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Old 03-01-2022, 11:50 AM   #1
Embersfire
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Post 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

i have had my saturn lw300 about 3 months, i had it in the shop last month because i smelled gas all the time and wanted them to find and fix the leak. the leak turned out to be the fuel pump assembly was cracked and gas was spraying all over the underside of car. Replacement fuel pump assembly $504. labor $400. So with the gas issue fixed was heading to work about two(2) weeks ago and as i got onto the freeway, the gas pedal suddenly went all the way to the floor without resistance, the engine had stopped however everything was still on, the radio never missed a beat. I knew it was the timing belt breaking that had caused this as i have had experienced driving a vehicle when the belt breaks. Had the car towed home and contacted my mechanic, he came over and confirmed it is the timing belt. I ordered a timing belt and water pump kit for 154.97, i paid the mechanic $200. to do the work. After 4 days of the mechanic either not showing up or coming over for less than 30 minutes he decided to come over and start/finish the job while i was at work. when i get home at 2am he is gone but the car is not done. I have since talked to him and he says the heads have to come off and the valves need to be replaced as they are bent because the car still won't start. I think the timing needs to be comfirmed as set correctly before we pull the heads off. When you try to start the car it just whines like the starter is not fully engaged, it is entirely possible the rods are bent but shouldn't the work be double checked before taking apart more of the engine. Any advice would be welcome.
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Old 03-01-2022, 03:26 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

Unfortunately, interference engines tend to self destruct when their timing belt breaks while driving. When objects are in motion (crankshaft, camshafts, valves, pistons), they stay in motion. The timing belt snapping means all the synchronized moving parts suddenly lose synch with each other resulting in valves meeting pistons since all moving parts don't stop immediately. The crankshaft still rotates, connected to pistons still moving up and down. The four camshafts are no longer controlled by a timing belt and free to rotate but every valve spring is fighting with other valve springs trying to find their unsprung position. Each camshaft set of valve springs eventually compromises with the others until halting rotation. This brings valves into position............to meet pistons still moving up and down when they smash into valves. Valve stems are smaller in diameter than connecting rods. Guess which bends first?

Your choice - engine replacement or tearing down this engine to determine extent of damage. Been there done that.
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Old 03-02-2022, 12:33 PM   #3
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

What is the condition of the engine at the present time? Is the frontend engine reassembled? The mechanic would likely leave the frontend of the engine disassembled while trying to start the engine. It would start if it could start and can be ran for a minute test without the serpentine bell components installed. With the front end of the engine exposing the timing belt, it is very easy to check the timing. Rotate the engine clockwise (using a wrench on the crank shaft) until the BANK 1 cam 1 aligns with the plastic timing notch mark, then look at cam 2, cam 3 and cam 4... all marks will be dead on when looking perpendicular over each mark. This is a perfectly timing engine.

If all timing marks are all spot on and the engine spins easily without starting, it is likely the valves are bent which requires the heads to be serviced. Without compression the engine would spin quickly.

It is not uncommon to change the timing belt, tensioner and idlers after a timing bell break and try to start the engine. Sometimes you get lucky. But, the odds are against you.

It sounds like the mechanic did what he could until he couldn't do anymore. Just make sure the timing marks are spot on before you agree to remanufacturing the heads. Nothing wrong with keeping the guy honest.

ps. I am bit confused about the gas smell story. The fuel pump is inside the gas tank so how can it spray gas so you can smell it? Did the mechanic point at a canister under the passenger side rear side area? If so, that is the fuel filter not the fuel pump. To replace the fuel pump, the mechanic would have had to drop the gas tank. Did he do that? You can look under at the gas tank to determine if the tank has been dropped, the bolts and the straps would show signs of work. If the mechanic merely replaced the fuel filter... you have been swindled!

Also, it is odd a mechanic would work on your vehicle at your house. To bring every tool necessary would be difficult and also their liability insurance only covers them while conducting service in their shop. Something isn't right here.
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Old 03-03-2022, 11:51 PM   #4
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

External fuel leaks from the top of the fuel pump cartridge are common on the later L series pumps. I have a couple of the Lís leak from a cracked plastic return port on the cartridge.
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Old 03-06-2022, 04:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rj 2000 LS2 View Post
... ps. I am bit confused about the gas smell story. The fuel pump is inside the gas tank so how can it spray gas so you can smell it?
As was noted in the previous thread reply, the later model L-Series cars had this particular problem. The first year L-Series cars, however, did not. Your car and mine share the same fuel pump which is fully in the tank. The fuel pump has a hose connecting it to a steel fitting which is part of the cover above the pump. From M.Y. 2001 onward the pump was redesigned to fit the new larger fuel tanks. The fittings were incorporated into the fuel pump and were now plastic. With these fittings exposed, and weaker than the M.Y. 2000 set up, they would eventually crack and leak fuel.
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Old 03-13-2022, 05:32 PM   #6
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

[QUOTE=pierrot;2370410]As was noted in the previous thread reply, the later model L-Series cars had this particular problem. The first year L-Series cars, however, did not. Your car and mine share the same fuel pump which is fully in the tank. The fuel pump has a hose connecting it to a steel fitting which is part of the cover above the pump. From M.Y. 2001 onward the pump was redesigned to fit the new larger fuel tanks. The fittings were incorporated into the fuel pump and were now plastic. With these fittings exposed, and weaker than the M.Y. 2000 set up, they would eventually crack and leak fuel.[/QUOTEI

I had the same issue with our 2001 L200 about 4-5 years ago. Fuel smell when car in garage but no visible leaks. External plastic fitting cracked on fuel pump over tank. Car had about 80K on it at the time. I'm a do-it-yourselfer but I let the dealer do this one. Went with the AC Delco fuel pump as it's not much more than the aftermarket and it has a lifetime warranty on the part which as we know is not cheap. Funny part is the dealer called me to say I needed the external fuel lines to the tank and they would need to order them. Thanks to info on the forum, I questioned their diagnosis and suggested they check the top of the pump. Gee, whattaya know, they called back and said I was right. Similar to prior post, I think I paid $800-$900 parts and labor . The pump was around $500 if I recall correctly.
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Old 04-26-2022, 11:29 AM   #7
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2002 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

ok, my fault, i had the gas tank repaired at a shop and the timing belt motor issue i have been dealing with by myself and a mechanic friend. I just got new remanufactured heads 6 days ago from clearwater cylinder heads inc. in Florida. it costs me $365 for each head, free shipping. i actually saw the two half-moons in the cylinder tops from the valves impacting. They were in the tops of all 6 cylinders. So now my issue is that the rubber hose fitting things on the intake manifold all got to be replaced and i cant even really find out the name for them. there are 6 it looks to be 1" small ones and 2 large, looks like 2" ones. my friend says i just have to replace them with radiator hose. it will be done in the next couple hours. i hope it goes well, my biggest problem with doing this was having someone else do it that has no investment in getting it done quickly and correctly. hard lesson to learn this late in life! been working on this about 6 weeks since belt broke, spent 3 weeks waiting on the heads though.
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Old 04-27-2022, 01:00 AM   #8
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 lw300 3.0l v6 timing belt broke, bent valves/rods

I would not use radiator hose, it is not made for fuel contact. A pickup truck filler hose is perfect for the larger intake hoses. You'll have to buy it by the foot from an automatic store, but you only need 2" or so to complete the large connection. They might have gas hose for the smaller intake size as well. Just make sure the rubber is make for fuel contact.

Be certain to align and install the belt correctly or you'll be redoing the heads again.

I stand corrected on the location of the fuel pump. Our Saturn is a 2000 LS2
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