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Old 12-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
Partymmudasti
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Michigan
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 LW300: Recommended parts for timing belt and water pump replacement

FWIW, a heckuva LOT of timing belt failures on the 3.0L DOHC engines is because one of the timing belt idler/tensioner bearings seized. It is to be noted that the belt almost never "snaps" on its own; it will either stretch over time and skip timing OR a tensioner/idler bearing seizes (more common) which at that time, can cause the belt the snap.

DEFINITELY replace all of the tensioners/idlers. On other cars, I would not bat an eye but with the L's I think you'd be making a huge mistake not replacing them while you are in there.

Back to your original parts questions.
Go with the Delco water pump. Dont cheap on this. When the water pump fails, its going to contaminate that nice new expensive timing belt you put on there. Go big, or go home.

Also, many choose either Gates kits because they are cheaper, but I'd go with the AC Delco kit myself - its available on rockauto.com for ~$190 (includes belt, tensioners, etc... like the Gates kit). Im not knocking the Gates kit by any means, but on a job 'this' big, you want to do it right the first time.

This is not an area to cheap on. A member posted a while back who went with the Gates kit and the car skipped time 20,000 miles after installation, resultantly leaving the member with a 600 pound lawn ornament.

FWIW, a little side story, relating to this thread: My 2002 Envoy's motor mounts went bad. I could get the AC Delco hydraulic mounts for $100/ea (ouch) or for $34.79, I could get the mounts made by an aftermarket company called "anchor". They are solid rubber.

Took me 3 days to install the mounts, and Im a novice backyard mechanic. Turns out, Anchor totally missed the ball on this one. The inline six cylinder engine in my Envoy needs hydraulic (read: gel filled) mounts to absorb NVH. Truck vibrates like a Diesel dump truck now, MUCH MUCH worse than the bad OEM mounts I took off. A prime example of what cheaping out got me. Now Im out the $90 ($34/ea + shipping) AND I have to drop $230 (new mounts $100/ea + shipping) AND take 3 more days out of my time laying on a cold garage floor with a 750lb engine and transfer case dangling over my head

Last edited by Partymmudasti; 12-03-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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