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Is The Cam Drive Belt Or Chain?

RSchneider

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I would agree when it comes to economics. There are many cars out there with timing chain failures due to companies trying to save a penny on a design. Then they offer an update kit with better components down the road which costs you, the consumer, plenty of money.

It would be better to have a well designed belt system that is easy to change as opposed to a chain system that requires a pretty good amount of work just to access it. Until you durability tests, you can't guarantee that chains are better. Just ask VW. They put chains on the VR6 and they make it around 120K before they start having problems (teeth wearing off gears and guide rails breaking off). My nephews Golf had the chain slip and it bent all of the valves. After a internet search, this is common. As for that engine, those have the chains on the back of the engine which usually requires a complete removal of the unit or at least the transmission. All of the update kits have better quality guide rails and gears. In the end, VW saved about 3 cents by going the cheap route.

When it comes to the Engineers, they do know best but when companies are literally saving a penny on a part, it can come back to haunt them down the road. For Elio, IAV will have to be doing reliability tests on a dyno and at least simulate 200K on 20 to 30 engines before they release the final design to Elio (it usually takes manufacturers 4 to 5 engineering designs to get to the final production unit). I assume Elio is going to contract out the casting and build the engine themselves (that's pretty common in the automotive world). They just need to make sure things like the drive systems are up to par before accepting the final design.
 

Coss

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I would agree when it comes to economics. There are many cars out there with timing chain failures due to companies trying to save a penny on a design. Then they offer an update kit with better components down the road which costs you, the consumer, plenty of money.

It would be better to have a well designed belt system that is easy to change as opposed to a chain system that requires a pretty good amount of work just to access it. Until you durability tests, you can't guarantee that chains are better. Just ask VW. They put chains on the VR6 and they make it around 120K before they start having problems (teeth wearing off gears and guide rails breaking off). My nephews Golf had the chain slip and it bent all of the valves. After a internet search, this is common. As for that engine, those have the chains on the back of the engine which usually requires a complete removal of the unit or at least the transmission. All of the update kits have better quality guide rails and gears. In the end, VW saved about 3 cents by going the cheap route.

When it comes to the Engineers, they do know best but when companies are literally saving a penny on a part, it can come back to haunt them down the road. For Elio, IAV will have to be doing reliability tests on a dyno and at least simulate 200K on 20 to 30 engines before they release the final design to Elio (it usually takes manufacturers 4 to 5 engineering designs to get to the final production unit). I assume Elio is going to contract out the casting and build the engine themselves (that's pretty common in the automotive world). They just need to make sure things like the drive systems are up to par before accepting the final design.
Linamar is building the engines. That was an agreement they reached a while back, they will build them and they have rights to build them for themselves to sell in other markets, like marine applications.
 

McBrew

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It would be better to have a well designed belt system that is easy to change as opposed to a chain system that requires a pretty good amount of work just to access it. Until you durability tests, you can't guarantee that chains are better. Just ask VW. They put chains on the VR6 and they make it around 120K before they start having problems (teeth wearing off gears and guide rails breaking off). My nephews Golf had the chain slip and it bent all of the valves. After a internet search, this is common. As for that engine, those have the chains on the back of the engine which usually requires a complete removal of the unit or at least the transmission. All of the update kits have better quality guide rails and gears. In the end, VW saved about 3 cents by going the cheap route.
I have changed a few VW TDI timing belts. Even with a handful of them under my belt, it takes a good 5 hours (usually more like 6 hours and a few beers), and that's with one or two assistants and all the right tools in a climate controlled garage with a lift.

Dealerships that do it right (maybe) charge about $2,000 for the job. Parts alone are $400-500, depending on the model year and how much you want to replace.

If rather have a well designed chain. I wouldn't trust VW to come up with a good chain design, though.



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2barrel

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Point well taken, did not mean to offend all engineers. Although I would love to have had an engineer around when trying to fix some of those management decisions. Too bad managers and most engineers don't get that opportunity to pull wrenches on their creations when they fail.
 

WilliamH

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Point well taken, did not mean to offend all engineers. Although I would love to have had an engineer around when trying to fix some of those management decisions. Too bad managers and most engineers don't get that opportunity to pull wrenches on their creations when they fail.

I remember one car I had.
To change the battery you had to jack it up.
Remove the right front wheel.
Remove part of the wheel well liner.
Slide the battery out sideways.
I want them to do that in 2 inches of slush.
When they design crap they should have to work on it.
 

electroken

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This may be an exception, but I've been involved with the prototype assembly of every product or portion of a product I've designed.
I remember one car I had.
To change the battery you had to jack it up.
Remove the right front wheel.
Remove part of the wheel well liner.
Slide the battery out sideways.
I want them to do that in 2 inches of slush.
When they design crap they should have to work on it.

Sounds like a Chrysler "cab forward" design. You got a good one. Usually, the 2.7L engine seized before it needed a battery replacement.
 
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WilliamH

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This may be an exception, but I've been involved with the prototype assembly of every product or portion of a product I've designed.


Sounds like a Chrysler "cab forward" design. You got a good one. Usually, the 2.7L engine seized before it needed a battery replacement.

Oh, and I've built the first prototype of everything I've designed over the past few decades.

Yes! You do know your cars.
Mine was a 3.5L
'99 LHS. Great road car for long trips.
Maintenance costs on the high side.
 

RSchneider

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A few things. Industrial or marine engines are normally diesel or CNG. Gasoline is the exception to the rule. I don't see a big market for gasoline industrial engines. They do make them but are only used in very few applications. It sounds like to me that Linamar has the license to private label the engine. This is good because since Elio is setting up production for 250K units per year, Linamar can build their facility to run more than that and then sell the excess. I suspect, 10-20K units per year.

As for the VW TDI, last one I seen, the belt runs the injection and water pump in addition to the cam. Since the Elio only runs the camshaft, there's no reason why they couldn't at least get 150K out of the service life. Since most people put 15K on their commuter per year, that would be a belt change in 2028 (since the Elio goes into production in 2018). So, 10 years and 150K of ownership for a belt on a $7300 car would be quite impressive. I would also think that it wouldn't cost the $2K like it does on a TDI which requires it every 100K.

Since looking at the Elio engine, it's obviously a timing chain. So there's no belt. It is good to see they are using a ATI damper on it. That shows Elio is not being cheap when it comes to components. They make the best dampers out there. Not those cheap ones you see on every other car. The quality of the components for the Elio is really good. They are doing a proper all aluminum radiator and expansion tank. Not that cheap plastic stuff. The more I look at this car, the more I'm impressed.
 
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