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Discussion Starter #1
I was having an issue where my car was very hard to start. I thought it was the crappy piston rings I've read so much about but last weekend I changed the plugs and while they were very worn, they weren't covered in oil or completely fouled. The new plugs didn't help with starting so I replaced the cam actuators that sit on top of the head, easy enough 1 bolt per actuator plus removing all the plastic crap on top took less than 25 minutes during sunset. It previously had P0017, P0014, and P0011 codes. Now after the new plugs and the new actuators it's only throwing P0017 which I've read on here that it's a code that happens when an engine is more than 10 degrees out of time.

My question is for the people who have replaced their timing chain on the 2.4 before, how long did it take you? I've replaced 3 headgaskets in my life in a 91 4 banger camry, a del sol and one other car. Plus when I was 20 I rebuilt a 81 Civic's engine so I feel I have adequate wrench-turning skills but I'm worried it might take longer than a day or 2.
 

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Well gathering all the parts up takes probably the longest if you do a full job like the balance chain, water pump, timing chian... but then its all the little things that make it take longer like putting in a new thermostat... gathering bolts ect ect.... well I rebuilt the whole motor with it in the car but you can just do this in like a weekend... I suggest just doing the whole f in thing.... its better that way if you are burning the oil... New pistons and rings clean up the head maybe some new things here and there... New manifolds ect.... (optional) Anyways the timing chain can be done in a weekend its pretty simple but I think you should atleast do the water pump and balance shaft chain while you are at it. Take off the harmonic balancer... Then take off the timing chain cover... Take off the valve cover and pull the chain tensioner from the back of the motor... pull the camshaft actuators and just pull the old chain out carefully... I recommend getting the Cloyes timing chain over the acdelco one because well... the acdelco one has all these issues and the Cloyes kit comes with new oiler you should also replace the chain gear on the crankshaft... sold separately.. yea 1 day tear down 1 day buildup would be a kinda difficult project but can be done.... it took me about 2 weeks to tear down order parts and rebuild the whole motor with new everything just short of the crankshaft main bearings. A lot of it IS actually really simple and can be done from the passenger wheel well and from the top down under the hood there is actually plenty of room. The most difficult part of the timing chain is when you are putting it back together the chain is super tight even without the tensioner installed and you gotta skip it on there also while lining up a arrow on the camshaft phaser with a gold link in the chain or whatever and it all is like a sequential process it took me a couple tries ... Although its not advised I Seriously would turn the motor like 20 times with a wrench to make sure there's no contact from the valves to pistons because these are a "contact" engine .

I suggest just pull the valve cover check it out you can see if you got too much slack from there and these things can have problems with the phasers especially after you replace the actuators maybe try the old ones and 10 degrees out of timing doesnt mean your chain is bad it just means the vvt is out of control if your chain jumped even 1 tooth your gonna have serious internal damage because the valve timing would eventually cause the pistons to bend the valves damage the rocker arms everything would need to be replaced. And if its not running now chances are you are going to end up replacing that 1 part throwing it off anyways after the rebuild because that's why its not starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did consider doing a semi-full rebuild(New piston rings, rod bearings, head gasket, oil pump....but my job is currently 72 miles one way from my home and my work is pretty adamant about me actually coming into the office so I can't be without a car for a week or 2, or a month while I do a rebuild on it.

I don't think there's any serious damage so perhaps it didn't jump a tooth. It just starts hard, sometimes takes 3 times, sometimes like this morning it starts on one. I know there are 2 cam position sensors but I didn't want to blindly replace parts without at least some chance that it might fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, both solenoid actuators replaced with ACDelco ones. The P0017 light is on. Per my OBD2 reader there are 3 P0017 codes. One is unconfirmed, one confirmed and one labeled as "Permanent". I've tried the turn the key on and off 5 times thing, I've cleared the codes with 2 different OBD2 code readers and it almost immediately comes back after a second startup. Per christopherlompoc If my chain jumped even 1 tooth it would be catastrophic and not something I wouldn't immediately notice. The oil level is high, the oil is a little past due but with it burning a quart as often as it does I'm betting there is more new oil than old in the engine. So does that mean the crankshaft position sensor is boogered? From what I've read it has to go to a mechanic to get the ECU to relearn the crank position sensor, whats the cost on something like that? While pulling the intake off sounds like a pain in the ass, its certainly less of a pain in the ass than the timing chain from the few videos I've seen.
 

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The crankshaft position sensor is worth a shot but that also controls the ignition timing for the coils, a lot of times when those go out the car may not even start and it will throw a code for it. Pulling the intake is kind of a pain the bolts are easy and everything its just hard to wedge it out of that small spot.. The fact that the code comes back up after a second start could be the camshaft phasers not parking properly... they need to seat in a fixed position as you shut the car off... Also it sounds like you have a lot of problems with this motor I cant believe that on a 2014 when they burn oil like that it messes everything up... your going to have golf ball sized carbon buildup on the valves... burned oil creeping into the intake manifold and exhaust taking out the catalytic converters. Anyhow im betting the issue is something on that top end and the fact that it comes back on the second start i'd say your camshaft phasers are struggling to lock into the fixed position... also with the other issues u got I wouldnt be worried about those codes as long as you can keep it rolling the oil burning is worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it were just a CEL being on I would ignore it but having to sit in the parking lot having to try and start your car 4 times before it finally starts on the 5th time sucks.
 

