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How to Check and Replace a Timing Chain in a Chevy Avalanche

by Contributor

Like timing belts, timing chains drive a vehicle's camshaft. Stronger than their counterparts, timing chains are nearly repair-free with no definitive replacement schedule. If your Chevy Avalanche produces a vociferous rattle whenever you accelerate, chances are it's time to check and replace your timing chain. Here's how that's done in Avalanches with a 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.0L engine.

Remove Your Timing Chain

Step 1

Locate the timing chain. Replace it if the automatic chain adjuster (also known as the tensioner) is worn or damaged.

Step 2

Drain the cooling system and disengage the negative battery cable.

Step 3

Undo the water pump, crankshaft balancer and oil seal, front cover and its bolts and gaskets and the oil pump.

Step 4

Turn the engine so the camshaft and crankshaft sprocket marks align.

Disengage the camshaft sprocket bolts and timing chain and the camshaft sprocket and sprocket key.

Install Your Timing Chain

Step 1

Place the key into the crankshaft's keyway.

Step 2

Attach the crankshaft sprocket to the crankshaft face. Line up the crankshaft key and the crankshaft sprocket keyway. Turn the sprocket to the 12 o'clock position.

Step 3

Reconnect the camshaft sprocket and the timing chain and align at 6 o'clock. Secure the sprocket bolts at 26 foot pounds (35 Nm).

Step 4

Grease the oil seal's outer edge and the front cover's oil seal bore with engine oil. Use an installer to put in the crankshaft front oil seal.

Step 5

Mount the front cover gasket, cover and bolts. Initiate the J41480 tool-to-front cover bolts and secure them to 18 foot pounds (25 Nm). Insert the used crankshaft balancer bolt and secure at 240 foot pounds (330 Nm) and then take the bolt out. Put in a new bolt and secure at 37 foot pounds (50 Nm) and tighten 140°.

Step 6

Put a feeler gauge betwixt the front cover and a straight edge tool and insert the crankshaft balancer bolt. Align the oil pan-to-cover bolts so the cover is against the pan rail.

Step 7

Secure the oil pan to front cover and the front cover bolts at 18 foot pounds (25 Nm).

Replace the water pump.


  • Procedures for replacing timing chains in Chevy Avalanches with an 8L engine vary slightly.

Items you will need

  • New timing chain
  • Crankshaft Sprocket Installer tool No. J 22102
  • Crankshaft Protector Button tool No. J 42846

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