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Changed the Timing Chain myself

35659 Views 48 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  O Fark
Some of you may remember I had the light come up on my dashboard indicating that my timing belt had become stretched. The Exclamation mark in the triangle.

Well my warranty company provided by Lookers, The Warranty Group (TWG) decided that my timing chain wasn't covered because it was wear and tear. Well they refused to speak to me and I tried arguing with Lookers. Looker said they would pay for the parts so I set about replacing the chain myself. I've replaced belts before and I have the Service Manual.

I shall now attempt to recollect the steps required and pass on how easy this £1080 job is to do your self.

Things you WILL NEED:

A set of sockets and spanners. 10mm 12mm 14mm 16mm 17mm
A long 17mm socket for the engine mount
A 45deg 16mm ring spanner for the Drive Belt Auto Tensioner.

New Chain (obviously) plus guides and tensioner. You may also wish to change the Oil Pump chain whilst your in there.

Oil. No doubt your chain is stretched because your oil is past it's best. Plus most of it is going to come out any way.

Oil filter ^^ dur.

Things that WILL HELP:

An Engine hoist. You can jack up the engine from underneath, but you are going to be raising and lowering the engine. I'd recommend the hoist.

A Crank Pulley remover, I DID have one of these till I bent it trying to remove this pulley. String and a long bar will do to replace.

A Torque Wrench goes up to 180ft/lb, mine went up to 150ft/lb which should be fine.

Impact wrench and other pnematic tools.

Things you DON'T NEED:

The Mitsubishi wedge tool for removing the chain
The MUTIII tools or similar. No ECU connections required at all.

Steps involved:

Jack the car up onto stands.

Remove the right hand wheel.

Remove the plastic behind the wheel & under the sump. You will need to loosen off the plastic panels here too. Just to make life easier.

Drain the oil.

Burn the oil and laugh maniacally, it ruined your beloved car.

Locate the auto tensioner, it's between the two static pulleys, and attempt to undo the bolt with the 16mm spanner. It won't undo but what it will do is move out the way. Have an assistant put an L shaped hex key in the hole. Now you can't see this, but when you rock the pulley back it'll also draw back a metal lever (can't see it) past a hole (can't see it). Looking at the side if the engine its about at 1 o'clock to the pulley. This is best done with the person with the spanner underneath and the person with the hex key on top.

Remove the Drive Belt.

Take out the water reservoir. It just pulls up, I left the pipes in place.

Remove bolts that hold any pipes in place, you'll need a little wiggle room.

Remove the bracket that holds the head light HID Ballast. Mine was rusty so I cleaned it and painted it.

Take out the bolts holding in the Power steering pump, this should then move out the way (where the water tank was).

Remove the top bolt of the alternator and loosen the bottom one. The nut for the bottom bolt is on the right hand side as you looking at it, you'll have to feel your way to it.

Move the alternator as far forward as it'll go.

Remove the Ignition Coils. I may have missed the removing the coloured plastic from the top. If you can't do that bit do not continue.

Remove the rocker cover. This is easier than you think. Just make sure to get all the wires un-clipped and unplugged, remove the oil breather pipes too. There are 18 bolts holding it down. Find them and count them. You may need to prise off the rocker cover with a screwdriver. Flat head is recommended. Store this somewhere clean and dry.

Hoist the engine. (You can jack it up from underneath if you must. Remember to remove all the plastic panels and support the engine well. You don't want to puncture or bend the sump.) Hoist from the loop back right to the Power Steering Pump Mounting bracket. I used rope. If your using chain you'll need a C ring to bolt on.

Remove the Engine mount. Remove the three big bolts all together, so you know that the hoist (jack) is taking the weight. Then remove the mounting from the body work. Then the mounting plate from the engine.

Remove the redundant pulleys and take the three bolts out of the water pump pulley (back). This will actually come out the back of the engine, if you wiggle it right, pray to the sun god Rar, offer your first born as a reward and stand on one leg whilst whistling She'll be coming round the mountain.

Remove the auto-tensioner.

Remove the Crank Shaft Pulley. This bit is a bit of a bitch and took me three hours. Well what took 2 and a half hours was finding out no shops near me sold pulley pullers. So here's what I did: I wrapped some string, doubled up around one of the spokes in the pulley out and around the outside of the pulley and then round a long steel bar. The bar was between the pulley and the wishbone. Very bad picture attached. All your trying to do here is hold the pulley. DO NOT put it in gear and try that. SST box won't hold it and with manual and 4x4 you pull the car off the stands.
Once the bolt is loose, line up TDC and lower the engine enough to remove the pulley, an assistant is recommended. Raise the engine again.

By now you SHOULD (if I've remember everything) have nothing on the timing chain cover. Take out all the bolts holding it on. There are some 12mm and some 10mm, I think they are all the same length but try to make sure you know where they go back. There is one bolt that doesn’t need removing, it is standing proud near the bottom and it's a lot shorter, you won't know until you remove it I know. If you’re not sure remove all the bolts. You are going to have to prise off the cover. The sump doesn’t need removing but you are going to have to remove the bolts holding the sump to the timing chain cover, also you are going to have to remove the Aircon pump mounting bracket bolts, so you can loosen the bracket to get one of the sump bolts out. Which means taking out the long – front to back bolt holding the aircon pump to the bracket, this is what loosening off the plastic panels was all about. You will need to un-restrain the two pipes as well.
That done you should now be able to remove the cover. Oil will come out if you haven’t drained it. I still have the stain on my drive to prove it. You may need an assistant and it’s best to lower the cover out the bottom. There are two retaining pins that mate the cover to the engine. They can get rusty; a little WD40 might not go amiss.
Next remove the tensioner. Don’t bother pushing back the chain, blah blah. Just undo the bolts. The tensioner will pop out and the chain will go looser. Who cares your replacing it right?
The chain should now just come out. You may want to remove the guides first.
Putting it all back together is pretty much reversing the steps. Remember to remove the grenade pin from the tensioner, count to three and run. (troll) No seriously do remember to remove the pin from the new tensioner before you put the cover back on. Also the chain has three coloured links one for the crank and one for each pulley, but you spotted that right?

