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I am putting the motor back together. For life of me I cannot figure out for how to get the timing chain tensioner spring installed. I get how it goes. The book I have doesn’t really cover it, I’ve done searches on the net, YouTube etc and can’t find anything tutorial wise. I know it’s friggin simple and going to do the doh afterwards!!!! I find lots of discussion about them on the various Buick and 3.8 pages but that’s it. Thanks in advance. I really appreciate it. I want to get the motor back together before this weekend so I can get onto the frame work.
 

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The pic you show on the forum looks like it's installed properly. The tensioneer should be spring loaded(part of the tensioneer). This keeps slack of the chain at a minimum. A new chain will have very little slack which may be giving you the thought of....is this installed correctly. When a brand new chain and gears are installed, it looks like WHY IS THERE A TENSIONEER? When it gets some miles on it, it will stretch some what and the gears will also settle in also and that's when the tensioneer gets to do it's job. On another note, I would have installed a CLOYS CHAIN AND GEAR SET. There set up uses different sprockets and a DOUBLE ROLLER TYPE CHAIN. I remember putting one in my 3800 and it was completely tight. Double roller type chains are better. They don't tend to stretch like link type chains and they have less friction as well. But the link chain you used will work well. Hope this helps, Jake
 

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The machine shop I had do the fire clean, bore and hone said he’d get me a good deal on a master rebuild kit. So I let them order everything. I thought I mentioned wanting the better style timing chain for several reasons with its intended use, apparently there was some miscommunication on a few things. (my fault for not putting it in writing from the start). I told them to go ahead and put the crank and pistons in it over the phone. I got it back with timing chain on minus the timing chain tensioner installed.

The spring won’t go on as is.... Technically it not in the correct position till the spring is installed. If I remember correctly when I took the engine all apart. The procedure was to push the timing chain past the tensioner. Then I took the spring and tensioner off. I believe the tensioner and spring was supposed to go on fist and to push the chain past which would set the spring tension as the timing chain went into place.

I am trying to avoid having to push the chain out to do it. The way my luck has been going lately I will jack something up. So far everything I have tired hasn’t worked in terms of getting the spring in place. It ends up kicking out if it’s hub/binding to where it won’t budge. I have no doubt if I continue I will bend or break whatever side I’m trying to manipulate into position. I have tried going from each end of the spring first.

I am going to have to fashion some sort of tool where I can get it under tensions to where it fits in the engine block hole and slides behind the rubber at same time , then let go. What I had on hand wasn’t offset enough to grip near both ends of the spring properly to cause it to go into a position where I could just slide it on.

I’ve got a few ideas. Ie I have way over complicated it than it has to be.
 

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That sounds familiar.....years ago when I did my last mods/rebuild, I installed a CLOYS DOUBLE ROLLER chain and gear set. It was TIGHT so there was no need for a tensioner.
It's been that way for several years now with no issues. I believe the tensioner is only needed when using an OEM CHAIN AND GEAR SET. Maybe there are a few other guys out there that have dealt with this issue. Hopefully they will chime in and tell their story's about this issue. Jake

PS, I'm wondering if the OEM chain and gears are set up differently than after market products therefore, therefor the tensioneer is needed...... That's a guess on my part. BUT. if were you, I would use a CLOYS CHAIN AND GEAR SET. When I did mine that way, it was suggested the new type chain may have some interference with front of the block where the chain is pretty close to. For me there was no need for any mods. Several years ago when I did mine it was suggested by ZZ or 3800 PRO that some grinding might be necessary if the chain is rubbing the block. Mine did not have that issue. Guess that's one more thing you might take a look at during install....
 
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