timing chain at 133 miles [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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07-25-2012, 07:15 PM
Ok time number ****ing three of trying to do this on my ****ing phone!

Was comming home traveling around 60-65mph went up a steep grade hill about a miles long, wasnt happening so i gave it gas, it shifted but struggled to do it, SES light was flashing, then i heard this loud metal noise, metal on metal.

Got to the crest of the hill, let off the gas, noise died down. Got to light, still had that noise, light turned green it was fighting to go but did and operated fine when i got to 50the mph, put on four ways then limped 2 mins away to home. Popped hood didnt see anything physically broken, but that metalic noise was still there. I moved so i dont have acess to a code reader so i went to auto zone.

Guy came out and told me that ive got some missfires and a maf code. He said the maf code was from the missfires most likely, so focus on new plugs and wires, wouldnt hurt to change the coils as well.

I asked him about the noise and started my car. He looked at it for a little and said he had no idea... another guys came out and listened put his hand on the uim and then said it was the timing chain.

He said its hitting the cover or something inside which means its loose, not broke. He said it wasnt too too bad but still needs fixed.

Obviously im going to change the chain, but if the gears are fine im not gonna mess with thm, as the lx9 will go in around sept/oct. That being said my questions are as follows:

1.) being as how the la1 is an interference engine given what happened what are your thoughts on the health of the other parts ie pistons/valves etc?
2.) How can i test to make sure ive got compression etc -i think i do, no dtcs for it, and it idels fine just that noise and missfiring during acceleration-
3.) Any questions/comments/info welcome.
4.) sound like my chain?
5.) If not what else can it be?

Thanks for the help in advance guys!

07-25-2012, 07:51 PM
well until the chain breaks your rods and pistons should be okay... if it breaks you will most likely crack pistons and bend rods.

07-25-2012, 10:42 PM
Thats what i figured, but i needed opinions from people who would know for sure haha what i plan on doing is tear it down and check the gears, if the gears check out then ill replace just the chain, id go with the 99 chain, but the gears have to go too. Normally id do both, but as i said my budget forbids it, so ive got to make do with what ive got. Hopefully it isnt bad of an install, ill be doing it in my parking spot infront of my apartment. Lol

Need to go and read the how to again, been a while since i did, also going to upgrade plugs and wires and coils, all msd hopefully. I know the stock system is just fine as far as delivering power, but i might as well, the wire/coils are stock so theyve lasted 133k miles so im sure they could be switched out without it being a waste of an effort ya know? :) at least thats what id like to do, if i get extra money then ill go msd, if not then ill check the wires/plugs/coils, i doubt theres anything wrong with them, so i might just keep them, we shall see. Hopefully more will chime in, just glad that its sounding like no major damage has/had occured and its just the chain, thanks for the reply!

07-26-2012, 04:06 PM
I don't think that guy had any idea what he was talking about. You wouldn't hear the timing chain through the UIM for starters. Also there is a lot of room behind the timing cover, and it's highly unlikely that the chain would ever get loose enough to hit it. There is a damper between the chain, but there is not chain tensioner. If it ever got that loose, it would have jumped off the cam gear by now and your engine would be junked. The dumb **** probably thought you had an overhead cam engine and thought he could hear the TC up top by the valve covers. :rolleyes: He probably heard rocker noise.

A flashing SES light means major misfires (misfires that can damage the catalytic converter). If you have a MAF code, then duh there is probably something wrong with the MAF. The computer doesn't typically set MAF codes for problems with other things, and a bad MAF could cause misfires.

First thing I'd do is pull the plugs and check the condition of them. Look for any signs of detonation, anything broken/melted/worn down etc, or any that are excessively black or white. They normally should have a light brown look on the tips. If the plugs or wires have 100k miles or more on them, they should be changed regardless. Don't replace coils unless you are sure one of them is bad. If you haven't changed the fuel filter in the last 30k miles, change it. If the exhaust has more the 100k on it, the stock cat could also be plugged, which can cause loss of power and sometimes misfires. You have to look at the typical and obvious problems first before you start chasing down things like timing chains, as that is a pretty labor intensive fix.

