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Old 07-05-2016, 08:57 PM   #1
alln99664
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Default Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Timing chain broke. Vehicle has close to 200,000 miles. (Mileage always resets to 65,305 every time I disconnect the battery) I have removed the head. Lot of carbon on pistons. Can I disconnect the pistons from the bottom and pull them out through the top? When I reinstall them should I replace the connecting rod bearings. Dealer told me when I put a reman cylinder head on the car that the bottom end will go caput on me. I thought the crank and bottom end was supposed to be pretty stout. I want to remove the pistons because I am worried about the carbon that may have found it's way between the rings. Starter was used a bit before we diagnosed the broken timing chain.

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Old 07-05-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

An engine that's been grenaded is a can of worms to rebuild.

I would get a JY engine installed by a mech that will carry guarantee for@ least 6 mos/6000 miles. several thousand miles.

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Old 07-06-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

The OP has already removed the head. Almost halfway there. This means that there are skills and tools available, place to work, and time. Yes, you can pull out the pistons with the engine in place. The oil pan is dropped, there is a brace plate on the block below the crankshaft that also needs to come out. Then undo the connecting rod caps and push out the pistons. Lots of work under the car with oil dripping on you. Yes, change the rod bearings if you do this, I had one go rattly. Having done a DIY engine swap, I think in place repair may be a bit less work. But remember that you need to weigh the condition of your own engine against the unknown condition of the "new" engine. I would leave the pistons alone if the engine ran well before the TC failure. Change the head and attack the carbon with something like Seafoam or Auto-RX. Its normal to find carbon in an engine this old. By any chance have you done a pre-TC fail compression check?

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Old 07-06-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
Timing chain broke. Vehicle has close to 200,000 miles. (Mileage always resets to 65,305 every time I disconnect the battery) I have removed the head. Lot of carbon on pistons. Can I disconnect the pistons from the bottom and pull them out through the top? When I reinstall them should I replace the connecting rod bearings. Dealer told me when I put a reman cylinder head on the car that the bottom end will go caput on me. I thought the crank and bottom end was supposed to be pretty stout. I want to remove the pistons because I am worried about the carbon that may have found it's way between the rings. Starter was used a bit before we diagnosed the broken timing chain.
Timing chain breaks will require extensive compression test to make sure nothing else was damaged. And check the valves, header and pistons for possible damage or crack from impact. I don't think the dealer has the where thought - they are there to make money not fix your Saturn. Most Chain or Belt damages are the headers and valves and piston head. I would have a trusted mech to inspect the engine for other possible damages that you can't see or have time to slowly inspect before determine is the fix a worth while option. As to your Mileage resetting when battery disconnects that is something seriously wrong there - I done that for 3 Saturn L series and had no lost mileage. So you got Electrical and BDM problems.

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Old 07-06-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Welcome to SaturnFans! I wish that it could have been for a less serious concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
Timing chain broke. Vehicle has close to 200,000 miles. (Mileage always resets to 65,305 every time I disconnect the battery)
The bane of a car owner's life, a broken t/chain or t/belt. I agree with Russet that there's been a problem (longstanding) with the BCM (Body Control Module).

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
I have removed the head. Lot of carbon on pistons.
That would be typical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
Can I disconnect the pistons from the bottom and pull them out through the top?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
When I reinstall them should I replace the connecting rod bearing?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
Dealer told me when I put a reman cylinder head on the car that the bottom end will go caput on me. I thought the crank and bottom end was supposed to be pretty stout.
Here's how the argument goes with regard to placing a rebuilt cylinder head on a very high mileage engine block: the increased compression created by the improved condition of the cylinder head causes a weakening of components in the engine block as the two halves of the engine - which were once wearing at the same rate - are no longer equal in strength. (IMO, the concern is related to the piston rings, esp. the compression ring, being too worn to handle additional compression against it.) Do you see any damage to the piston heads? This is common depending upon how high the RPM was at the time that the chain broke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
I want to remove the pistons because I am worried about the carbon that may have found it's way between the rings. Starter was used a bit before we diagnosed the broken timing chain.
When I worked at an auto parts business with machine shop where our machinist did rebuild engines, we would never reuse a crankshaft and simply install standard sized bearings - rods and mains. The crankshaft was always sent for resurfacing, or an exchange, with over-sized bearings. Here's the "rub." I think you run a great risk of problems if you pull anything out of the engine block and simply re-install them with standard sized bearings, pistons, or piston rings. Failing to resurface the crankshaft which currently has imperfections - however slight - in roundness will eventually result in major engine failure by merely installing standard con. rod bearings The same concerns apply when removing pistons and the need to rebore and hone cylinders.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 07-06-2016 at 04:14 PM..

