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AZTEK GARAGE (Peer Support) => 3.6L TearDown - by Wolfy1969 => Topic started by: Wolfy1969 on December 07, 2010, 03:10:53 PM



Title: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: Wolfy1969 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. ;D 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....


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0019.jpg)


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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0017.jpg)


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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0018.jpg)

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.


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0019.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0020.jpg)

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...

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0022.jpg)



Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0023.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0025.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0026.jpg)

     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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0028.jpg)

Looking less cluttered with every step: :)

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0029.jpg)








Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 on December 07, 2010, 03:59:05 PM
Next, I got the PVC Intake hose off the main air intake hose:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0030.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0031.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0032.jpg)

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.

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0033-1.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0034.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0035.jpg)

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

You don't?  How about now?

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0036.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0037.jpg)

View from the front:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0038.jpg)

All that, just to get this out:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0039.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0040.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0041.jpg)

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0042.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0043.jpg)

And now your motor looks like this:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0044.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0046.jpg)

Hose by itself looks like this:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0047.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0048.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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.

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0049.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0050.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0051.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0052.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0053.jpg)

Then, remove the green wire connector:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0054.jpg)

So you end up with all the pieces like this:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0055.jpg)

What comes out of the car is this:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0056.jpg)

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.

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0057.jpg)

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. 

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0061.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0062.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0064.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0065.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0066.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0067.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0068.jpg)



Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0069.jpg)

Here's what you're after:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0070.jpg)

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 :)

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0071.jpg)

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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0072.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0074.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0075.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0076.jpg)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 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:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0077.jpg)

Throttle Body end:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0078.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0079.jpg)

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

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0080.jpg)

Underside of plenum:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0081.jpg)

Plenum gaskets still in place:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0082.jpg)

Plenum gaskets removed:

(http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j368/Wolfy3869/Plenum%20Removal/IMG_0083.jpg)

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.


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Aztek-Knight on December 08, 2010, 10:46:23 AM
Holy wow! Great post. Thanks for all the info and photos too - WOW :o


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: RedTek02 on December 08, 2010, 07:37:28 PM
Looks like that engine could use a good cleaning.  ;)  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:


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: alchemist on December 08, 2010, 08:08:08 PM
Just a note on the negative terminal... I'm not aware of any US vehicles that have positive ground anymore, and I know for certain our Aztek's don't so the negative terminal of the battery is actually connected directly to the frame.  Touching the fender wall from that terminal won't hurt anything.  It's the positive side you have to watch out for.

You want a real scary situation, try changing the battery on a Farmall C tractor.  Positive ground, and the battery sits directly under the metal gas tank.  One wrong move there and BOOM!


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: Wolfy1969 on December 08, 2010, 11:31:46 PM
Alchemist is of course correct.  I realized my mistake after reading it a few times.  I didn't see any way to edit a post once it's posted, so I guess there's no way to fix it.

Thanks for the correction.

RedTek - Sure - come on over and clean it for me  ;D  I'm more interested in getting the damn thing running again than how clean it is, LOL...this is a haulin' workhorse, not a show car.  It's not in good enough shape to be that like yours is.  Thanks for the compliments, though.

Aztek-Knight - you're welcome and thanks - maybe make this a sticky so it doesn't get buried? 

I'll be adding more threads on this topic as I do them - next will be tearing down the front (left or belt) end.

Mike


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown
Post by: RedTek02 on December 09, 2010, 11:13:29 AM
come on over and clean it for me  ;D 
I just might.  ;)

not a show car.  It's not in good enough shape to be that like yours is.
Who said my 'Tek was in good enough shape to be a "show car"?  :o


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: TropicsTek on August 31, 2011, 11:31:21 AM
Wolfy, you are THE MAN, I work on machinery all the time at work but I had never replaced head gaskets before. My wife's Tek decided to leak at the LIMG AND around the head bolts. with your detailed descriptions and extensive pictures I got it done!! Great Job!


