2011 Mazda3 Sport Timing Chain Replacement Hints and Tips - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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2011 Mazda3 Sport Timing Chain Replacement Hints and Tips

Hi all.

I'm just about to change my timing chain after my oil strainer got blocked and caused it to wear.

I've seen a few videos etc online of how to set the timing with the new chain, which seems simple enough.

But without a manual (I can't seem to find one) I just want to know if there are any hints, tips or pointers that you could offer in doing this job.

I'm assuming that the R/H/S engine mount will need to be removed, along with the coolant tank and bits of the R/H/S wheel arch plastic?

Is it also worth changing the oil pump since I'm in that area? The engine has done 120,000 miles.

I'm also not sure if the injector seals have been done so I'm going to do those at the same time, are there any other bits that could be looked at as well?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 08:05 PM
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So you removed the valve cover and found damage to the chain? And how is there no other major engine damage if oil flow was restricted enough to damage the chain?

2011 3i 2.0 A/T 145K miles
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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You’re totally correct, I’ve not removed the rocker cover yet, as I’m still gathering parts and info, so I don’t know if any other damage has been done, I’m just hoping 🙂

After I’d sorted the oil strainer issue out the engine had no fault codes, no warning lights and sounded normal. The oil also didn’t show any signs of metallic contamination or engine break down. Over the next 2000 miles I’ve noticed a top end rattle at idle developing, but still no DPF light flashing. I’ve had a stethoscope on the engine and the rattle is definitely coming from the cam chain area, so I’m assuming that’s the issue and not the cams or lifters as they rattle would be consistent along the whole head. It also sounds like a worn chain rather than anything else.

But again it’s me crossing my fingers and hoping. My thoughts being that at 130 for the chain if I change it and it sorts it I’ve gotten away with it, if it doesn’t then the engine’s junked and I’ll have to change cars. The current lockdown situation gives me that luxury of time to test and investigate. Once lockdown is over I’ll need the car to resume long distance trips.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Intentionally_Blank View Post
After Id sorted the oil strainer issue out....
Does that mean you dropped the oil pan after the oil idiot light came on, and then discovered the pickup tube was clogged? Also, what's the mileage and the oil change history of your vehicle (or as much as you know if you bought it used).

2011 3i 2.0 A/T 145K miles
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, had a flickering oil light, stopped, checked oil, oil was low, topped oil up. Oil light stopped flickering. Next day oil light flickers again, stopped, checked oil oil good, parked car up and googled flickering oil light issues for Mazda3, found the clogged strainer stuff so immediately dropped the pan, found it clogged cleaned it all up, new oil and filter and no more flickering oil light, just the slowly increasing chain rattle.

Car has done 120,000 miles, the oil has been changed either by Mazda dealers or me every 12000 miles.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I should also add that I’ve had it since 24,000 miles and I do roughly 30K a year in it on the motorway
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I’m also well aware that my engine may be goosed, but I can’t really afford a replacement at the moment so I need to try everything I can to fix this. As long as the repairs remain economical
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 12:07 PM
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… the oil has been changed either by Mazda dealers or me every 12000 miles.
IMO the only reason for a badly clogged strainer would be the presence of lots of sludge in the engine. I know that extended oil change intervals are common and well accepted in Europe (and I assume the UK as well), but not nearly so much here in North America. That said, I believe it's possible for the higher OCI to be ok for port injected engines, provided that the oil is top quality full synthetic. But not so for dino oil, particularly the inexpensive bulk stuff that many shops use. So I'll ask which engine your vehicle has, and also what type of oil you used, and also if you know what oil Mazda service uses in your country.

2011 3i 2.0 A/T 145K miles
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intentionally_Blank View Post
… the oil has been changed either by Mazda dealers or me every 12000 miles.
IMO the only reason for a badly clogged strainer would be the presence of lots of sludge in the engine. I know that extended oil change intervals are common and well accepted in Europe (and I assume the UK as well), but not nearly so much here in North America. That said, I believe it's possible for the higher OCI to be ok for port injected engines, provided that the oil is top quality full synthetic. But not so for dino oil, particularly the inexpensive bulk stuff that many shops use. So I'll ask which engine your vehicle has, and also what type of oil you used, and also if you know what oil Mazda service uses in your country.
It’s had various brands of 5W-30 Fully Synthetic, Comma (used by Mazda and me), Mobil (when it was on offer) and Halfords own brand. Halfords is a UK autofactor, they have a very good reputation in own brand oils and lubes and I have no hesitation in using them again.

One of the reasons I was asking about the injector seals is that I’m aware that they can cause soot/sludge to build up in the oil and not sure if they have been done on this car, I’m thinking I may as well do them since I’m taking big chunks out of it.

I should also add that I’m an aero engine tech, with nearly 30 years experience, I know the value of good oil and lube, and how and why oil breaks down and sludges up. I’ve been caught out by this engine though, I’ve never had one do this before, not with frequent oil changes anyway!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 12:55 PM
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Ok, it sounds like the oil quality is fine, and should be quite capable of handling a 12K mile OCI. I'm not familiar with vehicle specifications outside of North America, so that's why I'm asking which engine your vehicle has.

2011 3i 2.0 A/T 145K miles
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