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I recommend Cloyes timing sets. get both sets one for the cams the other for the ballance shafts. Have the water pump on will call as it is chain driven.

Cloyes has a quick DIY on You tube that gives a decent overview. of-corse the engine is on a stand not in a car.
Toughest part is getting to the chain with all the plastic, tin and brackets in the way of the engine.
Most shops quote anywhere between 6 and 8 hours, If have the right tools and are comfortable working with them, You have all the parts, and possibly a helper its doable in one day. Otherwise plan a weekend.
 

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I think OP only wants to change the tensioner for the revised version. This is a fairly simple job if the old tensioner hasn't fallen apart. You take the valve cover off, tightly zip tie the chain to the cam gears. The next step is where you might need a third hand if the tensioner has fallen apart like they often do. My 08 had fallen apart, so you have to apply pressure on the plastic guide opposite the tensioner as you unscrew it so no parts fall inside the chain cover. If your lucky enough and it hasn't come apart like my 07 it will come right out intact. Then just screw in the new one in, torque to spec and tap the guide to release the tensioner plunger, remove zip-ties and re-install cover and you should be good to go.



 

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I think OP only wants to change the tensioner for the revised version. This is a fairly simple job if the old tensioner hasn't fallen apart. You take the valve cover off, tightly zip tie the chain to the cam gears. The next step is where you might need a third hand if the tensioner has fallen apart like they often do. My 08 had fallen apart, so you have to apply pressure on the plastic guide opposite the tensioner as you unscrew it so no parts fall inside the chain cover. If your lucky enough and it hasn't come apart like my 07 it will come right out intact. Then just screw in the new one in, torque to spec and tap the guide to release the tensioner plunger, remove zip-ties and re-install cover and you should be good to go.
Hi Coby; I'm going to be looking at the tensioner on this Cobalt I bought my son tomorrow and I may just go ahead and replace it since I'll have the valve cover off anyway (oil leaking around the cover). Does the tensioner get mounted near the top of the engine? I wish there were some pictures available of this process. I'm surprised no one has done a DIY for this job... Can't seem to find any YT videos either.

Thanks in advance for the assistance.
 

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Hi Coby; I'm going to be looking at the tensioner on this Cobalt I bought my son tomorrow and I may just go ahead and replace it since I'll have the valve cover off anyway (oil leaking around the cover). Does the tensioner get mounted near the top of the engine? I wish there were some pictures available of this process. I'm surprised no one has done a DIY for this job... Can't seem to find any YT videos either.

Thanks in advance for the assistance.
It's near the top left of the engine, it's a 32mm head jutting out the back of the engine.

 

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It's near the top left of the engine, it's a 32mm head jutting out the back of the engine
I see now... Thanks very much!

Yeah, this should be an easy one. So, if the head on the tensioner has a bump on it, it's the new style tensioner, but I really still don't know how long it's been installed. The car is at 176K and it's been maintained fairly well. Tomorrow will be the first opportunity for me to really take a look at it..

Cold starts are silent currently, but for the 35 bucks the tensioner costs, and since I'll be in there anyway, I'm thinking it'll be good peace of mind..
 

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I see now... Thanks very much!

Yeah, this should be an easy one. So, if the head on the tensioner has a bump on it, it's the new style tensioner, but I really still don't know how long it's been installed. The car is at 176K and it's been maintained fairly well. Tomorrow will be the first opportunity for me to really take a look at it..

Cold starts are silent currently, but for the 35 bucks the tensioner costs, and since I'll be in there anyway, I'm thinking it'll be good peace of mind..
Went very easily. I got the old one out, and it was the old style with the spring. It looked fairly warn, but was not broken. The new one went in without a hitch.
 

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Sometimes we get lucky!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a new development I checked the tensioner on my 09 and it is the new style with the bump on the head I haven't had any trouble until a couple days ago on cold startup it rattled loud 3-5 seconds check engine light came on I drove to work the drive home no check engine light and it ran okay bought a new tensioner to put on tomorrow will update when I remove the valve cover and inspect will I be able to see any other problem?
 

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Chain might be stretched...
 

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1.Assemble the camshaft cover and gasket. Ensure that the gasket is located in the retaining groove in the camshaft cover.

2. Install the cover on the cylinder head and hand start the bolts.

Tighten the camshaft cover bolts to 10 N·m center out. (89 lb in).
Tighten tensionner to 10 N·m. (89 lb in).

Note: NOT ft-lbs
 

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Are you using 5w30?
 
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