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Old 04-11-2006, 08:32 PM   #1
angrysk8r
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LIM gasket change walkthrough

NOTE: I just posted the LIM and head gasket change in the how to section. It has a more complete and refined list of steps from the original LIM gasket change thead (this thread). I've also added a picture and url compilation along with a common problems FAQ. The new updated thread is posted LIM and Head Gasket Change Walkthrough/FAQ.


I've compiled this walkthrough for the 3400, and took some pictures that hopefully will help anyone else who will be doing this.

First off before you can start your LIM gasket change, you need a complete list of parts/tools that you're going to have to pick up. All together, since I didn’t have some of the required tools (such as the proper torque wrench), it cost me ~$300. Here’s what you should need:

What’s Necessary:
-Several buckets to drain radiator coolant/store old fluids
-Oil drain pan
-Acetone/paint thinner (To clean off old gasket material)
-Razor blades (To clean off old gasket material)
-About 6 liters of Dexcool antifreeze (Premixed) or ~3 liters unmixed (Assuming 50-50 mix of water to antifreeze)
-5 liters oil (4.5 needed for a refill but have some extra to pre-lubricate the pushrods/rockers)
-New thermostat w/ new thermostat o-ring
-12 fuel injector o-rings (Only if you plan to remove/clean the injectors and fuel rail)
-Thread Sealant
-RTV sealant
-LIM gasket kit (Contains both upper and lower intake gaskets)
-Throttle body gasket
-EGR gasket
-Valve cover gaskets
-A torque wrench reading inch pounds (not foot pounds)
-A good set of wrenches, ratchets, sockets, screwdrivers, and pliers
-Ratchet extensions
-U-joint for a ratchet
-New hose clamps to replace the old ones
-Oil filter wrench
-A special bar with a square end (used for rotating the tensioned pulley so you can remove the serpentine belt)

What’s not necessary but should be considered:
-Jack
-Jack stands
-Mechanics gloves
-Magnetic tray to store bolts
-Sharpie and labels/tape to label hoses/electrical connections
-Magnetic bolt retriever (Incase you drop a couple bolts/tools)
-A Haynes manual (Just incase you are confused about something and need more clarification)

Overall note: To remove coolant hoses, you must first remove the old hose clamp with a pair of pliers. It may take some force to remove the old coolant hoses for some parts of the LIM gasket change, so you may need to insert a small screwdriver in between the coolant hose and the metal pipe that is holding on to the hose to free it. If any of the coolant hoses are cracked or otherwise worn out you should replace them. It’s better to do it when you’re doing this then having to change them later and having to remove the stuff you just installed.

Now finally you can get started. Make sure you take your time so you don’t accidentally miss something that could end up costing you big $$$ (Such as putting pushrods in the wrong order, or forgetting to put RTV sealant on the ridges between the heads). It took me approx. 4 days working 2 hours a day to finish everything.

