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Old 12-16-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
VelvetB
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

I'm the new owner of a 2001 LW300 with 120k miles. I'm changing the timing belt. The previous owner recently changed only the water pump when it went bad. I'm going with the Gates TCK285AP. If anybody needs one this seemed like a good deal at Amazon for $139.53 with free shipping. It comes with the belt, tensioners, 4 camshaft seals and a crankshaft seal. I don't think the seals are leaking yet but considering the work involved getting down there, I don't want to do it again for the seals and then possibily another new belt. I've read a lot of great posts here regarding the timing belt and tensioners but haven't found much of anything including the seals. Obviously I can't lock the cams or crank while doing their seals. Has anybody done all at once? How much will removing the cam and crank gears throw off the timing. Does this absolutely necessitate a timing belt tool kit? Any advice or tips are much appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

I bought the same kit as you, but weenied out on replacing the seals as I was impatient to get the car on the road. I am presently planning to do them next year, and to replace valve stem guides as well. My front seal leaked a bit after replacing the timing belt, but it stopped all by itself.

I bought a $90 timing tool kit on eBay, and am well pleased with it. Search 'timing tool kit' in this forum and you'll find the details. After using the kit and seeing how the cam timing jig aligns the cams compared to the sprocket marks, I don't think it's possible to do a perfect job without it, plus the other tools are so convenient.

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Old 12-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

Thanks for the advice, I got one too after reading your post. I figure on using the "starter bump" method for loosening the crankshaft bolt, assuming I can see it through the pulley. I'm thinking if after that I lock the cams before taking the belt, crank pulley & hub off, nothing should move around that much and even if it does, with the tool kit in hand I'll hopefully be OK.

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Old 12-19-2012, 12:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

The cams are clearly marked as to their (approximately) correct positions. I don't think you have to worry about installing them upside down or whatever.

My Haynes book recommends loosening the crankshaft bolt while the serpentine belt is still in place. I didn't do mine, but think this would work.

Watch out for the orientation of the crankshaft pulley. The bolt holes are not symmetrical, as they appear to be.

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

Agree on the timing belt tool kit. It takes away much of the guess work and makes things go smoother. I did not bother with the oil seals since they were not leaking.

If you decide to replace the oil seals, keep in mind that the single crankshaft E-20 bolt holding the crank gear is torqued down to a whopping 184+ ft/lbs. The starter bump method may or may not be sufficient to break this bad boy loose. If you try the starter bump method, do so with the timing belt still on. Otherwise the pistons will likely hit open valves and cause damage. If the bump starter method is unsuccessful, you will need to bolt up a tool to hold the crank still while trying to loosen the E-20 bolt. At these torque levels, you will need a good impact wrench or a long breaker bar.

Also, the FSM states that the 4 torx head cam gear bolts and the E-20 crank gear bolt are special TTY (Torque To Yield) which means they have been stretched to near their elastic limits. They should be replaced. I have heard of folks reusing old TTY bolts successfully. I have also heard of old TTY bolts snapping while being torque down for the second time that will ruin your day.

If it were me, I would use new bolts. The other option is to not bother replacing the oil seals if they are not leaking.

The AllData or FSM has these torque specs for new TTY bolt installation:
Camshaft Sprocket Bolt: 37ft/lbs + 60 degrees + 15 degrees
Crankshaft Drive Gear Bolt: 184ft/lbs + 45 degrees + 15 degrees

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Old 12-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

Thanks GregS&L.
I'm beginning to understand why no one does the seals. First off, good luck finding the bolts! I thought I was fairly decent at internet searches, but not only couldn't I find the camshaft bolts, I can't even find a part number. I saw one post in a Catera forum saying you have to order the whole camshaft sprocket kit! There's a seller on eBay UK selling the "VAUXHALL OPEL OMEGA VECTRA SAAB CAMSHAFT PULLEY BOLT + WASHER 92MM" for $5 USED!! Damn!
Plus if you do find them, add 2 more tools to your toolbox a Torque Angle Meter and the GM J 42065 Crank Hub Holding Tool. ht tp://i50.tinypic.com/2dwak2f.jpg .
WOW! Anybody seen the bolts online? Why do we even need a stretch bolt on the cam sprockets? Did GM have lots of problems with sprockets jumping off the cams for the last 100 years? Or is it just GM wanting to insure customers "come back & see me sometime"? At least until we abandon you. Has anybody replaced stretch bolts with a high quality Grade 8 bolt and some thread lock? This is my first Saturn, I've been driving Ford. I can't believe we need a Tech 2 to even program a new Keyless Remote. Why? Does it seem to anybody else GM is going out of their way to make it difficult for people who believe that they themselves can screw up a car as good as the dealership?

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

New bolts can be obtained from a GM dealer. Hopefully they are still available. Here is a good GM parts web site: http://parts.nalleygmc.com/
I agree, this V6 motor does have some strange fasteners, among other things.

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Old 12-21-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help with 01 LW300 Timing Belt and Seals

So much for thinking I was good at internet. Must have had low blood sugar or something. Thanks

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