How to Change a Timing Chain on a Chevy

by Carl PruitUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Open end wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket wrench set

  • Seal puller

  • Towel

  • Motor oil

The timing chain on the Chevy S10 requires that it be replaced about every 60,000 to 70,000 miles in order to prevent the vehicle from breaking down. The Chevrolet timing chains can wear out from use or defective parts, needing to be changed routinely. You can replace the timing chains in about six to eight hours and save yourself the time and expense of having to take your Chevy into a shop to have the work done.

Unfasten the negative battery cable of the Chevy S10 with an open end wrench and move the cable out of the way being careful not to touch any metal parts with the cable.

Unhook the air filter housing hose that attaches to the fan shroud using a flat head screwdriver to loosen the clamp and pulling the hose straight off by hand.

Locate the sensor at the bottom of the air filter hose and unclip the sensor by hand.

Remove the air filter housing hose from the air filter using a flat head screwdriver to loosen the clamp and take the hose completely out of the engine compartment.

Remove the upper fan shroud with a socket wrench by detaching the four bolts holding it in place.

Locate the overflow coolant hose and detach it from the clips by hand that are holding it in place.

Detach the lower fan shroud using a flat head screwdriver to undo the clips between the fan shroud wall and tab, removing the shroud from the engine compartment.

Unfasten the four bolts that are holding the fan/clutch plate on using an open end wrench to undo the bolts and remove the fan/clutch plate.

Loosen the pulley bolts on the water pump with a socket wrench just enough to let you slide the belt off the pulley and set it aside in a safe place.

Remove the water pump pulley using a socket wrench to undo the bolts holding it in place.

Unfasten the serpentine belt tensioner pulley by removing the bolts with a socket wrench and detaching the pulley from the engine.

Locate the pulley in front of the timing chain cover and use a socket wrench to remove the three bolts and then undo the center bolt with the socket wrench.

Detach the pulley from the timing cover using a seal puller to remove it and undo the bolts that are holding the timing cover in place using the socket wrench.

Unfasten the timing cover by using a flat head screwdriver in between the cover and the engine block, pulling back and breaking the seal, working your way around the cover until you can pull it off the block.

Remove the chain tensioner with a socket wrench and use the seal puller to undo the small sprocket.

Place a towel over the oil pan opening to prevent any debris from falling into the pan and remove the timing chain from the sprockets, being careful not to move the sprockets out of place.

Place the new timing chain in position and remove the towel from over the oil pan opening.

Reattach the small sprocket, sliding it back into place and secure the chain tensioner with bolts using a socket wrench.

Secure the timing cover with bolts and slide the pulley back into place, fastening it with the center bolt and the three outer bolts using a socket wrench.

Attach the serpentine belt tensioner pulley by sliding it into position and securing the bolts with the socket wrench.

Attach the water pump pulley and slide the pulley belt back into place, checking to verify that the belt is correctly positioned around each of the pulleys.

Secure the fan/clutch plate with bolts and place the lower shroud back into position, fastening the clips to attach it to the vehicle frame.

Connect the coolant overflow hose to the clips and attach the fan shroud, securing it with bolts.

Attach the upper fan shroud to the lower shroud, connecting it with for bolts and connect the air filter housing hose to both the air filter and fan shroud securing the clamps with a flat head screwdriver.

Attach the negative battery cable to the Chevy S10 battery, securing it with an open end wrench and check the oil level, adding more oil if necessary.


Draw a sketch of the positioning of the belt with a paper and pencil before taking it off the pulleys, so you can remember how to replace it the same way it was removed.


Let the engine of the Chevy S10 cool down before attempting to replace the timing belt in order to avoid any burn injuries.

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