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Old 11-22-2020, 07:56 PM   #1
HellPoolHall
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Default New owner of a 2002 LW300

Hello there. As per the post header, I recently acquired an LW300. Talk about a vehicle that'll give you issues. Bought it for $800. Since then I have replaced starter, MAF, CKS, and throttle body. Next weekend its getting coil packs, plugs, and valve cover gaskets. I've viewed this forum for about 3 weeks now since I bought the car and figured I'd share my experience. This car is for my girlfriend to get to and from work.

Im chasing a random misfire. And according to her it randomly dies and starts back up. One thing I've noticed is regardless of whether or not the sensor is actually bad, it'll throw P0335, P0341, and the no engine speed code (cant remember the code for that). They all check out good. Im using an Innova 5610 scanner and its live data function is proving very beneficial.

A couple things I've noticed that have me a little confused and Im fairly certain that may be fixed when I do the coil packs and plugs. The long term fuel trim on bank 2 fluctuates about 60% more than bank 1. Bank one is usually within 3-4% and Bank 2 jumps + and - up to 10%. The 02 sensors are always within 99.2% on both banks. Another oddity that has me a little confused is differences in intake temps. Earlier tonight while driving got a IAT reading of 54 degrees and it was pretty consistent. Yet you pop the hood and the back side of the intake (cyl 1,3,5) feels cool to the touch. But the front side (cyl 2,4,6) is hot as can be.

I soooo wish I could get this damn thing to die on me while driving. That way I could see the recent live data because the freeze frame data with the codes never show anything significant.

Another thing, while the saturn 3.0 intake is one of the most impressive I've seen, what the hell is that vacuum operated leber for on the back side opposite the throttle body?

Thanks for reading. And any responses I might receive. Ive worked on many brands and models over the years and this is my krypyonite. Lol.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

How many miles ?
Any maintenance records ?
I believe the item you are referring to is the intake runner control.
It diverts the intake flow to either short runners or long runners depending on the amount of throttle given,
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

No maintenance records whatsoever. And of course got theusual "its an older vehicle" talk when I bought it. Things like timing belt, bearings, etc are on the plan list in near future. Just need to get it right. Im basically going in blind with whats in front of me. Its got 160k miles.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

CKS? Is that the cam or crank sensor? CKP in service manuals is the crank sensor. CMP is for cam position sensor. I've never come across any thread here listing P0335 (crank sensor failure). Almost everyone here in these forums have never posted that error code pointing to an intermittent or dead crank sensor. Virtually everyone found theirs dead or intermittent sensor by process of elimination - failure of both spark and injector operation when testing them. Intermittent crank sensor failure is more difficult to test as many fail with a warm engine then operate after engine cool down, repeating when the engine warms up. My L300 did this. I measured sensor resistance when the engine died then again after engine cool down. Resistance should be between 700-1200 ohms, hot or cold. A spark test is difficult on L300s unless starting fluid is handy to determine if spark or fuel is missing. If I had not read of past threads in these forums, describing symptoms, I might have lost my way when my crank sensor decided to drop dead then resurrect itself. Speeding on the highway at 65 mph when the engine dies suddenly is not pleasant to the uninformed. A glance at the dead tach was one hint as I coasted off the nearest exit to a safe area to troubleshoot the problem. When engines die, the battery and oil pressure light turns on. I don't remember these indicators while coasting and trying to get off the highway, avoiding drivers running into me from behind when moving across two lanes to get to the slow lane before determining an exit was near or at least moving off the highway lane.

Replacing the throttle body requires recalibration to the ecm by turning on ignition, engine not started/gas pedal untouched for a minute. After 30 seconds the ecm detects a no start condition and zero pedal movement to enter a programmed throttle calibration. You might hear a quiet buzzing sound as the ecm commands the throttle servo motor into several positions as dual feedback sensors send signals to the ecm during calibration. At the end of this one minute calibration routine, the ecm repositions the throttle to an opening for starting. Cycling ignition off completes this process. A restart should occur with a cold engine idle around 1200-1500 rpm, dropping back to 650 rpm after warming up.

