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How do I know if the timing chain has stretched or needs replacing on my 1997 Chev PU with 5.7l engine? Mechanic suggests it does. Timing seems to be off when engine is hot.

It has over 500.00km.

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I don't know much about Chevy truck engines but I do know that even back in 70's when I first started working on cars there was usually a way to slightly advance the valve timing in order to compensate for timing chain stretch over time (at least, on overhead cam engines). Of course, eventually you still needed to replace the chain and tensioners. But up until the point that its rattling around inside there you probably wont notice much difference in engine performance. In any case, I can't believe that there is no way to adjust your valve timing to compensate for a little stretch in the chain. Of course, to do so might also be almost as much work as changing the chain itself.

By the way, valve timing does NOT change on a day to day basis, from the engine being hot or anything else (well the chain will get a bit longer as it heats up but not enough to make much difference). That is unless you have some new fancy sports car with variable valve timing. Ignition timing is constantly changing on the other hand, but then again, ignition timing has absolutely nothing to do with the timing chain.

Posted on Dec 03, 2016

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A timing chain is hard to check while fitted, most have a tensioner to adjust for ware , They run in oil and last a long time, if there is no noise I doubt it needs changing.

Posted on Dec 03, 2016

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Do you trust your mechanic? If you do, there's your answer, no?
If you don't trust your mechanic, and trust in your ability and some knowledge of mechanics to do internet searches to find reliable, trustworthy information, there's your answer, no?
The question you pose is quite specific, i.e., might not best be solved without knowing dead-on accurately about your car.
Best,
A

Posted on Dec 03, 2016

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