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: Wolfy1969 on August 31, 2011, 12:48:01 PM
Tropics - Thanks - the fact that it helped someone else made it all worth the effort.  Now, if I can only get my own running again :(

Mike


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: tt29mp on January 03, 2015, 12:03:07 AM
Hello,

I have a 2002 aztek and it blew the headgasket, I wasn't sure about it initially and I spent alot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with it and lots of money on antifreeze and other crap. I was desperate due to my job required me to drive my car daily and it was early november in pennsylvania and freezing cold last year. I'm a pretty good back yard mechanic, but if it wasn't for your complete breakdown on how to accomplish this, I would of never took the chance to do it. My vehicle would overheat sometimes and at other times it would n't. Finally, it would just overheat just about all of the time. I had it checked out and was told that the headgasket was blown. I did the typical stuff hoping that I would not have to have the repair done. I used head gasket repairs, some worked for a little while but most failed after a week or two. I got desperate and bought this head gasket repair goop that cost $60.00 dollars a bottle and really messed things up. I read your post about 10 times, watched a guy do it on youtube and finally took the plunge in the freezing cold!!! It took me two weeks due to doing it at my parents house and only being able to stand working on it for about an hour at a time. Warm up and go out and try it again. It was like having a second job!! Most of the time spent was reviewing your steps and taking things apart, matching nuts and bolts with parts and trying to have hands like a chimpanzee to get into those tight spaces. One of my biggest mistakes was not taking out the radiator. It was hell trying to remove those bolts, I would never do that again!!!!! Take his advice and remove it. Also, I broke the little nipple on the powersteering pump and had to replace that. It was a bear to get that bugger back into the slot for it. Also, I spent alot of time second guessing myself and backtracking at various points. There was a few times that I wanted to run down the street screaming I got so frustrated at times. When I finally got the heads off, I had to clean out all of the gunk from the that expensive head gasket fluid. especially inside the water jacket at the lower intake manifold. use the cheap stuff " the silver or copper stuff" if you have to keep it going till you can take the time to get the job done.  My suggestion is to let an antifreeze bottles worth of coolant out of the system. Put the sealer in the antifreeze bottle and shake it up real good and then put it in the radiator. Don't put anything in the radiator tank. The one thing that drove me nuts was the little metal shims for the header in the back. What a pain in the butt, but I finally got smart and put permatex on them and let them harden together and put the on. getting those bolts back in was hell in the back. Also, the number one spark plug was hell to get out and had to have new threads put in, but the head shop messed that up and when I got it back together, it was saying there was a misfire on that cylinder. Finally figured out how to fix it. There are these thing called "indexing rings" that racers put on spark plug threads so that all of the electrodes are pointing the same way. put one of those in with some permatex red hardening agent. Bang, runs like a brand new vehicle. I have also replaced the heater core in my car. What a pain, but I will let you know that the easy way is to take a box cutter and cut the plastic duct in the back and after you fold yourself in half to remove those nuts under the dash you can take it out without removing all of the stuff between the seats. It is a small space to work in but it can be done. The aztek is a fine vehicle, if you are willing to do the work and get familiar with the vehicle. Don't buy a versatek though unless your rich or own your own tranny shop. Thanks again for you attention to detail on your teardown. But I would suggest that a person start with removing the rear manifold before they start the teardown. I have done the following repairs:   Head gasket, altenator, power steering pump, brake line under the engine, spark plugs and wires, fuel injector replacement, fuel filter, tie rod ends, wheel bearings, brakes: fron and back, heater core, replaced the ignition switch; ask me about that sometime, it was hell until I came across the easy way to do it in about 15 minutes. I have been thinking about buying two more if I can find them at the right price and re-selling them.


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: KingBoss83 on November 01, 2016, 05:25:56 PM
hey wolfy1969...I have a question that i hope you can answer for me on this engine.

in your picture of disconnecting the wire harness connectors...you stated that the green band connector going to the back of the coil pack is not connected to the main harness...WHERE exactly can i find that wire buddy? haha my buddy tore down the engine and replaced the head gasket and etc and now am almost done getting everything back together...but we cannot locate the connector that plugs into the coil pack. we have the left side one connected and the first one on the right side connected but the 2nd one on right side(the one with the green band that isn't connected to main harness) we cannot see anywhere. wondering where on the back of the engine this comes from so we can hopefully trace it back to find it.