Spark plugs are replaced every 100k miles with stock platinum plugs to last another 100k miles. A fuel pressure test should be performed as well as replacing the fuel filter (every 100k miles). Pressure should be between 39-49 psi after turning on ignition. The fuel pump cycles on for 2-3 seconds then shuts off if the engine isn't started. Pressure should hold for several minutes before it bleeds off.

The intake air temperature sensor isn't in the intake manifold or outboard runners. It's on either the maf sensor or throttle body. As mentioned, that vacuum operated diaphragm under the center intake manifold near the ecm is the intake runner control valve. It's operated by a solenoid commanded by the ecm. The intake air system has short and long air ways; long for normal driving, short for wide open throttle. The ecm determines, via the throttle position sensors when to switch from long to short intake. During wide open throttle, we're supposed to be able to hear the intake sounds being a bit louder when the shorter intake is used. A vacuum must be applied while powering the solenoid with 12v to reveal whether or not its operating. I'm not sure if this valve being stuck in the short intake mode affects engine running.

I'm not familiar with short/long term fuel trims as this shows trending values, not immediate numbers. I tend to ignore fuel trims and diagnose with actual symptoms while troubleshooting/testing things that can be performed with relative ease.

Last edited by fdryer; 11-23-2020 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

I would spray a bit of carb cleaner in and around the intake rubber hoses to see if you can identify a vacuum leak on the hot bank. It sounds to me unmetered air is entering the intake hence the fuel trims are lagging behind and the bank is running hot. These leaks can be difficult to find and some times behave intermittently. When the vacuum is strong (at idle), the engine can miss. When the RPMs are increased enough, the leak is virtually hidden. If you don't feel comfortable spraying an explosive on the intake components, make yourself a DIY smoke machine.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Thanks for the feedback. I have done the ohm test on the sensors. The MAF is actually the 2nd one in 2 weeks. As the first one I bought was reading maxed out at all times. Also used starting fluid to chase vacuum leaks without finding anything (yeah I do things a little excessive/old school).

Another revelation that is odd to me. I drained the tank by popping off the fuel filter and jumping the solonoid. After it was drained by using the cars fuel pump, i put a new filter on, put in 2 gallons with gas cans, then at the pump I could only put in 5 gallons as thats all it would take. Gas station only 1/4 mile from house. When full the fuel guage only reads 3/4. When I drained it, only read a little under 1/2.

I've got a pressure guage for fuel rails. It reads good in the driveway. I bring it with me When I test drive hoping the damn thing will die. Lol. I guess Im just gonna have to devote a day of driving it around until it dies so I can get dead diagnostics.

Either way this weekends maintenance of coil packs, plugs, and valve cover gaskets is occurring. And going to drop gas tank and make sure everything is proper in there.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

If you don't mind, please post numbers, in everyone's interest as this may help others with similar problems. As a member, I try posting pertinent values and if another member has them, comparisons can be made especially idle rpm data.

One example; a member with an L300 was diagnosing his engine problems and was asked to post his numbers. I mentioned having saved baseline and random speed related data. By comparing data, it was determined his maf sensor was faulty. Replacing it fixed his problems. Having baseline data on a good running engine and anticipating future issues when problems occur can be used for comparison purposes. Guessing would be expensive as well as taking it to either a GM dealer or repair shop that most likely can find the problem using similar methods but with possibly more experienced techs working on many EFI systems at higher cost. Diyers cannot approach the experience levels of dealer/repair shop techs. I do the easiest methods to accumulate any data for future reference as a diyer.