And btw, if you live in an apartment, I'd forget about doing the timing chain. Most apartments don't allow you to do automotive repairs in the parking lot. Especially if they involve draining fluids (they don't want a mess in their parking spaces to clean up)... and taking the front timing cover off requires draining the coolant. And like I said, it's not a fast easy job. Better off taking it to a shop if you end up deciding it needs to be done.

07-27-2012, 10:25 PM
I do appreciate the replies guys, been reading on how to do it via threads/haynes manual, but then it dawned on to me that i dont have the tools to do it :( was thinking all i needed was the 'special tool' to put the gears on/off but, wasnt thinking that i dont have the jack/stands sooooo, a garage is the destintaion im looking at. Im not sure what that really annoying metalic noise is, but i do know its comming from the passenger side, almost like its in between some of the accessories/pullies, which ones i cant tell. He put his hand on the uim and leaned down to listen/feel the movements i guess, i lost all faith when i asked the first guy how intelligent he was with cars, said hes being building race cars since 14, i was like raising the bs flag but thought to myself ok, ill give it to him.

When i started the car for him to listen to the noise he was like 'idk wtf that noise is, couldnt tell ya.'
so yeah, go figure, thats why i keep comming here lol :thumbs
Couldnt have happend when i was going to school/already done with it atleast id know/have help figuring the problem instead of being frustrated due to lack of knowledge haha back to business...

Will check the plugs and wires, and even though the stock ignition system and perfectly capable of producing the fire needed, ill most likely upgrade to msd 8mms. Theyll get switched over to the LX9, so still if anything, a step forward. It has to be something mechanical as it gets louder with acceleration, it increases with rpm and decreses the same way. What could it be? I thought something about the same thing with the chain popping off, but i havnt actually seen first hand the space/chain set to have an idea of what im working with, that being said while checking plugs/replacing wires.... anything i can do to rule out the timing chain scenario? Any thoughts on what that noise could be?

Again thx for the help, looking forward to replies!

07-27-2012, 10:41 PM
You can indeed hear a stretched chain. It is not some loud ass clatter or anything but yes you can hear it. If you take a mechanic's stetoscope and put it as close to the cam sprocket area as you can you can hear it very clearly. I replaced my chain like 2-3 months ago and the sound I was getting was a rattling kind of buzzing sound above 2k rpms's. I personally thought it was hitting the cover to until I removed it and could easily see that it wasn't even close to touching the cover. The sound I was hearing was the slop in the chain that was slapping the damper. The chain was still within stretch limits according to a Haynes book but the damper was hard as a rock and had 1/4" grooves worn in from the chain slapping it.

07-29-2012, 12:05 AM
It's probably a lifter tick you are hearing. That you can hear at the UIM, and it increases with rpm.

07-29-2012, 01:16 AM
He might have a rocker stripped also

07-29-2012, 08:32 AM
If one of his rocker bolts was stripped though it would be making a real racket... a lot more than just a tick... and he'd be having some other major problems with the engine running since he would have a valve not opening.

07-29-2012, 05:39 PM
yeah thats true he really needs to tear it down and "see" whats wrong

07-29-2012, 07:38 PM
Yeah, I agree. Without any other info or "hints" from the engine, that's the only way he's really going to find the problem.

07-30-2012, 01:29 AM
Took the serpintine belt off today, and ran the engine, one of my accessories makes a screathcing noise at first on startup, but once it runs it goes away, bearing i guess? Anywho thats why i took it off so i could isolate noises from the engine, turns out that its indeed not the chain, almost sounds like the rockers were hitting the front valve cover... so i turned the car off and proceeded to do so.

