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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am generally a fan of timing chains and favor them over timing belts in interference engines. Since almost all modern engine designs and all those with fancy ajustable valve timing are interference engines, valve drive failure, which occurs when the timing belt/chain breaks or skips, is fatal to the valves and possibly damaging to pistons, necessitating a costly engine rebuild.

Belts are quite and often but not always, easily replaced. Timing belts are generally replaced every x miles or after a specified time interval (every 5 years is typical). A blet drive is simpler with less opportnities for oil leakage. Basically the cam seals may leak and they are usually easily replaced when one replaces the belt and belt tensioner. The biggest problem with the belt remains belt brakage and tensioer failure, which may result in the belt brwaking or skipping a few teeth, which is senough to destroy the valve train in an interference engine.

Chains are generally, or at least have been in the past, more reliable and tend, or rather have tended to last the life of the vehicle. On the negative side, a chain makes more noise than a belt, there are many more oil leak opportunities, and the chan stretches over time. Chain tensioners tend to be hydraulic and may be failure prone, negating the reliability advantage of the chain. A chain drive is more complex, requiring pressure lubriction and the chain itself is hard on the oil, mechanically shearing it to a thinner grade, deteriorating the oil's perfomance.

Despite the added complexity I still prefer the a timing belt over a chain, but I have a couple concerns that might be alleviated or reinforced by some further info:

1. Does the 2.4 l Tigershark engine's contain plastic guides for the chain?
2. How many chanin tensioners does the engine contain?
3. Are there any known problems with the chain and tensioner design? The VW 2.8 l 30 v V5 engine comes to mind with its failure-prone hydraulic chain tensioners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The link has some OK pictures. Looks like two tensioners.They are more than likely some sort of nylon since nylon has excellent wear properties, especially when oil is added. The tensioners fail when the oil passages that feed then oil get clogged.

http://www.allpar.com/mopar/world-engine.html
Thanks for the link. I may got to a parts department and look at a tensioner. They love that. ;)
 

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I agree but there has not been enough history on the 2.4 to know if the timing chain is going to be an issue yet so instead of taking a look and seeing if you think that the engineer that designed it did a good job just buy the warranty. Then if it breaks they will have to fix it. If by then they have redesigned it you will get the upgraded parts.
 
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