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Old 11-06-2018, 08:08 AM   #1
2kwik4u
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3.6 Timing Chains in 2010 Traverse

Any of you guys messed with these at any level?

Wifes 2010 Traverse is showing signs of age. Sitting at 138k miles currently, and has a persistent P0018 code. Also showing driveability issues (low power mostly) that are indicative of the timing chain tensioners having failed/clogged. This is a well documented problem with the 3.6 in the Lambda platform. Vehicle has a laundry list of other issues, but those are all solvable in the garage without a lift (leaking steering rack, shocks, brakes, window switch, etc).

I had the local GM dealer quote the work. $2,775 and that was just to replace the chains, didn't include the new cam phasers, or the water pump (that has started leaking since I was in there last month).

I have access to a shop with a lift, and some manpower, but don't want to take over his shop any longer than I have to. Thought process is to drop motor on Friday night, replace timing set/phasers/water pump on Saturday, then reinstall engine into vehicle on Sunday.

Anyone ever messed with these motors and this problem? Is it something that possible to do in a weekend, or am I in over my head?

We're teetering on ditching the thing in general since it's blue book is only around $7k, and we're looking at 50% of the value in repairs and that has typically been a "dump it" mark for us in the past (Audi, and SS went away with that thought process).

Any help/thoughts/ideas?
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:36 PM   #2
mkgearhead
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We literally do hundreds of them. I personally hate working on them but there are a few techs here that love them. They drop the engine, trans, steering rack and cradle as an assembly out the bottom and change them that way. There is a special timing procedure you have to follow, the 3 chains get put on in 2 different crank positions in stages. Biggest problem I've seen is the cradle bolts sometimes seize and spin the captured nut inside the unibody. If that happens you have to cut a hole in the floor, get it apart and weld the floor back together when done. You need some type of table to support the cradle/engine while you lift the body off it. We have a hydraulic one that makes it easier to line up to reassemble.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:13 PM   #3
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Yeesh, sounds like we need to line these wet behind the ear engineers up.. I haven't even begun looking into the wife's terrain, wondering if I should..
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:55 PM   #4
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Terrain is a different story. Chains on the V6 are done in the car without pulling the engine, same with the 4 cylinder. I'll do Terrain/ Equinox all day long.
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'91 Z70 Bravada lowered 4" 350 Vortec w/TBI, TCI-700r4, KYB's, 9C1 cop car steering gear, rear sway bar, yada yada...
'05 Subaru Legacy wagon (wife's daily)
'04 Subaru Forester XT EJ255 turbo, TBE, lowered 1.5" w/springs
'02 K2500HD single cab 6.0 4L80E 8' plow sander/spreader
Case 580K 4x4 w/chains, 10' power angle plow

To help support this site with a donation click here
My cardomain site
Quote:
"The spirit of resistance to government
is so valuable on certain occasions,
that I wish it to be always kept alive.
It will often be exercised when wrong,
but better so than not to be exercised at all.
I like a little rebellion now and then." -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:43 AM   #5
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Sounds like a hard pass on this one for me.

I don't mind dropping the motor/cradle assembly.

The odd timing reset procedure, as well as the potential to require a cut hole in the floor to get the cradle out puts this out of the realm of things I want to deal with.

Guess it's time to start shopping for something else. Shame the value on this thing has dropped so badly. Will be shopping with resale in mind for the first time ever this go 'round.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:41 PM   #6
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GM called it the "high feature V6" when it first came out. They definitely were "high" when they designed it. Just sucks they use it so much. I think the Catera was the first and they still have a version of it in the Colorado. And it's not like they continuously improved it, IMO they just kept making it more complicated and harder to work on.
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-Mitch K

'91 Z70 Bravada lowered 4" 350 Vortec w/TBI, TCI-700r4, KYB's, 9C1 cop car steering gear, rear sway bar, yada yada...
'05 Subaru Legacy wagon (wife's daily)
'04 Subaru Forester XT EJ255 turbo, TBE, lowered 1.5" w/springs
'02 K2500HD single cab 6.0 4L80E 8' plow sander/spreader
Case 580K 4x4 w/chains, 10' power angle plow

To help support this site with a donation click here
My cardomain site
Quote:
"The spirit of resistance to government
is so valuable on certain occasions,
that I wish it to be always kept alive.
It will often be exercised when wrong,
but better so than not to be exercised at all.
I like a little rebellion now and then." -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mkgearhead View Post
GM called it the "high feature V6" when it first came out. They definitely were "high" when they designed it. Just sucks they use it so much. I think the Catera was the first and they still have a version of it in the Colorado. And it's not like they continuously improved it, IMO they just kept making it more complicated and harder to work on.
When we first got it, it ran well. It's been a slow decline ever since. The platform actually towed the boat pretty well for what it is. Our boat is pretty light (3,750-ish), and we've had 4 adults and 3 kids, both vehicles full of fuel, with a couple coolers of drinks/snacks, and towed to the lake in 90+deg heat and humidity and it did fine. The chassis handles the load well, doesn't sway or do anything stupid, and the transmission doesn't jump around when using tow/haul mode. It's FWD so not the best for the boat ramp, but we've never had a problem.......As soon as it quit phasing the cams it's like it lost 70hp or more. The thing is a dog and very unresponsive. Wife barely notices, but I can't stand to drive it anymore.

Biggest complaint is the lack of space with the 3rd row up. If you actually want to take people AND stuff, better have a hitch or roof rack. We can't even fit the jogging stroller behind the 3rd row, much less anything else 6 people might want for a day away from the house. So leaving one of the 3rd row seats down makes it a 5 passenger vehicle (we have 2nd row captains), and it is still a big compromise on storage. Might as well take the Sierra with 5 people and a whole bed of storage space. The Traverse doesn't even really get decent mileage. Best we've ever seen is 22mpg, and the average is closer to 17 or so. This crossover is seriously a whole bucket of compromises with no exceptional leadership in any area. Like a Swiss Army knife that is missing it's toothpick, has broken scissors, and a dull blade. The Sierra feels like a brand new Leatherman in comparison. So much more capable and usable.

I think the Traverse's time has come. Considering another Audi (Q5 this time). Hyundai Sante Fe and Mazda CX-5 are also on the list as well. Jeep Grand Cherokee would be on there if they were a little less expensive. Little bit smaller car/suv/crossover things. Easier to park in the garage, get a little better fuel economy hopefully. Trying to keep the budget at $20k and below so we can shorten the term up and keep our payments the same. Hopefully won't lose our ass on depreciation this time. Bought the Traverse for $22.5k 4 years ago, and it's worth $7k tops now
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