Although the chain is far more durable than the rubber belt found on a lot of automobiles, it is still one of the vulnerable points in the engine. This guide will help you to pick out the right kit for your ride.
What's in the Kit?
We could cop out and say: "everything you need for a complete installation", but it always pays to know what you are getting when you buy one-after all, you could opt to buy these parts separately. Here is the basic rundown of what you normally get in the kits on-sale in the market:
- Camshaft Sprocket. The camshaft controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves specifically. This sprocket attaches to one end of the shaft and is the anchoring point of one end of the timing chain.
- Crankshaft Sprocket. The crankshaft controls the upward and downward movement of the pistons within the cylinders in your engine. This is the larger of the two sprockets and is the anchoring point for the other end of the timing chain.
The key thing to look out for when picking out the sprockets is the diameter of the sprockets themselves. Always use your own existing sprockets as a reference and measure out the diameters with a tape measure to be sure. It's always safest to check the diameter you measured against the sprocket you want to get.
- Timing Chain. The chain is the most critical component in the whole kit because it is responsible for making sure that camshaft and the crankshaft moves in perfect tandem-that, in turn, keeps your engine running efficiently.
Proper length and tension are the two important things to look for in a timing chain. Do not use your old chain as a reference point as it might have experienced some distortion or lengthening in its lifetime-even the slightest slackening of tension can be trouble. The best points of reference are your owner's manual or the result of a year-, make-, and model-specific search for a chain on an online retailer's site.
To Kit or Not To Kit
Apart from the three critical components, there are two very big advantages that come with getting a timing chain kit as opposed to purchasing the individual parts:
- You get the right fitting nuts and bolts, among other things, that will save you the hassle of looking for them. This also means that the entire system, when installed, will not be in danger of falling apart due to poorly fit bolts.
- It is a smarter investment in the long run because you not only replace and revitalize on component, you get a brand new set overall. That means that you only have to do a single replacement that can last a very long time.