Timing is an important process when it comes to running an engine. Among its different components, one of the key components is the timing chain, in charge of synchronizing the movement of the camshaft, valves, pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft, transmitting the drag movement of force between the sprockets.
If the chain becomes damaged or even breaks and synchronization is lost, irreparable failures can occur in the vehicle’s engine.
In today’s article we focus on this component and another key factor of the timing chain that is often overlooked: its lubrication and the importance of its maintenance.
What types of chain are there?
The market tends to equip more and more engines with timing chain. In today’s car park, the most commonly types of chain used for transmission are: precision roller chain, bush chain and silent chain (with inverted teeth), all of them are made of steel.
Roller and bush chains are nearly identical in configuration, both featuring a series of inner and outer links. The first consists of two rollers rotating above the sleeves. Bush chains, on the other hand, dispense with these two rollers, coupling the sleeves directly to the sprocket. They have a simple roller/bush to tooth coupling and unlike toothed chains they produce some vibration or noise.
Toothed chains, or also known by the name of silent chains, have individual flanges and teeth that point in the reverse direction, that is, engaging in the toothing of the pulleys. Due to their kinetic behaviour, they can transmit power with a low noise level.
How important is chain lubrication?
Increasingly, the transmissions of many modern applications are subjected to growing loads. Compared to the belt, timing chain is more durable.
Chain lubrication is the key to the optimal performance of the chain and its greater durability, if adequate and timely lubrication is provided. On the other hand, poor lubrication will cause premature wear of this component, as well as friction, increased energy consumption and will cause an increase in temperature that is harmful to the entire transmission of the vehicle. Therefore, if the lubrication does not fulfil its function, the damage can be irreparable.
There are four common methods of timing chain lubrication: manual, drip, oil immersion, and pressure.
The benefits of a proper chain lubrication
- Significantly reduces premature wear on the chain pins and bushings.
- Prevents premature lack of synchronization.
- Softens the chain coupling with the sprocket, also at high temperatures.
- Protect the chain against wear and cushions impact forces.
- Extends the lifespan of the vehicle’s transmission.
Dolz Kits always include the latest OE chain design to increase the lifespan of this component.
Many chain kits in our range include self-lubricating chain, which features oil-impregnated roller holes to provide continuous lubrication.
Chain from Dolz Timing Chain Kit SKCA001 – Multijet engine
How to maintain timing chain?
Typically, a timing chain is designed to last as the engine. But that does not mean that it is exempt from suffering a breakdown or needing certain periodic maintenance.
The most common causes of a failing timing chain are: elongation, fatigue and wear.
- The chain elongation (“stretch”) produces a lag of the transmission, which will generate noise and lead to a breakdown.
- Chain fatigue failure is caused by repeatedly exposing the chain to loads greater than the maximum allowable load.
- Wear directly affects engine performance and occurs primarily on pins, rollers and chain bushings.
For correct chain maintenance it is essential to pay special attention on the rest of the transmission components. A failing tensioner is the first warning sign that the chain may be experiencing elongation and may end up breaking.
Therefore, during the replacement of the timing chain, Dolz recommends replacing all the elements associated with the transmission at the same operation because all of them, like the chain, are subject to wear. This will make a perfect coupling of the components, will be more durable and give the best performance of the engine. Guaranteed solutions!
Dolz Tip: The new chain should always be properly lubricated after mounting.
Given the importance of lubrication, controlling the levels and the good condition of the oil will be essential to maintain the chain. This action must be carried out in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Related content: Dolz Timing Chain Kit Unboxing video
Dolz Kits, the most complete kits on the market
Dolz timing chain kits correspond to the top selling references on the market, which are available in the electronic catalog TecDoc (TecAlliance).
Competitive and quieter chains that promote longer transmission life. Always being the latest OE version.
Easy-Fit kits that include all the necessary components for a professional repair: chain, sprockets, VVT, tensioner, guides, oil seal, screws and bolts, etc.
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