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Old 02-23-2020, 02:16 AM   #1
CM400T
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Default Timing chain cover

Hello,

Recently I tried to remove the old serpentine belt pulley from my 2002 SL2. You can guess what happened. There is a "collar" that is pressed into the timing chain cover, and it fractured (a previous mechanic probably put the bolt on too tightly). Repairing this is clearly out of the question.

(I have other reliable transportation, so I am not in a hurry here. I literally don't care if this takes 6 months of spare time to get it right. And I have the skills -- I rebuilt my Honda CM400T "from the piston rings outward" years ago.)

The car has about 153,000 miles on it and has had several owners. So "the rust and the dust" is all I have to judge how the car was maintained.

I can still get the timing cover new, thank heavens. I have a few questions however:

(1) I will be doing this with the engine in the vehicle. Should I drain the coolant and remove the water pump?

(2) Do I really need to remove the power steering unit and alternator? And will the water pump gasket work a second time, or should I supplement it with RTV?

(3) What type of RTV should I be using here? Any specific brand? Temperature rating?

(4) I was thinking about replacing the timing chain while I am replacing this cover. GM dealers might still have the Delco tensioner, but not all parts are available from dealer stocks anymore. Would a kit from Cloyes be a good choice?

(5) Will I be able to see the extent of timing chain wear when I take the cover off? (There is no clattering that predicts imminent failure, thank goodness.)

(6) What IS the right GM part number for that cover? Part number 21000910, or something else?

I have the skills to replace both the cover and the chain. Please let me know any tips you might have, thanks!

Last edited by CM400T; 02-23-2020 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

I know everyone is going to say I am nuts - but I would pull the engine.

I don't contort well. My hands are too big. I also don't want to do the job and get so-so results.

It's just one of those jobs that is far easier to do with the engine on a bench - where it's easy access...
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

Check this out, you may find it helpful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAuUa3CkpiY
...
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

A recent post:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=266342

Here is a picture of the timing cover off with the water pump and alternator on.



Note in this picture the o-rings are missing. That is why the cover came off! Was heartbreaking.
...
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

Save time, pull the motor. Especially if it's an automatic transmission.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:23 AM   #6
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Dazed Re: Timing chain cover

It is tempting to use "JB Weld" and stick the "broken peg" on. Then when I attach the pulley, and the bolt gets at least finger-tight, the JB Weld will prevent the broken piece from rotating, until I can tighten it down snug. But with vibrations and heating and cooling cycles, I don't want to trust that repair. I had my plastic stick-shift bushing fail inside the center console on one of my Saturns in a parking lot last July (I replaced the bushings on both cars with the steel part). I don't want any more sudden catastrophic failures.

(Photo is attached, it seemed the easiest way to do it.)

(I found a timing chain cover 21008772 on fleabay, which is the part number stamped on my broken cover. It will arrive next week.)

Waiex191 --

What about the o-rings? Were they in those two cavities on either side of the crankshaft in that lower photo? (my cover is not yet off so I don't know) If they were gone, because of deterioration, then oil lubrication will be affected, right? If mine are deteriorated, will I be able to get new o-rings separately? Will I have to buy an entire engine gasket set?
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:57 AM   #7
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Dazed Re: Timing chain cover

EDIT: Thank $DEITY the manual transmission shifter bushing didn't fail on the freeway, or I would have been stuck in fifth gear, and then if I had to stop in the fast lane in afternoon traffic, I would have been in a really difficult situation.

And the 15-minute limit on editing a post is stupid. I just thought I would mention that.
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

I am sure your old o-rings are fine. I had new ones in my gasket set. The machine shop took out my old ones when they ran my parts through the cleaner. Because I hadn't taken them out personally, I missed putting them back in. No o-rings means no seal to or from the oil pump and no oil pressure.

Edit: yes the two round cavities left and right of the crank is where they go.


...
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Last edited by Waiex191; 02-26-2020 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

CM400T- the Orings are available separate.

Bryan C. I'm impressed with the foto quality, esp depth of field looking down the timing chain.

That is a designated camera, correct? (ie, Not a phone shot)
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

CM400T-

The foto in your post #6:
Is that the Idler pulley mounting bolt??


That engine stand sure looks civilized....
definitely see the video posted by imaddicted....
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
CM400T- the Orings are available separate.

Bryan C. I'm impressed with the foto quality, esp depth of field looking down the timing chain.

That is a designated camera, correct? (ie, Not a phone shot)
Nope, it's a phone camera.
...
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

As a part of my cylinder head repairs last year (2x), I can attest that the front cover R&R with the engine in the car is a PITA.
If I still had the car AND had to do this again, I would PULL THE ENGINE. I removed the "front" motor mount bracket, which was itself a nightmare. Then there's trying to shoehorn the cover back on, with the bead of sealer applied... Then trying to align the oil pump onto the crankshaft. All of it in cramped quarters

Of course, If I had pulled the engine, I would have drilled the pistons, etc., and figured out why the stupid thing was pumping oil into the coolant... despite a complete cylinder head job. Oh well it's sold now.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:19 AM   #13
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Wrench Re: Timing chain cover

Quote:
Is that the Idler pulley mounting bolt??
Yes, it is. The bolt is screwed onto the broken part of the casting. I am attaching a picture of the other part of the casting, still bolted onto the car.

The casting broke pretty much exactly flush with the engine. The broken piece you see screwed onto the bolt in that picture above is pretty much exactly as wide as the bearing.

I don't like doing this repair with the engine still in it, and I'd rather not do this all by myself. But when I hired someone to tow away my Cutlass Ciera and "clean up my mess" and fix it, the professional mechanic was NOT very nice about it. But after Christmas, I have more time than money anyway.

I've done a couple of alternators and water pumps, a gaggle of McPhersons, polyurethane inserts in my "dog bones" on both Saturns, and even an inner tie rod. If I just take my time and proceed cautiously, I think I can do it.

Last week I paid something like $13.99 for a download that purports to be the Saturn "S" series service manual (6.9 Gigabyte .rar file, I can use Linux to unpack that). I have not looked at it yet, let's hope it's the real thing.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

I've had the timing cover off and didn't think it was that bad. Does take a bit of time but way faster than pulling the motor.

A good assortment of different length sockets helps and a good quality ratchet wrench and both in 1/4 and 3/8 drive.

Don't forget the little bolt in the middle under the upper mount.

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Old 03-12-2020, 08:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Timing chain cover

CM400T-

let us know if the downloaded 'manual' seems to be relevant.

There used to be an online dvd which worked for Saab and GM 2000+?- yrs

If you do the job IN vehicle, I think an engine hoist is advisable.

If you do the job, a new timing set - cloyes chain/tensioner/gears - is advisable, and I'd also renew the valve--valve stem seals (at least on the intake valves.

And you might as well clean out the ports in the Head & ExMan which the 'smog pump' (Supplemental Air Injection System) use.
That system needs occasional CLEANING maintenance, else maybe blows carbon thru the catcons….
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