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rockfan0005
03-03-2007, 06:27 PM
Ok, guys here's the deal: About 3 weeks back my car's belt started squeeking; it was faint at first and would go away with a little driving. Now the squeeking is pretty loud and I decided I would order a Gatorback belt thinking the belt was worn. So I did. My real concern however is that my car overheated twice in the past 2 days; so is there a possibility it is more then a belt?

Also when changing the belt I had difficulties rotating the belt tensioner because my 3/8" did not want to fit over it. The image of tensioner belt also seems to be mirror image of the one shown in the following drawing, but everything else is not mirror-image.

http://www.grandamgt.com/mod_images/gatorbelt/tensionpulley-lrg.jpg

Also as far as drivability goes; if the temp guage goes up to 250 but then quickly falls back down to 220 (which has happened both times) is it safe to drive?

Please someone help!

digitalballz
03-03-2007, 06:32 PM
check for coolant leaks. Maybe a water pump leaking on your belt causing it to slip and squeak!

Dave Carney
03-03-2007, 06:33 PM
Also when changing the belt I had difficulties rotating the belt tensioner because my 3/8" did not want to fit over it.

Over it? The ratchet end slips into the square hole on the tensioner. I used a tensioner tool myself but a ratchet should work.

rockfan0005
03-04-2007, 06:47 AM
Over it? The ratchet end slips into the square hole on the tensioner. I used a tensioner tool myself but a ratchet should work.
Hmm; that's weird I guess that I was trying to get at the wrong bolt...weird. Is it like directly below the engine mount?

Does anyone have a picture by chance?

Also if anyone knows about the overheating being a problem or not that would be quite nice to know, asap, thanks for the help guys.

Bouchie11982
03-04-2007, 07:17 AM
hmm my belt squeaks as well and sometimes never goes away......but this usually starts when the weather starts to get cold. is this nearly the same that Rockfan has the same issue with the belt?

Mike Jung
03-04-2007, 09:06 AM
...Also as far as drivability goes; if the temp guage goes up to 250 but then quickly falls back down to 220 (which has happened both times) is it safe to drive?...

...Also if anyone knows about the overheating being a problem or not that would be quite nice to know, asap, thanks for the help guys.
IMO,

NO, it is not safe to drive !
(In-terms of safety of the engine.)

At 250F/121C engine coolant temps: You are starting to cook all the fluids in your engine.
(Example: Motor Oil, ATF, Power Steering Fluid, & if any higher your Engine Coolant)
I hate to see what your Motor Oil & ATF temperatures are.

Anyone see what happens to regular dino motor oil at 250F/121C or higher ?
& your motor oil would be thinning out at those temps.

If you get any higher, you could start melting down/warp stuff in your engine; like your heads.


There is a reason why the high speed engine coolant fans come on at 110C (230F).
The PCM commands Low Speed Fans ON under the following conditions:

The engine coolant temperature exceeds approximately 106C (223F).
The A/C refrigerant pressure exceeds 1310 kPa (190 psi).
The vehicle is shut off when the engine coolant temperature is greater than 140C (284F) and system voltage is more than 12 volts. The fans will stay ON for approximately 3 minutes.


The PCM commands High Speed Fans on under the following conditions:

The engine coolant temperature reaches 110C (230F).
The A/C refrigerant pressure exceeds 1655 kPa (240 psi).
When certain DTCs set.

rockfan0005
03-04-2007, 12:26 PM
Ok, so it's not safe to drive; that's fine.

What do you guys think the problem is with the overheating? Could is simply be caused by the belt? Or is it something more serious like a bad water pump; the reason I think it's the belt is because it has never been a problem until all of the sudden when engine temps started to rise at the exact same time the belt started to squeek.

An actual picture of the belt tensioner that is circled would be great as apparently im retarted and can't find the darn thing.

