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Old 05-19-2018, 04:57 PM   #1
HiWire
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Default Engine knocking sound

My engine started making a loud knocking sound this morning that seems to go in and out in volume (but never goes away entirely). I checked the oil and it was below the minimum line on the dipstick, so I filled it up (this has never happened before).

Can anyone recommend a Saturn specialist in the Toronto area? I'm a little reluctant to bring it to the local GM dealer as it sounds like this could be a major engine repair (rod/cam bearings + piston rings?).

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Old 05-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Looking in car-part.com (eastern Canada) there are a few DOHC engines,
2000-2002 with <160kMi , for <$600.

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Engine is due for a rebuild. Likely a connecting rod bearing, and likely the #3 cylinder.

www.car-part.com

If you can do the work on your own, these engines can be pulled out the top on cars equipped with automatic.

5-speed cars are a different story. I say they should be pulled out the bottom. Other members state they can still be pulled out the top.

Either way, the engine swap can be done with hand tools(except for the harmonic balancer bolt).

If there are any shops that specialize in Saturn S-Series, they would be independent of GM. GM shutdown all Saturn dealerships in 2010.

I recommend an independent Google search for shops that specialize in the Saturn S-Series.

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Old 05-20-2018, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Either way, the engine swap can be done with hand tools(except for the harmonic balancer bolt).
I think you meant "rebuild," not swap.

If swapping, no need to pull the harmonic balancer bolt.

I've pulled that bolt on two different engines with hand tools - just need to brace the crankshaft pulley and use a breaker bar. On one engine, came off without a fight, but on the first engine, was quite a battle

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Old 05-20-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Thanks for the info, guys. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Harmonic balancer bolt can be done by hand as well.

I've pulled a number of 5spd motors out the top but make it easy and pull motor and trans.

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Old 05-21-2018, 07:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Are you sure that the knocking sound is not coming from the Timing Chain/ and or Timing Chain guides?

Timing Chains and Timing Chain guides have been known to wear down over time. Just saying for what it may be worth. If it's just replacing a Timing Chain, you'll be saving yourself a bunch of money, rather then rebuilding the engine or engine swapping.

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Old 05-21-2018, 08:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I think you meant "rebuild," not swap.

If swapping, no need to pull the harmonic balancer bolt.

I've pulled that bolt on two different engines with hand tools - just need to brace the crankshaft pulley and use a breaker bar. On one engine, came off without a fight, but on the first engine, was quite a battle
I assure you, I meant swap. It took me 14+ hours with hand tools, a cherry picker, a floor jack, and an engine stand to swap my engines.

The balancer should be pulled to allow proper clearance of the timing cover as the balancer will catch on the space frame on the passenger side of the car, IF you leave the transmission bolted into the car.

And yes, I used a chain that was capable of balancing the load of the engine, to tilt it at angles, and I still wound up pulling the balancer on both engines to wedge them in and out of the transmission bell housing.

And let's be mindful of the intake manifold hitting the cowl/firewall, when you lift the engine, as well.

I speak from experience, on this one. The balancer is torqued to 153 lbs-ft at the factory. Anyone stating they can pull them by hand with wedging the flywheel has found an engine that has already had its balancer pulled off once by hand is likely finding an engine that was already serviced for oil pump/timing chain/engine swap/engine rebuild. To take one torqued at the factory off, by hand, would require two people and some very long breaker bars.
Here is the run test, after I finished my work:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ds_jPXrV56g

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Old 05-21-2018, 10:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
I assure you, I meant swap. . .
The balancer should be pulled to allow proper clearance of the timing cover as the balancer will catch on the space frame on the passenger side of the car, IF you leave the transmission bolted into the car.
OK, gotcha. Makes sense.

Quote:
I speak from experience, on this one. The balancer is torqued to 153 lbs-ft at the factory. Anyone stating they can pull them by hand with wedging the flywheel has found an engine that has already had its balancer pulled off once by hand is likely finding an engine that was already serviced for oil pump/timing chain/engine swap/engine rebuild. To take one torqued at the factory off, by hand, would require two people and some very long breaker bars.
Nope, did my two by hand to change the timing chain in car. I would bet money that neither had been removed previously. . . both cars owned by people who couldn't be bothered to check/change the oil, let alone do (or pay for) a timing chain.

