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    Haibeck Automotive Technology



Chain Tensioner Compression

A chain tensioner must be compressed before it is installed in an engine. The service manual recommends installing a new tensioner. A new tensioner is expensive and difficult to find.

I believe that GM recommends a new tensioner, rather than compressing the tensioner because the process might be too difficult for some people to implement. It's a delicate process that if done incorrectly can permanently damage the tensioner or cause major engine damage.

Our tensioner compression service is $25 for each tensioner.

Compressed tensioners are shown. A released tensioner is about an inch longer.

CAUTION. Installation of an improperly compressed tensioner can cause severe engine damage. A tensioner that loads the chain too tight can cause the failure of a camshaft nose (the nose breaks off) or chain or guide. If the engine runs while the camshafts are not rotating, many exhaust valves on the bank will be bent.