3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
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Author Topic: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1  (Read 34804 times)
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Wolfy1969
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« on: December 07, 2010, 03:10:53 PM »

Hey All ~

After spending MUCH time and money with a down Tek (hasn't ran since last May) I have decided I'm going to just replace the heads on mine after having to have 3 helicoils on one head.  This engine has already been apart and back together 2 or 3 times in trying fix what was originally a ticking noise followed by the Dexcool in the oil sludge mess that resulted from either a head gasket or LIM gasket failure.  Because of that, all the fasteners and bolts have been worked free and actually come back apart really easily.  Since I'm going to just replace the heads now, I'm tearing it down again for what I hope will be the last time.  I decided it might be helpful to take tons of pics, and do a write up of sorts to post here to show just how this engine comes apart for anyone who wants to attempt any repairs themselves.  Hopefully, this will become a 'sticky' to be available for anyone who needs it - not only Tek owners, but ANY GM 3.4L V6.  I am NOT a tech nor a mechanic - I've just fooled my Tek into thinking I'm one. Grin I'm just a lunatic who's been turned loose on a Tek with common garage tools consisting of mainly just metric and SAE socket sets in 1/4" and 3/8" versions, some wrenches and a few screwdriver/bit sets as well as the occasional hammer (lol).  

This is going to be a very LONG post with lots of pictures....I am also not really in a huge hurry to get this done, so there may be gaps in between when I add more posts.  
If anyone has any tips or tricks to add to anything I post, feel free to add anything you wish that may help someone.

So, without further adieu, the GM 3.4L V6 Teardown....
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 02:07:32 PM by Aztek-Knight » Logged
Wolfy1969
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 03:23:09 PM »

Start with a stock Tek GM 3.4L V6 from 2001 - Base model, no GT, no Versatrak, no sunroof, no 10 speaker Pioneer stereo, etc. 

Should look something like this:




Right off the bat, I'd like to personally facepalm the idiot who decided to put the battery where it is and facing the way it is.  It is rather difficult to get at the battery terminals, especially with that negative one so near the fender wall:




See all that metal all around there?  Put a ratchet on that terminal and touch ANY of that metal and you'll arc straight to ground causing a direct short to ground.  A spark shower will be the least of your worries if that happens.  I ran across a tool for side terminal batteries that has a ratcheting 5/16" hole in it, and a fully rubberized insulated handle.  Either use something like that, or, I have a spare 1/4" ratchet that I wrapped the handle of in thick electrical tape just for doing something like this. 

Once the Negative was off, I went ahead and disconnected the Positive at the under hood fuse panel.  This is also where my main power feed for my stereo system was connected, so I removed it too, and wrapped both terminals securely in electrical tape:



The Battery Positive terminal is in the middle of the pic, my stereo main power cable is up on the windshield weatherstripping.

So, now electricity is totally disconnected from the engine.
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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 03:44:20 PM »


I started by taking several pics from all different angles of the engine and close up shots of some tricky looking areas or connections in case I couldn't remember how something went back together later on.

The first major goal to hit is getting the air intake plenum off.  The main obstacle to doing that is all the wiring and other miscellaneous crap that's in your way from getting the plenum off.  So, we start there. 

First thing I did after disconnecting the battery was to disconnect the front 3 spark plug wires that I can get to.  Grab the BOOT, NOT the wire, give it a twist in both directions to break the seal on them, then pull them off.  Once all 3 are off, open and take the wires out of the retaining clip on the right side of the plenum if yours is even still there.  A lot of times, these clips are long gone.  I just shoved the wires up under the cowl for now to get them out of the way.

Once those are out of the way, it'll look like this:



The next major area to hit is to get the engine wiring harness that crosses over top of the plenum out the way.  There are two main areas this harness branches off to: the Throttle Body and its various sensors, and the other branch goes back to the Ignition Module. 

So, starting at the Throttle Body, start disconnecting all the connectors there.  Use a small flat blade screwdriver to lift the tabs of the connectors up and then pull the connector off.  You could use different colored markers or tape or some means of marking both sides of the connectors so you know what plugs into what, but as you'll see from the pics of the connectors, they're all different sizes and shapes and can only plug back in where they're supposed to, so it's not really necessary.