1.) Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal of the battery.
2.) Relieve the Fuel system pressure by removing the cap on the end of the fuel rail (as seen in this picture
HERE) and then pushing the center pin in with a screwdriver
3.) Drain the oil from the oil pan by unscrewing the bolt near the bottom back of the pan (As seen in the picture HERE
). Make sure you have the oil drain bucket underneath it before you completely unscrew it. This might be a good time to use the jack and jack stands so you can get underneath the car to reach the oil drain bolt. Also make sure you tighten the bolt back on when the oil is done draining so you don’t forget later.
4.) Remove the oil filter using the oil filter wrench you picked up earlier (Oil filter shown from above HERE and from under the car with the splash guard removed HERE , note that the exhaust manifolds are circled in red and the filter is circled in white). It may also make it easier if you first remove the splash guard by removing a couple of wing nuts that hold it in place. Also have the oil bucket ready because there may be some oil spillage when you remove the filter. When you’re done you should put the new oil filter in so you don’t forget to do so later.
5.) Drain the coolant by loosening the green wing nut near the bottom of the radiator (As seen HERE). Also make sure you have a bucket underneath where the coolant will drain out so you don’t have coolant spilling everywhere. Make sure to squeeze the upper radiator hose so you get all/most of the coolant drained. (NOTE: There are also some engine block coolant plugs that I did not remove to drain all of the coolant, but you can if you feel the need to)
6.) Remove the air intake ducts and electrical connections (making sure to label each electrical connection you remove) into components on the intake duct
7.) Remove the throttle cable and cruise control cable from the throttle body. To do this, remove the outside cable first (it just unclips) and then the one on the inside by rotating the spring back so the TB is at WOT, and then taking the cable and removing it from the groove.
8.) Remove the throttle cable mount by removing the 2 bolts on the top of it and the nut located on the bottom left of the TB.
9.) Remove the bolts that hold the TB (The upper left one is show in the picture
HERE) in place and then disconnect the coolant lines going into the TB. If the coolant lines are stubborn and won’t come off, you may need to cut them and then replace them later with special 3/8" (Correct me if I’m wrong) rubber hosing (Not just any ordinary hose
, make sure it can withstand the corrosion of the coolant). The TB should come off fairly easily and then just set it and its bolts aside.
10.) Remove and label the electrical connection going into the EGR and remove the 2 bolts that hold it in place (The EGR is shown HERE and one of its bolts). Then remove it and set it aside.
11.) Remove the spark plug wires from the coil pack, then label and remove the 3 electrical connections going into the coil pack. Now remove the 4 bolts that hold the coil pack in place (Electrical connections and bolt locations shown in the picture HERE). Now pull out the coil pack and set it aside.
12.) Remove the MAP by first removing the hose connected to the Fuel Pressure Regulator. Remove the 2 bolts/screws on the back of the MAP using a small socket, and the electrical connection on the bottom of the MAP. Now you should have a straight shot at one of the Upper Intake Manifold bolts that was hidden under it (Shown
HERE) .
13.) Unclamp and remove the hose going into the top of the UIM and then remove the remaining hose near the front TB end of the UIM.
14.) Remove the 6 UIM bolts starting from the outside and working your way toward the center. You should be able to now remove the UIM by just lifting straight up.
15.) For this step, make sure you have already relieved the fuel system pressure. To remove the fuel return line, you need a large wrench (A crescent wrench works well here) for the bottom nut on the Fuel Pressure Regulator, and a smaller wrench for the fuel feed line nut (Both nuts are shown in the picture HERE with the FPR nut circled in red and the fuel feed line nut circled in white, also note this is with the fuel rail removed).

Since the post is too long, I'm going to have to split it up

Last edited by angrysk8r; 05-19-2007 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:33 PM   #2
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Part 2

