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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be getting the timing chain replaced on my 2014 2.4 Equinox. The vehicle currently has 90k miles.

I've ordered this timing chain kit:

as well as:
timing cover gaskets
water pump
thermostat
serpentine belt, pulley, and tensioner
oil and filter

I was able to get the above parts for $650 with discounts.
I'm also planning to ask the shop to check and flush if necessary brake fluid, coolant, and transfer case.
Is there anything else you all would recommend checking and/or changing as part of this job?

Thanks.
 

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2011 Terrain SLT 2.4L FWD
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I'm going to be getting the timing chain replaced on my 2014 2.4 Equinox. The vehicle currently has 90k miles.
After removing your coil-packs, blow-out your sparkplug wells with compressed air.
You will need two types of pullers, a harmonic balancer puller, and a gear puller.
See here:



Use an impact driver to loosen the crank/harmonic balancer pulley. Be careful not to damage female threads in the crankshaft when using either of the pullers ! You may want to replace the Woodruff key (~$7 at a dealer). Prevent the engine from turning counter-clockwise at all times, since the timing chain will skip teeth on the sprockets!
Be prepared to reset the timing chain tensioner...it's fairly simple with a vice and a screwdriver, just don't stab yourself!
Clean your PCV port with a small 90 degree pick since you're going to have the valve cover removed. (See this post for location of port P0420 - Its not the Cat or 02 sensors )

Have a large adjustable wrench to hold the camshafts while removing the sprocket bolts, and for the chain tensioner.
If the timing chain cover doesn't pry off fairly easily, make sure you have removed all the bolts! There is a bolt in the middle of the cover that is easy to miss.
When you're installing the new chain and gears, keep in mind that it is possible to turn the engine or a camshaft to the point where a valve may contact a piston, so don't force anything! Also, follow the directions to release the chain tensioner after is is re-installed, and if you haven't done so previously, pull the sparkplugs, and temporarily install the harmonic balancer, and turn the engine by hand to see that you aren't hitting pistons with valves; you will notice that it takes several chain revolutions for the timing links to line up again with the marks on the gears, but don't put the covers on until you are satisfied that the timing marks are still all lined up.
Use quality gasket sealer where recommended, and you will have the best results if you allow the sealer to dry overnight before running the engine.
Post questions if you have any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After removing your coil-packs, blow-out your sparkplug wells with compressed air.
You will need two types of pullers, a harmonic balancer puller, and a gear puller.
See here:



Use an impact driver to loosen the crank/harmonic balancer pulley. Be careful not to damage female threads in the crankshaft when using either of the pullers ! You may want to replace the Woodruff key (~$7 at a dealer). Prevent the engine from turning counter-clockwise at all times, since the timing chain will skip teeth on the sprockets!
Be prepared to reset the timing chain tensioner...it's fairly simple with a vice and a screwdriver, just don't stab yourself!
Clean your PCV port with a small 90 degree pick since you're going to have the valve cover removed. (See this post for location of port P0420 - Its not the Cat or 02 sensors )

Have a large adjustable wrench to hold the camshafts while removing the sprocket bolts, and for the chain tensioner.
If the timing chain cover doesn't pry off fairly easily, make sure you have removed all the bolts! There is a bolt in the middle of the cover that is easy to miss.
When you're installing the new chain and gears, keep in mind that it is possible to turn the engine or a camshaft to the point where a valve may contact a piston, so don't force anything! Also, follow the directions to release the chain tensioner after is is re-installed, and if you haven't done so previously, pull the sparkplugs, and temporarily install the harmonic balancer, and turn the engine by hand to see that you aren't hitting pistons with valves; you will notice that it takes several chain revolutions for the timing links to line up again with the marks on the gears, but don't put the covers on until you are satisfied that the timing marks are still all lined up.
Use quality gasket sealer where recommended, and you will have the best results if you allow the sealer to dry overnight before running the engine.
Post questions if you have any.
Thank you, that's very helpful!
Are these likely to fail again at some point, or do the new parts fix most of the defects?
I know these engines have a lot of issues in earlier years. Are they mostly fixed by 2014?
 