Throttle Body Connectors:



The big one on the top is the EGR valve connector, and the long one draped over my thumb hanging down goes to the main air intake hose.
There should be I think 6 total connectors that come undone here.

With just that out of the way, you can now see things starting to open up and less spaghetti all over...



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 03:53:30 PM »

Now, we turn to the connectors at the end of that harness branch.  On the right side of the Ignition Module, there are 2 connectors.  One is part of this harness, the other connects down on the back of the engine somewhere.  They both have to come off, so take them both off now. 

The connector with the green band and the twisted purple/white wires is separate from the harness:



On your way to getting at the remaining connectors, you'll need to get the brake booster vacuum hose off the plenum.  It just slides off its connector, then move it out of the way somewhere:



There are 3 connectors at the end of the harness to get off:



     1.  Small blue one is on the left side of the Ignition Module.
     2.  White 4 connector one is to the O2 sensor on the back of the engine.
     3.  Large connector with Orange band goes to the top of the Alternator.


With those off, you should now have that whole harness free on one end:



Looking less cluttered with every step: Smiley








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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 03:59:05 PM »

Next, I got the PVC Intake hose off the main air intake hose:



It just pulls out - it's stubborn because of the 3 lips on it to secure it, but it will just pull out.  Mine was very loosely connected to the rear valve cover under the Ignition Module, so I was able to pull mine completely out.  I suspect there's something that's supposed to hold the valve cover end more securely that's either in the valve cover, or is missing.  If yours is still attached strongly, just move the hose out of the way for now, and get it out once you have the ignition module out.

The entire hose looks like this:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 04:04:47 PM »

Now, we turn our attention to the Accelerator/Cruise Cable Bracket. 
First, a pic of the area we're looking at:



Now, for the first time since the battery, we start getting our tools back out.

Remove the two bolts on the top of the bracket - the front one is 10mm, back one is 8mm.  No idea why.  Probably to make sure you're awake and paying attention.

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 04:15:07 PM »

Next, remove the Upper Air Intake Hose from the Throttle Body.  Use either a nice hefty flat blade screwdriver or a ratchet and socket to loosen the clamps on either end, and maneuver the hose out of there.  It's tight, but it'll come out:



This needs to get out of the way so you can enjoy this next bit of fun:



See that nut to the left of the Throttle Body Opening?

You don't?  How about now?



Yeah, there it is - the first evil nut you'll run into. 

Stick a 10mm deep well on that bad boy and get him out of there:



View from the front:



All that, just to get this out:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 04:22:44 PM »

Now, turn your attention to the cables. 

The cruise cable is the outer or front most one - the one you can see the easiet.  It has a horseshoe shaped cap on the end of it that slides or snaps off a metal nub:



The accelerator cable is the other one.  It sits in a groove and has a metal keeper on it's end that slides into a hole made for it.  Simply guide the wire out of the groove with your fingers and slip the keeper out of its hole at the end:





Now, you can remove the bracket and the 2 cables attached to it, and position it out of your way:



And now your motor looks like this:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 04:28:03 PM »

Next comes the PVC valve hose.  I meant to take the valve with it, but I see now the valve stayed in the valve cover.  No biggie, I'll get it later. 
The hose attaches at the PVC Valve on the front valve cover, on top of the throttle body, and has a U shaped hose on it's other end at the EVAP Solenoid Valve.  These all just pull off:



Hose by itself looks like this:



Next, pull off the vacuum line going to the fuel pressure regulator:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 05:12:02 PM »

The EVAP Canister Solenoid Valve you just removed that U shaped hose from is next.  I used an 8mm socket with a short extension as I didn't have an 8mm deep well.



That remaining line still connected to this valve has a funky kind of connector that I didn't know how to mess with, and I didn't really need to have it come off, so I just left it on and moved the valve out of the way:



Now turn your attention to the MAP sensor, to the back of the plenum right in front of the Ignition Module/Spark Plug Wires.



