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Author Topic: 3.4L V6 Teardown Part 2 - The Front End...  (Read 17437 times)
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Wolfy1969
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« on: December 20, 2010, 02:58:02 PM »

Continuing my series on the 3.4L V6 Teardown, we pick up from last time by moving to the front of the engine.  Since these are sideways mounted, this of course would be to the left as you're standing in front of the car.

This is NOT the fun part.  There is VERY little clearance to work - you will be in tight quarters, bent over at the hip for most of it, and a lot of times you'll only be able to use one hand.  You might want to wear something long sleeved as the chances of snagging your arn on something and getting scratched are pretty high.  This is one of those few times were being a southpaw is to my advantage.  As you'll see from the pics, I can still stand facing full front while doing most of this because it's on my left side.  While I assume most of you are right handed, there may be some tricky spots where you might have to come at it from the passenger side fender or do some weird contortions to get to things, but it CAN be done.  If I being a non-mechanic can do it, anyone can.

So, on to the front end teardown..
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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 03:05:53 PM »

The first thing I did was to remove the back 3 spark plug wires now that I can get at them easily.  As before, grab the BOOT, not the wire and twist them each direction to break the seal on them and pull them straight off.  You can do this step anytime you can get at them, I just decided to do it now at this point.

First, the area we're working on:



That little gap between the engine and the fender wall? Yeah, that's where we're going...It's barely wider than the width of my arm (FOREarm at that!):



Close up of the pulleys and belt:



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 03:18:33 PM »

First thing to do is get the Serpentine belt off.  A 3/8" ratchet drive works perfect for this or a breaker bar.  I don't have a breaker bar, so I used a ratchet.  I believe you can buy a tool made just for this purpose, but I'm not a fan of single use tools if I can get away with it.

The belt tensioner has a square 3/8" 'hole' in it - set the ratchet to loosen (turn towards the firewall), and put the ratchet in the hole:



Find a piece of pipe or something to slip over the ratchet handle to extend it so you can reach it and give you leverage:



Push the pipe towards the firewall all the way as far as you can:



While holding this here, you're going to slip the belt off the Alternator pulley here:



Slip the belt off, then you can relax the tensioner and remove the ratchet:



Now, with the ratchet out of the way and belt loose, simply 'unroute' it from all the pulleys and appurtenances on the front end till it's free and you can pull the belt out (sorry, just wanted a reason to use that word, lol):



 
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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 04:00:07 PM »

The next step would be to go after the Alternator, but we have to take a little side trip to get it out because there are 2 bolts on the back side of the Alternator that are too close to the firewall to get a socket on or get at with just about anything, really. 

Here you can see the right one, the other one is behind the Alternator:



We need to tilt the engine forward to get at these two bolts (and anything else on the back side of the engine for that matter).

Start by loosening the dog bone (the center hinge joint) in both front motor mounts using a 13mm and 15mm deep well sockets - push the 13mm on the left away from you, and pull the 15mm on the right towards you.  It's not necessary to remove these bolts, just loosen them up quite a bit:



Next, use a 13mm socket to remove the 4 mounting bolts on the grille:



This is how long they are:



Now, use that same 13mm x 15mm deep well combo to remove the bolt at the engine bracket, and remove the mount from the car:



Right side of left motor mount:



Repeat the procedure for the right side, EXCEPT - note that there's a metal 'tang' at the engine bracket bolt for the right side motor mount.  This tang helps hold the main engine wire harness in place and out of the way of the fans - just pay attention to how it is put on so you can put it back the same way on re-assembly:



Tang close up...(hm...I have an orange craving now...):



When you get the bolt off, just lay the harness out of the way somewhere, and remove the mount.

Now that you have both motor mounts out, the engine may settle a bit when you get that last one out. 

Next, it's time to get the engine tilted....

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2010, 04:15:26 PM »

We're going to end up like this:



Here's how we'll get there:

First and foremost, the Transaxle MUST be in Neutral to rotate the engine.  These cars (and most cars nowdays) have a safety lock that requires you to turn the key to 'ON' and have your foot on the brake before you can shift out of PARK.  This relay is of course powered by electricity, which we disabled in the very first step. 

You can do two things here:  Either reconnect the battery temporarily to be able to put the car in Neutral, then re-disconnect the battery, or, do what I did since I didn't want to re-connect the battery just for a second or two, and my battery was dead anyway.  I used a battery charger and connecting the Negative lead to the Negative battery cable, and the Positive lead to the big bolt at the Underhood Fuse Panel (where the battery connects to anyway).  That gave me just enough juice to turn the key on and shift into Neutral, set the parking brake, and turn it off, and disconnect everything.

In addition, it is highly recommended you block the wheels as well as set the parking brake to make sure the car isn't going to roll on you.

Once this is done, you'll need a ratchet or tie down strap.  The one you see here, I got from Farm and Fleet for all of $8.00 - it's 14' long which is WAY longer than I needed - a little 6' one would've done the job if I could've found one. 

Find somewhere under the front end that's NOT plastic and hook the end furthest from the ratchet under there. 

