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Old 09-12-2009, 12:29 PM   #1
oldvue
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Default 03 Vue V6 Project Car

I have an 03 Vue with 29K that I got from an auction a while back. I have been laid up with a back injury and have not spent the time getting it on the road. I am now working to complete the project.

My Issue:

The car was hit in the right front and the impact pushed back into the cam gear area slightly (The plastic cover broke) Although there is no impact marks on the cam gear (#4 in the very front) I am paranoid about just using it as-is. I purchased a new gear and went to put it on, but I am gun shy. (I am a former euro car mechanic).

I know that this is an interference motor. What is te best way to replace that cam gear. My concern is that I will have to let the #3 and #4 cams / valve "loose" to remove the gear. Can I safely do this or do I have to remove the intake - pull the valve cover - and secure the cams via the hex marks on the cams? (I was told that there is flats to put a wrench on)

Am I being too paranoid on the gear? There is no signs of it being bent and I had the car running and as the gear rotates, there seems to be an ever so slight wobble, but honestly, it is soo slight it might just be me being a perfectionist. There is no signs of abnormal wear on the belt either.

What do you recommend if it was your car?

Is there a simple way to pull the front cam gear without worring about the valves slamming down into the pistons while the belt is off? (I have a brand new AC Delco timing belt kit & water pump to install as well)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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2005 VUE 3.5L
2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car

First things first ... I have zero practical experience with this engine!

However, I can provide a few service manual extracts to help you along. Most of the files are too large to post on forum but I'll email if you use private message feature to provide an address.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car

Welcome to Saturnfans!

Being a mechanic and familiar with timing, this won't be difficult but not a walk in the park either; the timing is physically locked in place and the crankshaft turned before the timing belt is removed. If you search the threads, either in the Vue or L forums you'll come across pictures of those that did theirs, using either cam locks (the proper tools) or vise grips/wire ties ( ). Either way works as these engines worked afterwards otherwise we'd read about the carnage. I'm presuming yours is the 3.0L V6 shared between the early Vues and L300s until the Honda engine replacement. The minor differences between the two 3.0L engines were the intake manifolds and maybe some other small parts.

I couldn't tell you if the cam gear needs to be replaced as you're in the best position to decide. And not to discourage you but here's a side story; a Vue owner swore a year ago that his a/c system didn't have a leak and took his Vue in to be carefully looked over by an a/c tech that used his high dollar uv blacklight to search for dye marking any leak spot. None was found ( ) and the system was refilled. A year went by and his system leaked out again. I mentioned the leak the first time a year ago and repeated it again this year. He found the leak under the condenser coil with his cheap battery powered uv light in the dark. He never mentioned that he took a hit to the front end; when he proceeded to remove the front end to access the condenser coil for removal/replacement he discovered how far the "slight" hit bent in sheet metal and dented the condenser coil in the corner. He posted pictures. Cam gears would have to take a very large and very fast hit with tremendous force to bend or crack cast iron. Its your call as it can go either way.

And f2g's private mailings would be second to none in providing all the information as if having the manuals in your hands.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car

Thanks for everyone's reply!

I have the cam gear in my hand, new from GM. I prefer to replace it then to be nervous the rest of my time, in long trips.

This being said, I have encountered an epihany since my last post! I realized that you can pull the intake by the 6 screws versus all of the torque screws that I removed prior..feel like an idiot, should have read here first.

I have been able to pull the intake and push it aside. I have also pulled the valve cover and have access to both cams.

Need Advice:

If I line up the timing marks and the crank, lock down the first bank of cams but not the 2nd bank, will the cams, in some spring loaded fashion "whip" down and slam the pistons (due to valve springs)? Now that I see the tappets, its a puck type and its overhead. Wouldnt this mean that the cam gear wouldn't "whip" down? Is the cam retention via visegrip, more of a preventive measure to make belt install and alignment easier? What steps do they take to replace a cam seal? Does anyone have the "guide" for doing that step, that would solve my concern.


I will go and look in the forums for belt installation procedures.

Thanks ever so much for the words and suggestions !!
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car - No spring pressure against camgear!

Update:

Well, I gambled and it was not a problem what so ever. There is NO spring pressure on the cam gears. I did use a vise grip on the first bank and the third cam gear. I swapped out the #1 cam gear with zero issues.

I have stressed on this for a while, so it feels great to get this finally done.


Now I need to read thru the forum on installing the timing belt - (to include water pump and thermostat)

If anyone can recommend a thread for the belt, please let me know. Also, if there is anything else I should do in the area (manifold or timing) whilst it open.


Thanks!

Kevin
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car - No spring pressure against camgear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldvue View Post
Update:

Well, I gambled and it was not a problem what so ever. There is NO spring pressure on the cam gears. I did use a vise grip on the first bank and the third cam gear. I swapped out the #1 cam gear with zero issues.

I have stressed on this for a while, so it feels great to get this finally done.


Now I need to read thru the forum on installing the timing belt - (to include water pump and thermostat)

If anyone can recommend a thread for the belt, please let me know. Also, if there is anything else I should do in the area (manifold or timing) whilst it open.


Thanks!

Kevin
just out of curiousity, you seem to really know your stuff, why would you wanna swap out the timing belt on a car with only 29k miles?
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:04 PM   #7
oldvue
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Default Re: 03 Vue V6 Project Car

The car was collision car I got from an auction. The collision "pushed" into the engine compartment and touched - impacted the cam gear. I wanted to change out the cam gear, for safety sake since its a interference motor.

Since the replacement cycle for these is 100K and I was in there anyways, I wanted to change it out as well as the other tough to access parts while I was in there.

Was it over-kill ? Yea, it might have been. But for a few hundred bucks, I wont have to deal with it for another 100K miles, PLUS I will feel comfortable in sending the wife on a trip in the car.

The sad part is I have had this sitting for a few years... finally getting it on the road.
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