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Land Rover Repair/Timing Chain Guard/Guide repair

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Question
QUESTION: My 2004 HSE recently began making a loud knocking sound, and a mechanic has told me the timing chain "guide" or "guard" has broken apart.  I've been told the "kit" of parts for this job costs over $1,000 and the labor required to do such a repair is significant, as much as 20 hours.

Do you have an opinion on that job?  Thanks.

ANSWER: Timing chain repairs are indeed expensive.  Total costs can run $3-5,000.  20 hours is by no means an upper limit if you find other problems.  Just make sure whomever you choose has the proper tools and expertise to do the work properly.  The shop will need a variety of special tools to hold the cams and chains, and training in the internals of the BMW 740 engine used in your Rover.  

This engine has not been used in Land Rover vehicles in 9 years.  Many dealer techs will not be familiar with it.  Such a job is beyond the expertise of many independents.  I guess that's why people ship us cars from 300-400 miles away.   

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: As a follow up question, you referred to the need for special tools "to hold the cams and chains."  Could you describe them any  more specifically, so I can inquire as to that?  

Thanks very much for your prompt response and expertise.

Answer
I'm sorry - I don't know the name or part number for the tools.  I just hear them referred to as the BMW 740 Vanos, camshaft, and timing chain setup tools.

As I recall the kit of tools to do this job is over $1,000.  The link below takes you to page after page of special BMW engine tools.  At Robison Service (and other similar specialists) we have drawers full of them.  You cant do this kind of work properly otherwise.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/BMWM/POR_BMWM_TOOLS1_pg4.htm

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John Elder Robison

Expertise

I own J E Robison Service in Springfield, MA. We are Bosch Car Service for Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and other European lines. I can answer most questions about Land Rover service or repair. I'm known as a car enthusiast, machine aficianado, photographer, writer, and speaker. I've been around Land Rovers and British cars most of my life. Visit me at my car business, www.robisonservice.com or my author website, www.johnrobison.com. Check out my autism and writing blog at jerobison.blogspot.com or my photos on www.pbase.com/robisonphoto John Elder Robison

Experience

I have been a Land Rover service manager since Land Rover returned to North America in 1987. My company is a four-star Bosch Car Service facility, known nationwide for Land Rover service, overhaul, customization, and restoration. In addition to Land Rover our company services BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls_Royce, and Bentley motorcars. We have factory-plus-level service capability for all makes. Visit my company online at www.robisonservice.com > service > land rover Also visit my blog at robisonservice.blogspot.com

Organizations
ASA IATN NPPA PPA

Publications
In the Land Rover world, my writing can be found in various print magazines and online at robisonservice.blogspot,com. In the wider publishing world, my work is published by 20 publishers in over 50 countries. Mt books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different and Raising Cubby have made US and international bestseller lists.

Education/Credentials
I am ASE certified, Bosch Trained, and trained by Omnitec/T4 and Autologic on their Land Rover test systems.

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