It's held on by 2 7mm long screws the heads of which are facing the firewall:



Once those 2 screws are out, use a screwdriver to pry the vacuum line off the plenum connector:



Then, remove the green wire connector:



So you end up with all the pieces like this:



What comes out of the car is this:



Now, go after the MAP sensor's bracket.  To allow easier access for tools, I removed the bolts for the Ignition Module and let it just slide down the back.
First, pull off all the spark plug wires, then use a 10mm socket for the front 2 bolts, and a 13mm deep well on an extension for the back nuts.  You'll be reaching WAY down in back to find those.



With the Ignition Module out of the way, use a 10mm socket to remove the plenum bolt going through the MAP sensor bracket.  Thread the bolt back into the plenum so you don't lose it. 



With the bracket out of the way, turn the Ignition Module sideways and pull it out by the Alternator - it will wiggle out of there:



Ignition Module on the bench.  The coil packs with the cylinder numbers on them are OEM, the middle blank one was an aftermarket replacement one.  Now, you can also see the 2 connectors on the right side and the one on the left side:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 05:22:43 PM »

Now, for some serious fun.....tackling the EGR Valve...I use 'fun' very sarcastically here because it's really not fun at all, lol...Mine was easy this time because it's been loosened recently, and that's a new EGR valve. 
If yours has never been off before, all I can say is, I feel your pain, I've been there, and you're going to invent a few new words, lol....

There's 2 ways to attempt this:  One is to remove the EGR tube coming up from the exhaust manifold, the other is to try to remove the whole valve from the throttle body.  I've done it both ways, and the first is easier by far because there's only 1 bolt to get out instead of 2, and it's much easier to get at than the other 2, so I'll show this method.

Start with a 10mm socket on a short extension, and get on the bolt holding the tube to the valve:



Another angle showing where you're trying to get to:



Once you back the bolt out, use a flat blade screwdriver to pry the tube out of the valve.  I can't even describe what the part is that you're prying against, but if you look at the pic first, you'll understand:



With the tube out, NOW you can see where the bolt went and what you were prying against:



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 05:33:27 PM »

Now, all that's holding the plenum on are it's 6 bolts, and the coolant hoses on the right side under the throttle body.  We'll go there next.

Remove the 13mm nut securing the black metal coolant line to the plenum:



Here's what you're after:



Next, remove the 5 10mm bolts around the plenum body - except for the back left one in front of the Alternator.  That one's special Smiley



The front right bolt may or may not still have the spark plug wire retainer attached to it.

For reasons I do not know, photobucket's rotate feature was not working, so you may have to look sideways at this one:



There is a 13mm nut on the top of that last plenum bolt (stud actually).  Remove it first.



Next, use a 15mm socket to remove the bolt going through the Alternator bracket:



Then, use a 13mm deep well to remove the last plenum bolt.  Threaded back together, the assembly looks like this:

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 05:40:53 PM »

The only thing holding the plenum on now are the two small coolant hoses under the Throttle Body.  Using a screwdriver, socket or pliers depending on the type of clamps on those hoses, remove them, and lift the plenum right off.

Plenum on the bench:



Throttle Body end:



Back side of Throttle Body end showing EGR valve and tube connection - NOW you can see what you couldn't before!!!



Back side of plenum showing Ignition Module bracket mounting holes, brake booster vacuum connection, MAP sensor/fuel regulator vacuum line:



Underside of plenum:



Plenum gaskets still in place:



Plenum gaskets removed:



You are now looking at the fuel rails (2 long silver tube looking things) under which the injectors sit, the fuel injector wire harness, and the infamous lower intake manifold - source of much misery in this engine...


That's all for now....

To get to this point to me about 2 hours give or take and I was stopping to snap pics and write down what I was doing and wasn't in a hurry.
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Aztek-Knight
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 10:46:23 AM »

Holy wow! Great post. Thanks for all the info and photos too - WOW Shocked
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 07:37:28 PM »

Looks like that engine could use a good cleaning.  Wink  Great post!!! Thanks for all the info and pictures.  :bow:
I think I'm going to take off my intake manifold to do a better polishing job.  :wacko:
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Used to own a 2002 Pontiac Aztek, 1SB, FWD, 164,000 miles
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