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View Full Version : Can 2.7T and 1.8T AWM Cam Chain Tensioners be Swapped?



Caffeinated
08-14-2013, 02:17 PM
I'm looking at a 2.7T cam chain tensioner (part number 088C, passenger side) and I'm looking at an AWM cam chain tensioner (part number 088E).

They look, feel, and smell 100% identical. I'm having trouble finding any definitive info on whether they can be swapped. Were this just a stock motor I would give it a shot, but it's a fully built motor and I don't want to just bend all my valves at first start up.

Both of them bolt right into my AEB head. I have like 5 of these 2.7T tensioners laying around and I'm only borrowing the AWM tensioner. I need to run VVT on my AEB head and prefer not to have to buy an AWM version.

Thanks for the help.

walky_talky20
08-14-2013, 02:20 PM
I LOVE this question. I have always wondered this same thing. I hope somebody smarter than me has the answer for you.

ElSabio182
08-14-2013, 02:23 PM
I LOVE this question. I have always wondered this same thing. I hope somebody smarter than me has the answer for you.

A question Walky doesn't know the answer to? That's gotta be a first! [;)]

Caffeinated
08-14-2013, 02:30 PM
I LOVE this question. I have always wondered this same thing. I hope somebody smarter than me has the answer for you.

lol.

I've taken all the parts off a 2.7T tensioner and swapped it to an AWM tensioner, but haven't used the actual tensioner. Everything leads me to believe it will be identical, unless there is some difference in travel, yet the shoes and plunger thingies that go into the tensioner are exactly the same.

However, why wouldn't Audi just rock the same part number?

walky_talky20
08-14-2013, 02:46 PM
Because that would make entirely too much sense. And then they couldn't randomly make certain ones *obscenely* expensive, and other ones just "regular" expensive.

Now on the 2.7T and 30V 2.8, there are 2 different part numbers for right and left side VVT tensioners. Are they also physically identical, other than the part number casting? Is this a stupid question?

aysix
08-14-2013, 02:54 PM
The 2.7T Cam tensioners differ between both heads. You can't install a drivers side one on a passenger side and expect it to function the same way even though they bolt up just fine. Hope that helps.

tinytim
08-14-2013, 03:06 PM
I just swapped some pads from my old 2.7t into my 4.2... they all seem to be universal. When I was looking for replacements, most places listed that the pads fit almost every vag engine with the cam adjuster.

Caffeinated
08-14-2013, 03:08 PM
Because that would make entirely too much sense. And then they couldn't randomly make certain ones *obscenely* expensive, and other ones just "regular" expensive.

Now on the 2.7T and 30V 2.8, there are 2 different part numbers for right and left side VVT tensioners. Are they also physically identical, other than the part number casting? Is this a stupid question?


The 2.7T Cam tensioners differ between both heads. You can't install a drivers side one on a passenger side and expect it to function the same way even though they bolt up just fine. Hope that helps.

Definitely aware that the 088C and 087C are different (2.7T); one goes up, the other tensions down, despite physically looking identical from the exterior. The 088C and the 088E both tension in the same direction. The only thing that can be different is an operating oil pressure and/or travel, and this seems incredibly unlikely.

In the end, doesn't matter if it travels a bit different or oil pressure is different; I can adjust my switchover points as needed.


I just swapped some pads from my old 2.7t into my 4.2... they all seem to be universal. When I was looking for replacements, most places listed that the pads fit almost every vag engine with the cam adjuster.

Yeah I've swapped the shoes and even the parts that fits into the tensioner, but I'm just extra paranoid about the actual tensioner. 95% sure I am good.

revolution337
08-14-2013, 05:16 PM
Count me in as another person who would like to know this as well.

Mad Cow
08-14-2013, 05:43 PM
Since they are different part numbers I've always assumed that they need a different oil pressure or have a different travel when engaged. I guess they could work, but it probably wouldn't be ideal.

walky_talky20
08-14-2013, 07:04 PM
From some quick online reading, it looks like both the V6's and 1.8T's do a 22 degree VVT advance. And they all use the same timing chain. So I would assume that the throw is the same.

The only difference I can think of is that one is providing tension for a chain that drives 12 intake valves, and the other one only handles 9 valves. So the tension provided by the spring could be different. I guess the only way to know would be try it.

redline380
08-14-2013, 07:51 PM
The only difference I can think of is that one is providing tension for a chain that drives 12 intake valves, and the other one only handles 9 valves. So the tension provided by the spring could be different. I guess the only way to know would be try it.

1.8 spring in v6 cct? could be the answer....

Caffeinated
08-15-2013, 06:28 AM
I'm going for it.