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Old 07-06-2016, 06:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Quote:
Originally Posted by billysvue View Post
An engine that's been grenaded is a can of worms to rebuild.

I would get a JY engine installed by a mech that will carry guarantee for@ least 6 mos/6000 miles. several thousand miles.
Agreed. A JY engine is the way to go.

Too many miles on your current engine to make a partial rebuild worth the expense or effort.

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Old 07-11-2016, 09:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

I ordered a reman cylinder head from Rockauto. It should arrive in a couple days. I have decided to just clean up the cylinders and the tops of the pistons the best I can and replace the Balance chain, timing chain, water pump and thermostat. Only thing I'm worried about is damaging valves when I bolt on the new head. Any suggestions as to position of crank and cams when I bolt it back in?

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Old 07-12-2016, 01:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

If you have not done so already, please get a repair manual. Haynes and Chilton DIY manuals are readily available even if they have to be ordered at a store. Typically, they can be received next day. It's also possible that a local library may have repair manuals. My local city library has many sets of Chilton and Mitchell Professional repair manuals on reserve. Additionally, online manuals have excellent professional grade information. Either of the following would serve you well and require a subscription:

Mitchell
http://www.eautorepair.net/Marketing/Default.asp

AlldataDIY
http://alldatadiy.com

When time is available members will look up information in order to assist you, but you should never be without your own reference material (of some kind). It a tremendous help.

...
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Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 07-12-2016, 07:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
I ordered a reman cylinder head from Rockauto. It should arrive in a couple days. I have decided to just clean up the cylinders and the tops of the pistons the best I can and replace the Balance chain, timing chain, water pump and thermostat. Only thing I'm worried about is damaging valves when I bolt on the new head. Any suggestions as to position of crank and cams when I bolt it back in?
The oil pump is ok?

rings still seal well( did it burn oil?), the bearing clearances are still tight on the crank, rods,wristpin, and that you still have good oil pressure.

HOpefully all galleys are clean and there's no sludge present .

Some mechanics won't touch cleaning the piston domes for risk of contaminating the rings w/ crap. How did you plan on cleaning the short block prior to assembly?

You need to get a a service manual to reference. There's too much at risk.

...
'05 ,2.2L, FWD,5-speed stick with transaxle death rattle is history,,,
'17 Suby Forester

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Old 07-13-2016, 08:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

I have a Haynes Manual. It's been pretty handy. I thought I saw something online about having to turn the crankshaft a half turn before mounting the head to avoid damaging the valves. I guess my question is, can I just bolt the rebuilt cylinder head back on. When you purchase a rebuilt head are the cams in a particular position and is the crank at TDC #1 cylinder?

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Old 07-13-2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
. When you purchase a rebuilt head are the cams in a particular position and is the crank at TDC #1 cylinder?
Of course and there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

...
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'17 Suby Forester

245216 mi. VUe is off to the dealer auction
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Cows eat grass, I eat cows.

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Old 07-13-2016, 11:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

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I have a Haynes Manual. It's been pretty handy.
Good. I have one as well. If at all possible get another source manual (professional-like) for this repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
I guess my question is, can I just bolt the rebuilt cylinder head back on. When you purchase a rebuilt head are the cams in a particular position and is the crank at TDC #1 cylinder?
I have no idea whether or not camshafts can be set to cyl. #1 at TDC without being installed on the engine block. Theoretically it should be possible. What I suggest you do is contact the cylinder head rebuilder directly and inquire of them as to the camshaft positions that the head is set at.