I believe it was a 3' long breaker bar, 1/2" drive. It doesn't take much strength to torque a lug nut to 100 ft/lb.

with a 3' breaker, you're multiplying that same effort to about 300 ft/lbs. It took a lot more effort than that

edit: found my old thread (from almost a decade ago!) for the first time I did it, it was a 24" breaker bar. My guess is it was around 300~400 ft/lb to break loose on this one. I almost broke down and brought an air compressor just for this. I need a bigger garage, though

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=140235

...
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:22 AM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Actually the crank pulley, it is not a balancer by design, can be removed by hand with a 24" breaker bar and the special 4' cheater bar. Keep in mind that the washer is a belleville washer and has a front and back side. It can be reinstalled backwards.

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Old 05-21-2018, 07:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Removing the front bumper can get you some extra room when using the aforementioned cheater bar. I have a 4' piece of pipe to slip over the breaker bar just for getting leverage on the crank bolt.

...
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by macbox View Post
Removing the front bumper can get you some extra room when using the aforementioned cheater bar. I have a 4' piece of pipe to slip over the breaker bar just for getting leverage on the crank bolt.
Heating the head of the bolt with an acetylene torch and removing it with an air impact will save you the labor of having to remove the front bumper, which prevents the risk of snapping the welded studs on each side bracket holding the cover its respective fender.

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Old 05-22-2018, 09:53 AM   #13
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Heating that bolt destroys it so where are you going to get another one? You tube and this forum is full of easy methods to remove that crank bolt with no collateral damage so use search or ask and do it the easy way that is not going to make all kinds of additional problems.

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Old 05-22-2018, 12:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Heating that bolt destroys it so where are you going to get another one? You tube and this forum is full of easy methods to remove that crank bolt with no collateral damage so use search or ask and do it the easy way that is not going to make all kinds of additional problems.
Are you aware that my video, with that run test in my 1995 SC2, is with a balancer and crank bolt that was heated with an acetylene torch?

If you know how to properly use a torch, you will not damage that bolt.

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Old 05-22-2018, 12:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

That is a hardened bolt and there is absolutely no reason to use any heat on it to allow removal.

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Old 05-22-2018, 02:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Bumper cover is easy to remove.

I don't think most folks have the equipment to tell if a hardened bolt has been damaged (but not outright destroyed) by heating, until the bolt actually fails.

I think you had something unusual going on with your fender/bumper cover, rust, PO repair/mod, or something. You mentioned having to remove 10mm head bolts in another thread - that's not necessary to remove the bumper cover. the cover slides forward off those bolts.

It's just 3 x 7mm head screws on each side, plus 3 (?) of those black plastic pushpins in the center.

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Old 05-22-2018, 06:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

It turned out to be the connecting rod bearing. The mechanic is sourcing a used 2002 engine and I'll let you guys know how it turns out. Too bad people won't rebuild these engines any more (I understand that it isn't economical), but at least there will be spare parts for someone.

We'll probably replace the radiator, water pump, thermostat and some other stuff while the engine is out.

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Old 05-22-2018, 06:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Too bad people won't rebuild these engines any more
Sure we do!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=230898

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Old 05-22-2018, 09:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
... I don't think most folks have the equipment to tell if a hardened bolt has been damaged (but not outright destroyed) by heating, until the bolt actually fails. ...
Sure you can. If you heat it enough to release the torque it is way over the temperature where the hardening has been removed. The belleville washer is also no longer any good as that is what is enforcing that bolt torque.

Yoy do not heat bolts that are over grade 2 without planning on replacing them.

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Old 05-22-2018, 11:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Engine knocking sound

OP HiWire: In addition to the other parts, radiator hoses and engine mounts are easy to replace during the engine swap process. Backflushing the heater core is also a good idea.

Regarding the crank bolt, other than removing the bumper, I've also gotten them off with an 18v Milwaukee impact wrench. I've never torched one or felt the need to since there isn't the possibility for rust like there is in other parts of the car, such as brakes or suspension.

...
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