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Old 12-03-2008, 10:04 AM   #1
okubricko
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Default L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

Thanks in advance for any help given.

I did a timing belt and water pump replacement about two weeks ago. When removing the bolts on the harmonic balancer I stripped the tops off one of the inverted torx bolts. I replaced that bolt and the one opposite of it with different bolts since I didn't have any extra inverted torx bolts lying around the garage. I had a vibration in the engine only at low idle and I figured it was from not replacing the damaged bolt with the correct ones. It took about a week to get the bolts from the Saturn dealer.

I got the correct bolts in and replaced them. There was still a shimmy in the engine but it was noticeable better.

Yesterday the SES light came on (solid light, not blinking) so I went to Autozone to have the codes pulled.

P0300 and P0301 came up.

I've been doing some reading on the board and it seems like a lot of things can cause those codes. Vacuum issues, ECM, MAF, but since I just did a timing belt change I am guessing the timing got thrown off.

I'd appreciate any troubleshooting help/ideas before I take it to the dealer and plunk down $85 to put it on the analyzer.

Thanks much in advance.

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Old 12-03-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

I would doubt a timing error would take this long to pop up as much as it would have done so immediately. If you did the timing belt correctly (as timing is either correct or incorrect) the incorrect bolts still wouldn't change things much. The general and cylinder#1 misfire may be from something else altogether and coincidental right after the major repairs. Were the plugs changed also? I'm presuming that the timing belt replacement went at the 100k mile interval and the plugs were changed around the same time. If they weren't changed then this may be all it is. Replace them. Then there's another possibility for the misfiring regardless of the plugs but when removing the intake runners to access the plugs - the flexible couplings, joining the intake runners to the central intake manifold, cracking and leaking resulting in a vacuum leak. Simply testing for a vacuum leak with a spray can of throttle/brake cleaner on the flex couplings while the engine's idling will reveal this quickly as the engine changes speed immediately.

There may be others with better suggestions than mine also.

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Old 12-03-2008, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

Recheck the timing. That is the first step. I'll bet the cam timing is off. Since this happened right after the belt change, this is where you start.

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Old 12-03-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

I changed the plugs around 70k, the car has almost 95k on it now. I knew the belt needed changed around 100k but I began to hear a grinding noise and thought it might be one of the idler pulleys going. Turns out it was the water pump bearing going bad.

If you could take a look at the attached picture I have a question to ask on the timing. The circles represent the cams looking at the engine from the passenger's side.

If cam #1 was off a few degrees would it cause the misfire in cylinder #1? If the positioning of that cam correlates to a cylinder 1 misfire, that could be my problem.

Vacuum issue, there is a small hose on the top of the engine towards the back side. When you remove it, it looks like an upside down U (one leg longer than the other) with black rubber connectors on each end. One end, the shorter leg, goes into a black plastic box and the other end goes onto a post that is lower and to the left of the box if you are looking in the engine compartment from the front to the car. That had a split in one of the boots and I "fixed" it with electrical tape when I did the plugs at 74k. It had been good until the timing belt change and then it was making a hissing sound. I pushed it back into place and the hissing stopped. I thought it had gotten bumped during the repair.

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Old 12-03-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

Better yet, read/scan/wade through the L-series threads as you'll find a member or three with pictures to show the timing! You'll be glad you did. It may be covered in the How-to library also. Just use the Forum Jump. That was a good thing to replace the water pump before it took out the timing belt.

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Old 12-03-2008, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

Either cam(1 or 2) would be able to cause the issue.

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Old 12-03-2008, 10:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

must be the timing. Is it possible you can read the front and rear banks? My timing was off when i did the belt. The front was more lean then the rear and caused random misfires

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

I'll have to pull her apart this weekend and take a look at the timing again. When I did the belt I put two white marks on each cam with a paint marker and two corresponding marks on the timing belt cover housing. I used those as references to make sure the timing was good.

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Old 12-05-2008, 02:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

There are notches on the metal brackets that are behind the timing gears that are the timing marks. If you marked it wit hthe old belt on(sounds like it), it will more than likely be off time. The old belt is stretched, the new is not. This is aggravated by you if the idlers and the tensioner are not set correctly.

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Old 12-05-2008, 10:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

There is a reason that there is a special tool kit for the timing belt replacement on these engines. There is a 2mm tolerance for the cam timing marks.

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Old 12-08-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: L300 v6 P0300/301 after Timing Belt Change

I went back in this Sunday and reset the timing on the L300 and it indeed was off. Put it back at TDC, set all the cams according to the timing marks on and held them in place while setting the tension on the belts.

She idles smoothly with no misses. Thanks for all the help.

One more quick questions, and I should probably do a seach to get the answer, but it there a was to reset the service engine soon light??

Thanks again to all.

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