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Reinstall Chain Tensioner Without Front Cover Removal


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Hi All, was doing a head gasket chain on my 510's L20B and failed to properly retain the chain tensioner and came to find I could not reinstall the camshaft sprocket and to my horror realized the chain tensiner had come out. My mistake was not having inserted the piece of water hose all the way down.


Anyhow, after looking at some images and videos online to get an idea of what was going on in there, we were able to get the tensioner reintalled w/o having to take the front cover off.


to start off, here is a view of what you are up against



To get the tensioner back in you will need a crowbar and a long rod such as the one we fabricated like this:


Note that the long rod has a curvature that follows the chain guide, its just not visible here due to the angle of the photo. The shape of the rod helps grab the shaft of the tensioner to allow downward and side to side alignment.


The rod should curve to follow the chain guide curvature:



In order to get the tensioner back in, you need to push it downwards both on the chain side of the tensior and the spring side of the tensioner. Start of by using a long screwdriver or crowbar - a crowbar works best due to the bend it has. With the crowbar, push the tensioner down and then using the rod push the shaft of the tensioner downwards - you have to be careful here that the rod is grabbing onto the shaft of the tensioner and not on the spring itself.




Crowbar inserted:



Note the crowbar points towards the tensioner.


Rod in position:




Without the rod I struggled for a good 45 minutes trying to get it in but with the rod it was an easy 5 minute job. Hopefully this is helpful to others and saves them from having to pull the front cover off.


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