Thanks, again for the help.

mfuller
03-04-2007, 12:47 PM
The tensioner basically is immediately below your alternator. Use a 3/8" breaker bar to rotat it so you can get the belt off.....the square hole nearest to the pulley, not the big bolt that attaches the tensioner assembly to the engine! Using the breaker bar, push towards the firewall to slip the belt off.
Like someone else said, check for anything leaking on the belt.

digitalballz
03-04-2007, 05:13 PM
Take it to a garage! If you dnt know how the tensioner works than you dont need to be working on your car. Take it to a profesional and have them diag the car.

rockfan0005
03-04-2007, 11:38 PM
Take it to a garage! If you dnt know how the tensioner works than you dont need to be working on your car. Take it to a profesional and have them diag the car.
Yeah, tomorrow I'm going to take it to a garage; though in my own defense I know it works by tightening itself up to take all the slack out of the belt. I was hoping I could change it myself; but that's alright. I

'm just hoping that it's nothing too serious as I don't have much money lying around.

gectek
03-04-2007, 11:52 PM
its prob the slipping belt because there isnt much of a contact patch between the belt and the water pump anyway, so if it is the tensioner spring is bad and making the belt slip, then its a new belt and tensioner, also check the other pulleys and make sure they look ok

rockfan0005
03-05-2007, 12:27 PM
Ok guys so here's the news:
I had coolant leaking into my oil. It's either head gaskets or LIM gaskets that's probably causing the problem. It was leaking so bad that it started to spray and it got onto the belt; and for whatever reason I totally missed this when I went to do my check. They gave me a quote of $1,640. How reasonable is this?

The guy said that they couldn't determine wether it was the head gasket or the LIM gasket without taking it apart. That being said they could replace the LIM gasket for $800, but the thing is that since they couldn't determine whether it was the head or lim gaskets that doing a lim gasket change for $800 would be a 50% chance of success as it may just be a head gasket; in which case it would could me $2400 to fix...so I'm probably going to pay the $1600...

The only thing is; it there a cheaper alternative to this, how unreasonable/reasonable is this price, should I get this looked further into? Would it be cheaper to order the parts online and bring the parts to them?

The cost would break down like this: Labor Parts Subtotal
R/R Head Gaskets (Both Banks) 880.96 399.99 1280.95
01PGAHGS Head Gasket Set 399.99 399.99
Machine Shop Labor 300.00 300.00

Labor: $1180.96
Parts: $399.99
Shop Supply: $24.18
Subtotal: $1605.13

Bouchie11982
03-05-2007, 12:37 PM
sorry to hijack the thread, but im also having a squeay belt issue. but everytime i bring it to the dealership (still under warranty) it doesnt make the noise, so i had them keep it over nice and start it in the morning. nothing....
so could it be my LIM gasket leaking again? this was already repaired last year. the squeaking started last winter, then stopped once spring/summer came around. now it started again but even louder and longer, sometime sit doesnt go away until i shut the car off

DrFabulous
03-05-2007, 12:42 PM
Ok guys so here's the news:
I had coolant leaking into my oil. It's either head gaskets or LIM gaskets that's probably causing the problem. It was leaking so bad that it started to spray and it got onto the belt; and for whatever reason I totally missed this when I went to do my check. They gave me a quote of $1,640. How reasonable is this?

The guy said that they couldn't determine wether it was the head gasket or the LIM gasket without taking it apart. That being said they could replace the LIM gasket for $800, but the thing is that since they couldn't determine whether it was the head or lim gaskets that doing a lim gasket change for $800 would be a 50% chance of success as it may just be a head gasket; in which case it would could me $2400 to fix...so I'm probably going to pay the $1600...

The only thing is; it there a cheaper alternative to this, how unreasonable/reasonable is this price, should I get this looked further into? Would it be cheaper to order the parts online and bring the parts to them?

