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Considering making aftermarket S14 Timing chain guides. Looking for input

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  • Considering making aftermarket S14 Timing chain guides. Looking for input

    Hi all,

    I'm Leo, from the Netherlands and own garage30 which is a shop that exports bmw's to the Us.

    I'm seriously considering producing S14/S38 chain guides, or offer a refurbishment service. I'm currently into an S14 rebuild and the price of these parts annoys me. I figured it would be worth it to look into production. I have personal experience making molds for and injection molding plastic around steel parts. In order to do market research, I want to ask a couple questions.

    Two options exist. 1. Remove worn plastic of used chain guide, and apply a new nylon plastic guide to the original metal backing. This would be cost effective, but would need a core based system. Additional drawback would be leadtime. For obvious reason, equipping a machine to then make 5 guides would be a waste of time. I'd have to save up a yet to be determined number of guides before it would be worth it to tool up. Unless I can start out with a good amount of cores, this would be an issue. I’m thinking starting with 20/30 sets would be the minimum. If you have any olds guides, hang on just a while longer!

    2. Produce a new, possibly billet metal base of own design, or produce a glass filled nylon base hybrid guide with integrated metal wear surfaces and pivot points, with a nylon type wear surface. So a 2k design with metal inserts. No core system would be needed, but development would be far more costly and testing will be needed. Also price would be higher than the first option. At the moment this is my least favorite option.

    In summary, I'm looking at an investment of easily €7500 just in molds for the first option. The second one will be even higher. Will people be willing to send in their guides to us for a remold? How much should a set of three cores go for? For pricing, rough estimate should be for 225-275€ for redoing three metal backed guides. New price of these components is 637.21€ before tax. I’m talking about top guide 11311308550, tensioner top guide 11311317335 and lower guide 11311308639 (S14)

    I’d be doing this to help the community, but it has to make some Financial sense. Any and all types of input will be appreciated!



  • #2
    Hi Leo,

    Great ideas! I too have wondered why the guides couldn't be serviceable (like chain guards on bikes, or soles in MX boots).

    Have you considered rapid prototyping for the guides with metal inserts?

    Additive manufacturing (laser sintering) to avoid tooling investment?