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: Bill Salina on November 01, 2016, 05:48:48 PM
KingBoss83

Not sure if Wolfy1969 will see this in time to help you, but this YouTube video might have some info that might help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS1Rzq8XuNw#t=3.211664

Hope that helps!

Bill



Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: Tronman on January 23, 2018, 09:39:05 PM
Great post except for Photobucket, so I can't see any of the pictures :-(


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: jnorten on June 07, 2018, 12:09:31 PM
I read forums often, including this one.  RARELY do I post.  In this case, I had to!

I want to say,

THANK YOU!

I'm not completely done, but after a week of on again / off again work, everything is apart down to the engine block.  I have the Fel Pro gasket kit, I got the absolutely CLEAN cylinder heads back from a local racing engine machine shop ($215 to smooth out the surface that mates with engine block, remove one broken exhaust stud, pressure test valves, and give the whole thing a beautiful bath of some sort.  It looks almost new.

Now, I begin putting it all back together.  This is the first time I've done anything like this.  I do brake jobs, oil changes, and a little suspension work.  But, never, ever something like this.

Your information and photos are the best resource out there. 

Additionally, there are a few YouTube videos.  The GM3400 ones are helpful.  There is a specific one where the engine was in a 'Tek--about 20 minutes long and although it didn't SHOW everything coming apart, the description given by the narrator was excellent.

I sprang $30 for the 12 month AllData online subscription.  It had all diagrams and TORQUE values for everything.  This is worth it as opposed to saving some $$ and maybe or maybe not finding the correct torque values online.

A few other notes:
I read much about exhaust bolts breaking.  As advised, I took my time, lots of PB blaster, patient waiting, and slow and steady torque to loosen them.  I broke NONE.  One was already broken once I took manifold cover off.  Even the mani cover bolts were all ok.  I'm sure had I not read all the advice that I'd have rushed and broken more.

The guy at the engine machine shop was great.  I figured since I was paying him that I could pick his brain.  I did and asked him a ton of questions.  He was very helpful.  He put my mind at ease about things that worried me and gave me a few tips I'd otherwise not have known.

Everything about the gaskets and torques are completely anal. I'm anal, but some of these dire warnings are scary.

I removed the cylinder heads / exhaust mani / exhaust X-over as ONE piece.  I had a friend help me lift it out.  I could have done it one foot on a stool, second foot on the transmission, straddling the front bumper...I even got in the position.  I really wanted a photo.   I was lifting it.  But, my buddy was across the street and it only took 5 minutes (and I helped him clean his gutters after that).  This was probably the safe bet.

Removing this last bit as ONE piece saved having to loosen a few exhaust bolts, and thus less chance to break something.

I think I can put it back like this too.  I did have to remove everything from the cylinders for the machine shop, but the exhaust was able to stay in one piece.

LAST QUESTION-

How to clean up the oil and coolant once it's all back together.  I've read and talked to folks, but everyone has a different opinion.

Here is my plan:
Currently, all coolant is drained.  Oil is NOT.

1.  Fill radiator with water

2.  Add a quart of oil cleaner / break it stuff to engine oil (I think I'm about a quart low now).  The parts store recommended this.  Is it a hoax?.  Supposedly it picks up all the debris and helps flush things out.  Or, is the unnecessary since all of the debris just make it's way to oil filter anyways??

3. Run engine to warm up.  At this point, do I use one of those cooling system flush kits to force stuff backwards through cooling system and out the radiator pressure cap??

4.  Once engine hot (running heater full blast to open thermostat and force a backwards cooling flush) and water runs clear out top of radiator, shut her down.

5.  Proper oil/filter change and fill cooling system with DexCool (yikes).

I was careful with all of the cleaning.  But, really, with oil, coolant, debris from cleaning the engine block...I know stuff got in the coolant and oil openings.  I did my best to clean this out with shop vac and compressed air.