I got the cover off and immediately looked under the valve cover hoping to have found worn metal from it smacking off of it, but i didnt find anything, which quite frankly was suprising. The next thing i did was inspect the rocker arms themselves to see if i could locate any ware on the top of them as i was sure it was hitting ontop. Again no signs of said event.

Started the car again, and watched them operate -wasnt at operating temp btw - for some reason they still kept hitting something, my guess would be the manifold ubove them, that little lip. Shut the car off, and ran my finger under to hopefully feel something... didnt though.

Ran the car again, and just observed. As Aaron said thered be a racket going on, and indeed there is, alot. While watching them, it didnt seem that they were opening all the way or something just wasnt right with how they were moving mechanically. I believe its cyl 2 or 4, seems the 2nd rocker from the left is the one hitting, or sounds like its hitting. Cyl. 2 is also where my missfires are comming from, which would make sense if the valvetrain is to blame, lifter perhaps? The rods were seated where they shouldve been, nothing broken off/cracked.

Thinking something is either mechanically broke where i cant see or i am looking at the problem, just dont realize it. My current theory is that the valve-s- arent opening all the way on the exhaust side, causing exhaust to be kept in with the next cumbustion cycle, causing detonation from the temps, causing my missfires, which is robbing me of power/causing my SES to flash. Did start to check the plugs/wires, until i decided to take the serpt belt off and look, then got side tracked lol.

Anyways i started with plugs 2,4,6, the front three cyl. Looked into the wires, looked ok, no discoloration/tears/jagged metal pieces etc. Now plug 2 was where i was like, yeah.. that aint right. Where the wire "snaps" over the plug at its usually capped off, the end is smoothed over, flat surface, right? Not this one. For some reason the top part is hollow, that flat piece isnt there but instead is replaced by what lookes like threads that extend down about 1/4 of an inch, any ideas on what that could be all about?

After this endeavor i more or less realized that its soon getting out of my hands, the deeper this takes me into my engine, the more and more speacialized the tools will become. I just wish this wouldve happend while i was in school, so i could bring it in for the teacher/other students and myself to diagnose/ fix, or preferably to have already been through the school and have an exceptional knowledge of auto diagnostics and repair. Unfortuantely this isnt the case. :'(

That being said, ive prepared it for towing, when i can afford to do so to a garage, which wont be till sept ... not thrilled about it, quite mad actually. However im sure its something inside the engine and that beeing the case itl be expensive im sure, when i had the lim gasket replaced i was charged 1400 dollars.... so i know that this will prolly be atleast that, and for that price i could do the lx9 swap right then and there, have a lower mileage engine, more power, and be one more major step closer towards the turbo build.

However i know that itl be towed, which means i can atleast tear it down to find what the issue is, if i can keep getting input from you guys -thx again btw! - and it wouldnt really hurt anything IF it turned out that it has to go to a garage anyways. So im game for almost anything, as i said itl be sitting for a while, id be able to do it but my insurance is do in august, ironic huh? Haha so sept is when ill have funding to do so, ideally, things always change tho so we shall see.

Any suggestions guys? Again i really do appreciate everything you guys help with/do, im hoping that when im done with school/during my schooling i can be of some assistance to other with issues, but for now im still a noob! Lol all input/advice is welcome, as always, thx again guys!

07-30-2012, 02:02 AM
So i just went out with flashlight in hand, and got real nice and close like with the rocker arms... then i noticed thatthe bolt that goes straight down through the lim, its litterrly like right next to the 6shop cyl. Intake runner, i can see some of the nice shiney threads almost as though its in halfway...not noraml is it? -im almost 100% sure its a no, but if you arent sure ask right?-

I spotted it through where the pushrod comes through into the rocker arm, figured id mention it, only people that know what it is doing like that are the people that replaced my gasket last year... didnt like them, but they were the only ones who would touch the project..... go figure. This is why i cant wait for the knowledge to be presented so i can fix/build my own things, and keep people from getting ****ed when it comes to repairs and going to an honest, community involved business.... its late and im tired, my mind justt keeps going though so please excuse my ramblings haha looking foward to your responses :). :thumbs:

