Product Highlight

  Many enthusiasts close to the k series engine associate timing chain tens...

 

Many enthusiasts close to the k series engine associate timing chain tensioner failures with camshafts; and while camshafts do put more stress on the tensioner... the largest culprit for failure comes down to improper installation! Skunk2 Racing has you covered and we'd like to share a little bit on the topic!!

The combination of performance camshafts getting larger (with more ‘aggressive’ opening and closing events) and consequent increase in valve spring forces caused increased bashing and wear of the tensioner ratchet (pawl) and piston teeth (rack). For the most part, premature tensioner wear can be avoided if the tensioner is set properly during engine assembly by increasing the preload on the chain by adding more ‘clicks’ or in other words… increasing the amount the tensioners piston is extended. The factory tensioner will extend automatically when the crank and timing chain is rotated by hand during engine assembly. However, the spring inside the factory tensioner is too weak to push the tensioner piston out to the proper extended position required by many performance camshaft and valve spring combinations. As a result, the engine assembler must manually move the timing chain guide rail forward into a position that allows the tensioner piston to extend further and engage the next tooth, signified by an audible click. When the base chain tension is not set properly, the tensioner will have too large of a range of movement and the ratcheting mechanism will bash itself and wear out.

Worn Teeth

When the tensioner is NOT installed with enough chain preload, it results in excessive movement, acceleration, and force as the front tooth of the ratchet pawl impacts with the piston teeth (rack) and causes premature wear of both the pawl and rack. When the teeth of the rack are sufficiently worn, the smaller rear guide tooth on the pawl will no longer contact the rack, therefore rendering the ratchet useless. The combination of a worn ratchet (no mechanical stop to limit tensioner piston movement/ compression) and weak internal tensioner spring results in the timing chain skipping teeth during low oil conditions (especially start up).

Our solution approaches the problem from numerous angles to provide the best and most comprehensive solution and ass you can see from the video above... our tensioner is STEADY UNDER PRESSURE!!

Features include:

Larger Piston – Allows for larger ratchet (rack) teeth and also the installation of a larger internal spring with higher spring forces.

Higher Force Internal Spring – Helps the tensioner auto tension the chain with a higher preload (piston extended further). Extra clicks can be added for extra insurance, but are no longer necessary.

Stronger Materials – High grade tool steel for both the ratchet (pawl) and piston (rack).

Better Ratchet Design – Larger teeth with shorter distance between teeth allows for more precise control (finer increments) the piston can extend.

Redesigned Ratchet (pawl) – The rear tooth of the pawl is larger and positioned closer to the front tooth (which is the tooth that actually locks out the tensioner piston). The combination of the larger piston (rack) teeth and more durable materials, allows the ratchet to function properly even if there is wear.

Steel Tensioner Body – We actually switched from an aluminum tensioner body to a steel body for greater precision, consistency, and durability.

Custom Valving – We designed a proprietary internal pressure relief valve which is checked on each and every tensioner.

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