Thicker oil equals more timing chain wear

4WD

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I would say that it was because it was a '95 Sentra with 241K on it.
Not all Engines are 300K engines. These days it seems not many are even 90K engines with all the
"technological, power and fuel savings" inadequately tested advances.
Not I go back to a point I made and many poo-poo'ed when everything was going wet chain/vvti.

Dry Belt timing is better for OHC applications. You may not like the cost/hassle of changing the belt every 90-110K but you get a "new" timing system with every service.
Plus they sound better.
-Ken
Sure … I didn’t mind 100k timing belts … and on some engines it was a great opportunity to change an inexpensive water pump and be in good shape for the balance of ownership …
 
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Sure … I didn’t mind 100k timing belts … and on some engines it was a great opportunity to change an inexpensive water pump and be in good shape for the balance of ownership …

I think the biggest issue was if your particular vehicle needed to have the engine pulled to change the belt. I’ve had that experience.

Regarding @bbhero broken chain, too bad a chain autopsy wasn’t done.
 
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I am going to ask the question...

Who on here as had a motor die because of a broken timing chain ??

I have actually...

On my ol 95 Nissan Sentra. Timing chain broke at 241,000+ miles. In the daggone Wendy's drive thru at that....

I got the car with 118,000 miles and changed the oil every 4,000 miles with Castrol Syntec 5w30.

I wonder what caused that timing chain to break ?

I have several theories... 1) the previous owner really did not keep up with changing the oil in that car... 2) And because of that the timing chain already had a lot of wear on it when I got it. 3) it is also possible that tiny abrasives cause the most issues with timing chains. Sizes smaller than 10 microns and maybe down to 5 or 6 microns or potentially even smaller than that. Therefore it makes air filter performance and oil filter performance key in maintaining timing chain condition. However long, long runs mean more and more extremely small abrasives are still in the oil even with a very good air filter using small dust testing per ISO 5011 and a very good oil filter with high efficiency ratings 99 percent at or less than 20 microns. Shortening a run is the best way to get rid of those very tiny abrasives that wear on timing chains.

I have cut my run interval on my car has it has gotten older and more miles on her. Now at 329,000 miles it still runs very, very good. I got the 08 Nissan Altima VQ with only 39,990 miles on it.
I haven’t had a timing chain fail...yet. I agree, clean oil is a good thing!
 

4WD

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I think the biggest issue was if your particular vehicle needed to have the engine pulled to change the belt. I’ve had that experience.

Regarding @bbhero broken chain, too bad a chain autopsy wasn’t done.
Yeah, last one I even had was a 2007 Mopar V6 - changed at the century mark & traded at 140k … everything since then have been chains and have not run over 145k on a vehicle in recent years … so no chain issues …
My thinking is when I’m around 75k … need to decide if I’m going to keep it because trade value drops a few feet past 99,999.9 miles …
 
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sounds convincing but take Ford for example, I doubt they went from 5w20 to 5w30 in some applications because they wanted timing systems to incur more wear. I wont buy that hogwash until its backed up with some engine dyno lab results.
 
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Today i read something interesting in a dutch automotive magazine that is handed out to a lot of repair shops, they also discuss a lot of common engine problems and discuss and clarify things with the help of experts.

This topic was about sticking to oem oil spec or going to a different spec/weihgt. So one of our favorite subjects :)

One lubricant expert stated that you should stick to oem wheight/spec (which i agree with) because with switching to a thicker weight the oil pressure will increase which in terms will also put more force/pressure on the timing chain tensioner because those are motor oil hydraulicly actuated.

I thought this was an interesting point which probably has some truth to it: thicker oil= less internal leakage/flow = higher pressure = more force on tensioner = more tensioning/stretching force on the chainlinks and sprockets itself.

Especially when the oil is cold, and by using thicker cold grades then oem spec.


Some engines are known for having poor timingchain quality, other have no problems at all.
I guess that maybe the engines that are known for poor quality might wear a little faster, but i dont think it will cause a lot of trouble on the cars that dont have any problems with it generaly.

That would only be true if at typical speeds the (50, 80, 100, 120 etc) the oil pressure wouldn't already be on maximum and the oil pump in relief. Current engines have variable flow oil pumps on top of that and often keep oil pressure somewhere below 2 bar at cruising speeds
 
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If timing chains are stretching from the oil pressure on the tensioner, then they are very low quality chains. There is probably way more stress put on the chain from it's normal operation of turning the camshafts and shock loads due to RPM variations than what a tensioner would put on it. I highly doubt there is that much pressure on the chain tensions regardless of the oil viscosity. Did this magazine article have actual test data that proved it, or was it just a "theory" by some guy?

So does that mean timing chains stretch like crazy when the oil is cold and the oil pressure is maxed out (PD pump in pressure relief)? <sarcasm>

I think they are talking about chain guide wear, but I've only seen those damaged by overheated, low on oil or fuel diluted engines.
 
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If timing chains are stretching from the oil pressure on the tensioner, then they are very low quality chains. There is probably way more stress put on the chain from it's normal operation of turning the camshafts and shock loads due to RPM variations than what a tensioner would put on it. I highly doubt there is that much pressure on the chain tensions regardless of the oil viscosity. Did this magazine article have actual test data that proved it, or was it just a "theory" by some guy?