16.) NOTE: This step is optional, this is only if you plan to remove the fuel rail and fuel injectors from the LIM and is not necessary in the LIM gasket change. Start off by labeling the electrical connections going to the fuel injectors and the connection going into the T-stat housing (As seen in the picture HERE), note that I labeled the wires with the corresponding number on the intake runners, not to the actual cylinder they were going to, label them whichever way makes more sense to you). Remove the electrical connection going to the T-stat housing and remove the electrical connections going to the injectors (To do this there is a little metal clip on the bottom of the electrical connectors that you first need to push up). You now should be able to lift the fuel rail (with the injectors still attached to the fuel rail) from the LIM (As seen in the picture HERE). If it doesn't come off easily, you may need to rock it back and forth first to free it. To remove the injectors from the rail, you need to first need to unclip the small metal clip that holds the injector onto the rail, and then you should be able to pull the injector out.
To install the injectors first inspect the O-rings for wear or corrosion and make sure that nothing is obstucting either end of the injector. Put the metal clip back on to the injector and just push it back onto the fuel rail (If the injector won't go onto the fuel rail easily, it should be ok to use a small amount of clean motor oil on the O-ring to help it slide into the hole). To install the fuel rail, first reconnect the electrical connections going into the injectors, and then position the fuel rail on the LIM making sure the ends of the injectors are lined up to their corresponding holes. Now you should be able to just push the fuel rail and injectors back into position on the LIM (making sure the injectors are seated correctly and firmly). Put the 2 bolts back on the rail and then reconnect the fuel return line and feed lines. Finally put the last electrical connection back on the T-stat housing. Pressurize the fuel system by putting the key in the ON position (Without trying to start the engine) and inspect for fuel leaks. If there are any, replace the O-ring where you think the problem area may be, reinstall the fuel rail, and try again.
17.) Remove the T-stat bypass hose from the metal coolant line that runs across the top of the LIM, and then undo the small bottom bolt that holds the coolant bleeder on (The T-stat bypass hose is hilighted in white and the small bolt is circled in white in the picture HERE). Now unclamp and remove other end of the coolant hose that goes past where the TB would be and then set the T-stat bypass aside.
18.) Remove the T-stat housing by first unclamping removing upper radiator hose, and then the end that goes into the coolant resivoir. Then undo the 2 bolts that hold the housing in place (The coolant lines are hilighted in blue in the picture HERE and where the 2 housing bolts used to be can be seen in the picture HERE), also be prepared for some coolant spillage. Now you can remove the actual T-stat by just pulling it out.
19.) Remove the bolt that's securing the heater pipe bracket in place and remove the heater pipe from the T-stat housing (This can easily be done by using a screwdriver to slide off the pipe as shown in the picture HERE).
20.) Remove the cruise control actuator (The black box near the coolant resivoir) by removing the 2 bolts that hold it in place and set it aside.
21.) Rotate the tensioner pulley to relieve the tension on the serpentine belt and then slide the belt off of the pulleys.
22.) Remove the alternator by first removing the 2 bolts and then removing the 1 nut that hold it in place. Then remove the nut that holds the large guage electrical wire to the alternator, remove the remaining electrical connection, and then set the alternator aside.
23.) Remove one of the engine mount bolts (As seen in the picture HERE) and then using a U-joint and by rotating the power steering pulley, you should have a clear shot at all 3 of the bolts that hold the power steering assembly to the engine (As seen in the picture HERE). Now you should just be able to set the power steering assembly aside without disconnecting it.
24.) Remove the front valve cover by removing the 4 bolts that hold it on place (Easily seen in the picture HERE). Remove any traces of the old valve cover gasket from the cover and the engine.
25.) Remove the back valve cover by also removing the 4 bolts that hold it in place. Note, some of the bolts such as the one near the alternator may be a major PITA to get to. It may be easier to use a small wrench instead of a ratchet.
26.) Loosen and then remove the LIM mounting bolts (8 in all, 4 on the top where the fuel rail would be and 2 on each side).
27.) You should now be able to lift the LIM off of the rest of the engine (As seen in the picture HERE, also note that I had the rocker arms and pushrods already uninstalled when I took the picture) . If it's stuck, it may require some force to lift.
28.) Loosen the 12 rocket arm bolts like I did in the picture HERE (It's not necessary to remove them completely, even though I did so I could inspect them for wear) and either rotate them out of the way of the pushrods or set them aside (I put the rocker arms in the order they came off, although it shouldn't really matter). Now you should be able to remove the 12 pushrods as I did in the picture HERE (Note, I actually did this with the LIM still on, it doesn't matter for the removal). NOTE: When you remove the pushrods, MAKE SURE you put them in the correct order they came out (As I did in the picture HERE, the order I found easiest to put them in was: The 6 pushrods on the left are from the front of the engine, in order, from the pulley end of the engine to the TB end of the engine, and the same with the right 6 from the back of the engine). If you install the pushrods in the incorrect order you will cause some serious engine damage.
29.) Remove the old LIM gaskets and then using the razor blades you bought earlier, remove as much gasket material and RTV sealant from the bottom of the LIM and the top of the engine (Be careful not to score the metal using the razor blades). Now using the Acetone or paint thinner and a rag, remove what is left of the gasket material and the old RTV sealant until there is virtually no traces left of the old material.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
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Part 3

