Wednesday, 13 November 2013

400 maintenance: distribution chain

During my hunt I ran into various interesting and knowledgeable people. One of them was so nice to give me further insight regarding specifics. One of these specifics was to check the distribution chain adjustment screw. If there was no more screw-thread available there is no further adjusment possible. And therefore it’s likely the chain requires replacement as it’s stretched to much. See below for 3 different examples:
1 Good 
 2 Medium
 3 low
I have not read it  anywhere but I believe I picked it up by the same person, who mentioned the chain should be replaced every 50.000 km. Not sure if  that’s true though. As my car reached almost 100.000 km it would not have been a bad idea in any case. Another important item to check are the sliding shoes as the chain goes over it. There are 5 of them. See supporting picture of the parts book:
This is hard if not impossible to check. Perhaps with a endoscope this would be possible. I had the prices checked and these were quite expensive items. In order to replace them I suspect the engine needs to be taken out. Despite this knowledge I knew the car I purchased required at least a distribution chain replacement. In fact the majority of the cars I have seen it was necessary to do so. In the end I did not consider this a huge concern as I was planning to get the large maintenance done. This to be ensured all was ok and I would not run into surprises soon or later. Furthermore I then would know I don’t have to worry about it for a long time. Clearly this piece of maintenance is quite a big undertaking as a lot had to be removed:
As for the work itself, I did outsource it as I’m simply lacking time, working space, tools and let’s face it, a lack of experience. Due to my other car I knew of a mechanic who was willing to carry out this job with great pleasure against a reasonable price. So full credits goes to Stefan Elshout for doing a great and accurate job. When all was removed I was glad to see myself the main sliding shoe was in very good condition and with minimal wear:
As such I trusted the other ones were in a similar condition. Not sure if they had ever been replaced before or how much mileage they can handle before being worn out. So a new chain of € 135,- was ordered and placed. Another maintenance job was done. On to the next ...

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