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My 2011 had 226k on the original timing chain, and I replaced that engine when it was still running fine...I was able to find a newer engine (2017) with only 12k on it for less than rebuilding that one.
These engines burn oil, and the PCV orifice gets clogged over time. Just check your oil level every 2 weeks between changes, and pull your valve cover every few years to clean out the PCV orifice. As far as anything else, I've only ever cleaned the spark plugs ever few years with a brass brush, and changed the Dexcool maybe twice in 11 years. However, because of the oil burning, I have had to replace the catalytic converters with the old engine, twice; none so far with the new engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My 2011 had 226k on the original timing chain, and I replaced that engine when it was still running fine...I was able to find a newer engine (2017) with only 12k on it for less than rebuilding that one.
These engines burn oil, and the PCV orifice gets clogged over time. Just check your oil level every 2 weeks between changes, and pull your valve cover every few years to clean out the PCV orifice. As far as anything else, I've only ever cleaned the spark plugs ever few years with a brass brush, and changed the Dexcool maybe twice in 11 years. However, because of the oil burning, I have had to replace the catalytic converters with the old engine, twice; none so far with the new engine.
Luckily we haven't noticed any oil burning with this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Luckily we haven't noticed any oil burning with this one.
Update: Shop just called. A code was stored for an engine misfire but CEL is currently not on. It ran and drove fine for them, but they noticed it is down 1.5 qt of oil. They don't want to replace the timing chain if it doesn't actually need to be done. Any other thoughts on what this could be? The main symptom is a brief rattling sound on a cold start. It was shaking with the CEL on the last time I started it a few days ago but that didn't happen today.
 

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The rattling sound could be your oil pump. Make sure you keep the oil level within tolerance, and only used the Dexos certified oil. It could also be anything else that is hydraulic and needs oil pressure to close tolerances, like the timing chain tensioner, or the rocker arm lash adjusters.
 

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2011 Equinox 1LT V6 3.0L FWD 174.4k miles
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What about the TSB in the other thread?

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What about the TSB in the other thread?

That doesn't technically apply to the 2014, but I suppose it could be the issue. The shop was going to call a dealer and get their thoughts on it. They don't want to start changing parts if they aren't broken, especially expensive jobs like this. Do you think it's worth pushing them to change the camshaft actuaters anyway? If so they might as well do the timing chain while they're in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That made a big difference on a different 1.8L GM engine we had. The VVT is very sensitive to oil level and quality.
The shop just called and they don’t think the timing chain is the issue since the rattling only happens briefly on a cold start. They said these engines are known for having bad piston rings which they think is most likely the issue. This vehicle does not have warranty coverage for this problem. They said a dealer would have to do that job, and that it would make more sense to swap in a reman engine rather than paying to replace the pistons. What are your thoughts on what the best course of action would be?
 

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Personally, I would just drive it to failure, but I would try hard to avoid that by continually monitoring the oil level, making sure the engine never experienced a low oil condition. And then, only if the oil consumption started moving rapidly toward engine destruction would I finally make a decision to either replace the engine or dump the vehicle. But that day might be way off in the future ... so why cave right now and pony up $5,000 when you may have a condition, though not ideal, that you can live with ... maybe indefinitely.

GM claimed (in the Class Action Lawsuit for the bad piston rings), that any 2.4L Equinoxes built after May 2013 had the corrective rings already installed ... but I'm skeptical. Seems to me we've seen post 2013 model year oil consumption complaints here. It may be that these engines just have a congenital problem with their cylinders that ends up damaging the rings, leading to oil consumption ... in which case, replacing the engine will just reset the countdown clock to the same outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Personally, I would just drive it to failure, but I would try hard to avoid that by continually monitoring the oil level, making sure the engine never experienced a low oil condition. And then, only if the oil consumption started moving rapidly toward engine destruction would I finally make a decision to either replace the engine or dump the vehicle. But that day might be way off in the future ... so why cave right now and pony up $5,000 when you may have a condition, though not ideal, that you can live with ... maybe indefinitely.

