Clacking Noise Front of Engine 98 2.5L Fixed Timing Chain - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:51 AM   #1
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Talking Clacking Noise Front of Engine 98 2.5L Fixed Timing Chain

Thanks to all the previous posters on this topic. I scoured these posts and they pointed to the timing chain. Well, they were correct. When I took off the timing cover spring parts and plastic pieces fell out like pinball's. Turns out out the timing chain tensioner self destructed and allowed the chain to get loose.
The actual repair on the 2.5 is so easy. After taking the fan (4 nuts), fan shroud (4 bolts), and harmonic balancer (1 bolt) off, the cover is right there. I did have to rent a harmonic balance puller. BE careful when using the puller! I messed up threads in the crankshaft by using the wrong head on the puller.Use the widest one in the kit. My loaner kit had an attachment that goes on the tip. If the tip of the puller shaft goes into the crank hole its TOO SMALL. I was able to repair the threads by gently working a tap of the same bolt size size into the hole. Back the tap often to get all the shavings clear of the hole. Use lots of lube (I used WD-40).
The tensioner bolts in from the underside. It looks like oil pan removal would be needed. I chose to leave to original mounting hardware on the engine and replace the plastic/spring parts. It only involves removing two c clips. Very easy. Note: Also if you are going to transfer new tensioner parts onto the old mount, do it before the chain and gears. You will have more room to work.

IMPORTANT NOTE!

BEFORE YOU REMOVE THE CHAIN AND SPROCKETS, TURN THE GEARS UNTIL THE DOTS ON EACH GEAR ARE FACING EACH OTHER. DON'T TURN EITHER GEAR OR TRY TO START ENGINE. This will ensure your timing will be correct and save you from major headaches. When replacing new chain and gears, align dots and slide gears on at the same time. Its really easy.



You DO NOT need to remove water pump. Now might be a good time though because you have the front on the engine off.

You DO NOT have to unbolt/remove the oil pan. There are (4) bolts on the front underside of the pan that secure the pan to the timing cover. Remove them, that's it.

Im going with an electric fan and chucking the shroud/fan setup. It will require making a bracket for the coolant overflow and power steering pump. Its extra work, I know.

I hope this post helps someone! Feel free to contact me if ever have a
question.

ravensteve9@hotmail.com

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Old 02-26-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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Awesome, I'm getting ready to replace the timing chain on my 98 TJ 2.5L tomorrow. This is exactly what I wanted to see. I've got a rattling that only shows up after the engine has warmed up, and goes away when the engine is revved higher than idling speed. I've replaced the water pump and harmonic balancer, but neither has fixed the issue (although they both needed to be replaced, so at least I know they'll be good for a while). After a day of listening I think it sounds like its coming from the timing chain. Hopefully this fixes my rattling, its driving me crazy not being able to fix this noise.

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Old 02-26-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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This is a very useful post. How many miles on your 2.5 when the problem started? Also, do you know if there is enough valve/piston clearance if the chain breaks?
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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I've seen others on JeepForum.com that have had timing chains break and only needed to replace the chain/sprockets, etc. and they were back in business, but I wouldn't take that as an excuse to put off a chain that needs replacing. On mine, I've got about 188K (its my DD). Most everywhere I've read the chains are pretty bullet-proof, usually only needing to be replaced at a major engine overhaul around 250K-300K (at least thats what Jerry says and I trust him). But I have seen many posts from people that have had to replace theirs, so it certainly doesn't seem uncommon for them to fail early.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Phil05LJ View Post
This is a very useful post. How many miles on your 2.5 when the problem started? Also, do you know if there is enough valve/piston clearance if the chain breaks?
It had 179k. I bought it used so it may have started earlier. I read somewhere on this forum that your engine will NOT self destruct if the chain breaks. Good luck. Really not a hard fix. Take your time! Any question's send me an email at ravensteve9@yahoo.com
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #6
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Nice helpful writeup Steve, thanks!
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:01 PM   #7
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Timing chain

I noticed my water pump was starting to seep so I went to my friends shop to change it. Picked up a waterpump, inlet tube and new hoses on the way. Got there, removed the fan, shroud and waterpump. My friend, a mechanic his whole life noticed my Harmonic balancer was separating and suggested I change it, he also suggested since we were that far into it I might as well replace the timing chain and gears. I popped the harmonic balancer off then took the timing chain case off and this plasitc piece fell out onto the floor. I went and showed my friend and he said yup, good thing we decided to change it. When the new timing chain kit arrived I found out why, the two tensioner parts are like a rubber kind of material. the old pieces (I just hit 200,000 miles) had become so brittle, they would crack to pieces in my hands. I took some pics along the way and included one of the parts removed while I was waiting for the timing cahin kit to be delivered. Hoping to get another 200,000 miles out of my trusty Jeep.

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Old 09-22-2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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Yep, that's exactly what happened to mine. My chain ended up being fine, but I replaced it anyways since I was in that far.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Yep, that's exactly what happened to mine. My chain ended up being fine, but I replaced it anyways since I was in that far.

Did the annoying noise go away after you replaced the timing chain and tensioners?
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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Yes, the noise was the broken tensioner pieces rattling around against the timing chain cover. The chain/sprockets themselves were actually fine, but I replaced them anyways since I was into the engine that far. The tensioner was actually what was causing all of my noises. Seems to be somewhat common for the 2.5l.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Timing Chain Tensioner

I had exactly the same noise on my 2000 TJ (2.5L) when it idled. I followed the above posts and installed a new timing chain tensioner kit. Solved the noise and now runs great. I was looking at the tensioner closely and ridges had been worn smooth. The new chain was much tighter with less play than the old chain.

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