...
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Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 07-13-2016, 03:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Don't think Rockauto is going to be any help. They wouldn't answer questions I had when I was trying to order the head. They said they didn't offer technical advice. They told me to contact the dealer if I had questions regarding which head would work for my car.

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Old 07-13-2016, 04:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

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Don't think Rockauto is going to be any help. They wouldn't answer questions I had when I was trying to order the head. They said they didn't offer technical advice.
No, I didn't refer to RockAuto. I referred to the company which rebuilt the cylinder head. That information should be available. RockAuto is a reseller, nothing more. (unless they have a machine shop which we know nothing about).

It appears that CRANKSHAFT SUPPLY INC. is the supplier of the cylinder head. Go on line or contact them by phone.

http://crankshaftsupply.com/

...
280,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 07-13-2016 at 04:22 PM..

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Old 07-13-2016, 05:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Some basic info not mentioned but needed in regards to timing chain failure and rebuilding. An interference engine simply means the top of the piston at top dead center usually means both valves are closed (for each piston) because a mistimed engine or sudden loss of a timing chain can result in pistons meeting open valves resulting in engine damage. Stout design has nothing to do with a timing chain breaking or someone inadvertently mistiming a rebuild and skipping manual procedures to turn over the engine by hand and going straight to using the starter with a resulting 'clunk' - the result of one piston meeting valves and stopping immediately. In a driven engine when a timing chain breaks, its almost a foregone conclusion in most cases that engine damage occurred. Older engines from before the 80's or '90's had more reliability with timing chains where valves and pistons never met. Cutting back on weight means shaving weight where ever possible while still maintaining strength. Long term reliability may suffer but who cares after a new car warranty expires? When a chain breaks, engine damage results. Very few are lucky to avoid damage. Simply removing the cylinder head will reveal foot prints where the valve(s) leave dents into the piston tops. Bent valves are obvious. Whether the piston, valve(s), connecting rod(s) and crankshaft survive is anyone's guess. You're in the only position to see the evidence once the cylinder head is removed. Until then, everyone is guessing.

I've removed a four cylinder head only once years ago (blown head gasket) and have forgotten many things as I don't repair engines but do know the basics. Once a timing chain is removed, mechanical timing requires specific tasks to reassembling and retiming an engine. Since there are four cylinders, four pistons, four or eight valves, one or two camshafts, setting mechanical timing requires step by step procedures to prevent putting a cylinder head on to the engine block incorrectly. This usually means the crankshaft is turned to have the piston in cylinder #1 at top dead center before placing a cylinder head on. No one rebuilding or making new cylinder heads will set valves because the cams are not included. You may have to manually turn the camshaft to set #1 cylinder head valves to closed position. Mechanical timing requires knowing camshafts turn two revolutions for every one turn of the crankshaft. Mistiming here can have any piston meet valves at the wrong 'time' and prevent the engine from turning. Valve timing is set so both #1 valves (or four on dual overhead cams) are set with valves in closed position. If done correctly, all the valves are timed. The trick is turning the heavily loaded valve train against all its valve springs. In theory. manually turning valves for cylinder#1 may already be set after machining and shipped this way but you never assume anything and go with what's known (procedures with retiming). It may be presumed with valves for cylinder#1 set closed, the head can be placed onto the engine block for mounting. If the crankshaft was set for top dead center, the timing chain should go on crank and cam(s). Sometimes the camshaft(s) may need restraining from turning to set timing. Its also not assumed camshafts weren't mounted and either the originals are reused or new ones put on, A single overhead cam uses only one cam while dual overhead cams use two different cams. Don't mix cams as the keyways are machined for their application, one for intake and the other for exhaust. Inadvertently interchanging cams will result in damage or at the least a mistimed engine. All this is mechanical knowledge with valve springs providing the resistance against staying in place for easy retiming. If I'm not mistaken, the camshaft(s) will have flats to place a wrench on it for turning. Once timing is set, manually turning the crankshaft by hand should result in the engine turning without suddenly stopping from something jamming (mistiming). When done correctly, a correctly (mechanically) timed engine will turn over relatively easy (no compression without spark plugs in place). Every one revolution with have the camshaft(s) turn two revolutions with every piston and valves in perfect mechanical synch. If for any reason the crankshaft stops, you missed something and cannot proceed until the error is found. Manually turning the engine over by hand after setting mechanical timing ensures the engine will not suddenly 'clunk' when a starter is used. All I'm describing are basic engine mechanics and how a four stroke engine operates before fuel and spark are introduced.