I dont measure resistance values if it isn't necessary especially if published values aren't available for comparison. Maf data at idle is easy to capture if a scantool has the ability for logging data or just writing it down. Idle rpm is a good baseline value, mentioned specifically so comparisons of related sensor values logged at idle rpm can be compared to anyone having baseline info like myself. At speed, all sensors will vary their outputs so it's more difficult to capture data at one speed then attempt comparing values with another member that may or may not capture similar speed related data. Other easy tests are posting fuel pressure numbers after turning on ignition, coolant temps either at cold engine startup or after a full warm-up, maf, map, etc. If you haven't noticed, I tend to lean on actual numbers that can be measured like fuel pressures, compression, etc. I try refraining from second guessing that can lead to speculation, a waste of time and effort unless it's a last ditch attempt at throwing parts at a problem. An expensive way to make repairs. I have GM service manuals for accurate info on specs.

The mystery fuel tank gauge readings may be one of several issues; the tank level sensor may be corroded, loose/corroded connections between tank and bcm, and possibly bcm issues. The bcm drives all the gauges and lights (inside and outside) except abs and airbags. Sometimes throwing a fuel additive may help with corrosion on the fuel level sensor. Since gasoline is a solvent, it's already a great fluid for degreasing things but sometimes fuel tanks need a little help, It's something to consider otherwise use the odometer and full tank with your mpg values as a safe guide until the fuel level issue is solved on its own or with further troubleshooting. For now, I'm guessing this isn't a bcm issue yet.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
CKS? Is that the cam or crank sensor? CKP in service manuals is the crank sensor. CMP is for cam position sensor. I've never come across any thread here listing P0335 (crank sensor failure). Almost everyone here in these forums have never posted that error code pointing to an intermittent or dead crank sensor. Virtually everyone found theirs dead or intermittent sensor by process of elimination - failure of both spark and injector operation when testing them. Intermittent crank sensor failure is more difficult to test as many fail with a warm engine then operate after engine cool down, repeating when the engine warms up. My L300 did this. I measured sensor resistance when the engine died then again after engine cool down. Resistance should be between 700-1200 ohms, hot or cold. A spark test is difficult on L300s unless starting fluid is handy to determine if spark or fuel is missing. If I had not read of past threads in these forums, describing symptoms, I might have lost my way when my crank sensor decided to drop dead then resurrect itself. Speeding on the highway at 65 mph when the engine dies suddenly is not pleasant to the uninformed. A glance at the dead tach was one hint as I coasted off the nearest exit to a safe area to troubleshoot the problem. When engines die, the battery and oil pressure light turns on. I don't remember these indicators while coasting and trying to get off the highway, avoiding drivers running into me from behind when moving across two lanes to get to the slow lane before determining an exit was near or at least moving off the highway lane.

Replacing the throttle body requires recalibration to the ecm by turning on ignition, engine not started/gas pedal untouched for a minute. After 30 seconds the ecm detects a no start condition and zero pedal movement to enter a programmed throttle calibration. You might hear a quiet buzzing sound as the ecm commands the throttle servo motor into several positions as dual feedback sensors send signals to the ecm during calibration. At the end of this one minute calibration routine, the ecm repositions the throttle to an opening for starting. Cycling ignition off completes this process. A restart should occur with a cold engine idle around 1200-1500 rpm, dropping back to 650 rpm after warming up.

Spark plugs are replaced every 100k miles with stock platinum plugs to last another 100k miles. A fuel pressure test should be performed as well as replacing the fuel filter (every 100k miles). Pressure should be between 39-49 psi after turning on ignition. The fuel pump cycles on for 2-3 seconds then shuts off if the engine isn't started. Pressure should hold for several minutes before it bleeds off.

The intake air temperature sensor isn't in the intake manifold or outboard runners. It's on either the maf sensor or throttle body. As mentioned, that vacuum operated diaphragm under the center intake manifold near the ecm is the intake runner control valve. It's operated by a solenoid commanded by the ecm. The intake air system has short and long air ways; long for normal driving, short for wide open throttle. The ecm determines, via the throttle position sensors when to switch from long to short intake. During wide open throttle, we're supposed to be able to hear the intake sounds being a bit louder when the shorter intake is used. A vacuum must be applied while powering the solenoid with 12v to reveal whether or not its operating. I'm not sure if this valve being stuck in the short intake mode affects engine running.

