We have received a number of emails from readers using the HOW TO REPLACE A HEAD GASKET ON AN E SERIES FALCON tutorial regarding the correct procedure for releasing and reseting the timing chain tensioner on the Falcon engine.
I recently got my hands on a dead Falcon and sacrificed the timing cover to get you a close-up, cut-out view of how the tensioner works, and how it is released and reset. Obviously you won’t have as good a view as we have here with the cutout timing cover, but hopefully this article will give you a good idea of what is going on. This tutorial is for all 6 cylinder Falcon engines from EA to AU.
Here is a quick video I did on the subject followed by a written tutorial.
EA – AU Falcon Timing Chain Tensioner Tutorial
The components that make up the tensioner.
Step 1 is to remove the 14mm plug. You may have to hold the outside body of the tensioner with vice or multi-grips to stop it from winding out also. Behind the plug will usually be a filter screen that has to be removed.
In the cut-out view above the tensioner is in it’s normal operating position.
Step 2 in the releasing procedure is to insert a 3mm Allen Key (the longer the key the better!) into the tensioner until it locates.
Step 3 – Rotate the allen key clockwise until a click is felt and heard. The tensioner will now be locked in the released postion.
Cut-out view of the tensioner in the released position.
In the image above you can see that there is now a gap between the outer tensioner body and the tensioner itself. The chain guide can now move towards the drivers side of the car and the chain will have slack.
To Reset The Tensioner
To reset the tensioner we have to use a small tube over most of our 3mm Allen key. This is so that we can push the tensioner in, while rotating it in an anti-clockwise direction. This is from the Ford manual –
And this is what I have been using for the last ten or so years, the ‘tube’ was originally a car antenna, crude but reasonably effective.
Step 1 is to fit the Allen key (with ‘tube’ fitted) into the tensioner again and move it around until it locates.
Step 2 is push the Allen key in while turning it anti-clockwise. When done correctly you should feel the Allen key being pushed out as the tensioner resets.
Cut-out view of resetting the tensioner.
And now it’s back into the normal operating position.
Step 3 is check that the timing chain is no longer slack on the tensioner side (drivers side) and refit the filter screen and plug, and you’re done.