The 1.8T and V6 springs seem to be identical to me but perhaps I'll grab a pull scale and a ruler. Of course, I wonder how much tension is lost @150k miles.

walky_talky20
08-15-2013, 08:03 AM
I'm still wondering what actually makes these VVT tensioner hammer and clank like crazy when they fail. They still look fine, but sound like a TDI at low revs. It's something to do with it's use of the oil pressure to supplement the spring tension. Extra oil pressure covers up the problem. Maybe some bore inside gets worn out and it leaks off pressure. Dunno.

Caffeinated
08-15-2013, 09:00 AM
I'm still wondering what actually makes these VVT tensioner hammer and clank like crazy when they fail. They still look fine, but sound like a TDI at low revs. It's something to do with it's use of the oil pressure to supplement the spring tension. Extra oil pressure covers up the problem. Maybe some bore inside gets worn out and it leaks off pressure. Dunno.

The actual interface between the parts that go into the tensioner seems to wear out, just loses tolerances. This is why I generally don't like to swap any parts between tensioners beyond the plastic shoes since they are often worn to eachother to some degree. But I have seen a worn tensioner "fixed" by putting in some different parts, but it wore out again in 10k miles. Also seen them fail when people mixed up parts from one into another.

Once they can't hold pressure, default to spring tension. I don't need VVT right now since I'm tuning the car myself and I'll deal with switchover points later, but I'd rather not have to swap out an AEB tensioner for a VVT when I'm ready.

In the end it's just a solenoid that allows more oil flow/pressure. I assume the solenoid could wear or get stuck or sticky, limiting oil flow.

Artiemas
08-15-2013, 11:18 AM
I feel fantastic writing this.

The 1.8t tensioners are identical to the 2.7tt tensioners. How do I know? Oh ho ho. My friend I used to go to school with. High school. Was rebuilding his 1.8t and decided a new tensioner was needed. He skipped down to the dealer and despite asking for a 1.8t tensioner the shop tech, who was like 70 years old and has been working on them forever, assured him that they do not differ. The only thing that does though, is what Walky pointed out. Oil pressure. It varies very, very minimally because of the valve difference.

Some more clarification? I run 2.7tt tensioners in my 2.8. Replaced them when I replaced my engine.

BlackLock_A4
08-15-2013, 11:34 AM
How do I know? Oh ho ho.

lol you win. Made this reading (which I will probably never get into with my car) worth while.

Scotty@Advanced
08-15-2013, 11:39 AM
Some more clarification? I run 2.7tt tensioners in my 2.8. Replaced them when I replaced my engine.

Lol 2.8 and 2.7 share the same cct's.

walky_talky20
08-15-2013, 11:50 AM
Now what's this about the left and right bank tensioners "tensioning in the opposite direction"? Both bring chain slack to the top by default, and advance 22 degrees when the solenoid activates. Right? Are they really different? I feel like this is a stupid question, but I'm okay with that.

ddillenger
08-15-2013, 11:57 AM
Now what's this about the left and right bank tensioners "tensioning in the opposite direction"? Both bring chain slack to the top by default, and advance 22 degrees when the solenoid activates. Right? Are they really different? I feel like this is a stupid question, but I'm okay with that.

If you reverse them, rather than advancing the cams 22 degrees they'll retard 22 degrees.

Artiemas
08-15-2013, 01:00 PM
Lol 2.8 and 2.7 share the same cct's.

I know. It was sarcasm.

walky_talky20
08-15-2013, 01:20 PM
If you reverse them, rather than advancing the cams 22 degrees they'll retard 22 degrees.

Gotcha. That makes sense. So I was incorrect in saying "both bring chain slack to the top by default". That is not true for the left bank. And thus, my question was stupid.

revolution337
08-15-2013, 01:33 PM
So maybe I missed the answer, but did we decided if you can run a 2.7(8) in an AWM?

Would you run the pass or drivers bank tensioner?

walky_talky20
08-15-2013, 02:29 PM
I believe the consensus is "yes" and "passengers".

Caffeinated
08-15-2013, 04:42 PM
So maybe I missed the answer, but did we decided if you can run a 2.7(8) in an AWM?

Would you run the pass or drivers bank tensioner?

Passenger. The orientation of a 1.8T head is exhaust valves to the passenger side, intake to the driverside. To match that, would be the passenger side 2.7/2.8L head.

Also, 088 to 088 in the part number.

And yes, I installed it today. Motor won't be started for a few weeks probably and I won't be turning on the VVT very soon, but I'm sure the operating differences will be minimal.

Caffeinated
08-19-2013, 08:23 AM
Spoke to a gentleman this weekend who has been running a V6 tensioner in his 1.8T on a Precision 6262 for some time, but he too hasn't enabled the VVT.