Of course, all of the above assumes she actually starts!!  Does it ever happen that someone spends two weeks on this and then the car never every starts again??!!  I'm so worried that I'll forget some obscure electrical connection in an inaccessible place once it's all reassembled.

Wolfy, I cannot thank you enough!


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: jnorten on June 19, 2018, 05:54:10 AM
Well, two weeks start to finish.

It runs smooth and no leaks!

I was meticulous with reinstalling everything exactly as it came out, right down to the small clips that hold electrical connectors in specific places (like the small clip near the power steering pump and the small clip on the edge of the ignition module bracket.

As I reinstalled everything, I carefully cleaned and degreased stuff.  I got to a point where I felt like it was going to work, and sure enough when I turned the key, it did.

It ran VERY rough at first, and required some gas pedal to no stall.  I figured I'd have to troubleshoot at the least.  The odds of forgetting one hose, connector, or something is very real with the sheer amount of stuff dealt with.

Well, I forgot that when reinstalling the spark plug wires to the ignition coils that I tucked a vacuum hose going to the back of the upper intake up and out of the way--up into the arms for the windshield wipers.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Once I reinstalled that vacuum line, then it ran GREAT!  It sounds new, really.  Mostly, it is.  I spent $200 to have a machine shop specializing in racing engines clean and pressure test the cylinder heads.  The heads looked great he said.  In fact, the engine as I dismantled really looked pretty good.  He didn't have to do much serious work, only a really good cleaning.  To me, this was money well spent.

All in, including the machine shop was $525.  This was compared to about $2000 that local GM dealers wanted.  I'm not a mechanic, but there is NO WAY that a GM dealer--no disrespect intended--would have so carefully cleaned stuff.  I had toothbrush and degreaser out for bolts.  I was careful to not break exhaust bolts, etc.  (lots of PB blaster, waiting, etc.)

I'm surprised at how clean things really were.

I flushed oil and cooling as I planned...after about three flushes of cooling, mainly water was coming out.  So, I let it run onto driveway (seriously it was mostly water).  The first several flushes I collected about 4 gallons total of coolant, which a local established mechanic shop kindly took for disposal.  The first draining was terrible--sooooo much stuff.  I looked at the residue closely.  I felt good since it was mostly scaly, rusty, deposits.  I found very few metal chips when I looked in the bottom of the bucket.  The small sand grain sized particles I could crush in my hand--rust.  In one bucket, I did locate two small metal flakes--probably stuff from cleaning the engine block a little more aggressively than I should have???  Who knows.

So, reflecting, would I do it again?  Yes.  Not any time soon though.  In a few years, if my Saturn goes out, and if the gaskets are a little more accessible than in the 'Tek, then I'll certainly give it a go.  I had two weeks solid to work on it.  Probably me the intermediate mechanic could have done it in one week.  I spent almost one week only on the cleaning stuff!  Most working folks don't have that kind of time.  That said, with patience (tough for me), this could DEFINITELY be done in an on again, off again, weekends as available manner!

Part storage tip--I folded the 'Tek rear seats forward and neatly stored and labeled everything in the rear cargo area.  It was just enough space to store everything--no extra garage space needed.

A few loose ends:
The initially forgotten vacuum hose caused misfires and stuff.  So the service engine soon light (not check engine light) is on.  I had parts store scan, and a few codes return (misfires, system lean, and a few sensors returning weird voltages).  Of course, the store immediately says "O2 sensor".  I've done a lot of readings...it could be O2.  But, it could be a host of things causing the system to run lean....

It could be a wire connection, a leak in an otherwise properly installed hose, who knows!!??  This is frustrating because it's hard to track down, and the car runs GREAT.   The parts store cleared the codes....but it came back immediately....



Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: Tronman on June 19, 2018, 11:25:36 PM
That's great news, congratulations!  Glad you got it running great again :-)


Title: Re: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 1
Post by: NotAztek on August 10, 2018, 09:42:17 AM
This is an incredible resource. The photos are very helpful for my Buick Rendezvous - same engine and same pain!

These are very good cars with a few quirks. . .