30.) Put the new LIM gaskets in place and put a new bead of RTV sealant along the ridge between the heads (The RTV sealant bead should be ~5mm).
31.) Reinstall the pushrods (making sure they are in the correct order) and put the rocker arms and bolts in finger tight (Making sure the small ridge on the bottom of the rocket arm pedestal lines up with the in the heads). Now torque all the rocker arms to 168 in-lbs, then tighten the bolt an additional 30 degrees.
32.) Slowly and Carefully lower the LIM into place on the heads MAKING SURE that it is perfectly lined up (It's easiest to tell by the ridges along where the valve cover gaskets used to be).
33.) Coat the LIM bolts with the pipe thread sealant and then put them in finger tight.
34.) Torque the top 4 LIM bolts to 62 in-lbs in this tightening sequence:
4 - 2
3 - 1
35.) Torque the 4 side LIM bolts to 115 in-lbs in this tightening sequence:
8 - 6
7 - 5
36.) Reinstall the valve covers with new valve cover gaskets.
37.) Reinstall the Power steering assembly.
38.) Reinstall the Engine mount bolt.
39.) Bolt the alternator back on.
40.) Route the serpentine belt back into the correct pulleys (There should be a diagram somewhere near the pulleys), rotate the tensioner pulley counter clockwise, and then reinstall the serpentine belt making sure the grooves are correctly aligned.
41.) Bolt the cruise control actuator back to the engine bay.
42.) Push the heater pipe back onto the T-stat housing the bolt the bracket back on.
43.) Reinstall the thermostat (making sure you put a new O-ring on) and then bolt the thermostat housing back on. Now using new hose clamps, reinstall the line from the T-stat housing back onto the coolant resivoir and reinstall the T-stat bypass hose.
44.) Reinstall the upper radiator hose using a new hose clamp.
45.) Put the fuel feed line and the fuel return line back into the fuel rail and tighten the 2 nuts back on.
46.) Remove and clean any old UIM gasket material off, and then put 2 new UIM gaskets on top of the LIM.
47.) Install the new EGR gaskets, lower the UIM into place and put the 6 bolts in finger tight (Don't forget to put the MAP bracket back on the middle top UIM bolt).
48.) Torque the UIM bolts to 18 ft-lbs working your way from the center bolts out (No specific tightening sequence on the 3400).
49.) Reinstall the EGR and tighten the 2 bolts.
50.) Reinstall the MAP to its bracket and the 2 plugs on the UIM.
51.) Put the 2 PCV lines back into position.
52.) Put the coil pack assembly back into position, clip the 3 electrical connections back in, and tighten the 2 bolts and 2 nuts that hold it in place.
53.) Reinstall the TB and clamp the 2 coolant hoses back onto the T-stat bypass hose.
54.) Bolt the throttle line assembly back onto the TB and put the 2 throttle lines back onto the TB.
55.) Reinstall the intake tubing and reconnect all of the electrical connections, including the hose that goes to the top of the UIM, and the smaller hose that goes to the bottom front of the UIM.
56.) Put 4.5 liters of oil into the engine.
57.) Fill the coolant resivoir up to the "full cold" mark and then squeeze the upper radiator hose to start getting the air out of the coolant system, then refill up to the cold mark.
58.) Reconnect the battery and then start the car. Look all around the engine and inspect for leaks (Note, there may be some smoke coming from the exhaust manifolds, this is probably just coolant/oil that you spilled on them earlier).
59.) Bleed the coolant system by unscrewing the bleed screw (The screw on top of the T-stat bypass hose "pillar") and then running the engine until a solid stream of coolant flows out.
60.) Take a nap


If you see anything I left out, misspelled, etc make sure to let me know.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:11 PM   #4
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Like you said above the pushrod order is very important. Here is a pic and a description of the proper order.

The longer pushrods are the Exhaust and the shorter pushrods are the Intake.

When I did my swap I noticed something that I had not seen mentioned before. What I noticed was that the exhaust pushrods seem to go behind the gasket where as the intake or the shorter pushrods sit on the outside of the gasket.

Looking at this picture at the front head you can kind of see what I am talking about. The proper order for the front head starting from the left hand side would be E, I, I, E, I, E The rear head starting from the left would be E, I, E, I, I, E

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Old 04-13-2006, 05:33 PM   #5
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Hey man what gasket kit is that? I used the Felpro kit and they just use RTV on the block ends.

I ended up making my own gasket for the block ends. I personally think that method is superior to just using RTV. Mine leaked the first time around with just RTV. I made some gaskets for the block ends and now I am tight and dry.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dna_dan
Hey man what gasket kit is that? I used the Felpro kit and they just use RTV on the block ends.

I ended up making my own gasket for the block ends. I personally think that method is superior to just using RTV. Mine leaked the first time around with just RTV. I made some gaskets for the block ends and now I am tight and dry.
I don't remember exatly what kit it was, I just picked it up from napa and it had both the upper and lower intake gaskets

The haynes manual specified using RTV sealant just for the ridges in between the heads, if you have pictures of the gasket you made, I'd like to see it, I also personally thought the RTV sealant didn't seem like it would work very well
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:40 PM   #7
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Unfortunately it was the second time around that I had the thing apart and the last thing on my mind was taking photos.

I basically bought a package which included 5 different gasket material sheets from Autozone. I used the grey sheet, which felt like a paper/fiber gasket. I didn't want to use any rubber type material because unless it has the portions that "hang" on the sides, those materials tend to squeeze out of the gap once you torque it down. If you look on the ones you used, they have those side pieces hanging so the gasket stays put while torqing the manifold down.

