Mechanics

SATURN SL2 CYLINDER HEAD PROBLEM

2002 Saturn SL2 • 160,000 miles

How much work is it to replace a head gasket on the above mentioned car for an average mechanically inclined person? And what all will I need to do the job? How long of a task is it?
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January 8, 2013.




Tools Required
SA911E Mubea Hose Clamp Pliers
SA9127E Fuel Gage Bar Kit
SA911 Front Crank Seal Replacer
SA9123E Gasket Seal Cutter

CAUTION: DO NOT ALLOW SMOKING OR THE USE OF OPEN FLAMES IN THE AREA WHERE WORK ON THE FUEL SYSTEM IS TAKING PLACE. ANY TIME THE FUEL SYSTEM IS BEING WORKED ON, DISCONNECT THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE, EXCEPT FOR THOSE TESTS WHERE BATTERY VOLTAGE IS REQUIRED.

Disconnect cable from negative terminal of battery and remove coolant bottle cap.

NOTICE: The engine's cooling system thermostat will not function correctly once it has been contacted by oil. If oil is found in the cooling system, it must be flushed and the thermostat's cartridge replaced.

Drain coolant from radiator and engine. (Engine drain is at right front corner of engine block under thermostat housing.)

Remove air cleaner cover assembly and air inlet duct and resonator.

Disconnect the rocker cover fresh air hose at rocker cover.

Disconnect accelerator cable from throttle body and intake manifold bracket.

IMPORTANT: The throttle body assembly, fuel rail, pressure regulator, injectors and intake manifold can be removed with cylinder head assembly from vehicle.

Remove the following electrical connectors: Coolant temperature gauge.

IMPORTANT: Use long nose pliers to remove the coolant temperature connector.

Injector connectors
Idle Air Control (IAC) valve
Throttle Position (TP) sensor
Manifold air pressure (MAP)

Remove oxygen sensor
Remove spark wires
Air conditioner compressor
EGR Solenoid

Lay harness over onto underhood junction block and battery cover.

Disconnect the following vacuum hoses: EVAP canister purge valve.
PCV hose at cam cover.
Throttle body connector.
Vacuum brake booster hose at brake booster.

IMPORTANT: The MAP sensor does not require removal.

Disconnect the following hoses: Upper radiator hose at cylinder head outlet.
Deaeration hose at intake manifold.
Heater hose at intake manifold or front of dash.

IMPORTANT: Use service tool SA911E (Snap-on Tool HPC10 or equivalent) to remove hose clamps.

CAUTION: CATCH LEAKING FUEL IN A CONTAINER WHENEVER FITTINGS ARE LOOSENED OR LINES ARE DISCONNECTED.

Disconnect fuel line: Connect fuel gage bar kit SA9127E to fuel pressure test port.
Install bleed hose into an approved container and open valve to bleed system pressure. Once pressure is bled, remove gauge from fuel pressure test port and recap test port.
Remove the nut at the fuel line clip below the fuel pressure test port. Open the hinged clip and separate the fuel supply line and the fuel return line from the clip.

NOTICE: Failure to open the clip could result in kinking of the fuel lines when connections at the fuel rail are disconnected.

Disconnect the fuel supply line by compressing the two plastic retainer tabs and pulling on the fuel supply line. Remove and discard the plastic retainer.

Remove the three right-hand upper engine torque axis mount-to-front cover nuts and the two mount to midrail bracket nuts, allowing the powertrain to rest on the block or wood; remove mount.

Remove the accessory drive belt and tensioner. It is not necessary to remove the water pump pulley.

IMPORTANT: The accessory drive belt idler pulley must be removed to allow the front cover to be removed and replaced in the vehicle.

NOTICE: Cover valve train area whenever repairs are not being performed to prevent foreign debris from entering engine.

Remove the rocker cover: IMPORTANT: Inspect the two rocker cover silicone insulators for cracks. Replace isolators if deterioration exist.

Disconnect the deaeration line at cylinder head water outlet and from support bracket.

Remove the three A/C compressor front bracket bolts (if equipped) attached to cylinder head and block. The rear bracket bolts can be removed from the compressor or bracket attachment to block and head.

IMPORTANT: The rear compressor bracket center hole is slotted for ease of compressor removal and installation.
It is not necessary to discharge the A/C system.

Tie the compressor assembly to the vehicle front support bar.

Remove the three power steering pump bracket attachment bolts (if equipped) and position the pump next to the right-hand front of dash panel, away from the cylinder head and intake manifold.

IMPORTANT: It is not necessary to remove the water pump pulley.

CAUTION: MAKE SURE THE VEHICLE IS PROPERLY SUPPORTED AND SQUARELY POSITIONED PRIOR TO LIFTING. TO HELP AVOID PERSONAL INJURY WHEN A VEHICLE IS ON A HOIST, PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE VEHICLE ON THE OPPOSITE END FROM WHICH COMPONENTS ARE BEING REMOVED. MAKE SURE THE HOIST DOES NOT CONTACT FUEL OR BRAKE LINES.

Jack or raise the vehicle on a hoist.
Drain engine oil.

Remove the right wheel and splash shield.

Remove the accessory drive belt tensioner.

Remove front crankshaft pulley. Hold pulley with a strap wrench or use a 3/4 inch square x 12 inch long piece of wood wedged between the pulley spoke and rear, lower side of front cover when removing the bolt.

IMPORTANT: Puller jaw slots are cast into pulley for removal with a small three jaw puller, if required.

Disconnect front exhaust pipe from exhaust manifold and discard gasket.

IMPORTANT: Remove the three nuts from exhaust manifold.

Remove the front cover assembly: Install the crankshaft gear retainer tool SA9104E to make sure the front crankshaft sprocket is held firmly in place.

IMPORTANT: Install service tool SA9104E with flat side toward sprocket. Failure to hold the crankshaft timing sprocket in place will cause timing chain guide damage. This tool also aligns the oil pump gerotor during front cover installation. After the front cover assembly is loosened and moved approximately 25.4 mm (1 inch) from the engine, the crankshaft timing gear service tool should be removed.

NOTICE: Spray the two dowel pin holes in the front cover with penetrating oil to prevent cover damage during removal.

Remove the four front oil pan bolts.
Use RTV cutter tool SA9123E to cut the oil pan seal away from the front cover.

Remove the front cover bolts.
Using a screwdriver, pry the front cover away from the cylinder block, using the pry locations shown.

IMPORTANT: The front cover assembly can be removed from under the hood or through the wheel well.
Cover the front of the engine with a shop towel to prevent debris entry into the oil gallery holes and pan.

NOTICE: Positioning crankshaft 90 degree off Top Dead Center (TDC) to make sure pistons will not contact valves upon assembly.

Rotate crankshaft clockwise (viewed from crankshaft accessory belt end) so timing mark on crankshaft sprocket and key way align with main bearing cap split line.

Remove timing chain, tensioner, guides, camshaft sprocket, and chain. Use a 21 mm (7/8 inch) wrench to hold the camshaft when removing the sprocket bolt.

NOTICE: Only use a six point socket to remove the cylinder head bolts. A 12 point socket will round off the bolt heads.

Uniformly loosen and remove the 10 head bolts in several passes, in the sequence shown.

IMPORTANT: Head warpage or cracking could result from removing the bolts out of order or when cylinder head is hot.

NOTICE: Be careful not to damage the aluminum cylinder head and block gasket sealing surfaces when removing the cylinder head or during cleaning.

Lift the cylinder head from the dowels on the cylinder block and place the head on wooden blocks or a bench. If the cylinder head is difficult to lift off, pry with a screwdriver between the cylinder head and block bosses.



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