The cost would break down like this: Labor Parts Subtotal
R/R Head Gaskets (Both Banks) 880.96 399.99 1280.95
01PGAHGS Head Gasket Set 399.99 399.99
Machine Shop Labor 300.00 300.00

Labor: $1180.96
Parts: $399.99
Shop Supply: $24.18
Subtotal: $1605.13

I'd be willing to bet it's the LIM, not the head gaskets. VERY common with these cars.

rockfan0005
03-05-2007, 12:52 PM
I'd be willing to bet it's the LIM, not the head gaskets. VERY common with these cars.
I know that but the problem is it's a complete gamble and the car was overheated 4 times (got right when the overheated light went on I would pull over and let it cool; so it never stayed within the overheated temperature for more then 2-3 minutes), so the heads may be warped/cracked.

DrFabulous
03-05-2007, 01:07 PM
I know that but the problem is it's a complete gamble and the car was overheated 4 times (got right when the overheated light went on I would pull over and let it cool; so it never stayed within the overheated temperature for more then 2-3 minutes), so the heads may be warped/cracked.

Jesus. You should just buy a whole new motor. I know around here I can get a 3400 installed for like $1600.

Sprucegagt
03-05-2007, 01:52 PM
I know that but the problem is it's a complete gamble and the car was overheated 4 times (got right when the overheated light went on I would pull over and let it cool; so it never stayed within the overheated temperature for more then 2-3 minutes), so the heads may be warped/cracked.

Even if the heads were in good shape before overheating the car 4 times. I seriously doubt that they are now. I wouldn't bother with just a LIM gasket change.

gectek
03-05-2007, 02:01 PM
I know that but the problem is it's a complete gamble and the car was overheated 4 times (got right when the overheated light went on I would pull over and let it cool; so it never stayed within the overheated temperature for more then 2-3 minutes), so the heads may be warped/cracked.


easiest way to tell with the LIM or headgasket issue is to either use a coolant pressure pump to pressureize the system and see where it leaks from, and also do a cylinder leakage test, that way you can determine if it is the LIM or the head gaskets, also if you do a compression test, it will show up as lower compression with a blown head gasket. those would be the prelim checks to do before you go out and get one or the other

rockfan0005
03-05-2007, 02:45 PM
DrFabulous-Where would you buy a whole NEW motor for $1600 then be able to get it installed? Or were you refering to picking one up at a junk yard? If I can get a brand new motor for that I would do that in a heartbeat.

Spruce-yeah; i don't imagine they are in good shape. Though the amount of time was so short each time. The first time it was for like 20 seconds in the red zone; the second time it was about 20 again; the third about 2-3 minutes; the fourth about 2 minutes.

One question I had was wtf didn't my stupid low coolant light go on?

gectek-I will keep that in mind and I may do that; I don't know how much each test would cost though; but it it costed less than $100 and it would show it was the LIM or the head gasket that certainly sounds promising.


Ok guys...I'm looking for advise as what to do:

I could go buy a yard that's 8 miles away from me and pick up an engine with 69,000 miles on it from an oldsmobile alero; but the problem is I am taking a gamble there too as it may very well be completly damaged and damage is not able to be seen from the outside; hell just like mine.

I could also go ahead and get the tests done and see if it's just the lim or the gasket and then have them do it (if so does anyone know where I could pick head gaskets/lim gaskets up for less than $400? as im sure that price is not the lowest they come)

Any other options?

Again thanks for the help guys I do really appreciate it; especially because money is very very tight for me at the moment.

gectek
03-05-2007, 02:51 PM
the test equipment can be rented from any auto parts store, you would need a compression tester, a coolant pressure tester, and a cylinder leakage tester. they wont cost u anything really because you get your money back when u take them back. also the best way to test the new engine would be the same way. these tools are very useful and are a good investment if you are looking for some multi-use tools. just my .02

TDRDevelopment
03-05-2007, 03:28 PM
I would try and stay away from the boneyard motors. When they sit for awhile they tend to build up moisture inside, which would normally burned off when an engine runs. I took a chance and got one for my beater GA SE. It only had 50k on it but it sat for god knows how long. It blew up 5k later. Its tempting to grab one of these motors up and put it in, but it will probably be a waste of time and money. Your best off to get a rebuilt motor or a brand new one in the crate from GM. Chances are that your motor is smoked and even if you do replace the gaskets the block and heads are probably warped so bad they will leak terribly. You wouldn't believe the damage that can be cause by overheating the engine just once.

