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Timing Chain Replacement Disaster Help 😭


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Engine: Opel CIH 2.0

engine out the vehicle. 
head and timing cover on, rocker cover off. 

been feeding in the new chain that’s attached to the old one

with around 4 links left the crank sprocket slipped throwing the timing out


How can I get that timed up again? 

Can I link the chain back together, rotate it round until the tdc mark on the cam sprocket is in the vicinity of the split link, split the chain and skip the chain on the crank sprocket until that’s tdc as well? Then link it back up again. Do the valves hit the pistons on these engines if the timing is wrong?

or do I need to the engine apart and rebuild? obviously if there’s a way to do it without rebuilding I’d prefer that. 


thanks in advance 





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Im with Wayne, if the engine is already out i would stick a new one piece chain. I never was keen on a split link one.

Best to give it a proper check over as its not a quick job getting the engine in and out so best to make sure everything is spot on. Gaskets are quite cheap for the CIH as well.

Its all in the Haynes manual so easy to follow.

Or this link might help


Think i scanned the whole section!!

Did you take the chain tensioner out??



Edited by 611
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no problems doing the chain the way you have but as you have found out you need to be nice and slow and keep the chain held tight as you feed the new one in.the split links then go with the open tails trailing behind rotation.

however if yours has  slipped then you will have lost the timing position. no valve damage will be done yet .if ever ! with the tensioner unscrewed you should be able to get the chain back into position.

if unsure of this or have any doubts then just unwind all the rocker adjustment nuts so that the cam can be rotated as needs be. but this is a last resort as you will then need to adjust them all back up again .

with the crank at tdc( rivet in line with ball on flywheel.not pointer) and the camshaft mark inline with bracket .

note also that the cam sprocket even with a perfect brand new chain will not be 100% lined up and perfectly straight looking at the 3 bolts.it will always be just a tad out(anticlockwise) and even more so on a gte due to the higher compression ratio / head depth.

in a perfect world with the sump off ,head off and timing case off you would fit a new one piece chain .

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