I'm not familiar with short/long term fuel trims as this shows trending values, not immediate numbers. I tend to ignore fuel trims and diagnose with actual symptoms while troubleshooting/testing things that can be performed with relative ease.
My understanding is that long term fuel trim is trending. Short term is near real time
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

I am a truck driver, so I won't be back to it until Wednesday.

Baseline number that will stand out. The first new MAF that was bad, was reading 32.5 lb/min at idle and didnt change to any higher until you went over 3000 rpm and the highest I saw was 34 lb/min. This threw off the long term fuel trim to -29% (which I assume is the max the computer will allow) for both banks. The 2nd replacement at idle has a base reading of .65 lb/min and while driving putting it under an acceleration load it will pull over 3-4 lb/min.

I'm hoping/assuming the random misfire is due to the oil leaking from the valve covers causing issues in the spark plug tunnels. Its not necessarily a leak si bad the car is marking its territory every time you park it, but it's definitely noticeable.

The thing that I know for sure is that my issue is on the right (front) side of the motor. With bank 2 fuel trims acting as they are, the intake temp (by touch) being noticeably warmer than any other part of the intake, points to those cylinders.

I do appreciate the feedback. Until I get this right, she is using my durango to get to and from work (78 mile round trip). As obvious, the 3 weeks I've had this car Im not afraid to spend money on parts needing replaced. And I do plan on replacing known to fail parts before they fail (such as a BCM). Of all the vehicles in my current fleet (there are 3 more trucks and I own the 18-wheeler), this has the cleanest undercarriage and if possible Id like to make it reliable for the next 10 years. The trailer hitch to pull a small trailer plus the tow hooks on the front really impressed me.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Here's a partial reprint of baseline data. I high lighted maf sensor data. Note - its 0.43 lb/min.
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File Type: png OBD Wiz report-2.png (39.9 KB, 3 views)
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Ok. I get home and been taking this thing apart. Timing belt was the issue. Thing was almost as loose as my ex wife. Its tore down as far as possible with parts stores being closed to grab parts tomorrow. Pulled intake as Im doing valve cover gaskets as well. Noticed a weight difference in the coil packs by just feel. Was planning on replacing them anyway though. Thing was leaking oil out of valve covers pretty bad.

It appears as if the last person to do a timing belt didnt know how to properly set the idler pulleys for that belt. And the tensioner pulley was maxed out.

Only question I have, looking at that tensioner pulley, it looks as if its supposed to be set to a middle point then tightened. Is that correct? Also, after I get it all back together, I'm betting I'll get proper readings. I'll post photos of what they look like on my scanner. And hopefully that clears up the LTFT on bank 2. Ive hooked to quite a few cars and never seen a LTFT bounce around like that before.

This is a Saturn forum, so unless asked, I wont go into my other projects on hand at the moment as well. Just know Im not your average DIYer. Lol.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

There are threads within these forums with snapshots of timing belt procedures. If I recall, one or two are fixed tensioners and the third one is spring loaded to allow the timing belt some slack similar to the serpentine belt spring loaded tensioner. Hopefully retiming and coil packs fixed this problem.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

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...Just know Im not your average DIYer. Lol.
That's a good thing. Diving into repairs on the L81 V6 requires one to have a sharp mind and good hands. IMHO, working on that engine is not for the faint of heart.

If you'd like to see some repair manual information then I can send you some. Send a private message with an email address.
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Old 11-26-2020, 05:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

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There are threads within these forums with snapshots of timing belt procedures. If I recall, one or two are fixed tensioners and the third one is spring loaded to allow the timing belt some slack similar to the serpentine belt spring loaded tensioner. Hopefully retiming and coil packs fixed this problem.
There are 2 adjustable idlers and a tensioner. I'll search for those threads. As they would be very beneficial. Im pulling spark plugs prior to timing the motor. Makes it 10x easier. Lol
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

With a new timing belt, the tension idler should be set above the max line by a 16th" of inch. New belts may stretch a bit, it is normal to set the marks beyond the given gauge marks. Note: If you loosen the tensioner and you do not have the cams locked into place... the cams can spin to rest because of valve springs off loading. There is "tension" between all pulleys and cams which CAN (not always, but can) spin to rest if the tensioner is not tightened.