Sprucegagt
03-05-2007, 08:42 PM
Spruce-yeah; i don't imagine they are in good shape. Though the amount of time was so short each time. The first time it was for like 20 seconds in the red zone; the second time it was about 20 again; the third about 2-3 minutes; the fourth about 2 minutes.

One question I had was wtf didn't my stupid low coolant light go on?


The light only comes on when the reservoir is completely dry. Aluminum heads and overheating do not mix. Usually just doing it one time is enough to crack a head or blow a gasket. You kept the temperature either overheated or close to it four times. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a pair of cracked heads on your car. Sorry for the bad news. ;crap

rockfan0005
03-05-2007, 11:07 PM
The light only comes on when the reservoir is completely dry. Aluminum heads and overheating do not mix. Usually just doing it one time is enough to crack a head or blow a gasket. You kept the temperature either overheated or close to it four times. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a pair of cracked heads on your car. Sorry for the bad news. ;crap
Ok, that being said it might be wise to just buy an entirely new motor. Does anyone know the cheapest place to find crate engines or how much they cost?

gectek
03-05-2007, 11:22 PM
cheapest place to get a crate engine, like brand new or rebuilt is not going to be a good thing to look for. quality is #1, not price. i know price plays a key role but you cannot be cheap with this. if you want a used engine, look at car-part.com. also GM has the best crate engines IMO, you can get an 00-02 LA1 for 2260, and an 03 LA1 for about 2800, i dont remember if they have a core or not. also u might look around here and on 60*v6.com and gaoc.com and a few other places, they usually have something. i do have one rebuilder that i would NOT recommend and that is Recon. do not get anything from them, they are terrible. i would just look around at those places and see what you can find.

but you can always assess the damage on your engine before you go out and buy another one. have the heads checked and the block. also the valves. if the engine checks out ok, then you can maybe just shave the heads and use new valves and have the heads done and that would be a minimal investment. also if the block is ok you can find heads on those places i listed also, i just got a set of 3400 heads with about 54k on them for 150 shipped...not too bad

rockfan0005
03-05-2007, 11:34 PM
cheapest place to get a crate engine, like brand new or rebuilt is not going to be a good thing to look for. quality is #1, not price. i know price plays a key role but you cannot be cheap with this. if you want a used engine, look at car-part.com. also GM has the best crate engines IMO, you can get an 00-02 LA1 for 2260, and an 03 LA1 for about 2800, i dont remember if they have a core or not. also u might look around here and on 60*v6.com and gaoc.com and a few other places, they usually have something. i do have one rebuilder that i would NOT recommend and that is Recon. do not get anything from them, they are terrible. i would just look around at those places and see what you can find.

but you can always assess the damage on your engine before you go out and buy another one. have the heads checked and the block. also the valves. if the engine checks out ok, then you can maybe just shave the heads and use new valves and have the heads done and that would be a minimal investment. also if the block is ok you can find heads on those places i listed also, i just got a set of 3400 heads with about 54k on them for 150 shipped...not too bad
Well couldn't I just get myself something like this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ENGINE-ASSEMBLY-2004-GRAND-AM_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33615QQihZ013QQitemZ 230098167084QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
$1300 including shipping, and lets say what a 4 hour install? $1500 put in? That's not bad at all...I mean that way I wouldn't have problems with it in the near future 2 my resale value would go up on my car...doesn't sound like a bad option to me...if it is let me know.