A word on the Alternator; Mine seemingly grew about 3mm overnight, the bolt holes no longer lined up. A crowbar fixed this little problem.
The Crank Pulley will need special torqueing apparently; Tighten it down to 180ft/lb (seriously what Mitsi, someone’s having a laugh right??) Then undo it again. (This causes a Japanese technician to spontaneously burst in to laughter) Then do it up to 110ft/lb, then tighten it a further 60deg, you know one bolt corner to the next. Pray to whomever you like that you get this right or someone somewhere might actually divide by zero and a black hole will form and the Earth will be swallowed.
All said and done this was easier than a timing belt, the added coloured chain links and the markings on the cams really helped.
Finally you’ll need to clear the ECU learned values. To do this you’ll need to remove a fuse for two seconds.


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Would be easy as all hell
Only if you've got a VERY sturdy mounting to hold the engine while you release the crank.
LOL. That is pretty hysterical man. By the way, great writeup, I'm sure it will help quite a few people over the next few years while we're all replacing our chains. This kind of brings up a concern of mine. Essentially, it appears that removing that fuse clears the ECU learned values. This is the same fuse that tuners often use to reset the learned values for Fuel Trims. This being the case, by dialing in a set of new injectors and removing the fuse, we are essentially screwing up this timing chain warning system! Damnit!

I wonder if just disconnecting the battery will not reset this learned value, because I do know it does reset the trims.

I know this was available somewhere else but, how many miles are on the car?
38k miles
And it's not as bad as you think, the car will quite quickly realise that the chain is stretched again. It knows because the timing goes out of whack. Don;t worry about it, I had mine reset twice by a garage trying to tell me it was to see if the problem came back.
Topping oil up all the time? That's not right.

The car is very nearly 4 years old. It had it's first three services at Mitsubishi. I've had it for nearly a year, and during that time I followed the servicing schedule the car told me, the dealer told me and the manual told me. 10k miles 12 months. WRONG.

When I first realised what the problem was and popped the rocker cover I found tar where the oil was supposed to be. It does say in the servicing manual Oil needs to be changed every 5k miles. But not the owners manual.

If your car has has a regular oil change, every 5k miles/6 months, then you should be fine. A Chain is for life not just for 38k miles.

Sorry about the pics, I did consider it, but my phone is my camera and I wasn't about to get oil, dirt and blood all over my phone. Yes blood, I got quite a few cuts, scratches and puncture wounds. Have some superglue on standby.
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Did they clear the code or did they actually reset the learned values by pulling the fuse?
The garage had a proper ECU interrogation tool but not the MUTIII. This they used to reset the ECU. WHich I wasn't happy about but the car came back with the error four days late, about 50 miles.

Resetting the ECU doesn't clear the timing chain learned value. Either that or I've stretched a new chain in less than a week - The symbol has just come up again. grrrr.

On with the search...
Thats what I was afraid of :( Go pull the ECU fuse and then put it back in. If you're facing the car from the front, it's the bottom fuze, second from the left. It should reset all your learned values. If you look at the fuse cover it has an engine icon for that fuse or something.
Yeah that's the fuse I pulled.
wasnt tephra working on something for this? to be able to pull and reset the values. cant remember
Yes, and hopefully I'm working with him on this to get his program finished and my car sorted.
Do you have a picture of another description of how you placed the rope/string onto the pulley? I'm working on the car alone and I tried this but the rope keeps on turning with the pulley.
Ohh jesus that was years ago. I have no other pictures. In fact I'm not even sure I still have that picture.

I'll do best to describe what I did.

Basically, in-order to stop the crank from spinning whilst you undo the nut, you need to hold the crack steady. In previous cars, the easiest way was to have someone apply the brakes and put it in gear. Not so easy with SST or 4x4 (basically you'd have to jack all 4 wheels off the deck so you didn't turn one of them and drive the car onto yourself)

So what I did was bind the pulley to a bar to make a b shape, then let the wishbone hold it still. So loop some string through the pulley, equal amounts each side. Then wrap that string around the pulley clockwise, a few times, then tie it to a pry bar pressed against the underside of the pulley. like a 'b' rotated 90 deg counter-clockwise. The upshot of this is to use the string to pull between the pulley spoke and the bar leveraged against the pulley on the wishbone.

I'm not sure how much clearer I can explain that, but I hope it helps.
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Thanks the description helps a lot. I tried tying it to the wishbone but I failed. Luckily after having the impact wrench run for more the a minute the bolt came loose.

Now I'm using the impact wrench to tighten the bolt I hope that thats enough as I don't have help with me.
Yeah I'm fairly sure I put mine back in with an pneumatic impact wrench. There's little choice here and this bolt is plenty big enough (more than 5mm) to not be stripped. You may/should lookout for it not being tight enough. That said this bolt isn't doing much, it's stopping the pulley coming off the crank shaft. There's a key in the pulley that transfers the power.
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