I cut the gasket material with scissors to match the faces that sealed up to it. They did NOT overlap with the gaskets that lay on the head. I then used "ultra black" RTV which the guy at autozone said was the best RTV out there for this type of job. I can say this "ultra black" RTV was 10 times better than what came in the felpro kit. I put this RTV on both sides on the paper gasket. Basically making a sandwich out of it. I also used RTV around both water jackets. I know those gaskets aren't designed to have RTV on them, but this was my second time doing this job in 3 days and I wasn't about to do it a third time! When all was said and done, I used about 1/2 tube of that stuff and I must say it cured really well. I did not wipe the excess because I did not want to create a weak spot or air gap in the seal. My paper gasket did not squeeze outward, although I suppose it could have squeezed inward. I dunno, but going on a month now and I am dry as a bone! Coolant never looked as good as it does now. I also switched to a NON-branded dexcool compatible formula.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:30 PM   #8
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Can you post the EXACT part numbers for all the non "oil change/coolant flush" related items on that list for a 99 gt?

Meaning:

Thermostat w/O-Ring
12 Fuel Injector o-rings
Thread sealant
RTV Sealant
LIM Gasket Kit
TB gasket
EGR Gasket
valve cover gaskets


Please?!
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:55 PM   #9
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Sorry, but I didn't write down the part numbers, I just went into napa and told them what kind of car I had (year, model, etc) and they were able to order the exact parts I needed. However, many of the part numbers you may need should be listed here:
1999 - 2003 Grand Am Part Numbers
Napa wasn't all that expensive either, but I'm sure if you looked around in the yellow pages you might be able to find a parts store with better prices.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:24 PM   #10
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Hmm does anybody know the part numbers? On Rockauto.com I found these two parts...which seems to include multiple parts needed into one package...tell me if i am correct?

Emission : EGR Valve Gasket
CORTECO Part # 34234 {EGR Valve Gasket}
Graphite; Includes EGR Valve Mounting And EGR Tube Gaskets, $4.14


Engine : Intake Manifold Gasket Set
FEL-PRO Part # MS98003T
OHV engine; Complete set; Valve cover gskts. & Upper set incl.; PermaDryPlus® int. manifold gskts. incl. $68.79


The EGR Valve Gasket seems to include the EGR Valve Gasket and the EGR Tube Gasket. The Manifold gasket set seems to include the (2) Valve cover gaskets and the upper and lower intake gaskets.

IS THIS CORRECT? please let me know. I cannot find the Throttle Body gasket on this site, and I dont know where to get the thread and rtv sealants or the 12 fuel injector o rings.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:41 PM   #11
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Here is a photo of my cart on rockauto.com

Can you please verify I have everything needed except the RTV and Thread Sealants? Thanks.

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Old 12-15-2006, 04:31 AM   #12
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/99-00...ayphotohosting

i also found that it supposedly is a kit on ebay for $75 that has everything...? are those the updated gaskets?
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:27 PM   #13
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I'd say your best bet is to find a local parts store instead of ordering something online only to find out it's not what you needed.

the 12 fuel injector O rings are just a standard part you can find at just about any automotive store or dealer, the RTV sealant and thread sealer should be sold at just about any hardware store as well.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:18 AM   #14
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very informative, good to see someone took the initiative to do a complete walk through on this... seeing that mine was already replaced im hoping that i will never have to follow these directions
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:13 PM   #15
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Way too much to read!! Just take apart, and put back together. Not that hard.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by digitalballz View Post
Way too much to read!! Just take apart, and put back together. Not that hard.
If you have little experiance with automotive mechanics it can be quite scary, especially when you have your ride to work on the line.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:18 PM   #17
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Very nice write up, it helped a lot, I just finished taking it apart and will put it back together tomorrow, man all that sludge.

I found the LIM bolts really lose.

One comment on the steps is that removing the throttle body is not necessary.

Also look at what elsse you want to do while you have this level of disassembly like Spark Plugs, thermostat, drive belt and with 65k I am changing the alternator as well.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quick question, i am in the middle of my limg swap, and i am having a tough time with the valve cover bolt nearest the alternator on the rear valve cover. The bracket for the idler and tensioner pulleys is in the way so much that i cannot get anything in there to get it loose, i even tried to put a wrench on it vertically and use a vise grip to turn it. The wrench couldnt grip the bolt head and i am scared of rounding it off. Do i need to remove the bracket? Or is there a better way to do this?
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:27 PM   #19
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Never mind i got it.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:09 PM   #20
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Nice how too, I should have taken pictures to put up when I just did mine
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