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If it were just a CEL being on I would ignore it but having to sit in the parking lot having to try and start your car 4 times before it finally starts on the 5th time sucks.
You're probably old enough to know, but for others reading this: If you live in a state with Inspections, they'll fail you on the next Inspection if the CEL light is ON.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I bit the bullet and took it to a chevy dealership shop. $97 and they told me that the refractor on the end of the exhaust cam spun and apparently it's a pressed on part that can't be corrected. So now I'm looking at finding a garage I can work on it and replacing the cam, the cracked exhaust manifold, timing and balance shaft chains and guides and tensioners..

The dealership couldn't get it started and claimed it lost compression but I'd bet dollars to donuts that they didn't actually put a compression tester on and they just assumed it doesn't have compression because it is very hard to start(5 or 6 tries).
 

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I bit the bullet and took it to a chevy dealership shop. $97 and they told me that the refractor on the end of the exhaust cam spun and apparently it's a pressed on part that can't be corrected. So now I'm looking at finding a garage I can work on it and replacing the cam, the cracked exhaust manifold, timing and balance shaft chains and guides and tensioners..

The dealership couldn't get it started and claimed it lost compression but I'd bet dollars to donuts that they didn't actually put a compression tester on and they just assumed it doesn't have compression because it is very hard to start(5 or 6 tries).
Is this what you mean?
See link below.

 

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Very informative video, sorry you had to be the guinea pig.
The Techlink article only references the 1.4L and 1.5L., the 2.4L must have the same setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciated the video. As a guy who tries to do his own wrenching when it’s within my skill level I like seeing versus having it just written down and being told I should pony up 5k I don’t have for a full engine rebuild.
 

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Yea i just call those camshaft phasers but i guess the reluctor is inside that part... u could replace the whole phaser I know mine are going to have to be done ... u might be able to get away with marking the link it lines up to (theres an arrow) and pulling the chain tensioner there is a tool that locks the camshafts in place but yea mark the chain and pull phaser off put new one on... could be done pretty easilly.
 

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Yea i just call those camshaft phasers but i guess the reluctor is inside that part... u could replace the whole phaser I know mine are going to have to be done ... u might be able to get away with marking the link it lines up to (theres an arrow) and pulling the chain tensioner there is a tool that locks the camshafts in place but yea mark the chain and pull phaser off put new one on... could be done pretty easilly.
Isn't the part that sock0pen is describing on the rear of the camshaft?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Isn't the part that sock0pen is describing on the rear of the camshaft?
Yep. The reluctor is on the rear, the phaser I think is the other side with the teeth for the timing chain. But I'm at minimum going to have to remove the chain to replace the exhaust cam. And if I'm removing the chain I might as well replace it as well as the balance shaft chain. This is where it gets sketchy because if I'm doing all that I could replace the exhaust manifold and if I'm doing that I should do the piston rings. Everything up to the piston rings isn't too bad, but in order to get the timing cover off most people remove that passenger side motor mount and use a jack and a block of wood to support the engine from the oil pan. But I can't remove the rod caps if the oil pan is still on and if the oil pan is off how am I going to support the engine without a cherry picker?

I have the $500-$600 for all the parts, but what I don't have right now is the garage to do the work in and a strategy to get everything done.
 

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Yea hmm that's interesting i get what u guys are saying now. After you remove the motor mount on the passenger side theres still the transmission mounts suspending the motor it wont fall out but it will shift a little I have done work with no jack underneath it without that motor mount because theirs a front rear and driver side mount still. Seriously the cam has to come out? ugh yea your gonna want all new hardware... u can drop the pan first its actually pretty easy then take off the motor mount but yea all that sticks in place without that mount in there too. To be honest I was planning on scrapping the car if things didnt work out so I just tore it apart all crazy, I put a wrench on the harmonic balancer bolt and turned the ignition to get it off without using the tool (bad idea) it worked great lol before I got started I assumed I needed one of these tools
17535

nope its totally possible but with this it does support the engine without a cherry picker. I had a oil burning monster with a chain slap now its all good but getting that tool ontop of all the money in parts was a dealbreaker so I went ahead without the engine support bar. If you do the rings and all I would recomend getting a repair manual for all the specs and those timing chain guide bolt holes are sketch like strip really easily so be careful...idk how far I would go as far as budget goes I did everything water pump balance shaft friggin replaced ALL even the little gear on the crankshaft and I did all the work out on the street the only thing I didnt do is even touch the cradle bolts that hold the crank in place thats too far and or remove the balance shafts/ bolts they cannot be removed with the motor in the car.
 
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