Also yes, I am planning on doing those checks that you mentioned, especially because if I can just narrow down there is no head damage and it's just an intake manifold leak; then I could save myself like $900...

gectek
03-05-2007, 11:47 PM
well having a new engine in your car wont raise the resale of your vehicle. but yah you can look on ebay, the only prob is, you dont know what you are buying until it gets there. obviously it would be best to run the checks i outlined on any engine you get just to make sure it is ok. and its a little more than a 4 hour job, but if you have the right tools and equipment you can get it done in about a day or 2, depending on how much time you have. also if you are looking at any mods internally for the engine, i would def do them while it is out.

rockfan0005
03-06-2007, 05:53 AM
well having a new engine in your car wont raise the resale of your vehicle. but yah you can look on ebay, the only prob is, you dont know what you are buying until it gets there. obviously it would be best to run the checks i outlined on any engine you get just to make sure it is ok. and its a little more than a 4 hour job, but if you have the right tools and equipment you can get it done in about a day or 2, depending on how much time you have. also if you are looking at any mods internally for the engine, i would def do them while it is out.
I'm going to try and have someone give me a ride tonight and do the tests. The engine drop is probably something more then I want to endure, I was talking about 4 hours for a shop to do it....internal mods of the engine is definately where I was going to stop at; but if I have it rebuilt, then I may as well have a new MMS cam/ with new MMS heads; I have a lot of thinking to do about this.

digitalballz
03-07-2007, 07:16 PM
What kind of garage cant tell if its a head gasket or LIM?? But after overheating 4 times I wouldnt do just the LIM either. $1600 doesnt seem too far out of line for a head job.

gectek
03-07-2007, 07:43 PM
What kind of garage cant tell if its a head gasket or LIM?? But after overheating 4 times I wouldnt do just the LIM either. $1600 doesnt seem too far out of line for a head job.

really i dont pay more than $20, but thats another story, well 1600 is alot for a complete head overhaul IMO, shops around here dont charge that much, you can almost buy new heads for that price or a least some very good ported ones from the 60* store

rockfan0005
03-08-2007, 01:44 PM
Alright guys, so I took it for a second opinion; this place told me it was the LIM but with an engine with this many miles on it they didn't want to open up the engine because they thought there could quite possibly be more damage. My #1 option at this point I think would be to buy a new engine. Ok, please tell me your opinion on this but this sounds like a good deal to me.

nordstromsautoinc on ebay has a feedback rating of 99.8% Positive out of 6495...that being said this company is selling many engines (a few with less then 10 miles on them). I don't believe that the ones with less then 10 miles on them would be a gamble would they? I mean 10 miles...and the feedback speaks for itself. The only thing is I called a shop and asked how much it would be for them to drop the new engine in and they quoted me $1200 just for the labor...I'm going to keep calling places but does that sound like a normal price?

Here's the specific one I'm looking at:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ENGINE-ASSEMBLY-2004-GRAND-AM_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33615QQitemZ23010130 3630

If I'm missing something please let me know.

gectek
03-08-2007, 03:08 PM
well no that is not normal...but anyway the book time for complete engine replacement is 9.3 hours, so X $60 an hour(im being conservative) then that is $558, so i dont know where they are getting $1200 from. even at $80 an hour, its only $744.

if you want an engine thats ok, i think i have heard good rumors from them. but if you can do the swap yourself you will save alot of money and learn some also. all u need is to rent a large enough space to work on the car in if you dont have a garage, and just get a cheap engine lift from harbor freight, they are everywhere, or off ebay, then pull it yourself. the entire removal is really straight forward once u learn to remove the hood first. thats just my opinion though. that way you can know the quality of the install and if anything goes wrong you might have an idea what that is.

digitalballz
03-08-2007, 07:46 PM
IMO its not worth doing an engine for a local garage if your not going to make at least a grand in profit. Nothing ever goes smoothly with motor swaps. Dealerships around here get almost a grand to do an LIM gasket. we charge 750 and no one can touch us in the area.

rockfan0005
03-15-2007, 10:11 AM
Yeah, I called around and the cheapest place I could find would do it for $950 + cost of the fluids= $1050...so not too bad; I'm ordering the engine within the next few hours and should have it installed within the next week. Just wanted to give you guys an update.