GM claimed (in the Class Action Lawsuit for the bad piston rings), that any 2.4L Equinoxes built after May 2013 had the corrective rings already installed ... but I'm skeptical. Seems to me we've seen post 2013 model year oil consumption complaints here. It may be that these engines just have a congenital problem with their cylinders that ends up damaging the rings, leading to oil consumption ... in which case, replacing the engine will just reset the countdown clock to the same outcome.
I definitely agree that doing it right now doesn't make any sense. It was only down 1.5qt after about 4-5k miles. Just trying to figure out whether I should keep driving it and repair when the time comes, or try to sell it. My concern would be trying to find a decent replacement in the current used car market. We already had to rebuild the tranny in 2020. On one hand, if we end up replacing the engine, it will be a like-new vehicle. I would want to replace with a Jasper engine, which claims to have corrected this issue. On the other it's more money going into the car.
Has anyone had success with getting GM to cover this on a vehicle manufactured after 2013?
 

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@mikepf95 : Don’t know if anyone has been able to get GM to cover the cost of piston ring replacement post-2013. You’d have to sue GM and prove your engine has the same defect.

But 1.5Qt after 4-5k miles definitely won’t “pass” the Consumption Test. You can search this Forum for the Class Action particulars, but I want to say it was something like 2Qts in 1000 miles, and if I’m correct, that would be a very difficult standard to meet to qualify for the work.

Maybe, once the oil loss reaches epidemic levels, do your own Consumption Test with three Independent garages who’ll agree to provide a statement in writing for you. Then use this documentation to sue GM in Small Claims Court for the cost of the repair. Shoot for the moon ... like the cost of a Jasper rebuilt, and settle for something less that’ll at least get you the piston replacement work done ... which would be the fairer and more reasonable solution.
 

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If you were to go with a rebuilt engine, I like what I have seen offered over at Jasper in which they made some some modifications. Yes we have seen issues with the 2.4 built after 2013. I had a 2014 with the 2.4 that was raising the oil level on me with fuel from the High Pressure Pump. Eventually the diluted oil would cause excess wear and then oil consumption. The 2.4 is a genuine engineering failure. Yes there is a good number here with high mileage but I suspect frequent oil changes around the 4000 mile mark, few short trips, and warmer climate. I have several coworkers with the 2.4 that had major issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you were to go with a rebuilt engine, I like what I have seen offered over at Jasper in which they made some some modifications. Yes we have seen issues with the 2.4 built after 2013. I had a 2014 with the 2.4 that was raising the oil level on me with fuel from the High Pressure Pump. Eventually the diluted oil would cause excess wear and then oil consumption. The 2.4 is a genuine engineering failure. Yes there is a good number here with high mileage but I suspect frequent oil changes around the 4000 mile mark, few short trips, and warmer climate. I have several coworkers with the 2.4 that had major issues.
That makes sense.
What would you all do in my situation?
 

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I'd run it with full synthetic high mileage oil like Mobil 1 for example, change oil every 4000 miles, and start saving for a replacement vehicle or a new engine IF everything else is ok at the time when the engine gets worse. Have you done the vented cap update that a number of owners here have done as a preventive measure? I love this generation of Equinox and feel like I would be going backwards with the current generation. That is why I moved up to a V6 when the specs for the replacement generation were leaked. The Blazer is bigger, bolder, and not my choice for a replacement of my Equinox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd run it with full synthetic high mileage oil like Mobil 1 for example, change oil every 4000 miles, and start saving for a replacement vehicle or a new engine IF everything else is ok at the time when the engine gets worse. Have you done the vented cap update that a number of owners here have done as a preventive measure? I love this generation of Equinox and feel like I would be going backwards with the current generation. That is why I moved up to a V6 when the specs for the replacement generation were leaked. The Blazer is bigger, bolder, and not my choice for a replacement of my Equinox.
That makes sense. I don't have the vented oil cap but can get one. Does that actually help with something?
 

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That makes sense. I don't have the vented oil cap but can get one. Does that actually help with something?
If you're in an area that goes below freezing in winter than yes, it's a must. PCV system freezes up and internal engine air pressure builds up and it blows out the rear main oil seal dumping out all your engine oil.
 

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That makes sense. I don't have the vented oil cap but can get one. Does that actually help with something?
Keep in mind that if you put in a vented cap, you now have unmetered air entering your combustion stoichiometric calculation, and if you get a CEL, that may me why. The other thing is that the PCV inlet tube that can collect water and freeze, it doing that because the engine likely has a clogged PCV orifice. See my post with the link to my other post, and read it completely.
 
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