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Old 03-08-2021, 08:01 PM   #41
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

I agree with fdryer. You need to first determine if your are going to replace the headgaskets. Personally, I very much doubt it is needed.
All those other gaskets you are trying to figure out as well as cam timing will be removed/ disturbed as part of the headgasket replacement.
Do you have a clear idea where the headgaskets are ?
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Old 03-08-2021, 08:30 PM   #42
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Here's a reprint from my service manual (edited to show the cast wrench flats). This drawing was found in the section covering removing/replacing a camshaft. I cannot verify this without removing a camshaft cover. You'll know when removing your camshaft cover(s) if necessary to verify cast flats to place a wrench on if you have to manually rotate camshafts.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:16 PM   #43
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Thumbs Up Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Examine your service manuals relative to camshaft timing, cam gear replacement, etc. Somewhere in those chapters should be drawings for each camshaft and the cast flats to place either an open end or adjustable wrench to manually turn each camshaft when necessary. With valve springs in various positions of compression, a camshaft can't be rotated by hand so flats to allow fitting a wrench allows easy camshaft rotation. My guess is a worse case scenario of a camshaft turning maybe 90 degrees out of time (or more) when a cam lock is removed. If a cylinder head is on the engine, this may result in a valve hitting a piston. I've never performed this type of work and only guessing but if I did then I'd satisfy my curiosity of how much each camshaft would rotate if a cam lock was removed. And to ensure little to no rotation, I'd probably make a temporary setup to place a wrench on each camshaft and lock it in place before removing a cam lock. This would minimize camshaft rotation to less than a few degrees, enough to prevent a valve from hitting a piston and to see how much I can move the wrench before valve springs rotate a camshaft. With a cylinder head removed, camshafts can rotate without fear of hitting piston tops but you'd have to know how to reset timing using wrenches and cam lock. It's more difficult to explain than to perform the actual procedure but understanding mechanical concepts along with service manual procedures and knowing what's supposed to take place as well as anticipating anything going wrong and able to correct simple errors goes a long way to being a diyer as capable as a well trained mechanic. With 12 valve springs per cylinder head fighting each other, a camshaft can rotate in either direction. Nothing in manuals state camshafts remain in place if a cam lock is removed so having flats on each camshaft allows anyone to rotate it into correct timing position or if valves are removed for valve seat machining, valve replacement, valve seal replacement, etc. To remove a valve means rotating a camshaft to have all four valves of one cylinder in closed position for the least amount of spring tension before a spring compressor is used to compress each spring to remove the valve spring locks. You'd have to review repair procedures when valves, springs and advanced repairs are needed. If I see any discrepancies between this reply and service manuals, I'll update with correct info otherwise my reply is as correct as my recollection of mechanical principals relate to overhead camshafts.
fdryer,

You know; I never thought of that until you wrote it up and explained regarding the cam shafts rotating after the cam locks are removed.

After reading and re-reading the FSM; my understanding is that it never warns of this. It only warns of the 60 degrees crankshaft rotation while doing the timing belt removal before continuing to a head gasket removal/replacement.

Perhaps this is the reason. Perhaps the 60 degrees counter-clockwise from TDC like the FSM says after removing the cam shaft sprockets. (I believe that the cam shafts cannot be affected at this time when turning the crankshaft counter clock-wise 60 degrees. which is called 60 degrees BTDC. (Closed position of the valve's you are speaking of, perhaps?).

Best Regards,

Brandon
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:20 PM   #44
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Thumbs Up Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrbraner View Post
I agree with fdryer. You need to first determine if your are going to replace the headgaskets. Personally, I very much doubt it is needed.
All those other gaskets you are trying to figure out as well as cam timing will be removed/ disturbed as part of the headgasket replacement.
Do you have a clear idea where the headgaskets are ?
lrbraner,

I sure do have an idea; at the very bottom

I think I have decided at this point to purchase a second Gasket Set and perform the Valve Cover Gaskets + Camshaft Seals + Crankshaft Seal and if the car runs again; I will do a compression test on the Cylinders as fdryer has suggested more than once.

This way, if I do a good job. I can then build the confidence to going the whole mile and earning my stripes on a DIY head gasket on this beastly L81.

Best Regards,

Brandon
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:31 PM   #45
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Thumbs Up Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Here's a reprint from my service manual (edited to show the cast wrench flats). This drawing was found in the section covering removing/replacing a camshaft. I cannot verify this without removing a camshaft cover. You'll know when removing your camshaft cover(s) if necessary to verify cast flats to place a wrench on if you have to manually rotate camshafts.
fdryer,

oh this is great knowledge! So I could literally mark the metal piece with white out or paint after removing cam sprocket #1 and repeat for cam sprocket #2 - #4. After removing the crankshafts #1 - 4 to remove the front and rear cyclinder heads; then I could use the flat to re-align my markings on camshafts # 1 - 4 to have perfect timing at TDC again?

