HomePRODUCT NEWSTiming Chains Are Not For Life

Timing Chains Are Not For Life

The Timing Chain

Timing Chains represent one of the most critical components in the modern engine. The development came along to replace gear driven valve train systems in the early part of the 1920’s, such as those used in the infamous Model T Ford. Which the 4BG group, BGA’s family produced the OE head gaskets for! The invention of Timing Chains allowed for greater flexibility in engine design, reducing weight within the valve train and as a result, created more power and efficiency. Through the 1970s and 1980s they were themselves replaced in many instances by toothed timing belts, which required no lubrication and further flexibility in engine design, reduced replacement costs and more importantly, cost savings during engine manufacture. However timing chains have come back over the last 20 years and feature in many modern engines due to their longevity and low maintenance and resistance to external influence. This results in a more robust timing system by comparison. An often hotly debated topic!

Timing chains aren’t for life

 In some cases, it is thought that the timing chain lasts the life of the engine, such as that in the BMW N47 Engine – BMW’s engineers designed the engine so that the timing chain is located at the back, away from an easy service area as it is expected to not need maintenance. In this case, due to wear – the timing chain begins to rattle between 40k-70k miles which indicates imminent failure. When the timing chain does snap, as in most cases this will cause catastrophic damage where the pistons hit the valves, causing them to bend as they collide with the rocker arms.  

Engineering Excellence

BGA’s in house Engineers have the ability to test the tensile strength of the chains, undertake metallurgical and polymeric analysis of components as well CCM and full shadowgraph inspection. The 4BG’s group heritage in plastic injection molding has given BGA the experience to specify the correct polymer mix for our tensioners, for the application and also gasket and seal construction. Part of the reasons why BGA are market leaders in Timing Chain Kits thanks to their automotive engineering and manufacturing experience.  

Upgraded as standard

In the case of BGA’s TC0900FK for the BMW N47, the kit includes uprated specification upper and lower Timing Chains, Oil pump chain, Guide Arms, Sprockets. Oil feed pipe, Crankshaft oil seal and an uprated, longer tensioner as per BMW’s spec. Complete with instructions and technical info regarding the updated tensioner. As with all of our Timing Chain Kits, they have been designed by BGA’s experienced Technical Engineering Team at BGA HQ in the heart of Wiltshire. This kit provides superior quality and installer peace of mind.

Best practice provides the best results

When replacing components it is best practice to replace all of the associated parts. By doing so, the condition of the timing components, which are so critical to the operation of the engine are now all uniform and wear together again, preventing premature wear and failure.

Examples of failure:

MakeEngineReason for FailureReplace with BGA Part
VAGAGN/AWT/AUM/AUQElectronic Tensioner failure TC0100K
BMWN20Tensioner blades crack and fail with ageTC0902FK
FIAT1.3 Multijet DieselOil contamination leading to timing chain failureTC0380FK
BMWN47Chain stretch leading to early timing chain failureTC0900FK

BGA Paving the way

BGA introduced kits to give the installer everything they need to complete the job including Gaskets, Seals and Feed Pipes where appropriate. Saving time and money. BGA’s range covers over 350 references and over 7000+ relevant applications making them one of the largest suppliers of Timing Chain Kits in Europe. All of BGA’s kits are engineered and Q.C Tested in house by their own automotive engineers and where possible, improving on the original.


When buying a BGA Timing Chain Kit – you are not only buying a kit that is 100% fit for purpose, meeting OE standards or higher but also buying the vast experience that comes with BGA. Sales, Marketing, Technical and Warranty. BGA are there for you and your business.


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