Take your time and read everything necessary before reassembling this engine. You'll most likely know the extent of damage as soon as the cylinder head is removed. Whether or not Haynes provides extensive timing information is your responsibility otherwise alldata. Mitchell or original service manuals are needed. Sometimes members here will post info and pictures to help. A search may turn up valuable info.

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Old 07-14-2016, 02:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

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I have a Haynes Manual. It's been pretty handy. I thought I saw something online about having to turn the crankshaft a half turn before mounting the head to avoid damaging the valves.
It is stated in the 2000 SATURN L61 FSM (4 cyl.) that the crankshaft should be rotated to a position 60 degrees before or after TDC to prevent valve to piston contact prior to installation. (For the record, my Haynes manual makes no such reference for the L61 engine.) Be sure to replace all bolts recommended for replacement during this service. Don't skip any of them.

fdryer's remarks about studying the manuals cannot be underestimated. As I've glossed over this job in both manuals it is clear that this is a highly specialized installation and failure to follow installation procedures to the letter will result in something going wrong, if not immediately then forward into the future. The information in the FSM regarding this repair covers 29 pages.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 07-28-2016, 09:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

I wanted to thank the members that provided advise on this thread. I got a reman head from rockauto. Replaced Balance and timing chain and water pump. Cleaned the tops of the pistons the best I could, (with vacuum cleaner going at all times). A lot of carbon and a lot got shook loose when the valves smacked into 3 of the 4 pistons. I should have replaced the oil pump while I was in there, but with all the apprehension about all of this being a waste of time and money and the fact that I couldn't afford the oil pump kit, and the fact that the lady that owned this car before me was very good about maintenance and the car has always ran really clean and oil has been changed frequently. I got her back together and she started right up and I have put a couple thousand miles on it in 2 weeks and she seems to run well and no smoke. Thank You again...especially fdryer and pierrot. fdryer....thank you for the affirmation regarding turning the crankshaft 60 degrees btdc to avoid destroying new valves etc. I can't believe Haynes Manual does not mention it at all. Makes me wonder how many heads and pistons have been ruined because of it. At 65 years of age I can still "bend wrenches" Just wish cars were as easy to work on as the old 50's and 60's vintage cars. I would say that 80 percent of the work I had to do on this car was unbelievably difficult. No room. I did go out and buy 16mm and a 18mm combination wrenches afterwards. I better not complain yet....when I have to remove the engine and replace the bottom end I'll really have something to complain about. LOL

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Old 07-29-2016, 06:38 AM   #18
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Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Do you have it running?

...
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:15 AM   #19
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

waiter21, did you not see this sentence in post #17?
Quote:
Originally Posted by alln99664 View Post
I got her back together and she started right up and I have put a couple thousand miles on it in 2 weeks and she seems to run well and no smoke.
alln99664, I'm really happy for you that the head replacement has been successful! You've impressed me!! I'm glad that I could be of some help to you in this project. This is what is the best thing about SaturnFans, that there are people who seriously want to be helpful to others. A great big thank you is owed to Charlie, the site founder and administrator, for keeping this website alive and well for all of us.

...
280,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 07-29-2016, 11:41 AM   #20
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 421

2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Timing chain broke 2002 2.2l lw200

Excellent. ( I missed the part that he got it running...)

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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