That's a life and death scenario in this case! 100% fdryer!

Best Regards,

Brandon
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:11 PM   #46
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

When is the last time your engine ran ??
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:23 PM   #47
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonKastning View Post
lrbraner,

I sure do have an idea; at the very bottom

I think I have decided at this point to purchase a second Gasket Set and perform the Valve Cover Gaskets + Camshaft Seals + Crankshaft Seal and if the car runs again; I will do a compression test on the Cylinders as fdryer has suggested more than once.

This way, if I do a good job. I can then build the confidence to going the whole mile and earning my stripes on a DIY head gasket on this beastly L81.

Best Regards,

Brandon
Why would you want to do this work twice ?
Your thought process baffles me !
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:36 AM   #48
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

What evidence do you have to determines you need to replace your head gaskets? Is there a symptom... is there foam in your oil? Are you blowing blue clouds out the exhaust? Why do you believe you have to replace the head gaskets??? You certainly didn't get any recommendations from this forum to replace your head gaskets, did you?

When our Saturn was 1 year old back in 2001. We received a recall to replace the head gasket. At least that is what I remember. Do you believe your Saturn is pre-2001?

Why change the head gaskets without a reason. Please provide your reason to change your head gaskets. This is the only question to answer in this thread.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:08 PM   #49
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Thumbs Up Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrbraner View Post
Why would you want to do this work twice ?
Your thought process baffles me !
lrbraner,

The gasket kit is $44. Since I have never done a timing belt change; nor a valve cover gasket change + intake manifold gasket change + camshaft seals + crankshaft seal. I wouldn't need to replace those again; aside from maybe the valve cover gaskets if I do good enough to go against a Head Gasket Change.

I was told by a mechanic who looked at my car long time ago before I started this DIY work that I have a coolant leak. Replacing the water pump, which I already completed and then replacing the thermostat would prevent a coolant leak (to knowledge); if the head gaskets are not due for replacement. (Unless there are other factors that could cause this). As I mentioned before when my engine was running before I started tearing things down for this upgrade; I have excessive exhaust even after the engine warmed up; enough to have both factors (being told about a coolant leak) + my own experience watching the exhaust pump out faulty white smoke and also when the timing belt came around it's rotational cycle; I would hear a very loud "clicking sound"; which caused great concern. As the belt could go at anytime I feel.

I do not know if the thermostat (plan to replace it at the same time as the valve cover gaskets) and the new water pump I already replaced will stop that white smoke (coolant leak).

And now since discussing this; it only makes sense to see how I do with

a) The Valve Cover Gaskets + Intake Manifold Gaskets
b) The Timing Belt Change w/ cam + crank seals

then fire it up and see how things go!

At this point; if things are well. I don't mind spending $44 for another gasket kit and go at it again with more experience.

I would rather get *most* done; which could get me by; rather than nuking my engine due to not knowing what I am doing and then be in over my head; more than I have been.

And if this goes well; I want to do what fdryer says and learn how to test my compression on my cylinders. This way I know for certain. Without knowledge and experience; I have no idea if thermostat + water pump changes could remedy a coolant leak. If so; I could get very lucky and not have to replace the head gaskets to fix *everything* engine related.

The car has many more woes than just the engine. However; the engine is the most important part. I must treat her like a lady!

Thanks for everything and all the concerns; helps rack my brain and I learn a lot!

Best Regards,

Brandon
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Last edited by BrandonKastning; 03-09-2021 at 12:12 PM. Reason: forgot about the timing belt noise
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:11 PM   #50
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L300 (L81/3.0L V6) - Pre-Question for Head Gasket DIY Replacement

If you have no coolant contamination in your oil, you have NO blown head gasket causing coolant leak.

If you had a leak in your water pump, it would progress quickly. They don't leak for long before they empty all the coolant onto the ground.

There are dozens of ways to experience a slow leak in a coolant system. The firewall quick disconnect connectors are notorious for leaks. Other hoses and even the radiator.

A mechanic will describe the worse possible scenario and you are relying on him to diagnose your engine? Some mechanics are a bit greedy. Did he show you any evidence of anything?

From the original video where you ran the engine and it smoked like a forest fire... I told you what needed to be done. Everyone else agreed and here you are making a book style thread with little to NO real usefulness i.e. Symptom, Diagnostics, Repairs (parts, tools and methods). This is simply another Where's Waldo thread that is weak on facts and hugely artificial intelligence. These types of threads in a forum kill a forum's usefulness! The thread has no useful information. It's a bunch of useless BS!~

Let's recap. What have you repaired? Nothing! What are you going to repair? Everything! Why? Because a mechanic told you to. Did you pay him for the diagnostics? Not likely.

We have given you ALL the information necessary to knock out some repairs but all you want to do is talk and ask unreasonable questions based on some irrational diagnostics.

Stop asking redundant stupid questions! Git It Done or bring it to a mechanic!
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