Ceejj
03-15-2007, 12:55 PM
quick question for everyone.

At about what temperatures do your grand am gt's 3004 V6 run? Mine used to run a little under 200(190ish). Now it moves up to 200, is this an early sign of overheating, or is 200 normal?

gectek
03-15-2007, 01:33 PM
200 is normal if you put a reg t stat back in. if you bled the syst right then you should have no worries about it, but i would also check the t stat housing and make sure there isnt an air bubble in it. but again 200 is normal if you have the stock t stat

Ceejj
03-15-2007, 01:40 PM
how do i check for an air bubble?

gectek
03-15-2007, 01:46 PM
umm well i would say to take the t stat housing off and then put it back on, that usually releases and trapped air, and then fill back from the fill tank with the brass bleeder screw on top of the water pump open. then when coolant flushes out of there, then you should be ok. then start the car and let it run til op temps are reached. then let the car cool a little and uncap the screw again to see if coolant is still coming out, if so then seat the screw and top off the fill tank and you should be ok

rockfan0005
03-26-2007, 12:07 PM
Alright guys one more question for you...with only the minor differences between the 1999-2002 and the 2003-2005 engines besides the alternator bracket needed to be changed...will the PCM need to be reprogrammed? Or will the 2001 work with the 2004 engine? Are there any more things I'm overlooking...the shop should be dropping the new engine as we speak; I just want to make sure it works when it's all finished.

B0000rt
03-26-2007, 12:49 PM
I would try and stay away from the boneyard motors. When they sit for awhile they tend to build up moisture inside, which would normally burned off when an engine runs. I took a chance and got one for my beater GA SE. It only had 50k on it but it sat for god knows how long. It blew up 5k later. Its tempting to grab one of these motors up and put it in, but it will probably be a waste of time and money. Your best off to get a rebuilt motor or a brand new one in the crate from GM. Chances are that your motor is smoked and even if you do replace the gaskets the block and heads are probably warped so bad they will leak terribly. You wouldn't believe the damage that can be cause by overheating the engine just once.

My 3100 was from a junkyard, and 100,000kms later, she's still running. Best $800 I've ever spent (including install) :D

gectek
03-26-2007, 01:42 PM
well u will nee do to a case learn anyway because you are using a new engine, so it will require you to get service programming IIRC...the programming only cost me like $35...not too bad

rockfan0005
03-26-2007, 08:46 PM
well u will nee do to a case learn anyway because you are using a new engine, so it will require you to get service programming IIRC...the programming only cost me like $35...not too bad
Oh, case learn is fine...as long as it's driveable; and I can put off a case learn for a week if necessary until a convenient time.

rockfan0005
04-05-2007, 12:05 AM
One last question for you guys:
They still have the old engine and I'm not sure what I would like to do with it how much money do you think I could get if I took it apart and sold it piece by piece as it has 100,000 miles on it and is damaged? Or should I just junk it? Fast replies are preferred as they will probably just get rid of it if I don't tell them otherwise.

Bouchie11982
04-05-2007, 04:33 AM
im not sure, most peopl ei'v eknown that had blown engine, they parted it on ebay. but none were grand am engines.

Sprucegagt
04-05-2007, 06:13 AM
One last question for you guys:
They still have the old engine and I'm not sure what I would like to do with it how much money do you think I could get if I took it apart and sold it piece by piece as it has 100,000 miles on it and is damaged? Or should I just junk it? Fast replies are preferred as they will probably just get rid of it if I don't tell them otherwise.

It would be easiest to just junk it. Your not going to get much in the way of takers, when its blown and has 100,000 miles on it.

gectek
04-05-2007, 03:48 PM
i think it would be worth the time to rebuild that one. just in case you ever want to do anything else, just go through and have everything checked, honed, planed and such, and go from there. if all else fails and u cant use it then at least u have a better engine to sell