAIN 2002

AFFECTED VIN(S):
GRAND VITARA XL-7
~JS3TD62V424155323 ~JS3TX92V424116207
~JS3TE62V324152023 ~JS3TY92V224104358

these Vin ranges seem to come back to 2.7 and 2,5 V6's not the 3.6 engines
and do not apply to the 2008 models. If theres another one after this for the same issue, I don't have it in my collection.
 

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That wasn't a recall. ;)

Just a Technical Service Bulletin issuance which offered (an available in redesign) #1 tensioner by part number to replace the earlier model tensioners as needed.
 

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Referenced here and elsewhere on the Forum..

TSB No. TS 07 04213R
Division: Automotive Section Title: Engine
Category: Grand Vitara/XL-7
SUBJECT: TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER
MODEL(S): GRAND VITARA/XL-7
YEAR: 1999-CERTAIN 2002
CONDITION: Loud chain rattling noise from right front of engine behind the timing cover.
Noise is usually loudest when engine is started cold.
CAUSE: Number 1 Timing Chain Tensioner not adjusting properly.
CORRECTION: Remove front timing chain cover and replace ONLY the Number 1 Timing
Chain Tensioner (Part Number 12831-85FA5 or latest part number). For
removal and installation procedures for the Number 1 Timing Chain Tensioner,
refer to the Engine Mechanical Section of the applicable Suzuki Service
Manual. Reseal front timing chain cover as outlined in TSB 06 01173R.
NOTE: DO NOT REPLACE TENSIONER #2 OR #3.
AFFECTED VIN(S):
GRAND VITARA XL-7
~JS3TD62V424155323 ~JS3TX92V424116207
~JS3TE62V324152023 ~JS3TY92V224104358
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So what do you guys think? Are the 2008 model 3.6's safe from the timing chain issue that dooms so many xl7's?
 

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See the top thread in this section. The subject is addressed in detail there. ;)

 

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I still go with my initial comment, if its quiet and has minimal to no rattle at startup and has been serviced with correct oil, you should not have an issue.
 

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So maybe time to run a CAM/Crank correlation , Why guess, if this engine has VVT, seriously look at maintenance schedule..

Just saying..!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I definitely reviewed the sticky thread. That's actually what gave me some hope for this 2008 xl7 at the auction (so no back history) I'm going to. I read that the later 2008 models had the newer chain on them and didn't have the same problem. Of course I've also seen a number of 08s on here.
 

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I read and tend to side with the vast majority of members who have chimed in on the subject previously and contend that timing chains equipped in the early model 3.6's were subject to premature (stretch resultant) failure, based on the numerous reporting and replacement incidents at our viewing disposal.

Most appear to be 2007 and some early 2008's affected. After that, fewer later 2008 and then 2009 vehicles were not as significantly plagued with this same issue.
 

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I still go with my initial comment, if its quiet and has minimal to no rattle at startup and has been serviced with correct oil, you should not have an issue.
Again. You are confusing the earlier 1999-02 2.5 / 2.7 V-6 with the latter 3.6 issues. The 3.6 in discussion HERE suffered from early production timing chain wear / stretch from apparenty faulty chain manufacturing, not a peculiarity based on oil change maintenance. ;)
 

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Suzuki used the GM world engine which was the 3.6l V6. All of the 3.6 V6 engines had the timing chain redesigned around 2007 and that's when the problems began for all of them. GM was sued for stretched timing chains and all of their cars with this engine had the timing chain warranties extended to 10 years or 120k miles. Suzuki was bankrupt by this time so It was tough luck for us XL7 owners. All of the V6 engines can have bad chains since the parts were all sourced in China and this issue was not fixed until maybe 2011. The Chinese did not properly harden the chain links in 2006 and after it was discovered instead of scrapping the parts they must have sprinkled them throughout their production and that's why it was still showing up in 2011. That's my guess. So any XL7 can have a bad timing chain. The only thing you can do is get a good scanner and look at the cam timing data and verify the actual cam position vs commanded cam position is close since the timing system can correct for stretched chains up to a point.
 

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I definitely reviewed the stickythread. That's actually what gave me some hope for this 2008 xl7 at the auction (so no back. history) I'm going to. I read that the later 2008 models had the newer chain on them and didn't have the same problem. Of course I've also seen a number of 08s on here.
The engine is what is called OIL CRITICAL. Use the recomended visvosity, DO NOT USE oil that does not meet the manufactures specifications. Dirty oil will Destroy the teflon glides/slides of the timing chain tensioners and will then loose tension and skip timing followed by piston/s impacting valves. If you EVER have a check engine light come on while driving, GET IT DIAGNOSED IMMEDIATELY! If it's anything to do with timing chain the cost of repair is going to give you a heart attack, unless you do it yourself which at home still without removing body for access is a huge pain in the butt! Using improper visvosity oil, to thick, will also destroy your engine! This engine has cam phasers which are oil visvosity sensitive. Change oil at 3000 miles, pay no attention to the on board oil calculation and use AC Delco oil filters, stock filter is rather small but can use a larger one which is a different number but same thread and seal ring placement. My 2007, I purchased with major engine breakdown, for 500.00 and my son, a certified ASME GM mechanic rebuild it top to bottom. I like the car, but it has engineering design issues that were not very well thought out!
 
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