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I replaced the timing chain because of what I thought was excessive play. The new aftermarket one seems to have as much play in it as the other one. Is this the correct chain? Or is this a normal deal?

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    Welcome to the site! We're glad you could make it. Which timing chain did you get? Can you show a picture of what it looks like on the engine and the slack (play) you are talking about? We truly are going to need more information from you to begin to answer your question. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:35

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Looking at the two different types of timing sets, one for the balance shaft design and one with the regular design. I've not dealt directly with the balance shaft, but I'm not seeing a huge difference between the two sets.

With that in mind, the 4.3L V6 is basically a small block chevy (SBC) 350 V8 with two cylinders lopped off. I believe regular timing set can be used in either application (V8 or V6). I'm not sure if you can use the balance shaft in either, but would doubt it. When I've done timing chains or cams on an SBC, there is a little slop in the chain, but not a whole bunch. I mean, when you tighten the chain on one side, you can move the chain a little on the other (I'd give it an approximate of 1/8" maybe a tad more ... I've never measured, so don't know exactly). This would be with a standard link type chain. If you went high tech with a double-roller, you'd have a bit more slop in it than that, but not by much. This makes me wonder if something else is going on which may be causing the slop, but I cannot think of what that may be.

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    In TSB 87-61-21 excessive wear/play in the timing system is measured at 8mm or 0.314" it doesn't specify a minimum. I couldn't find a spec on chain tension other than that. dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55044707/Untitled.png
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 22:58

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