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Old 05-22-2018, 08:06 PM   #1
BobWolf will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Western New York
Posts: 58

2005 VUE 2.2L
2002 SL2
Question Head and block compatibility

Down the rabbit hole I went. Last fall I started a project rebuilding my daughters 2007 Ion 2.2 engine.
I opted to do an inframe rebuild. I’ve done this several times on cars and trucks without an issue. The most important thing is keeping everything clean.
Although it was time consuming all went fairly well until the moment of truth. I fired it up it idles and runs smooth as glass and it drove wonderful…… About six miles into the test drive I heard death knocking from the lower end.
Sure enough I found a low spot on the #1 rod journal. I had a local engine shop tell me to swap in a different engine due to it being almost impossible to get all the metal out of the oil galleries.
I have a 2.2 from another vehicle; sitting side by side with the exception of the heads they look pretty much Identical, smog pump, intake, exhaust, engine mounts, ETC. but it has the single coil pack on it instead of the individual coil on plugs and ths power steering pump omitted.

Are the blocks and internals identical and can I simply switch heads? I know the cam / crank sensors are one is in the head the other is in the block. The head I’m keeping the sensor is on the head.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
Benjamin Franklin.


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Old 05-22-2018, 09:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 42,989

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Head and block compatibility

Presuming either attempting to get attention in six forums or wasn't sure which forum to post, one out of three correct posts seems about right - this one.

Not a gear head so what I know may amount to what can cover the head of pin.

If a real gear head doesn't reply with accurate info that's needed here, my guess is going it the hard way on some things. One is mechanical timing based on the machined teeth on the two crankshafts. In theory, a 2.2L is a 2.2L so mechanical timing should be the same unless bore and stroke were altered to accommodate other mods as the 2.2L evolved. The two crankshafts (in theory) should have the same machined teeth with the exact same gaps and spaces where necessary to presume timing is exactly the same. When mechanical timing is the same then valve timing should be the same and ecm electronic timing for spark should be the same. That's a lot of presumptions without comparing both crankshafts for exactly the same machined teeth in the exact same place. While its easy for armchair quarterbacks to wax poetics, its a little more involved comparing two crankshafts to see if the machined teeth needed for the crank sensor are exactly the same, teeth count and gaps. The gaps and spaces are needed for the crank sensor to detect and generate the timing signals that becomes the electronic clock for the ecm to run. Basically, the machined teeth and spaces tells the crank sensor to generate precise timing signals, geeks describe this as the pulse train when viewed on an oscilloscope) in order to allow the ecm to run. Another issue may be the differences in the ignition system - the (presumably) older engine using the coil pack and ignition control module, the newer engine using individual coils.

This may present another problem - if the individual coils need their own icm per coil or the ecm/pcm does the work. If the individual coils have their own icm and coil in one unit, the question may be are the two ECMs interchangeable or not? I don't know. I can't presume the two ECMs are interchangeable. A GM tech should know or tuner sites that are into Ions and already know this.

Another way to compare timing is with both engine cam covers removed and each engine setup with cylinder-1 at top dead center. The two engines should show the exact same cam positions to indicate mechanical timing remain the same. Anything not exactly seen here would mean timing was altered as part of evolving technical changes GM made, presumably for improvements to the basic 2.2L ecotec. When the mechanical specs are the same, including TDC for the valve train and crankshaft machined teeth count with spaces in the same position, the electronics sees the same crank sensor signals and therefore run the EFI system exactly the same. The ignition system remains in question.

While not exactly what you were looking for, if I were in your shoes and couldn't find the info, paying for access to alldata or Mitchell data for two models may be one way to help answer questions otherwise I'd be checking everything mentioned.

Last edited by fdryer; 05-22-2018 at 09:21 PM..


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Old 05-25-2018, 04:47 AM   #3
awfulbeans is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Austin
Posts: 61

2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Head and block compatibility

Unfortunately, the engines are significantly different between 06 and 07. The engine designation is still L61, but they're different enough that not a whole lot swaps between them aside from maybe the manifolds, rods, and maybe pistons. Different block, different head, different PCM, different sensors, and most importantly, different tooth count on the crank reluctor wheel (58 on the 07+, vs 6+1 on <07). The 06 has the reluctor cast as part of the crank, so you're boned on using that 06 motor unless you have a good crank AND head from an 07-08 L61.

Your donor options are as follows:

2007–2008 Chevrolet Cobalt
2007-2008 Chevrolet HHR
2007–2008 Chevrolet Malibu (Malibu engine may expect to have a power steering pump mounted to the head)
2007–2008 Pontiac Pursuit/G5
2007 Saturn Ion

You could try just slapping a new bearing in and seeing what happens. I've done this when I did a money shift and spun a bearing, and the car ran fine for another 10k (roommate then killed it by driving it with the temp gauge pegged for 15 minutes). Obviously give it an oil change after 500 miles, then another after another 500-1000 miles. Don't really have anything to lose at this point, but with a low spot, I'd try to source another crank. My money shift scored the journal slightly, but didn't give a low spot.

Best of luck on it.

Last edited by awfulbeans; 05-25-2018 at 04:53 AM..


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