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Installing 911 Carrera Chain Tensioners

Pelican Technical Article:

Installing 911 Carrera Chain Tensioners

Bob Tindel


6 hours6 hrs






Floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, metric socket set, metric wrench set, large oil drain pan, putty knife, flathead screwdriver, blocks of wood, sturdy and soft copper wire, Dremel tool with cut-off wheel, 13mm hex socket

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1969-83)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-79)

Parts Required:

Pelican Peace-of-Mind Chain Tensioner Super Kit

Performance Gain:

Prevents catastrophic engine failure from happening

Complementary Modification:

Change the engine oil and filter

Here is a brief checklist from Bob Tindel regarding the installation of the Carrera chain tensioners on the 911 motor.   For more information, including full color photos, keep checking back for an upcoming Pelican Technical Article on the entire process.

Chain Tensioners - Carrera upgrade

IMHO, the only way to go with tensioners is to update to the pressure-fed "Carrera" type. You can do it with the engine in the car. It took me about six hours, but I'm slow, and I clean/inspect other things "while I'm in there".  Here is the procedure I used:

1. Set cylinder #1 at TDC

2. Drain sump

3. Put rear of car on jackstands

4. Drain oil tank

5. Remove muffler (good idea to soak fasteners with penetrating oil first)

6. Remove oil filter

7. Remove AC compressor (Disconnect the AC clutch power wire, but don't disconnect the AC hoses-just remove the air cleaner and put the compressor on an old towel on the air box, where it will be out of the way)

8. Remove compressor bracket

9. Remove air hoses

10. Remove distributor (note where rotor is pointing so you can put it back in correctly)

11. Remove rear engine tin (covers area above muffler)

12. Remove cam chain covers (you may have to use a putty knife to separate them-be careful not to nick the engine cases)

13. Secure cam chains (use sturdy, soft copper wire, blocks of wood, whatever, just make sure that the chains don't go slack)

14. Remove tensioners (you may have to pry a little-just be careful what you pry against)

15. Install new tensioners (make sure to put the small rubber O-rings on the tensioners where they pass through the covers)

16. Replace cam chain covers

17. Install new oil lines

18. Install oil line braces

19. Replace tin (you will need to cut a little notch to clear the passenger side tensioner oil line-I used a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel)

20. Reinstall air hoses

21. Reinstall AC bracket and compressor (ensure that the AC clutch power wire is reconnected)

22. Reinstall distributor

23. Replace oil filter

24. Reinstall muffler

25. Lower car

26. Refill oil tank

27. Start engine, check for leaks

28. Treat yourself to your favorite adult beverage--you just saved about $500 labor.

   There is also a good article on this by our esteemed Alan Caldwell in Volume 7, page 57, of Up-Fixin'.

Bob Tindel

Comments and Suggestions:
2porscheguy Comments: I own a 1980 911SC Targa with 130,000 KM. The original owner had an aftermarket turbocharger installed on the car some 25 years ago. I would like to upgrade to the Carrera chain tensioners. However, upon closer inspection of the right side cam chain cover, I noticed that the turbocharger has an oil supply line attached to it. I would therefore need to have the new cam chain cover altered / machined to incorporate this additional oil line. Can Pelican Parts provide me with this part?.....I would be happy to provide photos, etc. ....much appreciated!
March 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sure, give our sales dept a call at 1-888-280-7799, and they can hook you up with the updated chain tensioner cover that you need. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
SorenDK Comments: If you are reusing the "old" idler arms you need some spacers... do you know the dimensions on these? ie. inner diameter x outer diamtere x thickness
November 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, we just sell them as a kit - I can't say I've ever measured them exactly before. However, the inside diameter is the same as the inside diameter of the tensioner, and the outside diameter is the same as the outer portion of the housing. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jack Comments: Why would they not state to sumerge the tensioner in oil remove the key lock and pump it up and then install to prevent air locks. You give this advice on other site areas.
April 23, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Right, there are two articles on how to do this on our site. Here's a link to the other one: - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 1/19/2018 02:18:37 AM