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Attn those with E36 Chain Tensioners

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  • Attn those with E36 Chain Tensioners

    Well, I attended Techfest East today and Pete McHenry did a great presentation on basics of rebuilding an E30 M3 motor...I mean very basic, it was only an hour long.

    But in his presentation he mentioned replacing the chain tensioner with one from a V12, and afterwards I asked why not ones from the E36 M3 (since thats what this forum seems to lean towards)

    and he replied that the tensioner applied too much pressure and damages the rubber rails, and the V12 one is adjustable.

    Interesting..I just wasted a couple hundred bucks...now I gotta go get a new one. Anyone have the part #s ?

    Jeff
    1988 E30 M3, my Lachsilber Track Rat

  • #2
    Is this true? So the v12 is better? I was thinking about getting a E36 m3 tensioner.. Does it fit the same way? PLease.. anyone know the part #. Please let us know how it is after you install it. Thanks

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    • #3
      who knows, it was one mans professional opinion...

      given that this guy has seen the inards of an S14 god knows how many times, i'll take his word for it..

      hell, i'm doing a two hour long archive search on distributor caps and rotors and still can't figure out which parts are right

      jeff
      1988 E30 M3, my Lachsilber Track Rat

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      • #4
        You stated it is adj. Did he happen to mention how to set it up, ie: set the tension?

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        • #5
          This is true. The S52 tensioner is ok on old motors that are already a bit loose, but for a fresh rebuild I'd go with stock or the adjustable M70 tensioner. SBI has successfully used M70 tensioners on a few 2.5 rebuilds so far. It's adjustable by a stud with a locknut on the end of it.

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          • #6
            I have heard a similar rumor that the e36 timing chain tensioner has too much tension. I think most havn't noticed the effects because not too many cars have enough mileage to warrent a second timing chain replacement (where the ill-effects of the e36 tensioner would be noticed)
            "It is needless to say that self-propelling vehicles, like other machines, will never do as much for one who does not understand them as for one who does."

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            • #7
              That's true, we really don't drive our cars that much for a second tensioner. So I guess a E36 is Okay. But I really would like to know if the M70 tensioner would work better on our engines.

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              • #8
                Great guys now you started some shit. I will no longer trust anything that is on this site. For years I have been reading about how the e36 tensioner is the way to go, now you pull this on me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vadsendak
                  Great guys now you started some shit. I will no longer trust anything that is on this site. For years I have been reading about how the e36 tensioner is the way to go, now you pull this on me.
                  Dag man, we learn as we go, this is just a theory anyway
                  "It is needless to say that self-propelling vehicles, like other machines, will never do as much for one who does not understand them as for one who does."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vadsendak
                    Great guys now you started some shit. I will no longer trust anything that is on this site. For years I have been reading about how the e36 tensioner is the way to go, now you pull this on me.
                    You live and learn.
                    If improvements from other newer engines can be used with the S14, then all the better.

                    m.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe its time for to somebody develop polyurethane rails! possible?

                      audibm

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                      • #12
                        I havent had problems thus far with e36 tensioner.
                        the main advantage is that it has tension quicker than
                        the stock tensioner on startup. We inserted an extra shim
                        as well to reach desired chain play.

                        The spec for timing chain play on my engine is
                        1 degree crank rotation. E.g. if you rotate the crank
                        in either direction, the cams must follow with
                        less than 1 crank degree deviation.

                        you shouldnt go too tight because it increases
                        the load on the #1 cam journal.

                        on the gr. A engines motorsport used shims to arrive
                        at proper play. If you want to use something adjustable,
                        I see no harm in that, but you will have to know how
                        to set it up, same way as using the shim method.

                        John

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                        • #13
                          I have done more than 100.000km with the E36 tensioner in the car and the tensioner was already fitted when I bought it.
                          I have sold this engine recently and it is still running nice and quite with 210.000 km on the clock. While owning this engine I had the tensioner in and out a few times, done plenty of full speed runs on german motorways and after moving to the UK attanded several track days. So many people have used this tensioner and I am sure some would have experienced trouble if it would be suitable. I would expect more trouble by adjusting the V12 tensioner incorrectly. The E36 is just a plug'n'play job.

                          This is just my own opinion and not meant to be a general advice


                          Goodbye M3, you served me well.

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                          • #14
                            The E36 tensioner may help to reduce some timing chain rattle, but it does so by pressing considerably harder against the large rail. If your rail is already worn, or if it's getting close to replacement time, you're not doing it any favors by pressing harder against it.

                            I used a stock tensioner when I rebuilt my engine. I hear a little timing chain noise on startup, but there's more than enough tension there to keep the engine running smoothly. After paying out of my own pocket to replace the rails, I wasn't about to wear them out any sooner!

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                            • #15
                              By the time my rails wear out...ill need a rebuild anyway...so i'm fine for now...when i get a rebuild i'll use the 750 tensioner

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