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Thread: 89 ram50 2.6 timing chain going out?

  1. #1

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    89 ram50 2.6 timing chain going out?

    So my 89 ram 50 with the g54b 2.6 has developed a rattling noise that is progressively getting worse as the miles are put on. It is now causing me concern. Im thinking its timing chain or balance shaft related. The oil looks good and isnt metallic, so it isnt eating itself alive yet. When it is cold, it doesnt make any noise, but once the engine warms up, it gets loud. Its only really bad when idling in gear. Once a load is put on it, or it is idling in neutral, it goes away for the most part.

    Here are a couple of vids I just took a few minutes ago. Warm engine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbEWOodzqec - In gear at idle. Sounds like a diesel and has a metallic rattle, almost like a loose clamp on an exhaust (but coming from front of engine)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnugT_UyQIY - In park. Idle and revs. You can hear a rattle on the down rev. coming from front of engine.

    Hopefully this is just a worn timing chain.

  2. #2



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    It could be a loose or broken timing chain guide, or the hydraulic adjustor is going out. There is an adjustment port on the timing chain cover - you could take the little cover off and see if the chain is loose.
    Pennyman1
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  3. #3

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    I just went out and popped that little cover under the water pump off. I seen some sort of needle like metal rod sticking out, and right next to it was a hex shaped shaft right next to this. Never dealt with anything like this on v8's. What do I do to check after I have this cover off?

  4. #4



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    see if the chain is tight or loose against the guide. You can tighten up the chain with that adjustment, but don't move it too much or it can bind and break off the guide.
    Pennyman1
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  5. #5

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    Sorry for the delay. Parents had a housefire that pretty much destroyed everything, and killed all 3 of their dogs. I've been busy with that.

    As for the truck. I was bored and decided to mess with it today. I took that little cover off and loosened the adjuster. It was a little lose, but not a ton. I put a just a little pressure on it and tightened it back up. It makes MUCH less noise. I can still hear it just a tad, but it doesnt sound like a loose ubolt rattling around on an exhaust pipe anymore. Im not afraid its going to blow up going down the road anymore. lol
    Looking at diagrams, it looks like the other chain is adjusted with a hydraulic tensioner. Should these chains make any noise at all, or is a little noise with age/miles ok? It has 119k miles on it right now.

  6. #6



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    It can make some noise as the motors age. Try running a quart of Rislone in place of a quart of oil on your next oil change - it is an old time trick to gently clean the motor of buildup. Think of it as a super detergent for the motor. I have been using it since I started to drive, and it works wonders in older motors such as our trucks.
    Pennyman1
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbrewer2005 View Post
    Sorry for the delay. Parents had a housefire that pretty much destroyed everything, and killed all 3 of their dogs. I've been busy with that.

    As for the truck. I was bored and decided to mess with it today. I took that little cover off and loosened the adjuster. It was a little lose, but not a ton. I put a just a little pressure on it and tightened it back up. It makes MUCH less noise. I can still hear it just a tad, but it doesnt sound like a loose ubolt rattling around on an exhaust pipe anymore. Im not afraid its going to blow up going down the road anymore. lol
    Looking at diagrams, it looks like the other chain is adjusted with a hydraulic tensioner. Should these chains make any noise at all, or is a little noise with age/miles ok? It has 119k miles on it right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    It can make some noise as the motors age. Try running a quart of Rislone in place of a quart of oil on your next oil change - it is an old time trick to gently clean the motor of buildup. Think of it as a super detergent for the motor. I have been using it since I started to drive, and it works wonders in older motors such as our trucks.
    You miss the part where his parents are homeless and they lost their 3 dogs? Jeez dude, that is the worst news. A noisy timing chain is a 1st world trivial problem. I hope your folks are coping, they had house and contents insurance and their insurance company isn't a coven of vindictive blood sucking parasites that will either void their claim or just take an eternity to put a roof over their heads again.

  8. #8

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    They are doing pretty well all things considered. Their insurance company is taking pretty good care of them. We are all surprised at how well actually. They put them in a very nice 300/night hotel suite until the house is repaired, about 3-6 months. It did about 40k in damage to the house itself, but is fixable, and is getting fixed. Also replacing all of the contents of the house. They even paid for the vet bill (one dog survived only to be put down a few days later), and cremation. They couldnt be taking any better care of them. I told them They could stay with me, as I have a few extra rooms, but they want their privacy (haha). Aside from the loss of dogs and inconvenience of not sleeping in their own beds, the positive side is the house is now getting remodeled by the insurance co. They were about to replace the floors anyways. lol

    As for the truck. Im trying to hold off doing major work until it warms up a bit. I cant use my parents garage as there isnt any power/heat due to previously mentioned circumstances. My garage was converted to a bedroom. Doing major work in 15 degree weather sucks, especially when the hands start to get cold and stiff. As long as its not going to break and fall to the oil pan, I'm going to keep driving it until spring time.

  9. #9

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    The timing chain will be o.k. as long as you don't beat on it. And good news that the insurance company has stepped it up. When the stock market goes jittery insurance companies generally try anything to avoid paying up.

  10. #10



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    Glad to see the insurance company is taking care of them, and that they are ok. Been distracted lately due to the loss of my Dad February 1st.
    Pennyman1
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    Glad to see the insurance company is taking care of them, and that they are ok. Been distracted lately due to the loss of my Dad February 1st.
    Oh man, everyone is in the middle of their own personal storm... what is up with this year? So sorry to hear of your dads' passing. My sincerest condolences to you and your family pennyman.

  12. #12

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    Im sorry to hear that. Lost possesions, and honestly, even pets can be replaced. Loosing a close loved one is terrible. Lost one of my aunts, and My first grandfather last year. Condolences. It seems like its been a hard year for everone.

  13. #13



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    Thank you for the condolences, wasn't trying to thread jack here. This has been a tough year for many people so far - hope it turns around soon.
    Pennyman1
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