You'll need a timing belt tool kit to replace the timing belt which contains the cam locks, crankshaft lock, socket for the crank (to hand spin the engine while setting/testing all timing marks) and timing mark gauges (plastic parts to represent timing mark overlays).

If you hand crank the engine in the clockwise direction and stop at TDC, all timing marks on the cams should align with the cam shield cover timing marks. Don't pay attention if the timing belt has marks, those marks are only true when you install the belt.

If all timing marks spot on and the idler is showing above the gauge (as you identified) and the belt is new or in good condition... I wouldn't change the timing belt.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

I described the two adjustable idlers as fixed as once each one is adjusted to take out slack, they're fixed in place. However the third idler is if I recall correctly, the spring loaded one that's adjusted then fixed in place but still moves similar to drive belt tensioners. Before I replaced my timing belt and water pump for the 100k mile recommended replacement interval, snapshots and service manual drawings didn't provide technical descriptions separating what I call two adjustable fixed idlers containing an eccentric center and one adjustable spring loaded idler providing variable tension once it's fixed in place. GM service manuals leave a lot to be desired when leaving out snapshots and engineering line drawings. Before EFI systems, GM produced excellent service manuals with more illustrations, images and line drawings to help anyone using them. I understand the added complexity of electronics taking up the bulk of service manuals but plain basic drawings without some mechanical descriptions left me wondering until replacing my timing belt. When "the devil is in the details" was coined, the info of the three idlers wasn't described at all.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

I may have went about it an unconventional way. Did not use a cam lock tool. With no plugs in and no compression to fight, the cams will center up on the tipping point of their spring loaded setup. Easy peasy. Found the pics of timing marks. I forget who posted them but much thanks. I set the belt tension expecting it to stretch a little. Never actually had to touch the tensioner pulley. The 2 idler pulleys are offset and can be used to tighten the belt. I found that a 30 mm socket meant for front hub nuts will adjust the position of those 2 idlers quite nicely. Upon doing that I noticed Bank 2 cams were both off 1 tooth. Loosen the 2 idlers, got both cam to jump a tooth with the slack. Tightened everything back down. Turned crank 16 times (overkill is underrated). Everything ligned up as should. Just checking in. Gotta finish putting this thing back together. Then to valve covers and putting it all back together. Should be done by noon tomorrow as Im a daylight only mechanic. Lol.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

The idlers will adjust the timing on a specific cam as does the main tensioner. It's a lot fun, anything you touch will alter timing around the belt. After doing it enough you will learn what and how to do it. Just don't ever try to explain it to anyone. LOL I suspect the authors of tech manuals felt much the same way and just skipped the details and called it done!

As a general rule of thumb, set the TDC with the crankshaft in the exact position. Then, work your way counterclockwise setting each cam one at a time while spinning the engine 360 degree in between each adjustment. At first, it is completely whacked, but you will catch to how it works. Everything adjusts everything else.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Well I must have been lucky. But I did pay attention to how the cams moved as I set the idlers. Lol. In today's chronicles, i broke the water outlet out of motor to top radiator hose. Fun times. $57 for a dorman replacement at O'Reilly. Good news is the camshafts looks good. Doing valve cover gaskets and gonna get as much put back together as possible as the part aint in for a few more hours
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: New owner of a 2002 LW300

Also gotta love indirect injection. Used my endoscope and looked at all the intake valves. Clean as a whistle. A little carbon buildup on the pistons but thats to be expected on a higher mileage engine.

In other news, got half a mind to replace all these damn E bolts with hex head. Damn Opel. Lol.
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