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Old 01-09-2006, 11:50 AM   #1
johnbasler
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

replying to another post in the forum prompted me to start this thread here too.

my weekend was consumed (again) with Vue maintenance.

'03 V6 FWD Vue had been leaving periodic DexCool puddles underneath. Turns out the water pump was sporadically puking coolant. Dealer wanted nearly $1k for water pump and timing belt replacement (at 50k miles). So, I purchased the water pump from a friend at dealer cost since my retailer apparently likes to charge a 200% markup on retail parts. Water pump was not too bad to change, but when the car was apart, i noticed a bad spot on the timing belt. This looked like a manufacturing defect that was there since new.

So, I had to go to my retailer to look for the tools to lock the crank and cams for doing the timing belt swap. The parts counter guy tells me that Saturn does not sell tools, only parts. The guy in service tells me that he has no idea where i could buy the tools even though they obviously have them there. none of the local parts stores carry the tool.

Accordingly, I had to do the timing belt swap by hand without the special tools, which took about 3 times as long as it should.

Net, wanted to post for 2 reasons:
1. If you find DexCool leaking from the timing cover, get the water pump changed IMMEDIATELY as to avoid a more involved repair.
2. If you are going to attempt a repair yourself, locate this mysterious tool set ahead of time. Changing the timing belt is possible without it, but not a lot of fun.

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Old 01-09-2006, 06:12 PM   #2
JDub99SL2
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

Matco Tools (and most likely other professional oriented tool brands) sells a set of camshaft gear locks.

I don't believe you'd be able to find the alignment tool that fits on the crank anywhere, though.

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Old 01-09-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
dieseljack
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Default Re: Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

The factory service manuals have a section devoted to special tools, the part numbers, and the prices. I contacted the supplier directly and bought an alternator terminal wrench, and although I bypassed the dealer, I still paid the same price for it. The manual was for an S series vehicle, but I would think that other models would have similar tool information.

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Old 01-09-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
IMkenNY
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Default Re: Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

$850 in saved labor ..... not bad for a weekends worth of work especially if you caught at least one of the wildcard games as well!

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Old 01-10-2006, 02:16 AM   #5
KoolVue
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Default Re: Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

I had my water pump and timing belt change on my Vue at 100k miles for under $600.00.

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:35 AM   #6
johnbasler
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: Water pump/timing belt on 03 VUE FWD V6

Interesting. That is the second time that someone has told me that their retailer quoted them significantly less on a repair than mine. the hourly rate here in St. Louis is around 100.

here was the breakdown:

labor: 650
parts: (timing belt/serpentine belt/air filter/Dexcool/water pump) 300
tax/fees/etc. 50

my parts costs were 36 for the pump (saturn emp cost)
total of 90 for the timing and serp belts, filter and Dexcool for all GM parts from my local parts store.

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