So does that mean timing chains stretch like crazy when the oil is cold and the oil pressure is maxed out (PD pump in pressure relief)? <sarcasm>

Author: 540Rat-erhooft
 
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I think they are talking about chain guide wear, but I've only seen those damaged by overheated, low on oil or fuel diluted engines.
Hard to say for sure since there was no link to the actual article.

OP did say: "higher pressure = more force on tensioner = more tensioning/stretching force on the chainlinks and sprockets itself."

"More foorce on the chainlinks and sprockets" implies chain stress, and therefore increased wear IMO.

Until we see the actual article words or OP clarifies, paraphrasing can be taken in multiple ways.
 
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But not same brand. Grades are ranges so a different brand may have a slightly different viscosity.

How are you reliably measuring a 4 PSI difference?
Yes I understand that grades are ranges, point being there was a PSI change with grade and there is the potential of a larger viscosity range between a 20 and 30 grade then oils within grade (especially if you happen to get the select two oils that are max and min within the 2 grades). How and if higher oil pressure affects chainwear IDK.

As far as how I am "reliably" measuring. It may not be an absolute 4psi as I am not sure how good the "DIC" on the Silverado is calibrated to absolute (I do not have an ASTM procedure that I followed to verify nor did I send the DIC to a certified calibration lab (sarcasm)), but the display shows there is a relative 4psi difference which is constant when the oil is at temp idling or when cruising down the highway at a set speed and RPM.
 
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Yes I understand that grades are ranges, point being there was a PSI change with grade and there is the potential of a larger viscosity range between a 20 and 30 grade then oils within grade (especially if you happen to get the select two oils that are max and min within the 2 grades). How and if higher oil pressure affects chainwear IDK.

As far as how I am "reliably" measuring. It may not be an absolute 4psi as I am not sure how good the "DIC" on the Silverado is calibrated to absolute (I do not have an ASTM procedure that I followed to verify nor did I send the DIC to a certified calibration lab (sarcasm)), but the display shows there is a relative 4psi difference which is constant when the oil is at temp idling or when cruising down the highway at a set speed and RPM.
No clue what the ASTM procedures reference is about or a calibrated DIC. Or the sarcasm. But to claim a reliably observed 4 PSI does take some explanation if someone is to take it as being accurate.
 
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My Z06 has a digital oil pressure gauge on the DIC that reads in 1 PSI increments. Regardless if it was dead nuts accurate, if the change in pressure was accurate then if it showed a higher number it meant the oil pressure was relatively higher, regardless of what was causing the pressure increase.
 

Flyingdutchman

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As this was a Dutch magazine it was more ment towards the VW Audi and some bmws, but also other manufacturers that have timing problems with inline 4 and v6 engines. Especially VAG went to bicycle chains to reduce consumption/drag.
 
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If my timing chain/components are that sensitive to viscosity change (e.g. diff between 20, 30 or even 40 at operating temps), I don't want that car! :alien: 🧨
 
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I think its total hogwash.
Agreed. The timing guides move until the desired timing is reached then stop...additional pressure doesn't come into play.

Plus, several years ago there was a paper or article posted showing that (for example don't quote me I can't find it) lesser timing chain wear occurred with a 10w over a 5w oil in the same application.
 

Flyingdutchman

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As i said it was more ment towards engines that are already know for poor timing chain quality/problems and that switching to a thicker oil might increase this/shorten te interval.
 
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No clue what the ASTM procedures reference is about or a calibrated DIC. Or the sarcasm. But to claim a reliably observed 4 PSI does take some explanation if someone is to take it as being accurate.
I personally noticed a difference in oil pressure after switching to 0w40 m1 from m1 5w30 HM EP and noticed after 4k miles it's still consistently the same 32-34psi at idle, before it would be about 28-30 at idle. Other than being a rough give or take 2 psi at idle because it's a factory sender reporting oil pressure through torque pro app, the difference is 100% there before/after the last oil change. The actual pressure is not reliably accurate but the difference in pressure before/after changing by roughly 4 psi is 100% true.
 
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As i said it was more ment towards engines that are already know for poor timing chain quality/problems and that switching to a thicker oil might increase this/shorten te interval.
based on my experience, in general if something is designed bad it's just matter of time ... in this case, a little viscosity diff will not provide a real solution. Fresh/clean/good oil may help more.
 
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If timing chains are stretching from the oil pressure on the tensioner, then they are very low quality chains. There is probably way more stress put on the chain from it's normal operation of turning the camshafts and shock loads due to RPM variations than what a tensioner would put on it. I highly doubt there is that much pressure on the chain tensions regardless of the oil viscosity. Did this magazine article have actual test data that proved it, or was it just a "theory" by some guy?

So does that mean timing chains stretch like crazy when the oil is cold and the oil pressure is maxed out (PD pump in pressure relief)? <sarcasm>
Hard to say for sure since there was no link to the actual article.

OP did say: "higher pressure = more force on tensioner = more tensioning/stretching force on the chainlinks and sprockets itself."

"More foorce on the chainlinks and sprockets" implies chain stress, and therefore increased wear IMO.

Until we see the actual article words or OP clarifies, paraphrasing can be taken in multiple ways.
I believe the article must be referring to thicker oil increasing timing chain tensioner tension thus increasing wear rates on the nylon timing chain guide wear strips.
No way is oil thickness having any appreciable impact on actual chain stretch.
There may be some truth the wear strip service life though.
 
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