08-08-2012, 05:42 PM
Took it to a mechanic and he listened to it and at first said it was a rod, but he then said it was a wrist pin..... anythoughts? Its going to cost alot :(

10-20-2012, 06:27 AM
Gentleman, got some updates. Now that ive been in school, got my VA crap sorted out, and have another car-99 3.8 mustang- i can direct my full attention to my GAGT, Beast.

As you guys all know, im having engine noises after i came back from a rescue mission for my fiance', she needed a jump 70 miles away rofl. Took it to a mechanic that my neighbor said knew what he was doing etc, at first he said it was a bent rod... then he said it was a wrist pin....

At school the other day i asked my instructor to listen to the vid i shot with my phone to see what he thought it could be. Plays out in my favor as hes an ASE Certified Tech for gm,mazda,ford and honda i think as well, anywho he said it sounded more like valvetrain noise as it wasnt going as faxt as the piston would be from tdc to bdc, and since the valvetrain spins at half the speed of the crank, it makes sense, plus he said it was too loud to be what was previously thought.

So i started to tear engine down, got the rocker arms and pushrods out, the rods are straight, oil passages arent blocked and there is no evidence of any type of scoring at the ends at all. The rockers arms werent stripped in the head, although mightve been a little loose id imagine as the heat/cool over time but nothing thatd cause what ive got lol took those out cleaned them up etc, again no scoring where the valves meet or the rods, everything seems solid, the rockers move without any type of reluctance and theyre not loose on the pivoting point, again they all appear fine, so i ruled those both out, next is the valves and lifters.

I can see the lifters from under the lim -have the two bolts behind the ps pump holding it in lol- they all appear to be all the way up/not recessed but i cant be sure, and the valves im not sure of either.

Thots/opinions welcome!

10-20-2012, 02:04 PM
Have you pulled the timing chain cover off and inspected the damper? It sounds like the damper is loose or broken, causing a bunch of noise for the knock sensor to pick up retard timing 15 degrees.

10-21-2012, 03:14 PM
Actually no i havnt taken it off, as of yet, i will later im sure, but im not sure thats the problem. It was suggested by auto zone but i trust thier competenceies as much as i can throw them, perhaps even less. Right now im going by what my Instructor has said and what makes sense. As aaron said if that were the case alot would be fd up, as its an interference engine. When i did run it back home that day it seemed to mellow out and drive normalish once up to 60mph... my next step is to check lifters/valves etc, as of now, the pushrods and rocker arms are perfect lol

10-22-2012, 01:56 PM
If the damper breaks, the chain still works and nothing else is damaged. Its happened to a couple people I know.

10-22-2012, 06:46 PM
Hmm, ill have to look into it, possibly couldve happened, guess ill have to see, will go at it again when im done with class tomorrow and see whats what haha. (4:30pm-1:40am) night **** lol will keep you all posted thx for the info/comments so far all!

Mad Scientist
01-26-2013, 07:26 AM
What did this turn out to be?

01-26-2013, 01:21 PM
So what is the verdict? I have read the pages regarding this, and I wonder since all your rods are straight, and rockers in place nice and tight. How about thos camshaft lobes,,,,if you are going long periods of time/miles between changes,,,,it is not uncommon for the lobes to wear down enough to create noise in the valve train.

01-26-2013, 02:31 PM
It's not that common on a engine with a roller valve train for the lobes to wear down much, even with a long time between oil changes. Only if there was an oiling issue and they weren't getting any lubrication at all, and then the lifter would probably still take the brunt of the damage.

Mad Scientist
01-28-2013, 01:34 AM
Where's the OP?

Mad Scientist
02-01-2013, 05:20 AM
What was causing the noise???