Hook the other end to the big engine lift hook above where the right motor mount you just took off was:



Then ratchet that sucker forwards as much as you can.  Without the strap, you can only pull the engine so far by hand, but with a strap, you can really move it much farther forward.
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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 04:28:09 PM »

Now we can go after this bolt that we saw earlier:



Only now, there's all kinds of room to get a 15mm socket AND your hand back there to operate it:



The one on the left that you can't see is easier to reach from the left side of the Alternator.

The bolts are two different lengths - the left one is the longer of the two:



With those two bolts out, you can now pull the Alternator out, and use a 13mm socket to remove the bolt holding the B+ battery lead on:



Now, you can fully remove the Alternator from the car (front view):



Right side view (how you see it installed in the car) showing the belt pulley on the left, and the battery lead and harness wire connector on the right:



Left side, or side that's against the firewall that you can't see showing the holes for the two mounting bolts:



Back view showing Battery connection on the left, wire harness connector on top, and mounting bracket holes on the right:





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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 04:47:24 PM »

Next, it's time for the whole Alternator bracket assembly to come off the front of the engine:



First, here's those 2 Alternator bolts threaded back in their holes so you can see where they went:

+

Use a 15mm socket to remove the bolt on top that was under the Alternator:



And now we go back down to the front of the engine.

Use a 15mm socket to remove the bolt holding the belt tensioner on - this bolt goes through the tensioner, the Alternator mounting bracket and the back engine lift hook before going into the block, so it's a long one:



Remove the tensioner from the car:



Backside of tensioner showing the length of the bolt, and the indexing nub used to orient the tensioner when installing it (you'll see how that works when we get the bracket out):



Next, remove 2 15mm bolts holding the Alternator mounting bracket and lift hook plate on.  NOTE: This is a big assembly with a little weight to it, so be prepared once you get those bolts loose.  The mounting bracket, idler pulley and the black lift hook plate that's behind the bracket will all come loose once those bolts are out, so be ready for it.





Remove the bracket and lift hook plate assembly from the car (entire assembly view):



Note the big circle on the left of the bracket is where the belt tensioner mounts - big hole in the center is for its bolt of course, but the smaller hole on the outside ring (at about 4 o'clock in this picture) is where that indexing nub on the back of the tensioner mates to to hold the tensioner in the right orientation.

Engine lift hook plate (usually behind the bracket) laying in the foreground:



Top of the bracket held as installed on the engine showing how the Alternator was mounted:










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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 04:55:11 PM »

Now, remove the 8mm bolt under the Belt Routing Guard (plastic piece with the routing diagram on it) and remove it from the engine:



Here's where that bolt is hiding:



Next, separate the big wire harness that feeds the fuel injectors:



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 05:42:46 PM »

Now comes another non-fun part - the power steering pump.  This can be a bear, but with a few tips I've learned hopefully it won't be as hard as it was the first time around...

First the pump as installed:



It is sandwiched in a cradle of inflexible and unmovable metal, as well as having 2 stiff formed metal lines coming out the back of it that do not lend themselves to easy movement.

There are three bolts holding the pump to the block, and all three of them are in here:



Yeah, there, in those 3 holes...

First tip I can give - take the one closest to you out LAST and here's why: As you loosen the bolts, the pump will shift from the bolts being removed.  This can make it harder to get to the last bolt and if you can't see it, it's even worse.  So, remove the back one, then the bottom one, THEN the one you can see the easiest last simply because you CAN see it.

This pic is showing the socket through the first hole and on the bolt so you can see what we have to do for all 3 bolts:






Socket backed out to see the bolt:



Back on the bolt:



2nd tip is to put your finger in one of the holes and turn it till you can feel the bolt head with your fingertip.  Then get the socket in there.

The bolts are at roughly 8 o'clock for the bottom back one, 5 o'clock for the bottom front one, and about 2 o'clock for the top front one:



Besides using deep well sockets, the last tip I have is this:  These bolts can fall down behind the pulley and become very hard to fish out.  Find a magnet, or I had one of those telescoping magnets for fishing parts out of hard to reach places.  If you hold that against the socket, the socket becomes magnetized, and will thus hang on to the bolt when you get it loose enough to pull out:



TA DA!!



With those 3 bolts out, you can wriggle the pump free and stick it back against the firewall out of your way:



Now you can see where the pump sat:



Nice and in the way of these two bolts holding the Lower Intake Manifold on:



Note - if you have a gasket failure, you might see something that looks just like this - oil or coolant sitting in those pockets.  In this case, I know that's power steering fluid as it was clean when it went back in the first time, and I had a spill of power steering fluid. 
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Aztek*GTP (Brenner)
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I wish I knew what I was doing....


« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 06:24:53 PM »

Not trying to cut in but I'd like to make a note for those whom have never had their intake gaskets replaced before.    As Wolfy1969 has shown with the three power steering pump mount bolts removed the power steering pump will be come more loose and flexable. I recommend at this time to look further down to the power steering lines as you will find a bracket attached to the side of the timing cover that holds the power steering lines in place. This may or may not have been removed depending if yout Tek has had previous work. I note this becuse if it remains in place it makes it more difficult to manipulate the power steering pump to the position you desire.  If removed you can manipulate the pump with the lines remaining attached.  There is no right or wrong, this is just a different way to approach this step.  In your second pic you can see the power steering lines I refer too.
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There's nothing wrong with being cocky, as long as you can back it up.........
Don't give advice unless you know what you are talking about....
My goal is to succeed where others fail.....
If just anybody could do it then I wouldn't have a job...
Sorry about typo's as I work with my hands and do not spend as much time on the PC....
Wolfy1969
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 06:36:28 PM »

Perfectly fine to cut in, Brenner - appreciate the input.  I guess I didn't mention it because mine were out of the bracket so I didn't have to mess with it and thus forgot about it. 
It's a bracket kind of like the ones you can mount on a wall to hold a broom or other tool with a handle on it where you push it in the bracket and it just kind of snaps over the lines holding them in place.  You could use a flat blade screwdriver to pry back the one side of the bracket you can reach and get the lines out of it, then when you put it back together, you just snap the lines back in.  Since you can't get to it, I don't know how you'd remove it unless you get at it from underneath or you do it if you have the whole block pulled out.  I've never seen what holds that bracket on, so I couldn't tell you how to get it off.
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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 06:45:06 PM »

Next, I went for the valve covers, starting with the back one mainly because that's where all my trouble is and I was anxious to see what had happened this time.

4 8mm bolts hold the covers on - 2 on top, 2 on bottom - you'll be feeling around for the bottom ones...use the front cover as a guide to find them since you can see them on that one.
NOTE: The valve cover bolts do NOT come all the way out - they're made to stay with the cover - don't try to pull them out!



Back (left) valve cover with gasket out:



Bolts stay WITH the cover:



It's not necessary to do this unless you're doing a really good cleaning, but a T-20 Star bit removes the 4 screws holding the metal splash shield to the inside of the valve cover:



I did this because this is the valve cover that had the PVC intake hose attached to it but very loosely.  Once I got the splash shield off, I found the rubber grommet inside that was supposed to hold that hose snugly in place:



(Held it too close to the camera, sorry for the out of focus pic)

Grommet back in place:



I went ahead and put the hose back in place to make sure the grommet doesn't get pushed down inside again...I don't want to tear this apart AGAIN just for that!



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 07:21:54 PM »

And now, for my particular area of trouble with this engine, the #1 cylinder rocker arms..



Realize that this is looking down at the back left side of the engine with the camera up by the firewall shooting back towards the front of the car.

Now, obviously, there's a problem with that 2nd rocker arm as it's turned sideways.  However, I know that it wasn't that way when we put it back together a month or so that's something that's happened since then and was not the original problem.

This engine had a helicoil installed on the Exhaust Valve rocker arm for the #3 cylinder (next arm over from the sideways one).  That was done over 4 years ago when I first got the car and that was done by a shop.  When we first took this engine apart last summer, it was discovered that BOTH rocker arm bolts for Cylinder #1 were stripped.
It is also Cylinder 1 that's giving me a P0301 misfire code, and why the engine is rough and stumbling. 
So, I put a helicoil in the Intake of #1 first (the arm that's sideways now).  This one was easy as the old threads actually came out with the bolt - in fact, the old threads looked exactly like a helicoil does!  So it was easy to tap and install that one.  The first one though (Exhaust for #1) wasn't so easy.  First, the very tip of the bolt actually broke off in the hole.  In the process of trying to drill it out, I ended up widening the hole or oblonging it to where a regular helicoil would not work.  So I tracked down a source of oversized helicoils and installed one of those.  The bolts were torqued to spec, but even though the bolts were tight, you could still easily flick the rocker arms up and down with just the tip of your finger.  A few friends suggested maybe there's just no compression there since it's sat so long or that it will build up when the engine is started, so I left it alone and put it back together only to have the same ticking noise and the same codes and same terrible running that it had before. 
At this point, realizing I now have 3 helicoils in a row on that one head, I decided to tear it down one more time and just replace the heads with remanunfactured ones.

Although the first arm is still finger loose, the 2nd one appears that the helicoil failed altogether since the arm is sideways and the bolt is at a strange angle.  There may be a bent push rod under there, too.  I won't know untill I get the LIM off because of the angle that's there, you can't get the rods out until the LIM is off.



So, for now it sits like this until I get the LIM off.

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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 07:29:18 PM »

The front (right) valve cover is more straight forward - remove the 4 8mm bolts holding it on and take it off.  There's one hiding under the left engine mount bracket that's hard to see:



Cover off front head:



Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but since the big ports on the LIM are the air intake, if you were looking down at the top of the motor from above, I believe the order would go like this:

I=Intake
E=Exhaust

        E  I  E  I  I  E

        I  E  I  E  I  E

If that's correct, I have no idea why cylinder #5 is reversed and why it's the only one that is.  If anyone knows, I'd be interested in knowing why...



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Wolfy1969
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 07:34:12 PM »

Wait, that's wrong (I REALLY wish the edit post feature was available!!!)...


It should be:

I E I E E I

I E I E I E
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